Forty-five years ago, getting the word out that men and women ought to be paid equally for equal work required the help of superheroes. This great Public Service Announcement from 1966 makes the point dramatically with the help of a ticking time bomb – a literal (fictional) one, not the figurative one.
Batman plays the role of curmudgeonly, stick-in-the-mud, white, patriarchal oppressor dutifully, even though his vittles are at stake. Batman tells Batgirl that it’s no time for jokes and asks “can’t we talk about this later.” It’s interesting to hear in those lines of dialogue the sensibilities against which Dr. King inveighed in his ”I have A Dream Speech”: “This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.”
Overall, another time, another place, with different mores than our own… and a dang entertaining PSA.
BATMAN: “Quick Batgirl, untie us before it’s too late!”
BATGIRL: “It’s already too late. I’ve worked for you a long time and I’m paid less than Robin.”
ROBIN: “Holy discontent!”
BATGIRL: “Same job, same employer, means equal pay for men and women.”