Re: “Reflections on the half-century of ‘The Feminine Mystique” (Kathleen Parker column, 2-13).
I have great respect for Parker, although we generally live on different sides of the political spectrum. She may in fact not be old enough to remember the “bad old days” of the 1950s and ’60s, when jobs were advertised in the newspaper under separate column heads as “Help Wanted-Male” and “Help Wanted-Female” – and they meant it.
Women were paid less than men for the same work, on the grounds that “a man has a family to support” – regardless of whether the man actually had a family or not or whether the woman did have a family to support.
When I entered law school in 1972, I was frequently asked the question, “What are you going to be when you graduate?” I always replied, “I’m going to be a nurse.” Many people, not all of them men by any means, failed to see the joke, and accepted this answer at face value.
We have, indeed, come a long way.