The research presented here explores how femme lesbians define, navigate, and stabilize their identities. The following questions are examined: How do femme lesbians define and frame their identity? What are the specific challenges and difficulties accompanying femme identity? Using ten online lesbian blogs as a data source, patterns and modes of identity construction as well as challenges such as misunderstanding and discrimination against femmes are evaluated. Theoretical frameworks of both Judith Butler and Michel Foucault are applied in order to illuminate the performative nature of identity formation as well as the larger context of a discourse of normative femininity that femme lesbians arguably must navigate. This study suggests that although the lesbian bloggers do not explicitly play with or contest elements of the discourse of normative femininity, when contextualized within bloggers’ non-normative sexuality and within theoretical framework of Butler and Foucault, the meanings of the data become more complex and nuanced. This discussion, along with an analysis of the particular contestations that femme lesbians face, is discussed as part of the project of femme identity construction.
Cañon City, Colorado holds the highest number of prisons per capita in the United States, yet the dominant narrative of incarceration is situated in the American south and its legacy of slavery. In this paper, I examine the potentials for Southern ideology on Coloradan penology. I focus on the ways in which the Southern penal “reform” of chain gangs influenced the Coloradan penal practice of roadwork in the early twentieth-century. I begin by analyzing the national discourse that led to roadwork as a replacement of convict leasing, and how this new system reified the racial order it replaced. I then examine how roadwork operated at Colorado State Penitentiary, and the ways it both differed and resembled the Southern road camps occurring simultaneously. Finally, an examination of the matron’s reports at C.S.P. reveals the potential for a racial-gendered order to have been operating in these Coloradan penal workspaces. Taken together, this paper argues that social ideologies of race and gender have the ability to travel across regions through penal practices. I present roadwork as an example of penal practice that produced ideologies of race and gender, and argue for its potential as a space of to transfer an antebellum racial-gendered order to Colorado.
On February 1st, 2016, the World Health Organization declared the Zika epidemic a public health emergency of international concern. With the second highest rate of Zika infection behind Brazil, Colombia offers an interesting case study for the sociopolitical effects of disease, particularly in post-conflict societies. Just recently emerging from a violent past, Colombia demonstrates a surprisingly high level of state capacity in certain regions but exercises almost no control over others. It also boasts a robust health care system, lauded by both the World Bank and WHO, and some of the most progressive reproductive rights laws in the region. Through both primary and secondary research, this study explores the ways in which Colombia’s response to this exogenous threat both reinforces and defies theories of state capacity, inequities in health care, and the impact of disease on economic and political stability, particularly in post-conflict zones.
The field of small-scale agriculture in the United States has become an outlet for women who growers to have a “place at the table” in a traditionally male dominated space. There has been research done regarding the ways in which agriculture has given women a space to nurture themselves, their passions, and their communities through food. The small-scale agriculture has also become a place for consumers to reconnect with their food production. The qualitative, ethnographic data was collected through participant observation and interviews at one agricultural site in northern Colorado. This research focused on the ways in women, at one agricultural site, who are growers, both seasonal and professionally, manage the traditionally male occupation, care work associated with increased face-to-face contact with customers, identity management, and physical markers of manual labor. The results of this research indicate that women working in agriculture are often forced to manage their identities as women who do manual labor as well has engage in care work. The care work took several forms and varied between seasonal farm workers and professional farmers. The results of this research also indicated that burnout was experienced by seasonal and professional farmers in different ways; emotional, physical, or a combination of both.
On the popular game show “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire”, men appear to average higher winnings than women. This paper investigates potential reasons, including different uses of information sources (lifelines) and different perceptions of risk. We include gender-based tests of Kahneman and Tversky’s prospect theory, but offer instead the counterintuitive conclusion that men are rewarded for acting slightly more cautiously than women do.
The fire service is rooted in gender roles; there is a long history of a machismo atmosphere, in which the recent addition of women disrupts. This study examined women firefighters experiences in a male dominated workplace. This study focused on 1) how women firefighters reach balanced assimilation, 2) how women interpret behaviors/practices as gendered, 3) how women reframe the embodiment of the male gaze, and 4) how women “do gender” on and off stage. Through a qualitative methods approach, I interviewed 19 women firefighters across the United States. Findings suggest that gender performances change based on the audience/stage. Additionally, I argue how women remain in a period of cultural assimilation, in which they act according to stereotypical behavior, in efforts to reach balanced assimilation.
“Playing God”: The Role of Gender, Heteronormativity Stigma and Medicalization in Experiences of Menstrual Suppression This research examines the socio-cultural constructions of menstruation through the lens of menstrual suppression. Through a series of semi-structured interviews, college-educated, cisgender women’s experiences of menstrual suppression are described. Desires to suppress menstruation are informed by notions about the body, health, medicalization, gender, heteronormativity, sexuality and productivity. Respondents cited events and heterosexual encounters as spaces and situations wherein they have or would want to suppress menstruation.
Financial inclusion, commonly defined as the use of formal financial services, continues to be a subject of debate among developing economies. The majority of studies on this topic have primarily compared traditional bank account ownership across multiple countries with very different social and economic characteristics. The result is a lack of conclusive results on the impact of gender and not enough focus on more recent alternatives such as mobile money providers, the most notable of which is M-Pesa in Kenya. Through the establishment of an accessible money transfer and microfinancing service in the country, this mobile phone-based provider encouraged a widespread enrollment in a new financial system, with direct effects on poverty and economic growth. This paper explores the effectiveness of this financial service at reducing the gender gap in comparison to that of bank account ownership. For a detailed representation of socio-economic factors, we use the 2014 data from the Financial Inclusion Insights Program, InterMedia, in association with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This study concludes that mobile money account ownership in Kenya significantly reduces the gender gap in financial representation and that bank account ownership is typically associated with a small and homogenous category of individuals. These results can provide insights for policymaking with regards to alternatives to the already established conceptions of financial inclusion.