In my last post, I began to discuss Katherine J. Lehman’s book, Those Girls: Single Women in Sixties and Seventies Popular Culture. Lehman draws on scholarship and popular writings, as do many media critics. She goes a big step further, though, and tracks down original scripts and proposals, and discovers how they were often trimmed and tamed by industry censorship and by societal concerns about how single women should behave.
So what did Lehman learn about the storytelling about single women in 1960s and 1970s movies and television? Would single women who ventured into the city discover that they really could make it on their own, or would they find that they were courting danger? Would single women who wanted to pursue sexual experiences be glamorized or punished? What should we make of the heroines of series such as The Bionic Woman and Charlie’s Angels? Should we mock them for their skimpy and silly attire, or admire them for modeling single-women strength in arenas typically dominated by men?