7 reasons ladies deserve control over their futures, according to a hit song from 1975.

One of the first women of country to really "tell it like it is" was singer Loretta Lynn. She was never shy about her life.

Her song "The Pill" — released in 1975, 15 years after the birth control pill was introduced— was no exception. Take a listen:

That's right, a major pop star singing about birth control way ahead of her time! Whoa.

It's sometimes hard to find songs these days that have any depth beyond their catchy beat. But in 1975, Loretta Lynn nailed it.


She wasn't just trying to grab headlines — Loretta had four kids by the time she turned 20. So if you feel some truth in her delivery of this song about a rural farm wife who's grateful for finally having some control over her own body, you wouldn't be remiss.

"The Pill" outlines some of the reasons women getting control over their bodies is awesome. Here are seven.

And all in one catchy tune, to boot.

1. Ownership over the financial consequences of childbirth and child-rearing.

Remember how your mom got you dressed and got you presents and smiled the whole time? Though she certainly relished the opportunity to give love to her family, it's no easy task! Image via Smithsonian Institution/Flickr Commons.

It's crazy to imagine a time just over 50 years ago, when the pill didn't exist. How did married couples do it?!

Well, in the case of Loretta's in-song character, she got pregnant a lot:

But all I've seen of this old world
Is a bed and a doctor bill

Preach! If life is a constant roll of the reproductive dice — one that results in the major financial and emotional investment that is raising a new human being — you probably won't be able to see much more than "a bed and a doctor bill."

But not anymore:

There's a gonna be some changes made
Right here on nursery hill
You've set this chicken your last time
'Cause now I've got the pill


It's no coincidence that the lyrics compare a woman without birth control to a chicken laying eggs. But there's humanity and power in having a choice.

2. More diverse clothing choices.

They look great! But they deserve greater. Image via The Library of Virginia/Flickr Commons.

Speaking of choice...

This old maternity dress I've got
Is goin' in the garbage
Miniskirts, hot pants and a few little fancy frills
Yeah I'm makin' up for all those years
Since I've got the pill



Get it, girl!

Miniskirts are the perfect way to make up for the never-ending maternity-wear struggle. Even though there are better maternity choices now than there were in the '70s, maternity wear shouldn't have to be all-the-time-wear.

Image via McCalls Patterns/Mikhaela Reid/Flickr Commons.

3. A body that doesn't get overused.

This incubator is overused
Because you've kept it filled

It's a little bit edgy to compare yourself to a roosting chicken, but when you think about it, this lyric is intentionally jarring. Women are people, so why should they be made to feel like chickens, subject to the reproductive decisions of others?

That's right. It's MOM's turn to get pushed around in a stroller, kiddo. Image via Internet Archive/Flickr Commons.

As Mary Beth Powers of Save the Children told CNN, 1 in 7 women giving birth in developing nations will experience complications, which is even more dangerous when they are far from advanced medical care.

4. The chance to see the world.

Image via Internet Archive/Flickr Commons.

You wined me and dined me
When I was your girl
Promised if I'd be your wife
You'd show me the world


This one's a double-edged sword.

Essentially, the character is saying: "We got married and we were gonna conquer the world together. And now we can!" Which is awesome.

But it also shows just how far we still have to go on a lot of issues, as Loretta references a time when a woman needed the financial support of her husband to see the world.

5. A new reason for men to be happy, too.

Teamwork — not just for modern folk. Image via Missouri State Archives/Flickr Commons.

When it comes to reproduction, men play a pretty important role. So there's plenty of reason for them to be happy about safer, um, marital relations.

The feelin' good comes easy now
Since I've got the pill
It's gettin' dark it's roostin' time
Tonight's too good to be real
Oh but daddy don't you worry none
'Cause mama's got the pill




See? The "feeling good" comes easy now! All genders can breathe sighs of relief.

6. Being more than just "mothers-in-waiting."

Image via The Library of Congress/Flickr Commons.

If you're constantly on deck to have and care for kids, that can become your sole way of being seen by society. It's true!

All these years I've stayed at home
While you had all your fun
And every year that's gone by
Another baby's come



I'm tired of all your crowin'
How you and your hens play
While holdin' a couple in my arms
Another's on the way


When women gained control over their bodies, they also gained control over how society views them.

Neat!

7. No more being the default caregivers.

Raising kids is cool, but it doesn't make me want to sing a song about ironing. Image via Internet Archive/Flickr Commons.

This chicken's done tore up her nest
And I'm ready to make a deal
And ya can't afford to turn it down
'Cause you know I've got the pill


For so many generations, women's work was taken for granted. But it has value. And with control comes power.

I'm not certain just what deal the character is making here, but the point is, with control over her body, she's also in control of her future. It could be a future of caregiving, and that would be great. It might also include an education — or maybe even a fabulous country music career, à la Loretta Lynn.

To many, Loretta's acknowledgement of birth control was scandalous. But it was also very successful.

"The Pill" was such a scandal in country radio that it was banned from some stations, stalling its performance in country radio at a time when a Loretta Lynn single was almost a guaranteed #1.

But the song was such a sensation in the music world overall that this sly, tongue-in-cheek song about birth control was Loretta Lynn's highest-charting single in pop music, hitting #70 on the Hot 100.

