"Mrs. America": The Riveting Voices Of The Battle Over The ERA
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"Mrs. America": The Riveting Voices Of The Battle Over The ERA

Regardless of your views on feminism, the new series is sure to compel even the most polarizing crowds.

Instagram: @mrsam_fxonhulu

With so much extra time on our hands due to the ongoing, seemingly endless COVID-19 pandemic, it means we have more time to watch some of the good stuff now streaming on the big streaming services.

FX, under its new partnership with Hulu posting exclusive content on the site, released one such great programs to stream: "Mrs. America," chronicling the struggle to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s.

In the first four episodes, we see each of the women at the forefront of the fight nearly 50 years ago. Cate Blanchett plays Phyllis Schlafly, a conservative activist who led the fight to ensure the amendment doesn't get passed. Rose Byrne portrays the famed feminist and founder of Ms. magazine Gloria Steinem, who turns out to be the champion of the fight for the ERA. Uzo Aduba of "Orange is the New Black" fame plays Shirley Chisholm, the first black Congresswoman and first black person to run for president of a major political party. And Tracey Ullman portrays Betty Friedan, who is often credited for starting the second-wave feminist movement.

While each episode thus far is centered mostly on each figure in the ERA battle, all of them come back around to the growing influence of Schlafly. It's an interesting illusion that seems to show that the show isn't all about Schlafly, but in the end it kind of is.

Looking where we are now is telling of this message. We do not have an Equal Rights Amendment ratified in the Constitution, nor do we have a President Chisholm or a Madam President for that matter. Although Schlafly died in 2016, part of this series is a message that the struggle for feminism at its very core is a haunting one.

This series isn't so much about lionizing Schlafly, who is somewhat marketed as a protagonist of this sho. It's more about the magnitudes that she made in corroding the struggle of the second-wave feminists during the heyday of their political limelight. And I think that's what sets this series apart from other biopic-like series like "American Crime Story" or "The Act": the dilemma it poses to viewers over whether or not you should feel good supporting their plot.

"Mrs. America" is a must-watch for these reasons. Not only does it have a star-studded lineup of phenomenal actresses. It uses a variety of plots, characters and motifs that make the viewer ask themselves over whether or not the legacy of the Equal Rights Amendments haunts us to this day, whether we previously thought so or not.

New episodes of "Mrs. America" premiere Wednesdays on FX on Hulu.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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