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Mon May 7, 2012, 05:33 PM

Growing up female

i am 53, so i grew up in the 60's and 70's when there were still many things women "couldn't do." i could not play saxophone in elementary school because i was a girl: girls had to play the violin or the flute. i could not wear pants to school until i was in junior high school because i was a girl. i could not take shop because i was a girl, and i was forced to take home economics because i was a girl. at some point (puberty) i couldn't do other things because i was a girl, like go out at night. my father thought the purpose of educating females was so they could land a doctor or lawyer husband. oh...i forgot about the smart thing. i was smart, and as a girl, i was told i could not be TOO smart, because that would scare somebody.

things have changed A LOT, but i was restricted in terms of what i could do, wear and say when i was growing up...because i was a girl.

please share what life was like for american females twentieth century. thank you.

96 replies, 11151 views

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Arrow 96 replies Author Time Post
Reply Growing up female (Original post)
noiretextatique May 2012 OP
patrice May 2012 #1
LiberalLoner May 2012 #2
Liberal_in_LA May 2012 #20
Mojorabbit May 2012 #22
nolabear May 2012 #35
renate May 2012 #55
LiberalLoner May 2012 #65
renate May 2012 #77
LiberalLoner May 2012 #83
noiretextatique May 2012 #94
Starry Messenger May 2012 #3
patrice May 2012 #14
DevonRex May 2012 #26
Starry Messenger May 2012 #28
seabeyond May 2012 #4
Liberal_in_LA May 2012 #21
The Velveteen Ocelot May 2012 #5
jaysunb May 2012 #6
cynatnite May 2012 #7
seabeyond May 2012 #8
Scout May 2012 #12
seabeyond May 2012 #15
MadrasT May 2012 #44
KansDem May 2012 #16
Liberal_in_LA May 2012 #23
Darth_Kitten May 2012 #29
Jennicut May 2012 #52
Warpy May 2012 #73
slackmaster May 2012 #9
The Velveteen Ocelot May 2012 #10
slackmaster May 2012 #13
Liberal_in_LA May 2012 #18
Neoma May 2012 #60
Liberal_in_LA May 2012 #19
Brickbat May 2012 #41
slackmaster May 2012 #84
Skittles May 2012 #27
MadrasT May 2012 #45
noiretextatique May 2012 #85
RebelOne May 2012 #11
Skittles May 2012 #78
Liberal_in_LA May 2012 #17
XemaSab May 2012 #24
frazzled May 2012 #25
davsand May 2012 #30
nolabear May 2012 #36
Iris May 2012 #39
LadyHawkAZ May 2012 #31
CAG May 2012 #32
roody May 2012 #34
HeiressofBickworth May 2012 #33
laundry_queen May 2012 #37
redqueen May 2012 #38
guardian May 2012 #40
noiretextatique May 2012 #90
Auntie Bush May 2012 #42
pink-o May 2012 #43
Skidmore May 2012 #46
raccoon May 2012 #47
EFerrari May 2012 #48
noiretextatique May 2012 #95
shcrane71 May 2012 #49
gkhouston May 2012 #62
shcrane71 May 2012 #66
noiretextatique May 2012 #89
raccoon May 2012 #79
Jennicut May 2012 #50
librechik May 2012 #51
juice feast May 2012 #53
sufrommich May 2012 #56
librechik May 2012 #58
EFerrari May 2012 #59
gkhouston May 2012 #64
seabeyond May 2012 #67
The Velveteen Ocelot May 2012 #76
noiretextatique May 2012 #86
sufrommich May 2012 #54
noiretextatique May 2012 #96
lapislzi May 2012 #57
Waiting For Everyman May 2012 #61
gkhouston May 2012 #63
BlueIris May 2012 #68
seabeyond May 2012 #69
BlancheSplanchnik May 2012 #70
seabeyond May 2012 #71
BlancheSplanchnik May 2012 #81
Amaril May 2012 #75
BlancheSplanchnik May 2012 #80
noiretextatique May 2012 #87
Arkansas Granny May 2012 #72
noiretextatique May 2012 #93
Amaril May 2012 #74
noiretextatique May 2012 #88
TBF May 2012 #82
noiretextatique May 2012 #91
noiretextatique May 2012 #92

Response to noiretextatique (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 05:38 PM

1. Absolutely NO ONE ever asked if it was good for ALL of us to get married & have kids.

Everyone was on auto-pilot about marriage and kids and, GUESS WHAT, a bunch of us got it wrong!!

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Response to noiretextatique (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 05:45 PM

2. I'm 50, and had about the same list as you.

Specific to me was that I wanted to be an Army Officer and jump out of airplanes like my father did and I announced that when I was five years old (1966). That announcement was met with howls of laughter, as women were not integrated until I believe the early 70's, nor were they allowed to earn those wings until about that time. I accomplished both those goals when I was in my 20's, in the 1980's.

I also was adamant from a very early age that I did not want to have babies. Again, I was laughed at. Because, without any real career paths and with birth control that didn't always work (and without legal abortion), everyone knew I would of course be having babies, and so much for any other plans I might have had.

I remember feeling very ashamed of having a period, and feeling I would die of shame especially if any boys saw a red stain. There was something dirty and soiled about the whole affair, and it was a disgusting thing to be a female in general.

I remember those old kotex pads and the weird special underwear thing that the ends of the pad had to fit into. The pads themselves were about as thick as a chalkboard eraser (and about as wide, and even longer than that) and with the tight jeans that were in the mid 70's, there was huge paranoia about the pad "showing" during that time. So much worry and anxiety and fear!

I remember being told that my absolutely disabling cramps were "all in my head" and told to shush up about them. How bad was the pain? Bad enough to make me throw up, turn white, and when I had kidney stones, I felt the kidney stone pain was pretty comparable to the menstrual cramps. I didn't know then that I had adenomyosis which renders periods unbearably painful. There was no medicine back then for that. And since it was all in my head, not even aspirin was offered to me by my Mom.

Finally in the early 80's, ibuprofen was discovered (by the factory women who discovered it worked magic for cramps.) Finally, after years of pain, doctors believed me (once there was a pill to prescribe, that is.)

Edited to add: Sexual violence. Being raped as a small child. Having my bra snapped in school by boys, or having my growing breasts grabbed. Not being upset by that because it was "normal and expected." Feeling so much shame about my body, so much shame. Sometimes wanting to die.

Being judged only for my looks when I turned 12. Was a tomboy so didn't know about makeup. Groups of mean boys followed me around at recess and after school, throwing rocks at me and calling me ugly, saying I was too much of a dog to attend their school and I should stay at home. The popular girls shunning me (and others like me) for not being pretty enough or having cool clothes.

