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Men & women and tools : reflections on male resistance to women in trades and technology Braundy, Marcia Ann 2005

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NOTE TO USERS The DVD is not included in this original manuscript. It is available for consultation at the author's graduate school library. This reproduction is the best copy available. ® U M I M e n & W o m e n a n d T o o l s : R e f l e c t i o n s o n M a l e R e s i s t a n c e t o W o m e n i n T r a d e s a n d T e c h n o l o g y By Marcia Ann Braundy B.A., Antioch College West/Union Institute, 1972 Interprovincial Journeylevel Qualification in Carpentry, 1981 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY In The Faculty of Graduate Studies Curriculum and Instruction The University of British Columbia December 2004 © Marcia Ann Braundy, 2004 Abstract Men & Women and Tools is an exploratory study, where new knowledge is created in the interplay of voices: narratives of l ived experience, a dataplay of participants' voices, research and exposition i n the l i terature, and the space between the audience and the text. Male and female workers, equity consultants and advocates discussed male resistance to women in trades and technology. I n one interview w i t h tradesworkers an explicit clari ty emerged, provoking an emotional understanding of the issues. That interview became a fifteen minute dataplay, creating a mir ror where, in a moment of reflection, indiv idual audience members can choose whether to continue the constructions of gender they f ind. Most of the words, thoughts, and sentiments found in the play are direct quotes from the interview. Reflecting on their experience integrat ing women on their worksites, those interviewed poignantly demonstrated the struggles facing men and women in a society that constructs and l imits their vocational and emotional relationships, while embedding expectations regarding their contributions to society. They exposed their own fears, and concerns. But also interwoven was a construction of women and their place in these men's interpretat ion of the social order. The notions of patriarchal masculinity were overpoweringly present. The interview resonated w i t h my own experience as a tradesworker. I t struck cords w i t h equity interventions undertaken w i t h both men and women to change the social construct of gender and work. The voices embodied and echoed hegemonic struggles in contention for the past 250 years. Performed at the Brave New Play Rites Festival at UBC, Men & Women and Tools was digital ly videotaped and edited. The artefact, a performative authoethnography, is a personification of a social reality. Interweaving scholarly voices naming the historical, sociological and cul tural roots of gendered practices w i t h the voices from the play, this dissertation i l lustrates the ways that social Table of Contents i i i real i ty is constructed and reconstituted in the cultures, practices and motivations of society, and how the resistance has emerged. The research findings are embodied: a reflection, a provocation, a pedagogical tool to be used in schools and union halls to interfere in the mechanisms of gender relations in the 2 1 S T Century. 1/ T a b l e o f C o n t e n t s ABSTRACT ii TABLE OF CONTENTS iv LIST OF TABLES v i i i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ix CHAPTER I 1 PROLOGUE 1 Reflections 1 6 What underlies such vehemence? 8 Performing Intervention 10 Where does the resistance come from? 13 CHAPTER II 17 GENDER IS A CONTENTIOUS TERM 17 Difference as Deficiency 19 Differences and Similarities 21 Biological basis 21 Sex/Gender Role Theory 24 Sex and/or Gender Theories 27 Categorical Theory 29 Patriarchy 32 Gender Relations 33 Four contexts for gender relations 35 Equality of Outcomes 38 Feminism intersects male norms: 39 DOUBLE BINDS 42 The expression of the experience across disciplines 43 Masculinities 48 Gender at Work in Trades and Technology 50 CHAPTER III , 53 DECONSTRUCTING DESTRUCTIVE GENDER CONSTRUCTIONS 53 An intervention approach to epistemic understanding 53 Table of Contents v Impressionistic/Interpretive Qualitative Research 56 Bricolage 57 Is this dissertation feminist research? 59 Methodologies in context 62 What under girds the fear? 65 The First Nugget 68 CHAPTER IV 71 DATA AS EVOCATION 71 Research Representation as Provocation 71 Expressing Data to Evoke Subjectivity 73 The authors almost never became characters in their stories 76 Performance as Epistemology 84 Performance as Pedagogy - Performance provokes 86 CHAPTER V 89 PLAY DEVELOPMENT 89 The integrity of experience 89 "Men and Women and their Tools" 93 "The play's the thing, wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king" 93 Both a way of knowing and a way of showing 95 The Development of Ethnographic Performance Text 95 Should it be Readers Theatre or Role Play? 95 What lurks might hold up a mirror to the self. '. '. 