Monday, February 25, 2013

Ladies, This is for You!


Fifty years ago, Betty Friedan started a movement to liberate women with her book,
"The Feminine Mystique"
Most of you weren't even born then, but some of us remember what life was like before women were granted equal status. 
I recently read a column by Syndicated Columnist, Kathleen Parker with her views on this. 
I was deeply appalled. 
The very difference between Kathleen Parker and women of Betty Friedan's day was one thing;
 Choice.
 A small word with a big impact. 
Please read this column if you get the chance;

http://www.thenewstribune.com/2013/02/13/2472840/reflections-on-the-half-century.html

She wrote that "women like her (Friedan) - well-to-do, well-educated and stifled by domestic bliss - wanted and deserved more."

What Kathleen Parker never experienced was the prevailing attitudes of those days. 

If you have ever watched the television series, 'Mad Men', you see a very accurate portrayal. 

Women were considered second class citizens and there were few opportunities for women, especially if they chose to get married and have children. 
Sexual Harassment in the work place was the rule not the exception. 
Here are a few actual ads from those wonderful times. 


This really was the prevailing attitude back then. Oh, I have more....


Yea. This is no joke. 


U-huh.....


I think it's more than housework putting this woman in a rage.


These men were lucky they didn't actually get close to a ledge with a real woman. 


Obviously they never dreamed of Danica Patrick!


This particular attitude seems to have lingered well past it's prime.


Well, then!


This ad needs no words. 


Yup.


Every boss' fantasy back in the day. But not too far from reality. 
A woman boss was just not even thought of. 


Amazing! Obviously men dominated the advertising agencies.


Oh yea, - Mother's little helpers. If they're not happy being treated like a servant, they must need drugs. 


I particularly love this one. 

Don't you love this 'diet' ad? 


Don't know what to say about this one. 

It does make me want to cry, though. 


Do we care what most men ask? 


Of course! 


Aprons are making a comeback. Let's hope it's just a phase. 


Thank goodness for perma-press. 


And a couple of classics.



So there you go. This is the reason that women threw off those aprons and took to the streets. 
It wasn't because they didn't love their families or love taking care of their children. 
It was because of these prevailing attitudes that allowed mistreatment, discrimination, limited choice and opportunities. 
It was legal to beat a woman as long as the 'rule of thumb' was applied. 
The stick couldn't be any bigger than a man's thumb in diameter. 
I'm not kidding. 
Women couldn't divorce or she would be thrown into poverty. 
She also needed a valid reason. 
Domestic violence was not one of them. 
Abandonment was usually the only reason.
Once she was divorced, she could work as a waitress, secretary, or if she had skills, a nurse or teacher. 
But divorced women were shunned. 
And forget about the poor woman who became pregnant outside of marriage. 
Society shunned her completely. 
Even her family shunned her. 
So, ladies, if you think that the women's movement was something thought up by bored, well-to-do, well-educated and stifled by 'domestic bliss' women, think again.
Just read these ads again. And think about this. If these were just advertisements of the day, imagine the daily   discrimination and disrespect women had to suffer each and every day. 
We were considered the lesser class. The 'weaker sex', stupid, child like, subordinate to men. 

And it has only been a very short time since these attitudes flourished. 
Around the world, women are still living in the dark ages. 

Every 9 seconds a woman in the US is assaulted or beaten.

Around the world, at least 1 in every 3 women has suffered violence, most often the abuser is a member of her own family. 

Every day in the US, more than 3 women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends. 

So, Kathleen Parker, there really is a reason to celebrate Betty Friedan's 50 year anniversary of her society changing book. 

And these are the reasons why. 


48 comments:

  1. I couldn't agree more!! Thank you for bringing this to light. I was raised by very strong women and they made sure that I knew how far women have come. I have watched plenty of documentaries on the women's rights movement as I think every girl should to see all of the women that paved the way for us. I will do the same for my girls. Thank you for taking the time to put this out there!!!!

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    1. We do owe our daughter's the experience of these brave women who came before us. I know my own daughter's take a lot of things for granted and can't believe how restricted women were. I, too was raised by strong and independent women who felt very deeply about women's rights. Still an ongoing struggle for so many. Thank you for your thoughts. I always appreciate your views. xx

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  2. You said it, Karen - and the operative word is "choice." I've had opportunities that my mom didn't have - because I had choices: college, marriage, career, and stay-at-home mom. That's what the women's movement did for us - afforded the ability to chose our own path. <3

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    1. I am grateful for these brave women who stood up and spoke out and gave us choices. Thanks for sharing your voice, Stacy, always enjoy your thoughts. xx

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  3. Merci de visiter mon blog et de laisser le comainterre ça ma fait vraiment plaisir!

