Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Before 1970

Ponder all this, my gentle snowflakes, before 1970, an American woman could not:
1. Keep her job if she was pregnant. Until the Pregnancy Discrimination Act in 1978, women could be fired from their workplace for being pregnant.
2. Report cases of sexual harassment in the workplace. The first time that a court recognized sexual harassment in the workplace was in 1977 and it wasn’t until 1980 that sexual harassment was officially defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
3. Be acknowledged in the Boston Marathon. Women could not don their running shoes until 1972!
4. Get a credit card. Until the Equal Credit Opportunity Act in 1974, women were not able to apply for credit. In 1975, the first women’s bank was opened. [Following my divorce in 1983, I had a fairly hard time getting a credit card in my own name. Of course, I was living in Oklahoma at the time.]
5. 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.
6. Compete as a boxer in the Olympics. It wasn’t until the 2012 London Olympics that women could compete in boxing in the Olympics. This was marked with the amazing victory by Britain’s Nicola Adams.
7. 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.
8. Celebrate International Women’s Day. In 1980 President Carter declared one week in March to be National Women’s History Week, including International Women’s Day on March 8th.
9. Have a legal abortion in most states. The Roe v. Wade case in 1973 protected a woman’s right to abortion until viability. 
10. Read Ms. Magazine! Ms. was launched as a sample inset in New York Magazine in 1971.


  1. I remember those days! In mid-70's there were so many advances for women. I'm dismayed that in looking back from today, the advances were in inches and not leaps and bounds -- and in so many ways, those inches of progress are being attacked & we're being herded back to those regressive times.

  2. GG, obviously, I, too, remember those days. =( And not with joy in my heart. We struggled and marched and petitioned legislative bodies for the insufficient advances that were made. And, now, you are entirely correct: the progress is being bull-dozed back. But, then, that is what the Conservatives/Tea-Baggers promised us: a return to "the good old days." NOT.