Mrs. America Season 1 Episode 4 Review: Betty

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Betty encountered many obstacles on Mrs. America Season 1 Episode 4, which she endured alone.

The mother of second-wave feminism demonstrated how difficult it could be to lead a movement, especially if it seems like nobody is on your side.

But Betty did not give up, even when the world seemed to be against her. 

Stop Interrupting Me - Mrs. America Season 1 Episode 4

But the main message of the episode was not perseverance in the toughest of times, even though it was still critical. The main message of "Betty" was women are stronger together when they are on the same team.

Phyllis and Betty will never be on the same side, but there was a lot of heavy tension between Gloria and Betty as well.

Things have been rocky between Gloria and Betty since Mrs. America Season 1 Episode 2 when Betty disagreed with how Gloria went about the women's liberation movement.

It has only gotten worse.

The two women barely talked to one another. And when they did, it was only to disagree on how to handle Phyllis Schlafly and her Stop ERA campaign.

Stop ERA - Mrs. America Season 1 Episode 4

Betty reluctantly agreed not to go after Phyllis, but she could not help herself. She felt that Phyllis was a threatening force that they had to stop.

Gloria felt that tearing down other women, even those who disagreed with feminism, was not the solution. They had to fight the inherently misogynistic patriarchy instead.

Natalie: Betty knows what she's doing.
Gloria: It's just we all agreed on a—
Natalie: Who agreed? You and Bella?
Gloria: We try and work with her but she can be… she has a difficult personality. Maybe you don't see that side of her because you're friends—
Natalie: Oh no, no, Betty is impossible. But without her, there's no NOW, no Women's Political Caucus, no NARAL. We get to do what we do because she risked everything. So before you tell her what she can and cannot do, consider just saying thank you.

Events unfolded by observing how Betty and Gloria each went about moving forward. They both thought they were right and that the other was wrong, but in the end, both of their plans backfired.

Betty realized that she needed a more systematic approach to Phyllis. She had to be more organized instead of just ranting away, and she needed her feminist peers to back her up.

Do Not Fuel Her Fire - Mrs. America Season 1 Episode 4

Gloria realized that there were some battles she could not fight on her own. Sometimes, men were just going to be crude and sexist, and telling them off for one advertisement would not change anything about the system.

By the end of the hour, Betty knew she needed more support on her side. Gloria knew she had to support Betty. Both of them knew that if they wanted to move forward with the women's liberation movement, they had to work together. 

They are on the same side. They are not fighting each other. They have a much bigger fight to worry about, and instead of letting little disagreements destroy their relationship, they need to put their differences aside for the sake of the women's liberation movement.

We can only hope that on future episodes, Betty and Gloria overcome their differences and work together to advance the Equal Rights Amendment and second-wave feminism.

You were right. We don't get to decide how the battle lines are drawn, or how the male press portrays us. I have been thinking about the first time I read The Feminine Mystique. Why should women accept this picture of a half-life, instead of sharing the whole of human destiny? I don't know if I ever told you… your book changed my life. Thank you.


Brenda Feigen-Fasteau - Mrs. America Season 1 Episode 4

A secondary plot revolved around black feminists, such as Margaret, Flo, and Shirley, trying to fit into the women's liberation movement.

They created a safe space at Flo's house for black feminists to meet every Sunday, but it is much harder for them when it came to the women's movement as a whole.

There will be no Lavender Menace bullshit here. Lesbians are welcome. Horizontal hostility is not.


Because even when Margaret pitched an idea about tokenism in the workplace, her white feminist colleagues immediately jumped on her. They insisted that she could not be talking about her fellow writers at Ms. magazine.

According to Margaret's white co-workers, they could not possibly be racist because they just had a black woman on a recent issue of the Ms. Magazine.

How to Win a Debate - Mrs. America Season 1 Episode 4

By the time Gloria told Margaret to tell her if she felt they treated her that way, it was too late. Gloria may have seemed comforting, but her tone told another story.

On the outside, Gloria wanted to seem like a good white ally, but her tone told Margaret that if they had any problem of racism at the office, they would ignore her. So, it would be pointless for Margaret to say anything.

Of course, that pushed Margaret elsewhere. The conversation shut down the possibility of truly feeling safe in the women's liberation movement. She felt it was a white women's liberation movement, and there needed to be a safe space for black women, too.

Ultimately, Margaret, Flo, and some of their other peers created the National Black Feminist Organization. Sunday meetings at Flo's was good and all, but they had to make it official if they wanted people to hear their concerns. They had to do it themselves.

Betty: The ERA is in danger, and everyone is too busy fawning over Gloria to listen to me, it's absurd! Are they so blinded by all the hair?
Natalie: So make them listen. You're Betty Friedan, for Christ's sake.

A Happy Wedding - Mrs. America Season 1 Episode 4

Shirley even decided to be the first keynote speaker for the organization. They are not leaving the women's liberation movement anytime soon, nor are they cutting ties with white feminists.

But Flo, Margaret, and Shirley decided to take a stand and do what is best for black women, and they needed a space for themselves. Amazing job, ladies!

So Fanatics, what did you think of the latest installment of Mrs. America? Were you inspired by Betty, Margaret, Flo, or Shirley? Do you have any expectations now that it seems like Gloria and Betty are finally aligned?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Betty Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Sarah Novack is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Mrs. America Season 1 Episode 4 Quotes

We're a political movement, not a sorority.


Betty: The ERA is in danger, and everyone is too busy fawning over Gloria to listen to me, it's absurd! Are they so blinded by all the hair?
Natalie: So make them listen. You're Betty Friedan, for Christ's sake.