Marsha Bradys = a type of shoe worn in prison

Cohen, Gerald Leonard gcohen at UMR.EDU
Mon Jun 26 15:31:32 UTC 2006

    Yesterday the Hstory Channel had a program on Joliet Prison (Illinois), and the prisoners there wear a type of shoe which both they and the guards/administrators refer to as "Marsha Bradys." It's a white shoe that resembles a slipper--as best as I could tell in the few seconds I could see it--and is named for Marsha Brady of the (former) children's TV series "The Brady Bunch."  A female adminstrator/guard at the prison explained briefly that Marsha Brady wore them in the show., and one of the male prisoners, who was talking into the TV camera, said at one point "These are my Marsha Bradys."

     The Marsha Bradys were issue to the prisoners, because shoes had previously been a status symbol of some sort, depending on their make/style.  The plain,white, unpretentious Marsha Bradys are intended to remove this form of status competition from the prison.

      Some years ago I watched various episodes of "The Brady Bunch," and I never paid any attention to whatever shoes Marsha Brady or any of the other actors were wearing. I'm amazed that rough, tough macho guys--rough enough, tough enough, and macho enough to wind up in the hell-hole of a prison at Joliet--would even tacitly admit to having
 watched The Brady Bunch, much less pay attention to whatever shoes teeny-bopper Marsha Brady was wearing.  Or maybe it was the guards/administrators who introduced the term?

Gerald Cohen

The American Dialect Society -

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