Norfolk Women's Oral History Project
Jean E. Friedman,
Life experiences of a 60-year-old Norfolk senior citizen, including work history,sexual history, and sexual attitudes, with a focus on sex roles of the 1930's. (Some portions inaudible).
(Interview taken at YWCA).
Interviewer: Name not given
Transcribed: 26 February 1985
I: 60. Okay. And are you married?
I: And how old was your husband when you were married?
I: Did you work before you were married?
I: Did you work before you were married?
I: Can you recall what kind of jobs?
I: Where else?
I: What did you do?
I: This was in the Thirties?
I: You were married then?
I: What did your husband do?
I: Did you have any children?
I: Did you go to high school?
I: Were you encouraged to go on to school?
I: How old were you when you got married?
I: So you got married so you wouldn't have to continue in school.
I: So, you quit school or did you work?
I: Uh-huh. Okay. What was your father's occupation?
I: He continued working there through the Depression?
I: Oh no. Was he in business for himself then?
I: Did your mother ever work?
I: When were they divorced?
I: Do you have other brothers & sisters?
I: What was her religious affiliation?
I: Where did you live in the Thirties?
I: Did you go to any social activities or what did you do for dating? What was a normal date?
I: How about the movies? Did people go to the movies at that time?
I: Okay let's see. You said you worked after you were married. Did your husband object to your working?
I: Didn't any other women work there?
I: And this was in the Forties?
I: You were married.
I: You didn't have any children so your husband didn't have to worry about helping with the children. Did he ever help with the housework while you were working?
I: No. Okay. Did you ever have outside help?
I: Who took care of the family money? Was that a chore that was shared?
I: Did you work full-time when he was working one or two days EL week?
I: What kind of work was he doing?
I: Was he working for himself.
I: Okay. Um...Do you recall -- this is sort of a hard question -- What your income averaged out to be during the Thirties?
I: And was there any big change in it over time?
I: I guess most of the places you worked in were mostly women?
I: I suppose there were men who did the same type of work you did?
I: Were you ever on any kind of relief during the Depression?
I: Did you ever think you ever might of as a goal had any particular kind of career?
I: You didn't have any children. Was it that you didn't want any children?
I: Did your husband want to have children?
I: Did you use any kind of contraceptive?
I: Do you know of any kind of close friends or relatives that used contraceptives that were popular then?
I: Never discussed it.
I: Did your parents ever give you any advice about dating?
I: So, he was only one you really dated?
I: What didn't last very long? Dating?
I: Oh, you were divorced after your first marriage?
I: I see. So, you were divorced in the Thirties. Was it very difficult to get a divorce?
I: To get the money?
I: That's very interesting. Why were you divorced?
I: (Laughter) One or two days a week.
I: How old was he?
I: How soon after your divorced did you remarry?
I: Six months. Did you attend church regularly?
I: Were you married in the church?
I: North Carolina? (Laughter) I see. Was it easier to get married there than it was here?
I: I know in Maryland you could go there one evening and drive home the next. Was that the way it was?
I: Okay. What did your parents think about you going off and getting married?
I: Oh? (Laughter) When you were younger were you tom-boyish?
I: Did you think your stepmother like to stay home and keep house?
I: How many kids were there?
I: Do you think she would have liked to have worked at a career?
I: Okay. (Laughter) Were you very close to your father and mother?
I: What sort of image might you have of the single woman who didn't get married for a career? Maybe from magazines or movies?
I: Do you think women maybe prefer to work as to get married?
I: Were many of the women you worked with single?
I: Did they have situations in their homes where they maybe had to work?
I: What about children? Did the women have children?
I: What was considered feminine in the Thirties?
I: Do you think that people maybe had a college degree during the Depression had a harder time getting jobs?
I: Were you ever involved in the lobbying efforts for women's rights or maybe child labor acts?
I: What did you think of Eleanor Roosevelt?
I: Why didn't you like her?
I: Is it maybe the image she put across or things she did in particular?
I: Do you feel that maybe husbands should share the housework if they are working especially?
I: Umm...Do you feel...this is a strange question...that most marriages are failures?
I: How did your cope with your housework? You know, working and...
I: How many hours a day did you work?
I: Okay. Lets see. Let me ask you some of these questions. In general sociologists say during the Thirties marriage was a dying institute. Did you find it otherwise?
I: Do you think less people were getting married during the Thirties?
I: Did you think having sex before getting married was normal?
I: What about if they were engaged?