Cultural views of femininity exerted a powerful influence on the courtroom arguments used to defend or condemn notable women on trial in nineteenth-century and early-twentieth-century America. A. Cheree Carlson analyzes the colorful rhetorical strategies employed by lawyers and reporters in the trials of several women of varying historical stature, from the insanity trials of Mary Todd Lincoln and Lizzie Borden's trial for the brutal slaying of her father and stepmother, to lesser-known trials involving insanity, infidelity, murder, abortion, and interracial marriage. Carlson reveals clearly just how narrow was the line that women had to walk, since the same womanly virtues that were expected of them--passivity, frailty, and purity--could be turned against them at any time. With gripping retellings and incisive analysis, this book will appeal to historians, rhetoricians, feminist researchers, and anyone who enjoys courtroom drama.
The stories of Indonesian women have often been told by Indonesian men and Dutch men and women. This volume asks how these representations—reproduced, transformed, and circulated in history, ethnography, and literature—have circumscribed feminine behavior in colonial and postcolonial Indonesia. Presenting dialogues between prominent scholars of and from Indonesia and Indonesian women working in professional, activist, religious, and literary domains, the book dissolves essentialist notions of “women” and “Indonesia” that have arisen out of the tensions of empire. The contributors examine the ways in which Indonesian women and men are enmeshed in networks of power and then pursue the stories of those who, sometimes at great political risk, challenge these powers. In this juxtaposition of voices and stories, we see how indigenous patriarchal fantasies of feminine behavior merged with Dutch colonial notions of proper wives and mothers to produce the Indonesian government’s present approach to controlling the images and actions of women. Facing the theoretical challenge of building a truly cross-cultural feminist analysis, Fantasizing the Feminine takes us into an ongoing conversation that reveals the contradictions of postcolonial positionings and the fragility of postmodern identities. This book will be welcomed by readers with interests in contemporary Indonesian politics and society as well as historians, anthropologists, and other scholars concerned with literature, gender, and cultural studies.
Contributors. Benedict R. O’G. Anderson, Sita Aripurnami, Jane Monnig Atkinson, Nancy K. Florida, Daniel S. Lev, Dédé Oetomo, Laurie J. Sears, Ann Laura Stoler, Saraswati Sunindyo, Julia I. Suryakusuma, Jean Gelman Taylor, Sylvia Tiwon, Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, Diane L. Wolf
In her insightful study, Fashioning Diaspora, Vanita Reddy carefully maps how transnational itineraries of Indian beauty and fashion shape South Asian American cultural identities and racialized belonging from the 1990s to the late-2000s. She observes how diasporic subjects engage with and respond to various encounters with Indian beauty and fashion.
One of the first books to consider beauty and fashion as a point of entry into an examination of South Asian diasporic public cultures, Fashioning Diaspora examines a range of literature, visual art, and live performance. Through careful analyses of novels by Bharati Mukherjee and Jhumpa Lahiri, young adult literature, performance art by Shailja Patel, as well as objects of popular culture including an Indian American fashion doll, and beauty and adornment practices, Reddy challenges fashion and beauty as a set of dematerialized, overly commodified cultural practices. She argues instead that beauty and fashion structure South Asian Americans’ uneven access to social mobility, capital, and citizenship, and demonstrates their varying capacities to produce social attachments across national, class, racial, gender, and generational divides.
The Feminine in Jungian Psychology and in Christian Theology investigates the implications for Christian theology of Jung's special insights into the feminine. In it, Ann Belford Ulanov gathers together in one volume what Jung and Jungians have discovered about the feminine in order to explore what Jungian thought and methods may illuminate about the place of the feminine in Christian theology.
Jung focuses on the human person and sees as central its mixture of masculine and feminine elements. In a time when so much is asserted and written about women in society—their rights, roles, identities, needs, and contributions—it is especially significant that Jung asserts the existence of the feminine as a key element, not only in women but in men as well. No less contested are the roles and identities of Christians. Ulanov brings into focus the deep and fascinating connections between theology and psychology.
“In her new chic outfit, she looks like anything but a stewardess working. But work she does. Hard, too. And you hardly know it.” So read the text of a 1969 newspaper advertisement for Delta Airlines featuring a picture of a brightly smiling blond stewardess striding confidently down the aisle of an airplane cabin to deliver a meal.
From the moment the first stewardesses took flight in 1930, flight attendants became glamorous icons of femininity. For decades, airlines hired only young, attractive, unmarried white women. They marketed passenger service aloft as an essentially feminine exercise in exuding charm, looking fabulous, and providing comfort. The actual work that flight attendants did—ensuring passenger safety, assuaging fears, serving food and drinks, all while conforming to airlines’ strict rules about appearance—was supposed to appear effortless; the better that stewardesses performed by airline standards, the more hidden were their skills and labor. Yet today flight attendants are acknowledged safety experts; they have their own unions. Gone are the no-marriage rules, the mandates to retire by thirty-two. In Femininity in Flight, Kathleen M. Barry tells the history of flight attendants, tracing the evolution of their glamorized image as ideal women and their activism as trade unionists and feminists.
