Flora Riley

Interviewee: Flora Riley
IWY SC 663
Interviewer:  Elaine Mayo Paul
Date: June 10-11, 1977

Flora Riley, of Oakway, South Carolina, was a homemaker and a part-time graduate student working on her master’s degree in personnel services at Clemson University. Riley was a candidate for the South Carolina delegation to the National Women’s Conference in Houston. Interview includes discussion of her family, her perspectives on women’s organizing, and how she hoped to attend workshops on creative women and the legal status of the homemaker.

Sound Recording

Transcript

Elaine Mayo Paul: …I want to ask you what your name is?

Flora Riley: I’m Flora Riley.

EP:  Flora Riley.

FR:  From Oconee County, in Oakway.

EP: And what do you do?

ER: I’m a housewife. I have two small children: two boys. I’m also a part-time student, working on my master’s in Personnel Services at Clemson University.

EP: And why did you come?

FR: Many reasons, really…really just to find out what it was all about. I…to find out what South Carolina was doing towards….women’s getting ahead, or whatever…

EP: Do you feel strongly about the advancement of women?

FR: Yes…I’m not one to go out and protest, in a walk–I’m not that into it, but in my home, I feel very, very strongly towards women being equal: jobs, schooling, anything.

EP: How did you first come to recognize a problem of women and their particular needs?

FR: Goodness, that’s hard to say…

EP: Was it a gradual process, that…

FR: More or less…it was something…goodness, it’s hard to talk on tape, and order your thoughts to where you come out…

EP: It’s difficult at any time… (Laughs)

FR: Probably, when I was in college…more or less, it when I started realizing—reading—I was more aware of what was going on in the world. When I got out of college, and saw the job situations, and the salary differences, and…right now I can’t really say any specific time, but that was generally when I became aware…

EP: I think that’s a very good time for you to have become aware, when you start looking for a job…

FR: Really, it kind of hits you…

EP: What did you anticipate out of this conference? Do you feel that something good is coming out of it? Something specific, or….how are your feelings?

FR: Well right now, we seem to have gotten just a history of what different women have done in the past; what they’ve accomplished. And it seems to have shown what we can do. You know…it–

EP: I hope so…

FR: Right…that…I can’t–I don’t know what direction this conference is going to take—

EP: Which workshops have you picked?

FR: Gosh, they were all interesting! (Laughs) I want to go to every one of them! But…probably…I can’t remember the list—probably on the—you don’t have it with you…

EP: …I’ve got it…but I’m not sure…  Probably which one?

FR: Goodness, I can’t think right off the top of my…

EP: You don’t have a specific—

FR: —the one on ‘the creative woman’… I liked the one on the… (loudspeaker in background 3:47)

EP: How about the ‘legal’ one?

FR: The one on women…the role of the …what–status of women: single, divorced, with a family…

EP: …that one’s a good one, I want to see too…

FR: Probably that one. I–frankly, I have not made my mind up, which one I’m going to go to…

EP: Neither have I. I wanted to go to the ‘legal’ one, but the others…

FR: I like the one on rape, and the battered child…or the battered woman, excuse me—in the first one…I’m just really studied the first morning…the afternoon—I can’t remember what’s offered in the afternoon.

EP: But you are going to stay through the whole conference….

FR: Yes. Yes. I’ve been on the – my name is on the slate that the nominating committee has presented, and I hope to—I would like to be elected to go to Houston…

EP: Oh! You’re a candidate!…

FR: Yes! (Laughter)

EP: Well, you better get out and shake hands! We’ll call this a day right now! You go out and get your dinner, and out of this and start contacting people!

FR:  I really don’t know how to go about it, because I don’t know that many people. And it’s hard to feel…you know, swamp up upon someone and say ‘vote for me’, you know, I’m…

EP: You’re among sisters! You’re among sisters…

FR: I feel like I’ve talked too long…

EP: I really think you’re going to make a good presentation…thank you—

End of Interview

(05:14)