97 Tensions between dramaturges and ethnographers 98 Preparing for Production 103 The Director 103 The Actors 103 What is in a name? 104 Crafting Theatrics 105 A Step Change 109 From Metaphor to Metonym I l l And on to Production 112 Opening Night 116 CHAPTER VI 117 A PERFORMATIVE AUTOETHNOGRAPHY 117 Men & Women and Tools: The Performance 117 CHAPTER VII 118 Table of Contents v i DATAPLAY 118 Men & Women and Tools 118 CHAPTER VIII 129 GREEN ROOM CONVERSATIONS 129 Performing Gender 129 Responses 132 Other venue responses 133 T h e F u t u r e 135 WlLLliA,giA,ess 135 CHAPTER TX 137 GENDER, MASCULINITY AND WORK 137 Introduct ion 137 Polyphony and yet Parody 138 Context 139 Power and Hierarchy: the historical roots of practices 140 L a b o u r h i s tory as women's story 141 Skill acquisition and ownership as gender identity 143 Constructions of gender divisions of labour 146 M a s c u l i n i t y at W o r k 149 To become a man requires the denigration of women 150 Speaking out from the belly of the beast 153 P r i d e of a tangible accompl i shment 159 Technological Change and its impact on Skill 162 Responses to technological change 164 The need to be in control 166 Change as the thin edge of the wedge 170 T h e B r e a d w i n n e r Role 172 Male pre-eminence in the family 175 Segregation practices: Division of workers '. 178 Subdivision by Tool Skill 180 If a woman can do it, who am I? 183 Construction and Reconstitution 188 CHAPTER X 190 DIFFERENCE - A CONTEXT FOR SCHEMA 190 Patriarchy 191 Gender Schema 192 Sexua l i ty - Secu lar a n d Rel ig ious 195 Porn as the last stand 197 Table of Contents v i i Fear of Change 200 Ownership of technical skill 202 Under the Fear 203 The influence of military forces 205 The Desire to be Desired 206 The Need to Work 209 Gender Regimes 210 Communication differences 215 There are other social practices at work 219 CHAPTER XI 223 EPILOGUE 223 A Crisp Winter Evening 223 Reflections II 233 APPENDIX A 235 'Man -I- festations and Confessions: 235 APPEND TX B 243 ISSUES TO BE ADDRESSED IN PROBLEM SOLVING 243 APPENDIX C 244 A Step Change - Veering Into Metaphor .__ 244 APPEND TX D 249 REFERENCES 250 L i s t o f T a b l e s Table 1 Gender Similarit ies 23 Table 2 Gender Traits 25 A c k n o w l e d g e m e n t s There are many wi thout whose assistance and support this dissertation would never have been wr i t ten. I would like to begin by acknowledging the sister I was given at b i r th , and who has become my fr iend, Joyce M i r iam Grossbard, for her wise counsel when things got rough, for buying a large round of the research texts that began the foundations of this work, for the f inancial gifts that came when I most needed them, and for her ongoing encouragement to seeing this through. Bobbie Samet, my best fr iend, who has grown w i t h me since we met at Antioch College West in 1972, has been there w i t h her humour, her insight into me and this educational process, and her eclectic repertoire of interventions which have been a touchstone along this road and in these rough seas. Ri ta Moir, non-fiction wr i ter extraordinaire, neighbour, fr iend, guardian of the Vall ican Whole Community Centre and my home base, for not giv ing up on me when this didn't take just the "year or maybe two" that I gave i t at the outset, to be away from my beloved Slocan Valley. Coming to graduate school was a solution for shif t ing my life's work developed w i th Kathleen Shannon, the founding executive director of Studio D at the Nat ional F i lm Board. She ret ired to the Kootenays, and we became peer advisors. She saw me through the process of application and acceptance, then died on the operating table three days after I got to school. I t was a diff icult loss for many people. I dedicate the play to her enduring influence. A most significant acknowledgement is for my dear fr iend Mavis Jemieli ta, 87 years old. Recognizing that my years of volunteer work had l imi ted my economic viabi l i ty, she shared her home w i th me. Listening to the tr ials and tr ibulat ions of several graduate students over t ime, she has enriched our lives and healed our wounds. For me, she w i l l always be a role model of community contribution. Mavis also gave me my love, Dale Norman, who she bid on and won in a services auction. This extended the t ime i t has taken to complete this degree, but l iv ing a fu l l and fu l f i l l ing life in the process is a wondrous life lesson. M y Dad, Saul Grossbard, whose love for knowledge and breadth of interests allowed h im to do the New York Times crossword puzzle in 20 minutes or