In the wake of our collections move, I came across a board game, “Women’s Lib? A Game of Women’s Rights.” As a child of the seventies, the box’s Bob Fosse-esque cover image caught my eye, as did the oh-so-1970 line drawings that reminded me of Schoolhouse Rock and other educational cartoons of my youth. However, this board game has a decidedly adult theme.
Each player selects a character that represents one of six different stances on the Women’s Liberation Movement, ranging from “Male Chauvinist” to “Moderate Woman,” to “W.O.M.B. (Women Opposed to Male Bigots).” Characters then vote on contemporary issues as prompted by playing cards. These topics are familiar to us over 40 years later: Abortion, Day Care, Employment Equality, Women’ Legislation and Domestic Issues. In fact, the only category on the election docket that we don’t hear much about today is “Male Contraception.”
Points are awarded to players who successfully campaign and debate to achieve the goals favored by the character they represent. The game sets out to educate players about controversial gender issues in a rapidly changing world. Although this piece of memorabilia seems anachronistic today, the topics it addresses are still extremely relevant.
This board game joins a number of other games and playing cards held by the Bingham Center that explore issues related to women and gender. For even more fun and games in the Rubenstein Library, check out the Richard Pollay Collection of Advertising-Related Board Games, or the Edwin and Terry Murray Collection of Role-Playing Games.
Post contributed by Megan Lewis, Technical Services Archivist for the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture.