Schoolhouse Rock: Sufferin’ ‘Til Suffrage

Posted: July 4, 2014 in Culture, TV shows
Tags: , , , , , ,

Happy Independence Day, everyone! Here’s a refresher course in American history that’s particularly important and relevant for this year’s 4th of July. For some reason, I just remembered it this morning and found it on Youtube. If you were an American kid in the 1970s, you might remember those wonderful “Schoolhouse Rock” cartoons. They were catchy little snippets of educational material that ran between less edifying cartoons during Saturday mornings. Which a lot of kids of my generation spent camped out in front of the TV, wolfing down bowls of sugary cereal. So don’t be fooled by those bullshit sanctimonious re-posts on Facebook by middle-aged people about how *sniff* OUR generation didn’t need electronic gadgets to stay entertained because we were out riding bikes and organizing community patriotic rallies when we weren’t busy plowing the fields. We’re just jealous because our electronic gadgets weren’t as cool. But I digress.

Anyway, I actually felt a little but guilty when I found this. Because much as I loved Schoolhouse Rock as a kid, I always wanted to change the channel when this one came on. It was one of those women’s lib (that’s what we called it in the 1970s) things. Girl stuff. I found it not only irrelevant to me as a boy, but offensive. What? Were these “women’s libbers” implying that they were somehow BETTER than men?

No. They were simply claiming their rights as human beings in a free and democratic society. I hope the boys growing up today have a better understanding of that principle than I did. How suffragists should be heroes to them, as well as to girls. How whenever people are denied basic rights for no good reason, that’s a threat to everyone. How being part of one group that oppresses another doesn’t ennoble you, but demeans you.

So here’s a tribute to some true American heroes. The women of the suffrage movement. Pour yourself a bowl of sugary cereal and enjoy.


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