Throughout history, there have been many women who stood as leaders in the feminist movement. Alice Paul rallied for women’s suffrage in the 1920’s; Margaret Sanger lead the way in the popularization of contraception and can be credited with coining the term “birth control” in the early 20th century; Virginia Johnson heavily researched sex and advocated for women’s sexuality in the 1960’s; and then came Mary Tyler Moore.
For those of you who don’t know, Mary Tyler Moore was a beloved actress known in the ‘60’s for her work on the “Dick Van Dyke Show,” and later for “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” The icon passed away January 25, 2017 at age 80 of caused yet to be released to the public.
In 1969, alongside her husband, Grant Tinker, Moore successfully started a production company, MTM Enterprises. The following year, Moore pitched her idea for “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” to CBS, a show that would follow an independent, single working woman in her 30’s.
The “Mary Tyler Moore Show” was pivotal in the women’s liberation movement as it featured the first woman on TV to be more concerned with her career than with finding a husband. It taught its female viewers to question their domestic roles, their submissiveness, and, frankly, their worth.
The show followed Moore as her story escalated through unchartered territory, for example equal pay and birth control. Despite, or maybe because of, its coverage of controversial topics, the show garnered a record breaking 29 Emmy’s in the span of its seven season run.
Today, may we all give thanks to Mary Tyler Moore for her contributions to television, pop culture, and of course the feminist movement.