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

[Original version of the column. Text in red are tagged with <sic> (needs correction); text in purple are tagged with <orig> (needs regularization); and text in blue are tagged names of persons or organizations. View emended version]

Print ColumnText Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

PARIS, Friday—I talked to a group of philosophy students at the Sorbonne earlier this week and to my surprise their professors also were there—some of them leading authorities in the field. I had no intention of mentioning philosophy and was glad of it when I saw my audience.

I had hoped only the students would ask questions at the close of my speech, but most were asked by the professors. Not about philosophy, fortunately, but about student life in the United States.

They were proud that one of their students was studying at Iowa State University and mainly were interested in the opportunities for student exchange between American and French schools, particularly for those studying Pphilosophy.

They were interested in making pen-friends with our students, too.

It was obvious that many of these young people had the hope that fate would some day give them the chance to study in the United States.

You will begin to think I spend all my time studying people, but the last few days have been exceptional.

* * *

At lunch yesterday we talked over some of the possible international effects the declaration of human rights may have when we finish it. But, of course, it is a little premature to be thinking about that.

Fair progress is being made, however, with Article 17 being accepted yesterday after much discussion. It reads:

“Every one has the right to freedom of opinion and expression. This right includes the freedom to hold opinions without interference and to speak and receive information and ideas through any media, regardless of frontiers.”

This important article was accepted after much discussion in a meeting in which fifty-four nations were represented.

Discussion immediately began on Article 18. It had not been finished however when I left the session to attend a press conference which I'd requested to hold for the French newspaper people.

Their questions largely were kept on social and economic levels, for I think they feel as I do that the more important political questions should be handled by other people of the delegation more qualified to speak on them than I.

American family life was the chief topic of our conference. The newsmen wanted to know how many married women worked and was it morally harmful in the relationship between husband and wife and in the development of children. There were many other questions as to how important American women were in trade and labor unions, how influential their social organizations were and what political effect women are having in the U. S.

In France, since the war, women are taking much greater interest in politics and fill a great many more important positions in the government than ever before. I have been interested to find that some of them are married and have families.

With the shortage of domestic help and labor-saving devices, it must take an enormous amount of labor for a woman to hold any sort of outside job and keep up a home, too. Yet many of them do, and some even rise to great prominence.

This reminds me of a broadcast I made here not so long ago. Before we went on the air the French commentator who was to interview me asked that I stress labor-saving devices which made housework and the care of children easier. He said it would be wonderful if the French women would demand some of these conveniences and cease feeling that they must be slaves to their children and home.

After that broadcast, mothers told me that the kind of baby food which comes in small bottles—and is such a joy to the American mother—was almost unheard of here before the war. The same was true of diaper service.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Paris (France) [ index ]
Other Terms and Topics
  • Freedom of speech
         [ LC | Wikidata | FAST ]
  • Freedom of the press
         [ LC | Wikidata | FAST ]
  • International Bill of Human Rights
         [ LC | VIAF | FAST ]
  • Labor unions
         [ LC | Wikidata | FAST ]
  • Mothers
         [ LC ]
  • Press
         [ LC | FAST ]
  • Radio programs
         [ LC | FAST ]
  • Women
         [ LC | FAST ]
  • Women employees
         [ LC ]
  • Women in Public Affairs
  • Youth
         [ LC | FAST ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, November 13, 1948

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
[ ERPP bio | LC | VIAF | WorldCat | DPLA | Wikidata | SNAC ]

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

  • Brick, Christopher (Editor)
    [ VIAF | ORCID ]
  • Regenhardt, Christy (Associate Editor)
    [ ISNI ]
  • Black, Allida M. (Editor)
    [ VIAF | ISNI ]
  • Binker, Mary Jo (Associate Editor)
    [ VIAF | ORCID ]
  • Alhambra, Christopher C. (Electronic Text Editor)
    [ VIAF | ORCID ]

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 2008-06-30

TEI-P5 edition published on 2017-04-28

XML master last modified on: February 16, 2021.

HTML version generated and published on: February 17, 2021.

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