ACK! and the Single Girl

October 18, 2010 at 8:16 am 4 comments

Cathy Guisewite has penned the final panel of that forever dieting, forever shoe-shopping, forever everywoman, Cathy. For more than 30 years, Cathy was the picture of the stressed-out career woman trying to juggle love, work, body issues, mother-daughter relationships, and whatever else modern society threw at her. Cathy ran in 900 newspapers, won an Emmy for an animated special, and had even been parodied on Saturday Night Live. And now she’s gone to that great “four panel” in the sky!

But Cathy was also a product of the Boomer generation. Guisewite was born in 1950 and came of age during the rise of feminism. “You’ve come a long way, baby,” may have become the slogan of Virginia Slims in the late 1960’s, but the growing feminist response was “No, we haven’t, and don’t call me baby.” By the time Cathy was first published by the Universal Press Syndicate in 1976, it was during the push to get the Equal Rights Amendment ratified by enough states before the 1982 deadline.

Cathy was not seen as a feminist role model. Even though there were very few female cartoonists at the time, the strip was considered anti-feminist. As Guisewite related in a recent New York Times article, “A big problem at that time was you had to be in one camp or the other. There wasn’t a camp for ambivalence. You were a liberated woman or you were or a traditionalist. To even voice vulnerability if you were a feminist was wrong and to voice interest in liberation if you were a more traditional woman was wrong.”

Guisewite was willing to voice that ambivalence and found an audience of other Boomer women who struggled with the same things Cathy did. Cathy was that girlfriend you could laugh with about insecurities, guilt, and doubts that modern women weren’t supposed to have. At its height in the 1990’s, Cathy ran in more than 1400 newspapers. Obviously, she spoke to other generations, too.

Cathy evolved from a single gal to married with dogs. And although the strip has ended, her life will continue with even more adventures. You can read the last strip here.

If you need to reduce the stress of dressing rooms, an overflowing “to-do” box, and men who don’t understand the need for fifteen different pairs of black shoes, the Library carries a couple of Cathy collections:

Another Saturday Night of Wild and Reckless Abandon

Wake Me Up When I’m a Size 5

The library also has comic strip collections by other great Boomer cartoonists:

Were you a Cathy devotee?  Do you have a favorite among the cartoonists listed above?  Post a comment and share with our readers.

-mz

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: , .

Fun and Easy Canning (Yes, Really!) Boomers Got a Bum Rap?

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. branchenbuch  |  October 22, 2010 at 1:25 am

    This is a really good read for me, Must admit that you are one of the best bloggers I ever saw.Thanks for posting this informative article.

    Reply
  • 2. zey  |  August 21, 2011 at 7:40 am

    Good writing, I’m sure this story will be one of the best writing salh. I think the story interesting to follow. congratulations!

    Reply
  • 3. zey  |  August 21, 2011 at 7:41 am

    Good writing, I’m sure this story will be one of the best writing salh. I think the story interesting to follow.

    Reply
  • 4. London Printers  |  September 21, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Cathy is a great character, I hope there is more where she came from!

    Reply

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