Learning with desperate ferver how to do my hair and my makeup and then finally being treated as if I were very pretty, just because I learned how to do those things.

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Response to LiberalLoner (Reply #2)

Mon May 7, 2012, 06:29 PM

20. sorry you were a victim of rape

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Response to LiberalLoner (Reply #2)

Mon May 7, 2012, 06:32 PM

22. I am in my mid 50's

and I had the same thing happen to me re cramps. I went through years with severe monthly pain till the 80's and ibuprofen being told it was all in my head and that I needed a shrink.

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Response to Mojorabbit (Reply #22)

Mon May 7, 2012, 08:31 PM

35. Me too. Birth control pills were a lifesaver!

But we know that and how crazy it makes someone who shall remain shameless, don't we? Bless Sandra Fluke!

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Response to LiberalLoner (Reply #2)

Tue May 8, 2012, 01:00 PM

55. I am SO sorry about what happened to you when you were a little girl

All the rest of it, especially what you added on edit, was horrible enough, but the way being raped was just one thing on a list of terrible things...

Thank you for sharing all of that with us. And good for you for achieving your goals in the Army. That is awesome.

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Response to renate (Reply #55)

Tue May 8, 2012, 02:34 PM

65. Thank you all. It really was just one more item on the list. I had an horrific childhood and the

rape wasn't even the worst of it, really. I've gone no contact with my family of origin and feel much better because of that action. Life sucked but now it's lots better for me. In fact sometimes I feel terribly guilty that I have such a happy life now.

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Response to LiberalLoner (Reply #65)

Tue May 8, 2012, 07:09 PM

77. I can't tell you how thrilled I am to read that you "have such a happy life now"

I can't begin to imagine what it must have been like to have a childhood in which being raped wasn't even the worst of it--I'm so so so glad you're happy now!

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Response to renate (Reply #77)

Wed May 9, 2012, 01:03 PM

83. Thank you! I feel as if I've escaped a concentration camp. Sometimes I do still feel guilt that

I got out of the family's sick way of thinking and doing things, and my other relatives didn't get out and are struggling with life-threatening addictions.

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Response to LiberalLoner (Reply #2)

Thu May 17, 2012, 04:32 PM

94. "I also was adamant from a very early age that I did not want to have babies"

me too...same response. i was very sure i did not want children when i was about 10 years old, and all the women in my life assured me i would change my mind. but i never did. yes...the judgments about appearance were awful. as was the sexual violence, though often unreported, i have to think it was as bad (or worse) then as it is now.

i so relate to your posts. i recall those awful "special assemblies" with the girls in one room and the boys in another: the embarrassing "sex education" presentations. i remember winning some prize at one of those awful gatherings, and it was some pink, girlie purse thing....probably to hold kotex and those awful belts it was so humiliating to have to go on stage and pick up that thing...something my tomboyish self would never use in a zillion years. i still remember how awful that was.

"excepted and normal"...so sad what people endure because of the privilege of the powerful.

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Response to noiretextatique (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 05:52 PM

3. 1989: Dad tells me that he doesn't support college just so I can get my MRS degree

Become a flight attendant, he says. (Only he said stewardess.) You don't need college, and you get to travel. Degrees are wasted on women. Of course, now he brags to everyone that I'm a teacher.

Even as a teacher, there are the constant challenges from older male students in class. One recently thought it would be funny to put a huge clay penis on the shelves for me to find when loading the kilns. I have to be alert and prove myself constantly. The good thing is that I kick ass on the pottery wheel and haul their ashes out of the fire when they put 10# of clay on the wheel and tiny Ms. Messenger sits down and centers it in 30 seconds. (of course, at my age I pay for it later)

I can't be tired or show weakness for a second. You can lose the rest of the year being "that teacher" for that.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #3)

Mon May 7, 2012, 06:20 PM

14. Oh, I remember than one! Flight attendant was considered one of the best things that

could happen to you, because you'd find a husband with a good job.

Also, don't bother going to college, because they just fail everyone out in order to lighten the teaching load.

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Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #3)

Mon May 7, 2012, 06:44 PM

26. I was supposed to be a nurse

even though I was ranked 2nd in the class. Couldn't be a doctor. Oh, no. So, I got them back and went into military intelligence. Their sweet little girl, their beautiful, straight-A student! Why, she could have been President of the United States, they said! Funny, but when all I wanted to be was a doctor, that was too much. But when I went into the military, it was throwing my life away.

Oh, the horror of it all. I've been shocking them ever since, not least when I became a Democrat and married a man from The North.

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Response to DevonRex (Reply #26)

Mon May 7, 2012, 07:12 PM

28. omg.

That's amazing. They said you could have been President but wanted you to go into nursing. I know we're pretty close in age too, so it isn't like this was Mad Men era. We're still dealing with this shit!

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Response to noiretextatique (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 05:53 PM

4. mine was odd. i knew men were better/superior/higher on the heirarchy/boss

but, it was not like that in our home. i have said in the past, we were raised more as people and not gender. i did competitive sports starting at 4, and competed on a mix team for a decade and half. right there next to the guys. i was the one expected to go to college, do well, and do whatever. my parents allowed us to be our authentic selves without gender defining us.

BUT.... i was raised in a time when i thought men turned women over their knees and spanked them. and when a woman got mad, she slapped the man.

really odd.

also, it was in my teen years, it hit me. i had really felt that i was not an equal to men, yet the boys i hung out with felt no different than anyone else my age. i started asking myself, why in the world would i feel men were "better/superior/higher on the heirarchy/boss". it was so ingrained in our culture and society, even though it was not in my parents relationship or how they treated me.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #4)

Mon May 7, 2012, 06:31 PM

21. Spanking women - I love Lucy. And Lucy wasn't like an equal partner. She was what's-his-names

child. Crying and spending money and engaging in childish hi-jinks.

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Response to noiretextatique (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 05:54 PM

5. I am older than you

by 10 years, and all those things are very familiar. When band instruments were assigned I got the flute, even though I sucked at it. Had to wear a dress or skirt to school; had to take cooking and sewing classes; told not to seem too smart because the boys wouldn't like me; told by my college adviser not to worry about getting a good job after graduation because I would just get married. In those days the employment want-ads in the paper were divided up in separate male/female sections. The Help Wanted-Male jobs were the good ones that paid well; the Help Wanted-Female jobs were the waitresses, secretaries, elementary school teachers and nurses' aides.

Girls who got their ears pierced were "fast." Girls couldn't ask boys for a date - you had to wait for them to ask you or you would be considered too "forward" and they wouldn't like you, except for the annual Sadie Hawkins dance where you were "allowed" to ask a boy to be your date. In general, though, it was considered bad form even to call a boy on the phone.

