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Anyone on here who was born and of age in 1951? Question...


Debra Johnson
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SO yesterday I was scouring YouTube for "classic" films and came across (what was to me at least) a pretty obscure little gem titled "Take Care Of My Little Girl" starring Jeanne Crain.  It was a film about fraternity/sorority life in 1951.

 

So these girls all live together in their "sorority house".  Apparently pledging back then was a big deal.  I identified w/SOME of it but other things were not familiar, hence my question.  In one scene during the movie, the sorority house is giving a formal dance but there were NO men present!  The girls were dressed up in formal gowns and dancing but they were all dancing with EACH OTHER :huh:  At one point a girl goes up to another and asks if she'd like to dance and the girl replies "I don't dance with girls" (so apparently this was NOT the norm back then) to which the asker replies "then would you like to wrestle?"

 

Now it was too easy to jump to the OBVIOUS conclusion so I didn't.  But that scene was so weird to me.  My  question for those who were around and of age during that time?  WHAT GIVES?  Was it normal to have formal girls only dances where girls asked other girls for dances and danced with each other without a male in sight?  I am a movie/book BUFF of that era and I have NEVER heard of, read about nor seen anything like this before. :blink:

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When I see questions like these that makes me kind of sad. Because I had grandparents and parents who told me about their experiences and I wasn't so isolated to think that people 50 60 70 80 years ago lived the way people are living now.

 

So much of society that you're seeing today has only been happening in this crudely- open vulgar manner in the last 25 or so years.

 

I think it's called historical perspective - - that may be what's wrong with America today, young people don't even know where America was 30 40 50 years ago. So how can you know where you're going?

 

I'm not as old as the people in your video, but when I went to college pledging a sorority was a very big deal.

 

With the Advent of rock and roll music in the 1950s and 60's - it was very common for girls to dance with other girls at parties and even on American Bandstand on TV. It was no big deal if there were no boys around to dance with - - or, you know, there were no boys who would ask you to dance. Absolutely has nothing to do with anything sexual.

 

All this extreme display of sex in the United States the started in the late sixties. Prior to that people had more, I wouldn't say sexual self control, but I would say self control in terms of what they would say and do in public.

 

Today it's completely the opposite from the way it was in the 1950s. You can say that we have more open discussion about sex, in some regard that's good. But on the other hand we have just a lot of rampant vulgarity in the society.

 

I feel sorry for children who are growing up in this society today. Because they're going to get a very warped idea of sex and have difficulty in having having respect fortheir own body.

 

I apologize for giving you such a long answer when you asked a simple question. Your question made me want to explain the situation in a broad manner.

 

In the 1950s when we were children - - we were sheltered in every way and not exposed to pornography or rampant vulgarity in the society. Not just your parents, but the society wanted to help you to have decent childhood.

 

There were just a number of things you couldn't say and you couldn't do on television not because the adults were prudes, but because children were watching.

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I was born in 1953, so I don't have any first hand knowledge of those times. I haven't seen the movie either. I'd venture to guess that maybe sororities would have functions like that to practice, for lack of a better word, social niceties so that the girls would know what's expected of them when going to parties with the "right" kind of man. From the reviews I read about the movie, Crain's character has her eyes opened to the exclusive nature to the Greek life.

 

Honestly, when I went to college in 1971, not that many people were joining sororities. It seemed like the renaissance of that was after Animal House came out. But maybe it didn't seem that important to me, because I had enough of that stuff in high school. There may have been a big group that belonged to these clubs. I just didn't know any girls that did. My campus didn't have sorority houses, just fraternity houses. In a student population of about 30,000, if I had to guess less than 10% joined. Most people lived in dorms or houses off campus.

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Yep, as one born in '52 and just a year before Helen here, her memory of the latter post-JFK assassination/British Invasion/Counter Culture era of American higher education is correct.

 

It definitely was viewed as very "un-hip" AND "un-cool" for the most part for college kids to join fraternities and sororities during that time...well, at least out in California and where I came of age during this time, anyway.

 

(...of course, in places like, say, Alabama and where they're usually "behind the times" by 20 years or so, I would guess it STILL was probably the thing to do...IN FACT, five'll getcha TEN the chicks were STILL probably dancin' with each other in their little Tuscaloosa soirees well into the '70s and MAYBE even into the '80s!!!)

