The Family Silver
Essays on Relationships among Women
Publication Year: 1996
Krieger has developed a distinctly feminist approach to understanding and scholarship. Her style is self-revelatory, emotional, and at the same time deeply analytical. Her essays pioneer a new method of locating, defining, and honoring female values.
The Family Silver includes a thought-provoking discussion of gender roles among women, including the author's experience of being mistaken for a man; an exploration of teaching in a feminist classroom; and a description of the controversy that resulted when the author refused to allow a hostile male student to take one of her courses. Beautifully written,The Family Silver addresses issues of central concern to feminists, postmodernists, and queer theorists and encourages new insights into how gender profoundly affects us all.
Published by: University of California Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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I had not initially planned to write a book called The Family Silver,nor expected, at the start, to be discussing my life in such an intimateway. I had thought that I would be writing about women and organiza-tions, and that I would present insights about female gender that I hadlearned from teaching feminist classes. The rest evolved gradually. I...
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The family silver is an unusual collection of essays. It is at once anintensely individual and emotional set of re®ections and a more generalsociological study. These essays were written as a collection and are in-tended as a contribution to feminist scholarship and feminist teaching,to the ethnographic tradition in sociology, and to emerging scholarship...
PA RT O N EPersonal Settings
Onegender roles among women
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I am interested in how ideas about gender organize identity and socialrelationships among women. Perhaps because I am a lesbian and havenoticed how women who are lesbian adopt one gender role or the other(female or male), then discard it, combine roles, and act in ways thatconfuse me, I feel a need to come to better terms with the use of gender...
Twobecoming a lesbi an
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Twenty years ago, I ¤rst lived with another woman. This is a storyabout that experience, excerpted from a novel I later wrote. Althoughwritten in the third person, it is strictly autobiographical. To me, thisstory is not only about lesbians, but also about female-female relatingand the challenge of intimacy between women. I call it “Becoming a...
Threethe family silver
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I have just come back from a trip to Florida to settle the affairs of mylover’s aunt, who died suddenly at the age of seventy. She was carryingher groceries up the stairs to her apartment when she dropped dead ofa heart attack. A neighbor found her. When we arrived several weekslater, we found her grocery list and the cash register receipt itemiz-...
Fourthe passing down of sorrow
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My mother has always seemed big to me. I used to think she lookedlike Marilyn Monroe. As I got older, I thought she looked more likeIngrid Bergman, which means that I thought my mother was the mostbeautiful woman in the world. When I was growing up, we would askmy mother why we had to do something. “Because I am your mother,”...
PA RT T WOAcademic Settings
Fivehurts of the system
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In this essay, i speak of how I have been hurt by institutional rejec-tions. My purpose is to make my own reality visible and to see how myindividual experience is a female experience. I also wish to identify howfaults of an institution are felt as the faults of an individual. Speakingof discontent with institutional arrangements seems to me particularly...
Sixsay ing no to a m an
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A few days ago, I cleared the remaining syllabi, books, and studentpapers from my study so that I would not be reminded of classes andteaching and, especially, of certain troubles I had this past quarter. Mycourse on women and organizations went extremely well, but my courseon feminist methodology in the social sciences had dif¤culties. When I...
Sevenlesbi an in ac ademe
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Not long ago, a graduate student called to interview me for a mas-ter’s thesis on experiences of lesbian and gay sociologists. She was inter-ested in the effects of being gay on their academic lives. Was prejudicean issue? What happened in their universities and over the course of acareer? I agreed to do the interview, but I told no one about it, for I felt...
PA RT T H R E EFeminist Teaching
Eighta feminist cl ass
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I have taught a course called Women and Organizations for the pasteight years, seven times at one institution and once each at two others.Students, most of them women, take this course because they wish tobe successful in a man’s world and not to be disadvantaged because theyare women. I teach the course for a different reason, because I like...
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My central goal in Women and Organizations is to enable the stu-dents to recognize the importance of female separatism. I also wantthem to understand the problems of women’s groups. For, if separatewomen’s organizations are important, then it is desirable to grasp thedif¤culties these groups face, especially the internal dif¤culties that...
Tendesires for an ideal communityof women
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The eighth week of Women and Organizations is titled on the sylla-bus “Circles within Circles: Dilemmas of Belonging in a Women’sGroup.” Here I begin to pale, for I know what is coming. We are goingto read my book about a lesbian community. From experiences of pastyears, I know that the students approach this book with high expecta-...
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Page Count: 282
Publication Year: 1996