Mrs America – TV Review

Is it the zeitgeist, or is it just coincidence that these pieces of media are telling the story of feminism in the sixties and seventies? In Australia, we have Brazen Hussies, and from Hollywood, Mrs America. This tells of the women who are the driving forces around the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) in the US. There is Phyllis Schlafly (Cate Blanchett) and her various supporters (played by so many wonderful actors including Jeanne Tripplhorn and Sarah Paulson), who is super-conservative and thinks that rights for women takes away from American values and their place in the home. Then there are the feminists – Gloria Steinem (Rose Byrne), Betty Friedan (Tracey Ullman), Shirley Chisholm (Uzo Aduba) Bella Abzug (Margo Martindake) and so many more.

It’s a real eye-opener, especially when looking at US politics at the moment. To see how people can be ill-informed, can use false information to fight something they are fearful of, and to be hypocritical and unaware of it. We are so used to the idea of ‘fake news’, but to see how it was being used decades ago… it’s disheartening in so many ways. Yes, we have come a long way from there, but with the stuff we see from America, and with everything coming out from Australian parliament at the moment (in particular, the appalling way things are being handled by those in power), there’s a long frigging way to go.

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