The Fun Feminism of the 1970's

Posted On: Tuesday - November 27th 2018 9:40AM MST
In Topics: 
  Music  TV, aka Gov't Media  Feminism

Two Famous Tennis Foes having Fun, Forty-Five years ago:

Something someone wrote somewhere in a blog comment recently related to the famous Billie Jean King vs. Bobby Riggs tennis match of 1973, brought these current thoughts up to be expounded upon here today on Peak Stupidity. Billie Jean King was a competent woman tennis player during the time, and a 26-year-older player named Bobby Riggs challenged her to this famous "Battle of the Sexes" (Oh, wait, now it'd be "Battle of the Genders", wouldn't it?) It was a big thing at the time, as big as frivolous "things" like this could be back in the day well before 24/7 infotainment.

My memory of this event is kind of hazy and mostly just associated with the great Elton John song below. However, a 5-year old Takimag* article, I'd read a few years back, had more fun details, and can be read here - it's called Bobby Rigged (nice easy pun there!), and is continued on a 2nd page. Mr. Taki argues against some rumors that'd come out that the match was rigged, but one can easily understand how that could be seen as a reason for Mr. Riggs' participation in the match. When you think back on the 1970's, without the ubiquitous cameras and other forms of Artificial Stupidity, doing schemes like rigging games and other cons, had to be a lot less worrisome. You'd have to be a bigshot Suprano-type Mafioso, or Russian or Arab diplomat to warrant the placement of expensive bugging devices that could easily be defeated by acts like walking outside! I'm sure getting beat at his sport by a woman was not something Bobby Riggs would enjoy by itself, so he surely had some ulterior motives. (BTW, "rigged" is such a 1970's word too.)

About the feminism, as we try to stay on topic here, upon thinking back, and now seeing a bunch of photos of the Ms. (yes, she may have been the 1st or 2nd Ms there ever was) King and Mr. Riggs together, it all looks like good fun. Just look at them. This tennis match, and a number of them like it at the time, were viewed with a little less stupidity than can be seen today in the world of feminism. Sure, Billie Jean King had the grrrll power, though that wasn't the term then, and woman could be all proud and you could hear them roar (usually off the court, back at the hotel) and shit. However, I'm pretty sure that all understood that the current male tennis greats, the Jimmy Conners and Boris Beckers, would have pounded Ms. King into the ground with not a single point scored by the female side. Fun was to be had by all, tennis fans and others, and the men could humor their woman by watching this entertaining tennis match with them. Who took it seriously?

And then there was Maude ♪♫♬ ... Even the uberfeminist purported head-of-household (filing jointly?) in the Maude TV show of the time, spun off from All in the Family, though containing lots of feminist lines and slogans, was not to be taken seriously. (OK, the only thing to take seriously was Maude's show-daughter's big hooters, probably the reason they errr, it, stayed on the air to begin with.) Somehow, the jokes in the show, and the overt feminist theme, made it more palatable than later (even 1970's, still) TV shows, in which the agenda was more hidden inside the characters' actions and lifestyle.

That's not to say that the feminists BEHIND the scenes were not dead serious about their society-destroying feminist stupidity. There were the Hildabeasts of Yesteryear, of course. Their agenda kept on infiltrating. The affirmative action that has impeded or destroyed 10's of millions of men's careers, and the divorce law family destruction were all in progress. There was even the ERA a freakin' proposed Amendment to the US Constitutions, guaranteeing, I'm no lawyer, but God knows what, just one year earlier. This was APPROVED, for crying out loud, by the US House and Senate, but never ratified by the 3/4 of States required by the 1979 deadline.

Just as an aside on that "Equal Rights" Amendment, what was the idea there? Did woman have fewer rights in the courts of law, as the name would suggest? Was it to guarantee the stupidity of equality of OUTCOMES? That never works. If not that, then what? Equality of sentencing would have been really fun, as that'd have tripled the number of women in jails across the country. Right now, the p-factor still holds sway in the court of law, and sentencing is very UNEQUAL. Luckily, Americans at the State level were not as stupid as those in the Feral Government in the '70's, though I think the stupidity has been EQUALIZED since then.

