Monday, March 12, 2012

Education or MRS. Degree? College Girls in "Love Was a Lie!"

The theme for Women's History Month this year according to the National Women's History Project is "Women's Education - Women's Empowerment." The theme is very fitting for us here at Sequential Crush as quite a few romance comic stories portrayed the college girl. Today's story is no exception! What is unusual about "Love Was a Lie!" (Cover and pencils by Jay Scott Pike) from Girls' Love Stories #129 (August 1967) however, is the fact that leading lady -- Kelly, actively refuses to go along with the notion of getting an education as a means to receive the legendary MRS. degree.

Upon her arrival on campus at Draper College, Kelly declares that the "boy situation" is tops. Her roommates, Joan and Peg (gee... Draper College, Joan, and Peg?! Matthew Weiner must have read this issue while creating Mad Men) agree, but they differ when it comes to why they are in school in the first place. Joan and Peg are there to find husbands, while Kelly is there to first and foremost, get an education.

Kelly is resolute when it comes to not playing "the Game" as her roommates described. Unfortunately, Kelly is a little naive and when approached one day in the chemistry lab by a dashing young man, she quickly scoops up his offer to help her with her daunting experiment.

Only, Kelly didn't realize that he meant working on a different sort of chemistry. When her date goes to make a move, Kelly asks to be taken home and he is none too happy about it.

When Kelly arrives back at the dorm and tells Peg and Joan what happened, they tell her to grow up and face the facts -- she will never find a guy if she doesn't give in to "the Game." Her roommates advise that she better loosen up or be cast off into oblivion.

Two options for Kelly:
Make love or become "Hermit no. 1"

Kelly continues to refuse to let every guy on campus make out with her and consequently, her popularity suffers. She earns a reputation as a man hater and is dubbed, "The Iceberg."

Understandably, Kelly's self-esteem starts to plummet and she begins questioning her convictions. When she is introduced to a new guy on campus named Tommy, she decides that she will let him "make love" to her if he tries on their date. But when he goes to make a move, Kelly pulls away, following her heart. Tommy is surprised, but takes her home without insult. Kelly cries once she gets back to her dorm, fearing that she has lost him due to her behavior.

The next morning Kelly walks in misery to her first class, haunted by her failed date the evening prior. But as luck would have it, and before she even has a chance to duck into class, her name is called out by none other than Tommy. He digs her. A lot! Awwww!

Nice ending, huh?! Though the story doesn't blatantly mention the Women's Movement like the romance stories of the 1970s would, it does hint at a "different" sort of young woman who has ambitions and goals other than just dating and marriage.


  1. I love some of the lines in this tale: “The sooner I meet the right guy, the sooner I’ll settle down and burn my books.” Wow.

    I wonder if this wasn’t meant as an allusion to “libbers” of the time burning their bras.

    As you say, a very sweet story with something hesitantly progressive at the core. I love how completely flabbergasted tommy is when Kelly shuts him down. That look on his face is priceless.

  2. It's a little disconcerting how her studiousness takes a back seat to her sexual purity. He's not like "Hey I like a girl who enjoys chemistry," he's like, "Hey it's cool that you're not a slut, I can dig it."

    Tommy's okay though. Once he gets over his shock.

  3. Over 1500 hits today. You go, girl!

  4. Yeah, what Amy said. It's an old wine dressed up in a slightly updated bottle.

  5. Mykal: Thanks! All those hits were fantastic. I so appreciate everyone who has stopped by over the past few days. I suspect this story was before bra burnings, but I would need to do some research on that.

    Amy and Fraser: Yes, it is not perfect to be sure, but rather progressive for the time.