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Re: women/men in book arts



I agree with Jenn,
and I like her alot, having known her for some years.

Women are prevalent in this art and craft, but men have
dominated it for too many years.  Historically, women
were in the art and craft but never got much credit,
right?  (cite Diderot's illustrations of the sewing table.)

But I am a male currently living well under the poverty line
and I manage to work on books as a past-time, and it is
therapeudic and joyous to my, but I wish I could afford the
"right" equipment, which IS, after all, terribly expensive.
The "Feminization of Poverty" might well be a Sociological
construct, or phenom, but it is real and I have seen (now
the I am living in Baltimore) more women on the skids
than men and it is terribly depressing as women are generally
more resourceful than men.

Given my state of self-esteem, and lack thereof, I often worry
that I too shall one day be forced to live on the streets, that's
why I'd like to establish myself as a conservator or just plain
book technician who repairs them.  I ask for nothing more than
a job, an income and an opportunity to practice my craft.  Am I
asking too much?

Thanks for listening to my kvetching,

Rommel John


On Wed, 5 Jul 2000 09:40:43 EDT Jennifer Lubkin
<Jennifer.Lubkin@WASHCOLL.EDU> writes:
>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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            BOOK_ARTS-L: The listserv for all the book arts.
      For subscription information, the Archive, and other related
            resources and links go to the Book_Arts-L FAQ at:
                      <http://www.philobiblon.com>
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