Three weeks ago, I wrote a post listing the reasons why I am a 1950s-style woman. That post seemed to resonate with many, many women. And, although it is easy to idealize an earlier period in history, it is dangerous to do so. In wearing rose colored glasses all of the time, we lose site of what life was really like–the good, the bad, and the ugly–and do a disservice to ourselves and others.
With that in mind, here are seven reasons why I’m glad that I am a modern retro woman:
#7. Safety features. While I think some rules are little ridiculous–putting a warning label on peanut butter that it may contain peanuts, for example–many of these rules and features have helped longevity immensely. For instance, people were often decapitated or cut to shreds by broken glass when they were involved in a collision while driving those old cars we love to admire. Crumple zones on modern cars may total a car more easily but the hood isn’t slicing through the windshield ending lives anymore (sorry to be so graphic right off the bat).
#6. Family planning options. Resources are available that prevent unplanned pregnancies. This is invaluable for me because I have a health issue that caused my doctor to warn me to never become pregnant because my health would be at risk.
#5. The infectious and childhood disease thing. The likelihood of dying from an infectious or childhood disease has been greatly reduced since the 1950s. Yes, people still die from pneumonia but most don’t. The problem now is that people think childhood diseases have been eradicated and, here in California, for example, children are needlessly contracting and dying of whooping cough because they haven’t been vaccinated.
#4. Women doctors. I remember when we were told PMS was all in our head. And the fact that a hysterectomy shares the same root word as hysterical is not lost on me and what doctors thought of women needing the operation. Now we have many, many doctors who have experienced PMS, childbirth, and menopause firsthand for themselves and it has changed how women are treated.
#3. Credit in my name. Before the Equal Credit Opportunity Act was passed in 1974(!), married women could only get credit through their husband or as an add-on to their husband’s credit. Women were stuck in abusive marriages because they did not have the financial resources to leave. Women who were widowed had no credit history to prove her fiscal trustworthiness. It is reassuring to know that if something happened to my husband, I wouldn’t have to worry about a credit history and would still be able to apply for something like a mortgage.
#2. The end of segregation. We still have a long way to go to end all of the “isms” in the United States but I know my life has been greatly enriched by the diversity I encounter every day as a result of the end of segregation.
#1. George Clooney. Just don’t tell The Mister, okay?
What about you? Why are you glad to be living in the 21st Century?
To your fabulous Technicolor life!