History Slam Episode Fifty-Two: Seriously! Crashes and Crises as if Women Mattered

By Sean Graham

This is the final episode in our series of podcasts recorded at the 2014 Berkshire Conference on the History of Women. The conference was held May 22-25 at the University of Toronto.

Seriously“To be taken seriously is a major reward that can be bestowed on a person.” pg 4

“The unquestioned presumptions about what and who deserves to be rewarded with the accolade of ‘serious’ is one of the pillars of modern patriarchy. That is, being taken seriously is a status that every day, in routine relationships, offers the chance for masculinity to be privileged and for anything associated with femininity to be ranked as lesser, as inconsequential, as dependent, or as beyond the pale.” pg. 10

The above quotes, taken from Cynthia Enloe’s Seriously! Crashes and Crises as if Women Mattered, explore the idea of what and who is taken seriously. In her book, Enloe makes the compelling case that women have systematically been denied the distinction of being taken seriously. In focusing on recent military and economic issues, Enloe carefully documents how women have been dismissed and denied access to the critical discussions that have shaped major policy decisions.

In this episode of the History Slam I chat with Professor Enloe about her book. We chat about who gets taken seriously, strategies to implement a feminist approach, and the possible backlashes to that approach. This is the final episode recorded at the 2014 Berkshire Conference on the History of Women.

Sean Graham is a doctoral candidate at the University of Ottawa where he is currently working on a project that examines the early years of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He has previously studied at Nipissing University, the University of the West Indies, and the University of Regina and like any red-blooded Canadian his ultimate dream is to be a curling champion while living on a diet of beer and poutine.

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