    Bonne semaine!

    xxx Maria xxx

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    1. Thank you, Maria for visiting here! I always enjoy stopping by your beautiful blog. xx

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  4. I cannot believe that these were advertisements! How sad. This is really something men everywhere should see to be honest - because it shows how sexist of a society we lived in (and still do). Very very eye-opening.

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    1. It is sad, Keith. So appreciate your point of view as a man. Thanks for stopping by. xx

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  5. i was certainly born in the right era. i don't believe i would have survived the earlier times as i'd not have kept my mouth shut.

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    1. That's so true for me, too, Theresa! We would have been slapped into 'thinking straight' I guess. Scary to think about. Thanks for stopping by. xx

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  6. Oh my goodness. Those ads are beyond offensive! I am so thankful for the women who came before me and changed the views of women. There is still plenty of work to be done, especially in other parts of the world, but we have definitely made progress here since those ads! Can you imagine the backlash if one of those ads was run today? Crazy!

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    1. I can't imagine what would happen if they were to run today! We just have to make sure there is no back sliding. Thanks for your input, Tammy! xx

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  7. Wonderful post Karen. Those ads are just incredible. I do agree with one part of one ad, though. Housework on a hot day makes me cranky! And I ALWAYS wear high heels when housekeeping, don't you? ;) When I first started watching Mad Men I found it hard to swallow. I can't believe that it reflects reality. Scary. I later got addicted to the show though. Just so entertaining.

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  8. You are so funny! I wear pearls, too! I am addicted to Mad Men, too. I love the fashions and the story lines. You just have to look at it as history. Thank goodness! Thanks for visiting today! xx

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  9. Good evening, Karen. My stepdad was in the Navy. Women were not allowed to go into any building on base if they were wearing pants. I remember meeting my thirteen year old friend walking back to her family's car. She had not been allowed to go into the commissary to grocery shop with her family because she was wearing culottes.

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    1. Hi Maureen, wow, that illustrates exactly the way we were discriminated against just for wearing a pair of pants! Thanks for sharing that! xx

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  10. I am practically speechless (and for me that is something). I read that horrid article and commented on it - what a shame that Betty Friedan's name was drug through the mud like that. We went through a lot to help bring young women choices that they often don't think twice about - and those that do think twice about them get my applause for realizing what came before them so they could have such wonderful choices in their lives.

    Thank you so much for bringing this to light again - it is always good to be reminded where we've been and how far we've come. I remember in high school in Alaska that if it was snowy and very cold we girls were "ALLOWED' to wear snow pants under our dress (isn't that a pretty thought?) and we had to go immediately to the rest room and take the pants off, so we would appear as "ladies" in school. I voiced my opinion one day that I thought that if that was the case - then why didn't the boys have to wear dresses or skirts over their pants on the way to school and then be made to take them off immediately upon entering school. You can not even begin to imagine the trouble I got into - conferences with parents, loss of the privilege to attend after school activities for month, extra study hall to write compositions on the woman's proper place in society. They eventually had to give up on the compositions - after many many lectures, because I just would not write what they wanted - I wrote that we should have equal rights, etc. etc - and I was even threatened to have my National Honor Society Membership revoked - as this was NOT the behavior of a girl honor student.

    We've come a long ways baby!!!!! Everyone cheer for Karen!!!!!!!

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    1. Thank you, JoAnn for sharing your experiences! I do remember having to take off our snow pants (grew up in New England) and having to wear dresses to school and they better be a 'proper' length, too, knee level or longer. It was in 9th grade that one boy in our class who didn't want to wear button up shirts, tucked in, took the school dress code to court and won. It was a landmark case in our state. After that we were 'allowed' to wear slacks and even jeans. Your experience highlights exactly what we had to endure 'back in the day'. Thank you for sharing that! xx

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  11. Wow, some of these weren't even that long ago. Great post! Thanks for sharing these crazier than crazy ads.

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    1. I know! Crazy! Thanks for stopping by, Betsey. xx

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  12. Amen, Karen! I grew up in the fifties and sixties and saw many women just like those portrayed. We are so lucky to have a choice.

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    1. Yes we are, Cindy. Thanks for sharing. xx

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  13. These should be shown to today's teenage girls - just scrolling through them left me incensed and ready to go kick my husband and he really isn't a bad guy. But as someone above mentioned - some of these were not that long ago and unfortunately the sentiment carries on with many. Choice is a wonderful thing. We have a duty to raise our daughters to value themselves and our sons to respect others regardless of gender or race.

