SuperSisters! 1973 feminist trading cards
October 6, 2015 8:17 PM   Subscribe

SuperSisters! This 1973 deck of 72 trading cards each featured a different famous woman (although Anita Bryant, Phyllis Schlafly and Angela Davis were not included...and a number of others, including Jane Fonda, declined respond when asked to participate). Peruse the whole deck at the University of Iowa Digital Libraries!
posted by chesty_a_arthur (16 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
SuperSisters! was featured by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Wikipedia has a listing of all the participants (with links to the relevant wikipedia articles on the subjects for more information).
posted by el io at 8:55 PM on October 6, 2015

These are great, and are a perfect example of why we need well funded and staffed archives.

I went through the cards into the Ds and the only two names I knew were Abzug and Chisholm. Looking at the full list in the Wikipedia link, I was heartened to see a lot more names I recognized.

I do wonder if the same project today would include marital status and number of children on the cards, or if that was more a marker of the time.
posted by Dip Flash at 9:01 PM on October 6, 2015

Tom Schlafly, founder of Schlafly Brewing in St Louis, is in fact closely related to Phyliss Schlafly.

He also doesn't agree with her.

Try their beer. It's quite nice.
posted by eriko at 9:12 PM on October 6, 2015 [5 favorites]

Date on archive is 1979 (not 1973). Style of photos and design points to later date as well.

Somewhere out there some ten-year-old girl got these in her Christmas stocking while her annoying little brother got Star Wars cards.
posted by D.C. at 9:37 PM on October 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

omg I called Bella Abzug when I was working as a non-profit fundraiser, and I had no idea who she was, only that I'd seen her name referred to in MAD magazine when I was younger.
posted by not_on_display at 9:40 PM on October 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

Neat! I was going to take issue with mentioning Angela Davis in the same breath as that infamous homophobe and that anti-feminist nightmare, but I guess it's just the fact of the matter that she was treated the same way as the other two.
Thanks for posting these.
posted by gingerest at 9:44 PM on October 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

I didn't know who Anita Bryant was until this post (the name sounded familiar, but I didn't know anything about her). Reading her Wikipedia entry it strikes me that the anti-gay rhetoric hasn't changed much since she was a leader of the homophobic movement. Was interesting to hear that Ronald Reagan opposed her anti-gay imitative in CA.
posted by el io at 9:53 PM on October 6, 2015

Bella Abzug (with her hat) was expected, but I was surprised not to see Bea Authur or Isabel Sanford or Bonnie Franklin or any of the other famous female TV personalities from the late 70s. And no Chris Everet suggests to me that inclusion and exclusion was probably more a matter of contractual availability than it was a political statement.

Also a lot of white women.
posted by three blind mice at 12:53 AM on October 7, 2015

"I haven't seen anything like this since the Anita Bryant concert."
posted by Ickster at 3:14 AM on October 7, 2015

Sonia Manzano: SUPERSISTER! Thanks, chesty; these are terrific.
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:32 AM on October 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

These cards are cool, but dog I hate CONTENTdm.
posted by marxchivist at 5:56 AM on October 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

Dip Flash: the inclusion of birthdates, marital status and children would be a standard of that era; sexist for now, but normal for then. Heck, I'd have to go so far as to call the fact that these cards don't include all the husbands' occupations to be somewhat progressive and enlightened!

When I went through the entire deck, I recognized a grand total of 30 names out of the 72 --- and I was in my twenties back then. There's a high-ish percentage of sports figures, with an emphasis on gymnastics performers; guess that's because gymnastics was acceptable, 'for girls' anyway.
posted by easily confused at 6:32 AM on October 7, 2015 [2 favorites]

Oh, man, I just realized that there's a ton more content under the University of Iowa Digital Libraries. You guys are killing my free time.
posted by I-baLL at 8:17 AM on October 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

Couple of thoughts I passed out before posting last night:
  • Why did I think '73? '79 makes much more sense, since the look and tenor of these is so evocative for me of my childhood in, say, '78-'84... raised by white, feminist, UMC parents in New York. It was all Free to be You and Me and Margaret Mead and etc. It's giving me a conflicted nostalgia, certainly.
  • Not impressed by the disproportionately high representation of white people, and of sports figures. So many skiers!
  • Finally, I guess they wanted to avoid polarizing figures like Bryant and Davis? That's my best guess and would also maybe explain so. many. gymnasts. Everyone agrees that Olympic gymnasts are the bee's knees.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 8:20 AM on October 7, 2015 [1 favorite]

so what would be the best way to get the full set back onto cards where they belong?
posted by ericbop at 10:14 AM on October 7, 2015

I have this deck, proudly displayed! I keep meaning to go through them and make sure everyone is in Wikipedia.
posted by geeklizzard at 5:49 PM on October 7, 2015

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