Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Horrifying Gender Politics of Charlton Romance Comics

Anyone who reads more than a handful of comic blogs knows that Charlton Romance Comics provide a reliable and bottomless font of craziness for the modern blogger. The main reason for this, I would argue, is their truly horrifying gender politics. Now, no one would expect Charlton Romance Comics to be a bastion of progressive feminism, but these comics, even in the late 60s and 70s, must have seemed desperately reactionary. Below are a few one-page gag stories that illustrate some of the horrifying positions that Charlton took on gender issues of the day.

Charlton was pro-homophobia:

Charlton was pro-stalking:
What kind of world is this where a man can call a window cleaning service to wash his neighbor's windows from the inside?

Charlton was anti-Equal Rights Amendment:

Actually, I'm not sure what to make of the message of this last one. The woman seems happy because she has achieved equality, but sad because that equality has now made her unattractive to men. Her "happiness," therefore, is tied directly to her submissive role in the patriarchal order, and now that the hierarchy has been leveled, her culturally determined definition of "happiness" has evaporated, leaving her in a state of fear and trembling in the face of her new-found independence and the notion of self-determination. Rather than face this fear, she yearns to return to a simpler time when choices were made for her.

Images from Teen-Age Love 95 (1973), Time for Love 39 (1974), and I Love You 112 (1975), respectively.

1 comment:

Maxo said...

Huh - judging by that last story, it must've taken a while for news of the 19th amendment to get around. It was nice of Tom Jones to make an appearance, though.