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I am shaking with rage, unable to write until now. You see, I just read one more diary about the right wing belief that women "need to pay to play".  This diary may take all night to write because I am still shaking.  I will try to be calm to counter their lies and statements of belief.  They really do want women back under control, don't they?  They really do want to take us back to 1850.

I have read comments even here from men who want to discuss the finer points of a woman's decision for abortion.  Unless you are the father of that baby your opinion does not count.  Even if you are the father, the final decision belongs to the pregnant woman.  Period.  Because its her body, not yours.

Now, let me tell you how it used to be.  This is history that I know because I lived it.

I got married the first time when I was 22 in Arizona.  I was still a virgin because they would not prescribe birth control pills until the marriage was advertised in church, called the bans of marriage.  Then they would only start the prescription three months before the marriage date.  Condoms?  Only men could buy them because they were behind the counter.  The pharmacist controlled who bought them. This was what it was like back then.

It wasn't that I wanted to wait until 22 to have sex, it was because I intended to go to college and get out of poverty.  I knew that a pregnancy would end that dream completely.  Back in 1963, the year I graduated high school, only girls who got caught with pregnancy stopped working on their dreams.  I decided that wouldn't be me.

After I was on the pill enough, shortly before the wedding, I tried to seduce my fiance.  He told me that we should save something for the marriage.  Colder water did not exist.  Later in the marriage he called me a nymphomaniac because I wanted to have sex two or three times a week.  He also believed women couldn't orgasm often due to their biology.  This is the crap that was taught back then.  I finally got a divorce after seven years and two children.

A note on that marriage: The doctor had told him that no matter what I said on the wedding night, just keep going and break the hymen.  I asked him to stop because it hurt so much, and he went right ahead.  I bled so much on the hotel mattress that he turned it over so we could go to sleep.  Ever the optimist, I kept going for the pleasure.  Hence the nymphomaniac. This was what it was like back then.

We moved to Illinois so he could go the graduate school.  I went to work, putting my college on hold mostly, taking a few classes at night.  The other women in graduate housing tried to give me a "PhT" for "putting hubby through".  I refused it.  They thought I was nuts.   This was still the era when women went to college to find husbands.  But events would alter that as time went by.

I suffered from severe migraines then and the doctor told me that if I just followed my biological destiny and had a few kids, my headaches would go away.  I changed my doctor, but most of them believed this was a woman's disease and did not take it seriously.  This was what it was like back then.

At work, I had my bra straps snapped by a boss, had my breasts touched by men who could influence job decisions, offered raises if I slept with them, and so on.  That's the way it was back then. No matter how smart or learned, I was treated as below second class.  Later in the 70s when I would get married again, my boss asked me if this meant I was going to become a "lady of leisure," which meant I would quit work.  I asked him "why" and he became confused.

To sum up Part 1, women were expected to get married, put their husbands through school if needed, have babies and stay at home.  Another woman I knew said she went to college to be a more informed mother.  I wanted school because I had a burning desire to learn, to study, for my own sake.  Women were supposed to be virgins and virginal, to be taught by her husband the things the husband deemed she should know.  We were virgins (good girls), mothers (sainted in our self-denial), or whores.  

Yes, really this is the way it was.  But that would change.  Tomorrow, I return to school.

Originally posted to Liberal Granny on Tue Feb 21, 2012 at 08:11 AM PST.

Also republished by Pro Choice and Abortion.

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