Denise Karczewski


As Interviewed by Cade Dulaney, March 19, 2016
"When a woman worked, the husband was viewed as inadequate. My mother worked weekends as a nurse. My dad had her leave by the back door of the house so that no one would see her in uniform and know that she worked."
Denise Karczewski

Introductory Profile: About Denise Karczewski

Denise Karczewski is my mother's aunt. She was born in 1953 and she is 62 years-old. She is a retired, special education teacher for elementary children. She has lived in the Chicago area her whole life. She has red hair that reaches to her neck and wears glasses. She likes to joke around with her grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. She also loves to visit museums and learn new facts. Her father worked in a steel mill and her mother was a part-time nurse, which was unusual for the 1950s.

Denise grew up during the time when the women's rights movement took place in the 1960s and 1970s. She was able to give historical information and opinions about how the roles of women changed from the 1950s to the 1970s. She went to college in the early 1970s and, while she was not directly involved with the protests or other demonstrations to further equality for women, she considers herself a feminist. In fact, when she was going to college she told her mother that she would not be a teacher or nurse because those were typical female jobs. However, she loved teaching and working with children so much that she made it her lifelong career. Even as early as high school, she wrote a paper about how women were superior to men.

The tone of the interview was reflective and Denise was serious yet open to sharing her experiences during this time period. I was able to learn a lot about the feminist movement and how it was to grow up at that time as a female. It gave me more appreciation for my mother and other women and the hard work they do.