Feminism is Groovy

There has been an outbreak, not unlike a rash, of women posting pictures of themselves holding signs proclaiming how THEY didn’t need any of that gross feminism. I think it would behoove them to 1) understand what feminism actually IS so that they will never again post ridiculous pictures proclaiming they don’t need feminism because they “want equal rights” and 2) remember a few salient facts from the times prior to feminist movement.

Recently CNN listed some things women couldn’t do in the 60’s, and it should have been an eye-opener for the women who don’t “need” feminism.

1) You couldn’t get a credit card unless your hubby let you have one. I wonder how many women in the anti-feminist league have credit cards in their own names?

2) You couldn’t serve on a jury. Your precious nerves were too delicate. Nowadays, women are trial lawyers. Are the anti-feminists saying we were better off when women were considered too “emotional” to function in the legal system?

3) Get birth control pills. “In 1960, the pill was approved for use as a contraceptive. Even so, the pill was illegal in some states and could be prescribed only to married women for purposes of family planning, and not all pharmacies stocked it. Some of those opposed said oral contraceptives were immoral, promoted prostitution and were tantamount to abortion.” The feminist movement is fighting tooth and nail to keep contraception legal. If you have ever used contraception, thank a feminist.

4) Go to an Ivy League school regardless of how good your grades. “Yale and Princeton didn’t accept female students until 1969. Harvard didn’t admit women until 1977 (when it merged with the all-female Radcliffe College) … Dartmouth and Columbia did not offer admission to women until 1971, 1972 and 1981, respectively.” If a woman has attended ANY of these schools, then she did indeed need feminism and is now an ungrateful twerp.

To expand on this, let me point out some further things ladies couldn’t have before the feminist movement took off.

5) Be assured equal access to ANY higher education, let alone the Ivy League. “On June 23, 1972, the President (Nixon) signed Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §1681 et seq., into law. Title IX is a comprehensive federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. The principal objective of Title IX is to avoid the use of federal money to support sex discrimination in education programs”. 

6) A reasonable chance to get into medical school. “At the beginning of the 20th century about 5 percent of the doctors in the United States were women. In 1970, it was still only 7 percent. By 1998, 23 percent of all doctors were women, and today, women make up more than 50 percent of the medical student population. In 1968 only 1.2% of practicing dentists were women. By 2003, 17% of dentists were women, and 35% of dentists in new active private practice were female.” Women didn’t start becoming doctors and dentists because we suddenly got smarter in the 80’s; it was feminists who made this happen.

7) Say “no” to your husband if he says he wants to have sex but you don’t. That’s right. It was legal for a husband to rape his wife. “In the United States, prior to the mid-1970s marital rape was exempted from ordinary rape laws. The exemption is also found in the 1962 Model Penal Code, which stated that “A male who has sexual intercourse with a female not his wife is guilty of rape if: (…)“.”

8) Feminists made sexual harassment illegal. Sure, it still exists, but prior to 1986 it was legal.  You want to have the ability to walk through an office without getting your butt pinched? Then you need to thank feminism.

9) You can now get pregnant and continued to be employed. Before the Pregnancy Discrimination Act in 1978 you could get fired for getting pregnant, even if you were married or otherwise morally sanctioned to procreate. If you like not being automatically fired for being pregnant, thank feminism.

10) Oh, and lets not forget that feminists are the ones who fought for women to have the basic human right to vote in a democracy. Without the feminist movement, you wouldn’t be able to go to the polls and make your political voice heard, let alone display your thoughts on a public forum like Tumblr.

As for myself, I still need feminism because I want my daughters to be treated equally regardless of their gender and we aren’t quite there yet.

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