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April 15, 2021 1:33 PM   Subscribe

 
I suspect part of the 1970s rise in home valuations was due to this underwriting change, since home valuations are driven to the edge of unaffordability everywhere.

See also Elizabeth Warren's book.
posted by Heywood Mogroot III at 1:58 PM on April 15 [6 favorites]


The stupid thing about this stupid dystopia were trapped in is that logically it's a valid question, if one of you becomes unable to work you will lose your house. You know, maybe in some wonderful universe I would like to have a child & focus on raising them instead of making some asshole rich & groveling at their feet for the privilege. But it didn't occur to anyone to actually think about making that better, the only thing we EVER think about is control, punishment & humiliation. Those are the only tools in our toolkit.
posted by bleep at 2:24 PM on April 15 [12 favorites]


I knew it was bad, but never had any idea it was that bad. It's infantalizing to have to essentially have a man's permission to get a loan, but having to promise not to have children or even agree to sterilization goes way beyond that. I simply don't have good words. Fucking insane is the best I can do. Thanks for posting this.
posted by wierdo at 2:24 PM on April 15 [11 favorites]


..I bet some of the people in that era were like, "be grateful you have a baby," or "be grateful you have a house," as opposed to, "yes, obviously, but push forward for practical and progressive reform."

YOU BE GRATEFUL FOR THE LESS THAN ACCEPTABLE POSITION YOU'RE IN. DON'T EVER TRY TO MAKE IT BETTER. DON'T YOU DARE ATTEMPT TO IMPROVE YOUR GIVEN REALITY.

I'm gonna go break a bunch of stuff, see ya later.
posted by firstdaffodils at 2:38 PM on April 15 [11 favorites]


Thank you for posting this fascinating, if infuriating, article. I just sent it to my boss, who not one hour ago told me a story about his mom. She was a working single mother in post-war Australia, a WWII widow, and asked her boss to put her on the company's supperannuation plan (equivalent to a pension plan, I gather). He refused because the plan was "only for men". If she wanted a retirement plan, or a pension, she should re-marry.
posted by rekrap at 2:57 PM on April 15 [7 favorites]


Infuriating.
posted by darkstar at 3:23 PM on April 15


As shocking as this may seem today, discrimination against women seeking housing and mortgages was rampant until the mid-1970s, manifesting in a variety of punishing, even invasive, indignities.

In 1979 my mom won the house in the divorce. The bank refused to take my father's name off the mortgage or add hers. It gave him legal cover for shenanigans. He is lucky neither of us killed him. Fucker.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 4:17 PM on April 15 [15 favorites]


..fuck that. (M. Yuck)

I understand it's been very difficult for previous generations of women, but it's so unnecessary and frustrating every time a person tries to inject gratitude to curb a scenario. By no means should people reject the concept of gratitude (it should always be present), but it isn't a fucking pacifier for a current situation. If anything, changing an unacceptable scenario is a condition or response to gratitude.

It's so unnecessary to see all these withered old patriarchal hands in places they shouldn't be, today.
posted by firstdaffodils at 5:06 PM on April 15 [2 favorites]


I can imagine this also made some married men feel ashamed. The bank is effectively saying that they are failing in their duty as men to singlehandedly support everyone else in the family (at least financially). Patriarchy hurts everyone, one way or another.
posted by EllaEm at 8:02 PM on April 15 [5 favorites]


"Marjorie Wintjen, now Marjorie Brown, still remembers the humiliation she felt when she was told she’d have to get sterilized to be approved for a mortgage.

“When you grow up female back then, part of you kind of expected you would be treated like that. That was the way of the world,” she says. “I didn’t know how to fight them.”

Marjorie had been raised to believe that authority figures knew best. She knew full well that women often couldn’t even open credit cards or get car loans without the signatures of their husbands or fathers.

“I was aghast at first, and then thought maybe they’re right,” she says. “It didn’t seem fair, but it was their house, their rules.”

Fuuuuuuuuuck
Yooooou.

posted by firstdaffodils at 1:24 AM on April 16 [4 favorites]


In 1979 my mom won the house in the divorce. The bank refused to take my father's name off the mortgage or add hers.

In the mid 1970's when my parents moved from state A to state B, they went to a lawyer and have paperwork drawn up authorizing my mother to handle the sale of their home in state A as my father had to go ahead to begin work.

When the closing came, the lawyer handling the sale REFUSED to allow my mother to sign the closing documents and insisted that my father (who was halfway across the country in state B) had to return to state A to sign.

My parents then had to hire a SECOND lawyer to force the first lawyer to allow my mother to sign off on the sale.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 5:47 AM on April 16 [3 favorites]


Well, they've fixed that; now nobody at all can get a mortgage.
posted by Cardinal Fang at 6:43 AM on April 16 [5 favorites]


My mom put up with so much. She was born in 35 and was in the workforce from 1952 until I was born in 65. She had to wear skirts and hose and guys would touch her legs to see if she had just painted them, a dress code violation. There were medals in her jewelry box for her typing speed. She was valued for her legs.

I remember her hand tightening when we'd walk past groups of men. Mom was hot. I don't know how she came out as good as she did.

She made sure my sister and I knew what the Equal Rights Amendment was and volunteered for politicians who supported it. Sis and I stuffed envelopes. It was a big deal.

I miss her.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 8:37 AM on April 16 [10 favorites]


My mom did not change her name when she married, and apparently the bank did not want to consider her (higher) income when my parents bought their first house in 1986.
posted by basalganglia at 11:06 PM on April 16


I am getting term life insurance to cover my parents if I die too young. I added my Mom as the first beneficiary, then my father as the second. They still put them first.

I applied to an apartment and my male partner co-signed. Even though I, the woman, made all the arrangements and took care of everything, they put his name first.

It is still happening today, but in lesser forms.
posted by Monday at 12:04 AM on April 18 [2 favorites]


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