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* Am I Thin Enough Yet? The Cult of Thinness and the Commercialization of Identity * The Cult of Thinness * Handbook of Feminist Research: Theory and.

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Presentation on theme: "* Am I Thin Enough Yet? The Cult of Thinness and the Commercialization of Identity * The Cult of Thinness * Handbook of Feminist Research: Theory and."— Presentation transcript:

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2 * Am I Thin Enough Yet? The Cult of Thinness and the Commercialization of Identity * The Cult of Thinness * Handbook of Feminist Research: Theory and Praxis (editor) * Emergent Methods in Social Research (co- editor) * The Practice of Qualitative Research (co- author)

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4 * Analyzing Contemporary Social Issues * Empirical Approaches to Sociology * Gun Control in the United States: A Reference Handbook * How to Manage Conflict in the Organization * Working Women in America: Split Dreams (with Sharlene Hesse-Biber)

5 * In Colonial America (17 th century to early 18 th century), the type of work women did depended on their socioeconomic class * Many women worked outside of the home, but it wasn’t a time of equality * Women’s wages were significantly lower

6 * Women of color faced double burden of sexism and racism, especially with institution of slavery (established late 17 th, early 18 th century) * Slave women in southern colonies were exploited as workers and breeders, and sometimes as sex objects * House servant or field hand * Property, not person

7 * Pre-colonization: men hunted and women engaged in agricultural work (matrilineal family structure) * Post-colonization: forced onto reservations, men took over agricultural work and families became more patriarchal and nuclear in structure

8 * White women (upper and middle class) limited to domestic sphere – supportive, fragile, submissive, subservient * Weak and delicate – “cult of true womanhood” * Single women and poor women worked outside the home in factories * By the late 1850s, immigrants had replaced many single women at factories, so they turned to teaching, nursing, manufacturing, transportation, trade

9 * Limited to service work * Factory employment: tobacco and textile industries * Domestic work * Farm work

10 * Produced no lasting change in labor market * Women temporarily shifted jobs to take over jobs vacated by men * African American women limited to most menial and dangerous jobs * During the Great Depression proportion of women in all professions declined from 14.2% to 12.3%

11 * Similar to WWI, women filled men’s vacant positions, but were paid less * Married women also entered the workforce * Following the war, tremendous societal pressure for women to return to the home, have babies (baby boom) and become consumers (appliances, food, clothes) * Yet more married women gradually entered work force

12 * African American, Native American, and Latina women have been slowly improving their work positions, moving from domestic and agricultural work to manufacturing and white collar work * Still face discrimination and low educational attainment * Asian American women: myth of “model minority” – many are uneducated, working in factories or cashiers and file clerks * Asian American women who are educated are paid less than Asian American men and White men and women and are restricted to less prestigious jobs

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14 * The Women’s Movement Against Sexual Harassment * "Jailing Girls for Men's Crimes” (Ms. Magazine) * “What Should We Call Men Who Buy Young Girls for Sex?” (Ms. Magazine)

15 * Movement against harassment began in 1970s * Sexual harassment denies women sexual autonomy, threatens physical safety and integrity, deprives them of employment opportunities, and can be a form of racism * Fighting harassment combined civil rights movement, women’s movement, labor movement

16 * Limited legal change due to lack of lobbying influence * Harassment claims filed under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 preventing employment discrimination * Frame: gendered phenomenon that violated women’s civil rights * Strength of movement stemmed from its economic and racial diversity

17 * Larger goal of undermining the system of dominance that produced sexual harassment has not been achieved * Shift from collective protest to individual legal solutions, which leaves the basic social structure that allows harassment in place

18 * Diane Williams was hired by a federal agency in Washington in She received repeated propositions from her supervisor, who told her, "If it comes down to a showdown between you and me, you would be the loser because I am the Director's boy." After Diane repeatedly refused his advances, she was fired. She was unable to find a comparable job for thirteen months. (UC Berkeley)

19 * Maxine Munford was fired because she refused to sleep with her boss on a business trip. She told hearings held in Detroit last year: "My boss told me, 'You're going to have to get it through your head. You're going to screw me or lose your job."' Maxine, who was the sole support of her family, told the hearing panel, "I had a nervous breakdown. I cannot forget this because my family almost starved.” (CU Berkeley)

20 * 1991: Anita Hill, a law professor at the University of Oklahoma, came forward with accusations that Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas had sexually harassed her. Hill had worked for Thomas years earlier when he was head of the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission. Hill charged that Thomas harassed her with inappropriate discussion of sexual acts and pornographic films after she rebuffed his invitations to date him. A media frenzy quickly arose around Hill's allegations and Thomas's denials. When Thomas testified about Hill's claims before the Senate Judiciary Committee, he called the hearings, "a high- tech lynching for uppity Blacks." The incident became one person's word against another's. In the end, the Senate voted to confirm Clarence Thomas as associate justice of the Supreme Court. (chnm.gmu.edu)


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