Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Real Talk - Are You Too Young to Marry?

Hey there! I'm back! So good to see you! I had a very productive last bit of Summer, but you better believe me -- I missed you guys (or missed y'all as I'm supposed to be practicing now that I live in Nashville). I was going to share a sequential story with you today, but I came across this absolute gem of an advice piece a bit ago, and I just couldn't hold it back any longer!

The two-page "Are You Too Young To Marry?" from Girls' Romances #149 (June 1970) may look a little long and boring, but believe me -- it isn't. You will thank yourself later for reading it, as I believe it may change your perspective a bit on the romance comics of this period. The title question, "Are you too young to marry?" is completely rhetorical. The unknown author of this piece (hailing from the Girls' Romances editorial staff) was out to convince readers that they were indeed too young to marry. Advising young ladies to enjoy their youth, this article is decidedly feminist and ahead of its time. In an era when women in the United States did tend to get married much earlier than they do today, this article encourages female children to be just that -- children. Seeing that romance comics were a form of entertainment that so often depicted young marriages, this promotion of the sanctity of childhood is comforting; especially since we know little girls as young as nine years old were reading these comic books.

 Click each page to enlarge!

I think at times, we are too harsh on this time period, and certainly, romance comics have been blanketed with a bad rap for depicting mores that we as citizens of the 21st century may find hard to understand. "Are You Too Young To Marry?" is, in my opinion, one of the best advice pieces ever published in the romance comics. And though we aren't as concerned with teen marriage in the United States today as we once were, this piece has some excellent points that resonate still. 

7 comments:

  1. This was really a goodie, and I wish the sentiment had been passed on thru the years.

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  2. Hey Jacque! Dig that FrEaKy type treatment for the word "Marry". Scary.

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    1. So many good fonts and design elements in the romance comics!!!

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  3. Very Fresh! The 1970's had many ideas that were more revolutionary than we now consider, mainly because we've already passed through retrenchment of conservative values -- probably a couple of times. I was struck in the early 1980's how many of my fellow graduate students (most younger than me) feared their parents' wrath if they found out they were living with their boyfriend/girlfriend. Marriage came roaring back as a major value. Funny conservative ideas about sex resurfaced. The sexual liberation movement went underground as soon as it got started, and the conservative values from the fifties never again got the pounding they did in the 1960's- 1970's.

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    1. Just another reason I'm fascinated by the two decades! Thank you, Wes!

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  4. Dear Jacque: Hi, and welcome back! Glad you had a good summer!
    Thanks for posting this column. It was interesting! I agree that the points raised are quite valid. (I wonder, though, if the Girls' Romances editors did indeed meet with a panel of psychiatrists, etc. as stated.)
    Overall, I think that the DC romance comics I've seen (my small collection features issues from 1955-60 and from 1971-73) feature quite intelligent advice columns.
    Also, when I was growing up in the mid-70s, my mom took a similar stance toward dating for my siblings and me. She told us we would not be allowed to date until age 16. Prior to that, she thought we should enjoy being young and going out with groups of friends instead.
    (Of course, as it turns out, I didn't have my first "real" date until I came out in my early 30s--but that's another story!) :)

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    1. Yes, I agree. Most of the columns offered pretty good advice. Not necessarily advice teens would want to hear, but solid advice nonetheless!

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