Marie Evans

As Interviewed by Aidan E-S, April 3, 2012
"I wanted women to be able to govern their own lives, have their own bank accounts, and be independent people."
Marie Evans

Introductory Profile: About Marie Evans

My interviewee and grandmother, Marie Evans, advocated women's rights (and more specifically the ERA) in the seventies. During the interview she seemed a little angry and maybe even disbelieving about some of the ways she has been treated, which is completely understandable, because some of the things she went through were totally unjustified and uncalled for. Men had no reason to believe that they were of a higher intelligence than women, but they did, and took it so far as to treat them as inferiors in all areas. But when we began talking about how women are treated now, she seemed happier and even proud about what has changed.

Marie Evans is 74 years old, but her red hair still hasn't gone grey. Her bright blue eyes don't give away her age, either, and her wrinkles might as well be laugh lines. She's energetic and loving, all the traits of a great grandmother, but also tough and stubborn when she needs to be.

Born into the working class of Leicester, England in 1938, Marie was the only member of her family to pass the A-level exam to go to college. She went to University of Edinburgh in Scotland and Cambridge University, and got a bachelor’s degree in music. After college she moved to British Columbia to teach math and music. She then moved to New York and taught there for one year. In 1962 she met Nicholas Evans, and married him in the same year. She had my aunt, Bronwen Evans, in 1965, and my dad, Glenn Evans, in 1967. She divorced Nicholas for the first time in 1969 and the second time in 1971. She recently moved to and currently lives in Oberlin, Ohio.

During the interview Marie still seemed a little aghast at how she'd been treated. When she was talking about her experiences of injustice, she seemed almost unable to understand why anyone might think that women were inferior to men. Her voice sometimes showed disbelief, but other times anger or pride. She had strong feelings, good and bad, about everything we discussed.

Marie Evans is a great grandmother, mother, story teller, and leader, and has a strong history to back it all up. I learned a lot about who she is and what made her that person, all the fighting she's done, but also the bigger picture. I got a first-hand account of a rough time in women's history, one personal story in the middle of one huge story, which gave me better insight to both.