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Thursday, January 27, 2011

1952: I Love Lucy episode Equal Rights.

Recently with Oprah Winfrey quitting her talk show after 25 years and starting her own network, much has been in the media about how this woman has found so much success and been so charitable and how little girls can look up to her as a role model for success. Now, it really doesn't matter if you are an Oprah fan or not, you have to admit this woman and technically this single woman is a role model for young girls from the perspective of women can be successful, unmarried and have a happy and fulfilled life.

But not all these celebrity types can be viewed as pioneer women who are business owners, successful and have a fulfilled life. And sometimes we forget that women on television becoming successful didn't start with Oprah Winfrey.

Watching a 1952 episode of I Love Lucy called Equal Rights, reminded me that Lucille Ball was not only the first Oprah Winfrey but that she was brave enough to show herself wearing pants on television, being pregnant on television, challenging her husband and always wanting a career. This was her character on the show but in real life she like Oprah was much more successful than anyone knew. It is important to acknowledge her character on television, Lucy Ricardo. Lucy wanted to be in the show (working), she wanted to be business owner (in an episode where they buy dress shop), she wanted to be an equal and in the episode of equal rights, her character wants to be treated like an equal, something I am sure in 1952 went right over everyone's head. In 1952, the viewers watched Lucy get into trouble and laughed at her comedic antics and I am sure they did the same during the equal rights episode but there is a question in me that wants to ask women who were 20, 30 or younger in 1952, did you get it? Did you get what the show was really about? It was about women having an equal right to hold a job and help support the family, to go to college, to achieve and be an equal to the men in their lives. My guess is many of you did.

So there really is not point to all this, I was just watching the episode and I thought, would Lucy be the Oprah of the 1950's if women were equal in 1950? Do women today talk about Lucy in the same way they talk about Oprah? I think they should. For without Lucy and the ladies who came before her, there would be no corporation called Oprah Winfrey.

1 comment:

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