November 8, 2011


Mary C. Brinton, Women and the Economic Miracle: Gender and Work in Postwar Japan (Berkeley & Oxford: U. of California Press, 1993).

Judith C. Brown, Immodest Acts: The Life of a Lesbian Nun in Renaissance Italy (New York & Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 1986).

Kim Chernin, Reinventing Eve: Modern Woman in Search of Herself (New York: Times Books, 1987) (reclaiming women's wildness).

Catherine Clement, Opera, or the Undoing of Women, translated from the French by Betsy Wing, with a Forward by Susan McClary (Minneapolis: U. of Minnesota Press, 1988) ("Opera is not forbidden to women. That is true. Women are its jewels, you say, the ornament indispensable for every festival. No prima donna, no opera. But the role of jewel, a decorative object, is not the deciding role; and on the opera stage women perpetually sing their eternal undoing. The emotion is never more poignant than at the moment when the voice is lifted to die. Look at these heroines. With their voices they flap their wings, their arms writhe, and then there they are, dead, on the ground. Look at these women who fill the theater, accompanied by penguins in uniform that scarcely vary: they are present, they are decorative. They are present for the dispatch of women like themselves. And when the curtain closes to let the singers take the last bow, there are the women kneeling in a curtsey, their arms filled with flowers; and there, beside them, the producer, the conductor, the set designer. Occasionally, a . . . But you wouldn't know how to say it: a produceress? A conductress? Not many have access to the great masculine scheme surrounding this spectacle though up to adore, and also kill, the feminine character." Id. at 5-6.).

Angela Y. Davis, Women, Culture and Politics (NEw York: Vintage Books, 1990).

Angela Y. Davis, Women, Race, and Class (New York: Vintage Books, 1983) (From "Class and Race in the Early Women's Rights Campaign": "The failure to recognize the potential for an integrated women's movement--particularly against sexism in education--was dramatically revealed in an episode occurring during the crucial summer of 1848. Ironically, it involved the daughter of Frederick Douglass. After her official admission to a girl's seminary in Rochester, New York, Douglass' daughter was formally prohibited from attending classes with the white girls. The principal who issued the order was an abolitionist woman! When Douglass and his wife protested this segregationist policy, the principal asked each white girl to vote on the issue, indicating that one objection would suffice to continue the exclusion. After the white girls voted in favor of integrating the classroom, the principal approached the girls' parents, using the one resulting objection as an excuse to exclude Douglass' daughter." "That a white woman associated with the anti-slavery movement could assume a racist posture toward a Black girl in the North reflected a major weakness in the abolitionist campaign--its failure to promote a broad anti-racist consciousness. This serious shortcoming . . . was unfortunately carried over into the organized movement for women's rights." Id. at 46, 59.).

Barbara Ehrenreich & Arlie Russell Hochschild, Global Woman: Nannies, Maids, and Sex Workers in the New Economy (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2003) ("Sex tourism, it is commonly noted, is fueled by the fantasies of white, First-Wold men who exoticize dark-skinned 'native' bodies in the developing world, where they can buy sex for cut-rat prices. These two components--racial stereotypes and the economic disparity between developed and the developing worlds--characterize sex-tourist destinations everywhere. But make sex tourists are not the only ones who travel to places like Sosua to fulfill their fantasies. Many Dominican sex workers look to their clients as sources not only of money, marriage, and visas, but also of greater gender equity than they can hope for in the households they keep with Dominican men. Some might hope for romance and love, but most tend to fantasize about greater resources and easier lives." "Yet even for the women with the most pragmatic expectations, there are few happy endings. . . Though only a handful of women regularly receive money wires from clients in Europe, the stories of those who do circulate among sex workers like Dominicinized versions of Hollywood's Pretty Woman." Id. at 156-157.).

Elissa D. Gelfand, Imagination in Confinement: Women's Writings From French Prisons (Ithaca & London: Cornell U. Press, 1983).

Claudia Goldin, Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women (New York & Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 1990) (From the bookjacket: "Goldin argues that women's employment advances are the result of a culmination of historical trends initiated nearly two centuries ago, not the consequence of abrupt social change. She demonstrates that the narrowing of the gender gap in earnings today finds historical precedent. Twice before in American history, the ratio of female to male earnings increased substantially--during the rise of white collar employment from 1890 to 1930, and during the industrial revolution, from 1820 to 1850.").

Mikiso Hane, ed., Reflections on the Way to the Gallows: Rebel Women in Prewar Japan (Berkeley, Los Angeles & London: U. of California Press, 1989).

bell hooks, Ain't I A Woman: Black Women and Feminism (Boston: South End Press, 1981) ("When the contemporary movement toward feminism began, there was little discussion of the impact of sexism on the social status of black women. The upper and middle class white women who were at the forefront of the movement made no effort to emphasize that patriarchal power, the power men use to dominate women, is not just the privilege of upper and middle class white men, but the privilege of all men in our society regardless of their class or race. White feminists so focused on the disparity between white male/white female economic status as an indication of the negative impact of sexism that they drew no attention to the fact that poor and lower-class men are as able to oppress and brutalize women as any other group of men in American society. The feminist tendency to make synonymous male possession of economic power with being the oppressor cause white men to be labeled 'the' enemy. The labeling of the white male patriarch as 'chauvinist pig' provided a convenient scapegoat for black make sexists. They could join with white and black women to protest against white male oppression and divert attention from their sexism, their support of patriarchy, and their sexist exploitation of women. Black leaders, male and female, have been unwilling to acknowledge black male sexist oppression of black women because they do not want to acknowledge that racism is not the only oppressive force in our lives. Nor do they wish to complicate efforts to resist racism by acknowledging that black men can be victimized by racism but at the same time act as sexist oppressors of black women. Consequently there is little acknowledgement of sexist oppression in black male/female relationships as a serious problem. Exaggerated emphasis on the impact of racism on black men has evoked an image of the black make as effete, emasculated, crippled. And so intensely does this image dominate American thinking that people are absolutely unwilling to admit that the damaging effects of racism on black men neither prevents them from being sexist oppressors nor excuses or justifies their sexist oppression of black women." Id. at 87-88.).

bell hooks, Black Looks: Race and Representation (Boston: South End Press, 1992).

bell hooks, Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center (Boston: South End Press, 1984) ("Since we live in a society that promotes fadism and temporary superficial adaptation of different values, we are easily convinced that changes have occurred in arenas where there has been little or no change. Women's sexist attitudes towards one another are one such arena. All over the United States, women spend hours of their time daily verbally abusing other women, usually through malicious gossip (not to be confused with gossip as positive communication). Television soap operas and night time dramas continually portray woman-to-woman relationships as characterized by aggression, contempt, and competitiveness. In feminist circles sexism towards women is expressed by abusive trashing, total disregard and lack of concern or interest in women who have not joined feminist movement. This is especially evident at university campuses where feminist studies is often seen as a discipline or program having no relationship to feminist movement. In her commencement address at Barnard College in May, 1979, black woman writer Toni Morrison told her audience: 'I want not to ask you but to tell you not to participate in the oppression of your sisters. Mothers who abuse their children are women, and another woman, not an agency, has to be willing to stay their hands. Mothers who set fire to school buses are women, and another woman, not an agency, has to tell them to stay their hands. Women who stop the promotion of other women in careers are women, and another woman must come to the victim's aid. Social and welfare workers who humiliate their clients may be women, and other women colleagues have to deflect their anger.' 'I am alarmed by the violence that women do to each other: professional violence, competitive violence, emotional violence. I am alarmed by the willingness of women to enslave other women. I am alarmed by a growing absence of decency on the killing floor of professional women's world.' To build a politicized, mass-based feminist movement, women must work harder to overcome the alienation from one another that exists when sexist socialization has not been unlearned, e.f., homophobia, judging by appearance, conflicts between women with diverse sexual practices. So far, feminist movement had not transform woman-to-woman relationships, especially between women who are strangers to one another or from different backgrounds, even though it ha been the occasion for bonding between individuals and groups of women. We mist renew out efforts to help women unlearn sexism if we are to develop affirming personal relationships as well as political unity." Id. at 48-49 (italic added). Sadly, the charge remains true.).

bell hooks, Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black (Boston: South End Press, 1989) ("At times, the insistence that feminism is really 'a white female thing that has nothing to do with black women' masks black female rage towards white women, a rage rooted in the historical servant-served relationship where white women have used power to dominate, exploit, and oppress. Many black women share this animosity, and it is evoked again and again when white women attempt to assert control over us. This resistance to white female domination must be separated from a black female refusal to bond with white women engaged in feminist struggle. This refusal is often rooted as well in traditional sexist models: women learn to see one another as enemies, as threats, as competitors. Viewing white women as competitors for jobs, for companions, for valuation in a culture that only values select groups of women, often serves as a barrier to bonding, even in settings where radical white women are not acting in a dominating manner. In some settings it has become a way of one-upping white women for black women to trivialize feminism." Id. at 179.).

bell hooks, Yearning: Race, Gender, and Cultural Politics (Boston: South End Press, 1990) ("Aesthetics then is more than a philosophy or theory of art and beauty; it is a way of inhabiting space, a particular location, a way of looking and becoming. It is not organic. I grew up in an ugly house. No one there considered the function of beauty or pondered the use of space. Surrounded by dead things, whose spirits had long ago vanished since they were no longer needed, that house contained a great engulfing emptiness. In that house things were not to be looked at, they were to be possessed--space was not to be created but owned--a violent anti-aesthetic. I grew up thinking about art and beauty as it existed in our lives, the lives of poor black people. Without knowing the appropriate language, I understood that advanced capitalism was affecting our capacity to see, that consumerism began to take the place of that predicament of heart that called us to yearn for beauty. Now many of us are only yearning for things." Id. at 104.).

Alice Kessler-Harris, Out to Work: A History of Wage_Earning Women in the United States (New York & Oxford: Oxford U. Press, 1982) (From the bookjacket: "This pioneering study traces the transformation of ;women's work' into wage labor in the U.S. from the colonial days to the present [i.e, late 1970s, early 1980s], and identifies the social, economic, and ideological forces that have shaped our expectations of what women do.").

John Stuart Mill, The Subjection of Women, with an Introduction by Wendell Robert Carr (Cambridge, Massachusetts, & London, England: M.I.T. Press, 1970) ("When we consider the positive evil caused to the disqualified half of the human race by their disqualification--first in the loss of the most inspiriting and elevating kind of personal enjoyment, and next in the weariness, disappointment, and profound dissatisfaction with life, which are so often the substitute for it; one feels that among all the lessons which men require for carrying on the struggle against the inevitable imperfections of their lot on earth, there is no lesson which they more need, than not to add to the evils which nature inflicts, by their jealous and prejudiced restrictions on one another. Their vain fears only substitute other and worse evils for those which they are idly apprehensive of: while every restraint on the freedom of conduct of any of their human fellow-creatures (otherwise than by making them responsible for any evil actually caused by it), dries up pro tanto the principal fountain of human happiness, and leaves the species less rich, to an inappreciable degree, in all that makes life valuable to the individual human being." Id. at 100-101.).