One Day at a Time – overcoming obstacles as a single mother

“This Is Life, the One You Get, So Go and Have a Ball!” 

 One Day at a Time starred actress Bonnie Franklin as Ann Romano, a divorced mother of two teenagers. (Napikoski, n.d.) Actress Mackenzie Phillips played daughter Julie and actress Valerie Bertinelli starred as daughter Barbara.  (Napikoski, n.d.)

“The feminism of One Day at a Time clearly presented ideas of the 1970s Women’s Liberation Movement, yet was grounded in real day-to-day situations.” (Napikoski, n.d.)

Ann Romano found herself more liberated and free than ever. After her divorce, she started a new chapter in her life and found power and independence. (Napikoski, n.d.) Moving her family to Indianapolis brought lots of issues and a lot of the stress came from the rebellious daughter, Julia. (Napikoski, n.d.)  Some of the issues that the mother of two had to face and deal with were:

  1. Sexuality
  2. Birth control
  3. Drug use
  4. Infidelity
  5. Attempted suicide
  6. Finances
  7. Marriage
  8. Harassment

“The women’s liberation movement consisted of women’s liberation groups, advocacy, protests, consciousness-raising, feminist theory and a variety of diverse individual and group actions on behalf of women and freedom.” (Napikoski, n.d.) Women were seeking change and power. As a society full of men leading the way and overpowering women was over and women didn’t want to take the back seat anymore. This show’s depiction of a women seeking a new life, dealing with children as a single parent and finding herself was a mirror of reality. One Day at a Time stands as a family of females who struggle to define themselves and discover independence, success and happiness. (Napikoski, n.d.)  This show stood on the grounds of feminism.


My perspective: Learning about this show only strengthened my idea of the feminism movement and how television was a great platform to showcase this issue. One Day at a Time brilliantly highlights the struggles a divorced mom goes through. Presenting a mother in the role as head of the household, main provider and caretaker was not common before the Liberation Movement; however, shows like this one helped paved the path for further generations. Ann Romano could do it all and dealt with controversial issues that effective society as well.

About the Actress:  Bonnie Franklin was born on January 6, 1944. She grew up in California and become an actress. She is best known for her role on One Day at a Time and has been nominated for an Emmy, Tony and Golden Globe Award. (Mills, 1987)

Mills, N. (1987). Franklin Still Making Noise, One Role at a Time. Los Angeles Times. Page 1

Napikoski, L. (n.d.). 1970s Feminist Sitcoms: One Day at a Time. Retrieved November 18, 2012, from


Maude – the most controversial, opinionated woman of the 1970s

In September 1972 , Maude premiered on television in many American homes. This show would destroy stereotypes and break down the barriers of women in 1970s.

Actress Bea Arthur starred as Maude Findlay, a woman not afraid to voice her own opinion. She was a middle-aged, married to her fourth husband, liberal woman living in Tuckahoe, New York. (Wikipedia)

This show was a spin-off from All in the Family. Maude was Edith’s cousin (character on All in the Family). (Bergman, n.d) Maude was a mother, a wife, and a strong, independent woman. In the past women were reserved, obeyed their husbands, and were insignificant compared to a man’s role.

Maude had many supporting actors — Maude’s fourth husband, Walter, her daughter from a previous marriage, Carol, her housekeeper, Florida, and many others. (Maude –, n.d.)

Maude represented a change in television sitcoms during the early 1970s. Many 1960s sitcoms reflected the context and values of white middle America, where gender and family roles were fixed and problems encountered in the program rarely reached beyond the confines of nuclear family relationships.” (Fry, n.d.)

Maude was a very controversial show and her strong personality was the reason it would forever be remembered. One huge topic that had never been featured on television before was the issue of abortion. “Maude wasted no time becoming one of the most controversial shows ever when she, at age 47, became pregnant and decided to get an abortion (the first show to ever have the lead character get an abortion).” (Maude –, n.d.)

Other controversial topics highlighted in Maude:

  • Divorce
  • Women in government
  • Birth Control and men
  • Bankruptcy
  • Plastic surgery 

My perspective: Maude showcased a woman who didn’t answer to anyone. She did what she wanted to do and believed in what she wanted to believe in. No man was going to shape her.

I admire the character Maude stood for. She was voice for women during a time when women were fighting for a voice. She had the power to share her opinions, and I think it helped society see a more liberal side to women.  Another note to take away from this television show is the risk of controversial topics. Maude discussed many of the topics not accepted in society at this time. This was a risk that I feel paid off. Presenting real problems and issues could have steered viewers away from this show; however, it opened their eyes to reality.

