My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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I spent a good part of yesterday catching up with my neglected mail, but in the morning when I opened the course at the Todhunter School I was much impressed by Mr. Boyd Fisher's speech on rural electrification. Several people came up to him afterwards and thanked him for the clarity with which he had explained certain points. One fundamental fact came out of the whole discussion, namely, that the farmer can not be served in the same way as the city dweller has been served and use electricity. He can not carry the cost unless the return on the invested capital is comparatively low. This is a tremendous field which should be served and where the private companies can not do so, there is no question but that the government should supplement where it is needed.

I seem to have made a mistake in one of my columns recently when I stated that Judge Kelly in Memphis, Tennessee is the only woman juvenile court judge in the south. Since that time I have been told of two others. Of course, I must have misunderstood what was said to me, perhaps there was just a period when she was the only one! I am delighted, and I know she must be also, that she has colleagues in this particular field of work, for it is a field where I feel a woman can be extremely useful. There are many men who have made successful and sympathetic juvenile court judges and if the court is in a large enough place, I should think it would be useful to have both a man and a woman serve, for many of the boys' cases are better handled by a man. There is no doubt that boys prefer to be told by a man what they should or should not do after a certain age. Perhaps it is a natural result of growing up. The woman reminds them of their early stages of weakness and dependence and the older they grow the less they like that reminder. Many a woman judge, however, can handle the entire family problem better than a man and so it is interesting to see this field opening up to women.

I attempted to see "I'd Rather Be Right," last night but so many people asked me if I were going to be there that I decided undue interest would be aroused by my presence and relied on the reports of my friends for an impression of the play. They all enjoyed it very much and one of them was much impressed by George M. Cohan's ability to be himself and yet make you feel interested in the problems which face the person he portrayed. This play seems to be furnishing a great many people with an amusing evening, but most of them come back afterwards with a sigh to the remark: "Well the outstanding interest is that we live in a country where a play like this can be produced and acted and have a long run without any interference from the government. Thank God for democracies." I would add fervently Thank God for a nation with a sense of humor!

E.R.
TMsd 2 December 1937, AERP, FDRL