Interviewee: Jason Wages
IWY SC 685
Interviewer: Elaine Paul
Date: June 10-11, 1977
Jason Wages, of Blythewood, South Carolina, taught at Spring Valley High School. He was also a part-time graduate student in secondary social sciences. Wages attended the South Carolina IWY Conference because the professor of his Historical Perspectives of Women course encouraged students to attend. His professor was Dr. Linda Maloney. Wages believed that women should assert themselves and he enjoyed learning more about women’s perspectives. He hoped that the conference will lead to more credit given to women for their contributions. Wages wished more men would attend such conferences.
Elaine Paul: Give me your name and where you come from, and why you’re here.
Jason Wages: Well, my name is Jason Wages. I’m from Columbia, not Columbia, but I say Columbia because it is so close. I’m from Blythewood, it’s about, I guess, twelve miles north of here. And I’m a teacher at Spring Valley High School, part-time graduate student.
EP: In what field?
JW: Social studies, secondary social studies. And my reason for being here is that I was very interested in this but really, still, the desire to be here was that I’m taking a course. 643. It’s a history course and it’s called the Historical Perspectives of Women. I have a very good professor by the name of Dr. Linda Maloney and she had told us about this in class and encouraged us to come. And I’m really glad that I did, I learned so much so far.
EP: What do you think it’s really going to accomplish?
JW: Well, for one thing it’s going to accomplish many new horizons such as the idea that women no longer take a backseat. They going to really assert themselves as they should and…
EP: Doesn’t that make you nervous?
JW: No, not at all.
EP: Not at all?
JW: I admire it.
JW: I do, really. I admire that. I must say that this is the first time that I’ve been surrounded by so many women, so many gifted women. And I just can’t wait to get back to my class and tell them what I experienced. It’s just marvelous.
EP: When did you become aware of the fact that there are real issues that involve women? Was it because you took the class or did you take the class because you were aware?
JW: I took the class hoping that I would learn more. Even with the textbooks that the professor has chosen, they have really enlightened me. I was really in the dark until I took the class. I knew that there was some discrepancies and everything but I didn’t know that they were so severe. And I’m impressed. I was given a reading list by the professor and I’m always going to hold on the that reading list because the books that are on there, you know, I think I will always want to read. There are numerous books listed and, well…
EP: Have you started digging into them?
JW: Persistently. It’s like, there’s one book called Gertrude Lerner, by Gertrude Lerner.
EP: Oh yes, I know her.
JW: You know her? My goodness. I was most impressed, you know, they played a tape about her in class, the ladies’ dynamic. And there’s a book she has about the perspective of women. It’s a general collection of things people might want to know about women but have been sort of cast aside, people haven’t really printed. It’s about a 500 page book and I’m enjoying page by page. I really am.
EP: And you think this conference is going to add to your perspective?
JW: Well it’s changed me a lot in terms of, well, woman power. You know, women have really been contributing a lot and they hadn’t really been given credit. I just wish that more men were here to see what women are doing.
EP: I’m amazed at the number of men that I’ve seen.
JW: Well, you know, that surprised me too. You know, when something good happens the word spreads and more and more men are coming. Not only out of curiosity, but just the idea of getting more. Learning what women are doing and they’re learning because you women are sure showing them exactly what you all can do.
End of interview