Goldilocks vs. GoldieBlox

by Hilary Levey Friedman

Engineer turned social entrepreneur/toy maker Debbie Sterling thinks Goldilocks should have built herself a chair and bed that fit her just right. No matter if her creations ended up pink and covered in glitter—the important thing is that she build herself.Friedman_blogimage
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Normalizing Sexual Violence

by Heather R. Hlavka

A young man corners his classmate near the school bathroom, forcing his hands under her shirt. Boys grope girls on playgrounds and school buses; they say “I’m gonna rape you.” A 12-year-old girl describes feeling like a “doll” or a “maid” – something to be ordered around, used, and thrown away.Hlavka_blogimage

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Learning Femininity in College

by Elizabeth Armstrong and Laura Hamilton

Weekend evenings on the dorm floor were loud and chaotic as women rushed around trading clothes and accessories, trying on and rejecting outfits in rapid succession. A focus on physical appearance was at the center of many interactions on the floor. Women discussed the attractiveness of celebrities, complimented each other on outfits, complained about minor physical imperfections, pored over fashion magazines, made plans to “do abs” together, and commiserated about the temptations of beer and pizza. Many of the fifty-three women living on the freshman residence hall floor we observed at large mid-tier public university spent more time on their physical appearance than on their schoolwork.Armstrong_blogimage

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They Always Call me an Investment: Gendered Familism and Latino/a College Pathways

by Sarah Ovink

Women’s ever-increasing share of the student body on U.S. college campuses (57%, on average) is by now common knowledge. Hand-wringing in the national media over this gender reversal has also become commonplace, and includes worries about women’s dwindling dating prospects and speculation that we might see the number of stay-at-home-dads skyrocket in the coming years as women choose careers over child-rearing and family life.Ovink_blogimage_April2014

As a sociologist of education, I read these stories with interest and some bemusement. While it is certainly true that women have come to outnumber men on college campuses, it is also true that men continue to out-earn women—even when comparing women and men with identical college majors, resumes, and career paths. Though women have undeniably made progress, is the college gender reversal also heralding a gender revolution in work and family life?

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Is the “Mrs.” Degree Dead?

by Laura Hamilton

In 1998 I was a first-year student at DePauw University, a small liberal arts college in Indiana. A floor-mate of mine, with whom I hung out occasionally, told me over lunch that she was at college primarily to find a “good husband.” I nearly choked on my sandwich. I had assumed that the notion of the “Mrs. Degree” was a relic of my parents’ era—if not my grandparents’. Surely it had gone the way of the home economics major and women’s dormitory curfews.

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Over-worked but ‘good’: Nursing, normative femininity and austerity ideology in Swedish healthcare

by Rebecca Selberg

News of crisis in the public sector has been an increasingly common topic in Sweden during the last decades. Lately, the state of public healthcare has become a major political issue after numerous reports of overworked and underpaid staff failing their patients. Azime, a thirty-two year-old ward nurse employed at a teaching hospital in Sweden, sighed when I brought up this subject. She really loved being a nurse, she told me, but the job would also drain her completely; there was simply too much to do, and not enough people or time to do it. Plus, she felt that the collective “girly-girl” attitude among nurses was one of the reasons they were so exploited and underpaid. As she explained all this to me, she narrowed in on the challenging topic of femininity at work:

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“Don’t Deport Our Daddies”: Gendering State Deportation Practices and Immigrant Organizing

by Monisha Das Gupta

I first heard of Families For Freedom  (FFF) in 2003 in the context of the deepening crisis in detention and deportation in New York’s South Asian community as a result of the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, initiated in 2002.  Based in New York City,FFF is a multi-ethnic group formed in 2002.  In fighting deportation, it brings together those who are directly impacted by the U.S. federal government’s escalating immigration enforcement in the name of national security. Continue reading ““Don’t Deport Our Daddies”: Gendering State Deportation Practices and Immigrant Organizing”