01x06 - Battle of the Sexes

Episode transcripts for the TV show "The Seventies". Aired: June 2015 to August 2015.
"The Seventies" is a documentary series that looks back on this remarkable and controversial decade. The Vietnam w*r, Watergate scandal, music industry, Iran Hostage Crisis, and the rise of foreign and domestic terrorism are just some of the events this series covers.
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01x06 - Battle of the Sexes

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Thousands of women
gathered today

as a symbolic torch
marked the beginning

of a national women's

[ chanting ] Join us now!

We think
there's gonna be a struggle,

and we don't think
that men are going to give up

their power and privilege

American women are the most
privileged group of all time,

and they're still not satisfied.

[ all chanting ]

the Equal Rights Amendment
should be ratified.

[ cheers ]

Bryant: I love h*m*,
if you can believe it.

I love them enough
to tell them the truth.

of sexual perversion --

what a disgrace!

Duke: A Constitutional amendment
appears on the way

proclaiming women have
all the same rights

as that other sex.


There are a lot of women
in this country

who feel that they're being
pushed around,

and they've become very vocal.

They call themselves
The women's liberation movement,

and we have two representatives
from that movement here tonight.

They're both writers.
Susan Brownmiller,

had a piece in the Sunday Times
a couple weeks back,

and Sally Kempton.

[ applause ]

Cavett: I think I had every
women's lib star on the show,

once with Hugh Hefner
of Playboy.

That was exciting.

What do you think
men are doing wrong?

They oppress us as women.

They won't let us be.

And Hugh Hefner
is my enemy.

Oh, is Hef your enemy?
[ laughs ]

We really set you up tonight,
didn't we?

I'm more in sympathy

than, perhaps, you know,
the girls realize with --

women. Women.
I'm sorry.

Yes, I'm 35.

...than the ladies realize.

I've used "girls"
referring to women of all ages.

You should stop.

[ cheers and applause ]

Cavett: They came on
I would say,

they might admit,
to gut Hugh Hefner.

The day that you are willing
to come out here

with a cottontail attached
to your rear end...

[ laughter ]

Women had so much to talk about

because the dialogue
on so many of our issues

was controlled by men.

Cavett: There's some of you
who reject men altogether.

They won't sit in the same room
with a man if they can avoid it.

Are you
two of those ladies?

We think there's gonna be
a struggle,

and we don't think that men
are going to give up

their power and privilege

[ indistinct chanting ]

[ cheers and applause ]

Bailey: The women's movement,
the sexual revolution,

the gay liberation movement

all had their origins
before the '70s,

but the '70s were when Americans

had to make sense of them
in their daily lives

and in their institutions
and communities.

Women's liberation is only one
of a number of groups,

ranging from stridently militant
to traditionally feminist,

who feel that women
haven't yet won their rights.

They don't constitute
a majority of women,

but their numbers are growing.

Today all over this nation,
the women's liberation movement

is marking the 50th anniversary
of women gaining the vote

by demonstrations and strikes.

Woman: [ chanting ] Join us now!
Sisterhood is powerful!

Join us now!

O'Neill: The National
Organization for Women

called a nationwide
women's strike.

There was a big poster
that said,

"Don't iron
while the strike is hot."

[ laughs ]

It was meant to commemorate

the 50th anniversary
of the granting of suffrage

to American women.

It followed up
on almost a decade of protest

and movements
in American society.

This strike has put our demands
on the political agenda,

and they are there to stay,
and they will be given priority,

and it has shown us our power

to achieve the changes
that are needed.

The next step
is from America, the world.

It was
a Betty Friedan operation.

It was definitely that.

It was a great tribute to her,

and it just spontaneously
turned out

to be the best thing ever.

They have three demands,

according to the ladies
who are organizing the strike --

free childcare centers
running 24 hours a day,

equal education and employment,
and free abortions on request.

Woman: [ chanting ]
Free abortions on demand!

It was a wonderful,
consciousness-raising moment

to demonstrate the seriousness,
the rage.

It was a revolutionary high.
It was very moving.

At the Western White House,

President Nixon said
we should all recognize

that women have a wider role
to play in this nation.

But on the Senate floor,

West Virginia's
Jennings Randolph

characterized Women's Lib as,
I quote him,

"a small band
of braless bubbleheads."

I mean, you have to understand
how backwards we were

on issues involving
women's rights then.

Women couldn't sign a loan.

They had to get
their husband's approval.

