7 Misconceptions Your Grandma Told You About How Women Used To Live In "The Good Old Days"


A common trope of talking to anyone over a certain age is the phrase, 'well, in my day (insert any of the things your Grandparents used to say)!' And yes, music may have been better in the 20th Century, but there are a lot of lies about life during the 20th Century that some of us still believe because our Grandmother used to tell us so... and who doesn't trust their Grandmother?!

Whilst a lot of these ideas are now widely known to be not true by the majority of the public, they are fascinating to comprehend by today's standards, and are actually beliefs still held by some people!

1.) 'Marriage doesn't mean anything these days!'

A common line taken by people is the idea that Marriage used to really 'mean' something, often citing divorce statistics. However, the only reason that divorce figures were so low is not really due to some fortunate fact that everyone was beaming with joy all the time, but really the fact that divorce was so heavily stigmatized by society that most women would be subject to heavy personal backlash. Also, the process was far too expensive for most people and was therefore only a viable option for those who were wealthy.

2.) 'Back in my day food was miles better! It was proper food, none of this processed nonsense!'

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While there's nothing quite like proper home-grown and cooked food, this claim isn't necessarily as straight forward as it seems. The idea that people ate 'proper food' back in the 20th Century and so were much healthier as a result is not necessarily the case as starvation rates were massively high throughout the early 20th century due to a lack of viable food and ultimately caused the deaths of millions upon millions over the course of the 20th century as a whole.

3.) 'Women nowadays are no comparison for women back in my day, what with all the make-up and surgery!'

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much faster than by today's standards. Again though, is it not time we let people look how they 

4.) 'We never used to be taking all these pills back in the good old days and we were fine!'

Okay, while there is a problem with doctors occasionally over-prescribing tablets such as antibiotics, the idea that my grandmother frequently used to tell me that 'people shouldn't be taking all this modern medicine' is a little hard to swallow (see what I did there) when the average life expectancy has risen from 31 (early 20th century), up to 79 by today's standards.

5.) 'Women never used to get cancer because giving birth regularly rejuvenates the body!'

Yep, this is a weird one. It was a surprisingly common notion that women never used to suffer from oncological conditions due to the fact that they were frequently giving birth, a process which 'rejuvenates' the body. However, we now know that this is not true, most women who lived in the countryside simply weren't diagnosed with these conditions because healthcare was so poor there at that time.

6.) 'Women used to give birth and then be back at work the next day and get on with it!'

(Source: Flickr)

Another idea that a lot of great-grandmothers held was the idea that women are fine to be back with their nose to the grindstone the day after giving birth. It was common practice in the early 20th century for mothers to be back at work after their maternity leave (which could be as short as a few days before giving birth) which meant that issues such as post-partum depression and physiological issues such as uterine prolapse caused from frequent childbirth were both ignored and common.

7.) 'Being A Housewife Meant You Didn't Have To Work'

(Source: womenworkforce.weebly.com)


Over the last century, women's rights have come a long way! However, there are still discrepancies between the genders, and we still have a bit of way to go! Let me know which of these myth-busters surprised you most! AAx

Sources: Brightside.com