NWSA Journal

NWSA Journal
Volume 16, Number 3, Fall 2004

CONTENTS

Essays

    Orr, Catherine M.
    Lichtenstein, Diane Marilyn.
  • The Politics of Feminist Locations: A Materialist Analysis of Women's Studies
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    Subject Headings:
    • Wiegman, Robyn, ed. Women's studies on its own: a next wave reader in institutional change.
    • Women's studies -- United States.
    Abstract:
      Assessments of the discipline of Women's Studies must account for the location of those who claim to speak in its name. Most who work within the discipline are located in institutions with heavy teaching loads, "high needs" students, administrative mandates that limit the content or scope of their programs, and without the resources—particularly time for research and reflection—that would allow them to contribute to a conversation on assessment. Not surprisingly, then, most commentary on the discipline of Women's Studies comes from those located in what Carnegie classifies as Doctoral Research Universities—Extensive. We offer our own experiences of Women's Studies at a small, secular, liberal arts college as an example that complicates previous assessments based on limited perspectives borne of particular locations. Issues include institutionalization, pedagogical practices, and disciplinary objects and labels. The process of assessing the discipline requires the input of many voices in addition to what has heretofore been published, including our own. Therefore, we conclude with a call for contributions to a forum in the summer 2005 issue of NWSA Journal titled "The Politics of Feminist Locations."
    Keywords:
      Women's Studies / location / materialist feminism / assessment / liberal arts / institutionalization / pedagogy / disciplinarity / Women's Studies on Its Own
    Laware, Margaret L.
  • Circling the Missiles and Staining Them Red: Feminist Rhetorical Invention and Strategies of Resistance at the Women's Peace Camp at Greenham Common
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    Subject Headings:
    • Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp -- History.
    • Rhetoric -- Political aspects -- History -- 20th century.
    • Symbolism in politics -- History -- 20th century.
    • Peace movements -- History -- 20th century.
    • Feminist theory -- History -- 20th century.
    Abstract:
      The Women's Peace Camp at Greenham in Newbury, England, survived almost twenty years, from 1981 until 2000, as an extended protest against the placement of nuclear missiles on British soil and provided an innovative and generative space of feminist rhetorical invention. This essay provides an analysis of their evolving protest actions. It looks specifically at the types of feminist rhetorical invention employed—including feminist coding strategies, use of women's bodies as rhetorical topos, and the use of Background symbolism, affirming symbols of women's lives—to create a women-centered community and challenge the patriarchal traditions and symbols that the nuclear missiles represented.
    Keywords:
      background symbolism / embodied rhetoric / feminist coding strategies / feminist peace protest / feminist rhetorical invention / Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp / menstrual

Cluster on Menstrual Cycle Research

    Stubbs, Margaret L. (Margaret Louisa), 1947-
    Mansfield, Phyllis Kernoff.
  • The Menstrual Cycle: Feminist Analyses from the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research
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    Subject Headings:
    • Society for Menstrual Cycle Research. Meeting (15th : 2003 : Pittsburgh, Pa.)
    • Menstrual cycle -- United States -- Congresses.
    • Women -- Health and hygiene -- Congresses.
    Dan, Alice J.
  • What Have We Learned? An Historical View of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research
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    Subject Headings:
    • Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.
    • Menstrual cycle -- Social aspects -- United States.
    • Women's health services -- Government policy -- United States.
    Abstract:
      The first interdisciplinary research conference on the menstrual cycle and related topics was held in 1977, at the University of Illinois at Chicago (Dan, Graham, and Beecher 1980). In this paper, I offer some examples of what we have learned over the past 27 years as a society of feminist thinkers, researchers and women's health advocates. In particular, I reflect on some of the ways in which feminist attention to women's embodied experiences helps to illuminate and counteract the social and political forces that broadly affect women's lives and women's health. For, as women, we live, reproduce and mature in a society whose leadership, medical practice, media expertise, and influence remain largely in the hands of men, and reflect powerful financial and political interests
    Keywords:
      hormone therapy / menopause / menstruation / premenstrual syndrome / toxic shock syndrome / women's health
    Worcester, Nancy, 1944-
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): Getting to the Heart of the Politics of Women's Health?
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    Subject Headings:
    • Menopause -- Hormone therapy -- United States.
    • Pharmaceutical policy -- United States.
    • National Women's Health Network (U.S.)
    • Women -- Health and hygiene -- United States.
    Abstract:
      In 2002, the National Institutes of Health announced that one arm of the largest hormone study ever to be done on healthy women was being stopped for safety reasons: the risks of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) outweighed the benefits. This paper explores how the HRT story can be used to politicize women and their health care providers about the recurring pattern of marketing untested products to healthy women. It also provides a history of the women's health movement's critique of the lack of scientific evidence that HRT was safe or effective, discusses the new Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-pharmaceutical industry partnerships that increase the medicalization of women's health, and shows that the HRT story is not unique. Emphasizing that the Women's Health Movement is as important as ever, this paper concludes with strategies for ensuring that the lessons learned from the HRT story are incorporated into practice and policy. Highlighted as well is the important role the National Women's Health Network (NWHN) played in the HRT story and its continuing crucial role in enhancing women's health.
    Keywords:
      estrogen / Food and Drug Administration (FDA) / hormone replacement therapy (HRT) / National Women's Health Network
      (NWHN) / progestin / Women's Health Initiative (WHI) /Women's Health Movement
    Moloney, Margaret F.
    Strickland, Ora.
    Dietrich, Alexa.
    Myerburg, Stuart.
  • Online Data Collection in Women's Health Research: A Study of Perimenopausal Women with Migraines
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    Subject Headings:
    • Perimenopause -- United States-- Computer network resources.
    • Migraine -- United States-- Computer network resources.
    • Women -- Health and hygiene -- United States-- Computer network resources.
    Abstract:
      An estimated 17 to 18 percent of all women, and 6 percent of men, experience migraines. Hormonal shifts may cause migraines to recur, worsen, or even begin during the perimenopause and are a significant cause of discomfort and disability. However, very little research has explored the experience of migraines in this population. The purpose of this study was to describe the experiences of perimenopausal women with migraines, via online questionnaires and discussion boards, and to evaluate the feasibility of collecting women's health data via the Internet. In an earlier study, we found that midlife women had difficulty attending focus groups due to other time commitments. This study was designed to increase accessibility to the research via the Internet. Of the 43 women recruited into the study, 21 were also interviewed in "real-time" qualitative interviews; all received passwords to complete online questionnaires and participate in three- to four-week discussion boards on the study Web site. Quantitative data were imported into SPSS; narrative qualitative data from discussion boards were transferred to a software package for analysis. Online questionnaires and discussion boards were found to be feasible methods for data collection for this population. Qualitative data analysis revealed themes related to women's efforts to predict and control their headaches, the relationship of headaches to women's menses and menopausal symptoms, and the effects of migraines on their lives. In this paper we describe the process of using the Internet, feminist issues related to this innovative methodology, and also discuss the results of a major study theme, the experience of headaches in relationship to the menstrual cycle.
    Keywords:
      migraine headaches / qualitative research / women's health

