May 17, 2017

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 812: Archie's Girls Betty and Veronica #196, April 1972

https://www.comics.org/issue/222257/

In the vain hope of finding something slightly less sexist, I picked out this issue, which seems to be pointing in the right direction.

That is, if you ignore the perhaps-missed irony of the title of the series when compared to the sentiment below, or Archie's diminishing of the importance of the protest the girls are a part of. In fact, it's tough to tell what the actual thrust of this comic is. Are we meant to be laughing at the girls who think that they deserve equal treatment, or at the boys who obviously aren't even aware of their privilege? Who was the target audience for this comic when it was published? Perhaps considering the stories within will help unravel this question.

Story 1: A woman, unable to support her baby, leaves the child on the Lodge's front step for Betty and Veronica to find. The girls automatically believe that the mother is unfit and cruel.

Story 2: Veronice attempts to be self-sufficient by baby-sitting, but is unable to cope, so she has the hired help come and assist her. The punchline of the story is Veronica saying this: "You're asking me to give up my career --- my self-respect! Sigh! But for you, Daddykins, I'll do anything!" Mr. Lodge promptly returns her credit cards.

Story 3: During a blizzard of epic proportions, Betty dangerously makes her way to Archie's house, where she cooks a snack for him while they watch television.

That answers the question, I think.

To be continued.

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