A woman’s perspective: my grandma

By Mrs. Rochelle Schmidt, SBHS Librarian

100 years ago, the 19th Constitutional Amendment was ratified, officially allowing women across the United States the right to vote.

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

 Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Today, the fight for gender equality continues. To move forward, however, women must not forget where they came from and what progress still needs to be made. These stories – stories from the past, from older women – are often overlooked, and deserve to be told.

These stories and experiences are important ones to tell – to show all the young girls, teen girls, young ladies, women, and all the ladies in between that they ARE important, that their voice DOES matter, and that, at times, they may still have to fight for their seat at the table.

Here is one of those stories.


My grandma and I celebrating my college graduation from UCR’s School of Education in 2003.

Here is the “heart” of my interview with my grandma. She was kind enough to answer a few of my questions, awkward as I knew it would be since we had to conduct the “interview” through email because of COVID-19 and the required physical distancing guidelines. She is an 83-year-old firecracker and I wish I could have interviewed her face to face. I’m sure she has a few good stories to tell.

Was gender equality talked about in your home growing up? 

Growing up, we were told women shouldn’t have opinions on anything. They just needed to stay in their place and do the cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the kids. That’s it. 

Tell me about a time when you experienced sexism. 

One of the times I experienced sexism was in a restaurant after my husband had died. It was a favorite restaurant of ours, but when I went in by myself, they made me wait forever for a table. They didn’t take reservations and people who came in after me were seated first.

Why is it important for women to vote? 

It’s important for women to vote so that they can get the recognition that they deserve and it will help them keep up with what is going on in the world. 

Who inspires you? 

My mom always inspired me. Even though she was uneducated, she had a lot of common sense. She raised nine kids on her own and they all turned out okay. 

If you could say one thing to today’s girls, what would it be? 

My advice to today’s girls would be to study hard, have good morals, and be kind and generous. I’d also advise them to have/nurture that drive that takes them to the top. But they should also remember that they don’t have to be perfect. 

Do you have a story you’d like to tell? Let us know in the comments below or email us at sbhstyrotimes@gmail.com.

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