vol 13 - 1978

This issue of Feminist Studies continues our exploration of the intertwining themese of women’s paid work and women’s gendered bodies. Essays of literature, history, and anthropology demonstrate the importance of the personal, physical self within even the seemingly neutral workplace. A call for interdisciplinarity, for an understanding of the connections between seemingly disparate issues, unites the wide-ranging subject matter of this issue. These connections appear visually, as Josephine Withers makes us aware, in the painter May Stevens's subtle exploration of the relations between her memories of her actual mother and her understanding of her surrogate political mother, Rosa Luxemburg. Stevens, in Withers's explication of her work, dramatizes once again the inescapable connections between the personal and the political.

This familiar phrase, however, can never be understood as a simple slogan. Elizabeth Lunbeck, in dissecting the consequences of the new psychiatric interpretation of female sexual independence in the early twentieth century, shows how complicated the politics of the personal—the female personality itself—can be. Her research reveals the familiar sexual double standard masquerading under a new medical vocabulary of the "hypersexual" personality. Although psychiatrists prided themselves on making minute distinctions in defining deviance, when confronted with youthful high spirits, they saw only "voracious sexuality and irredeemable immorality." At the very time when women appeared to be making substantial legal and economic gains, psychiatry sought to deploy revised definitions of female normalcy.




Josephine Withers
Revisioning Our Foremothers: Reflections
on the
Ordinary. Extraordinary Art of
May Stevens

Elizabeth Lunbeck
"A New Generation of Women":
Progressive Psychiatrists and the
Hypsersexual Female

Judith Small
Working the Float

Gillian Whitlock
"Everything is Out of Place": Radclyffe Hall
and the Lesbian Literary Tradition

Marlyn Dalsimer and Laurie Nisonoff
The Implications of the New Agricultural
and One-Child Family Policies for Rural
Chinese Women

Aihwa Ong
Dissembling Gender in the Electronics Age
(a Review Essay)

Milana Marsenich
For the Rocks Inside

Lois Rita Helmbold
Beyond the Family Economy: Black and
White Working-Class Women during the
Great Depression

Marjorie Murphy
Work, Protest, and Culture: New Work on
Working Women's History

(a Review Essay)

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