Janet Thomson: father's view of women's roles

Janet Thomson recalls her father's views on male and female employment in the 1950s.

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In fact I’m very glad that father was not around, because he didn’t believe that women should be educated; they were secretaries. That’s all that they were sort of there to be, they certainly shouldn’t have gone to university. Erm, because he had – he had wanted all of his children to join him in his business, and so we would've been on … Pam and I would've been on the secretarial side, and the boys would all have been doing the engineering side. But Pam became a teacher, and I became a geologist. [Laughs] 

Can you remember at what age you were when you realised that your father had this view of female roles and male roles?

Early teens, I think.

And what was your feeling about that view then?

I just thought it was crazy [laughs]. But I suppose because I had grown up in a more or less a matriarch household, to think that a man should sort of dictate what women were going to do, was not, er, just not right in my mind.

  • Interviewee Janet Thomson
  • Duration 00:01:19
  • Copyright British Library Board
  • Interviewer Paul Merchant
  • Date of interview 5/26/2010
  • Shelfmark C1379/20
  • Keywords

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