Women weren't allowed
in the m*llitary academies.

I mean, this was ridiculous.

Well, I think the point is now
to inform other women

that the Women's Liberation
Organization exists.

And other women will realize
that they're not alone.

Morgan: First step
was consciousness raising --

daring to articulate
the problem.

Second step --
people begin to write about it.

And then you have lawsuits,

and then you eventually have

In almost every congress
since 1923,

there has been proposed
a Constitutional Amendment

to guarantee
equal rights for women.

Well, today,
it finally won approval,

clearing the Senate
by vote of 84 to 8.

The measure now goes to
the states for ratification.

[ chanting ] E.R.A. Now!

The Equal Rights Amendment says:

"Equal rights under the law
shall not be abridged

by the United States
or by any state

on account of sex."

Male opponents in the Senate
called it the unisex amendment.

They said it would destroy

traditional man/woman

weaken family ties,
increase h*m*.

The Equal Rights Amendment
had passed, first of all,

because there was a very
powerful Congresswoman,

Martha Griffiths in Michigan,

who was strongly in favor
of that.

because the Republican Party

wasn't opposed to it.

There wasn't
a political opposition,

There was more cultural

When the Equal Rights Amendment
was adopted,

it had a seven-year time frame
for ratification.

Otherwise, there would be
no Equal Rights Amendment.

Mudd: This amendment could have
wide repercussions --

affecting the m*llitary draft,

a father's responsibility
to support his children,

sex crimes, and protective
labor legislation.

I think the very term "E.R.A."

Started opening up a look
at everything.

It was sort of like
ripping off the lid and saying,

"well, are there equal wages?

Are we getting equal admission
into college?

Every issue
started being looked at,

all kind of under the banner
of E.R.A.

President Nixon today
signed into law

a far-reaching $21 billion
education bill,

which will support
educational projects

from kindergarten all the way
to graduate school.

Title IX is simply
educational equality.

It simply says that
any educational institution

that receives federal funding

must provide a fully equal
educational experience

and educational opportunities
to girls and women

the same as for boys and men.

I used to always ask myself,

why don't we have
more women doctors and lawyers?

Well, because I didn't realize

we had gender quotas
in our classrooms.

So, Title IX
just blasted open the doors

as far as opportunities, access,

all the things that allow people
to be the best they can be.

[ cheers and applause ]

Hot damn!

What was included in there
that nobody had thought

was a huge deal going
on the way in was sports.

The idea that suddenly,
little girls would grow up

with the expectation that they
were gonna play Little League,

that they were gonna be stars
on their team,

that they were maybe gonna get
a scholarship to college

based on their skills,
it was huge.

People in this country
seem to be saying

that women, because of their
sex, ought not be prohibited

from doing anything
that men are allowed to do.

Many members of Women's Lib
feel exploited by men,

and they startled wall street
one day

by an exhibition
in which roles were reversed.

Look at the legs on that one!

Oh, I'm so turned on.

Those pants,
they just bring out your best.

Keep your best leg forward,
sweetie! [ smooches ]

We're trying to point out

what it feels like
to be whistled at, put down,

constantly, sexually, every time
we walk down the street.

Woman #2: And they tell us
that we're supposed to think

that it's a compliment.

Hey, hey!

Bailey: When someone asked
a woman in the 1970s,

"Are you liberated?"

What they meant in general
was not,

"Do you believe
that individuals should be free

to choose their own path
in life?"

It usually meant,
"Do you have sex?"

And often, it meant,
"Will you have sex with me?"

What kind of relationship
between the sexes

do you advocate?

Is love out?
Is sex out?

Unless men change,
it's going to be very soon.

People seem to conflate

the sexual revolution
and women's liberation,

because people tend to conflate
sex and women.

And for people, read men.

Now, I would like
to ask Germaine Greer,

what would it be like

to have the initiation and
consummation of a sexual contact

so that now we can get down to
the particulars of the evening,

what would it be like
after liberation, ideally?

Why do you ask this question?

[ laughter ]

Because I don't find it
anywhere in the literature.

Why do you expect to find it
anywhere in the literature?

I really don't know
what women are asking for.

Now, suppose I wanted
to give it to them.

Whatever it is they're asking
for, honey, it's not for you.

[ laughter ]

I think if you didn't look at
the women's movement favorably,

it'd be very easy -- in fact,
you might be inclined --

to lump it in
with sexual revolution,

as saying the agenda is the same

because then it just makes women

look sort of unstructured
and wanton

and running around, just looking
for the next person to bed.

