Pop culture is a great way to examine a society's changing attitudes. The lowest-common-denominator aim of things like, say, comic books, is a helpful barometer of where things were going, and also who exactly did not like where things were going one little bit, mister.
And these little bellweathers can pop up just about anywhere. Like, say, in a garden-variety Archie story about Mr. Weatherbee and the new teacher.
Today's little tale starts with a little male chauvinism as The Bee rhapsodizes about how great men are and how male teachers are the best, men men men. Also I guess Sven the janitor is a teacher too?
But a ruckus down the hall puts Weatherbee up against the most brutal foe of any male-dominated discussion - new, miniskirted Miss Hot For Teacher, whose very presence is causing spots and flashes and whirly lines around The Bee's head. Or maybe that's a stroke. All that running isn't good for a man in his condition. Call 911!
And yes, her name is "Miss Boing". Yes.
No fool like an old fool, I always say! Why not invite this new teacher to your office for some private administrative functions? Maybe you can cook up a fun a sexual harrassment lawsuit! Wait, what am I saying, this is 1970, it'll be YEARS before the first sexual harrassment lawsuit is filed. Yes, she can look forward to enduring lots and lots of unwanted attention from her supervisor.
What's this? Weatherbee's stalky creepy plans for employee seduction are derailed by... WOMEN'S LIB? Miss Boing a bra-burning, man-hating FEMINIST? Is THIS your cup of tea, Mister Weatherbee?
It's a Riverdale High crisis as the men teachers gather to plot strategy against the insidious spectre of "this Woman's Lib thing". Because equal pay for equal work might mean something terrible for Coach Kleats, in some mysterious unexplained fashion, right? Or is actually discussing the issues around Women's Lib going to be a little too 'inside baseball' for an 11-page Archie story?
Archie, as a MAN, is sent to spy on those silly Women's Lib girls and report back their evil, castrating plans to dominate the American Male. And of course he overhears a harmless, and frankly, nonsensical question - why does Miss Beazly want Weatherbee's home address, and if she does, why not just ASK HIM, she's worked with him for decades now, surely she could just ask him instead of the new teacher who just started that very day - and of course Archie is suddenly incapable of successfully comprehending English, and figures they want to turn Weatherbee into some kind of emasculated transvestite.
On the other hand, Weatherbee COULD use a new rug; his old toupee has seen better days. But no, that Miss Boing is a real trouble-maker! Why, she's standing in classrooms saying things and if that isn't troublemaking I don't know what is! Let's watch The Bee as he gets to the bottom of this whole Women's Lib nonsense.
Miss Boing begins her surprising demolition of the supreme tenets of feminism with a brutal attack on the number one rule of Women's Lib, that women must be the same as men. Which is not actually what Women's Lib was about at all, way to misrepresent vital social issues to your young and impressionable readers, Archie Comics. Maybe the editors might wanna pay more attention to what Al Hartley is up to here.
Miss Boing also enjoys making men her slaves. So there's that.
So Miss Boing is very concerned about these issues, issues that the Women's Lib movement did not concern itself with, ever, and is using them as her reasons for not joining Women's Lib. Maybe this is all a class project exploring cognitive dissonance, or something. Right? No?
No. This is a comic meant for pre-teens using poorly thought out, straw-man arguments to belittle a struggle for equal rights under the law. Your Comics Code at work - zombies and crime NO, social conservative propaganda YES.
And let's wrap this up with a totally stupefying statement about how women are all treated like goddesses because they're special and they would never want to go back to "being equal" with men. BECAUSE THAT HAPPENED WHEN, EXACTLY? SERIOUSLY I WANT TO KNOW.
WE'RE WAITING, HARTLEY
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