Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Another Ephemeral Femulation Memory

The People's Choice was an NBC television situation comedy starring Jackie Cooper and a basset hound named Cleo. The show ran from 1955 through 1958.

As a youngster, I saw many episodes in rerun during the daytime hours in the late 1950s and early 1960s. One episode, "The Male Ego," which aired originally on February 20, 1958, is my earliest ephemeral femulation memory.

Here is a brief summary of that episode from an online The People's Choice episode guide.

Sock, a realtor, played by Jackie Cooper, "loses the sale of a house because the prospective buyer's wife dislikes a minor detail. Convinced that women are beginning to take over the world, Sock goes to sleep and has nightmare on the subject."

The episode guide does not describe the nightmare, but I remember it. Note that I have not seen this episode in over 50 years and I only saw it once, so some of my memories may not be right on the money, but here is what I recall:

Sock's nightmare takes place in a world where the women are taking over and are in the process of acclimating men to their rule. All the women wear pants suits and they are shown forcing reluctant men to enter a transformation booth, which "refines" their personalities and their attire.

When they exit the booth, the men act effeminately and wear mini-skirted outfits. As Sock enters the booth, he seeks help from his loyal canine companion, Cleo, but she refuses to help him because Cleo is female and more loyal to the distaff side of civilization rather than her owner. The nightmare ends as Sock exits the booth as a girly-guy in a girly outfit.

That is all I remember, but it left an indelible impression on my impressionable mind back then, just another added twist to my gender identity that began when my mother put me in a dress for my christening at the age one month.

If anyone has any other details concerning this episode of The People's Choice, I would love to hear them. Or better, if anyone has a video recording of that episode, I'd love to borrow it. (I searched high and low and no recordings exist for sale or viewing anywhere I looked.)

And keep those ephemeral femulation memories coming.


  1. Have you checked to see if it's among the episodes on this site?

  2. I vividly remember as a small child in the early to mid 1960's seeing a David Susskind show which had as guest a beautiful transsexual woman who had previously served in the military as a man. Having always struggled with gender confusion, that program shook me to my core. It was the first time I realized there were others like me in the world, that there was an actual term for what I was feeling, and above all it made me both heartened and terrified to realize the possibilities. I have searched online for clips from that show but to no avail. I only saw it that one time almost 50 years ago. I would love to watch it again to not only see my impressions now, but to possibly experience it once more through the eyes of a scared, confused, lost child.

  3. way before my time, but sounds interesting (and very bold for it's time). it's a shame nobody has a copy, but the first consumer VCR didn't come out till 1965 (and was still $1k). Sadly, so many commercial tapes were re-used so a lot of media has been lost over the years. Disney did the same thing, they'd make a cartoon and then wipe the original cel animation.

  4. I found a page with descriptions of all the episodes, sounds like:

    Season 3, episode 11 [Show #81 of The People's Choice: THE GOOD PROVIDER
    12Dec57 NBC Thur
    Sock is having difficulty selling houses in the new development he manages. [JB]

    1. Carol - I am pretty sure that the episode is from Season 3, episode 20, titled "The Male Ego." Here is the description: Sock fails to sell a house because the wife objected to one small detail. This leads him to imagine the year 5000 A.D. when women run everything.