Short Takes on an Interview with Jacqui Ceballosadmin2018-09-26T19:44:56+00:00
THE VFA PIONEER HISTORIES PROJECT
Jacqueline “Jacqui” Michot Ceballos
“I Decided To Devote My Time To Fight For Equality Of Women.”
Excerpts from Producer/Director Al Sutton’s “Equality I Am Woman”; Excerpts from Director Mary Dore’s “She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry”
Equality I Am Woman
I’ll just tell you my memories. All I can tell you is that all day long I was busy doing events around the city. Not only did we visit the mayor with Betty Friedan to talk about things. We went to a fancy bar down town where women weren’t allowed to eat lunch and of course everybody knew it was our day. And we did an action in Times Square where we had a mass for the supposed soul of male supremacy. We had a woman dressed as a priest.
And I recited the prayer –
Our Mother, who art in heaven,
Sister we call thy name.
Our kitchen’s done, our nursery’s run,
On earth, and it isn’t heaven.
Give us the right to earn our bread, [and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive men, who trespass against us.
And lead us not into subservience, but deliver us from Adam.
For Thine is the Freedom, and the POWER, and the GLORY, FOREVER!
When I turned the corner at 57th Street – 5th Avenue – I couldn’t believe what I saw. Thousands and thousands of women lined up. You couldn’t see the end of the line. They started at 57th and 5th Avenue and it went all the way past the library. And people were just milling around and the cars were honking on the side because the Mayor had given us only half the street.
So the word was – by the young woman who was in charge of this, who planned the whole action – when the whistle blows, run in front of the Socialist Workers Party women and take the whole Avenue. It was like the most joyous, unbelievable, walking, dancing, singing and screaming, and women were pushing buggies with children and men were there.
And as we would go down the avenue, we would yell, “Join us!” because there were thousands of people on the side looking. And so many joined us, not only women but men did. And you realized at that time – that we were no longer a few kooky women that they made fun of but we were a movement. And you cannot just plan a Movement – It happens – it happens.
She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry
Narrator: The topic for discussion this evening is a dialogue on women’s liberation.
Norman Mailer: Let me introduce first Ms. Jacqueline Ceballos, The President of the New York chapter of NOW, the National Organization for Women. Miss Ceballos.
Jacqui Ceballos: I represent that large middle class group of women who could have all the comforts and conveniences of life. In fact I did – but I opted out. Instead I decided to devote my time to fight for equality of women.
I just had these feelings – something’s wrong – something’s wrong. Then a friend handed me The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan’s book. I could cry even today. It just hit me. It was where it was – absolutely – absolutely. I read it that night and I just knew – it wasn’t him – it wasn’t me – it was society.
We all know that women are underpaid and overworked and there is no chance for advancement anywhere. We in NOW teach women how to fight discrimination against their own companies – how to sue their companies.
The Want Ads were Help Wanted Male and Help Wanted Female and all the good jobs – the career jobs were for the males. In fact there was one ad that said – just got your B.A. – want a job to be secretary of a good-looking executive? You might end up as his wife. I swear to you.
Even though I was in NOW, I was always with the radicals. If they’re going to demonstrate for Miss America I’m going to be there.