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Week 7 Notes

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These notes cover Week 7 lectures and readings (Hayden and Schnier).
History and Theories of Feminism
Norma Moruzzi
Class Notes
Gender and Women's Studies, history




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by vscobee2 on Monday February 29, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to GWS 292 at University of Illinois at Chicago taught by Norma Moruzzi in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 83 views. For similar materials see History and Theories of Feminism in Women and Gender studies at University of Illinois at Chicago.

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Date Created: 02/29/16
Week 7 Notes Hayden, 182­205 “Domestic Evolution or Domestic Revolution?”  th  Took place during the late 19  century in small towns and urban settings; mostly middle  class  Hull House Public Kitchen: o Premade food that people could eat there or take home o Nutritious, cheap, and readily available meals o In an urban setting  Charlotte Perkins Gilman: o The grandniece of Catharine Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe o Her views were somewhere in between those of Beecher and Addmas o Focused on housework and domestic work reform o A non­Marxist socialist o Identified as a sociologist, not a feminist  Believed these social problems affect both sexes, thus the focus on  solciology o A fiction writer – “The Yellow Wallpaper” (semi­autobiographical) and Herland o Got married, had post pardem depression, put on total rest, decided to help herself by becoming active again in her career and interests, realized how women are  treated differently and harmed by this, divorced husband but stayed friends with  him o Critical of the social institution of marriage o Framed issues as wider societal problems o Recommends/interested in community experiments – like the residential hotel  Apartment hotels: Have the privacy of a unit but with a central dining hall  (kind of like a dorm)  Served nutritious meals  Community laundry and cleaning services in the building  Modern example: A retirement home (not nursing homes) or some  colleges/greek life that serve healthy food to residents  Unlike modern fast food restaurants because these were not just for profit  and they focused on serving nutritious food (focused on quality and  service) o Focused on professionalizing women’s work so that they can work outside the  home and not have to worry about the double day (being overextended) o Doesn’t just want to outsource domestic work, but make them professions that are respected and well­paid/trained Schneir, 230­46 (Charlotte Perkins Gilman)  Wrote the book Women and Economics meant to inform and persuade her audience  Describes women’s place in society as completely economically/socially dependent on  husband o The ideal of the time is that women don’t have to work and can be supported by  the husbands o She compares women to horses (which are still essential during this time) because unlike a servant, they don’t get paid and aren’t allowed to quit (divorce is still  uncommon and shameful)  Argues that marriage is not the partnership that it claims to be, because the two players  are unequal o Wives are not entitled to half the couple’s profits or power o Wives not treated as business partners – men don’t lose anything  (materially/financially) if wives die, but women lose everything without their  husbands (finances/material goods/status)  Thinks domestic work is not as valued as it should be o Women who do the most work get the least amount of money (upper/working  class) and women with the most money do the least amount of work (upper class)  Respect and economic position was based completely on who you were married to  Focuses on food: o Women were not properly trained how to cook and thus don’t know about  nutrition (lack of education)  They cook what’s cheap, available, basic, and what they know how to do o Cooking was very time­consuming o Concerned with food as a social relation  “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach”  Wives don’t cook out of knowledge, but out of affection and the need to  please their husbands (not focused on health/nutrition)  Going to feed families unhealthy food because it tastes better  If women are cooking to please and not for health, she will cook what the  husband likes to please him and benefit herself as well (this is her job; she  is economically dependent on him and his approval)  No incentives to cook for health  If a wife wants a new appliance, she will want to please her  husband by cooking what he wants (this is one of her limited  sources of power) Hayden 206­227, “Community Kitchens and Cooked Food Services”  Community Kitchens: o In small towns o Self­managed, but they sometimes hired domestic professionals o Cooperative o Lessens housework for women – share the work and save effort o Same as Beecher’s kitchens o People would move their dining room items/furniture into the community kitchen o Work and experiences collectivized o Increases sociability o Save money by buying in bulk o Made up of  5­20 families o Avg. lasted 4 ½ years (the longest lasted 33 years) o Many fell in popularity and closed  Droughts led to rising food prices, so families tried to save money by  cooking at home instead  At home they don’t have to pay for hired help  Labor returned to women (unpaid domestic labor)  Women are often called the reserve labor force because they could  always be pushed out of work and back into the home (popular  example is post­WWII)  Again women were spending more time and effort on housework (double  day)  Other working women lost out on community kitchen work  Delivery Services: o More run as businesses than community kitchens o Usually run by women o Subscription service on a regular basis o Good quality and nutritious food o Extracted labor from individual households Hayden, 280­305, “Madame Kollontai and Mrs. Consumer,” “Feminist Politics and Domestic  Life”  During the Red Scare – around 1917, during WWI  People saw any kind of immigrant/labor/women’s organization as communist  Saw community/living/domestic experiments as similar to those in the USSR  Criticized organizing women workers and women demanding maternity benefits for  mothers and children  Society scared because of the Russian Revolution o Common people overthrew the monarchy (czar)  Bolsheviks meant communists  Unions were considered threats o Example of Pullman strike in Chicago where police killed some protestors st nd  Soviets believed that women were workers 1  and housewives 2  


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