And we went through hell to be "pretty." Garter belts, tight girdles, big bristly brush rollers you had to sleep on, bras that looked like rocket nose cones. Once you'd hit puberty you couldn't even think about putting on a pair of jeans and playing games with the boys - because then they wouldn't be interested in you as a girlfriend, which was a fate worse than death. Finding a guy was really about all you were good for.

Those days sucked.

And the GOPers seem to want us to go back to them.

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Response to noiretextatique (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 05:55 PM

6. 53 ???

hahahahaha


btw, your Dad (and mine) were wrong. Good men, but wrong, as you and my little sisters have proven.

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Response to noiretextatique (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 06:00 PM

7. I tried to join a baseball team...

I was a girl and told I had to play softball. I was forced to take home ec one year. When I finally was able to take shop, I had to get permission. I made a cutting board, a tool box, a belt, a wallet and a few other things.

There was a lot of harrassment by boys against girls during the end of grade school and jr. high. I hope that has diminished these days. It was awful while I was in school.

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Response to cynatnite (Reply #7)

Mon May 7, 2012, 06:02 PM

8. i took mechanical drawing cause girls werent suppose to. in HS, i forget.

and i LOVED it. learned to print in block, perfectly. loved designing and drawing thru mechanical drawing and the perfection of it. one of my favorite classes, that we were not suppose to want to take. but it was after the law passed, that they couldnt deny girls.... just me and a friend were the only ones in the class

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #8)

Mon May 7, 2012, 06:17 PM

12. i took mechanical drawing too--7th or 8th grade

i should have also taken architectural drawing in jr high ... and then studied architecture. but i didn't. i did get an A in mech drawing. i don't remember it being a rule that girls couldn't take these classes, but hardly any ever did while i was in school.

i took industrial arts, only girl in the class and was appointed "class secretary" by the teacher ... *i* had to take attendance for him. (of course there weren't any other class "officers" like president, so why he needed a secretary is beyond me.) some of the boys would throw scrap pieces of wood at me when the teacher was out of the room or occupied somewhere else--i tried to do like mom said and ignore them--they finally stopped when i started throwing them back. i played 3rd base and catcher and had a better arm than them, hahahaha!

i also took home ec, loved the cooking, hated the sewing.

i am 52 and could not wear pants to school until 5th grade. in the winter we would have to stuff our dresses into our snow pants and have big bustle butts, or freeze w/o the snowpants.

my mother told me to "hide my light" under a bushel basket; and not to go around "beating" (NOT PHYSICALLY, i didn't fight) men. verbal sparring, riddles, stuff like that.

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Response to Scout (Reply #12)

Mon May 7, 2012, 06:20 PM

15. i was Az., and Ca. and a little younger. i dont ever recall a rule i had to wear a dress

first couple years, i implemented that rule. i understand i would allow my mom not to dress me in anything but dresses.

so the story goes. but, 3rd grade adn beyond i remember wearing shorts and pants.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #8)

Tue May 8, 2012, 07:39 AM

44. Ha

I took graphic arts (print shop) and electronics because girls weren't supposed to. I was the only girl in both classes.

Being forced to take home ec was hilarious because my mom taught me how to cook and sew when I was in elementary school. I already knew all that stuff and so home ec was boring as hell.

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Response to cynatnite (Reply #7)

Mon May 7, 2012, 06:23 PM

16. "I tried to join a baseball team..."

I remember a "controversial" basketball game...(I graduated high school in 1971)

I remember a high-school basketball game (forgot which high school or where) when a girl went in to play. It was a boys' game and one team was losing dramatically. The winning team had one girl on the squad and she went in to play during the second half.

Anyway, the all-boys team walked off the court and refused to play. I believe the game was called but the winning team (with the girl) won by "forfeit." I believe it made the national news.

I had a good friend, a girl, in high school who I would stop by and visit every now and then (we discussed a variety of topics, but I particularly like talking about dating and the opposite sex--I would tell her about the girl I was smitten with and she'd tell me about the boy she had a crush on--it was refreshing to have a female's point of view). She asked me about this game (she was all for the girl playing). I really didn't have an opinion, but we discussed the event. I remember saying the losing team might have walked off the court because they were losing so badly and putting "a girl" in to play against them was adding insult to injury (don't forget, this was 1970 or 1971).

It was during a time when the old institutions were crumbling and change was occurring.

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Response to cynatnite (Reply #7)

Mon May 7, 2012, 06:33 PM

23. There was talk around school about the 2 girls taking shop. lol

Not bad talk, just talk. We couldn't imagine their bravery.

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Response to cynatnite (Reply #7)

Mon May 7, 2012, 07:16 PM

29. I took shop in 8th grade.....

made a cutting board that the teacher held up as an example to the boys.

Got an A+

haha.

For some reason, think it was a year or two, the girls had to take home ec and the boys shop. Weird.

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Response to Darth_Kitten (Reply #29)

Tue May 8, 2012, 12:57 PM

52. We had to take both in junior high.

That was 1988-1990.
There is thankfully no shop or home ec in school anymore. I was terrible at sewing, cooking and using power tools.

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Response to Darth_Kitten (Reply #29)

Tue May 8, 2012, 05:19 PM

73. They refused to allow girls in shop in the south in the early 60s

The closest we ever got to a shop class was having to provide coffee to the male teacher.

I retaliated by flunking both home ec and typing. I flunked them with enough panache that they didn't want me to repeat the classes.

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Response to noiretextatique (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 06:04 PM

9. You're exaggerating a bit

 

I'm 54 and saw several of the girls my age playing the clarinet or the piano.

Other than that, your post contains much truth that a lot of people are too young to have experienced personally.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #9)

Mon May 7, 2012, 06:12 PM

10. Piano and clarinet were acceptable.

But if you wanted to play the trumpet or the bassoon, for example, you were out of luck. There were "girl" instruments and "boy" instruments, and a girl would be steered away from the "boy" instruments. I distinctly remember that sort of musical gender discrimination in 6th grade, which would have been about 1958.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #10)

Mon May 7, 2012, 06:18 PM

13. My aunt, who recently turned 74, plays the lever harp beautifully

 

The instrument she owns is a family heirloom bought by a relative in 1894. She still has the original shipping crate from Lyon & Healy.

The instrument/gender discrimination, even if it was only assumed and not by actual policy, was still going strong in 1975.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #13)

Mon May 7, 2012, 06:26 PM

18. still going strong today. boys play the drums, girls play the harp...some of them.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Reply #18)

Tue May 8, 2012, 01:42 PM

60. I used to know a guy who played the harp...

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #10)

Mon May 7, 2012, 06:26 PM

19. saxaphones were for boys also

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #10)

Mon May 7, 2012, 10:40 PM

41. Yeah, it depended on where you lived. My mom grew up in a small town, where everyone had to do

everything, and she played the flute and the trumpet. She graduated from high school in 1963.