Barry argues that largely because their glamour obscured their labor, flight attendants unionized in the late 1940s and 1950s to demand recognition and respect as workers and self-styled professionals. In the 1960s and 1970s, flight attendants were one of the first groups to take advantage of new laws prohibiting sex discrimination. Their challenges to airlines’ restrictive employment policies and exploitive marketing practices (involving skimpy uniforms and provocative slogans such as “fly me”) made them high-profile critics of the cultural mystification and economic devaluing of “women’s work.” Barry combines attention to the political economy and technology of the airline industry with perceptive readings of popular culture, newspapers, industry publications, and first-person accounts. In so doing, she provides a potent mix of social and cultural history and a major contribution to the history of women’s work and working women’s activism.
The evolution of the idea of hospitality can be traced alongside the development of Western civilization. Etymologically, the host is the “master,” but this identity is established through expropriation and loss—the best host is the one who gives the most, ultimately relinquishing what defines him as master.In The Hostess, Tracy McNulty asks, What are the implications for personhood of sharing a person—a wife or daughter—as an act of hospitality? In many traditions, the hostess is viewed not as a subject but as the master’s property. A foreign presence that both sustains and undercuts him, the hostess embodies the interplay of self and other within the host’s own identity.Here McNulty combines critical readings of the Bible and Pierre Klossowski’s trilogy The Laws of Hospitality with analyses of exogamous marital exchange, theological works from the Talmud to Aquinas, the writings of Kant and Nietzsche, and the theory of femininity in the work of Freud and Lacan. Ultimately, she contends, hospitality involves the boundary between the proper and the improper, affecting the subject as well as interpersonal relations.Tracy McNulty is assistant professor of romance studies at Cornell University.
Using black feminist theory and African American studies to read Victorian culture, Impossible Purities looks at the construction of “Englishness” as white, masculine, and pure and “Americanness” as black, feminine, and impure. Brody’s readings of Victorian novels, plays, paintings, and science fiction reveal the impossibility of purity and the inevitability of hybridity in representations of ethnicity, sexuality, gender, and race. She amasses a considerable amount of evidence to show that Victorian culture was bound inextricably to various forms and figures of blackness. Opening with a reading of Daniel Defoe’s “A True-Born Englishman,” which posits the mixed origins of English identity, Brody goes on to analyze mulattas typified by Rhoda Swartz in William Thackeray’s Vanity Fair, whose mixed-race status reveals the “unseemly origins of English imperial power.” Examining Victorian stage productions from blackface minstrel shows to performances of The Octoroon and Uncle Tom’s Cabin, she explains how such productions depended upon feminized, “black” figures in order to reproduce Englishmen as masculine white subjects. She also discusses H.G. Wells’s The Island of Dr. Moreau in the context of debates about the “new woman,” slavery, and fears of the monstrous degeneration of English gentleman. Impossible Purities concludes with a discussion of Bram Stoker’s novella, “The Lair of the White Worm,” which brings together the book’s concerns with changing racial representations on both sides of the Atlantic. This book will be of interest to scholars in Victorian studies, literary theory, African American studies, and cultural criticism.
Masculinity and femininity remain among the more confounding constructs in the history of personality psychology and psychological assessment. In spite of years of research and thousands of empirical studies, masculinity and femininity are still so fraught with confusion and political controversy that several prominent psychologists have suggested that the terms be abandoned. In this informative book, Hale Martin and Stephen E. Finn bring clarity to this topic by comprehensively reviewing past research and theory and extensively exploring "masculinity" and "femininity" as they are measured in the widely used MMPI instruments.
Martin and Finn consider the factor structure and correlates of masculinity and femininity in the MMPI in multiple samples. Through their analyses, they are able to address such questions as: Is there such a thing as masculinity/femininity? If so, are masculinity and femininity separate constructs, or are they opposite ends of a bipolar dimension? What are the core aspects of masculinity and femininity? Are they the same for men and women? Do the meanings of masculinity and femininity vary across the human life span and in different cultures? To what extent are masculinity and femininity biologically or socially determined? Can masculinity and femininity be adequately measured by the MMPI-2 and MMPI-A?
This insightful work uses solid empirical methods to clarify significant constructs. It will be an essential resource for researchers in the areas of personality, psychological assessment, and gender studies, as well as for clinicians working with clients who have nontraditional gender identities.
Queen for a Day connects the logic of Venezuelan modernity with the production of a national femininity. In this ethnography, Marcia Ochoa considers how femininities are produced, performed, and consumed in the mass-media spectacles of international beauty pageants, on the runways of the Miss Venezuela contest, on the well-traveled Caracas avenue where transgender women (transformistas) project themselves into the urban imaginary, and on the bodies of both transformistas and beauty pageant contestants (misses). Placing transformistas and misses in the same analytic frame enables Ochoa to delve deeply into complex questions of media and spectacle, gender and sexuality, race and class, and self-fashioning and identity in Venezuela.
