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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Sexism in the 1970s

While I was up in Minnesota, I had a TV channel on called Buzzr while I was sorting through boxes of my parents’ stuff. I got to watch a lot of Match Game, Tattletales, and Family Feud (the old version with Richard Dawson) and the one thing that jumped out at me was the casual sexism.

Women were still referred to as “girls,” but while the language used definitely underlined things, it was the attitude that annoyed me. All these assumptions made about women and no one blinked at them, not the contestants, not the celebrities, not the hosts or the audience. It wasn’t constant, but it was frequent and oh, boy was it eye opening.

On Tattletales, one celebrity kept calling his wife a “dingbat” when they missed a question. Really. He took no responsibility for getting it wrong and the part that left me livid—he called his wife a name on national television. How much more disrespectful can it get?

I get annoyed today with the attitude and frequently think that I can’t believe people still talk/behave this way to and about women in 2016. And we do have a long way left to go, no doubt. But after watching these old game shows…we have come a long way. And that is totally sad that we were ever that bad. It’s hard to believe.

It was an OMG, seriously? experience for me. Most of the shows were early/mid 1970s, but one of them aired as late as 1978. Wow.