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Police Love & Understanding

Being a young woman in the 60’s and 70’s 

I was so surprised to see this list while I was working on writing my story of being a woman law enforcement officer in 1965. It helped me to realize that I really was given unique opportunities as a young woman. I began to appreciate my “feminist” working mother and my father who realized that I needed to think and be able to act like a boy to succeed.

In August 2019, as many people took to the Internet to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote on paper, a piece of text started to circulate on social media that supposedly listed “9 things that women couldn’t do until 1971”:  (Snopes confirms that the list is TRUE!)

The following are the NINE things that a woman couldn’t do in 1971

1. Get a Credit Card in her own name – It wasn’t until 1974 that a law forced credit card companies to issue cards to women without their husband’s signature.

2. Be guaranteed that they would not be unceremoniously fired for the offense of getting pregnant. This changed with the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978.

3. Serve on a jury in some states. Utah deemed women fit for jury duty back in 1879. In 1973, all 50 states allowed women to serve on juries. In 1961, the Supreme Court unanimously upheld a Florida law that offered an exemption for women from serving on juries. Why?

  • They were considered the center of the home. Their primary responsibility: homemakers and caregivers.

  • They were thought to be too fragile to hear grisly details of crimes

  • They were thought to be too sympathetic by nature to remain objective about those accused of crimes.

4. Fight on the front lines in the military. Prior to 1973 women were only admitted into the military as nurses or support staff. Women were admitted to military academies 1976. It wasn’t until 2013 that the military ban on women in combat was lifted.

5. Get an Ivy League education. Starting in 1969, women colleges started to merge and allow women to take courses in Ivy League schools but their degrees were from all women schools. However as I have stated, Otterbein College in Westerville and several other private schools accepted women as early as Otterbein in 1847.

6. Take legal action against workplace sexual harassment. The first court that recognized office sexual harassment as grounds for any legal action was in 1977.

7. Decide to not have sex if their husband wanted to – spousal rape wasn’t criminalized in all 50 states until 1993.

8. Obtain health insurance at the same monetary rate as a man. Sex discrimination wasn’t completely outlawed in health insurance until 2010.

9. Take the birth control pill regardless of any circumstances. The FDA approved “the pill” for severe menstrual distress in 1957. Issues like reproductive freedom and a woman’s right to decide when and whether to have children began to be openly discussed in the 1960’s.  In 1960 it was approved for use as a contraceptive. It still remained illegal in many states for some time after that.

Shockingly the age of consent for sex was set at 10 or 12 years of age in some states and one state was set at 7 years of age until 1980.

PLU print Cover final.jpg
PLU print Cover final.jpg

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