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Thread: Life 50 years ago.. for better or worse

  1. #51
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tybee View Post
    I remember being a little kid during the Cuban Missile Crisis and going and standing outside and thinking, well, if the world is ending, I want to be here to see it before it goes. I remember a feeling a surreal terror but also a feeling that I wanted to say goodbye to the earth, the trees, everything I thought was so beautiful.

    I was six.

    Life wasn't all maltshops and roller skates, I guess.
    I do remember those feelings. I remember walking to school in the morning, and every time I heard a plane above, I'd wonder if it was packing a bomb that was going to drop on my head.

    Rob, a lot of the things you mentioned in your post were true--it was simpler in many ways without today's technology, but when my DH pulls out the nostalgia he has for those times, I remind him while life was good for the quintessential Normal Rockwell family, choices were very limited for large swaths of the population; namely women and minorities. Even though we still have inequality, we're a far cry from where we were back then. My mother had to remarry to be able to feed me and my brothers; my MIL had to live with her parents for the same reason after her husband died at a young age. Both my MIL and mother had little hope of rising above a low minimum wage job.
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  2. #52
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    Yes discrimination as rampant during those times. My Dad worked at a automobile plant and a black man that he was friends with had a law degree, passed the bar and no one would hire him so he worked at the plant. This was not in the South but in the Midwest. The guy was bitter of course.

  3. #53
    Senior Member gimmethesimplelife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    I do remember those feelings. I remember walking to school in the morning, and every time I heard a plane above, I'd wonder if it was packing a bomb that was going to drop on my head.

    Rob, a lot of the things you mentioned in your post were true--it was simpler in many ways without today's technology, but when my DH pulls out the nostalgia he has for those times, I remind him while life was good for the quintessential Normal Rockwell family, choices were very limited for large swaths of the population; namely women and minorities. Even though we still have inequality, we're a far cry from where we were back then. My mother had to remarry to be able to feed me and my brothers; my MIL had to live with her parents for the same reason after her husband died at a young age. Both my MIL and mother had little hope of rising above a low minimum wage job.
    Catherine, hi!

    I believe you very much have a point here. In the 60's women faced a very different reality than they do today with fewer options. Good paying jobs were the province of men in those days and women who worked as you stated did not make much for the most part. I'm sure there were exceptions to this scattered here and there but good paying work? That was reserved for men mostly. Meaning that marriage (talking of male/female marriage here, which is all that existed in those days) was a different set up than it is today. With fewer options, marriage was more important in that day for a woman's economic survival/status/success. I don't know that this scenario made for happy marriages any more than today's does to be honest.

    Talking about this era brings to mind the AMC series Mad Men for me. Two scenes in the series really stood out for me. The first involves the gay character Sal and the double life he had to live as at that time there truly was no other option. And for women and what they endured in this era - the very first episode where Joan Holloway is orientating new hire Peggy to her new secretarial job. Joan is showing Peggy the typewriter she will be using and ACTUALLY SAYS THE FOLLOWING: Don't be intimidated by this typewriter. The men who designed it made it easy to understand for female minds. Seriously, her character actually says this. Could you imagine the outcry if someone said this to a new female administrative assistant hire today??? And what gets me is that this line was lateral from a woman to another woman - really shows that era for how women were viewed.

    As I've stated here before I do have some issues with third wave feminism but I'd rather have things as they are today than have women endure such treatment as this in the 1960's. Rob

  4. #54
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    I don't know that may have been true at one time but not a mere 50 years ago ... in the 60s my mom was studying and became an engineer. Some of this stuff seems much more stereotype than reality. So blah blah blah but I don't believe it! Many women may not have been raised to take opportunities it is true, but I come from a long line of progressive politics so my mom wouldn't have been raised to be that conventional.

    It isn't that prejudice in the workplace against women in a man's world didn't exist. It did. And yes it's annoying and unfair if you have a boss who trusts the men more than you, but ... prejudice against women just wasn't the absolute barrier some present it as. And my mom always out-earned my dad until she became a stay-at-home mom in her 40s. Nor did my mom marry till her early 30s.

    The problem with such women is you have to live up to them! And it's pretty daunting ...

    Now my grandmother was a more conventionally female role, had a law degree but didn't work for awhile and then just did part-time teaching of ESL. Because she was a caretaker not just of two kids but at one point of at least two elderly people AT THE SAME time as well. Cry for my grandmother if you want, but for caring for her old folks her and my grandfather lived in and inherited a free house of the sort that two good incomes earned via full time labor will not buy nowadays. And even so there is still no fairy godmother who does caretaking when women don't do it.

    Life nowdays I guess is good for well-paid two income couples and their families, which is the modern Normal Rockwell ideal I guess. And well more difficult economically for those who don't fit that ideal. A woman may need a man like a fish needs a bicycle, but women who don't marry are still quite likely to be poorer than both single men and married women both in their old age and before then.
    Last edited by ApatheticNoMore; 4-7-18 at 12:33pm.
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  5. #55
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    50 years ago today, I was probably playing at my friend Judy's home with Barbie's, well maybe a Ken. It was a good day I bet. Today would have been Judy's 57 bday. Just thinking of the calendar and what today meant when I was young 50 years ago.

  6. #56
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    I mentioned this before but when first married (in the 70s) I put everything in my name to get credit. At that time, if married, everything belonged to the man. I felt, therefore, that if the marriage didn't work or my husband died, I would at least have credit in my own name. It actually was frightening (to me at least) that I could be left destitute.

    ETA ... also in the 70s... FIL died and the law at that time was MIL got half and her child/children got half. My DH signed everything over to her. He felt that was ridiculous. She and her husband worked for years to accumulate everything and she was supposed to just hand half of it over.

    I would not want to go back to those times.

  7. #57
    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    Frugal one, your story reminds me of the mother of one of my high school friends. She had divorced in the early 80ís and wanted to buy a modest house to raise her two teenage daughters in. The loan officer at the bank didnt want to give a divirced woman a loan but she qualified. So he said, but youíll probably retire in twenty years and itís a 30 year mortgage. So she asked him to calculate whether she qualified for a 15 year mortgage. She did and befridhingly he gave her the loan. Fifteen years later when she retired in a paid off house she was grateful for his sexism...

  8. #58
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    In the 60s my mother was a newly divorced single woman with a pharmacy degree. As a working mom pharmacist, she was a pariah in a sea of SAHM's and thus so were her children. All the other moms played tennis at the club and had maids to do the housework, but mine went to work everyday working long shifts and came home exhausted. She is long gone but now I know she was well ahead of her time.

  9. #59
    Senior Member HappyHiker's Avatar
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    What strikes me now is how crowded every where seems. Roads, parks, vacation spots. Cities.

    World population in 1968 was 3,551,880,700.

    World population now is around 7,632,819,325.

    So population has more than doubled. No wonder the world seems crowded. It IS.

    Wonder where we're headed?
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  10. #60
    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HappyHiker View Post
    What strikes me now is how crowded every where seems. Roads, parks, vacation spots. Cities.

    World population in 1968 was 3,551,880,700.

    World population now is around 7,632,819,325.

    So population has more than doubled. No wonder the world seems crowded. It IS.

    Wonder where we're headed?
    Supposedly world population is going to level off at around 10 billion by 2050. Who knows if the predictors are correct about that, but from what I've read most of the developed world's population would be shrinking were it not for immigration, so perhaps they are right.

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