‘A spontaneous loss of enthusiasm’

Posted: Marzo 24th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: donnewomenfemmes | 7 Comments »

‘A spontaneous loss of enthusiasm’: workplace feminism and the transformation of women’s service jobs in the 1970s – Dorothy Sue Cobble

An analysis of the gendered dynamics in the class struggle in the 1970s US service sector.

In 1972, a group of tired stewardesses tried to explain their concerns to the incredulous male transit union officials who led their union. No, the primary issues were not wages and benefits, they insisted, but the particular cut of their uniforms and the sexual insinuations made about their occupation in the new airline advertisements. Their words fell on deaf ears. Despite their commonalities as transportation workers, the gender gap separating the two groups was simply too wide to cross. Indeed, male subway drivers could not understand why the stewardesses would object to their glamorous sex-object image. Deeply held gendered notions of unionism and politics also stood in the way of communication.

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