"We're gunna make it after all."
These six words have incredible significance for me and for many women journalists, business employees, entrepreneurs and even those who have chosen to switch careers and try something new. This week we lost an American icon. Someone who paved the way for women and self-starters all across the nation at a time when women weren't "ready" to take on the jobs of men. We lost Mary Tyler Moore but because of her, we all got an extra dose of "spunk" and you have to love "spunk."
Mary Tyler Moore grew up in Brooklyn and slowly made her way to television. Starting her career in commercials, she got fired after she got pregnant with her son, Richard. Could you imagine a woman getting fired today for being pregnant? Soon Moore would rise again and this time for good playing a single woman, who answered the question, "how will you make it on your own?" probably a million times between the years of 1970-1977, when the original The Mary Tyler Moore Show ran on CBS. I was one of the lucky kids who sometimes snuck in to watch the show late at night with my sister on my parents' small black and white television in their bedroom while they hosted parties downstairs. I caught every episode later on via Nick at Nite.
"Loyal viewers who grew up watching the independent, intelligent, and perky career woman named Mary Richards always knew that she would make it after all. Younger folks who’ve only seen the show in reruns likely don’t realize just how groundbreaking The Mary Tyler Moore Show was. While some of the scenarios presented seem dated by today’s standards, the show's portrayal of how women in general, and single women in particular, were treated in the workplace—and by society—was very accurate for that time," according to Kara Kovalchik of Mental_Floss.
I write this today because I think how far we have all come in our careers, particularly women, because of Mary Richards. She told us it was okay to stand up for ourselves and reach for the stars. When she tossed her cap up into the air in the middle of the marketplace in Minneapolis, she gave us all a pass to try something new, to go for your dreams, to not let anyone stand in your way. So millions of women entered the journalism field, like me, like our writers here at BYB. Men and women alike, we write together about something we love, the Yankees.
There's a connection between Mary and our blog too. The strong women we follow here at BYB in Life Coach Laura Posada and Entrepreneur Amber Sabathia, they have spunk in them too. And then there's Jeana and myself, BYB writers who write because we can. Because we took the chance to reach out to our editor and say, "we have spunk and we can write, we want to write for BYB."
When the show's final episode aired in 1977, the show was at the top of the ratings but chose to end on top instead of continuing. Mary had done her job and left all of us to go out and make it on our own. She sang with her cast mates..."It's a long way to Tipperary...it's a long was to go." We here at BYB recognize how far we have come and where we are headed in 2017, more than 40 years after the lights went off for the cast and crew of WJM-TV. As the New Yorker Magazine suggests, "there are lots of us (Marys)" out there making their way.
And so we take a little piece of American culture with us as we continue to write stories that bring to life our Yankees, in a way that no one else can, with the backing of fans like you who keep reading.
BYB Managing Editor