About Bea Arthur: Actress Bea Arthur was born in May 1922. She was an American actress, comedian and singer who had a great career. She is known for her role in Maude, All in the Family, and The Golden Girls. (Wikipedia)

Check these clips from Maude:

Bea Arthur –Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, (n.d.) Wikipedia. Retrieved October 30, 2012, from

Bergman, M. (n.d.). Maude (TV Series 1972–1978) – IMDb. IMDb – Movies, TV and Celebrities. Retrieved October 30, 2012, from

Fry, K. (n.d.). The Museum of Broadcast Communications. Retrieved October 30, 2012, from

Maude (TV series) – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (n.d.). Wikipedia. Retrieved October 30, 2012, from

Maude – (n.d.). – Free Full Episodes & Clips, Show Info and TV Listings Guide. Retrieved October 30, 2012, from

Laverne & Shirley Incorporated – the power of womenhood

You may remember the chant: “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated,” followed by the theme song “Making Our Dreams Come True.” This famous TV show opening came from the classic comedy of Laverne & Shirley.

This show, aired on ABC in January of 1976, was a comedy that showcased two single women from Milwaukee. Actress Penny Marshall played Laverne DeFazio and actress Cindy Williams starred as Shirley Feeney. (Laverne & Shirley, n.d.)  This spin-off comedy of Happy Days reveals that the two friends knew Fonzie (character on Happy Days). (Laverne & Shirley, n.d.) Laverne and Shirley worked in a Milwaukee brewery called Shotz Brewery. (Laverne & Shirley, n.d.)

Laverne & Shirley was set in the working environment. (Marcus, n.d.) The two single women, worked hard in the city to make a living for themselves. Although this show was based in the fifties, it showcases the idea of feminism. (Marcus, n.d.) The show may not have been set in the 70s, but it aired throughout the 70s. During this time, feminism was popular and the movement towards power for women continued. “Laverne and Shirley’s toughness and willingness to flout social convention could be viewed as either working class, feminism of 1970s icons Mary Tyler Moore and Barbara Walters thus could be enjoyed form a multiplicity of viewing positions.” (Marcus, n.d.) This show allowed women to see the power of womanhood.

It was not common for woman to hold such roles as independent, working assets to society. This television show allowed audiences to see that side of a woman. Most women took the backseat and allowed men to provide for them, especially the married women. Obviously, Laverne and Shirley did not need a man to help them survive. Their independence and friendship with one another stood strong enough.

These two characters allowed that voice of strength and power for women to be heard. Through a time of change, this show helped reflect the Liberation Movement by showcases those qualities that men were only viewed to obtain in the past.

My perspective: When reflecting on the iconic show, Laverne & Shirley, I find myself relating to these characters. They were hard workers trying to enjoy life. As a college student working my way through school, I can connect to the idea of feminism and the workingwoman. Without the Liberation Movement and TV shows like Laverne & Shirley, I wouldn’t be able to be as independent as I am today. These shows helped pave the path for women and promote opportunities and rights for women through the changing time.


About the characters: Penny Marshall was born in 1942 as Carole Penelope Marshall. She is known as an actress, producer, and director.  As Laverne DeFazio, she was nominated for three Golden Globes. (Penny Marshall, n.d.)


Cindy Williams was born in 1947 as Cynthia Jane Williams. She is best known for her role in Laverne & Shirley and her role as Laurie Henderson in the classic film American Graffiti. (Cindy Williams, n.d.)



Cindy Williams, (n.d.).  Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved October 27, 2012, from

Laverne & Shirley. (n.d.). Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved October 27, 2012, from

Marcus, D. (n.d.). Happy Days and Wonder Years: The Fifties and the Sixties in Contemporary – Daniel Marcus –      Google Books. Google Books. Retrieved October 27, 2012, from

Penny Marshall, (n.d). Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved October 27, 2012, from




The Mary Tyler Moore Show – a successful, working woman

The Mary Tyler Moore Show, a television show related to the Liberation Movement, aired in September 1970 on CBS. It ran from 1970-1977, depicting a time of change and the rising of a woman’s power. (Television Shows of the ‘70s, n.d)  A sitcom created by James L. Brooks and Allan Burns is a show that would be remembered for decades and used to describe the independence of women in the 1970s. (Wikipedia)

Check here to watch the opening of The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Actress Mary Tyler Moore portrayed a single woman in her thirties named Mary Richards. (Television Shows of the ‘70s, n.d) Her character connected to society during that time. Mary Richards worked for a news station, and was trying to break through as a successful woman. (Television Shows of the ‘70s, n.d.) Her driven attitude and ability to succeed was a breath of fresh air. Coming from a past society full of restrictions on women and the idea that men were superior, it was a new to television but would change the roles characters forever. Mary Richards didn’t need a man to be a provider. She was independent and able to live her own life with her own choices.

The show’s main setting was in the newsroom of WJM where Mary makes her way from associate producer of the 6 p.m. news to later the producer. Her tough boss Lou Grant (played by Edward Asner) and Mary had an interesting relationship. (Sanes, n.d.) He was hard on her, but had a sweet spot for her as well. As for Mary’s home life, she lived in a studio apartment. Her landlord and her neighbor become good friends of Mary’s as the show tackles many different issues. (Wikipedia.) Some of those issues include:

  1. Equal pay for woman
  2. Pre-martial sex
  3. Homosexuality
  4. Women in business
  5. Single women living in the city


Those different issues were big at the time of the Liberation Movement. Most of these issues never were accepted and to this day are not fully accepted at times. Pre-martial sex was shunned upon and the 1970s challenged the traditional lifestyle that was followed in the past. The idea of homosexuality was becoming more common in the 70s; however, it still was not an acceptable thing. Highlighting serious societal issues on television was a great way to make change and show change. I think television played a huge role in this movement.

My perspective: I feel The Mary Tyler Moore Show helped strengthen the Liberation Movement. As woman began to fight, television was changing along with them. TV producers and writers understood the idea of societal change and ran with that theme during this time. With television being a huge platform to reach a large audience, this show helped woman fight for their rights. This sitcom displays those qualities women were trying to highlight. I believe without television standing up and showcases successful women, it could have been a harder fight for woman than it already was to gain rights and freedoms for success.

Facts about Mary Tyler Moore: Mary Tyler Moore was born on December 29, 1936 in Brooklyn, New York.  She is known for her role as the wife on The Dick Van Dyke Show and her role as an independent, career-focused woman on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. (Mary Tyler Moore Biography, n.d.)

Mary Tyler Moore Biography – Facts, Birthday, Life Story – (n.d.). Famous Biographies & TV Shows – Retrieved October 20, 2012,  from

Sanes, K. (n.d.). The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Welcome to Transparency. Retrieved September 19, 2012, from

Television Shows of the ’70s. (n.d.). Squidoo: Welcome to Squidoo. Retrieved September 20, 2012, from

Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia. (n.d.). The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Retrieved October 8, 2012, from   

Feminism – A new kind of woman

In the 1970s the role of a women in society began to shift. The Women’s Liberation Movement created a pathway for women to shine.  Women were changing their roles from old-fashion, family-oriented wives who cooked, cleaned, and raised children to powerful, spoken, working women. (Feminism in the 1970s, n.d.) As this was changing in society, so was television. TV shows were incorporating feminism and highlighting women in a different way. (Feminism in the 1970s, n.d.) Feminism was seen off screen and on screen.

As a woman myself, it is liberating to see women fight their way to gaining a voice and excelling in life.  Characters depicted on television were never single, professional and independent women before the 1970s. (Gender in Media, n.d.) The men held all the power and they were the head of the household, decision maker, and provider.  Having a single woman character was uncommon until the beginning of liberation movement. (Gender in Media, n.d.) My blog will take a look at different shows during the 1970s that showcased women in a new light – independent, single, vocal, successful, sexy, and capable of a man’s job.

  1. The Mary Tyler Moore Show
  2. Wonder Woman
  3. Laverne and Shirley
  4. Maude
  5. Three’s Company
  6. Charlie’s Angels
  7. Rhoda
  8. The Bionic Woman
  9. All in the Family
  10. One Day at a Time
  11. Alice

This movement began a life long struggle to hear a woman’s voice. Now, through the past struggles and the fight for liberation, I am able to have a voice as a woman. I am able to have a job and soar into leadership roles like men are able to. I can stand proud to be a woman and voice my own opinions without answering to anyone. Men and women are equal, but the struggle that women had to go through to get there wasn’t easy. The 1970s brought change and power to women and it was a decade of success for them.

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