Interviewee: Sharon MacMillan
IWY SC 639
Interviewer: Elaine Mayo Paul
Date: June 1977
Sharon MacMillan was from Sumter, South Carolina. MacMillan attended the state IWY conference because she was a woman and had experienced sex discrimination. Interview includes discussion of: MacMillan’s impression of the conference as harmonious and her observations about the positive, friendly environment of the conference. MacMillan also appreciated how the conference offered financial aid to women without the resources to attend on their own.
Elaine Mayo Paul: Would you tell me your name please?
Sharon MacMillan: Sharon MacMillan.
EP: Sharon MacMillan. And where do you come from?
SM: I’m from Sumter, South Carolina.
EP: Sumter. That’s quite a drive, isn’t it?
SM: About 45 miles.
EP: Oh, yes. Well then tell me something, why did you decide to come?
SM: Because I’m a woman.
EP: (Laughter) That’s good!
SM: I’ve experienced discrimination and I firmly believe that unless people, men and women get together, discrimination cannot be licked. Any kind of discrimination.
SM: And I think understanding is the thing that is most lacking now and that working together is the only way to bring about better understanding.
EP: Beautifully put for a nervous person. Alright. Do you feel the mood of the conference to be good? Optimistic? How do you feel about it?
SM: One thing I was thinking about that struck me earlier today was that I’ve been to other conventions where if things didn’t go exactly according to order, there was a lot of people getting uptight. The thing I felt earlier today, when we had the breaking with the (unintelligible at 1:14), was that everybody was working together. There was a sort of harmony.
SM: There was not a lot of confusion or dissention and that people were open to what was being said. And that…well, I don’t want to feel like a female chauvinist pig, but I’ve been to a lot of meetings that are predominantly male carried out where there was a lot of, where you felt very, ah, nervous and yet at this meeting I felt that kind of tension was not present.
EP: Beautifully said.
SM: That there was not any, you know, sort of rigid type of discipline you had to follow. It was smooth, it was very smooth today.
EP: Mmhm. And you think something good is going to come out of this conference?
SM: Already a whole lot of good has come out now. Women from all over the state have met. They’ve shared some ideas. I’ve noticed that people don’t feel embarrassed to go up to a stranger and say, check out their name tag and ask them where there from and if they’re representing anybody or if they’re individuals. And sometimes, you know, I think it’s great that we’re all so, played in right from the beginning was the financial aid for people who could not afford to. You know, and it’s just a natural function of the convention and that was made clear from the start so people that could not afford. So we do have a lot to say.
EP: We have all segments of society.
SM: All segments.
EP: For someone who’s shy, I have to say, you’ve said it very well. Thank you so much. Now…
End of Interview