Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on July 27, 1975 · Page 32
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 32

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, July 27, 1975
Page 32
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·C --JuH27,1975 · Woman's Lib Changing Lifestyles By Ann Blackmail Auocialed Preu Writer The women's movement is tuggbg at Middle America, changing lifestyles as traditional as the Iowa cornfields. It's okay in Des Moines for a woman to join friends for a drink after work and say her husband does the grocery shopping. It's okay in Olivette. Mo., for a conveyor factor.' employe to earn less than his wife. It's okay in Fort Knox. Ky., for an Army captain to vacuum the carpet and clean the bathroom while his wife goes back to school. It's even okay now in Iowa to have women commanding American Legion posts, and some do. * * · BUT THE changes have brought some sorrow, like the young man found sitting on a park bench. His girl friend left him, and he says he shares the blame with "that damned women's lib." Traveling across the country, one finds dozens of men and women whose lives have been touched by the women's movement. Some don't even realize it's happened. Conversations are punctuated with long sighs and pauses as women who once worked only out of economic necessity say that now a million dollars wouldn't keep them home all day. Slowly, often hesitantly, more and more women whose children have grown up are looking for jobs or going back to school -- or thinking about it. Husbands are helping out more with housework and babysitting -- not always willingly. Many men are confused as they watch their women becoming more outspoken, more self-assertive, more independent. "There were no truth in packaging laws when I got married," said a man married in the 1950s. Irma Queck, 47, wife of a hog farmer, is organizing the "porkettes" in Greenfield, Iowa, to participate in the business. "Women are more interested in the business than they used to be," she says. MRS. QUECK, a plump, cheery, curly- haired mother of eight, does not consider herself a women's libber. She is proud of being a housewife, of feeding eight hungry people three times a day, of keeping their clothes clean and the household running. Still, as she sits in her farmhouse living room, musing about her children and the ironing and her husband's business, she allows how maybe her thoughts about women's roles have changed. "I think that women are interested in the business operation and that by being organized, they can help," she said of the "porkettes." "This is not a social organization. One thing we do is check meat thermometers in stores. I'm part of my husband's business." Irma Queck is not alone. Government statistics show more women working. Four years ago 28 million women made up 43 per cent of the labor force. Today there are 33 million adult women working -- composing almost 46 per cent oi the labor force. Last year there were 13 v z million mothers working or looking for jobs. 12 per cent more than in 1970. Women also are postponing marriage. Last year almost half of all 21-year-old women had never married, compared to 35 per cent in 1960. V * * THOUGH DIVORCE statistics climbed last year to where there were 63 divorced persons for every 1,000 people with intact marriages, the changes occurring in most people's lives are less dramatic. "I've changed in the past two years," says Kay Mark, at 36 a mother of three, an executive secretary in a Des Moines hotel and wife of a Wonder Bread salesman. "1 came back to work in 1970 because we needed the money. My husband didn't like me working at first. He had the feeling he wasn't providing for the family. Now he feels that other people have wives who work, too." She pats her bouffant hairdo. "I used to be of the opinion that your husband was to provide and love you, and you did everything for him," she says. "Gradually I've pulled away from that thinking. Every once in a while we have a flare-up." Mrs. Mark says she hopes her daughters don't marry in their 20th year, as she did; that they pursue careers and take the rest of their lives -- including a husband and family -- as it comes "but not as their sole goal. "I'd never go back to being a full-time housewife now," Mrs. Mark says. "I like going out. And I like being able to buy what I want to buy." tor for a Missouri conveyor factory, says his wife, a registered nurse, makes $150 a month more than he does. * » * IS HIS masculinity threatened by his wife's financial independence? Grommet shakes his head. "No," he says. "I don't know where we'd be without it. Sometimes I ask her if she thinks I'm paranoid because she makes more. But I'm not." Grommet says he and his wife just bought a new house, one they could not have afforded on one salary -- "no way." Businessmen are becoming more accustomed to seeing