Liberated Women

By: Bradley Sawyer

I really enjoyed working through the 1970s and encountering the concept of the liberated woman. While this is a topic I am familiar with due to shows I watch and enjoy such as Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy, Weeds (the list goes on), I never gave much thought to the development of the liberated woman. With that being said, I really enjoyed watching The Mary Tyler Moore Show and WKRP in Cincinnati. Before being exposed to these shows and taking this course, I never realized that the woman in earlier sitcoms such as Leave It to Beaver and I Love Lucy were portrayed so differently from the women in later sitcoms. Going along with this topic, I much prefer watching shows with an empowered and assertive woman. Being somewhat familiar with Roseanne, I am looking forward to watching episodes from the series and seeing firsthand the idea of the liberated woman being further developed as the decades pass.

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6 Responses to Liberated Women

  1. mediaphiles says:

    I felt the same way when I watched Parks and Recreation all the way through. I really like how they portray Leslie Knope. I do think that certain modern sitcoms, however, are still portraying these 50s like female characters like How I Met Your Mother. Even though Robin and Lily are working women, they are wildly unsuccessful compared to the men in the show and Barney is portrayed as a womanizer. The women that he takes home fall for ridiculous pickup lines. Though there has been a lot of progress in television and the portrayal of women, I think a lot of shows and networks still have improvements they can be making. – Maddy Eldredge

  2. mediaphiles says:

    This is an interesting post, and I agree with what you are thinking. I think it is interesting to add to Maddy’s point the amount of womanizers you see in modern day television. With Charlie from Two and Half Men and Barney from How I Met your Mother.
    – Sam Beckerman

  3. mediaphiles says:

    I totally agree with you both. While modern television has offered some improvements regarding the portrayal of women, there still is room for improvement!
    -Bradley Sawyer

  4. When you say WKRP Cincinnati do you mean that the radio station is owned by a woman? I felt as if women went a little backwards progress-wise in this as the most I took from it was the voluptuous secretary that the men keeping asking out. I guess this also may be because she is the most present female character throughout the show, though.

    • marymdalton says:

      Yes, I think there are definitely mixed messages in WKRP. The mom owns the station. Bailey’s character emerges professionally over time with Andy’s encouragement. Jennifer is a bombshell, but she uses her sexuality to gain power without compromising herself at the workplace…though that may, in effect, reinforce negative norms. Interesting response, MacLean.

  5. marymdalton says:

    Good for you! Clearly, you are a liberated man…

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