Brenda Fine


As interviewed by Kadin Fine, March 21, 2019

Brenda Fine: In Her Own Words

[This is a transcript of material not included in the Podcast]

During women discrimination do you remember any incidents based on gender?

Basically. the earliest memory I had based on gender discrimination was when I entered public school, first grade. Before then my parents encouraged me to be the best that I could be, where my first grade teacher had favorited the boys and looked at the blood as not so smart. It was not encouraging, not a good way to start school with her attitude.

What was the most positive or most surprising thing to happen about your gender?

When I did start getting more politically evolved, with different organizations during the early 70s, I actually had someone contact me and did an article about me in the newspaper -- my family and all the activities I was doing. And I was just trying to be a positive role model for other women and families.

What was that like?

I was very proud, they took a picture of me and my family. But the fact that i was doing it all working, a mom, and also evolved in political organizations, mostly supporting equal rights for women

Was there a difference on how younger and older people viewed women's rights?

Oh, definitely. My parents were the traditional husband works and the lady just stays at home and cook, where my generation is more eased to some equality. Now with one of our younger sons he stays home a lot and is more Mr.Mom where the wife works more, so I just think it’s more individual now based on what jobs people have and wants to stay home. It's more equality now

Were younger people more pro gender rights?

Yes, definitely.

In what way?

Well, like they say, the older are just wanting to pigeon hole people, while now the younger meet a lot of young people by just being a taxi driver with our little business and people are doing things, many different roles than they use too. I mean the first women who got accepted to the union of electricians at the highest level, and she was a women and also African-American. It was pretty exciting to meet her and hear her story.

Were there any marches or organization you joined for women's rights?

Many marches and organizations, the most famous then is National Organization for women which is N.O.W. and also the E.R.A., Equal Rights Amendment. There were many many conventions, marches, events related to both of those.

Why did you join at the time you did, why not earlier or later?

When I was in college there was a lot more focus, the movement was more on equality based on race and it was kinda like time to get even more fine tuned and also have it relate to gender. Right after college i had a lot more time and was able to focus on some of my passions towards really equality for all, each person is on the earth briefly and will hopefully be the person that they can be, and not discourage others but enable them in any way you can.

What was the most crowded or most popular march you’ve been in?

National Organization of Women, five thousand at the convention, many marches, many events there in San Antonio.

What were they like in San Antonio?

It was during the time when the National Organization of Women had the highest members, there was a lot going on. It was like Civil Rights part two after the race situation got more official even though there's still many concerns. It wasn’t natural then even for the women the inequality of gender not just women. Because of course there are male nurses. Back when I was that age women were supposed to be nurses -- so it's equality for both men and women.