SOC265H1 LECTURE 1 – 10/01/2013
- This course is not on blackboard.
- Separate website: on syllabus. www.chass.utoronto.ca/~bfox/soc265 - Slides (lecture outlines)
posted on this site (night before lecture).
- There are non-mandatory tutorials.
- I. Considering Gender Differences Over
- A. The ‘Bad Old Days” – the 1950s
- • clothing styles
- Clothes were very uncomfortable for most women; women wore girdles (corsets).
Often women wore 2-3 inch heels with pointed toes much of the day. These were
not only uncomfortable but also deformed feet. Many old women now have
deformed feet from this. Women endured horrible things to have certain
hairstyles (poofy hair) – wore hair curlers are night, and to keep them in place
they had spikes which people slept on. This mostly applies to middle-class
women in 50‟s.
- • sexual expression
- Not okay for girls outside of marriage. Risked crossing the line/ruining reputation
– also risked pregnancy, a high risk of this, since contraception was not available
(only available in mid-60‟s. Contraception was not effective and was only
women‟s responsibility. If you got pregnant you had to drop out of school, were
sent away to have your baby, even legally babies were considered illegitimate
and the kids were often given up for adoption. Many of the women didn‟t even
have an option to see their baby.
- • employment (sex segregation, „marriage bars‟,
- earnings gap)
jobs were advertised as for men or women – for women only secretary, teacher,
nurse, telephone operator. Jobs were different. This was gender/sex segregation
of jobs. When a woman married – especially teacher – you had to quit your job in most cases. Marriage bar. It was not okay for married women to teach. For
factory workers, you wouldn‟t have to face a marriage bar – since low wages.
- • responsibility for housework and child care
Women and men married young. Girls often in their teens. You took your
husbands name without even blinking. Typically have children immediately.
Expected to stay home full time. There were some employed women but there
were many social stigmas against them. Concerns about latch-key children –
children who would be left alone while their mother worked – everybody believed
these children would become juvenile delinquents. Women who were in the
labour force on average earned only about 60% of what men made on average.
Gender relations were very conventional – men expected to earn. Researchers
found that this was a heavy responsibility for men – a lot of men had early heart
attacks due to the financial responsibility/burden. These men often gave their
wives allowances (groceries, etc).
- • emotional display
Men were expected to be stoic (not to cry, not to display emotion in public
especially). Several presidential candidates lost their possibility of becoming
president because they teared up in public – one had a tear running down his
cheek and ended his possibility of becoming president.
- • the meaning of violence against women
Not seen as a problem. If there was suspicion that a husband was hitting his
wife, the common reaction was that this is nobody‟s business, only their
business. Sexual harassment was not a concept – it was not coined until the
early 1970‟s. The common response was humour – or that this is simply
flirtatious. It didn‟t matter if it was a boss or anything.
- • media images
- B. Evidence of change over time
Position of women relative to men has changed.
- clothing styles
Incredibly loosened up – much more comfortable. Before (early 60‟s) you couldn‟t
even wear jeans in public. Many more unisex styles. The range is much wider.
However, high heels are back. Image/expectations have change – models are
now much much thinner. Breast implants is common now / cosmetic surgery.
Most girls over 12 are on diets. Standards around beauty on one hand have
loosened up but still backward trends appearing. Celebrities still dress in
50‟s/60‟s style. - education
Women getting more BAs/university degrees than guys now. More jobs, etc.
Women are getting almost as many masters/phds as men, gap is narrowing.
Way fewer women than guys in computers/science fields. In 1999, only 20% of
engineers were women. 2008-2009 fewer than 17 percent were women.
Implications of jobs/salaries/employment.
Majority of women in labour force and are here to stay. This is not a change for
women of colour. African Canadian women have been in the labour force for
most of their lives. For middle-class women this is a change. Women are now in
jobs that were formerly only men‟s jobs. Sex segregation in labour force is less
than it used to be. Questions that remain are: What are the gaps in earnings?
What is the size of it? Do women have similar opportunities for promotion? Etc.
Differences in terms of race in the labour force.
- expectations about housework and child care
When women are in the labour force – male partners will do half of the
housework and childcare – expectations have changed. But women are still
doing more. Employment of nannies is an issue – class/racial/ethnic differences
Now quite common for women to be active in sports. But in high leve