Interviewee: Maryneal Jones
IWY SC 618
Interviewer: Louise Pettus
Date: June 10-11, 1977
Maryneal Jones, from Greenville, South Carolina, was a minister’s wife and served as a member of the Coordinating Committee for the South Carolina IWY Conference. In the 1960s, Jones worked with the Human Relations Council in her region and with the Office of Economic Opportunity during the Kennedy administration, and as a journalist. Interview includes discussion of how Jones became aware of women’s issues, her career as a newspaper reporter.
Louise Pettus: Can you repeat?
Maryneal Jones: Oh, okay. (Unintelligible at 0:02)
MJ: I’m Maryneal Jones from Greenville. I’m a minister’s wife and I’ve worked all of my life.
LP: Yes, and what brings you to a conference on women?
MJ: Well, I’m a member of the Coordinating Committee, having been appointed by the national commission to serve in that capacity and I was delighted to do so.
MJ: I think perhaps I was chosen because in the Sixties I was active in the human relations council in my county and on the Office of Economic Opportunity commission, OEO commission in the Kennedy years. And human rights is just something I am interested in.
LP: Very good statement then. I wonder, I’ve been asking some other people, what it is or what it was – if they can remember the particular – got them involved and conscious of being a woman and of some needs related particularly to women? Do you remember elementary school, high school, college? Where you an adult?
MJ: I think so. I think as a very young person growing up in my family were there were four boys and three girls, I always wanted to do the type of things the boys could do and there was a double standard. Girls did certain things and boys did certain things. And I thought the things that the boys did were more fun and that also applied as I got older and looked into career opportunities. I found that I didn’t want to be a secretary or a nurse or a teacher, which was about the only thing you could do if you were a woman, and I ended up going into journalism and became a reporter and a writer and I’ve enjoyed that. I was, perhaps, one of the first women off the women’s page, (unintelligible at 1:46) of the newspapers in our state. (Laughter) And, I don’t know, I just see it as something that from the very beginning in my own life I’ve seen the need for wider horizons for the female.
LP: Mmhm. Do you have any girls? Daughters of your own?
LP: No, you don’t?
MJ: No, I have two sons.
LP: Two sons?
MJ: Two sons. Teenage sons, yes.
LP: And, looking back as a newspaper reporter and all, did you find yourself sometimes not given stories, you felt, because you were a woman or not being allowed in to…?
MJ: No, no. I really don’t think so. I never have really run into any particular barriers but I don’t know that I was necessarily on the firing line. It may be just that I wasn’t where I needed to be at the time. You know, I may have been perhaps more satisfied with traditional roles, I’m not sure…
LP: Mmhm, and the opposite may be an observation that some would make, that because they were women, people perhaps, were a little more generous or willing to be interviewed.
MJ: Well, perhaps, yeah. Perhaps it’s had some advantages, yes.
LP: Alright, thank you very much.
MJ: Thank you.
End of Interview