Graduation Year

2020

Comments

Runner Up, 2016-2017, Best Gateway Essay Contest

Gateway Professor: Jim Plath, Department of English

Abstract

First airing in 1970, The Mary Tyler Moore Show was viewed as “TV’s first truly female dominated sitcom” (Reese). As society was being challenged to accept new values that promoted equality for women on both a personal and political level, The Mary Tyler Moore Show had begun to positively portray the realities of the feminist movement. The women characters of the show, Mary, Rhoda, and Phyllis, brought forth many controversial issues that were occurring throughout America during the decade. As early as the pilot episode, Mary Richards, played by Mary Tyler Moore, was everything that a woman of the early 1970s was expected not to be. Her character’s liberation and focus on personal relationships, workplace equality, and women’s sexuality, paved the way for viewers of the show to begin opening their minds to many societal issues that were prevalent among society during this time period. Through vague innuendo, The Mary Tyler Moore Show pushed boundaries for television and inadvertently aided one of the most influential movements of its era.

Disciplines

English Language and Literature | Rhetoric and Composition

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