On August 26, 1970, more than 20,000 women gathered in New York and across the country for the Women's Strike for Equality, calling for equal rights in the workplace, a repeal of anti-abortion laws, and free childcare. You know, all the things we've since achieved. Wait, what's that? We haven't? Not even the — but how about the — oh my God, fuck everything.
The strike was timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of women winning the right to vote. National Organization for Women president and Feminine Mystique author Betty Friedan told some NOW conventioneers, according to a New York Times article from the time, that it would be "an instant revolution against sexual oppression," adding, "I propose that the women who are doing menial chores in the offices as secretaries put the covers on their typewriters and close their notebooks and the telephone operators unplug their switchboards, the waitresses stop waiting, cleaning women stop cleaning, and everyone who is doing a job for which a man would be paid more stop."
But forget that broad, let's get to the important part: what did A Man think of the idea? Village Voice film editor Alan Scherstuhl (who is, full disclosure, a former coworker and a friend) found out, sharing this hilarious/horrifying clip from an upcoming documentary about the women's movement in the '70s, She's Beautiful When She's Angry. Here's Mike Scott of Cedar Rapids' TV 9 news, who is, as Scherstuhl puts it, both covering the event and "unwittingly demonstrat[ing] its necessity."
"Tomorrow, 50 years after we gave them the vote, the women are going to strike to support their liberation demands" Scott sneers, adding, " Thankfully, Cedar Rapids' women's liberation movement is pretty much dormant." Then he finds some creatively eyeglassed ladies who profess themselves Just Mystified by the whole women's lib thing before concluding, "So remember, men, if you come into work tomorrow, and your secretary refuses to do the filing, and go home and find that your wife has refused to do the cooking, don't blame them. Remember, you gave them the vote, 50 years ago. This is Mike Scott, male chauvinist, TV 9, Eyewitness News."
Hey, Mike? Just reaching back into the past to wish you a hearty and jubilant "Fuck off."