Thursday, August 26, 2010

Happy Women's Equality Day!

Happy Women's Equality Day, everyone! Ninety years ago today (August 26th, 1920), women were granted the right to vote with the passage of the 19th Amendment. Celebrate with me this turning point in history, as well as the continuing efforts of the Women's Movement throughout the 1970s with "The Movement or My Heart!" from Marvel's Our Love Story #18 (August 1972).

Dig this cover with pencils by Gene Colan and inks by Romita!
Story written by Joy Jackson, penciled by Jim Mooney

and inked by Frank McLaughlin!

"The Movement or My Heart!" opens with our protagonist -- Brandy, internally criticizing her co-worker, Laurie for being a traitor to the cause of female equality.


After confronting Laurie about her flirtatious and attention grabbing ways, Brandy receives the old, "What's the matter...jealous?" Brandy quickly retorts that she is waiting it out for a "real man...not a male chauvinist pig!" Once on the streets of the city, Brandy grapples with her decision to be disciplined and committed to the cause of equality.


Brandy's beliefs in female equality are again challenged when her pilot brother brings home a friend with intentions of going on a double date. Brandy's initial interest in Rafe is quickly extinguished when her brother directs her to change out of her pants suit into something more "feminine." Rafe makes a swift exit, claiming he actually already had a date for the evening and Brandy's brother retaliates by declaring she is going to wind up old and alone.



The next day, Brandy meets with Congressman Bill Bertleson -- a self-proclaimed supporter of women's lib. Doubtful of his stance at first, Brandy quickly sees that Bill is a true friend of the movement.


Brandy and Bill become fast friends and soon she is accompanying him on trips to meet with constituents and volunteering for his campaign. Over a month's time, it is clear that she has developed romantic feelings for Bill. When a kiss does not ensue, Brandy is devastated and in her disappointment, she comes to the conclusion that Bill was only using her as a free laborer.


Brandy refuses Bill's calls and letters for weeks, forcing him to drop by her home. At the threshold of the door, Bill declares that he can't live without her anymore. Outwardly, Brandy accuses him of just wanting her for her secretarial skills, but internally she realizes that he may care for her back. Bill comes clean and divulges his reason for taking things slow -- he didn't want to offend her and her "women's lib attitude..." Letting go of preconceived notions, the two embrace and a marriage proposal is delivered -- and accepted.


One can only hope that if this story were have to extended beyond its seven pages, Brandy would have continued her fight for female equality -- with her new husband rallying at her side. I am quite confident it would have, and would not have ended up like the brutish My Love yarn "No Man is My Master" from one year earlier. A strongly written story in my opinion, with a protagonist that doesn't abandon her ideals for love, but instead finds a love compatible and respectful of those ideals.

3 comments:

  1. Drool. As much as I <3 the early issues of MY LOVE and OUR LOVE STORY, when Marvel brought out their Big Gun artistes, I also really dig these stories from a couple of years later when they momentarily stopped reprinting those same stories over and over, and let some second-stringers and young turks and turkettes take a crack at the genre.

    Oh, and happy Equality Day.

    --Marsh

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  2. I love the variety -- this issue also had the Syd Shores story in it I posted a while ago.

    http://sequentialcrush.blogspot.com/2010/02/i-failed-at-love.html

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  3. As Marsh noted, some diverse artwork in this period, including early work by folks like Alan Weiss and Jim Starlin, and older folks like Jack Katz.

    Nick C.

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