The Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality (CSWGS) at Rice University is pleased to invite contributions to the Rice Feminist Forum. Now more than ever feminist voices are needed to address the issues of our day. Several times a year, we will post a prompt for a different topic and ask for contributions from Center faculty affiliates, graduate certificate students, undergraduate majors, Advisory Board members, and the broader CSWGS community.
Our current topic is: CARE.
Who is most in need of care? Who should provide it? Who is “good” at it? What does “good care” look like? Questions like these have long animated feminist thought, and COVID-19 has brought them once again to the center of global conversations.
Care work and the labor of reproducing society is often regarded as appropriately “women’s work” with all the symbolic connections to maternity and labor those words suggest. We see assumptions about women and care at work in “feminized” fields such as child care, nursing, and teaching. Sociologists like Arlie Hochschild have taught us about the disproportionate burden of care work women perform in the “second shift” of domestic labor. As Evelyn Nakano Glenn reminds us, care in this country and elsewhere is also racialized – care workers of all kinds are disproportionately people of color, many of them from the global south. Persistent stereotypes tell us that women are best suited to work that centers concern for others’ well-being; these stereotypes are also used to question the sexuality of men who perform similar emotional labor. Care is also at issue in politics and in the presidential campaign: what does it mean for a politician to “care” for constituents? How important is it that a president be perceived as empathetic—and when is empathy perceived as weakness?
We invite formal or informal essays of approximately 800 to 1000 words. Please include a title for your piece and a public domain or creative commons image that could accompany your text. We hope to get contributions both from the CSWGS community and beyond. Please send all submissions to email@example.com. One of our editors will contact you within two working days. We will post all submissions our moderators deem on topic and appropriate for our audience. We accept submissions on a rolling basis, and will post submissions in groups as they are edited and approved.