When it comes to stories about the sixties, we have one family friend that we rely on. Uncle Jim, or simply Jim to my parents, is a guy with a lot of stories about the past. The topic I asked him to share was about the growth of feminism in the country. According to him, women were treated very differently back then. Very few women were employed, doing the same job that of a man, with most of the females confined in their houses doing household chores. He shared that the growth of feminism at that time came as a shock to most of the people back then.
Women started wanting to get recognized, demanding equal opportunities as men. If we look at it in today’s perspective, it would be right for women to demand equal treatment, but back then, it was really different. He mentioned that it was quite awkward working with them, but as more and more women started doing men’s work, the people got used to it. This personal experience account somehow differs from the textbook’s treatment. First of all, it is personal, wherein we have to consider the point of view of Uncle Jim, and that his story may have biases.
The textbook offers a more general view of the topic, while the personal account focused more on a specific aspect, and that is about the effect of growing feminism in the workplace. Oral histories give a more colorful angle in the story, like how the men felt awkward working with women in some jobs back then. Also, oral histories are more interesting, though may not be that much informative as compared to textbooks. Again, its because of the perspective of person being considered in conveying events and other information.