Gender, Health, and Popular Culture
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
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Health is a gendered concept in Western cultures.1 The healthy man is strong, assertive, tolerant, moderate in his appetites, hard-working, adventurous, responsible, and wise. The healthy woman is attractive, youthful- looking, self-sacrificing, empathetic, consciously limiting her appetites, hard-working, careful, mindful of the needs...
I: The Transmission of Health Information
Conﬁned: Constructions of Childbirth in Popular and Elite Medical Culture in Late-Nineteenth- Century Australia
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In late-nineteenth-century Australia, a woman had numerous sources for information about pregnancy and childbirth, including her family, friends, and neighbours. Yet by this period, biomedicine and, in particular, gynecology and obstetrics had increasingly replaced women’s...
Eating for Two: Shaping Mothers’ Figures and Babies’ Futures in Modern American Culture
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Since the 1980s, American parenting magazines, pregnancy guidebooks, and advertisements have admonished pregnant women to monitor their food and drink. Pregnant women of the late twentieth century may suspect that compared to the recommendations given to mothers in earlier decades of the twentieth century, they have been expected to follow...
Advice to Adolescents: Menstrual Health and Menstrual Education Films, 1946–1982
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Many women born after 1940 in the United States hold vivid memories of menstrual education during their teenage years. Some had mothers or sisters to explain menstruation; others learned from their physical education instructors. Most, though, were part of a nation-wide audience subjected to menstrual education films shown at school...
Controlling Conception: Images of Women, Safety, Sexuality, and the Pill in the Sixties
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The history of the birth control pill has become intertwined in North American popular culture and imagination with the so-called sexual revolution of the sixties...
All Aboard? Canadian Women’s Abortion Tourism, 1960–1980
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Changing Places (1975), David Lodge’s witty satire of Anglo-American academic life in the 1960s, begins with the startling discovery that Morris Zapp, an esteemed American professor, is the sole male passenger on a packed flight to London.When Zapp learns...
Controlling Cervical Cancer from Screening to Vaccinations: An American Perspective
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In the United States, contemporary conversations about cervical cancer are informed by a rich history of cancer awareness efforts that target female audiences. Since at least 1913,women have been encouraged to consult physicians at the first sign of irregular vaginal discharge...
The Challenge of Developing and Publicizing Cervical Cancer Screening Programs: A Canadian Perspective
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Cervical cancer is one of the few cancers that with early detection, can have a 100 per cent cure rate. By the mid-twentieth century, medical communities in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom understood cervical cancer as a potentially preventable disease, if properly organized screening programs were in...
II: Popular Representations of the Body in Sickness and Health
Hideous Monsters before the Eye: Delirium tremens and Manhood in Antebellum Philadelphia
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In Six Nights with theWashingtonians, temperance novelist T.S. Arthur uses “the man with the poker” as a popular term for delirium tremens, a condition in which heavy drinkers develop hallucinations. The fictional character, Bill, a reformed drinker who is recounting...
From La Bambola to a Toronto Striptease: Drawing Out Public Consent to Gender Differentiation with Anatomical Material
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The long history of anatomical display dates back at least from the classic period when people left wax votives of afflicted body parts at Greek and Roman temples, seeking divine intervention. However, a notable development took place during the 1700s...
Let Me Hear Your Body Talk: Aerobics for Fat Women Only, 1981–1985
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By 1984 aerobics, dancercise, and jazzercise were among “the most popular physical activities of North American women.”1 Aerobics emerged in the early 1980s in the wake of Title IX and the development of organizations like the Canadian Association...
“The Closest Thing to Perfect”: Celebrity and the Body Politics of Jamie Lee Curtis
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For the September 2002 issue of More, a women’s lifestyle magazine targeting women over the age of forty, film actress Jamie Lee Curtis posed in a sports bra and tight spandex briefs without the aid of lights, makeup, or retouching...
“Every Generation Has Its War”: Representations of Gay Men with Aids and Their Parents in the United States, 1983–1993
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When the AIDS activist group ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) staged street theatre-oriented protests in the late 1980s, one of its iconographic Ronald Reagan posters asked the question: “What If Your Son Gets Sick?”...
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Publication Year: 2011