Open a bank account or get a credit card without signed permission from her father or hr husband.
Serve on a jury - because it might inconvenience the family not to have the woman at home being her husband’s helpmate.
Obtain any form of birth control without her husband’s permission. You had to be married, and your hub and had to agree to postpone having children.
Get an Ivy League education. Ivy League schools were men’s colleges ntil the 70′s and 80′s. When they opened their doors to women it was agree that women went there for their MRS. Degee.
Experience equality in the workplace: Kennedy’s Commission on the Status of Women produced a report in 1963 that revealed, among other things, that women earned 59 cents for every dollar that men earned and were kept out of the more lucrative professional positions.
Keep her job if she was pregnant.Until the Pregnancy Discrimination Act in 1978, women were regularly fired from their workplace for being pregnant.
Refuse to have sex with her husband.The mid 70s saw most states recognize marital rape and in 1993 it became criminalized in all 50 states. Nevertheless, marital rape is still often treated differently to other forms of rape in some states even today.
Get a divorce with some degree of ease.Before the No Fault Divorce law in 1969, spouses had to show the faults of the other party, such as adultery, and could easily be overturned by recrimination.
Have a legal abortion in most states.The Roe v. Wade case in 1973 protected a woman’s right to abortion until viability.
Take legal action against workplace sexual harassment. According to The Week, the first time a court recognized office sexual harassment as grounds for legal action was in 1977.
Play college sports Title IX of the Education Amendments of protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance It was nt until this statute that colleges had teams for women’s sports
Apply for men’s Jobs The EEOC rules that sex-segregated help wanted ads in newspapers are illegal. This ruling is upheld in 1973 by the Supreme Court, opening the way for women to apply for higher-paying jobs hitherto open only to men.
This is why we needed feminism - this is why we know that feminism works
I just want to reiterate this stuff, because I legit get the feeling there are a lot of younger women for whom it hasn’t really sunk in what it is today’s GOP is actively trying to return to.
Did you go to a good college? Shame on you, you took a college placement that could have gone to a man who deserves and needs it to support or prepare for his wife & children. But if you really must attend college, well, some men like that, you can still get married if you focus on finding the right man.
Got a job? Why? A man could be doing that job. You should be at home caring for a family. You shouldn’t be taking that job away from a man who needs it (see college, above). You definitely don’t have a career – you’ll be pregnant and raising children soon, so no need to worry about promoting you.
This shit was within living memory. I’M A MILLENIAL and my mother was in the second class that allowed women at an Ivy League school. Men who are alive today either personally remember shit like this or have parents/family who have raised them into thinking this was the way America functioned back in the blissful Good Old Days. There are literally dudes in the GOP old enough to remember when it was like this and yearn for those days to return.
When people talk about resisting conservativism and the GOP, we’re not just talking about whether the wage gap is a myth or not. We’re talking about whether women even have the fundamental right to exist as individuals, to run their own households and compete for jobs and be considered on an equal footing with men in any arena at all in the first place.
I was a child in the 1960s, a teenager in the 1970s, a young adult in the 1980s.
This is what it was like:
When I was growing up, it was considered unfortunate if a girl was good at sports. Girls were not allowed in Little League. Girls’ teams didn’t exist in high school, except at all-girls’ high schools. Boys played sports, and girls were the cheerleaders.
People used to ask me as a child what I wanted to be when I grew up. I said I wanted to be a brain surgeon or the first woman justice on the Supreme Court. Everyone told me it was impossible–those just weren’t realistic goals for a girl–the latter, especially, because you couldn’t trust women to judge fairly and rationally, after all.
In the 1960s and 1970s, all women were identified by their marital status, even in arrest reports and obituaries. In elementary school, my science teacher referred to Pierre Curie as DOCTOR Curie and Marie Curie as MRS. Curie…because, as he put it, “she was just his wife.” (Both had doctorates and both were Nobel prize winners, so you would think that both would be accorded respect.)
Companies could and did require women to wear dresses and skirts. Failure to do could and did get women fired. And it was legal. It was also legal to fire women for getting married or getting pregnant. The rationale was that a woman who was married or who had a child had no business working; that was what her husband was for. Aetna Insurance, the biggest insurance company in America, fired women for all of the above.
A man could rape his wife. Legally. I can remember being twelve years old and reading about legal experts actually debating whether or not a man could actually be said to coerce his wife into having sex. This was a serious debate in 1974.
The debate about marital rape came up in my law school, too, in 1984. Could a woman be raped by her husband? The guys all said no–a woman got married, so she was consenting to sex at all times. So I turned it around. I asked them if, since a man had gotten married, that meant that his wife could shove a dildo or a stick or something up his ass any time she wanted to for HER sexual pleasure.
