Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Activism in the 70s through the prism of prestige TV

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A month ago, Hulu's miniseries "Mrs America" about the fight against the Equal Rights Amendment concluded. To give a quick synopsis, in the 1970s, 35 of 38 states needed ratified the ERA so it could become part of the constitution and guarantee equal rights to women. The ratification seemed like a surefire process, but right-wing activist Phyllis Schlafly more or less single-handedly turned the issue in a nasty partisan fight, a development that culminated in Ronald Reagan's election, the "conservative revolution" and a large backlash against liberal causes that arguably lasted until the Obama years.