Friday, June 3, 2016

Speaking Up for Women Flyers (Eleanor Roosevelt)

Eleanor Roosevelt (1942)
"I have a letter from a gentleman who is very much exercised because our women pilots are not being utilized in the war effort. The CAA says that women are psychologically not fitted to be pilots, but I see pictures every now and then of women who are teaching men to fly. We know that in England, where the need is great, women are ferrying planes and freeing innumerable men for combat service.

It seems to me that in the Civil Air Patrol and in our own ferry command, women, if they can pass the tests imposed upon men, should have an equal opportunity for non-combat service. I always believe that when people are needed, they will eventually be used.

I believe in this case, if the war goes on long enough, and women are patient, opportunity will come knocking at their doors. However, there is just a chance that this is not a time when women should be patient. We are in a war and we need to fight it with all our ability and every weapon possible. Women pilots, in this particular case, are a weapon waiting to be used. As my correspondent says:

I think it is time you women spoke up for yourselves and undertook a campaign to see that our 3,500 women fliers, every one of whom is anxious to do something in the war, be given a chance to do it. Hence, I am speaking up for the women fliers, because I am afraid we cannot afford to let the time slip by just now without using them." ~Eleanor Roosevelt (September 1942)

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