Date: Tue, 14 Nov 1995 23:27:23 -0500
Sender: Women's Studies List <WMST-L@UMDD.UMD.EDU>
From: "Women's Presses Library Project, Mev Miller" <wplp@WINTERNET.COM>
Subject: Re: feminism and working class women

Feminism and working class women

By Mev Miller. 14 November, 1995

"I'm teaching an Images of Women in Literature class in a small working class community college where many women are the daughters of loggers, fishermen, carpenters, etc. or married to one. I am having them read Rosalind Miles' book "The Women's History of the World." There is a marked hostility to the negative views of men put forth in the book. I suspect this may have something to do with the solidarity that working class women feel with their working class men.

Does anyone know any good articles on feminism and the working class woman? Or books? Or histories? I'm teaching three classes and don't have time to do the extra reading right now. Also, what other histories would be good in lieu of the Miles book.

Here are some selections from the Women's Presses Library Project. If you have difficulty locating, them please let me know.

Blue Collar Goodbyes, Sue Doro, Papier-Mache Press, 0-918949-22-X, 1992, P, $8.00. Workers across America live under the continual specter of plant shutdowns and mass elimination of jobs. Sue Doro, for thirteen years the only female machinist at the former Milwaukee Road Railway and Allis Chalmers Tractor Shop, experienced just such a closure. This collection of **essays and poetry** speaks not only to those women who work in nontraditional jobs, but to every woman who works and to every worker who lives with this growing threat to economic survival.

Faces of Feminism: Portraits of Women Across Canada, Pamela Harris, Women's Press, Canada, 0-929005-36-8, 1992, P, $26.00. For six years, award-winning photographer Pamela Harris researched and photographed the Canadian women's movement. Faces of Feminism, her empowering collection of portraits paired with text by the women portrayed, gives a unique view of diversity and vitality of Canadian feminism. Seventy-five plates with text, reproduced in duotone.

Hard-Hatted Women: Stories of Struggle and Success in the Trades, Molly Martin, Editor, Seal Press, 0-931188-66-0, 1988, P, $12.95. Vivid accounts of life on the job by 26 tradeswomen.

Her: A Novel, Cherry Muhanji, Aunt Lute Books, 1-879960-02-8, 1991, P, $8.95. A story about Detroit in the late fifties and sixties and the Black men and women who came North to work in the Ford motor plant. Also has lesbian content.

If I Had A Hammer: Women's Work in Poetry, Fiction, and Photographs, Sandra Haldeman Martz, Editor, Papier-Mache Press, 0-918949-09-2, 1990, P, $11.00. These are strong women-survivors. They set boundaries, take risks, demand respect, and maintain their self-esteem, with or without the help of management, coworkers, family, or friends. In traditional and nontraditional jobs, at home and in the workplace, these women are using their power to take charge of their own lives, challenging each of us to do the same.

Skin: Talking About Sex, Class & Literature, Dorothy Allison, Firebrand Books, 1-56341-044-3, 1994, P, $13.95. In this compelling collection of essays and autobiographical narratives, the author probes her experience of being a lifelong feminist activist, a controversial sex radical, and an expatriate Southern writer with an attitude. A worthy compliment to Trash.

Trash: Stories, Dorothy Allison, Firebrand Books, 1-56341-51-6, 1988, P, $9.95. "In 14 gritty, intimate stories, Dorothy Allison's fictional persona exposes the complexities of being a 'cross-eyed working-class lesbian, addicted to violence, language and hope.' ...With a keen feel for the languid rhythms of Southern speech, she masterfully suspends the reader between voyeurism and empathy." -Publishers Weekly

The Woman-Centered Ecomony: Ideals, Reality, & the Space in Between, Loraine Edwalds, Editor, Midge Stocker, Editor, Third Side Press, 1-879427-06-0, 1995, P, $15.95, The Woman-Centered Economy presents real stories of women running businesses based on feminist principles, within the feminist and lesbian communities. It also presents some theoretical thinking behind the day-to-day work and ideals toward which many women in our businesses and community nonprofit organizations strive. The women writing in this collection come from a variety of class backgrounds-many working class.

Women's Presses Library Project
Mev Miller, Project Coordinator
1483 Laurel Ave.,
St. Paul., MN 55104-6737

(phone) 612-646-0097;
(fax) 612-646-1153;

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