Vintage Scan #20: A 1972 Quiz on Women's Lib

This November '72 issue of Young Miss contains a fun little quiz on Women's Lib.  Give it a try and see how you do! (answers at the end of the post)

1. Never let a boy know you're as smart (or smarter) than he is.
2. Only brainy girls like mathematics.
3. Only wear "feminine" clothes which will make boys look twice.
4. Don't be caught dead without a small supply of cosmetics in your handbag.
5. Let the strong boys in the class move the chairs for the teacher.
6. Sports and strenuous physical activities will make you look like a wrestler.
7. It's only right for you to take home economics (and not shop) so you can learn to prepare meals for
your husband and children.
8. The boys' tennis team (the only school team) has never allowed girls to try out-and there's no reason
why it should change its rules.
9. Girls should not be aggressive and compete because it's more feminine to let the boys be the leaders
and winners.
10. In dating, always let the boy make the first move, and never look too anxious.
11. Only women's liberation types want careers and men's jobs.
12. Don't worry too much about grades because you'll probably get married and, quit working anyway.

Answers: Basically, Young Miss says all the answers are 'false'.  If you answered true to any of these questions, there's an article in the mag they recommend you read.... oh, and you're a woman hating bastard.


  1. It is interesting how many of those issues have become mainstream and how much has been rejected.
    1. Women, for the most part, are confident showing their intelligence.
    2. Maths has not become popular with girls, but also it's become more unpopular with boys. Now not enough people of both genders are studying it.
    3&4. Rather than women wholesale rejecting fashion, they've embraced it as ever but it is now marketed to focus on a woman's self-esteem rather than for pleasing men. This is more true in city cultures than small town ones as the baggy sweater and shapeless jeans still rule.
    5&6. The idea that any student moves chairs for teachers has gone down the plughole. Women's sport has become so much more high profile but along with that is the media's fixation on the pretty sports star: Hence the drooling over Russian tennis players.
    7. Home cooking has become supplanted by convienience foods and take outs. Population has ballooned as a consequence.
    8. The preserve of all-male clubs has gone. Most, if not all, team sports has male and female clubs.
    9. All these years later, rather than advocating that girls should become more competative and and agressive, those traits are now looked down on as anti-social and bad. Feminine virtues are now seen as superior to male ones.
    10. Yeah, right! It's still assumed that the guy will make all the first moves no matter how much women have embraced feminism.
    11 & 12: Work has seen the greatest advances in feminism and careers for women are the norm rather than the exception. Still a lot of prejudice in terms of rising to the top and male bosses sneering tht women will want to have babies and stop being productive.

    So in sport, work and empowerment the questions posed in that 1972 article have been answered in a way that the writers would (mostly) approve. However attitudes to fashion, make up and courting has still largely remained the same. Unisex boiler suits and no bras did not come to pass.

  2. Interesting to see that the "Young Miss" editors themselves portray both career girl and housewife on the cover in miniskirts, not a very feminist piece of clothing.

  3. Women...if I may quote a vintage Virginia Slims ad..."have come a long way baby" yet at the same time, women are still fixated on their looks. Granted, we may not be doing it for the men in our life, but to help with our low self esteem, which stems from looking at photos of stick thin super models. Look at all the people having plastic surgery! Sadly, for a woman, getting older is viewed as a terrible thing. Even young women are resorting to plastic surgery because they feel that they don't look good enough! I'm almost 48 years old and feel that this is the best time of my life...just wish most women would feel the same way!

  4. Two points raised here: 1. Miniskirts were invented by a woman and seen as a form of proto-feminism in rejecting the haute couture of the previous era and embracing vivacity. I think it's too much of a cliche to say that miniskirts are anti-feminist.

    2. I think looks and self-image are far more ingrained than people like to think. To a lesser extent, it's ingrained in men as well as the desire to appear attractive and desirable for as long as possible is a deep seated human need and that idea is not going to get overturned quickly. I think it's also a cliche to blame this all on stick-thin models.

  5. If men and women are so damned equal, then why do they still have separate sports teams?

  6. Men and women are not considered equal and most likely never will be. There is some good in that and much, much bad. The quiz itself is amusing and a tad bit depressing even considering the time it was written in. The Cosmo quizzes of today aren't much better, either.

  7. That's actually beautiful on SO many levels. Feminism is a good thing and don't let jackasses who feel threatened by it tell anyone otherwise. Sadly, misogyny is still alive and well in the dangerous ignorance of those who would marginalize humanity to its physical capabilities. No one is assuming men and women have evolved the same physically, but mentally, men, women and those caught between need to be given the same opportunities instead of reinforcing institutionalized gender-bias.

  8. I think it would be interesting to hear some actual women who are currently in their 50's chime in on this mini's vs. feminism angle someone brought up...e.g., did you (the ladies) wear miniskirts at that time, and how did you feel about it? Was it fun and did it feel good, or were you self-consciously aware of simply bowing to a prevalent fashion? Did you relish or just endure the attention you got? Looking back from today, how do you feel about your early-70's-era self, and the decisions you made about fashions, gender role, and identity?

  9. Damn, I thought the answer was "true" for all the questions.

  10. I just put all these questions to The Magic Eight Ball, and it answered every one "better not tell you now". That's just creepy. As for fashion, my wife likes her short skirts still (and so do I), but it's not the men that bother her, its the dirty looks from women. Girls and women may be insecure about their looks, but it ain't entirely the boys' fault.

    Oh... uh, I mean I like the short skirts ON HER. Hope you didn't get the wrong idea there.