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Response to Brickbat (Reply #41)

Wed May 9, 2012, 01:04 PM

84. My mom and her sister learned piano. They can still play some 1 piano/4 hands pieces they remember.

 

It's all cute until they've had enough wine to start arguing with each other.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #9)

Mon May 7, 2012, 07:06 PM

27. no, it was very much dependent on where you lived

me - I took a job in 1993 and THEN found out I was required to wear a skirt or dress. 1993!!! that policy changed in 1996

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Response to Skittles (Reply #27)

Tue May 8, 2012, 07:41 AM

45. I had a job like that at about the same time

We were required to wear stockings too. Even in August - no bare legs, ever.

The 90s, for fuck's sake.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #9)

Thu May 17, 2012, 03:45 PM

85. um...no i am not all "exaggerating"

i could not, because of school policy, play the saxophone. i could have played the clarinet, another designated "girls" insturment, but i could NOT play the saxophone, the instrument *I* wanted to play. please don't presume that you know more about MY life than I do.

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Response to noiretextatique (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 06:16 PM

11. I am 73 and was a teenager in the '50s,

so I know exactly what you are saying. My only resort was to elope at 16. That only lasted 9 years, and 2 kids and 1 horse later, I was divorced. Luckily, I was smart and always managed to get a job with a living wage to support me and my kids. My ex was not paying child support. The court did not go after deadbeat dads like they do now. And for a few years, I had a wealthy boyfriend, who helped me out. But I did not do too badly through the years. I never remarried because I did not want to go through another divorce. I did have many relationships, but never any that I wanted to make permanent.

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Response to RebelOne (Reply #11)

Tue May 8, 2012, 07:16 PM

78. I........er.......HORSE?

more details please!

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Response to noiretextatique (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 06:25 PM

17. girls had to take typing & home ec. Boys took wood shop / metal shop. I was the last class with

gender separation. Next year...about 1973 - classes were open to all. 2 brave girls took wood shop.

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Response to noiretextatique (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 06:38 PM

24. I'm too young to have experienced any of this

but I really appreciate hearing what things were like for women older than me.

We can't ever forget this.

(A quick story from my mom: she applied to be a secretary at an engineering firm, and during the whole interview the men cursed and used raunchy language, and they said at the end of the interview that they wanted to see if she could take it. I don't think that would ever happen today. At a different company, when an important client flew out for a meeting they would take the client out to dinner and hire an escort to be the client's date. Both of these were in the early 1970s.)

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Response to noiretextatique (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 06:41 PM

25. I'm 62

and grew up in the Midwest, which was a pretty conservative place. What I remember most is having to wear a skirt or dress to school, even in the cold winter months, all the way through high school. We had a "pants day" once a year. Whoop-de-doo.

Ditto on the Home-Ec, where we learned to cook useless things such as cinnamon toast and broiled grapefruit (wha?). I ran the sewing machine needle through my finger trying to make the required apron. On the other hand, I never had a desire to take wood-shop. And given my clumsiness with the sewing machine, it was probably a good thing: heaven knows what I would have done with a circular saw.

On the other hand, no one ever ONCE suggested to me that my job was to get married. It was never discussed. I don't remember ever thinking about getting married, either as a girl, an adolescent, or even in college. I, too, was a brainy student, and never was it suggested that I shouldn't be too smart or should hold back. I was fiercely competitive, and frankly angry that my (male) nemesis beat me out for valedictorian of our class of 1,000 because I had gotten a B in gym class. Being salutatorian felt like being "second best."

I think I escaped much of the sexist attitudes of my place and time (though certainly not all) because of my excellent, wonderful parents. They never lectured us, pushed us in any direction, or treated us differently because we were boys or girls. My father taught me how to play softball and let my sister and me help him rake leaves outdoors (he also took me to art museums and symphony concerts); my mother was fiercely supportive of anything I (or my siblings) wanted to do. It was simply assumed that we would strive to do our best and behave ourselves: and we tried to live up to it. I really was oblivious to most of the expected outside norms, or felt antipathy towards them. I remember in junior high that the "cool" girls invited me to be in their sorority. At first I was honored, but I ended up hating it and dropping out: it was about conformity, and fashion, and ... snobbery. I was bored and somewhat rebellious, and felt different. I also disliked dating the boys in high school, and often made up excuses to get out of a date.

All of this didn't mean I wasn't a "girl." I was a serious dancer. Once I went off on my own, to college and work and beyond, I had the requisite number of significant love affairs, and I eventually met the man to whom I've been married for 38 years. I'm a really good cook, and enjoy household kinds of things. But I've always had as many male friends as female friends, and I've never taken any crap from any man in either a personal or professional capacity. I still feel different sometimes.

PS: I've always simply avoided sexist men: one strike and you're out. I came from a matriarchal environment, and the women in my family don't take any guff.

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Response to noiretextatique (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 07:50 PM

30. "You need to take typing in case you need a job."

Bless his heart, my dad was pretty old school. We lost him four years ago, and I misss him horribly, but I have never forgotten that bit of "advice."

I was born in 1960, and the first few years I was in school we were not allowed to wear slacks. Finally, because it was Illinois and it used to get really freaking cold in the winter, they decided it was ok to wear snow pants (remember those?) under our dress but they had to come off as soon as we got to school.

We didn't have sports for girls, and it was a huge deal when they allowed the girls to borrow the guy's team shirts to play ONE game against another school...

I was in 4-H and we competed in cooking and sewing expos. I will never forget being measured at expo to make sure my skirt was not "too short." The judge kept saying short skirts were not "lady-like."

The "good old days" my ass.



Laura

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Response to davsand (Reply #30)

Mon May 7, 2012, 08:38 PM

36. I lived in IL for a couple of years too and remember those snow pants.

I walked to school, and I'm damned if I know how girls survived if they couldn't. We had drifts up to THERE!

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Response to davsand (Reply #30)

Mon May 7, 2012, 09:45 PM

39. For me it was, "learn to type but don't let anyone in your workplace know you know how"

or else I'd be typing for everyone in the office was the suggestion.

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Response to noiretextatique (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 07:56 PM

31. I grew up in the 70s and 80s

coastal California. 5th of 5 children and my parents were well ahead of the curve on gender equality for their kids- at any rate my dad was and he mostly kept my mom in line with it. Where my family was concerned, I was never told there were things I couldn't do or would not be able to do because I was a girl. I wore jeans, played in the mud, caught bugs and spiders, rode a bicycle and had dolls too. My parents and siblings were bookworms and news junkies, and I had open access to both from early childhood.

