Eleanor Hope Crisler Babcock, born in 1931 in Atlanta, Georgia, has worked as a homemaker, substitute teacher, mortgage loan counselor, and insurance claims clerical supervisor. In addition to membership in various women's rights organizations, she has been an active member of the Georgia Conservancy, the Georgia Harmony Barbershop Chorus, and the United Methodist Church. Active throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s in Georgia People of Faith for ERA, Housewives for ERA (HERA), the Georgia chapter of NOW, and ERA Georgia, Inc., Babcock also lobbied Georgia legislators and marched in Washington, D.C. in support of the Equal Rights Amendment. Babcock is currently writing a book about her own life experiences.
Abstract of the full interview
Babcock begins by describing her loving yet turbulent childhood in Atlanta, Georgia. The child of an alcoholic father, she spent her teenage years in foster care which, she recounts, was a very positive experience. Babcock says that she took her first job (at an insurance company) straight out of high school, went on to marry and have children, and that it wasn't until her youngest child was a teenager that she began to consider her role as a woman. She recounts her attempts to get a credit card in her own name, and the lengths she had to go to in order to do so. At about the same time, and fueled by growing desire to find her own identity, Babcock says she went back to college, graduating from Draughn Business College and studying business at Marietta Area Vocational School, and going on to work for several banks. Babcock says that her earliest experience with the Women’s Movement was when she joined a local chapter of NOW. She then went on to join People of Faith for ERA, and participated in marches and protests around the state, as well as attending national conferences. She discusses the women’s organization’s leaders who inspired her, and books that have spoken to her. A very spiritual person, Babcock describes issues that have arisen in her own Methodist Church, including the question of homosexual clergy.
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Citation of the full interview
Babcock oral history interview, Georgia Women's Movement Oral History Project, W008, Donna Novak Coles Georgia Women's Movement Archives, Special Collections and Archives, University Library, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Ga.
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