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Re: women/men in book arts



  This is becoming a rather messy thread.  From general memory of it to
date, we have some general observations and impressions, which, as
several postings have pointed out, can become quite unfair if taken as
blanket statements.  One might borrow a useful distinction here, from
the world of academics, where sex and gender are separated. Sex refers
to biology, gender to sociology, so we might say that the world of book
arts, in contemporary society, is gendered as feminine.  In contemporary
society this has various ramifications, both economic and social, as
noted by list members.  How this relates to competition and status in
the field is equally gendered, since the competitive spirit, while
endemic to the human race, is socially regarded as "unsuitable" in
women, that is to say it is gendered as male.  As several have observed,
this doesn't mean there aren't a lot of openly competitive women, and
blatently uncompetitive men, just that gender roles are assigned to
these traits in our society.  Since we all, as artists and
craftspersons, live in this society, we all have to deal with these
expectations, personally and to clients, employing institutions,
whatever.
   I don't find this thread extraneous to books, far from, but I do
think we need to be somewhat forbearing to each other in this discussion
since it is easy to slide into presenting gendered values as sexual
traits, hence risking an offending remark when none was intended.
  Dorothy A.

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