My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

NEW YORK, Monday—I think perhaps it is a good thing to have to be in New York City for five days every week, because when you get back to the country for the weekend you are doubly conscious of the progress of spring. The sun was somewhat fitful on Saturday, but the green was everywhere beginning to be really lush and with that clean and bright look that comes only in the spring.

We have many lilac bushes and they are just coming out, giving us a most fragrant walk around the house.

From the days of my childhood I always knew that lilacs should be around the kitchen door, but I like them everywhere. While they are in bloom they perfume the air, and one can bring armsful into the house. And when the blossoms go, their foliage stays green for the rest of the summer.

* * *

A short time ago I was sent a little book, which is hardly more than a pamphlet, published in England and called, "Report of a Conference on the Feminine Point of View," drafted by Olwen W. Campbell.

The idea back of this is that perhaps if we studied history properly something might be learned about the possibility of changing attitudes as regards women which might change the course of history. There is an analysis of the position of women leading up to today, and of their attitudes and points of view.

These English women felt that, on the whole, women did not feel sufficiently secure to bring their influence to bear, and perhaps it was lack of that influence that had caused disasters in the past. They try to spell out some of the changes that are needed.

I do not know that a conference held in this country would bring about the same results, but I think this short report might well be read by women in this country and even republished here, for it is thought provoking.

It seems to be opportune, too, for Dr. Homer P. Rainey, head of Stephens College for women in Columbia, Mo., came to lunch with me at the United Nations the other day to tell me they are planning a re-study of the areas of women's activities, as a guide to revisions of curricula in women's colleges. They also will hold a conference next autumn, which should take up some knotty questions.

For instance, I was asked frequently abroad why we did not have more women in elective positions and in active party and appointive posts. My basic reaction is that it is very difficult for women to plan independent lives. As a rule, they adjust to the needs of their families and that is one reason why they are actually not able to undertake work that takes them away from home. The home today in the United States, because of lack of personal service, requires more attention from the women.

* * *

I am sure all of us read with real regret of the death of Rollin Kirby. His cartoons have been part of our lives for so many years and have given us so much enjoyment that I think he will be missed by a large following in this country.

E. R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL