Bernita DeGraffenreid

Interviewee: Bernita DeGraffenreid
IWY SC 576
Interviewer: Elaine Mayo Paul
Date: June 10-11, 1977

Bernita DeGraffenreid attended the South Carolina IWY Conference to become more involved in the women’s movement overall. Interview includes discussion of: DeGraffenreid’s belief that the conference attracted young women to the movement; how she became interested in the women’s rights cause by listening to news coverage of other women’s actions like strikes; and how DeGraffenreid’s interest in workplace discrimination and wage inequality.

Sound Recording



Elaine Mayo Paul: Name please?


Bernita DeGraffenreid: My name is Bernita DeGraffenreid.

EP: And where do you…DeGraffenreid?

BD: That’s right.

EP: Oh, Swiss! When did you decide to come?

BD: When?

EP: Why? Why did you decide to come?

BD: Well, to be honest, I just wanted to get more into the women’s lib movement.

EP: Wanting to be honest is what I’m hoping you will be. Do you feel that we’re accomplishing anything here?

BD: I believe we is.

EP: How do you feel about the conference?

BD: Well, it’s more young women coming in, you know?

EP: I noticed that.

BD: And want to be seen and want to be heard. That’s the most important thing.

EP: You’re going to the leadership workshop tomorrow, I bet. Of course.


 EP: Well look, how did you get interested in women’s issues in the first place? Can you remember?

BD: Well, listening on the news to other women. The rights and all that, having strikes and things. Just, I feel like this: the women, they should have more rights. It’s like some jobs they want to be against the women, don’t want the women to work, because they feel like they invite fear and discord because the women might make more money than the men. To me, I feel like women should be equals as the men is.

EP: Do you feel like this is going to help the situation? How do you feel about the general effect we’ll have?

BD: I believe it will help.  See, what we really should do is have more meetings like this. Then maybe we can get more and more women to come on in.

EP: Good. Thank you very much.

End of Interview