Third-Wave Feminism(s)

    Purvis, Jennifer.
  • Grrrls and Women Together in the Third Wave: Embracing the Challenges of Intergenerational Feminism(s)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Feminism -- United States.
    Abstract:
      This essay asks: If current third-wave controversy continues to reify oppositions between the second and third waves of feminism, largely based on caricatures, or "straw feminisms," how can the grrrls and women who occupy the space of a "third-wave political moment," or a "third-wave feminist consciousness," accomplish the formidable tasks of feminisms? By addressing the primacy and pitfalls of dominant generational rhetoric and applying an alternative Kristevan framework, this piece examines the potentiality entailed in such a moment and challenges the limits of existing debates.

      Both the concepts of "generation" and "wave" reinscribe heteronormative principles in their assertion of both hegemonic familial structures and a heterosexist narrative of reproduction. Further, the unidirectional, linear (masculinist) logic of cause-effect narratives creates a sense of perpetual debt to the past. The dangers surrounding the use of a generational model of feminist intellectual exchange may suggest that it is reasonable, or even necessary, to cast aside such paradigmatic attachments. However, this essay suggests that by replacing the prevailing tripartite model with the schematic of feminist struggle outlined by Julia Kristeva in her classic essay, "Women's Time," we can avoid some of the pitfalls of generational thinking and transform unproductive anxieties and closed debates into careful, open, and productive intergenerational dialogue.

    Keywords:
      third wave / grrrls / intergenerational / feminism / straw feminisms
    Kinser, Amber E.
  • Negotiating Spaces For/Through Third-Wave Feminism
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    Subject Headings:
    • Feminism -- United States.
    Abstract:
      This essay examines the challenge confronting young feminists of finding their place and creating their space in the political landscape. It argues that the conceptual leverage of a "third wave" helps young women articulate a feminism that responds to the political, economic, technological, and cultural circumstances that are unique to the current era. Rather than take the position that the existence or authenticity of third-wave feminism ought be argued, the author asks the more important questions of what are the unique contributions that third-wave rhetoric can make? What is it about the political climate that has given rise to third wave that enables these feminists to make different contributions than second-wave feminists might make? Continuing to articulate feminism as a force to be reckoned with has become increasingly complex in our pluralistic world. It is further complicated by a now sophisticated and prolific postfeminist ideology that has co-opted and depoliticized the central tenets of feminism. The only thing postfeminism has to do with authentic feminism, however, is to contradict it at every turn while disguising this agenda, to perpetuate the falsehood that the need for feminist change is outdated. The author also discusses the rhetorical challenges facing third-wave feminists. She argues that their virtues of pluralism and contradiction could become their vices if they retreat from making arguments about what constitutes feminism, and that third-wave contributions can be made more profound if they refuse to see second wave monolithically. Finally, the author argues that third-wave feminists must meet these rhetorical challenges if they are to avoid the dangerous possibilities of false feminism: personal journey and resistance that are devoid of politics, and weak feminism: working for only as much social change as a patriarchal social order can outrun.
    Keywords:
      First wave / second wave / third wave / feminism / feminist movement(s) / young feminists
    Mack-Canty, Colleen.
  • Third-Wave Feminism and the Need to Reweave the Nature/Culture Duality
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    Subject Headings:
    • Feminism -- United States.
    Abstract:
      Today many feminists believe we are in a third wave of feminism, one that challenges the idea of dualism itself while recognizing diversity, particularity, and embodiment. By theorizing from the notion of embodiment, recent iterations of feminism are beginning to reweave the specific duality between culture and nature, an especially important endeavor in these environmentally disturbing times. These feminisms, rather than working from established and usually abstract foundational theories, begin from the situated perspectives of different(ing) women. Beyond this general congruence, however, there are several different foci in the feminisms seen as third wave today. In this work, I address the uneven movement from second-wave to third-wave feminism. I discuss three feminisms: youth feminism, postcolonial feminism, and ecofeminism, and the importance of each, in their current expression, to the present form of third-wave feminism. I suggest that while all these feminisms begin to reweave the nature/culture duality by theorizing from the notion of embodiment, ecofeminism is able to make a significant additional contribution in this regard. Besides reclaiming the female body, ecofeminism specifically includes nonhuman nature in its theorizing, an inclusion that enables it to engage in a more thoroughgoing analysis of the nature/culture dualism than other feminisms.
    Keywords:
      Third-wave feminism / ecofeminism / postcolonial feminism /
      generational/youth feminism / embodiment / nature/culture dualism

