Tag Archives: gender roles

Oh Those Sexy Quakers

2 Dec

I’m writing a paper for my [disappointing but at its core awesome] archives and social memory class about Quaker women and plain dress. I keep coming across the sexualizing of Quaker women in interesting ways, from the 17th century to the present. An article by Jennifer Connerly in Material Religion, vol. 2, issue 2, discusses America’s love affair with the imaginary silent, beautiful Quaker woman.

“At the turn of the century, the rapidly shifting culture of the United States had come to prize individuality, fashion, self-determinism, and the shifting roles of a bold new woman—but retained a hazy love affair with a woman imagined, by virtue of her covered body and face, as the potential antithesis of all these new values. This missing Quaker woman was neither a feminist nor even outspoken; she was an open and compliant symbol for pious femininity of the past.”

See how this continues today:


From Vogue Italia, clothing purchased from a store that sells to Mennonite, Amish and plain Quaker women and men.


this has nothing to do with librarians

15 Nov

Witness the immediate devolution of this blog to whatever is on my mind.

My friend Bob gave me a copy of this film — WR Mysteries of the Organism — and I’m completely mesmerized by it. In this first clip, we learn a bit about Wilhelm Reich, the psychoanalyst and one-time disciple of Freud.

I’ve already produced an over-heated email about how this film critiques the failures of free love, but in the sunshine of this fine Thursday morning, I’m much more struck by how funny this work is. Go see it.