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How attitudes have changed towards women?

(158 Posts)
Grammaretto Fri 03-Jan-20 11:33:40

Thinking back over my life I have experienced plenty of changing attitudes and expectations. For the most part I would say things are better for women than they were 40 or 50 years ago.
My examples are:
from 1970:
On trying to set up a creche at the college I attended
" Even if there was any interest, it would be for our staff - not our students but there is no call for such a thing!"
The college subsequently opened a creche which was very well used but not in time for me.
1980
I offered to drive some female friends and one asked me" "Does your husband let you have the car?"
1990
I was teaching and organised a creche at work, which was taken for granted by the users. I suppose I felt a mix of pleasure but also envy that they had not had to fight!
than ever before.

What experiences can you share of things worse or better now?

Oopsminty Fri 03-Jan-20 11:38:59

That was odd about your friend asking if your husband let you drive your car!

My mother had her own car and was driving from 1950

I'm trying to think of something that has changed since I was younger but I can't

That doesn't mean nothing has happened! My memory is failing me

Interesting post though!

I'll come back when I think of something

Kalu Fri 03-Jan-20 11:43:45

I had to be sterilised in 1979 but my DH was required to sign a consent form for this procedure🤬

The female Gynaecologist and I were spitting feathers as was DH. 🤬🤬

oldgimmer1 Fri 03-Jan-20 11:46:00

I agree that things have improved generally.

Some examples from me:

- on taking a job in the construction industry (a management/ admin job, not on the tools) I was accused of "taking a man's job". In 1988.

- went to buy a car and spotted a Mazda RX7 - a coupe - and was not permitted by the garage to test-drive it because I was a woman and therefore unable to handle it. (I bought a Calibra - but from another garage!)

This was late 19990s.

- I was accused, in another job, of "only getting the job because I was a woman" (ie to fill a quota). This was in 2001.

- having to make tea and coffee for men of the same/ more junior status because "men are men ergo don't make tea". In 1988.

These are probably common enough examples and wouldn't even have merited a raised eyebrow!.

Oopsminty Fri 03-Jan-20 11:46:40

Thinking about it, my father was very strict with my sister

Used to tell her she shouldn't wear jeans and pierced ears were a sign of prostitution

I pointed out that his mother had pierced ears which didn't go down well

Greenfinch Fri 03-Jan-20 11:51:41

In 1972 DH and I visited Quarr Abbey on the Isle of Wight.He was shown round but I was excluded.I was jokingly told to come back in 10 years time. I don't know about that but I know women are welcomed as guests now.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Fri 03-Jan-20 11:51:45

I think it's swings and roundabouts. Some things are good - we can have a career and marriage - once you had to choose between one or the other. Some men took a while to catch up and lots of wives exhausted themselves by trying to do both perfectly. Many women still fall into this trap.

Education is a great thing. My mother should have gone to grammar school but it was thought not worthwhile to educate a girl. She missed out as the uniform was expensive but the money was spent on her brother's uniform instead.

Sexual freedom? I'm not sure. Germaine Greer et al thought that it would be great if women could behave like men and not be judged. Many events have shown this still not to be the case.

Reliable and safer birth control is obviously a big improvement. One of my neighbours was one of twenty children. Twenty! Few people choose to have such big families.

Elegran Fri 03-Jan-20 12:07:44

1980s - One of my husband's workmates asked in amazement "Do you let her use your computer?" Husband used an industrial design programme and project management tools on a computer at work, therefore was an "official" user. At home on our co-owned one, I used Word to write letters, Publisher to produce a 12-page newsletter once a month with photographs and cartoons, a graphic editor to edit the photographs and draw cartoons, bought online, managed an Amazon Associates selling account to raise money for a charity, searched the internet for interesting information and articles, and did jigsaws and played cards. Later I designed and made several websites (this was before you could use ready-made templates)

But clearly it was thought dangerous for him to let me loose on his computer. (He didn't think this, I hasten to add)

Kalu Fri 03-Jan-20 12:12:43

I went along with DD2 when she was looking for a car. Stood in full view of all ‘salesmen’ , one who was at his desk doing a crossword, looked at us then continued with his pastime!

I spoke to the manager who had also noticed us, asking him if it was against company policy to sell cars to females. That woke him up. Very apologetic but I told him I would wait for an apology from his company HQ in reply to my letter of complaint. We walked out. This was mid 1990

sodapop Fri 03-Jan-20 12:16:36

I experienced exactly the same thing Kalu even though I complained at length about this the Consultant said, "you can complain all you like but that is the law "

I order some bedroom fitments from Sharps which I was paying for and was told that my husband had to co sign the easy terms agreement. I had a full time salaried job.