But those two things
were very, very different.

We are too busy doing the work
we have to do

to fight with the men
who disagree with us.

And most of us believe that,

sooner or later, they'll
come along with us anyway

because they won't have
any choice.

[ cheers ]

Collins: If women were
going to have equal rights,

if women were going to have
an equal place in society,

one of the first things
that was gonna have to go

was the double standard

that women were supposed
to be virgins,

pure and chaste
when they got married.

But men were
supposed to fool around

and have lots
of sexual experiences.

Twenty-five years ago,
most young women

were expected to be virgins
before they got married.

If they were not,
it was considered a stigma.

Now today, you're saying
there's been a change,

which means, what,

that many more young women

are sleeping with someone
before marriage?

-That's undoubtedly, yeah.
-How many more?

120 percent more,
to be exact.

In many ways, women benefited
from the sexual revolution.

There's just no doubt
about that.

The idea that it's okay

for women to explore
their sexual fantasies

and explore
their sexual desires.

I think
that the sexual revolution

had a place in making sex
more casual

so that people had
more sexual partners.

And sex could have a purpose

other than procreation
or reproduction.

Hi, Sally!

Oh, it's nice to see you.
How are you?


There was a lot of sexual
experimentation in the 1970s.

And one place that
that experimentation took place

was within marriage,

by trading partners,
having group sex,

and rethinking what has become,
in their mind,

a kind of rigid monogamy
that k*lled pleasure.

In Southern California,

a young couple were exploring
with ideas about open marriage.

And they created a retreat
for other people to come

and explore those ideas,
as well.

Man: I wasn't sure

if you wanted me walking around
without clothes on.

Woman: That's funny.
I felt the same way.

[ laughter ]

You stored away your clothes,

and you lived from morning,
noon, and night as a nudist.

And people, if they wished,

could indulge
in intercourse together.

[ indistinct chatter ]

a lot of people
I haven't seen for awhile.

The idea of this place,

as espoused by John Williamson
and his wife Barbara,

was to try to eliminate jealousy

and sexual possessiveness
in marriage.

They had a lofty notion
of what they were doing.

Monogamy as we know it,
marriage as we know it,

the American family
as we know it,

it's not working,
and it hasn't worked.

And it'll work even less
in the future.

Barbara wanted women to have

as many opportunities
for sexual experience,

other people outside
of their spouse, as men did.

And this was going to be

one of the tenets
of the Sandstone experience --

equality with the sexes.

Woman: I don't feel
that I'm in love with him.

It used to be that I really
had to feel really close to him,

and I really loved him.

But not anymore.
You don't have to.

Man: A lot of times,

I really wanted to have
a relationship with a woman,

but I was so...
I always told him,
"go ahead."

"Go ahead," but I never
really believed her.

I remember sitting there saying,

this guy,
if they ever went to Sandstone,

she'd like it, and he'd hate it

because he would feel
a little disempowered,

and she would feel empowered.

I met a lot of nice people,

and because I didn't have
that inhibition,

I left all the doors open

for as many nice experiences
as possible.

Were you ready
to leave Betty,

once she came home
and said what she'd done?

She said, "Well,
this is what I want," so...

They learned so much about
themselves, their partners,

negotiating conflict,
the power of sexuality.

The problem was
that there was something

deeply built into us

that, when we really cared
about somebody,

we started becoming territorial.

Tom, what you're doing right now
is you're saying,

"Hey, my wife
is [bleep] me over."

You're the great state.
Do something about it.

Farrell: Resolving the threats
led to two things happening --

almost everybody who had
an open marriage

said in retrospect,
"I am so glad I had it,

and I will never do it again."

The Supreme Court ruled today

that if anyone
wants to read dirty books

or look at dirty movies
in his own home,

he may do so, and it's none
of the law's business.

The case came from Georgia,
where the police charged a man

with possessing
p*rn movies.

The law still may regulate

the spread of obscenity
in public,

but the court said
a person has every right

to satisfy his intellectual
and emotional needs

in the privacy of his own home.

Up until Stanley vs. Georgia,

p*rn was something
that was really undercover.

Allyn: p*rn is obviously
a loaded term, right?

One person's erotica
is another person's p*rn.

But, in the late '50s
and in the early '60s,

the Supreme Court kept narrowing
further and further

the definition
of what is obscene.

