Martha Par Harrison

As Interviewed by Dodie Robison, March 10, 2014
"The church wanted the women to stay at home and take care of the kids. It was not expected of us to go get a job or support our family with income."
Martha Par Harrison

Introductory Profile: About Martha Par Harrison

My interviewee’s name was Martha Par Harrison. Her family calls her Big Mimi. She is my paternal great-grandmother who is alive from 1919 - present. She is an only child and born in the big thicket of southeast Texas to an oil field wildcatter and his wife. She is very smart and valedictorian of their small high school. She married young to a man in the FBI during WWII and then he became a lawyer for the state of Texas. They settled in Austin and raised 3 children. She is 95 years old and lives today in Onion Creek South of Austin. She is a caring old woman who loves to share stories.

The interview was about discrimination against women in her generation. We talked about the church’s expectations for women and family and friend’s expectations. We talked about college and educational expectations. She was compelled to beat the boys at math because they thought she couldn't possibly do as good as them. We talked about standards for women, careers and being stay at home parents. The interview was a little offsetting to be honest because some of the questions I think she didn't understand.