The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition > My Day
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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Hyde Park, N. Y., Friday—The other day, I was sent a most amusing page from a magazine called "Future" "The Magazine For Young Men." An article by Dr. S. N. Stevens, which contains the following quotation was marked for my attention:

"Women are generally more intuitive than empirical. In other words, they play hunches instead of examining facts in the evaluation of a situation. And I have never yet seen one who, in a tight spot, didn't try to take advantage of the fact that she was a woman."

I am willing to agree to the first part of the paragraph, women have so much intuition and are so much quicker to feel things than men are, that they occasionally count too much on that particular gift. However, the woman who has trained herself has the advantage over a man in that she still has her intuition, but to it she has added his gift of examining facts and evaluating all the factors entering into a situation. As to the second half of his statement, I'll grant some women do it, but they are never the women who succeed in their jobs. They are the ones who always preyed on men and always will, for that is a job in itself.

The fine women in the home or on the job learns to stand on their own feet. In fact, there are so many occasions when a woman is in a tight spot which only she herself can face, that it is rather rare to find her turning to anyone else and trying to share her burden or ask for assistance on the ground that she is a woman.

What good would it do to try to get someone else to stand by when you are about to have a baby? What good would it do to turn to anyone else if your husband drank and you had to try to collect his wages before they were all spent? A woman may use her womanly wiles to help her in tight spots, but she isn't trading on being a woman, she is just handling the job which is hers, and frequently it is the job of handling a man and making him think he isn't being handled. These doctors and editors who write for magazines like this are very clever, but they should know a little more about women and real life before they venture to write about them.

I have a letter from a woman in the Middle West who says that she has just been "turned down without even the opportunity of an interview for a position as private secretary at a living wage for which I was qualified." The reason given her was that she was over thirty years of age. This particular woman is a widow, the sole support of a child and an aged mother, and she is so excited over this experience that she wants to do something about it. Her ancestors were pioneers in this country and she feels that something has gone wrong with our industrial world when we cease to recognize the value of experience and stability.

She recognizes that youth and inexperience must have a job, but she feels that those who are over thirty have special things to offer as long as they are well and strong and that there is room in this country for all ages if we make a determined effort to master our economy instead of letting our economy master us. I must say that I have great sympathy for her and wish her good luck in her efforts.



Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Hyde Park (Dutchess County, N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, August 5, 1939

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project

Available under licence from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

Published with permission from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

TEI-P5 edition published on April 28, 2017.

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.