Women need not apply? Gender and corporate crime conspiracies

Schwartz_blogimage1Women in the US have made some monumental gains at work.  We’re now at least half the labor force and more women today are middle- and upper- managers in corporate America.  Even so, I wasn’t surprised to discover that women have not (yet) made similar inroads into high-level corporate crime (click here and here).     Continue reading “Women need not apply? Gender and corporate crime conspiracies”

What do recent welfare policies teach men about what it means to be a good husband, a good father, and a good man?

Father reading with sonSince the mid-1990s, fatherhood—namely responsible fatherhood—has become central to American family and welfare politics. The 1996 federal welfare law encouraged fathers to take a more active financial and social role in their children’s lives. It was geared towards getting poor families off welfare and allowing kids to benefit from the money, time, and care that two parents could provide. Continue reading “What do recent welfare policies teach men about what it means to be a good husband, a good father, and a good man?”

The gendered burden of development in Nicaragua

Neumann_blogimage1_December 2013The first time I met twenty-six year old Flora, she was walking up a rocky hill bracing a heavy bucket of sand on her head. At the time, Flora, her partner, and their 4-year-old son were living in a one-room house surrounded by cornfields, and Flora was gathering sand to begin the next stage of construction on their home. Like many rural women in Nicaragua, Flora’s days are filled with a number of time-consuming tasks: grinding corn, making tortillas, carrying water, gathering firewood, cooking beans, sweeping the house, and hand-washing clothes. Yet this is actually only a small portion of Flora’s daily work. She is also engaged in a variety of community responsibilities, including the coordination of a revolving microcredit fund and the administration of a government-sponsored early childhood development program. Continue reading “The gendered burden of development in Nicaragua”

A very “gay” straight?

The phrase “No Homo” entered the cultural lexicon approximately 20 years ago.  Initially associated primarily with hip-hop culture, “no homo” is a linguistic method that allowed certain hip-hop artists to co-opt elements of gay culture while selectively “de-gaying” them at the same time (like Cam’ron’s penchant for pink or when DMX discusses other men fellating him to illustrate his status among peers).  It’s a phrase that enables heterosexual men to, perhaps, expand the recognizable boundaries of heterosexual masculinities by symbolically reinforcing the heterosexuality of those performances. Cultural critics couldn’t agree as to whether the phrase was helping to expand the available performative terrain of contemporary masculinity or if it was merely a new form of homophobia and sexual prejudice. Some of the men in my own research used the phrase.  But beyond that, my research suggests that “no homo” is part of a larger transformation in masculine identities among young heterosexual men today whereby some young men endeavor to expand the culturally intelligible boundaries of heterosexual masculinities. Continue reading “A very “gay” straight?”

Not seeing is still believing: how visually impaired women understand and experience media representation of the feminine ideal

It’s known that Western societies are appearance obsessed. Being conventionally attractive, polished and put-together symbolizes good health and demonstrates control and competence. This has real social advantages for men and women alike. It can mean getting the job you want, the partner you want; the lifestyle you want. Women, we know, are inundated with an ideal of femininity that has, in many ways, become an indicator of self worth. Although the topic of appearance and the feminine ideal has been thoroughly researched, how visually impaired women manage our appearance obsessed culture has been left less examined (but see Gili Hammer’s piece in Gender & Society here). Yes, the feminine ideal does generally come to us in visual form. However, the cultural ubiquity of this is so overwhelming and the social influence palpable that I felt there must be more to it. Continue reading “Not seeing is still believing: how visually impaired women understand and experience media representation of the feminine ideal”

One Night Stand. . .

Mindy Muses_image1 I was listening to a new EP by a talented musician named Nathalie Raedler and discovered a song called One Night Stand, that poignantly describes an experience that inspired her song. It got me thinking about how much progress women have and have not made over the past few decades around sexuality and relationships, particularly young women, including and maybe especially college-age women.  Continue reading “One Night Stand. . .”