Business Girls and Two-Job Wives: Emerging Media Stereotypes of Employed Women (Jane Marcellus)
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Title: Business Girls and Two-Job Wives
Sub-title: Emerging Media Stereotypes of Employed Women
Author(s): Jane Marcellus
Publish Date: October 2010
|This new book is an historical examination of how popular magazines portrayed wage-earning women during the critical interwar years, 1918-1941. Although women had been entering the workplace for some time, their contributions to World War I, the passage of women’s suffrage, postwar business expansion, and changing social morés put the cultural conversation over women’s employment into high gear. Meanwhile, magazines were becoming more visual, more commercial, more affordable—and more influential. Young women looked to magazines for advice that they had previously gotten at home, while ads shifted their focus from information about products to social tableaux centered on idealized gender roles. Examining how magazines covered employed women during this critical period, this book identifies a number of emerging stereotypes and argues that women were reinscribed into a domestic discourse. Moreover, those stereotypes are echoed today in print media, television, film and the Internet.|
Abridged Contents: Introduction: Runner-Up For Man Of The Year. Women, Work, and Femininity. The Interwar Years: Shifting Roles and Discontent. Growing Media Influence. Material Forces, Media Rituals. Femininity—Imposed Limitations. Examining Interwar Magazines. Reinforcing Domestic Discourses, Chapters. The Forgotten Workforce: Women, Work, and Magazines From Colonial Times To The Great Depression. “Noe Idle Drones”—Women and Work in Colonial America. Women, Ladies, Labor, and the Industrial Revolution. After the Civil War—Expanding Options, Emerging Controversies. “All Right, We Are Two Nations”—The Interwar Years. Work and Sex—the Modern Woman. “Doctor? Lawyer? Merchant? Chief?”: Opportunities, Contradictions, Controversies. Recruiting Women in Wartime . From Duty to Opportunity—the Postwar World. Protective Legislation—Help or Hindrance? The Girl Invaders. Essentializing Employed Women. Harm to Men, Children, Other Women. Office Machine, Office Wife: The “Business Girl” in Magazines. The “Typewriter” Emerges. The Business Girl—Efficient, Faceless, Marriageable. Sexualized Machines. Windows and Worship. Office Debutantes, Office Wives. The Telephone Operator—Nobody’s Office Wife. The Expert and the Exception: Teachers, Nurses, Corsetières, and “Others”. Woman as Expert Woman. Woman as Exception. Women’s Bodies, Women’s Jobs: Looks and Health in the Workplace. Body Types and the Employed Woman. Women’s Bodies on the Job . Health and the Employed Woman. The “Two-Job Wife”: Married Women and Careers. Married Women in the Workplace. The Two-Job Wife in Magazines. Professional Couples, Personal Stories. The Two-Job Wife Faces the Depression. Promoting the Two-Job Lifestyle. Opportunity And The Crisis: Visibility For African American Women Workers. Magazines and the Black Press. Postwar Optimism. Combatting Sexism Alongside Racism. Profiling Successful Women. Paid Work and Motherhood. The Depression. Employed Women in Stories and Poems. “Take A Letter, Mr. Jones”: The Employed Woman Defines Herself. Anonymous Voices. “Take a Letter, Mr. Jones”. A New Social Order— Independent Woman. “Does Your ’Do Reveal What You Do?”: The Symbolic Echo of Media Stereotypes. The Inheritance of Stereotypes. Return of the Office Wife. Two-Job Wives and Superwomen. Advice for Young Women. Global Images. Afterword: Why Media Representations of Employed Women Matter. Bibliography. Author Index. Subject Index.