Beauty pageants play an outsized role in Venezuela. The country has won more international beauty contests than any other. The femininity performed by Venezuelan women in high-profile, widely viewed pageants defines a kind of national femininity. Ochoa argues that as transformistas and misses work to achieve the bodies, clothing and makeup styles, and postures and gestures of this national femininity, they come to embody Venezuelan modernity.
"Drawing upon census data, trade periodicals devoted to stenography and court reporting, the writings of educational reformers, and fiction, Srole allows us to better understand the roles that gender and work played in the formation of middle-class identity. Clearly written and thoroughly researched, her book reminds us of the contradictions that both men and women faced as they navigated changes in the labor market and sought to realize a modern professional identity."
---Thomas Augst, New York University
Transcribing Class and Gender explores the changing meanings of clerical work in nineteenth-century America, focusing on the discourse surrounding that work. At a time when shorthand transcription was the primary method of documenting business and legal communications and transactions, most stenographers were men, but changing technology saw the emergence of women in the once male-dominated field. Carole Srole argues that this shift placed stenographers in a unique position to construct a new image of the professional man and woman and, in doing so, to redefine middle- and working-class identities.
Many male court reporters emphasized their professionalism, portraying themselves as educated language experts as a way to elevate themselves above the growing numbers of female and working-class stenographers and typewriter operators. Meanwhile, women in the courts and offices were confronting the derogatory image of the so-called Typewriter Girl who cared more about her looks, clothing, and marriage prospects than her job. Like males in the field, women responded by fashioning a gendered professional image---one that served to combat this new version of degraded female labor while also maintaining traditional ideals of femininity.
The study is unique in the way it reads and analyzes popular fiction, stenography trade magazines, the archives of professional associations, and writings by educational reformers to provide new perspectives on this history. The author challenges the common assumption that men and women clerks had separate work cultures and demonstrates how each had to balance elements of manhood and womanhood in the drive toward professionalism and the construction of a new middle-class image. Transcribing Class and Gender joins the recent scholarship that employs cultural studies approaches to class and gender without abandoning the social history valuation of workers' experiences.
Carole Srole is Professor of History at California State University, Los Angeles.
Photo: A female stenographer working for an actuary in 1897. Courtesy Metlife Archives.
Behind the innocent face of Victorian fairy tales such as Through the Looking Glass or Mopsa the Fairy lurks the specter of an intense gender debate about the very nature of childhood. Offering brilliant rereadings of classics from the "Golden Age of Children's Literature" as well as literature commonly considered "grown-up," U. C. Knoepflmacher illuminates this debate, probing deeply into the relations between adults and children, adults and their own childhood selves, and the lives of beloved Victorian authors and their "children's tales." Ventures into Childland will delight and instruct all readers of children's classics, and will be essential reading for students of Victorian culture and gender studies.
"Ventures into Childland is acute, well written and stimulating. It also has a political purpose, to insist on the importance of protecting and nurturing children, imaginatively and physically."—Jan Marsh, Times Literary Supplement
"A provocative and interesting book about Victorian culture."—Library Journal
Arthur Munby (1828–1910) was a Victorian gentleman from a respected family of Yorkshire lawyers. He left behind diaries that record his life-long obsession with working-class Victorian women, whom he interviewed, photographed and wrote about. This obsession led to his relationship with, and eventual secret marriage to, his maidservant Hannah Cullwick.
Working women fascinated Munby because they disrupted his Victorian ideal of femininity: their bodies were altered by physical exertion and dirt, and they were also often deformed by disease. Drawing not only on the diaries but also on a vast, untapped archive of documents, photographs, poems and sketches, Watching Hannah is far more than an account of a compulsive observer of working women and a fetishist of hard-working female hands, however. The author analyzes Munby's obsessions in relation to changing definitions of gender, sexual identity and class to reveal wider male preoccupations with femininity, the body, deformity, masculinity and – most of all – sexuality, at a pivotal point in European history.
This book is an invaluable key to self-understanding. Using examples from her own life and the lives of her clients, as well as from dreams, fairy tales, myths, films, and literature, Linda Schierse Leonard, a Jungian analyst, exposes the wound of the spirit that both men and women of our culture bear—a wound that is grounded in a poor relationship between masculine and feminine principles.
Leonard speculates that when a father is wounded in his own psychological development, he is not able to give his daughter the care and guidance she needs. Inheriting this wound, she may find that her ability to express herself professionally, intellectually, sexually, and socially is impaired. On a broader scale, Leonard discusses how women compensate for cultural devaluation, resorting to passive submission (“the Eternal Girl”), or a defensive imitation of the masculine (“the Armored Amazon”).
The Wounded Woman shows that by understanding the father-daughter wound and working to transform it psychologically, it is possible to achieve a fruitful, caring relationship between men and women, between fathers and daughters, a relationship that honors both the mutuality and the uniqueness of the sexes.