Women Leaders and Activists
Experiences of Women Leaders and Activists as told by CGCC Students in partnership with Chandler Museum's Public History Program
How have you seen women's roles change?

Narrator: Nancy Marion
Interviewer: Ashley Kearn

AK: How have you seen women's roles change since you were a child?

NM: My mom was a great mom, hands down, a great mom. But she was not allowed to work outside the home until the youngest in the family no longer needed her day-to-day care. When my youngest sister was in high school, my mom went to work as a lunch lady. She could still have all the days and times off with the family and still work outside the home. Then along came the feminist movement, I can do it all. Along with the do it all Super Mom movement came the double income to survive movement. I had to balance the guilt of working outside the home, as I was mentored, and enjoy rising in the ranks of health care administration and becoming my own person. I had to learn to balance my personal life and let my family know they would always come first with pulls on my time from my professional career. Some days it was quite daunting, but overall fulfilling.

Women are much more the movers and shapers of Americana than they were when I was a child.

AK: How have you seen your role as a woman change because of your activism?
NM: I don't know so much…How old are you?

AK: I'm nineteen.
NM: Okay, well let me tell you. When I was nineteen I thought I knew it all, by the time I was 25 I had figured out I really didn't know all that much. When I was thirty, I was starting to put my life together. By the time I was forty, I was pretty comfortable in my own skin. Now that I'm fifty, I have a pretty good understanding of who I am. I'm always changing but for the most part I know who I am and what makes me tick. My role hasn't changed; I have changed and the roles I tackle are different.

There is a domestic violence call every five minutes; that's wrong. No one should have to live in fear or be a slave to fear. So my job, my self-appointed job, is to get these abused, beaten individuals and let them know there is hope, being beaten is not OK. Get up, brush yourself off, and get into healing yourself and your children.

Narrator: Frances Pickett
Interviewer: Elias Ewert

EE: How have you seen women's roles change since you were a child?
FP: Well, women didn't work outside the home when I was a child. My mother never worked outside the home. Her main job was washing, ironing, cooking, and working in the garden when she had the chance and taking care of us children. And I wouldn't have worked unless I could be with my children. Working at the school, I went to school with them, I ate with them at noon at the cafeteria, and I would come home with them and I was out on holidays with them.

EE: So do you think that mothers today should just be stay at home moms or should they go work?
FP: Well, as long as their work is divided up and the children don't suffer from it. What bothered me the most was leaving my youngest one with a baby sitter at home... I always felt torn from my job or tending to her.

Narrator: Mary Tucker
Interviewer: Cara O'Dowd

CD: Did your role as a woman change over the course of your involvement in activism?
MT: Oh sure. I have a BS degree in secretarial science. That's why I went to Oregon State. I thought I could be one of three things: nurse, teacher, or secretary. The least onerous of those was secretary. That was really all I could do (laughs)...I gained a lot of confidence and self-respect through the course of my work with Arizona Right to Choose. And after I quit that work, I was hired to be the first lay director of the osteopathic board of examiners in the state of Arizona, and we went from having the worst record of disciplines to the best in the country. You know, women are always the backbone of all organizations, whether it be religious, political, social issues…it's the women who do the work and make things happen. Quite often it's the men who are at the head …but it's still the women who are the shakers, the movers, the doers. If you want a job done, mostly you want women.

Photos courtesy of the families.

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school Frances Pickett worked as a teacher