Monday, March 21, 2011

Follow Up: Enloe and Shyam

I agree with what Tricia pointed out, we consumers definitely endorse the way that the shoe companies are treating their female workers. One thing I found specifically interesting though, was Enloe's observation that the ad campaigns of the sneaker companies towards women are strikingly different than the way they treat their female workers. Nike, for example, creates ads that show women as strong and capable. Their slogan, also directed at women just as much as men, is the phrase, "just do it." Nike empowers the female consumers of its product while quietly silencing the women who create the product. I thought this was a really interesting contrast and something that definitely needs to be confronted.
On another note, I found Shyam's story really enlightening. I had always been aware of the dynamic of South Asian families and I knew it was typically a woman's job to take care of household chores and raise children. However, I hadn't even thought of the implications of being a modern day woman, who has a demanding career, while also trying to take on the role of the perfect wife and mother. From the way Shyam describes the responsibilities, it seems like it would be too much. I think it is stunning that a patriarchal and cultural system like this has been able to stand as smart, talented, South Asian women take on difficult corporate positions. I don't know how long this system will be able to last because it honestly seems like it is asking too much. I think in future generations it will be expected that the men will take on some of this extremely heavy burden.

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