These 11 Ordinary Things Were Restricted To Women In The ’50s And ’60s

4:30 pm 29 Oct, 2016

Throughout history, women have been subjected to all sorts of unfair treatment in almost every aspect of life, no matter which part of the world they live in. And they are still battling against several issues even in the 21st century. In India, even today, women are not allowed to enter certain places of worship, wear jeans or use mobile phones in certain communities. This is absurd. And there’s no exception in other parts of the world as well when it comes to issues about women.

From fighting to get her own bank account and credit card, to not being legally classified as “subordinate” to her husband, to their right to vote, women in the United States have endured enough to get where they are today. Take a look here some of the ordinary things that women were not allowed to do in the 50s and 60s.


1. Open a bank account

Women were not allowed to even open a bank account without their husband’s, or a male relative’s, permission until the Equal Credit Opportunity Act was passed in 1974.

Women in 50s


2. Practice law

Until 1971, women were denied the right to plead a client’s case even if they had gone through all the years of  law school and passed every test.

Women in 50s


3. Serve jury duty

Women were not allowed to sit in the jury box, too. But slowly, US states separately allowed them to be on a jury. Mississippi became the last state to legalize it in 1968.

Women in 50s


4. Attend an Ivy League University

Not surprising, women applicants were not accepted at Harvard until 1977. Yale and Princeton were only slightly ahead by admitting their first female students in 1969.

Women in 50s


5. Breastfeed in public

Mothers were not allowed to breastfeed in public areas until a bill was finally passed by Congress, making the discrimination illegal.

Women in 50s


6. Go on maternity leave

Maternity leave was not allowed to women until the Pregnancy Discrimination Act was passed in 1978.

Women in 50s


7. Take birth control pills

Women were not allowed to take birth control pills until the contraceptive was approved in 1960. It was still banned in several states for the next few years.

Women in 50s


8. Attend a military academy

Women were not allowed to attend a military academy, and it is not surprising to learn that female students at West Point Academy were not accepted until 1976.

Women in 50s


9. Serve in combat

Despite all of the hard work women have put into the military for decades, they weren’t allowed on the front lines until very recently in 2013.

Women in 50s


10. Become an astronaut

Women were not allowed to become an astronaut with NASA denying it, until Sally Ride broke the mold in 1978.

Women in 50s


11. Run the Boston Marathon

Women were not allowed to run or participate in the marathon, and the legendary Boston marathon was an all-male event until 1972.

Women in 50s





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