Marjorie Alice Jones speaks as a member of the silent generation and considers the busy, active life she’s lead despite the fact that nobody expected anything from the women of her generation. She begins Part 1 of her interview by discussing her family background and reasons for attending Pembroke College. She describes her experience as a transfer student and speaks on professors and academics, considering the closed attitude towards women in academia. Jones denounces the gender rules at Pembroke, as well as both the lack of women role models and professors and the lack of career support for Pembroke students: “there were all these wonderful women educated to do everything. And they did nothing. They were able to do nothing.” Additionally, Jones speaks on the discrimination she faced when she did try to gain employment.
In Part 2, Jones discusses her tremendous activism in the women’s movement, civil rights movement, and anti-war movement, as well as her work and activism in the healthcare system. She considers the Pembroke-Brown merger, vocalizing the tremendous sense of loss that she felt in that Pembroke lost the opportunity to engage in special advocacy for women. She blames the Pembroke administration for the merger, suggesting that if Pembroke was an aggressive administration instead of a failing, unresponsive one, then Pembroke could have been a space for the women’s movement. She moves on to describe her work in the Rhode Island hospitals during the AIDS crisis and the role of women in the healthcare system, which she describes as responsible but powerless. Jones ends her 1988 interview by considering the psychological barriers to women’s liberation in the late '80s, reasoning that the next work that needs to be done is to enfranchise sexual minorities.
Sarah Doyle Women's Center, Brown University