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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Eleanor Copenhaver Anderson, November 5, 1974. Interview G-0005. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

The appeal of YWCA for women workers; difference between YMCA and YWCA

Anderson and her neighbor, Sue Stille, discuss that the YWCA appealed to them because of its strong leadership. Although the transcript is incomplete, Stille and Anderson imply that the male workers of the YMCA were money-driven. Liberal affiliations affected male funding sources more so than they did women.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Eleanor Copenhaver Anderson, November 5, 1974. Interview G-0005. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

MARY FREDERICKSON:
Why did you go to the Y to begin with?
ELEANOR COPENHAVER ANDERSON:
Well, Mrs Robert E. Speer was the national president and she came to Bryn Mawr and recruited me right out of college. I don't know.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
I mean cause it just sounded like a good idea?
ELEANOR COPENHAVER ANDERSON:
Very good.
STILLE:
It seemed to me the leadership was so good. [First thought she would do it for one year.] And that was when I got out of the school [something about degree] and we were told before we left. . . I was asked back with a raise. Anyone who bobbed their hair couldn't teach school. Well, for me of course I wanted to go out immediately and bob my hair. I didn't care.Then I got this job for summer anyhow, and I liked the people. The leadership seemed so much broader. And there were Indians and blacks and all there at the camp, you know. And that was wonderful. It was my first job. I went to school. Nebraska University. And then I taught in Falls City, which is a town about 15,000 I guess.
MARY FREDERICKSON:
Why was the leadership so different in the YW as compared to the YM?
STILLE:
I don't know enough about it. It's not fair for me. . .
ELEANOR COPENHAVER ANDERSON:
[Something about the men are there to make the money.]
STILLE:
A man would give $10 to the YMCA and maybe a $1 to his wife for the YW.
ELEANOR COPENHAVER ANDERSON:
But the women weren't pressed, as the men were, from reactionary. . . You have to say that.
STILLE:
Yes, you're right. In business and everything else. They just worked on that basis. It had to make money. Although the YW has always had very good backing. I don't know whether they do now, so much.
ELEANOR COPENHAVER ANDERSON:
Fervent liberals. A few of these great women. . . I don't know. I should think of more southern women.