* 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 (coeditor)
* The Practice of Qualitative Research (coauthor)
* Analyzing Contemporary Social Issues
* Empirical Approaches to Sociology
* Gun Control in the United States: A Reference
* How to Manage Conflict in the Organization
* Working Women in America: Split Dreams
(with Sharlene Hesse-Biber)
* In Colonial America (17th century to early 18th
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
* Women of color faced double burden of sexism
and racism, especially with institution of
slavery (established late 17th, early 18th
* Slave women in southern colonies were
exploited as workers and breeders, and
sometimes as sex objects
* House servant or field hand
* Property, not person
* 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
* 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
* Limited to service work
* Factory employment: tobacco and textile
* Domestic work
* Farm work
* 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%
* 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
* 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
* 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
* The Women’s Movement Against Sexual
* "Jailing Girls for Men's Crimes” (Ms. Magazine)
* “What Should We Call Men Who Buy Young Girls
for Sex?” (Ms. Magazine)
* 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
* Limited legal change due to lack of lobbying
* Harassment claims filed under Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964 preventing employment
* Frame:
gendered phenomenon that violated
women’s civil rights
* Strength of movement stemmed from its
economic and racial diversity
* 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
* Diane Williams was hired by a federal agency in
Washington in 1972. 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)
* 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
* 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 hightech lynching for uppity Blacks." The incident became
one person's word against another's. In the end, the
Senate voted 52-48 to confirm Clarence Thomas as
associate justice of the Supreme Court.