Thursday, September 17, 2009

Love Me Tonight, Forget Me Tomorrow - Falling in Love's Portrayal of the Women's Movement

"Love Me Tonight, Forget Me Tomorrow" is another tale of the Women's Movement in romance comics. This one hails from DC's Falling in Love #121 (February 1971), published just one month before "No Man is My Master." Similar in nature to Marvel's story, this one also grapples with the conflicting emotions of female liberation.

In it, Alice, a headstrong young woman who works for a magazine is determined to prove that she is equal to men. The story opens with Alice trying to pay her portion of the cost of the date. Her boyfriend (and co-worker), Bob isn't too hot on this idea as he wants to have treated her for once -- instead of going Dutch .

**Side note: "Going Dutch" was not the social norm in post-World War II American culture as it is now. If it was a necessity due to lack of funds or for another reason, it was proper etiquette for the girl to slip the guy her money in private before the public date.


When Bob offers to pay, the discussion erupts into a small scale argument. Alice delivers her thoughts on Women's Liberation, and the reader gets the idea that this wasn't the first time she had told Bob her feelings. He replies with words reminiscent of those in the My Love story, "...make like me Tarzan, you Jane?"


Alice is greeted by her mother who inquires about the evening. Alice, obviously still reeling from her discussion with Bob, has a hard time understanding why her mother would have sacrificed her life and career for the domestic life.


As any mother would, Alices's mom gives her some advice to ponder. She warns Alice to not lose sight of the difference between being a female and being feminine. Her mother also tells her to remember to keep her cool and not get so emotional around Bob. While falling asleep that night, Alice wonders if she is doomed to be successful and lonely, having only her work. She thinks about all the wonderful times she has had with Bob, and laments that he has fogged up her vision.

The next day at work brings Alice's focus back, as she seems to genuinely love her job at the magazine. She is called into the bosses office for an important, unexpected meeting. The boss, Russell reveals that he has decided to make her Editor-in-Chief due to her excellent work ethic, drive and ambition.


Alice is pleased with her promotion, until she sees Bob in the hallway who congratulates her by affectionately teasing her and calling her "boss lady." In that moment, the thrill of her success quickly wears off -- she believes she has lost Bob. To every one's surprise at her coronation meeting, Alice throws a curve ball by announcing that Bob is more deserving of the position. She is then taken off guard when Bob reveals that he was initially offered the position, but turned it down -- since he knew she had wanted it so badly.


Though the story may have been a bit disappointing for the plight of the Women's Movement, I do not think that all hope is lost in it. The last panel displays Alice's reverence for equality -- and in a way, the writer's respect for it. This story mixes the private and the public spheres of love and career, without trivializing their mutual impact on one another. Women (and men) no doubt had difficult choices to make about what was best for them concerning love and equality. In a time when the notion of a woman having a career outside the home was beginning to gain traction, this story serves well to exemplify the complexities of having it all.

3 comments:

  1. Please put me out of my misery - Comics.org don't have this entered yet....who drew this story?

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  2. Hey Anonymous! I am so sorry, but I don't know either! It is one of the ones I am working on trying to figure out. Once I do, I will be sure to update this post.

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  3. Thanks Jacque, I'll keep watching
    Norman 'Anonymous'

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