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!

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.

 Women's Movement 2nd wave feminism in comic books romance

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.

 Women's Movement 2nd wave feminism in comic books romance

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.

 Women's Movement 2nd wave feminism in comic books romance

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.

 Women's Movement 2nd wave feminism in comic books romance

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.

 Women's Movement 2nd wave feminism in comic books romance

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.

 Women's Movement 2nd wave feminism in comic books romance

One can only hope that if this story 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.