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    1. Well said, Nicki, it does make you want to educate the girl's and young men of today because they have no idea of how things used to be. Here's to choice! Thanks for sharing. xx

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  14. Very interesting views -- good read -- it's good to remember to be reminded a little bit how grateful it is to be a woman now a days..I hated wearing dress to school but I was bother by knee level or longer.. Glad my mother wanted me covered-up -- I wanted my dress shorter like the rest -- glad Mom did not allow it.. I was in my 11th grade in high school when we finally allowed to wear pants to school but they had to be dress pants nice fabric - NO Levis it had to be like a(pantsuit)style.. I bought my first pair of Levis when I was out of school..true -- in 1979..
    Thanks for sharing.. it's always good to remember when...
    Hugs

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    1. Thank you for sharing, Kristeen and yes, my Mother was very strict, also and we had to dress modestly. xx

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  15. Oh one more thing - I tried to watch Mad Men and I could not TAKE it -- it just shows me that I don't want to go back to that era!!!
    Hugs

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  16. I remember a lot of similar ads. I also remember that after my Mom stayed home all those years with us she wanted to work and my Dad didn't want her to. It took awhile before he relented. I remember seeing my Grandma wait hand and foot on my Grandpa - even to get him a drink of water when he said 'get me a drink of water'. I swore I would never do that. It's one thing to go because you want to and another because it was expected. When I graduated from high school if you weren't getting married there was pretty much a choice of a teacher, a secretary, or a nurse. I was the first in my family to go to college (my Mom assured me if I wanted to it would be made possible). I became a teacher. Years later I quite working to have two children and stayed at home with them by choice before returning to the work force. I think Ms. Parker did indeed forget choice - most women in Friedan's time didn't have it.
    Thanks so much for this wonderful post. It's sad the subject is still something that needs addressed all these years later.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your experiences, Carletta. I remember my own Grandmother doing exactly the same. It was expected and there were consequences if not, and that was just a given. Choice does make all the difference in the world. xx

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  17. Great post.. Some of these were not that long ago...We are so lucky to have a choice in todays world... Hugs May x x x

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    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts today, May! Hugs to you! xx

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  18. Dearest Karen,
    Oh, this is so true; the world is still mainly dominated by men! During our work all over the globe we've seen it so often; it's painful.
    Great post and let's hope there will come a change to those suppressed women. Hugs to you,
    Mariette

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    1. Dear Mariette,

      Yes, you would know having traveled the world and seen so many different cultures. We can only hope and pray for all the women in this world to find some equality. Thank you for sharing your thoughts today! Hugs, xx

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  19. Great post!!!
    Your words are wisely.
    Besides, you're a complete woman with many talents and especially with the power to give us many ideas for any form of happiness in everyday life.
    Thank you for your feedback.
    Many kisses to all your family from my family.

    Yannis Politopoulos

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    1. Thank you, Yannis, it means a lot to have a man's perspective. I appreciate your thoughts. xx

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  20. EXCELLENT post my having two daughters makes me grateful for the women that fought for our rights so long ago.
    Things have changed for the better in many areas but it seems we still have a long road to hoe. Loved this post.
    Hugs B

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    1. Thank you, Buttons. We do have a long way to go as women in this world and we owe so much to women like Betty Friedan for speaking out. xx

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  21. Wow, I never realized how the advertisements really perpetuated these thoughts! How terrible. I wouldn't buy from any of those companies if I saw an ad like that. Life has equalized a bit in our culture. But not in all cultures. Sadly these norms, and worse, are still alive in other cultures. We have also shed the idea that monarchs were somehow divine equalizing a lot more of humanity.

    Very interesting post.

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    1. It is eye-opening, Rebecca and I was shocked also, when I started doing my research. A lot of the ads I found were much too 'r' rated for this blog, the worst ones obviously published in men's magazines. I can't imagine these ads running in this day and age, thank goodness, although in other countries it is not the same. Thank you for your thoughts. xx

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  22. Those were the good olds days - we have come a long way, baby!

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  23. Today those commercials look like a joke (at least to me), but back then women were in fact considered inferior to men! It's amazing how much we have accomplished!
    Amazing post!
    Thank you!

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    1. Yes, we should be proud! Thanks for stopping by with your thoughts. xx

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  24. I was openmouthed at those ads. Appalling. I think that many ads today degrade men, making them look foolish, but they are nothing compared to these derogatory things. We owe so much to those women of the last generation who fought so hard for our rights.

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    1. My thoughts exactly, Lorrie, and you are right about the ads making men look foolish today. There has to be a happy medium. Thanks for visiting today! xx

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  25. I was born in the late 60's and never really had to deal with this kind of backwards thinking (thank goodness as I have a big mouth, lol). Choice... Thanks for the reminder not to take it for granted. Off to check out the article (thank you for posting this).

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  26. Oh, my! I never knew these ads were so blunt sexist. Thanks for this compilation.

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Thank you for stopping by! Your comments are important to me and are very much appreciated. xx Karen

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