 

LOL

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Yep, as one born in '52 and just a year before Helen here, her memory of the latter post-JFK assassination/British Invasion/Counter Culture era of American higher education is correct.

 

It definitely was viewed as very "un-hip" AND "un-cool" for the most part for college kids to join fraternities and sororities during that time...well, at least out in California and where I came of age during this time, anyway.

 

(...of course, in places like, say, Alabama and where they're usually "behind the times" by 20 years or so, I would guess it STILL was probably the thing to do...IN FACT, five'll getcha TEN the chicks were STILL probably dancin' with each other in their little Tuscaloosa soirees well into the '70s and MAYBE even into the '80s!!!)

 

LOL

I live in Alabama but when the first time I went to college I went to the University of Tennessee. But you are right about Alabama. If you expect to get anywhere in this state, you had to be part of "The Machine" which was the unofficial group of frats & sororities. It's still a big thing as far as I know.

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I live in Alabama but when the first time I went to college I went to the University of Tennessee. But you are right about Alabama. If you expect to get anywhere in this state, you had to be part of "The Machine" which was the unofficial group of frats & sororities. It's still a big thing as far as I know.

 

So, in essence here Helen, you're sayin' I "under-estimated" that whole "Alabama bein' 20 years behind the times" thing by AT LEAST a good couple of decades, RIGHT?!!!

 

LOL

 

;)

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Yep, as one born in '52 and just a year before Helen here, her memory of the latter post-JFK assassination/British Invasion/Counter Culture era of American higher education is correct.

 

It definitely was viewed as very "un-hip" AND "un-cool" for the most part for college kids to join fraternities and sororities during that time...well, at least out in California and where I came of age during this time, anyway.

 

(...of course, in places like, say, Alabama and where they're usually "behind the times" by 20 years or so, I would guess it STILL was probably the thing to do...IN FACT, five'll getcha TEN the chicks were STILL probably dancin' with each other in their little Tuscaloosa soirees well into the '70s and MAYBE even into the '80s!!!)

 

LOL

Dargo--

 

Thing is in the midwest we were in the middle of everything --that is Kansas University, we had a real separation of groups out there.

 

We still had the strong Chi Omega Greek group. And there were alots of people who wanted to do that.

 

But we also had a strong contingent of hippies, some people who probably weren't even in school, who had a strong anti-war mass movement on campus and in the college town. It was a strong Counter Culture that was in the minority - - but there were a lot of them.

 

Somebody blew up the business building. And somebody burned down the Union. They tried to blaim it on SDS, but they never could prove anything

 

For the average student, like myself, there were just a lot of people who joined frats and just as many people who didn't want to have anything to do with it.

 

On campus during my stay, we had Vietnam War riots, we had race riots, we had local Vigilantes who just hated hippies.

 

We had a lot of fun. LOL

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Dargo--

 

Thing is in the midwest we were in the middle of everything --that is Kansas University, we had a real separation of groups out there.

 

We still had the strong Chi Omega Greek group. And there were alots of people who wanted to do that.

 

But we also had a strong contingent of hippies, some people who probably weren't even in school, who had a strong anti-war mass movement on campus and in the college town. It was a strong Counter Culture that was in the minority - - but there were a lot of them.

 

Somebody blew up the business building. And somebody burned down the Union. They tried to blaim it on SDS, but they never could prove anything

 

For the average student, like myself, there were just a lot of people who joined frats and just as many people who didn't want to have anything to do with it.

 

On campus during my stay, we had Vietnam War riots, we had race riots, we had local Vigilantes who just hated hippies.

 

We had a lot of fun. LOL

 

LOL

 

Yeah, and probably especially them long-haired types that rode them there motorsickles around, huh...

 

;)

 

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SO yesterday I was scouring YouTube for "classic" films and came across (what was to me at least) a pretty obscure little gem titled "Take Care Of My Little Girl" starring Jeanne Crain.  It was a film about fraternity/sorority life in 1951.

