This resurfaced BBC interview with woman who worked on a ship shows how far we've come

Sophia Ankel
Monday 18 March 2019 16:30
news

A resurfaced BBC video of a reporter interviewing a female purser is reminding us just how far women have come.

Every day, the BBC Archive does this lovely thing where they repost old videos from a day in history on Twitter. Last week, they posted a video of a reporter interviewing the head stewardess of a passenger ship in 1959.

In it, the journalist asks the woman, who is dressed in uniform:

Do you think as a job that a woman can do it just as well as a man?

The woman, standing on the vessel, smiles back and responds with:

Far better, I think.

When asked why she thinks that, the head stewardess says, laughing nervously:

Well, a woman is more sympathetic than a man. I'll probably get into trouble with the pursers on the other ships for saying so.

The reporter then turns to her family life, saying sarcastically:

You run a home too, and have a family. This enables you to get back in time for tea, does it?

To which she very matter-of-factly says:

Now, but later on of course no. We work quite long hours, it will be late at night before we get in.

Very positively, the woman also revealed that she had a daughter who was at the naval academy, also training to be a purser, just like her mother.

Although it is clear how much more progress needs to be made in the women's movement, it's sometimes inspiring to look back at old footage just to see how far we've already come.

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