women in responsible positions. "The female members of our organization are taking a more active role," says Robert R. White, the graying, middle-aged business manager of Iowa's American Legion. "We have three women post commanders in Iowa DOW, and it's only been in the past few years that they've assumed this responsibility." For some, the personal and professional changes are unsettling, a threat to the daily rhythm established by time and tradition. Many hesitate to disturb the patterns of their lives. "It's a very risky area," said Betty J. Burden, 52, a Drake University staffer and mother of three. "Change is very threatening. It reaches the deepest human relations - the family. It's really scary. You wonder sometimes if it's worth it. The hostility that this can generate is startling." EVEN WHEN divorce is imminent, women are less traumatized by the realization that they'll be on their own. A North Dakota woman turned to a stranger on an airplane and confided unexpectedly, "Today is my 22nd wedding anniversary. I'm 43 and have four children. I'm getting divorced." She applies some make-up and continues. "I have to get a job and don't have a clue what I'll do. But you know, I'm just beginning to live." The depressed economy has given women reason to find jobs. Modern conveniences such as dishwashers and washing machines have freed them. And gradually, the women's movement has made it respectable. "A few years ago I though of myself as a second-rate woman because I worked," says Mrs. Amanda Brown, who runs a public relations firm in Atlanta, Ga. "Now the reverse is true. I find women rushing to me for advice. Working women have become more glamorous because we lead interesting lives." And men, conditioned to supporting a family, are finding a working wife makes economic burdens easier to bear. Ed Grommet, a 24-year-old cost estima- Charlotte Ann McClain, JackB. Young Married The Rev. Russell W. Ward Jr. performed the ceremony on Saturday after- noon when Miss Charlotte Ann McClain became the bride of Jack B. Young. She is the daughter of William A. McClain of Nottingham Road and the late Mrs. Mary E. McClain. Her .husband is the son of Mrs. Paul Hooks of Hampton, Tenn., and the late Mr. Herman D. Young. MRS. DURDEN, for 30 years the wife of a Commerce Department staffer and a woman who, in her peach pantsuit, looks like Ethel Kennedy, sips her drink. She is sitting in a dark Des Moines bar with two other women, a scene that has become more common in the last few years. "I'm basically very traditional," she says. "But my concept of my role has changed. My husband will probably be doing the grocery shopping tomorrow -and he didn't do this before." "Probably." A word used often, revealing how unsure many women are of their new independence, how reluctant to push friends and family too far. Asked if her friends are experiencing similar changes, Mrs. Durden smiles. "They come to me privately with questions," she says. "I had no idea how many women there are who are afraid to face their own desires, who are hurting inside." The women who seem happiest with their new lives are those who receive moral support from their families. Suzanne Warner of Louisville, Ky., is one of these. After years as a den mother and PTA president, she just finished fier first year of law school. Mrs. Warner, 39, is the beautiful blonde wife of an attorney, the mother of three teen-age boys. "You can be a volunteer forever," Mrs. Warner says. "I wanted a little bit of clout." As a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of a small Tennessee college, Mrs. Warner had a good start, but she wasn't satisfied with volunteer work. To allow time for the law books, her husband volunteered to fix dinner several times a week. "Now they clean up when their friends come over because they know it will give us time to do things together as a family," Mrs. Warner says. * * * UNLIKE MRS. Warner, some women ' are just beginning to voice their independence. At Fort Knox, Ky., Nicola Kostic, 27, an aspiring artist and the wife of an Army drill sergeant says she is losing weight and learning to drive so she can begin looking for a job. "Three weeks ago I weighed six pounds less than 300." Mrs. Kostic says. "1 wore a size 14 dress when we were married nine years ago. It was Betty Friedan's book. 