10 Crazy Things Women Couldn't Do 50 Years Ago

Did you know that a woman couldn't seek help after being sexually harassed at work? These are seriously the most insane things women couldn't do 50 years ago, and they might infuriate you.

Even though we still are lacking some equal rights... us women are still so grateful for the advantages and freedom compared to how it was 50 years ago. Being a woman today, we have the ability to live on our own, obtain birth control with ease, and even study and obtain jobs in nearly any profession we desire! We've come so far and it's truly all thanks to the confident and powerful women in the past who fought for these privileges. Without them, we'd still be living in the past with hardly any rights. But even current days, there are reasons why we still need feminism.

As blessed as we are today, you wouldn't believe what women had to go through in the past. Even though 50 years doesn't seem like a really long time, the world has drastically changed and women have made significant changes for us. While they had to suffer, we definitely have to live up to those women who fought for our advantages, who suffered with the most ridiculous rules women just had to follow. Check out just a few of the absolute crazy things women couldn't do 50 years ago. You seriously wouldn't believe your eyes after reading this article.

You couldn't keep a job while pregnant.

Yes, the second you're pregnant, you're out of the job. Since they knew that you'd have to leave eventually to care for your child, they easily let you off without considering letting you stay until labor. Pregnant women can still work up until their third-trimester pregnancy, depending on the job. But 50 years ago, there was no such thing as a "paid maternity leave."

Up until 1978, it wasn't illegal to let go pregnant employees from the job. After that, women are still able to work and even have a paid maternity leave. Some women can now even return to work a few months after labor.

You weren't able to serve on a jury.

From the ridiculous things women couldn't do 50 years ago, a woman couldn't serve on a jury. They basically couldn't give their opinion in cases, because of their gender... Didn't know women didn't have a brain and know what's right from wrong.

Anyways, they allowed all women to be part of the jury in all 50 states in 1973. It didn't happen abruptly, each state had to agree to allow women to serve on a jury... Interesting.

Single women couldn't get a credit card.

This is easily one of the craziest things women couldn't do 50 years ago—single women weren't able to obtain a credit card! How in the hell could they go shopping? Even if they were working women, they definitely wanted to spend some money on themselves. Honestly, I wouldn't be able to do it 50 years ago. I give respect to those women in the past.

Basically, women could only have a credit card if they were married, so it could be under the husband's name. Horrendous. And it only took up until 1974 for this to change. 

You couldn't refuse to have sex with your husband.

I can't even picture this one. So essentially, if your husband wants to bang you that night, you literally cannot refuse. Even if you don't want to at all, it's a form of rape, but it wasn't seen as that 50 years ago. Since it's your husband, not wanting to having sex with him was never seen as rape.

But then around the 1970s, marital rape still wasn't seen as illegal. Instead, rape was defined as a male who has sexual intercourse with a female who wasn't his wife. I would like to point this out much clearer: just because the two are married, if the wife doesn't want to have sex, but the husband forces himself on her, that's easily considered as rape. 

Women couldn't gain an Ivy League education.

Women not having the opportunity to gain an Ivy League education is certainly among the crazy things women couldn't do 50 years ago. In the past, women were only able to study courses that would benefit becoming a house wife or get into a profession that wasn't so "complicated" for women. Stupid, I know. Didn't they know that women are much smarter than men? Fight me on this.

But anyways, Ivy Leagues like Cornell actually allowed females to enroll in 1870. Harvard didn't accept females until 1977, and Princeton didn't allow females to enroll until 1969. Today, women can freely choose any Ivy League they desire and study any field they would want to pursue in the future.

You weren't able to seek legal redress if you were sexually harassed at work.

I literally hate this one, and I feel terrible for the women 50 years ago who had to put up with this bullshit. But yes, women weren't able to report sexual harassment at work. Like, are you kidding me? Basically, women had to put up with the sleazy dicks who wouldn't leave them alone at work.

Hold on, it only took up until 1977 for the US courts to recognize sexual harassment at a work place to be offense? That's insane... 1977! That's easily one of the most ridiculous things women couldn't do 50 years ago. If I was a hardworking women 50 years ago, I'm willing to lose my job after knocking someone out for harassing me.

Women couldn't divorce their husband for beating.

I don't know which is worse, the previous one or this one. So, if a husband beats his wife, there is no way she can divorce him. No matter how any times and how severe the beatings were... The fact that this was 50 years ago, around the late 60s, is ridiculous. 

In the majority of US states in the 1960s, domestic violence in a marriage wasn’t considered a reason for divorce. However, it only became a reason for divorce in New York in 1966. In order to file for a divorce, the wife actually needed to prove the amount of times she was beaten. What, one wasn’t enough? I truly feel bad for the women who had to deal and suffer with this.

You couldn't get an emergency contraception.

A form contraception is birth control, and being unable to get an emergency contraception is among the craziest things women couldn't do 50 years ago. An emergency contraception is mainly seen as "Plan B," and single women, even married women, couldn't get their hands on it. It was literally impossible to get, let alone birth control pills.

However, it became available at a shockingly late time. Emergency contraception wasn't approved by the FDA until 1998. Until 2013, you weren't able to find it in the aisles of drugstores. 

You couldn't live with your boyfriend.

I'm not surprised that 50 years ago you couldn't live with your boyfriend. Even if you love your boyfriend to death or you know that the two of you plan on getting married in the future, you still weren't able to live with him. There was literally no excuse you could give that would allow you to live with your boyfriend. Upsetting, I know. 

And it wasn't until 2013 that we allowed boyfriends and girlfriends to live under the same roof in four states of the US. In 2011, a few Florida couples were charged with misdemeanors under the state's anti-cohabitation law. It took this long just to live with your boyfriend. 

Single women couldn't get a mortgage.

Lastly, among the absolute craziest things women couldn't do 50 years ago is that single women couldn't get a mortgage. Basically a woman wouldn't be able to obtain her own home and pay for it.

Instead, the only way for a woman to get a mortgage would be if she was married and she had her husband's signature. This would entirely mean that the mortgage isn't under her name, but her husband's. Overall, her husband is the one with the mortgage, not her.

Now Reading
10 Crazy Things Women Couldn't Do 50 Years Ago
Read Next
Breast Cancer Awareness