Report

    Runyan, Anne Sisson.
    Wenning, Mary V.
  • Prospects for Renewed Feminist Activism in the Heartland: A Study of Daytonian Women's Politics
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    Subject Headings:
    • Feminism -- Ohio -- Dayton -- History -- 20th century.
    • Women in politics -- Ohio -- Dayton -- History -- 20th century.
    • Radicalism -- Ohio -- Dayton -- History -- 20th century.
    Abstract:
      We present findings on women's political perspectives, participation, and activism derived from a survey of women in Montgomery County, Ohio, undertaken by the Women's Research Network formed at Wright State University, which we argue have both local and national implications for feminist organizing. We connect this work and these findings to the history of feminism in Dayton as well as to other status-of-women studies at national, state, and local levels. Our analysis shows that there has been a substantive decline in feminist activism and radicalism in Dayton, Ohio, the "heartland of America," in the face of continued race and class divisions among women, the rise of the New Right, and an aging population. Given increasing barriers to the renewal of feminist activism in the heartland, local research on women such as this can provide one avenue for the reanimation of feminist civil society by identifying not only what divides women but also what issues can connect them. Such data offer the raw materials for future feminist activists and such research projects constitute one form of renewed feminist activism.
    Keywords:
      Local feminism / religiosity / feminist history / activism / Dayton

Reviews

    Bunkers, Suzanne L.
  • Victorian America: A Family Record from the Heartland (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Graham, Margaret Ann Baker. Victorian America: a family record from the heartland.
    • Machette family.
    Specht, Neva Jean.
  • From Catharine Beecher to Martha Stewart: A Cultural History of Domestic Advice, and: Three Faces of Beauty: Casablanca, Paris, Cairo (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Leavitt, Sarah Abigail. From Catharine Beecher to Martha Stewart: a cultural history of domestic advice.
    • Ossman, Susan. Three faces of beauty: Casablanca, Paris, Cairo.
    • Home economics -- History.
    • Beauty, Personal -- Cross-cultural studies.
    Meiners, Erica R.
  • An Archive of Feelings: Trauma, Sexuality and Lesbian Public Cultures (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Cvetkovich, Ann, 1957- Archive of feelings: trauma, sexuality and lesbian public cultures.
    • Lesbianism.
    Thomas, Jan E.
  • No Turning Back: The History of Feminism and the Future of Women, and: The Retreat from Organization: U.S. Feminism Reconceptualized (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Freedman, Estelle B., 1947- No turning back: the history of feminism and the future of women.
    • Armstrong, Elisabeth, 1967- Retreat from organization: U.S. feminism reconceptualized.
    • Feminism -- History.
    • Feminism -- United States.
    Crow, Barbara A.
  • Women and the Machine: Representations from the Spinning Wheel to the Electronic Age (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Wosk, Julie. Women and the machine: representations from the spinning wheel to the electronic age.
    • Women -- Effect of technological innovations on.
    Milliken, Roberta.
  • The Female Tragic Hero in English Renaissance Drama (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Liebler, Naomi Conn, 1944-, ed. Female tragic hero in English Renaissance drama.
    • English drama (Tragedy) -- History and criticism.
    Nagel, Mechthild.
  • Motherhood Lost: A Feminist Account of Pregnancy Loss in America (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Layne, Linda L. Motherhood lost: a feminist account of pregnancy loss in America.
    • Motherhood -- United States.
    Kelly, Lori Duin.
  • Naked Barbies, Warrior Joes, and Other Forms of Visible Gender (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Thomas, Jeannie B. Naked Barbies, warrior Joes, and other forms of visible gender.
    • Folklore -- United States.

Call for Papers

Thanks to Readers

Index for Volume 16




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