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Born: March 21, 1898; Ollie, Ia.
Resides: Hemet, Calif.
Descendants: 1 child
Occupation: Sales
Manella Stimson started working outside the home when she was 14. Her first job was in a five and dime. She worked as a buyer in retail sales, as a cosmetics representative, and as an assistant manager of a jewelry store. She was married twice, the first time for 49 years, the second for 17. Her only child died in infancy. Stimson's last long-term relationship recently ended when her boyfriend left her for a younger woman. She lives in her own mobile home and loves to go dancing and gambling. "I enjoy being a woman, and I want to live the way I want to-I always have and I do to this day."
What was the most important thing that happened for women during this century?
Women's liberation, which actually started in the 1920s. First we got the right to vote. Then we cut our hair, threw away our corsets, and shortened our skirts. We were on our way, and I loved it. A large part of this change was economic. Women make their own living nowadays. I always did, but it was not what most women did.
How did it affect your life?
All of my life I worked extra hard at getting jobs and keeping jobs and working myself up. I never hesitated to ask for a job, and when I asked, I usually got it. I guess I was ahead of my time.
What advice would you give to girls today?
Don't get pregnant and have babies when you are young because it limits your opportunities. Always remember that women are just as smart as men, if not smarter.

Copyright Ms. Magazine 2009