Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Intrepid Reporter

Imagine a little girl in the Bronx, circa 1957.  Who does she look up to?  Who is her first role model?

For me, it was a fictional character by the name of Lois Lane.  In the TV series Superman, and the comics I loved to read once I could read, Lois was a young female reporter who worked alongside her male counterparts and did the same job.  Dressed in a skirt and heels, she would end up in some dangerous situation, and would have to be rescued by Superman. Mild-mannered Clark Kent, who worked alongside of Lois and would disappear just as Lois needed saving, had nothing to do with Superman, of course. 

Somehow, Lois never figured out the connection.

But I didn't see the "Lois needing saving" part.  I saw the strong career woman instead, the one who faced down her enemies and got the story.  The one who did her job.

Noel Neill, the actress who played Lois Lane in that TV series, was my first role model.   And, although her Lois Lane didn't cause me to go into journalism as a career, she influenced many other young women who grew up in the same era I did.

Ms. Lane taught me that I was an equal to any man, in an era that had "help wanted male" and "help wanted female" ads in the paper, and encouraged women to engage in one career and one career only.

Lois Lane, in a number of movie serials and later, in that TV series that was first broadcast in the late 1950's and later rerun many times thereafter, was played by an actress Noel Neill.

She even briefly appeared in a 2006 Superman movie.

Ms. Neill died yesterday at the age of 95.

Lois, and Ms. Neill, please know that the young girl in the Bronx school playground grew up and became a blogger who loves to write.  You helped that happen.

Thank you.

12 comments:

  1. Aw I love everything about this post and the legacy she left you. Thanks for sharing this; a lovely tribute. I worked in the Bronx for almost three years (at Fordham). The borough holds a very special place in my heart.

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  2. Lovely. I used to watch Superman but never, at the time, thought about Lois and what she did as a woman. But you are so right. RIP, dear lady.

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  3. I hadn't thought of Lois Lane like that, but now I look back on it, she was very feisty for that era wasn't she? Nothing like a subliminal role model to motivate us to speak up - and who didn't mind getting saved occasionally if it was needed :)

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  4. I always loved her name, too.
    The Daily Planet lost its key reporter.

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  5. What a nice tribute. I bet she would've liked it. :(

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  6. Lois Lane was a great role model for those of us in that era. Even though Nancy Drew was written before we were born--they had "running boards" on the cars, I loved her curiosity and moxie. Brenda

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  7. I saw that yesterday. Glad she had a long life. RIP.

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  8. I was saddened to read that obituary today, but indeed she did have a long and eventful life and I'm betting she influenced a lot of us who enjoyed Lois Lane as little girls.

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  9. Thank you for sharing. One of my client got a copy of radio play and as we listen Ms Neill was one of the charter.
    Bless you soul and may she rest in peace.
    Coffee is on

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  10. That's a lovely role model and inspiration to have and your tribute is absolutely beautiful.

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  11. Wonderful post and a beautiful tribute. Thank you for sharing this.

    Mary
    Jingle Jangle Jungle

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  12. I liked how you derived inspiration from Lois instead of focusing on her needing saving part. :) Beautiful tribute!

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