It was 1975 and I was upset. Rhoda had just gotten married and suddenly her career seemed to have disappeared. It wasn’t as if being a free-lance window dresser was an inflexible, 24-7 job, and she didn’t even have any children to keep her busy at home. And yet she was getting subsumed into her marriage to Joe.

It’s true that Rhoda was a fictional character in a TV sitcom, but that made no difference to me. In fact it made it worse in a way: Here was a story that could be told any way the writers wanted, and my hopes for a feminist heroine were fading.

What happened next reveals so much about a time many women today can’t even fathom: I typed an earnest, frustrated letter to the "Rhoda" show and received an earnest, frustrated reply from an "executive script consultant" named Charlotte Brown. Also typewritten.

...

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