Stewardesses appeared on magazine covers, on lecture circuits, and in ad campaigns for everything from milk to cigarettes. The stylish Pucci-clad American stewardess represented the United States as middle class and consumer oriented—hallmarks of capitalism's success and a stark contrast to her counterpart at Aeroflot, the Soviet national airline. She is the author of The Threesome Handbook and has a doctorate in history from the University of Southern California. Vantoch took special care in describing gender roles and expectations of the time period, some of which were unknown to me. I was incredibly surprised by how pilots were described. While in college, I focused primarily on my own specific studies, namely British Romantic, Victorian, and Gothic literature. Although most of the book is spent focused on 'white women' as a stereotype of stewardesses, some chapters focus on the struggle that black women had to obtain the prestigious jobs. I wanted the emotional, personal material that went along with these events. They darted off to the on-board bathroom before a suspicious flight attendant opened the door - and saw the woman sitting on the toilet while the man was standing with his trousers down.
As the apotheosis of feminine charm and American careerism, the stewardess subtly bucked traditional gender roles and paved the way for the women's movement. Victoria Vantoch is a journalist and historian whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, U. The book is short, but it provides an interesting way to consider the role of women from the s to the beginning of s the book does talk briefly about post airlines, but its heart is clearly in the 40ss. Within these subjects, I developed an interest in women writers and a revision of canon that includes works I just realized I reviewed this ages ago when it came out on my blog, so I'm finally getting around to reviewing it on Amazon and here at Goodreads. I wanted the emotional, personal material that went along with these events. Overall, I loved the book, and I feel like I learned so much. View table of contents and excerpt "The Jet Sex is an impressive study of the stewardess as an American icon and a real human being. Stewardesses who went overseas to provide aid to other countries were written about in articles as being the bringers of beauty to foreigners. One of the best parts of the book detailed the fight for black women to become stewardesses. Naturally, concerned with the image of the stewardess, the book spends most of its time on the recruiting and selection of the stewardesses, and the advertising touting them to the public. What is so disturbing about this section of the book is how stereotypes are still pervasive and still hold power over notions of beauty. Because the book spans decades, the evolution of the stewardess takes place amidst shifting backdrops including the post WWII years, the Cold War, and the present. I was incredibly surprised by how pilots were described. Though airlines marketed her as the consummate hostess—an expert at pampering her mostly male passengers, while mixing martinis and allaying their fears of flying—she bridged the gap between the idealized s housewife and the emerging "working woman. I think it was amazing for these women to share their correspondence, pictures, journals, etc. Vantoch took special care in describing gender roles and expectations of the time period, some of which were unknown to me. The camera then pans across the cabin of the small aircraft to reveal the other passengers, none of whom appears to have spotted what is happening. I definitely recommend this book. With a flair for storytelling and for capturing the experiences of individual stewardesses, Victoria Vantoch also gives us a rich description of the development of a profession, the development of an industry, and the curious ways in which gender factored in at every turn. It has an academic slant yet is entirely accessible; the prose is engaging yet not overly informal. It certainly felt like Vantoch bookended the entire work with the idea that beauty is not trivial. I was drawn in by the sheer paradox that the The book traces the development of the image of stewardesses throughout the decades of American commercial flight, without spending much time on the actual duties and role of the job; the role of the stewardess is important primarily for its reflection of the times. I have an interest in feminism today, too, but I am woefully less knowledgeable about more recent history and perhaps my distaste for how second wave feminist figures have reacted to broader issues and the inclusion of women outside of their strict definitions. The Passion and the Paradox "An original, evocative, and informative work that explores provocative questions about the place of the stewardess in American culture. And sometimes we bring our own biases into it, as well. One of the noticeable missteps, I thought, however, was the treatment of asian minorities: She is the author of The Threesome Handbook and has a doctorate in history from the University of Southern California.
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