Is “secretary” A Demeaning Title?

Is “secretary” A Demeaning Title?

jobs that have been feminized, such as teaching or secretarial work, are also referred to as

However, medicine is not a neutral field that exists independent of the cultures and societies within which it is created. Medicine relies on the medical model is a medical-biological understanding of the body, which constructs the systems, pathologies, or indicators of health of the body as independent of culture, ideology, economy, and the state. It is important to note that the majority of families in the United States do not fit this ideological family formation. Judith Stacey calls these multiple and numerous differences in the ways in which people structure their families, post-modern families. Regardless, I sort of hate being called an Admin, and I really quite hate being called a secretary, because it is such a small part of what I do. At other parts of the University they use functional titles, but at the school I am with now, they won’t do that.

White middle-class first wave feminists in the 19th century to early 20th century, such as suffragist leaders Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, primarily focused on women’s suffrage , striking down coverture laws, and gaining access to education and employment. These goals are famously enshrined in the Seneca Falls Declaration of Sentiments, which is the resulting document of the first women’s rights convention in the United States in 1848. As such, it shows how health and illness are deeply social and not solely determined by biology or genetics. For example, two different diagnostic categories for the experience of low sexual desire—one for men , and one for women (Female Sexual Interest/Arousal Disorder)—newly appeared in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the DSM-5 . Low sexual desire does not threaten a person’s health, but these categories treat low sexual desire as a problem and construct the experience as essentially distinct for women than for men.


The SNAF originated in the 19th century with the separation between work and family, which was occasioned by the rise of industrial capitalism. Previous to an industrial economy based on the creation of commodities in urban factories, the family was primarily an agricultural work unit—there was no separation between work and home.. There is a multiplicity of family forms in the United States and throughout the world. When we try to define the word “family” we realize just how slippery of a concept it is. This definition of family excludes stepparents and adopted children from a definition of those in one’s family. It also denies the existence of fictive kin, or non-blood related people that one considers to be part of one’s family.

  • Four nurses, all women, and four employees in the social work group, including one male.
  • Its central premise—that women are as valuable as men and are equally entitled to a just “living wage,” regardless of the value the market places on their work—contests the ideological underpinnings of the existing, unjust system.
  • Women were not simply pushed out of their jobs by men, despite an ideology that exhorted women to leave the paid labor force, sacrifice their jobs to displaced male workers, and return to home and hearth.

By 1885, new methods of note-taking and the expanding scope of businesses led office-clerk positions to be in high demand. Having a secretary became a status symbol, and these new types of positions were relatively well paid. Eleven women and one man, all in clerical positions jobs that have been feminized, such as teaching or secretarial work, are also referred to as with the exception of one woman who had recently been promoted to office manager after some thirty years as a clerk. The potential impact of initially gender-based identification and its threat for workplace politics have also been noted by the business community.

Class and Gender in the Feminist Movement

Kanter and others consider this very low level of integration as itself the cause for many of the difficulties encountered by women crossing gender boundary lines. Such analysts assume that workplace interactions will cease to be problematic as more women enter, the proportion of men and women becomes more balanced, and the category of female “token” or “pioneer” becomes a historical artifact. Unfortunately, recent research into both historical and contemporary cases suggests that this view may be too simple and too optimistic. In fact, Coser has argued that their rigid schedules make most women’s jobs less able to accommodate family needs than many male jobs . My impression, having been in the county offices at this time, was that involvement in this campaign was fairly broad. I saw many clerks wearing the pink ribbons ; several had pinned up balloons and buttons around their desks; there was excitement about the rally, and several higher-level employees made favorable comments to me about the campaign. “Meet and confer” refers to the California law covering public agency employee relations.

jobs that have been feminized, such as teaching or secretarial work, are also referred to as

But many social scientists say there are other factors that are often hard to quantify, like gender bias and social pressure, that bring down wages for women’s work. Positions within growing government bureaucracies were similarly limited to men, though middle-class women did involve themselves on a volunteer basis with causes of social reform such as child labor laws or the improvement of conditions in hospitals.

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