Gerarda Koehne

As Interviewed by Victoria M., March 20, 2011
"So, what used to be good about being a mother, seemed to everyone to be outdated and out of step with women’s freedom. I felt like life really became upside down..."
Gerarda Koehne

Introductory Profile: About Gerarda Koehne

The following interview is with Gerarda Ruth Mary Koehne, maiden name Mycue, and it will be discussing her feelings towards women’s rights while she was growing up and into adulthood. She was raised in an Irish Catholic family, originating from Niagara Falls, New York. Her family migrated to Texas and they all went to Our Lady of Perpetual Health School.

First the family was Republican until the election of John F. Kennedy. It was then that they changed and voted for the Democrats. Gerarda’s brother David, my grandfather, said that he asked their dad, why would he be voting for the 1960 democratic candidate, John Fitzgerald Kennedy? Their father responded, “Because he’s one of our kind,” meaning he’s Irish Catholic. From that point in Gerarda’s youth they were affiliated with the Democrats.

My interviewee, Gerarda Koehne, helped me think about feminism differently. Instead of learning more about what I expected to hear, women fighting to have the same rights as men and being able to work out in the real world, I actually learned about women who wanted respect when choosing to stay home with their children. It was surprisingly hard for these women because they received negative comments about their chosen housewife lifestyle. Before this interview with my great aunt, Gerarda, I had never thought about women’s rights in this way.