Most of Boyd's contemporaries too self-involved to push for women's rights
Boyd remembers that most of her contemporaries did not agitate for women's suffrage when they were in college—they were much too focused on their own lives. Many of their parents, however, were active in organizations that pushed for voting rights.
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with Rosamonde R. Boyd, October 29, 1973. Interview G-0011. 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
But I have talked to my contemporaries who were in college at the time that the nineteenth amendment was passed and whose mothers were leaders in the local community. I thought perhaps that their mothers had belonged to some organizations active in trying to promote the enfranchisement of women. I really seemed to reach a blind alley with everyone of them because they were all college girls at the time, concerned with their own being and becoming. They were also being courted and thinking in terms of marriage so they didn't have much serious conversations with their mothers or fathers about politics. All of them said that at Converse College and at Randolph-Macon College . . .
- CONSTANCE MYERS:
Where you went.
- ROSAMONDE R. BOYD:
Yes. . . . and at the other Southern colleges
the students, as women, felt that they had some independence and they felt that women were as well qualified as men for any role they wanted. They, of course, approved of advancing women and were really concerned with getting an education themselves to assume some leadership. Yet they didn't organize or agitate in any way for the suffrage movement. I think that their mothers were very active. For instance, in Spartanburg, Mrs. Howard Carlisle who was Georgia Adam from Charleston, was one of the leaders in the community. Her husband was Senator Howard Carlisle Her daughter says that her mother and father discussed the possibility of women voting and frequently the children listened in. They favored it, both of them. But Mrs. Carlisle herself was very busy organizing a Y.W.C.A.. Also, there was Mrs. Stepp, wife of a physician I think he was Dr. J. B. Stepp. Their daughter, Mrs. Robert Olney, is in Spartanburg now. She said that her mother was public spirited and active in many new organizations but that she did not belong to a suffragette organization of any kind; although she certainly favored women having equalpolitical rights with men. She herself was not active in this area but active in other affairs.
The Y.W.C.A. has always been known as a liberal organization, so you can rest assured that there was
discussion of equal rights when the Y.W. was organized but no real organization or pushing of the matter.