So by the late '60s,
you're seeing books, magazines,

films that were
pretty sexually explicit.

And people wondered,
are we headed for a downfall?

Just before the last election,

President Johnson appointed
a special commission

to look into the problem
of p*rn

and its impact
on the American people.

The Republicans moved
into the White House,

but the commission
went right on working.

The Presidential commission
was a group of censors

who believed the devil
had penetrated

too deeply into our society.

Herman: The basic finding
of the commission

was that an analysis
of all available studies

shows no correlation

between the availability
of such sex-oriented materials

and the rate of sex crimes
or sexual pathology.

Says the report,
patrons of such places

may be characterized as

"predominantly white,
middle class,

middle aged married males

dressed in business suits
or neat casual attire."

When Johnson
set up this commission,

he really was trying
to produce a view

that said p*rn's bad.

In studying the issue,

they changed their view
of p*rn and said

it's just not that big a deal.

Some enterprising publisher

may combine the 874 pages
of the commission's report

and the 59 pages
of the dissenting report

and put them on the market
in paperback form.

Controversial as these reports
are at the moment,

that volume may sell.

But it won't be nearly as spicy

as the material
readily available now

from your friendly
neighborhood adult bookstore.

When you look back
at the early '70s,

you really do see
a major cultural shift

in terms of the availability
of p*rn.

Female reporter:
The cinematic subculture
boils down to one thing --

big business at the box office.

According to the adult film
association of America,

two and a half million people

slip into darkened,
X-rated theaters.

That's 20 percent
of all moviegoers.

The biggest film,
by all standards,

is "Deep Throat."

Levine: "Deep Throat" was one
of those hard-core p*rn films

that became a sensation.

It became a movie

that people talked
to their friends and neighbors

about going to see.

They have already,
in Albany, Georgia,

have banned the motion picture
"Carnal Knowledge"

as being obscene.

If they think "Carnal Knowledge"
is obscene in Albany, Georgia,

wait till "Deep Throat"
shows up.

They'll have to hose them down
with cracked ice down there.

[ laughter ]

It's reviewed
on local news shows,

couples are going to see it
on date night.

Jacqueline Onassis herself went.

Linda Lovelace and Harry Reems
in "Deep Throat"

were celebrities.

Lovelace: I'd like to see
legitimate films

and so-called p*rn films
merge together.

I think the two industries
have got to merge together.

Do people walk up to you
on the street and recognize you?

People are afraid of me.

This is the time when the sexual
revolution went mainstream.

You could go
to the grocery store

and buy sex advice in line
at the checkout counter.

You could buy
a kind of knowingness

or awareness about sex

that was different than what was
widely available in the past.

The real way that the sexual
revolution filtered down to us

was the reading materials
we were discovering

in our parents' houses,

including "The Joy of Sex".

Allyn: It was a modern
marriage manual.

One of the things
that made the book famous

was its illustrations.

You found text

accompanied by very specific
nude drawings

of all manifestations
of sexual acts

and behavior and posturing.

Why did you write
the book?

I think it's the first one

that's been based
on the knowledge of 1974
rather than 1874.

Talese: This book became
amazingly successful

in that it was accepted
on the coffee tables

of American middle class people.

It isn't
that it gives people

information they didn't have
or they couldn't have got.

What it does is to open up
the subject

to being something
that can be talked about.

Sexual information is now being
made available to the public,

which hadn't been before.

One of those
was Masters and Johnson,

who did
an enormous amount of work

in excruciating detail to some,

how both men and women's bodies
function during sex.

There have already been
suggestions of sensationalism

in some quarters about the book.

What are your feelings
about this?

Hope on our part
is that in some way,

our work will contribute
to a change

in the attitude
towards sexuality.

Ashford: They were painting
a picture of women as strong

and versatile
as sexual creatures.

And that was not
a popular idea before then.

Elias: Before the 1970s,
it wasn't uncommon

not to know anything about sex
going into your wedding night,

not to understand
the sexual process

or understand your body at all.

Diskin: In those days,
asking doctors a question --

and, of course, the majority
of doctors were men,

it was very unusual
to find a woman doctor.

Often, what they said is,

"Don't worry your pretty,
little head about it" to women.

"Our bodies, ourselves"
grew out of

the women's liberation movement.

It was the first book
that's really

by women for women
about their bodies.

Ashford: If you combine that
with the pill,

you have a pretty potent mix of,

"Wow, I could really take charge
of my life in this way,"

and they did.