School was different: I went to a private religious school. To their credit my teachers never implied in any way that I should damp down my intelligence to suit the boys. I was never discouraged from being smart or from studying anything I took an interest in (with the possible exception of evolutionary theory, but that wasn't a gender thing). But there were very clear gender lines on everything else. And we also did the split into Home Ec for girls, shop for boys, even though the public schools had pretty much moved away from that by then. I always had the impression that I was being pandered to as a "gifted" child; I was "different" and therefore exempt from the usual requirements, but the other girls were just there to kill time until they could marry and breed. If you asked me to put a finger on why I thought that, I would not be able to pin an incident down; it wasn't an overt attitude.

"Brains" aren't popular, "pretty girls" are. I picked that one up from my peers. I was the shy, unpopular ugly duckling, and by the time I turned pretty at 12, I'd become neurotic about my looks. I was anorexic by the time I was 14. This was the main area where I really felt a gender difference as a child and teen- girls were supposed to be cute and girly!- but it was peer-driven, and was not an attitude I ever got from an adult. By 16 I had pretty much decided this was bullshit, stopped wearing makeup and hairspray, and went back to jeans.

So I guess I was one of the lucky ones: I didn't take a lot of gender-related hits growing up, and the ones I did take didn't last long. I have always hated being told what to do for any reason; "because you're a girl" just didn't register as a good reason for anything, ever.


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Response to noiretextatique (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 07:58 PM

32. These responses are all well and good... but

but if I want to hear about what its like growing up female I will ask the experts; you know, male republicans in the House of Representatives.

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Response to CAG (Reply #32)

Mon May 7, 2012, 08:24 PM

34. Ha, ha, ha!

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Response to noiretextatique (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 08:15 PM

33. I graduated High School in 1964

There never was a time when girls were allowed to wear pants to school. While I had a couple of pairs of pants for appropriate non-school events, I never owned a pair of jeans until I was in my 30's. I recall having to kneel to test skirt length. If the hem touched the floor when kneeling, it was ok. If the hem wasn't touching the floor, it was unacceptable and the girl was sent home to change. And yes, I recall the gender assignment of classes -- typing and home ec for girls, wood and metal shop for boys. I also recall what promised to be a very exciting civics class. The reading assignment was to read the constitution of a variety of countries. The assignment was that we (the class) were a new country and we were to write our own constitution. Sounds pretty cool, right? Well, I wasn't allowed to participate -- I had to take notes and type them up. Because I was a girl taking typing and shorthand. There were other girls in the class, but they were simply not called on during class. So, the finished product was a product of the boys.

My parents wanted to send me to college -- not because they were interesting furthering my education (because they weren't), but because they thought it would be a good place to earn my MRS. degree.

I recall a story about Boeing. A friend of my mother's (a woman) graduated with a degree in engineering. She was hired at Boeing but had to spend the first year in the typing pool before she was allowed to do engineering work.

My mother was a real estate agent but was not allowed to buy or sell property in her own name. When she wanted to sell her car and buy another one, she had to have my father's signature.

My daughter and granddaughter will never know these issues. We've come a long way, baby.

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Response to noiretextatique (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 09:22 PM

37. I got mixed messages.

I'm in my mid-30's so I'm not all that old. My parents would always say things like, "girls can do ANYTHING boys can do" right up until the point I actually WANTED to do something.

I was obsessed with hockey (I'm Canadian, so that's not unusual, lol). I watched all the games on TV with my dad, memorized all the facts and stats of all the players on our local NHL team, begged to go to games. Yet, I was signed up for ballet, gymnastics and figure skating, while my brother was signed up for hockey and baseball. As I got older, the unfairness of it all bothered me and I insisted my parents put me in hockey. I was good enough to play with the boys at that point (played shinny with them all the time at the local outdoor rink) and they knew it so they tried to placate me with signing me up for ringette. I was so sad, I didn't want to play ringette. Thankfully, ringette was cancelled that year because of not enough girls. The next year, I begged and begged to be in hockey, and finally was told the 'truth' of what they really thought. I was told it was pointless to spend all that money putting me in hockey because I'd never make it anywhere (ie, the NHL) like my brother had the chance to.

Let me tell you how angry I was when women's hockey became an olympic sport. Many of those women were my age. I bet their parents didn't keep them from hockey because there was no women's NHL.

It was also customary around here that when boys got old enough to work, their dads would get them hired at the same company they worked at. Girls got the crap jobs. I asked my dad why I couldn't work with him since my brother did (and made $3 more an hour than I did at my job) and I was told "you couldn't handle the work".


I can also relate to a lot of sexual violence too in our school. Bra snapping, pants being pulled down, items being shoved down our shirts, bags were emptied and god forbid you had any pads or tampons, you got harrassed severely for the rest of the school year. I used to bring an extra bra for phys ed and keep it in my bag. I got found out when one guy went in my bag and pulled out my bra. He waved it around showing everyone and I got called my bra size as my nickname for the rest of school. And I was one of the 'lucky' girls in that I didn't get harrassed nearly as bad as some. My almost-15 year old daughter says nothing like that EVER happens at school, to ANYONE anymore. Thank god! I hope things have changed for my daughters.

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Response to laundry_queen (Reply #37)

Mon May 7, 2012, 09:27 PM

38. Sexual harassment started in elementary school for me as well.

Boy it's awesome that teenagers are more hypersexualized now than ever before.

So what if things are worse for the girls? The men LOVE it!

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Response to noiretextatique (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 09:50 PM

40. i could not play saxophone in elementary school because i was a girl

 

WTF?!?!?!?!

Never heard of that one before. I played saxophone elementary through high school (from around 1968 to 1976). Most of the sax players in the band were female. Only a couple of guys in the sax section.

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Response to guardian (Reply #40)

Thu May 17, 2012, 04:06 PM

90. not sure why, but my school had that rule

girls were considered to delicate to play that mighty horn

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Response to noiretextatique (Original post)

Mon May 7, 2012, 11:19 PM

42. After I graduated from high school I had a choice...Stay home an be a waitress, salesgirl or secreta

Or go to Cathrine Gibbs and be a higher paid secretary. Or go to college to become a teacher or nurse. That's about it........... Oh I forgot....You could get married or become a spinster.

