In chapter 7, the amount of effort required to enforce gender roles was just amazing. I think that this chapter specifically shines a light on the true intentions of women’s prisons at this time. Their goal was clearly not to make upstanding citizens but to create exact copies of what women should be, an important distinction when compared to male prisons. I related this to the aforementioned harsher social judgement that women received for rejecting their role as docile and compliant by committing a crime. As mentioned in chapter 6, men were clearly not just allowed to be unruly, in fact they were nearly expected to be so. Therefore men’s prisons did not feel the same responsibilities to completely transform the nature of men, they simply needed to teach them to control their more violent or disorderly impulses. However women were forced to concentrate their efforts on gender specific jobs like motherhood, beauty, cooking, cleaning, etc. While the guards rationalized these lessons with positive aspects of each, like stating that an intense focus on beauty standards would boost confidence, it is clear that the intention was to conform to gender roles above any coincidental lessons that could be learned. Essentially, they sought to eliminate individuality of any kind and replace it with the interests that women were supposed to have. I think that this is why there was such an obsession with homosexuality, as it was the ultimate betrayal of the role of a woman to be a man’s wife. In order to satisfy a male dominated world outside of the prison walls, only exactly what men expected of women would be tolerated.
- THE ROLE OF PARENTAL STATUS
- Captive Genders