Savage: There were like
two dialogues about sex

in the country,
in the culture.

There was idealized monogamy,

this is what we all think
sex should be.

And then there was
an underground dialogue

about what people
were really doing,

what people really wanted.

And that was regarded
as dangerous and subversive.

That didn't come, I think,
to fruition until the '70s,

until you had
this generation of people

who were coming of age

in this new reality
of truth telling, birth control,

and openly gay people
in the world.

I'd really make a distinction

between sexual freedom
and liberation.

Gay liberation
is just one movement,

along with women's liberation,

in this whole process
of sexual liberation

that we're all about.

Man: What's the solution!
Protesters: Revolution!

Man: What's the fight!
Protesters: Gay rights!

The very first Pride Parade
was organized

by the Christopher Street
Liberation Organization.

If it sounds like
national liberation,

that's not a coincidence.

Teal: We want the freedoms --
the freedoms to love,

and sometimes
even to love a bit in public

that belong to the heterosexuals
in this country,

and we're going to have them.

The National
Women's Political Convention

will now come to order.

[ cheers and applause ]

This is the first national
political assemblage of women

to be held in 100 years.

It is non-partisan.

Nearly 1,000 women of all ages
and all political persuasions

are attending.

Steinem: We didn't really
have time to organize,

but women read it in the paper
or they saw it on television,

and they started
their own caucuses

in their own cities,
in their own states.

We will, we must, att*ck
the most difficult issues.

We might as well do it

because they're gonna call us
all those names, anyway.

[ cheers and applause ]

Gloria Steinem had been a writer
at the New York Herald Tribune.

She was a very compelling figure
who had a great way

of translating
the ideas of feminism

to the mass marketplace.

And she and a bunch of her
friends began Ms. Magazine.

All revolutions, it seems,

start with a typewriter and
three crowded rooms over a bar.

And the New York headquarters
of the magazine Ms.

is no different.

It's a magazine
designed to serve as a forum

for the women's movement.

The movement itself

comes out of telling the truth
about our lives.

So, it just makes sense
to devote ourselves

to things that women
just can't find anyplace else.

Farrell: when she got
aggressiveness from men,

she handled it
in a gracious type of way.

She knew how to do the tango
with men.

In view of the fact that men
are virtually controlled

and dominated by women
from birth to puberty
and often beyond that,

why haven't you done
a better job

if you're as smart
as you say you are?

Well, that's your statement,
not mine,

that men are
virtually controlled by women

from birth onward.

I mean if you take
an intelligent person

with the normal hopes
and ambitions

and confine her to the home,

the truth of her situation is
that she has no real power

over her life outside the home.

Brinkley: before Gloria Steinem,
there was a feeling

that feminists were marginal
in some ways.

But the empowerment of women
in the 1970s

is unlike any other decade
in American history.

It almost explodes
on the national scene.

[ audience groans ]

Women's tennis is, in a way,

the ultimate
in women's liberation.

Men watch Billie Jean
not to ogle her sexy legs,

but to witness
or even learn from her game.

Connelly: Billie Jean King
was an icon of the '70s.

She was a pioneering figure
in women's sports

and a pioneering figure
in culture.

She was tough and she was smart
and she won --

everything you love
in an athlete.

And, man, did she have guts.

She didn't back away
from anyone.

American women
are the most privileged group

of all time in history,
and they're still not satisfied.

We got to stop those women
right now.

Connelly: Bobby Riggs was
a longtime tennis star

from decades ago
and a hustler.

All I know is I want to keep
the women barefoot, pregnant,

and in the bedroom
and the kitchen,

and taking care
of the kids at home.

And he had started challenging

contemporary women
tennis players to matches.

He'd see me and go,
"Hey Billie, Billie,

we can make lots of money,
we do this."

I'd go, "Bobby, I've got so much
work to do with the tour,

I can't even think straight."

And then Margaret Court
said yes.

Connelly: Margaret Court was the
number-one ranked woman

in the world at the time.

I was just pleading with her.

"It's gonna be a circus,
so get ready."

She lost the match

when he gave her roses
and she curtsied.

She lost the match before
they h*t the first ball.


She played probably
the worst tennis of her life.

[ crowd cheering ]

As soon as she lost,
I knew I had to play.

In the latest news on tennis
and the w*r between the sexes,

It was announced today,
believe it or not,

that Bobby Riggs, the old champ,

will play Billie Jean King,
the Women's Wimbledon winner,

for a $100,000 prize.

