My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

RALEIGH, N.C., Tuesday—I came down here on the 10:20 a.m. plane and all day today and tomorrow I shall be in the delightful surroundings of Duke University and Chapel Hill. I expect to be back in New York City early Thursday morning, but I will tell you about this trip a little later on.

In the meantime, I want to speak of a change that has been made in the Democratic National Committee, as announced several days ago by National Chairman Stephen A. Mitchell.

For many years it has been the custom on the national, state and county levels to have completely different setups for women Democrats, in which their work was developed and carried on apart from that of the men. Now it has been decided at the national level, and I suspect that this will be followed on the state and local levels, that integration of all Democratic activities for men and women should be carried out.

This is a distinct step forward, for it will give men and women equal status in all party work.

On the other hand, I think it must be understood that frequently men can be brought into campaigns for only brief periods of time. After some highly concentrated work in individual campaigns and because of pressure of other business, most men must drop politics except as it enters into occasional discussions or activities.

Women, however, as a rule have to keep some continuity in any work they undertake. Therefore, if possible, the political questions that they must be familiar with when campaign time comes around must be made a part of some continuing activity.

For instance, the foreign policy of the United States may be a burning question in a campaign, but it will not be a burning question to the women unless they have been actively studying different phases of that foreign policy and have related it to the happenings in their daily lives.

The results of an election may turn on some particular domestic policy that affects the whole country or that may be more important in one part of the country. In such cases the women in those areas must be studying those domestic questions and must fully understand the effect that they have on the things that are of importance to them—the home, family life, the development of their children in school and recreation, and the general welfare of the community.

It seems to have become fashionable to look down on people who are called "do-gooders." But I am not sure that women should be ashamed of aligning themselves with those who are really interested in seeing a better life for all in their communities and in their country. And this may be extended to embrace the whole world because women as well as men, must understand that conditions of life must improve for all people everywhere or they cannot be sure of remaining at a high level anywhere.

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL