Nugget of Knowledge: Rights for women

Women couldn't smoke in public in NYC until 1927

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – As recently as the 1970s, a single or divorced woman applying for a credit card had to bring in a man to co-sign her application.

It took the Equal Credit Opportunity Act of 1974 for lenders to stop this.

Go back 100 years and women could not sit on a jury.

In 1879, the Supreme Court — all men — said this discrimination was OK. The court said it was inappropriate for women to hear gory details of criminal cases, and some prosecutors were afraid that women might be too sympathetic to criminals.

States could still choose to exclude women until a Supreme Court decision in 1975.

Women’s bathing suits had better be covering them up. Police actually patrolled beaches with measuring tape.

It wasn’t until the bikini came along in the 1950s when Brigitte Bardot was photographed wearing one, that women could show as much as they cared to.

Men, by the way, couldn’t appear topless until 1937.

Up until 1964, maternity leave was permanent. Employers were under no obligation to keep employees who got pregnant.

Women carrying children didn’t have complete protection and access to benefits until the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act became law.

For men, smoking is a masculine thing. For women, in public, no way. New York City banned females from smoking in bars, hotels, or restaurants in 1908. The Museum of the City of New York says that law was not repealed until 1927.

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