Interviewee: Ruth Glover
IWY SC 596
Interviewer: Louise Pettus
Date: June 10-11, 1977
Ruth Glover, from Charleston, SC and a 25-year veteran of the women’s organizing, was a member of the League of Women Voters and the National Association of Women in Construction. Interview includes discussion of Glover’s interest in finding out more about the International Women’s Year conferences; her family life; her belief that certain aspects of home life should not be interfered with by the federal government; and her positive impression of the conference attendance and diversity. Glover was also interested in the senior citizen workshop.
Ruth Glover: –Glover, and I’m from Charleston.
Louise Pettus: And why are you here at the conference?
RG: Because I’m very much interested in what this International Women’s Year is all about. Being a mother of three daughters, and also having a mother in a nursing home, I’m concerned with what is being advocated for women as far as the federal government is concerned. I personally feel that the federal government intervenes entirely too much in the lives of individuals. I think there are certain areas in the home and in the work forces that should not be interfered with by the federal government. I think that private enterprise is stepped on to the extent that they are restricted in what can be done for women.
I think that women will rise to their natural level without a push from the federal government. I think there are certain things federal government has to take care of, and I think that some things in the home are not some of the things that should be looked into or should be dictated to or guide-lined into and out of.
I have two daughters, I have twin daughters who are twenty-eight who will be here shortly, and I’m delighted that both of them could be here. One is coming from Spartanburg, and one works here in Columbia. The program, the resolutions that will come out of this, as I understand it, will be taken to a national conference or convention, whatever the proper term is, in Houston, and I feel that these things should have the input of persons from all walks of life.
I have talked to a number of people in this conference, and I find that the majority of persons who, to my way of thinking, tend to be a little more liberal with what the federal government should be doing for us, and I think that certain rights of families and certain state’s rights should not be interfered with to the extent that the government – Big Brother’s looking over you all the time.
LP: Do you feel so far in the conference that people have had a chance to voice their opinions?
RG: Well yeah, I believe they have. I mean, I don’t think they’ve really gotten into the meat of it until they get into the resolutions, because I think a resolution is what would determine any action that would be taken. I think it’s been tremendous, the turnout, and I’m delighted to see people from all walks of life from all over the state, and I think this is a healthy sign because I think when you go to a conference and you have all persons of, say, one political persuasion or one religious belief, I don’t think you represent a true picture of what the women in South Carolina think and believe and need and want, and are willing to work for. I think it’s been a very interesting one. I’ve met some very interesting people from all across the state. I think it would be nice to know how many counties, which are represented and which are not.
LP: And ages.
RG: Well, I think you can kind of look around. Not that you age peg a person, but I know the ones that are about my age, and I’ll know the ones that are about my daughters’ age, and I recognize easily ones that are about my mother’s age, so I think the age group from sixteen – and I can’t understand why sixteen would be the age that it would be from their own. I think in a way sixteen is a bit young, because I think sixteen-year olds, and I know because I’ve raised three of them, at sixteen I don’t think that the majority of girls or boys have a firm enough outlook on what should be and shouldn’t be, and I think they’re too easily led. I mean, if mine were sixteen and they were coming today I could probably say this is how I want you all to do. But today, they might very well say, “Mama, this is what we want you to do.”
LP: Which workshops are you particularly interested in, or issue?
RG: Well, I really am interested in the senior citizens aspect of it, and I guess probably because I just put my mother in a nursing home about five weeks ago. I mean, this comes home to you. Anything that is a personal thing with you, naturally you’re going to be more interested in it. This is one thing that I am very much interested in, and I’m going to be interested to find out what my daughters are going to want to see, want to discuss.
–(Tape slur) I guess that’s what it would be termed, or the bill, whatever it was that created this International Women’s Year, and it’s my understanding that it is not a lobbying group, which I think is very good because I think that a lot of times people have a tendency to say I am the director of so-and-so, and I am on the board of such-and-such, and we represent x number of people, so that this can give weight to their opinion. And I think those opinionated remarks carrying the weight of a total membership of whatever organization, whether it’s the League of Women Voters, of which I am a member, or the National Association of Women in Construction, which is an excellent organization and of which I am a member, I would never, even when I’m president, get up and say I’m representing this group, unless you’ve taken a consensus of opinion. Some people have a tendency to do this in conferences.
I’ve been going to conventions and I’ve taken part in any number of women’s groups for twenty-five years, and I’ve been president of many women’s organizations, and I just hesitate to believe anybody that gets up and says I’m representing the League of Women Voters and this is what we think, unless they have taken a consensus of opinion. I’m glad to see that this is not being done here. To what extent it will be done nationally, I don’t know, and for that reason I would like to know more about these people who are going to be elected to be delegates to the national convention.
I know it’s going to be a hectic thing trying to count these votes for these 175 or 210, whatever number, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what the face of the voting machine is going to look like, because I’ve been very active in the election process in Charleston County, and setting up voting machines is not a picnic when you’ve just got the normal number of candidates for the normal number of offices. But in this case, where you’ve got, what, 175 or 210?
LP: Two hundred and ten, I understand, and having to run across to the State Capitol to Xerox things, too.
RG: –the only girls in neighborhood and they played football, and when they went to school, which was right down the road, about a mile down the road, and they missed the school bus coming home and they walked home and they were just so upset. And I said, “What in the world is wrong with you?”
“Did you ever hear such a thing in your life, that girls don’t play football?” because the principal had said everybody interested in playing on the football team stay after school, and they had stayed after school to play on the football team. That’s when they found out boys do some things that girls don’t. But I said, “Don’t you ever let the fact that boys do something that you don’t stand in your way of wanting to do and doing. And they have done, because one of my daughters that’s coming, she was the first deputy sheriff in Charleston County. She’s now (unintelligible) and state law enforcement officer, and the other one is on an educational research project now. She taught school for three years, but she’s very much into education because she likes small people, like grades one to four, because she has a terrific way with them.
I just don’t feel that they have ever been sort of discriminated against, so this thing about women being discriminated against in jobs – (aside) these are new people? They’re going to have some registration somewhere. They better hurry and get here.
I said, I just feel that the women in my family have to be barrier breakers for the simple reason that there’s nothing but women in my family, and if we don’t break barriers, where are we going to be? We’re going to be behind, and that would never do. Not in my family.
End of Interview