A Changed World

By Devon Kellogg,

I’m reading Romance Without Tears (which I do only for research purposes). It’s a collection of old comics that were published by Archer St. John. These were published in the 1950s during the heyday of romance comics. Man, what a different world that was.

In a panel from “I Set A Trap For A Wolf,” the female protagonist says that women should have “equal rights.” Then, she decides that it would, therefore, be perfectly acceptable for her to call up a boy and ask him on a date, much to the horror of her parents.

Of course, that was probably unheard of then, but is pretty small potatoes as far as women’s rights go today. Some of the attitudes presented just seem bizarre from a contemporary perspective. In another comic, “Masquerade Marriage,” two men, whose sexual advances are refused by their girlfriends, stage a fake wedding, so the girls will sleep with them. In the end, the girls feel shamed at what they see as their foolishness. And..they say that they will have to work hard to get back the respect of nice “fellows,” who “never ask them out on dates anymore.”

Things have changed a bit, wouldn’t you say?