Cosell: What a scene it is,
a happening,

with the celebrities present,
more than 30,000 people

for an all-time record tennis
audience anywhere in the world.

And here comes Billie Jean King,
a very attractive young lady.

If she ever let her hair
grow down to her shoulders

and took her glasses off,

you'd have somebody vying
for a Hollywood screen test.

There she is.

When she was brought out
on that golden litter

with these young, you know,
guys carrying her,

and she's waving,

and immediately, my God,

She knew how to play him
at his own game.

There's Bobby doing his thing.

The whole thing was a circus.

There was this sense
of, like, people taking sides,

and it was jokey.

But there was an underlying
current of, "this is for real."

Man: First serve.

Bobby Riggs leading 3 to 2.

Referee: Game -- Mr. Riggs.

King: I was down 4-2
in the first set.

Everybody forgets that.

I missed overheads.

I never miss overheads --
hardly ever.

That was my moment of truth.

I thought about what my life
would be like if I lost.

I thought about,
"What would it do for others

if I won this match?"

I had all kinds of doubts.
I was scared.

I just had to win
for Title IX, everything.

"Come on. You got to do this."

she's got him running.

Yes, with a brilliant placement!

Referee: Game -- Miss king.

Cosell: Oh!
Man: Beautiful sh*t.

Man #2: Match point
for Billie Jean King.

[ crowd cheering ]

Let's watch Bobby Riggs!

[ speaking indistinctly ]

Savage: Something broke through
that day,

that men had to acknowledge

that just by dint of being male,
you weren't always better,

because Billie Jean King
kicked his ass.

[ cheers and applause ]

Mrs. King trounced riggs in
three straight sets last night.

It wasn't much of a contest.

Billie Jean savored her victory
at courtside,

and her fans across the country
did the same.

I like the fact
that Billie Jean won,

that the female won.

Well, the two men in my family,
uh, left me alone with the match

after we saw how it was gonna go
and watched "Bonnie and Clyde."

But I loved every minute of it.

Excuse me, do you agree with
this women's liberation

-No I don't.
-Why not?

Because I like my life
the way it is.

A woman's place is with a man,
on top of him in this world.

There were a mess of housewives,
grandmothers, mothers

who felt as if they were being,
not only left out of this,

but denigrated by it,

that the movement was saying

that their choices
were stupid and dumb.

Having a happy husband

and a happy children
makes us happy.

Collins: They had always
been celebrated

for having chosen
to be a mom and a wife

and stay at home.

And now suddenly overnight,

people are saying
that they're slaves,

they're comparing them
to prost*tute.

And it made perfect sense to me

that those women
would get really ticked off

and frightened.

And anybody who came along

who was clever enough
and manipulative enough

to pick up their story
and frighten them some more

could do a whole lot of damage
to the Equal Rights Amendment.

I would like
to thank my husband, fred

for letting me come today.

I love to say that

because it irritates
the women's libbers

more than anything that I say.

[ laughter ]

Phyllis Schlafly became

the voice of the opposition
of E.R.A.,

and she was
quite competent at it.

Bailey: She saw it as
her mission to stop this,

what she saw as an as*ault
on American womanhood.

I would like to begin
by asking mrs. schlafly

to state her principal objection
to E.R.A.

E.R.A. Won't give women anything
which they haven't already got

or have a way of getting.

But on the other hand,
it will take away from women

some of the most important
rights and benefits

and exemptions we now have.

I think the laws of our country

have given a very wonderful
status to the married woman,

and the wife has
a great deal many rights.

For example,
she has the legal right

to be supported
by her husband.

There is no law whatsoever
in any state

that requires a husband
to support his wife.

It's clearly true
that the Equal Rights Amendment

is going to be passed.

it's not that obvious.

Mrs. schlafly isn't gonna
let it pass, are you?

No. No, I don't think.

More states have rejected it
this year than have passed it.

We have gotten eight states
to vote to ratify it this year.

We have 30 states...

Yeah, but we got 14 states
to reject it.

They can't reject it.

Nobody can reject it.
My goodness.

She said,
"You've got a good deal, women.

You are an exalted member
of the human race.

You are held
to a higher standard.

You're put on a pedestal.

You're protected by men,
you're provided for by men.

Why would you want
to give that up?

It's a good deal."

And a lot of people agreed
with that logic,

that equal rights
was a scary thing.