During the 1970's, on the visible level of society though, feminism was kind of a fun joke, like pet rocks, sweat bands, and jogging until you drop dead. Look at another picture and tell me whether these folks were just the tweeters of yesteryear. Nah, instead of the modern-day foul-mouthed tweets by children of great privilege and low work output, you had Bobby Riggs and Ms. (for fun) Billie Jean King playing a 3-set tennis match. Because TV news, as mentioned earlier, was only a thing for 30 minutes daily, if you bothered at all, this big piece of infotainment was not pushed on those who didn't want any part of the silliness of it. On the other hand, you may not have ever been able to find out that the 55 y/o Mr. Riggs purposefully did not exercise or play ANY tennis for 2 months prior to the match with 29 y/o Billie Jean King. It's not like riding a bicycle, you know, except in the aerobic sense.

Who's having more fun - these folks or the mad-tweeters of today?

(And what are those people doing just hanging out on the roof?
And how come the tennis balls look white in these Black&White photos?)

Just as another fun aside (least for me), this famous Battle of the Sexes took place just when tennis was becoming a big sport for the American general public. Not everyone needed to be a country-club member or have a clay court behind the mansion anymore. Tennis was BIG, BIG, BIG, in the 1970s' with the women and men in white, and the shushing of the crowd, and now, the newest thing, COLORED TENNIS BALLS! Yes, the reader may not know that the balls were white until about the early '70's as the public wanted to try something new (aside from bigger racket heads a bit later). I believe it was the fact the fluorescent paint and dyes were new, but first there was the green/yellow that is standard now, but there were bright orange balls (like hunter's clothing) for a few years, and there was even purple for a while. No, I am not hallucinating about the purple, though it's true that this was a drug-friendly period in American history.

Oh, right, "WHO WON?! JUST! ANSWER! THE! QUESTION!", the reader may have rightfully been asking for the last 5 minutes. Ms. King beat Mr. Riggs in 3 straight sets - YOU GO GIRL! How much do you want to bet that Bobby Riggs did this for the publicity value? If he did beat the lady, it would have looked as if he were a mean bully, so there'd have been no gain in that, hence the laying off of tennis and other exercise for 2 months prior.

What came of of the popular feminism of the time were things like paying attention to more women's sports, not just the volleyball and tennis due to the outfits (SO MUCH BETTER during the time before the William's brothers). The reason I even remember anything about the match is this: A woman's tennis team, in a woman's tennis league, was formed with Ms. King being a starring member in 1974 of the (Holy Moley, still in business! Who knew?!) Philadelphia Freedoms. Now, lots of us may know that women aren't exactly team players. They don't work well in areas in which one has to work for a very specific goal while putting oneself only in a position that does the most good for the team. Take the reality survivor shows, please, as an example. Because it doesn't work well, and also (back to reality) women having the lower amount of talent/skill in most sports, we don't care about watching ... except for, yes, beach volleyball.

Where this is leading to, finally, is my association of that tennis match with Mr. Elton John's great song, Philadelphia Freedom from 1975. It is one of his few hit songs that was not to be part of an album. Elton John wanted this song to be in honor of this women's tennis team, as Mr. John, later, during the long latter part of his career as a gay entertainer, must have felt some kinship due to ... well, I don't really know... Mr. Bernie Taupin, Elton's lyricist, has stated that the song was not specifically about anything, but because America's Bicentennial year of founding, 1976 was the next year, this song was very much associated with America, back in the days of freedom.... back in the days when even feminism had not yet intruded fully on our freedom.

Make what you will of the lyrics - you know how we feel about them - but this is one of Elton's very best:

It's the same great Elton John band:

Elton John - Vocals, keyboards
Davey Johnstone - Guitar
Dee Murray - Bass
Nigel Olsson - Drums

*As much as Peak Stupidity has badmouthed that site for it's truly annoying ads-taking-over-browser windows deal, this is a good read, as Mr. Taki-something-or-other-in-Greek had some inside knowledge of this tennis crowd as a participant, and in general, he writes good stuff (pity about the major unnecessary annoyances of his site).

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