12 Reasons Millennial Women Should Thank Their Moms & Grandmas

Image: Eva-Katalin/iStock

grandma with mom and granddaughter
Whether you're wearing jeans at work right now or your partner is putting the LO down to sleep, a millennial woman's day is marked by a variety of freedoms that our moms and grandmas lacked. And yet, we rarely take a step back to consider how an ordinary task, like picking up birth control pills, was a luxury for women who came before us. Or to appreciate just how much time and energy previous generations put in to make life a bit easier and more equal for all of us. 

Of course, there's still work to be done. From the way Kellyanne Conway talks about being a working mom to the prevalence of sexual assault and the push to defund Planned Parenthood, you probably can't help but think of this viral photo.

And yes, many of our freedoms are related to aspects of women's lives that are still challenging (like fighting for paid maternity leave and the threat to affordable and equal access to health care) -- but we can definitely thank former generations for many hard-won battles, even as we're rallying to protect them.

Here are 12 of those freedoms that millennial women shouldn't take for granted, according to grandmas, moms, and even older sisters who lived, worked, loved, and fought the good fights. Now, of course, we have to keep on fighting.

  • You don't have to wear hose.


    "I worked for a company in the late '70s/early '80s where I wore a sundress and sandals and was told that wasn't allowed -- and I had to wear hose! I had psoriasis and could not stand the feel of hose on my dry skin. I quit on the spot!" -- Tina K., 57

  • You're encouraged to go to college.


    "Unfortunately, back in my day, as a woman, I found that unless you were born into a family who already [were] teachers, lawyers, etc., you were not encouraged to aspire to anything much higher than a sales clerk, telephone operator, or secretary. College was for boys -- after all, you were going to get married! I worked in the telephone company as a representative. As reps, we often helped train the men who would become our managers, since a woman could be a supervisor, but only men could be managers!" -- Patricia Y., 81