Description : The patriarchal structure of the Nation of Islam (NOI) promised black women the prospect of finding a provider and a protector among the organization's men, who were fiercely committed to these masculine roles. Black women's experience in the NOI, however, has largely remained on the periphery of scholarship. Here, Ula Taylor documents their struggle to escape the devaluation of black womanhood while also clinging to the empowering promises of patriarchy. Taylor shows how, despite being relegated to a lifestyle that did not encourage working outside of the home, NOI women found freedom in being able to bypass the degrading experiences connected to labor performed largely by working-class black women and in raising and educating their children in racially affirming environments. Telling the stories of women like Clara Poole (wife of Elijah Muhammad) and Burnsteen Sharrieff (secretary to W. D. Fard, founder of the Allah Temple of Islam), Taylor offers a compelling narrative that explains how their decision to join a homegrown, male-controlled Islamic movement was a complicated act of self-preservation and self-love in Jim Crow America.
Description : Mrs. Clara Poole -- Building a movement, fighting the devil -- Allah Temple of Islam families : the Dillon report -- Controlling the black body : internal and external challenges -- World War II : women anchoring the Nation of Islam -- Flexing a new womanhood -- Nation of Islam womanhood, 1960-1975 -- The royal family -- The appeal of black nationalism and the promise of prosperity -- Modesty, marriage, and motherhood
Description : Noting that the ways of interpreting the Bible now practiced in the West are patriarchal and oppressive of those in other parts of the world, Dube offers an alternative interpretation that attends to and respects needs of women in the two-thirds world. In a provocative and insightful reading of the book of Matthew, she shows us how to read the Bible as decolonizing rather than imperialist literature.
Description : Originally published in 1984, Reading the Romance challenges popular (and often demeaning) myths about why romantic fiction, one of publishing's most lucrative categories, captivates millions of women readers. Among those who have disparaged romance reading are feminists, literary critics, and theorists of mass culture. They claim that romances enforce the woman reader's dependence on men and acceptance of the repressive ideology purveyed by popular culture. Radway questions such claims, arguing that critical attention "must shift from the text itself, taken in isolation, to the complex social event of reading." She examines that event, from the complicated business of publishing and distribution to the individual reader's engagement with the text. Radway's provocative approach combines reader-response criticism with anthropology and feminist psychology. Asking readers themselves to explore their reading motives, habits, and rewards, she conducted interviews in a midwestern town with forty-two romance readers whom she met through Dorothy Evans, a chain bookstore employee who has earned a reputation as an expert on romantic fiction. Evans defends her customers' choice of entertainment; reading romances, she tells Radway, is no more harmful than watching sports on television. "We read books so we won't cry" is the poignant explanation one woman offers for her reading habit. Indeed, Radway found that while the women she studied devote themselves to nurturing their families, these wives and mothers receive insufficient devotion or nurturance in return. In romances the women find not only escape from the demanding and often tiresome routines of their lives but also a hero who supplies the tenderness and admiring attention that they have learned not to expect. The heroines admired by Radway's group defy the expected stereotypes; they are strong, independent, and intelligent. That such characters often find themselves to be victims of male aggression and almost always resign themselves to accepting conventional roles in life has less to do, Radway argues, with the women readers' fantasies and choices than with their need to deal with a fear of masculine dominance. These romance readers resent not only the limited choices in their own lives but the patronizing atitude that men especially express toward their reading tastes. In fact, women read romances both to protest and to escape temporarily the narrowly defined role prescribed for them by a patriarchal culture. Paradoxically, the books that they read make conventional roles for women seem desirable. It is this complex relationship between culture, text, and woman reader that Radway urges feminists to address. Romance readers, she argues, should be encouraged to deliver their protests in the arena of actual social relations rather than to act them out in the solitude of the imagination. In a new introduction, Janice Radway places the book within the context of current scholarship and offers both an explanation and critique of the study's limitations.
Description : Now nearly 15 years old (during which time it exploded in size, then declined and has now plateaued), the Promise Keepers and its policies have invited reactions ranging from celebration to suspicion. Many see the Christian men's organization as a powerful tool to encourage and equip Christian men to face a morally complex future. Others view the group as sexist or even heretical. This book was the first, and in most ways still the only, objective analysis of the Promise Keepers and the many reactions to it. Contributors to this collection of critical essays hail from the fields of political science, history, sociology, religion and theology, journalism and mass communication, speech, English, women's studies, American studies, and sports science. The responses range from supportive to skeptical and cover topics that go beyond the Promise Keepers to issues of evangelical Christianity, gender roles, men's organizations, mass media, and social movements.
Description : There has been much important work done in the past two decades in America on issues of under representation based on social differences such as race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, and age. While this scholarship has examined the ways in which women and racial, ethnic, and sexual minorities suffer disproportionately on measures of full citizenship, social class and culture have received relatively little attention. This new study addresses various manifestations of social class and cultural difference as well as their implications for political representation. The analysis demonstrates how three of the most influential feminist theorists who write about political representation conceive of group representation, identify the problems that group representation claims to remedy, and assess the strengths and weaknesses associated with these models. Using theoretical argument, the volume suggests practical electoral reform in order to encourage new and emancipating forms of political engagement. It will be of value to those interested in public policy and governance, political theory, gender studies and law and society in general.
Description : In Russia during the second half of the eighteenth century, a public conversation emerged that altered perceptions of pregnancy, birth, and early childhood. Children began to be viewed as a national resource, and childbirth heralded new members of the body politic. The exclusively female world of mothers, midwives, and nannies came under the scrutiny of male physicians, state institutions, a host of zealous reformers, and even Empress Catherine the Great. Making innovative use of obstetrical manuals, belles lettres, children’s primers, and other primary documents from the era, Anna Kuxhausen draws together many discourses—medical, pedagogical, and political—to show the scope and audacity of new notions about childrearing. Reformers aimed to teach women to care for the bodies of pregnant mothers, infants, and children according to medical standards of the Enlightenment. Kuxhausen reveals both their optimism and their sometimes fatal blind spots in matters of implementation. In examining the implication of women in public, even political, roles as agents of state-building and the civilizing process, From the Womb to the Body Politic offers a nuanced, expanded view of the Enlightenment in Russia and the ways in which Russians imagined their nation while constructing notions of childhood.