'The Feminine Mystique.' that changed my thinking." The book, published in 1963, was one of the first feminine diagnoses of housewife malaise. Mrs. Kostic says she grew tired of sitting at home all day, always dependent on her husband or a friend to drive her places. "I'm not radical or anti-husband," she explained. "But I feel I'm not a whole person. By going out and becoming the whole person that I would like to be would give us a better relationship. My husband is growing, too." Several miles away, in one of the hundreds of small ranch houses surrounding Ft. Knox, Capt. Woody Herndan says he is vacuuming, scrubbing the bathroom and babysitting at night, so his wife, Donna, can complete work on her masters degree. "We thought she'd never really work again," Herndan says in a voice barely audible above the drone of the air conditioner. "But in the last few years, we realized that if we ever had to move to a place like Washington, D.C., we'd really be in a bind financially. We'll save what she makes." * * » DONNA HERNDAN, at 32, is a woman with striking dark hair that falls halfway down her back. She greets a visitor by saying, "We couldn't be a more traditional family." Halfway into the conversation her husband brags that Donna was the first woman to be elected vice president of the Ft. Knox school board. "I finally came to grips with the idea that I didn't like house work," Mrs. Herndan says. "My concept of myself has changed. I now think of myself as a contributing member of society. Before, my education was an insurance policy you hoped you never needed." Joe Hazelton, a tall, angular man in his early 20s, is among those men baffled by change. Sitting on a bench in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, Hazelton says his girlfriend left him recently, and he blames himself "and that damned women's lib." "We used to be pretty happy," says the young mechanic-dishwasher-handyman. "We were living together for a couple of years and everything seemed nice, with a few ups and downs." She worked in a department store and kept house. Then, bit by bit, he says, his girl began complaining about things like doing most of the cooking, being called a "chick." He says she started lighting her own cigarettes, squirreling away some money and sometimes balking at his suggestions; she wanted to do more. She wasn't happy. Finally, Hazelton saysrshe moved out. "I don't want to put women down," he explained. "I try to be nice to them, but I don't know what to do. And I seem to be doing the wrong things." festiM specialists ia sires 18 to 60 mi 1$X Z to 327. CATHERINE'S S immer ale entire summer DRESSES specially sized 18 to 60 and 16^ to OFF stock shifts-robes-shorts-blouses swimsuits-pants-hand bags special sizes 38to52 QQ orig. /m ' s briti, V-£ 7y $7 STOUT 5HDPPE other prices proportionately reduced WE WILL CLOSE AT 5:30 THURSDAY, JULY 31 , FOR INVENTORY 959 Dunbar Village Plaza, Dunbar, W.Va. 25064 768-7329 Open Daily 10-5:30, Thurs., 10-8:30 MRS. J. B. YOUNG .former Charlotte McClain THE WEDDING and reception were held on the lawn of the McLain home, and the bride was given in marriage by her father. Her stepmother, Mrs. Barbara J. McClain, was the matron of honor and the bridegroom's brother, Donald Young of Morgantown, served as best man. Both officers in the Kanawha Valley Bank, Mr. and Mrs. Young will make their home at 1455 Gallic Rd. following a wedding trip to Atlanta, Ga. The former Miss McClain is a graduate of St. Albans High School and holds a BBA degree from Marshall University. Her husband was graduated from Herbert Hoover High School and earned his B.A. degree from West Virginia State College. Autumn Weddings Planned s Tkedo 1016 Quarrier Street Phone 346-0483 4 DAT ADVANCE SALE ONLY! 45" PINWALE CORDUROY KLOPMAN'S 60" POLYESTER GABARDINE Robinson-Jarrett Mr. and Mrs. James P. Robinson of 826 Beaumont Rd. are announcing the engagement of their daughter. Fay Elizabeth, to Lt. Bruce David Jarrett, son of Thornton Jarrett of Charleston and Mrs. Clarence White of Dania, Fla. The wedding will take place at 8 p.m. on Oct. 11 in the First Presbyterian Church. Miss Robinson has a B.A. degree in special education from West Virginia University, where her fiance received a B.A. in business administration. He is serving with the Air Force at Columbus AFB, Miss. Rooney-Conley A Nov. 29 wedding is being planned by- Miss June Maureen Rooney. daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur P. Rooney, and Marvin K. Conley. son of Mr. and Mrs. Jason Conley. all of Charleston. The bride-elect graduated from Stonewall Jackson High School and Salem College. She is a kindergarten teacher at Clendenin Elementary School. Her fiance graduated from Greenbrier Military Academy and attended Marshall University. He is employed by Rhodes Brick and Supply of South Charleston. ONE OF A KIND! THE SHOE WITH A PROFESSIONAL STANDING ASK FOR 401 ^ SHOES .g John lee · SAMPLE CUTS ·100% COTTON · 2 - 1 0 YD. LENGTH · $2.49 VALUE FIRST QUALITY, OPEN SUNDAY 5 Big Locations.' · KANAWHA CITY · ST. ALBANS · DUNBAR Open every ntte 'tl 9, Sunday 1-6 · SOUTH HILLS Open Hon. 'tl 9, Sunday 1-6 · DOWNTOWN CHARLESTON OpenMM. 6 Frl 'tfl 9, Ctoe4 Sm. Open Til 9 Every Nite · FALL COLORS ·FULL COLOR RANGE I · REGULAR STOCK · $3.99 OUR EVERY DAY LOW! MFG. SUGG./ PRICE $5.00 · CALICOS · PATCH WORK vn · BANDANA YD · DOTTED SWISS CHECK GINGHAM! o shop SHOP ORts5 BOTH FOR I

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