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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Suzanne Post, June 23, 2006. Interview U-0178. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

The 1977 International Women's Year Conference

One of Post's favorite memories is of the time she spent at the 1977 International Women's Year Conference. She marvels at the radical resolutions the women passed despite their different backgrounds.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Suzanne Post, June 23, 2006. Interview U-0178. 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.

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SARAH THUESEN:
On a related note, you attended the International Women's Year Conference in Houston in '77, right?
SUZANNE POST:
Mmm hmm.
SARAH THUESEN:
Tell me a little bit about that experience.
SUZANNE POST:
That was a hilarious experience. We had had a state conference first to elect women to go the one in Houston. We had adopted an agenda at that conference at U of K. The agenda was four things. Has anybody told any of this yet?
SARAH THUESEN:
No.
SUZANNE POST:
We adopted an agenda that called for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, gay and lesbian rights, child care, and choice. So we had those four things and we had yellow t-shirts made. God, I wish I still had mine. Down the front of the t-shirts, overimposed on a map on Kentucky, we had these things. People said, "My God, how did you get those passed in a place like Kentucky?" It was a really good question. I mean, it's a very conservative state. But we were able to get support for choice, for gay rights, for child care, and for the ERA. So we get to Houston and you're going to laugh at me, but one of the things most I remember about Houston, which had ten thousand women descend on it and the hotels were really not prepared, was that the second day we were there, you couldn't find a tampon within two miles of the hotel. They had sold out of boxes of tampax. So when you figure that one-fourth of the women are going to be menstruating at the same time during this conference—is it one-fourth or a third?
SARAH THUESEN:
I would say one-fourth.
SUZANNE POST:
Yeah, okay. So it was hilarious. We couldn't find tampons. The other thing we couldn't—we had to liberate the men's bathrooms constantly because there wasn't enough women's bathrooms. It was highly charged. It opened with a march led by Betty Friedan and Bella Abzug and one of our local judges. They had a mini-marathon and somebody carried a torch in. This huge hall, it was very heavily charged, because there was an enormous anti-ERA, anti-choice, anti-gay's rights bias there. I honestly didn't think we were going to get what we wanted; I just didn't think we were. I'll be damned if we didn't get every one of those things passed.
SARAH THUESEN:
A resolution in support of them?
SUZANNE POST:
Mmm hmm, which is amazing in 1977. I mean, it was just totally amazing, because there's so many bible-belt states in this part of the country. The other thing that I remember really well about Houston is that I had bought a pair of jeans on sale that were way too tight for me and we were all living out of vending machines because they weren't set up to handle us. Within a day or two, the buttons on my jeans, oh God, it was just agony, it was agony. But it was really fun. I was so glad.