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Response to noiretextatique (Original post)

Tue May 8, 2012, 12:23 AM

43. Oh, yeah. 57 here, and the saxophone thing: I thought I was the only one!

Okay, I had the same social standards growing up in the 60s, with one other HUGELY defining factor: by 1969 I was 6'1" and towered over girls, boys, women and 99% of men. And I was only 14. You never saw anyone go to town like those suburban middle class women trying to make me husband-worthy. Poor Tommy whathissname in 7th grade was forced to date me, because he was the only kid who almost reached my shoulders. And he absolutely hated me, hated that his friends all laughed when he showed up at school dances with the "big horse"

I was very strong and robust as a child, always running and playing sports a, but once puberty hit, that was the end of my rough and tumble days. As someone upthread mentioned, we couldn't wear tampons and were stuck with menstrual belts. Along with garter belts and cone bras made from cotton, no way could you run, jump rope, or swim anymore. Anyway "ladies" weren't supposed to be athletic. Just cuz I was a coach's dream didn't mean my parents would allow me to alienate the male gender even more!

I remember my mom's friend scrutinizing my fat sister and me when we were about 10 and 11. She turned to Mom and said: "you can put that one on a diet. The other one is hopeless."

Well, obviously I got over most of the esteem issues, but it took until I was in my 40s to pick up where I left off exercising. And I never did learn to play the sax--but I fronted a rock n roll band in the 80s with my Gibson Les Paul! And unlike so many of my petite sisters, I was never attacked, raped or even condescended to because men were too intimidated. As for now, my only complaint is clothes that don't fit, and airplane seats. I have become the athlete I should have been, realizing the promise that had been suspended by years of sexism--and my liberalism was totally honed by always being the misfit and non conformist. So in my dotage, I can't complain--I am defined by my height, but not in a bad way anymore!

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Response to noiretextatique (Original post)

Tue May 8, 2012, 07:59 AM

46. Remember the jobs listed in the classified ads under headings designating

jobs for women and jobs for men?

I remember hearing the older men in my dad's family still telling their wives how to vote. Over the years, I've wondered if their orders were really followed in the voting booth. Not everyone was on board still with suffrage. We see that school of thought rearing its ugly head again.





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Response to noiretextatique (Original post)

Tue May 8, 2012, 08:08 AM

47. I'm a few years older than you. Like you, I couldn't wear pants to school, but it was the whole 12

grades in my case.

I couldn't take shop or auto mechanics.

Boys could smoke in a designated area with parental permission. Girls couldn't smoke, PERIOD.

If a girl was "feisty," very likely she'd get slapped down faster than a horse can trot. When I was in
7th grade, the principal reprimanded me for running out to the school bus in the afternoon. It wasn't
"ladylike."

Oh, and you were encouraged to become a teacher/nurse/secretary, so you'd have something to "fall back on,"
I guess if you didn't have a man who would "take care" of you. again.






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Response to noiretextatique (Original post)

Tue May 8, 2012, 08:18 AM

48. In the mid-70s, there was an ad comparing a Volkswagen and a chair.

"The Volkswagen has a standard transmission, whitewall tires and built-in seat belts. The chair does not."

That's pretty much what it was like to grow up a girl in our family. The boy got the dental work, the after school sports, the music lessons, camp, the graduation party, the support for college and a week-long family celebration when he got married. The girl did not. lol

And of her siblings, my mom was the most progressive one.

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Response to EFerrari (Reply #48)

Thu May 17, 2012, 04:37 PM

95. i remember wanting to be a boy

because my family (and society) made such huge gender role distinctions. ironically, my brothers who were spoiled rotten, both became drug addicts. meanwhile, my two sisters and i became over-achievers. in his later life, before he passed away, my dad said he was hard on us girls because he wanted to make us tough....because the world would be tough on us.
i guess it worked, dad

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Response to noiretextatique (Original post)

Tue May 8, 2012, 12:43 PM

49. I saw a man wash a dish only once when I was growing up.

That was my dad after Mom had a miscarriage. He got suds all over the kitchen, and my sister and I laughed so much that we both got spankings and put to bed while it was still daylight out.

My cousin was breastfeeding her child (early 80s) with a blanket over those parts, and her husband told her it was gross and undignified to be doing that in front of him, her mother, aunt, and cousin. She left the room crying, and I scolded him for not going to the birth of his child, her doing all the work while he sits back in his lazy-boy chair. My mom and aunt pulled me out of the room and told me not to talk to a man like that in his house.

Father and uncles who had girls prior to getting their boy would loudly discuss how disappointed they were time and again with each birth.

It's amazing to me that I or any woman could view men as equals rather than superiors considering how pervasive the lessons of the inferiority of females were.

Good paying jobs with a high school degree were/are out-of-reach for women due to sexual harassment. I know of several women who became truck drivers, but couldn't handle the sexual harassment. I've been denied positions as a landscaper, and after many years, I've met women who have owned their own landscaping businesses. They said that it's a misnomer that women can't handle the large mowers. In their experience, women are better at handling the mowers than men.

CNA jobs pay crappy, the hours are bad, and it breaks your back. But that's women's work. Plumbing, construction, networking jobs (I've been told to not even try for networking jobs because, "Do you see any women in the NOC?") are usually out-of-reach for the majority of women.

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Response to shcrane71 (Reply #49)

Tue May 8, 2012, 02:00 PM

62. Wow. My dad washed dishes all the time.

Said he wasn't a good cook, but Mom was, and he figured out pretty early in their marriage that making the mess go away had a tendency to encourage more food prep, especially baking. Wasn't too long after I started baking that he began washing dishes with/for me. Actually, some of the best memories I have of my dad involve conversations we had while washing dishes. My husband loves to cook, so he does most of the cooking and I wash the dishes.

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Response to gkhouston (Reply #62)

Tue May 8, 2012, 02:54 PM

66. Even my younger brother (in his 30s) doesn't wash dishes.

I've never seen him change his kids' diapers either. His wife says he's too rough with the babies. I guess it goes both ways, but women in my family (and that of almost all other families that I witness) do most of the housework and child-rearing. I wish it weren't the norm.

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Response to gkhouston (Reply #62)

Thu May 17, 2012, 04:05 PM

89. men never did "women's work" in our house

girls and women washed the dishes, the boys took out the trash. dad never lifted a finger around the house.

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Response to shcrane71 (Reply #49)

Wed May 9, 2012, 07:44 AM

79. Another example of how most times, when a kid gets a spanking, it's because of the adult's anger


rather than anything the kid did or didn't do.


Which could be a whole nother thread.

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Response to noiretextatique (Original post)

Tue May 8, 2012, 12:54 PM

50. I was always shocked when my Mother told me she had to wear skirts in college.

Women couldn't wear pants yet in the mid 60's at her college. I am so glad I grew up in the 80's and by the 90's was in high school. I don't remember there being anything a girl was not allowed to do by then. And now, home ec is not even in a lot of schools.

