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When We Were Free to BeLooking Back at a Children's Classic and the Difference It Made$
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Lori Rotskoff and Laura L. Lovett

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780807837238

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807837559_rotskoff

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When We Grow Up

When We Grow Up

(p.240) When We Grow Up
When We Were Free to Be

Trey McIntyre

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter illustrates how important the broadcast premiere of Free to Be … You and Me was to the author's family—so much so, that they had to invent the VCR. They arranged a borrowed reel-to-reel video camera from his dad's school and set it up on a tripod across from the TV set in his mom's new third-floor apartment. They had to watch silently so that the family's voices wouldn't be recorded in the background, the first of many times the author would watch that tape. From that first viewing, he watched it with a strange reverence. The author didn't really know why it was important, but there was no mistaking that it was. Free to Be, he has come to understand, represented a cultural shift that extended ideas of progressive feminism and equality to child rearing, a lightning bolt shift away from the repressive images of the 1960s recreated on Mad Men today.

Keywords:   broadcast premiere, VCR, Free to Be, cultural shift, progressive feminism, equality, child rearing

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