We do not want our lives
to be run,

and our world changed
by the militant women

who are demanding what they call
a gender-free society.

This is a time of testing
for the Equal Rights Amendment.

The ratification battle moves

from one state legislature
to another.

have found the amendment

increasingly hard to put across.

The biggest problem
that I'm having

is distinguishing
between abortion

and Equal Rights Amendment.

And my area
is very conservative.

They're against abortion.

Do you also believe

that those who vote
for the E.R.A. Today

will also be voting
for abortion?

They won't be voting
for abortion,

but what they will be doing

is voting to deny
to the state legislatures

the power to regulate
or stop abortion,

which you might say
has the same effect.

In a landmark ruling,

the supreme court today
legalized abortions.

The majority,
in cases from Texas and Georgia,

said that the decision
to end a pregnancy

during the first three months

belongs to the woman
and her doctor,

not the government.

Thus, the anti-abortion laws
of 46 states

were rendered unconstitutional.

Roe v. wade accepted

that a woman
really cannot be equal

if she doesn't have control
over her reproductive ability.

It was as simple as that.

The newly liberalized
abortion law

brought immediate reaction.

I think
that the judgment of the court

will do a great deal
to tear down the respect

previously accorded human life
in our culture.

What's interesting
about Roe vs. Wade is,

while it does legalize abortion,

it as much really mobilizes
the opposition.

We protest today the holocaust
of the 1970s in America.

Conservatives didn't used
to mess with politics that much,

and they start to campaign.

It was the rise
of extreme activist conservatism

in America.

[ indistinct chanting ]

Certain conservatives

don't know what to do
with their frustration

and with their yearning
for the good, old days

and decide the problem are gays.

The battle over h*m*
rights in Dade County, Florida,

comes to a vote there Tuesday.

The issue is
whether or not to repeal

a four-month-old ordinance
which prohibits

job and housing discrimination
against h*m*.

Male reporter:
Anita Bryant, a Miss America
runner up in 1959,

today is an entertainer
and mother of four

who says she wants
to save her children

from h*m* influences.

She doesn't want gays teaching.

She led the petition drive
forcing the referendum.

Anita Bryant was a singer,

and for quite a few Americans,

she was a symbol of
the beginning of pushing back

against the social experiments
of the decade.

I love h*m*,
if you can believe it.

I love them enough
to tell them the truth

because I know that there
is hope for the h*m*

that if they're willing
to turn from sin,

the same as any individual,

that they can be ex-h*m*

the same as there can be
an ex-m*rder, an ex-thief,

or ex anybody.

I feel very strongly
that what we're faced with today

is something
that is being camouflaged

under Christian faith,
Christian love,

that is one of the most vicious
hate campaigns

this country has ever seen.

Bailey: Anita Bryant's efforts

definitely mobilized
the gay community.

And sometimes,
having a visible opponent

is a great unifying force.

Tonight, the laws of God

and the cultural values of man
have been vindicated.

Naftali: They win the campaign,
but it has a national resonance.

This is what
heterosexuals do, fellas.

And for many gays,

Anita Bryant is a symbol
of this intractable prejudice.

We were going to go on a crusade
across the nation

and try to do away
with the h*m*

and were met with protest

and all kinds of problems and...

[ reporters groan ]
[ camera shutters clicking ]

Security. Security.

No, no, let him stay.

Let him stay.

Well, at least
it's a fruit pie.

Let's pray.
Anita, why don't you pray?

Father, we want to thank you

for the opportunity
of coming to Des Moines,

[voice breaking]
and that we're praying for him

to be delivered from his deviant
lifestyle, Father.

And I just...

Nothing has done more

to advance the cause of
gay acceptance and gay rights

than people like Anita Bryant.

Thus always to bigots!

She campaigned for a vicious
anti-gay law in California

that helped make Harvey Milk
a national figure.

Man: As political parades go,
it was a little unusual.

Harvey Milk on his way
to City Hall

to be sworn in as a supervisor
in San Francisco.

the Harvey Milk "Hope" speech,
that was a moment

when a lot of people
in the gay community went,

"Something has shifted in our
collective subconscious

of what we feel
we're entitled to."

I will fight to represent
my constituents.

I will fight to represent

the city and county
of San Francisco.

I will fight
to give those people

who had once walked away hope

so that those people
will walk back in.

Thank you very much.

