70s Behaviours That Are Now Completely Unacceptable

Picture this: It’s the 1970s. Disco rules the airwaves, fashion is flashy, and sexism is so entrenched it’s almost part of the decor. Fast forward to today, and many of the era’s norms are now cringe-worthy relics of a less enlightened time. As we explore 20 blatantly sexist behaviours that were all the rage back then, let’s marvel at how far we’ve come — and recognize the work still ahead. Are you ready to wince at the past and rally for a more equitable future?

1. Job Ads Specifying Gender

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Back then, it was common to see job advertisements specifically calling for male or female applicants, often with the expectation that certain jobs were “suitable” only for men or women.

2. The Wage Gap Was Expected and Accepted

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It was almost a given that women would earn less than men, even when working the same jobs with the same qualifications.

3. Women Expected to Quit Jobs After Marriage or Pregnancy

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The career was often seen as temporary for women until they settled down or started a family.

4. Limited Career Paths for Women

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Certain professions were considered off-limits for women, who were steered toward roles like secretaries, teachers, or nurses.

5. Media Objectification of Women

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Advertising and media frequently depicted women as mere objects or accessories to enhance a product’s appeal.

6. Unequal Education Opportunities

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Girls were often discouraged from pursuing higher education or entering STEM fields.

7. Lack of Reproductive Rights

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Women had limited control over their reproductive health, with constrained access to birth control and abortion.

8. Being Overlooked for Promotions

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Men were often promoted over more qualified women based solely on gender.

9. Legal and Financial Dependence on Men

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Women needed their husband’s signature for various legal and financial documents.

10. Domestic Work as Women’s Work

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Housework and childcare were predominantly seen as a woman’s responsibility, regardless of her employment status.

11. Men Making Decisions in Relationships

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Major decisions, from buying a car to choosing a family home, were typically made by men.

12. Women Expected to Tolerate Infidelity

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Men’s extramarital affairs were often overlooked or accepted, while women were expected to remain faithful.

13. Exclusion from Networking and Social Clubs

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Many professional and social clubs were male-only, limiting women’s business opportunities and social mobility.

14. Lack of Legal Protection Against Domestic Violence

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Domestic violence was often considered a private matter, with few legal protections for victims.

15. No Maternity Leave

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The concept of maternity leave was virtually non-existent, forcing many women to choose between a job and motherhood.

16. Dismissal of Women’s Intellectual Contributions

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Women’s ideas and contributions in professional settings were often ignored or attributed to their male colleagues.

17. Sexist Jokes and Stereotypes as Normal Conversation

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Sexist humour was commonplace and largely accepted in media and workplaces.

18. Expectation of Submission in Marriage

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Marriage was often viewed as a hierarchical relationship with the husband as the leader and the wife as the follower.

19. The “Mad Men” Workplace Culture

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Work environments mimicked those seen in the series “Mad Men,” where sexual advances and constant undermining of women were part of the office culture.

20. Societal Pressure on Appearance

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Women faced intense pressure to adhere to specific beauty standards, often dictated by the whims of fashion and media of the day.

Reflecting on Progress

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As we look back at these outdated and sexist behaviours, it’s clear just how far we’ve come in the fight for gender equality. Yet, this reflection also serves as a reminder of the vigilance needed to combat subtle sexism that still exists today. How can we continue to challenge and change the lingering attitudes from the past to ensure a more equitable future for all?

The post 70s Behaviours That Are Now Completely Unacceptable first appeared on LoveLists.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / PeopleImages.com – Yuri A.

For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.

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