back to top

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.

Posted on

1. The wage gap.

Getty Images

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.

Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press / MCT

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.


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.


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

Mat Szwajkos/Stringer

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.

7. Female CEOs are few and far between.

Robert Galbraith / Reuters

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.

Kevork Djansezian / Reuters

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.

Lucas Jackson / Reuters

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.

11. LGBT-identifying women lack equality.

Jose Miguel Gomez / Reuters

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).