Someone recently said to me that women still dont have equal rights

to which I replied

–but they are much better than they were in my day

In the 1960’s  my boyfriend drove to the middle of nowhere late at night

Parked his fj holden and said

“Come across or walk home”

I got pregnant

When I went to the doctor  he said ” You conceived the first or second of June”

 I said “The 2nd

The doctor asked how I knew and I said

“I have only done it twice”

I was considered a whore and a tramp

And treated with disdain

And forced to marry

I had a government job working with computers that were the size of wardrobes in refrigerated rooms

A job that I had sat an entrance exam for

 Only the top one percent were employed

I had to give up this job because married women were not allowed to hold government jobs

staff traiing for my first job

My husband habitually would fight with his boss and quit

 There was no social security so I got work as a barmaid at night

And was abused by other women for working when I had a child/children

My husband who was 6 foot 4 inches and twenty stone constantly hit me

When I was having my face stitched at hospital on one occasion the RN said

”My husband doesn’t hit me”  – implying I deserved it

Everyone told me I must have deserved it

I believed for decades that I did

I went to a solicitor to get a divorce and was told abuse wasn’t grounds for divorce: I had to prove adultery

On more than one occasion when I called the police they would take one look at him and just leave

At one time my husband chased me wielding an axe

Fortunately the neighbours saved me by keeping me in their house

The police treated me as if I were the criminal

 So I went to the police station and confronted them

They said

“You always go back”

To which I replied

“There is no where to go”

Women had no rights nor status

We couldn’t have a bank account

We couldn’t buy a house

 and landlords would not rent to separated women

When I was finally able to leave this relationship the second man I married was

 “past master of mental cruelty”

as his first wife (already remarried) warned me

I realize that even today in many jobs women are paid seventy five percent of a man’s wage

and considered subordinate to men

Hopefully this will eventually change

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