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Re: women/men in book arts



I wonder if the proportion of women in book arts is related to a sociological
phenomenon called the "feminization of poverty." In the past few decades,
researches have been documenting that there is a higher proportion of women than
men who live under the poverty line. There's many reasons why, including the
rise in marrying age, rise in divorce rate, rise in the number of single
mothers, and higher life expectancy. Another reason that I've read about (which
might be playing a role here) is a set of interrelated circumstances: women
enter an occupational field, the prestige of the occupation declines, pay
declines, men leave the field.


So when thinking about how we can raise prestige and pay in the book arts, we
may need to examine larger society for (at least some of) the roots of our
problems.


p.s. Beyond the freedom of the field (which others have written about), I'm
attracted to book arts because of the people, who are generally open, friendly,
and supportive. (I don't mean to be walking out on a limb; just offering food
for thought): I certainly know men who appreciate it, but maybe, in general,
women are more willing to opt for a lower standard of living in order to have
that kind of community. Or maybe we have that kind of community because we don't
have good pay or high prestige or (aaack, please don't hurt me for writing this)
many men. If we earn more, receive more prestige, and entice more people to
become book artists, how do we maintain our sense of community?


-Jenn

jennifer.lubkin@washcoll.edu

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