Mrs. America: Reagan
May 27, 2020 6:35 PM - Season 1, Episode 9 - Subscribe
In 1979, the original deadline for the ERA arrives. Phyllis celebrates by "danc[ing] on its grave" even though the feminists secured an extension to 1982. Yet more time isn't sufficient to grant the ERA's success. Carter abandons the Women's Commission and his successor doesn't have a place for feminists in his platform: Make America Great Again.
The AV Club:
The AV Club:
There’s a clear parallel between Bella, Gloria, Betty, and Shirley’s reactions to the news and our own to Trump winning. (To be fair, anytime I watch an election night in a show or movie or what-have-you—even if it came out before 2016, I’ll remember that November night four years ago.) Bella knows Reagan’s going to turn back progress in this country. She tells Shirley—who maintains her position in the House of Representatives— “Hold the door for the next bunch.”Slate notes a reference from the final shot to a 1975 feminist film (that Alice stumbled into during the previous episode):
As for Phyllis Schlafly, she’s stuck in an earlier part of the movie. Having laid the groundwork for the modern conservative movement and the election of Ronald Reagan, she’s considered and then passed over for a position in his administration, because while the anti-ERA movement has triumphed, it’s too toxic for a national figure like Reagan to embrace. “The battle follows us home,” Regan says over the phone, and suddenly, home is all Phyllis has left. Her husband moves on to the subject of when she’s fixing dinner, and she responds as the camera frames her through the bars of the kitchen window, “It’s always at six.” The last shot of the series (before the coda, consisting of historical footage) is Phyllis sitting at her kitchen table, peeling an apple in real time and then reaching for the next—a truncated taste of Jeanne Dielman, but an unmistakable allusion all the same (and one that showrunner Dahvi Waller acknowledged to Slate).Vulture writes:
Repeatedly, the justification of everything that Phyllis and her fellow conservatives are doing is framed within the context of religion. “After years of being ostracized and discounted, religious voices are being heard in the political arena,” Rosemary tells Alice, explaining why their movement is even more important than it was in the beginning. “We are winning because we have God on our side,” Phyllis proclaims in her nauseating gala keynote speech, delivered in a dress that makes her appear to have angel’s wings. Even after Phyllis forgets to pick up her daughter from college because she’s so preoccupied with what is, contrary to her own rhetoric, absolutely a career outside of the home, Phyllis tells her daughter that must do her work because “she was anointed by God.” That sounded so familiar for some reason … oh, right. That’s why.