 

So these girls all live together in their "sorority house".  Apparently pledging back then was a big deal.  I identified w/SOME of it but other things were not familiar, hence my question.  In one scene during the movie, the sorority house is giving a formal dance but there were NO men present!  The girls were dressed up in formal gowns and dancing but they were all dancing with EACH OTHER :huh:  At one point a girl goes up to another and asks if she'd like to dance and the girl replies "I don't dance with girls" (so apparently this was NOT the norm back then) to which the asker replies "then would you like to wrestle?"

 

Now it was too easy to jump to the OBVIOUS conclusion so I didn't.  But that scene was so weird to me.  My  question for those who were around and of age during that time?  WHAT GIVES?  Was it normal to have formal girls only dances where girls asked other girls for dances and danced with each other without a male in sight?  I am a movie/book BUFF of that era and I have NEVER heard of, read about nor seen anything like this before. :blink:

Boy, you have lived a really sheltered life and I guess never even attended an Italian wedding? At those I've seen lots of instances of where the women danced with each other while the men were off chewing the fat and standing around the open bar.

 

Having been born back during the suffragette days I feel competent to answer all your questions. And let me assure you, that such instances of women doing things that you describe have absolutely nothing to do with being from the Island of Lesbos [not that there is anything wrong with that!].

 

Sure it was common in those days to have all the girls reined in together in a dorm or sorority house and they would dance with each other. This was also common also in all-girl Catholic colleges. Why I know someone who went to one, and the girls were not even allowed to wear shorts in their own dorm room, and this was in the early 1960's. At night they even had to be sure to wear robes over their pajamas or nightgowns if they needed to go to the little girls room.

 

Now of course there were times when the girls were allowed out of the sorority house or dorm to attend formal dances that actually had men at them. But in the off times, when men were way off campus at their own colleges, the girls had to find someone to practice dancing with didn't they? So of course, they used their roommates or sorority sisters to play the men.

 

Nothing so strange about this. Kind of the reverse of the Shakespearean habit of having all men in the cast of a play, pretending to be the women in all the scenes. 

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Boy, you have lived a really sheltered life and I guess never even attended an Italian wedding? At those I've seen lots of instances of where the women danced with each other while the men were off chewing the fat and standing around the open bar.

 

Having been born back during the suffragette days I feel competent to answer all your questions. And let me assure you, that such instances of women doing things that you describe have absolutely nothing to do with being from the Island of Lesbos [not that there is anything wrong with that!].

 

Sure it was common in those days to have all the girls reined in together in a dorm or sorority house and they would dance with each other. This was also common also in all-girl Catholic colleges. Why I know someone who went to one, and the girls were not even allowed to wear shorts in their own dorm room, and this was in the early 1960's. At night they even had to be sure to wear robes over their pajamas or nightgowns if they needed to go to the little girls room.

 

Now of course there were times when the girls were allowed out of the sorority house or dorm to attend formal dances that actually had men at them. But in the off times, when men were way off campus at their own colleges, the girls had to find someone to practice dancing with didn't they? So of course, they used their roommates or sorority sisters to play the men.

 

Nothing so strange about this. Kind of the reverse of the Shakespearean habit of having all men in the cast of a play, pretending to be the women in all the scenes.

Cave Girl--

 

I made it to a coed dorm at the end of the sixties. That sounds very modern, but all the freshmen girls had curfews. Of course, the freshmen boys did not have a curfew. The first week I was in the coed dorm, a girl on my floor was caught with a boy in her room. She was kicked out of the dorm, no discussion,no questions.

 

And just another cultural note from the late 60s- - in my high school girls were not allowed to wear pants unless it was a special occasion.

 

Times have really changed - - but outside of school, everyone wore pants or shorts anyway, unless it was a special occasion.

 

Maybe we'll talk about white gloves some other time--LOL

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Cave Girl--

 

I made it to a coed dorm at the end of the sixties. That sounds very modern, but all the freshmen girls had curfews. Of course, the freshmen boys did not have a curfew. The first week I was in the coed dorm, a girl on my floor was caught with a boy in her room. She was kicked out of the dorm, no discussion,no questions.

 

And just another cultural note from the late 60s- - in my high school girls were not allowed to wear pants unless it was a special occasion.

 

Times have really changed - - but outside of school, everyone wore pants or shorts anyway, unless it was a special occasion.

 

Maybe we'll talk about white gloves some other time--LOL

Love your personal insights, Princess!

 

Thanks for sharing.

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