The War on Women

Before the war on women continues down the path recently begun by Virginia’s Republican men and a Republican candidate for president, we might do well to review what life was really like for women before the Civil Rights Era and the Women’s Movement.

My first memory is being told by the bank manager where I worked part-time while in college, that my male counterpart (who had barely passed high school with a D average, whereas I was the school valedictorian) deserved twice my wage per hour, because he was a man and I was a woman. No other reason needed to be given.

Shortly after that, I took a course in Business Law at the University of Texas, where I read a chapter on contracts with this subheading: “Morons, the Mentally Ill and Married Women are Incompetent to Contract.” Everything a married woman owned was in her husband’s name. He was allowed to beat her physically with impunity. There were no women’s shelters. Divorced women were scorned and denied credit access. Job applications required a photograph before being considered for an interview, and hiring often took place based on how attractive the woman was. During an interview you were grilled as to your husband’s job and status, your own plans for pregnancy and if not married, why not.

In spite of all of this, I excelled at the University, graduating with honors and obtaining a position with an Insurance Company that soon promoted me as the first woman supervisor of a department — at half the salary made by male supervisors. The reason given by the Human Resource Manager was (and I quote) “Women should not make that much.”

Now, if you are a younger woman who has been told that “radical feminists” ruined this society, ask yourself honestly: Do you really want to go back to 1963? Is that a better world than the one you live in now? Women voters outnumber male voters. Take charge of yourselves and choose. At least we gave you that choice.

S. Ann Robinson

4 thoughts on “The War on Women

  1. Elder Berry

    I remember a Massachusetts doctor who was prosecuted for prescribing birth control. I remember when a local prestigious private university would only admit the number of women who would fit in the two-floor freshman women’s dorm, and men were not allowed into women’s dorm rooms at any time. I remember when women at that same university were not allowed to wear pants on campus without a full-length coat over them. I remember when the newspapers had “help wanted male” and “help wanted female” classified ads. I remember when there were no varsity sports for women. I remember when men were not allowed in labor or delivery rooms. I remember when a woman had credit only through her father or husband. I remember when a pregnancy was cause for being fired or not hired on any job.

    Not so long ago.

  2. Pariahdog

    Thank you for writing this Ann. I’m still stunned by Tim Kaine’s guest editorial in the Loudoun Times Mirror. I have never seen a worse case of political pandering in my life. Kaine threw the principle of equal access to medical standards of care under the bus and gave credibility to an ideology of misogyny that hides behind the label ‘religious liberty’. Kaine’s was a calculated political move. Thirty percent of the voting population is comprised of ‘crazies’ and the remaining seventy percent of the population have no place left to go.

    If this isn’t enough to cause a severe degradation of Democratic voter loyalty, I don’t know what is. 1963 was not that long ago. We’re not going back there, we’re going forward to the “Handmaid’s Tale”.

  3. Epluribusunum

    I once had a “biology” “teacher” in high school regale our class with the same joke repeated by the clever Mr. Friess.

    I walked out. That Every. Single. Democrat. didn’t walk out of that farce of a hearing last Thursday is an embarrassment.

    Pragmatic compromise is necessary in politics, but let’s be very clear about where, in reality, this line is drawn. Even the president’s compromise, while politically brilliant, accepts a false premise: That it’s reasonable to claim that the ability to control conception isn’t part of basic health care.

    People can choose to use that ability or not, but do not claim the right to define it as outside a basic standard of care.

    Here is an excellent article that puts this in context and implicitly asks the questions: Do you think that women are fully human and entitled to the same human and civil rights as men? Which side of human history do you choose to be on?

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