Mrs. America: Bella
May 17, 2020 11:13 AM - Season 1, Episode 7 - Subscribe

Bella Abzug wasn't able to make the jump from the House of Representatives to the Senate. But her political career isn't over. She heads the National Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year, putting her in charge of the 1977 National Women's Conference. As different groups of women champion their causes to be debated at Houston, Phyllis Schlafly launches a trolling campaign to disrupt the feminists.

The AV Club writes:
She also has a storyline that’s sat in the back of Mrs. America’s mind, one of the true themes of the series: when do you fight and when do you compromise? Gloria and Bella have already fought this out throughout the series with little moments, frustrations, and snapping back and forth. Where Bella is strategic, Gloria is idealistic; where Bella is willing to listen to “the other side,” Gloria barely wants to acknowledge them; where Bella is a lawyer who, as she says, “knows what [she] can and can’t get done,” Gloria is a writer who comes up with slogans; where Bella was a “radical” when she and Gloria met, Gloria was a dilettante.
Vulture says:
Phyllis is also in the throes of menopause, as her sleeping difficulties and heavy sweating indicate, which makes her extra-sensitive to the fact that she is aging and potentially becoming less relevant. “Why does she get to be inside the White House?” she mutters about Bella, who she calls “that old battle-ax.” She wants what Bella has, which is power and clout. Paradoxically, the only way Phyllis can get power and clout, in her mind, is by making STOP ERA a success and, in the process, depriving every other woman of getting truly equal power and clout, for decades to come.
The waiter who pied Schlafly made it his avocation. From a 2018 interview with Aron Kay:
I still have a long list of people who I’d like to see get a pie. Everyone knows someone who needs a pie. Any of the ‘Trumpies’ could use a pie.
posted by Monochrome (3 comments total)

That’s a shame. It isn’t clear to me how changing her improved the character or plot.
posted by Monochrome at 1:30 PM on May 18, 2020

The show's creators are portraying Phyllis as someone who exploited and humiliated her sister-in-law as a way of hammering home her awfulness... but the thing is, by depicting Eleanor is such a false light, they're exploiting her themselves.
posted by orange swan at 10:22 AM on May 19, 2020

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