Member Blogs > Pistil BlogGender in the 80's

  • Thu, 08 Sep 2016 04:24:00    Permalink
    This week we take a look at 2 books from late-20th century America.

    You're Either One or the Other, by Joy Wilt (Word, Inc., Waco, TX, 1980), would certainly never pass muster in 2016, when you are not necessarily one or the other.  But the book is politically correct according to the lights of the time.

     It does not go so far as to suggest that boys can try on their mothers' clothing (see cover), but it does suggest that while some boys enjoy driving nails, others enjoy thinking about having babies (vicariously, of course).

     As for women's issues, though the drawing illustrating a girl's development shows her going from cheerleader through graduate to leather-booted shopper, she can also decide to surprise her husband by taking faulty electronics in to the repair shop.

    The Assertive Librarian, by Janette S. Caputo (Oryx Press, Phoenix, AZ, 1984), also dates itself by its title.  "Assertive" would hardly be part of a job description in today's library environments.

    This book is curious because it is 242 pages long, includes detailed analyses of eyebrow positions as indicators of mood, and seems like a general guide to functioning in a work setting.  And yet, every so often the word "librarian" makes its appearance, suggesting a very specific, not to say narrow, targeted reading audience. 

    The author is careful to point out that assertiveness is not to be confused with aggression, and avoids using any pronouns that would assign a gender to the assertive librarian in question.

    Coming up: Bodily Secretion Books, alternativley styled BS Books or TMI Books.

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