MerylStreep Fri 03-Jan-20 12:16:54

I wanted to be sterilised in 1979 so I had to go private.
Even though I was separated but not divorced I had to get my husbands signature.
That wasn't happening, so I just took the consent form and signed it myself.

SirChenjin Fri 03-Jan-20 12:20:18

Pregnancy outside of marriage is no longer shameful and the fault of the woman.

There is no requirement for women to give up working when they get married or have children.

Childcare is quite rightly seen as a joint responsibility - and not a cost that a woman needs to consider before she returns to work but rather a joint expense.

That women can wear what they want without being seen as ‘asking for it’ (although this viewpoint still exists more than it should angry)

Witzend Fri 03-Jan-20 12:23:58

In the very early 70s I applied for a job I thought sounded interesting, and where I could use my languages.

Reply came back, Sorry, they hadn’t made it clear in the advertisement, but the job was not open to women because it would involve travel and successful applicants might ‘even’ have to drive a car!
(Though to be entirely fair I had yet to pass my test at the time!)

A few years later I worked as cabin crew for an airline, where they had only very recently stopped forcing people to leave once they married, because your husband wouldn’t like you having to be away - who was going to cook his dinner and iron his shirts?

Also, probably late 60s, I remember my mother absolutely spitting feathers after she’d phoned HMRC about a tax rebate due to her ((she’d gone back to work several years previously) only to be told that this wasn’t her money, it was her husband’s!

Grammaretto Fri 03-Jan-20 12:27:04

Elegran grin and Kalu shock
But it really was like that.
I can remember my DM saying to us girls: You are so lucky you have the pill now. We looked at each other but neither told DM that we didn't want to take it because, in those early days, it caused headaches, weight gain, lack of libido etc. How ungrateful were we!!

I think the friend who was surprised that I had the use of the family car Oopsminty was only used to the man who had the job needing the car for his work and the woman at home - well she would be too busy cooking and ironing to go anywhere!

Barmeyoldbat Fri 03-Jan-20 12:41:38

I went to have a coil fitted in the 70's and told my husband needed to sign the consent form. I took it, signed with his name and handed it back. The woman Dr just smiled and took it.

In the 90's I use to cycle to work, 22 miles round trip. My neighbour thought it terrible that my husband allowed it.

Grammaretto Fri 03-Jan-20 12:47:29

I can remember when the family planning clinics were open only to married couples. I think you were told to wear a wedding ring.

BlueSky Fri 03-Jan-20 12:49:57

Apart from what has already been mentioned by other posters, I think one of major changes was the attitude to people living together 'in sin' and having a baby ' out of wedlock' not to mention gay people. Luckily, in this country at least, it's a thing of the past.

Grammaretto Fri 03-Jan-20 13:03:51

True BlueSky. It was so pathetic to be an unmarried mother. Always the girl's fault too.

No nice man will want to marry you, I was told by my rather enlightened DM. How silly that sounds now.

KatyK Fri 03-Jan-20 13:09:34

I've got a friend who is almost 70. She's intelligent, slim and attractive but she often says 'I'd love to do (whatever) but my husband won't let me.' I don't understand that.

annodomini Fri 03-Jan-20 13:11:58

On the other hand, I had to agree to my (now ex) husband having a vasectomy. In the event, he chickened out of the procedure and I had my tubes tied and he agreed to that. Thank goodness he became 'ex'.

Grammaretto Fri 03-Jan-20 13:16:39

Oopsminty. Your post reminded me that someone I know, turned up for her first day in a new job, wearing blue trousers and was told she should go home and not to wear jeans in future.
This was a clerical job in a school. 2019!!!

SirChenjin Fri 03-Jan-20 13:16:50

You’ll be glad to know that women no longer need to give their permission for their husband to have a vasectomy! Or certainly not 12 years ago when DH had his.

Madgran77 Fri 03-Jan-20 13:20:28

1977 ...getting married, both had bank accounts with 2 different banks. Decided together to make both accounts joint. His bank ....just added me to his account. My bank ...wanted to close my account , open one in his name and add me!!!! I told them to forget it and closed my account! We just had one joint account from then on which worked out fine. Still got the same one

Grammaretto Fri 03-Jan-20 13:22:19

One other thing I hope has changed for the better. 1970s a neighbour was going into hospital for a big operation. She made sure her DH had enough frozen meals for everyday she would be away.

When I suggested that perhaps he could cook for himself she replied that she never let him in the kitchen.

I suggest that womens' attitudes have changed almost more than those of the men?

Witzend Fri 03-Jan-20 13:31:20

Oh, yes, banks - when I married in 1974 and told the bank (Lloyd’s) about my change of name, they said they would need my husband’s details, inc. his occupation.
@#** off!

I closed the account and went current a/c joint with dh - as it’s been ever since. I’ve since had my own savings accounts, but only for tax purposes - it’s all always been ‘ours’.