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Response to noiretextatique (Original post)

Tue May 8, 2012, 12:55 PM

51. life before panty hose and after the JFK assassination

damn, everything was uncomfortable and didn't work right. Like hose, girdles and garters. The zeitgeist had already ingested LSD and we all were a bunch of inappropriate dweebs within that perspective. Quite a social eyeopener. Better to just wear jeans.

Then came the hippie wars. Once you had "The Experience," you didn't fit into the straight world. And as usual, the boys were far behind the girls in maturity (in general) We wound up making coffee for The Revolution, oh and make copies of that and hand it out. Answer the phones maybe? Make policy? Maybe later if you are good enough. Mad Men had nothing on the cultural revolution as far as keeping women down.

Girls just didn't count. If they defied that logic, what outcasts they were! Blackballed by our own revolutionary heroes, unable to be accepted in the rest of the world because women stay home and take care of the house! Shut up and get married! The Russians didn't have that problem; they respected female revolutionaries. Or maybe I'm naive.

Girls are always the outsiders. But do we ever stop loving and caring for those who demean and overlook us? No, we keep striving to be part of things. And bumping into the glass ceiling.

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Response to noiretextatique (Original post)

Tue May 8, 2012, 12:58 PM

53. I would just like to share this with you:

 



(As a woman in her 40s, I think it's about what you saw for yourself more than anything else. No offense meant, though!)

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Response to juice feast (Reply #53)

Tue May 8, 2012, 01:02 PM

56. What a nasty post, whether you write "no offense"

or not.

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Response to juice feast (Reply #53)

Tue May 8, 2012, 01:34 PM

58. making friends all over, I see

watch yourself

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Response to juice feast (Reply #53)

Tue May 8, 2012, 01:40 PM

59. LOL. While you were being born into second wave feminism

and growing up in third wave, other women were waging it. You're welcome.

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Response to juice feast (Reply #53)

Tue May 8, 2012, 02:16 PM

64. How nice of you to share your thoughtless cluenessness, before being PPR'ed yet again. n/t

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Response to juice feast (Reply #53)

Tue May 8, 2012, 02:58 PM

67. purposely try to offend and throw out no offense meant? really? here, pull this finger. nt

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Response to juice feast (Reply #53)

Tue May 8, 2012, 05:32 PM

76. When somebody says "no offense"

it usually means they are trying to get away with being offensive.

Which this was.

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Response to juice feast (Reply #53)

Thu May 17, 2012, 03:48 PM

86. oh...FUCK...that

i wanted you younger women, who take all kinds of shit for granted, to know that things changed very recently for women in america.
if you are woman...and i doubt it...you should learn to LISTEN without feeling the need to PROJECT your shit onto other women.
no offense meant, though

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Response to noiretextatique (Original post)

Tue May 8, 2012, 12:59 PM

54. Don't forget the segregated employment classified ads.

When I entered the job market (mid 1970s) you searched the classifieds by gender , jobs for men and jobs for women.

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Response to sufrommich (Reply #54)

Thu May 17, 2012, 04:42 PM

96. i remember those

but they were gone by the time i joined the workforce after college.

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Response to noiretextatique (Original post)

Tue May 8, 2012, 01:30 PM

57. Mom vacuuming in high heels and pearls

Before she went out to work. While dad snoozed on the couch in his t-shirt.

Being made fun of by the neighborhood kids because of my jeans and short haircut (I looked like Scout in "To Kill a Mockingbird"). Being told that unless I wore dresses, nobody would play with me.

Learning all about what it meant to be "ladylike." There was no discussion of becoming a "woman." That was almost a dirty word. One aspired to "ladyship."

Which I guess meant high heels and pearls behind the vacuum cleaner.

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Response to noiretextatique (Original post)

Tue May 8, 2012, 01:58 PM

61. I played on the state all-star softball team (early 1960s) but wasn't allowed to play baseball.

Because it was "too dangerous for a girl". There was no future for any girl in sports, really, so I gave it all up in high school. I won an athletic letter in junior high in one year. It was set up to take 3 years for most boys to win one. Only two other girls in the history of the school had done it, and both in 3 years. Three boys in the school's history (20 years) had done it in one year.

There weren't even athletic scholarships for girls in my area. Fortunately I got an academic scholarship anyway though.

When I was in high school there were very few accepted occupations for women: teacher, nurse, clerical work, stewardess or waitress. It was next to impossible to find a job anywhere at all if under 18. Just babysitting. There was no such thing as women getting credit, much less a mortgage - that was unimaginable.

People today sometimes forget that boomer women were not trained or prepared for the world we're in. The ground has been constantly changing beneath our feet in my lifetime. The opportunities are awesome, but it has been hard to keep up with in real time as it happened - especially the expections of people. It hasn't all been so easy as it might seem.

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Response to noiretextatique (Original post)

Tue May 8, 2012, 02:14 PM

63. Yeah, I remember having to wear dresses to school.

Such fun, especially in winter. Remember when "your slip is showing" were words that inspired embarrassment? My sister once said that to a girl who was a bully. Said girl went to washroom to check it out. Couldn't see her hem in the over-the-sink mirrors without standing on a toilet. Which would have worked if she hadn't fallen and got her penny loafer jammed in the toilet...

I remember moving to a new state when I was in junior high. By chance I was a year ahead in math of their usual curriculum. When I got to ninth grade, there weren't any geometry classes, so I taught myself out of a book. Realized around the first of November that I'd be finishing up the year's curriculum by Christmas, so asked if I could move on to Algebra II. I was told it wasn't allowed because I might get "too far ahead". The principal persisted in this bullheaded opinion even after I showed him the high school schedule I'd planned--taking Algebra II "early" would make it possible for me to take a second year of Physics in high school. I later found out that two boys got permission to do it.



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Response to noiretextatique (Original post)

Tue May 8, 2012, 03:29 PM

68. I grew up in a cesspit of emotional, psychological and sexual violence.

Like almost every other girl and a few boys I knew.

That lovely backdrop kinda makes all the other "minor" restrictions (lack of access to medical care, unfair treatment in school, a paucity of humane treatment by male partners) seem minor by comparison.

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Response to BlueIris (Reply #68)

Tue May 8, 2012, 03:30 PM

69. seem minor by comparison.... that it does. nt

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Response to BlueIris (Reply #68)

Tue May 8, 2012, 04:47 PM

70. yeah me too...plus a debilitating chronic illness

violently mentally ill mother, who was also a favorite teacher in the middle school....not a soul to talk to. Dad was high-functioning alcoholic who was gone on business most of the time, and in total denial about my mother's insanity and abuse.

Also, extreme pressure to succeed at school, with no support through advanced, life-threatening Ulcerative Colitis (lots of Dr and hospital stays, but no emotional/psychological support. Ever. It was a disgusting secret.)

just too much to describe, really.


