The marriage rule that held women back at the State Department


When a family friend gave Phyllis Oakley a sample of the State Department’s foreign service examination, she doubted she could pass. A few years later, she scored high enough to become a member of America’s diplomatic corps, prepared for a life on the front lines of the nation’s missions abroad. 

But within a year of joining the State Department, she resigned. 

Oakley had met her husband Robert, also a Foreign Service officer, and per State Department guidelines, a married woman was forced to resign. 

“It was just simply accepted. If a woman married, she resigned. I never asked to see the regulation, I never fought it; nice girls in the 1950s didn’t do that,” Oakley said in an interview with The Hill. 

“When I say this to young women they look at me like, ‘That must have been in the Middle Ages, and you’re still alive.’ It was in the

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Black women sue Denver over alleged racial, gender discrimination in fire department

Two Black women sued the city of Denver on Wednesday over allegations that members of the Denver Fire Department systematically discriminated against them both because of their gender and their race.

Da Lesha Allen and Charmaine Cassie say they unfairly faced tougher standards and stricter scrutiny than their white male colleagues, and that colleagues and supervisors made racist comments about their hair and bodies and applied racist stereotypes to the women after they joined the department in 2019 and 2018, respectively.

One fire captain told Cassie that she would struggle to get through the fire department’s training program because of the department’s culture, and said that she should “keep her head down and act like a slave” in order to graduate from the training, according to the lawsuit.

A lieutenant commented several times on Cassie’s body, including declaring that she had a “big butt,” according to the federal lawsuit. In

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