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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Juanita Kreps, January 17, 1986. Interview C-0011. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Being a woman kept Kreps out of WWII

Despite her participation in the women's movement, Kreps acknowledges that her sex kept her out of World War II, allowing her to pursue her doctoral degree at Duke University and begin teaching undergraduates earlier than she may have otherwise.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Juanita Kreps, January 17, 1986. Interview C-0011. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

LYNN HAESSLY:
When you came to Duke you were very young but you got opportunities to teach early on, and I think I've read that that was in part due to the wartime demands for teaching. Did you see the war as a time of often really expanded academic opportunities for women?
JUANITA KREPS:
Well, I didn't think of it in that way but one realization subsequently has stuck with me. Throughout the women's movement, of which I consider myself a part, amid complaints that we've all had against sex discrimination, it has occurred to me that had I been a male in the early '40s I would have been in the service. Being female I was allowed to continue my education and that is a very important thing to remember. I found it more difficult to get teaching jobs after I got out than a man would have had and I often reminded myself that in fact getting my Ph.D. may have been somewhat easier for me than for a man. So there were some tradeoffs as I viewed it. And it is true that I was allowed to teach sooner than usual because there were no men around.