[ applause ]


In the 1970s, there's enormous
amount of change

that looks like you're gonna
get an Equal Rights Amendment.

Gays are no longer considered
to be ment*lly ill.

Roe v. wade legalizes abortion.

There is a sense

that it's just gonna be more
and more individual freedom.

And then it stops.

The Equal Rights Amendment

has encountered difficulties
in another state.

This time, it's South Carolina.

♪ God bless America ♪

Willoughby: They were,
for the most part,

Southern Baptists.

The E.R.A.
Was not their only concern.

They were also supporting

to ban public funds
for abortions

and voicing approval
of a measure being prepared

to stop state control
over private Christian schools.

E.R.A. Got all tied up
with Roe vs. Wade,

and when you got Roe vs. Wade,

now you're turning
Evangelical Christians

against the women's movement.

Man: We have some beautiful
women with us today,

some women who know
that they were created

the way God wanted them.

There are some very basic
essential differences

between man and woman.

I hope God keeps it that way.

I think when you study
the E.R.A.

And see what it really means
to women

that the women don't want it,
the men don't want it.
And so by public outcry,

as you people
are doing here today,

we will b*at E.R.A.

Crowd: [ chanting ] 2, 4, 6, 8,
Ratify in every state!

Thousands of women
gathered in Houston today

as a symbolic torch
marked the beginning

of a national
women's conference.

With the E.R.A. Losing momentum,

people were trying to figure out
what to do,

and this was going to be
an attempt

to sort of push things forward.

Between now
and adjournment on Monday,

this conference will consider
26 resolutions,

asking the President
and government

to do something about
the problems of homemakers,

mothers and their children,
older women, working women,

and about the victims of r*pe,
abuse, and discrimination.

[ chanting ] E.R.A.! E.R.A.!

Support has been given

by former First Ladies
Ford and Johnson

and First Lady Rosalynn Carter.

It is hope that this display
of united appeal

will add momentum
to passage of the amendment

in the remaining three states
that are needed.

Lewis: Across town, there was
an even bigger gathering --

about 11,000 men and women
who oppose the beliefs

of most of the delegates
to the women's conference.

I'm very proud

that they excluded me
from that convention,

and I'm here
where we're not ashamed

and not afraid
to ask God's blessing

on this crowd
assembled here today.

[ cheers and applause ]

the Equal Rights Amendment
should be ratified.

That is not
what American women want.

We support
reproductive freedom to women.

Gray: They simply take
the lovely baby,

and they rip it out.

All those in favor

of the sexual preference
resolution, please rise.

Dornan: Three first ladies
approving of sexual perversion

and the m*rder of young people
in their mother's wombs!

What a disgrace!

[ crowd cheering ]

It came so very close.

And the fact that it didn't pass
says a lot

about the power of the response

to the social experiment
of the '70s.

Bailey: A lot of us thought
what was gonna happen is

that we were all going to
renegotiate all this

and it was going to be
open and honest,

and we were gonna get past
traditional gender roles.

And by and large,

I don't think it really
worked out that way.

To a lot of people,

women on the offensive
are offensive and frightening.

But nevertheless,

it is the women who have
challenged the old habits

and customs and rules and laws
and prejudices.

It was our decade.

The women's movement
for equality

is all really changing
the lives

not only of my daughter
and sons, but of you and me.

And it's happened
so much more quickly

than anybody
could have believed.

Even if
the Equal Rights Amendment

has been lost forever,

every little girl in America
when she's in grade school

is already thinking about

what she's gonna be
when she grows up.

The whole idea
that women could have jobs

and careers and a sex life,
a complete life,

that's a transformation
that's never gonna go backwards.

I think it's a seismic shift.

I think it's a shift so deep
and so ongoing

that we can't
even estimate it yet.

The problem is,
we don't stand up and say,

"Hey, we're the folks
who brought you this,

and we've got to learn
to do this

because we are the folks
who brought you this."

You have been very active

as a spokesperson
for the women's movement.

Do you feel that now that
we're getting close to the '80s

that we were able
to accomplish in the '70s

what you set out to do?

Well, I don't know.

It's much more organic
than that in a way.

But at least in the '70s,

all the major issues
of the women's movement,

whether it's equal pay
for equal work,

reproductive freedom,
or the Equal Rights Amendment,

they all now have
majority support.

So in a way, our dreams were set
free a little bit in the '70s.

And for me,
it means you can be yourself

as a unique individual.

And what can be
more important than that?

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