UPDATE: Commentor Annie Rose takes us down her own memory lane:
If this lovely lady wants to play dress up and fantasize about the ’50s, fine, but I hope she is being completely authentic.
No ability to get her own credit card. No money of her own. No ability to go to college except for those looking to get an MRS degree. Limited professional opportunities-teacher, secretary, nurse. No birth control. No ability to get a loan. Having to ask her husband to give her money to buy groceries.
No air conditioning. No permanent press clothes so everything has to be ironed. I hope she squeezes into a painful girdle every day and lassos her girls into the torture chamber of a bra from that era. I remember watching my mom and aunts have to do this.
I hope she forgoes the improvements in feminine hygiene and straps on her brick every month to her sanitary belt. My mom told me it was not glamorous standing in heels in the hot summer ironing your husband’s dress shirts and starching them.
I hope she’s ironing dozens of hankies that men used instead of Kleenex. I learned to iron at the age of five by ironing my dad’s hankies.
In 1974 women could finally apply for a credit card without their dad or husband having to co-sign for them. My mom, who worked as a temp legal secretary, was lectured by a male boss in 1975 for daring to wear a pantsuit to the office. He expected his “girls” to wear heels and a skirt.
My parents were happy to pay for my older brother to go to college in the 70’s, even though he had terrible grades. I had excellent grades all through school but was told that I would be “allowed” to go to college only as long as I kept my grades mostly A’s. A complete double standard.
Speaking of girls, my grad school professor in 1983 New Orleans chastised me for not being like the other “Southern girls”. My crime? He said I “axed” too many questions. He expected the female students to remain completely quiet and subservient. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed seeing the lovely shade of raspberry creep up past his Col. Sanders blonde goatee to the top of his prematurely balding pate when I replied, “So you prefer your southrin’ GIRLS to be ignorant and silent. Got it. Well I’m an Okie and as long as I’m paying for my education here, I will AXE a question any damn time I please.” Even though he was in his 30’s and it was 1983, he felt just fine treating us like it was 1950.
I had two good friends have their teaching contracts not renewed in the late ’80s because they were visibly pregnant and our single childless female superintendent hated women in their childbearing years because they took time off for sick kids. Husbands seldom did this as it was considered women’s work to care for the kids and women’s jobs were presumed to be less important. I had to hide my pregnancy for months under baggy sweaters while awaiting early tenure, just so I wouldn’t lose my job.
In the ’80s, a young bank male manager actually insisted that my husband had to come in to resolve an issue with our joint bank account, rather than myself, because he was “the man” and I was not to be trusted as the woman with financial issues.
In 2004, a school administrator called my husband so they could speak “man to man” about my request to have our child evaluated over special ed concerns. He wanted my husband to “talk some sense into the little lady”. My husband gave him an earful. Our child did end up being diagnosed eventually and this jerk school admin apologized to me for being wrong. I love the retro cars and gadgets, but I love living in this time and having the freedom to be myself and modern conveniences. Women who glamorize the 50’s have never talked to women who lived through it or they would never wish to turn the clock back.