(Hey, I thought it was reasonable. If one gender was legally entitled to force sex on the other, then obviously the reverse should also be true.)
The male law students didn’t like the idea. Interestingly, they commented that being treated like that would make them feel like a woman.
My reaction was, “Thank you for proving my point…”
The concept of date rape, when first proposed, was considered laughable. If a woman went out on a date, the argument of legal experts ran, sexual consent was implied. Even more sickening was the fact that in some states–even in the early 1980s–a man could rape his daughter…and it was no worse than a misdemeanor.
Women taking self-defense classes in the 1970s and 1980s were frequently described in books and on TV as “cute.” The implication was that it was absurd for a woman to attempt to defend herself, but wasn’t it just adorable for her to try?
I was expressly forbidden to take computer classes in junior and senior years of high school–1978-79 and 1979-80–because, as the principal told me, “Only boys have to know that kind of thing. You girls are going to get married, and you won’t use it.”
When I was in college–from 1980 to 1984–there were no womens’ studies. The idea hadn’t occurred in many places because the presumption was that there was nothing TO study. My history professor–a man who had a doctorate in history–informed me quite seriously that women had never produced a noted painter, sculptor, composer, architect or scientist because…wait for it…womens’ brains were too small.
(He was very surprised when I came up with a list of fifty women gifted in the arts and science, most of whom he had never heard of before.)
When Walter Mondale picked Geraldine Ferraro as a running mate in 1984, the press hailed it as a disaster. What would happen, they asked fearfully, if Mondale died and Ferraro became president? What if an international crisis arose and she was menstruating? She could push the nuclear button in a fit of PMS! It would be the end of the WORLD!!
…No, they WEREN’T kidding.
On the surface, things are very different now than they were when I was a child, a teen and a young adult. But I’m afraid that people now do not realize what it was like then. I’ve read a lot of posts from young women who say that they are not feminists. If the only exposure to feminism they have is the work of extremists, I cannot blame them overmuch.
I wish that I could tell them what feminism was like when it was new–when the dream of legal equality was just a dream, and hadn’t even begun to come true. When “woman’s work” was a sneer–and an overt putdown. When people tut-tutted over bright and athletic girls with the words, “Really, it’s a shame she’s not a boy.” That lack of feminism wasn’t all men opening doors and picking up checks. A lot of it was an attitude of patronizing contempt that hasn’t entirely died out, but which has become less publicly acceptable.
I wish I could make them feel what it was like…when grown men were called “men” and grown women were “girls.”
Know your history.
So this, too, is what they mean saying “make America great again” and/or the good old days.
I am 70. I remember all those things. I was a student nurse from 64 to 67 and we were not permitted to “finish” a bed bath on a male or insert a catheter in a male. Seeing male genitals might cause us “harm” or upset our delicate sensibilities. Imagine when we graduated and were “thrown” to the wolves. Imagine if you were a male patient who had to be the first to be “practiced” on by a graduate nurse. (Ha!) At the school I attended no student nurse could be married. Only one school in my city (Atlanta) would even admit married women and Male Nurses weren’t even thought of. What man would want to be a nurse when he could be a Doctor. In all my training I only remember 3 or 4 Women who were Doctor’s and a very few, (less than 5 or 6) female interns or residents (and this was a teaching hospital) and most of those were OB/Gyns and one was a pediatrician.
When I graduated and was going to get married I wanted to go on birth control pills. You needed to be on them for a least one cycle before they were effective. I won’t go into what hoops I had to jump through to get a prescription from my Dr. (a man, natch) but when i went to the drug store to get the prescription filled I ended up having to get my future husband to “accompany” me so the pharmacist “interview” him and see if it was okay with him for me to be on the pill.
Even when we went to get a marriage license I had to get my Father’s signature and we had to go before a Judge because I was not yet 21 (I was 20 and 9 months).
I could go on and on, getting a credit card in MY name, etc., but I will tell you that WE MUST RESIST.
The number of people I know who romanticize gender inequality is frankly terrifying. A world never existed in which the lives of women were simplified by benevolent men who saw to her every want and need. That was not a thing. A world never existed in which women were all ladies, men were all gentlemen, & everything was some great big cishet fairytale. Feminists aren’t a bunch of upstarts who want to destroy a perfectly wholesome and non-harmful system. Just…look at history. Look at the posts above. We. Must. Resist..
About 8: The State of New York only added No-Fault Divorce as an option in 2010 (!!!)
(Your picture was not posted)