Things That Irish/American Women Could Not Do Before the 1970s

Excerpts below, for the full lists follow the links

Ten things an Irish woman could not do in 1970 (and be prepared to cringe)

#4 Drink a pint in a pub

In 1970, some pubs refused to allow women to enter at all, some allowed women only if accompanied by a man and very many refused to serve women pints of beer. Women who were accidentally served a pint would be instructed to pour it into two half-pint glasses.

How it changed

Women’s groups staged protests in the early 1970s. In one instance, Nell McCafferty led a group of 30 women who ordered, and were served, 30 brandies. They then ordered one pint of Guinness. When the pint was refused, they drank the brandies and refused to pay as their order was not served. In 2002, the Equal Status Act banned gender discrimination in the provision of goods and services. It defined discrimination as “less favourable treatment”. Service can be refused only if there is a reasonable risk of disorderly or criminal conduct.

#7 Live securely in her family home

Under Irish law, a married woman had no right to a share in her family home, even if she was the breadwinner. Her husband could sell the home without her consent.

How it changed

Under the Family Home Protection Act of 1976, neither spouse can sell the family home without the written consent of the other.

10 Things That American Women Could Not Do Before the 1970s

#1 Keep her job if she was pregnant.

Until the Pregnancy Discrimination Act in 1978, women could be fired from their workplace for being pregnant.

#2 Report cases of sexual harassment in the workplace.

The first time that a court recognized sexual harassment in the workplace was in 1977 and it wasn’t until 1980 that sexual harassment was officially defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.