12 Everyday Things Women In The 1950s And ‘60s Weren’t Allowed To Do

Things we find so ordinary today were actually forbidden back in history, so let’s dive back into the 1950s and 60s (which isn’t even that long ago!) to see how things have changed.

#1. Open a bank account.

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Before the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974 (yes, 1974) was passed, women were not allowed to open bank accounts without the permission of their husband or a male relative.

#2. Serve jury duty.

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Women were not allowed to sit in the jury box until it was made legal in 1968.

#3. Practice law.

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Even if they went to Law School and passed every single test, they could still be denied the right to plead a case.

#4. Be called “equal”.


Before 1981, all wives were legally subordinate to their husbands.

#5. Take birth control pills.


Contraceptives were banned, until the 60s and the widely-available contraceptive pill sparked the summer of luurrve.

#6. Go on maternity leave.


Women who became pregnant usually lost their jobs, until the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 was approved.

#7. Breastfeed in public.


Public areas prohibited mothers from breastfeeding, and no, there weren’t any Breastfeeding Stations or Rooms.

#8. Attend an Ivy League university.

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Women applicants were not allowed into Harvard until 1977, although Yale and Princeton admitted their first female students in 1969.

#9. Attend a military academy.

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There was no such thing as female students at West Point Military Academy until 1976.

#10. Serve in combat.

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It was only in 2013 that women were allowed on the front lines for the first time, as it was believed that “vulnerable” female soldiers on the front line were a risk to other infantry.

#11. Run the Boston Marathon.

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This was an all-male event until 1972.

#12. Become an astronaut.


NASA didn’t allow women to become Astronauts, until Sally Ride broke the mold in 1978.