Being a girl...I knew it wasn't respected, knew that since I was very little....ads on teevee were my biggest clue. So insulting.

I was too sick, and too traumatized to do much. And wasn't let out, given any independence or normal responsibility. My parents were obsessed with academic achievement. I was smart enough to do well but it took a lot of beating and pressure--I have ADD, although we didn't know what it was back then. So I was locked in my bedroom trying to do homework or chained to the toilet.

The one thing was that once I hit puberty, my mother dressed me like a baby hooker. I was desperate for affection and so was boy crazy from a young age...and the only connection at all with my mother was when she encouraged me to have boyfriends. Didn't matter how mentally ill they were (and they were---that was all I knew about, and the "normal" kids scared me), she was all for it. As a girl, it was of utmost importance that I have a boyfriend. And for me, that was my priority too, since I was desperately needy for affection and a sense of belonging.

I was slut shamed constantly in middle school for it.

I still don't know what it's like to have a relationship with someone healthy and successful.

As far as achievement, I was hampered more by all the emotional damage and ADD, than by being female...so I can't really say much about being held back due to sexism. But I've experienced plenty of only being valued for sexual attractiveness--so that I only valued myself for that. Now that I'm 54, that's pretty much disappeared. Difficult because it was so central to my identity.

yeesh, why did I even post this? too damned depressing.

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Response to BlancheSplanchnik (Reply #70)

Tue May 8, 2012, 04:52 PM

71. too damned depressing.... lol, ya. but,

it allows me to understand previous posts.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #71)

Wed May 9, 2012, 09:54 AM

81. awwww, thanks sea



it's good to be understood......

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Response to BlancheSplanchnik (Reply #70)

Tue May 8, 2012, 05:28 PM

75. Thanks for sharing it, Blanche.

I think this thread may be cathartic for a lot of us (i.e., telling secrets that rip the scabs off old wounds).

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Response to Amaril (Reply #75)

Wed May 9, 2012, 09:52 AM

80. thanks Amaril :)

yeah, I don't have a compulsion anymore to tell my story, but every now and then, something triggers it.

Catharsis can be good-----when it comes with hugs!

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Response to BlancheSplanchnik (Reply #70)

Thu May 17, 2012, 03:59 PM

87. i can relate

dad accidentally shot and killed my older brother when he was 16...i was 12.
mom had a psychotic break after that, and remained depressed, when she not hallucinating, for 10+ years
older brother felt guilty for introducing our dead brothers to drug life, and remains an addict to this day

there is a lot more, including gang and drug wars in the community where i lived.

i can certainly relate to the emotional damage you mention in your post...i am still dealing with that to this day.

however, it has becoming increasing clear to me that some, perhaps younger people, have a false sense of equivalency based on what they see today. and the truth is: american culture went through some radical changes, especially regarding gender, race, and sexual orientation (among others issues) in the past 50 or so years...and that's relatively recent.
i wanted people to understand that nostalgia for a time in the past includes a time when women could do this, black people could not do that, and gay people could not even exist.

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Response to noiretextatique (Original post)

Tue May 8, 2012, 04:55 PM

72. I'm a little older than you. When I was in high school I was approached by the Air Force.

We had taken the military aptitude test at school and I had made really good scores and they wanted me to join. However, the only fields open to women in the military at that time were clerical and nursing.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Reply #72)

Thu May 17, 2012, 04:23 PM

93. i wanted to go into the Air Force

when i graduated from college. recruiter told me his quota of female officers was full. army would not take me as an officer either, so i went into the private sector.

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Response to noiretextatique (Original post)

Tue May 8, 2012, 05:22 PM

74. I'm 49

Things I remember:

*Family gatherings -- women would cook all day while the men watched TV or drank beer in the garage. After dinner, the women would clean up while the men sat in the livingroom, talking and demanding that someone bring them coffee. One the hardest slaps I ever got from my Mom was when I told my Dad to get his own damn coffee because the women were BUSY.

*Wanting to play baseball with the boys at recess and them letting me play.......but only if I agreed to be all-time pitcher..........AND when I started getting good, then I wasn't allowed to play anymore because I was a "girl".

*Packing the night before I was to leave for college and hearing my Dad tell my Mom that he didn't understand why *I* needed to go to college since I was only going to married in a couple years and start having babies, and that it was a big waste of money on a "girl". (shouldn't have surprised me -- the man completely rejected me from birth because I was a girl........pretty damn sad, considering I was his only child).

*Being told by my mother to not think that I was anything special because I was "just a girl, after all"

*Being completely pissed off when my breasts started growing. Girls were "lesser than" and having breasts made me one of them. I spent my entire childhood trying to act like a boy (in a vain attempt to win my Dad's affection), and sincerely felt like my body was betraying me.

*Overhearing one of my aunts tell my Mom what a shame it was that I wasn't "pretty" because I would probably never find a husband, but at least I was smart enough to be able to get a job, so she should count herself lucky that at least they wouldn't have to support me for life.

Ugh! Enough! Pulling all of that out of the mental filing cabinet just set my head on fire.

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Response to Amaril (Reply #74)

Thu May 17, 2012, 04:03 PM

88. i have an aversion to "serving" to this day

because of the way i watched my mother and aunts wait on their husbands
sorry...but not and thank you so much for sharing. i can relate to everything you wrote.

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Response to noiretextatique (Original post)

Wed May 9, 2012, 10:01 AM

82. I'm a little younger but remember the 70s well -

And that was the view exactly. I was from a farm family so everyone thought I should grow up to marry one of the neighboring farmers' boys (a good match means everyone knows each other and sometimes farms get combined that way as folks inherit). Luckily I had a subversive grandmother. She graduated from high school at age 16 and wanted to teach but her father died unexpectedly (hit by a truck, I kid you not) so she worked in a factory and married a local farmer. She never even learned to drive herself. BUT, she sure planted seeds in my head - you are just as smart as any boy, apply for college, don't take any time off, wait to get married until you're done, etc... and it worked. But there sure was pressure against that and I think there still is today in many communities.

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Response to TBF (Reply #82)

Thu May 17, 2012, 04:09 PM

91. thank god i had a few older cousins

who encouraged me to go to college. i was pretty strong-willed too, so i tended to rebel against all the restrictions anyway. yeah...a lot of the old attitudes about girls and women still exist today.

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Response to noiretextatique (Original post)

Thu May 17, 2012, 04:12 PM

92. i played drums in the marching band in high school

one of the first two girls to do so. it was a big deal at first, but after we graduated, more girls decided to play drums. it seems so absurd now, that something as minor as a girl playing drums was such a big deal back then.

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