In a world that's fraught with conflict around choice, let's celebrate how far we've come and how much more control ladies in America have gained in just a few generations.

Love'em. Image via Internet Archive/Flickr Commons.

Good job, America.

True

When Sue Hoppin was in college, she met the man she was going to marry. "I was attending the University of Denver, and he was at the Air Force Academy," she says. "My dad had also attended the University of Denver and warned me not to date those flyboys from the Springs."

"He didn't say anything about marrying one of them," she says. And so began her life as a military spouse.

The life brings some real advantages, like opportunities to live abroad — her family got to live all around the US, Japan, and Germany — but it also comes with some downsides, like having to put your spouse's career over your own goals.

"Though we choose to marry someone in the military, we had career goals before we got married, and those didn't just disappear."

Career aspirations become more difficult to achieve, and progress comes with lots of starts and stops. After experiencing these unique challenges firsthand, Sue founded an organization to help other military spouses in similar situations.

Sue had gotten a degree in international relations because she wanted to pursue a career in diplomacy, but for fourteen years she wasn't able to make any headway — not until they moved back to the DC area. "Eighteen months later, many rejections later, it became apparent that this was going to be more challenging than I could ever imagine," she says.

Eighteen months is halfway through a typical assignment, and by then, most spouses are looking for their next assignment. "If I couldn't find a job in my own 'hometown' with multiple degrees and a great network, this didn't bode well for other military spouses," she says.

She's not wrong. Military spouses spend most of their lives moving with their partners, which means they're often far from family and other support networks. When they do find a job, they often make less than their civilian counterparts — and they're more likely to experience underemployment or unemployment. In fact, on some deployments, spouses are not even allowed to work.

Before the pandemic, military spouse unemployment was 22%. Since the pandemic, it's expected to rise to 35%.

Sue eventually found a job working at a military-focused nonprofit, and it helped her get the experience she needed to create her own dedicated military spouse program. She wrote a book and started saving up enough money to start the National Military Spouse Network (NMSN), which she founded in 2010 as the first organization of its kind.

"I founded the NMSN to help professional military spouses develop flexible careers they could perform from any location."

"Over the years, the program has expanded to include a free digital magazine, professional development events, drafting annual White Papers and organizing national and local advocacy to address the issues of most concern to the professional military spouse community," she says.

Not only was NMSN's mission important to Sue on a personal level she also saw it as part of something bigger than herself.

"Gone are the days when families can thrive on one salary. Like everyone else, most military families rely on two salaries to make ends meet. If a military spouse wants or needs to work, they should be able to," she says.

"When less than one percent of our population serves in the military," she continues, "we need to be able to not only recruit the best and the brightest but also retain them."

"We lose out as a nation when service members leave the force because their spouse is unable to find employment. We see it as a national security issue."

"The NMSN team has worked tirelessly to jumpstart the discussion and keep the challenges affecting military spouses top of mind. We have elevated the conversation to Congress and the White House," she continues. "I'm so proud of the fact that corporations, the government, and the general public are increasingly interested in the issues affecting military spouses and recognizing the employment roadblocks they unfairly have faced."

"We have collectively made other people care, and in doing so, we elevated the issues of military spouse unemployment to a national and global level," she adds. "In the process, we've also empowered military spouses to advocate for themselves and our community so that military spouse employment issues can continue to remain at the forefront."

Not only has NMSN become a sought-after leader in the military spouse employment space, but Sue has also seen the career she dreamed of materializing for herself. She was recently invited to participate in the public re-launch of Joining Forces, a White House initiative supporting military and veteran families, with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

She has also had two of her recommendations for practical solutions introduced into legislation just this year. She was the first in the Air Force community to show leadership the power of social media to reach both their airmen and their military families.

That is why Sue is one of Tory Burch's "Empowered Women" this year. The $5,000 donation will be going to The Madeira School, a school that Sue herself attended when she was in high school because, she says, "the lessons I learned there as a student pretty much set the tone for my personal and professional life. It's so meaningful to know that the donation will go towards making a Madeira education more accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it and providing them with a life-changing opportunity."

Most military children will move one to three times during high school so having a continuous four-year experience at one high school can be an important gift. After traveling for much of her formative years, Sue attended Madeira and found herself "in an environment that fostered confidence and empowerment. As young women, we were expected to have a voice and advocate not just for ourselves, but for those around us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!

Vanna White appeared on "The Price Is Right" in 1980.

Vanna White has been a household name in the United States for decades, which is kind of hilarious when you consider how she gained her fame and fortune. Since 1982, the former model and actress has made millions walking back and forth turning letters (and later simply touching them—yay technology) on the game show "Wheel of Fortune."

That's it. Walking back and forth in a pretty evening gown, flipping letters and clapping for contestants. More on that job in a minute…

As a member of Gen X, television game shows like "Wheel of Fortune" and "The Price is Right" send me straight back to my childhood. Watching this clip from 1980 of Vanna White competing on "The Price is Right" two years before she started turning letters on "Wheel of Fortune" is like stepping into a time machine. Bob Barker's voice, the theme music, the sound effects—I swear I'm home from school sick, lying on the ugly flowered couch with my mom checking my forehead and bringing me Tang.

This video has it all: the early '80s hairstyles, a fresh-faced Vanna White and Bob Barker's casual sexism that would never in a million years fly today.

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