12 Things That Haven’t Changed For Women Since The 1960’s

On Feb. 19 1963, Betty Friedan published The Feminine Mystique, a groundbreaking piece of feminist literature. We’ve made strides in the past 51 years, but some things still haven’t changed for women.

1. The wage gap.

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In June 1963, President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into legislation and in January 2009, President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, both intended to level out the gender imbalance in salaries. But in 2014, women still only earn 77 cents for every dollar that a man makes.

2. Limitations on reproductive rights.

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Since Roe v. Wade in 1973, abortion is technically legal. But in the last three years over 50 abortion clinics in 27 states have closed down because of laws with intentionally heavy restrictions. These new pieces of legislation ultimately make it impossible for clinics to function.

3. Household responsibilities.

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Women successfully fought to join their male counterparts in the workforce in greater numbers, but now in addition to holding professional positions they’re still expected to fulfill household chores and duties.

4. Expectations around marriage.

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The wedding industry in the Unites States accumulates a total of $72 billion a year, and there’s still a sense of pressure on young women to adopt this age-old tradition.

5. Women are also expected to have children when they’re young.

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There’s still pressure on women to have babies and have ‘em young. Apparently 58% of Americans think 25-years-old is the ideal age for women to have their first baby. Meanwhile, the majority of people think men should start having kids when they’re 27.

6. But most companies don’t offer paid maternity leave.

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Only 16% of U.S. companies have a paid maternity leave program for female employees.

7. Female CEOs are few and far between.

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Men are still the top earners and leaders in the professional world. A mere 4% of CEOs at Fortune 500 companies are women, which is actually considered a record-high number. Sigh.

8. Unrealistic beauty ideals.

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There are still social norms and expectations around what it means to be a “beautiful woman” and they can be pretty detrimental, too. The advancement of technology and photoshop certainly hasn’t helped much, either.

9. The Miss America Pageant still exists.

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Back in 1968, feminists protested the Miss America Pageant on the Atlantic City Boardwalk because they were outraged at how these beauty standards were oppressive to women. In 2014 the contest is still alive and kickin’ and has even spread to a younger demographic of women aged 14-19 with the Miss Teen USA beauty pageant. The contest sends a dangerous message about how specific beauty ideals are connected to success.

10. Advertisements are still extremely sexist.

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And you thought things were bad in the 1960’s.

11. LGBT-identifying women lack equality.

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There are still 33 states where some women can’t get married because same-sex marriage is not legal, not to mention all of the discrimination LGBT folk experience when it comes to adoption, schooling, and gender expression (to name a few).

12. There still hasn’t been a woman president.

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Women make up a small percentage of government figures — only 20% hold seats in the Senate — and we still haven’t elected a female president. Here’s lookin’ at you, 2016.

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