a bi t more, in pen. He sparked my impulse for this PhD in many different ways. I am sad he died in the middle of this work, and he is not here to feel the honour of completion. Acknowledgements x M y Mom, Jean Grossbard Cooney, who, though she died i n 1986, always supported me to be al l that I can be, even when she wasn't sure of my direction. Her construction skills i n carpentry and bricklaying i n combination w i t h her talent in art and design, used at home, set the stage for my will ingness to use tools. Her activism in community theatre, and introducing me to that lay the groundwork for my lifelong love of theatre and its uses. Dale Norman, an electronics technician who became an electrician (and completed his apprenticeship in the Kootenays), and went on to become a professional electrical engineer, personifies for me masculinity at its best. Rooted in the environment I am studying, he has been a key informant i n this research, a sounding board for my ideas, and has ensured that when I developed the concept of using the Step Change as a metaphor in social relations that I have understood and used the terms accurately. Our love has grown, and we marr ied, something I stated I would never do. But such richness does not come frequently to life, and we must engage i t when we f ind i t . His patience and encouragement, along w i t h his incredible w i t and word play have kept me wel l on track in this work, and l iv ing a fu l l life at the same t ime. Watching h im play a dedicated role to the bui lding and grounds of the Uni tar ian Church of Vancouver reminds me of the l ike role I played for the past 30 years to the Vall ican Whole Community Centre. He is t ru ly a mensch! He has also provided the in i t ia l idea for the metaphor I w i l l use to acknowledge my Committee and others at UBC who have informed, improved or supported this work. Finally, his assistance in preparing and checking the manuscript for f inal submission to FOGS was invaluable. Dr. Mary Bryson's bril l iance is a lighthouse beacon which has kept me from crashing on the rocks below. Incisive and insightful , and also wi l l ing to trouble the waters, she may not be a home port, but steadfast as a challenging, guiding l ight. Dr. Stephen Petr ina has been the ballast in my hu l l , keeping me upr ight in stormy seas, a fine man whose own active part icipation in changing the course of gender streams is a model for many. I look forward to continuing our work together. Dr. Lynn Fels is the warm wind in my sails, I'esprit du theatre, inspir ing and encouraging the performance, and point ing always to those places in the text when I have supplied the general instead of the specific. Dr. Karen Meyer, cartographer extraordinaire, as the Director of CSCI helped me to map out the journey. Her joint course w i th Dr. Susan Pirie on Alternatives in Research Wr i t i ng sparked the original ground to stand on for this work. Acknowledgements x i Dr. Graeme Chalmers gave me the ticket to t ravel to the Centre for the Study of Curr iculum and Instruct ion, now the Centre for Cross-Faculty Inquiry, where I found a home base at UBC. Dr. Deanna Rexe, Director of Inst i tut ional Research at Vancouver Community College, (and a dear fr iend who set an impossibly h igh standard by completing her PhD in a l i t t le over a year, just as I was start ing mine) answered my MayDay call at the penult imate hour, and provided a conscientious, clear, thought fu l critique that also let me know my work was intell igible, even to a quanti tat ive researcher Bob Hapke and Br ian Ki lpatr ick are the computer saviours of so many graduate students in the Faculty of Education at UBC. They kept the electronics buzzing, and the navigational equipment in the best working order, bless their hearts, minds and hands. They, too, are technical men who share their knowledge and skills wi l l ingly, a frequent reminder that not al l men are constrained by the forces i l luminated i n this work. I would like to thank many of my professors at UBC for acknowledging my potential for contribution, and helping me to develop to this point. And last, but not least, so many graduate students across the Faculty of Education at UBC, and most of al l my colleagues in the Centre for the Study of Curr iculum and Instruct ion, now the Centre for Cross Faculty Inquiry. The richness of the scholarly academic community that we have developed and shared is what I came to university to experience, and, I discovered, exists only in very small pockets across the system. Gifted w i t h the bril l iance, warmth and humour of friends like Dr. Shula Klinger, Dr. Fleurette Sweeny, Dr. Teresita-Salve Tubianosa, Dr. Mun i r Velani, Dr. Franc Feng, Dr. Kad i Pur ru , Dr. Emma Kishindo, Dr. Sohaila Javed, Dr. Alex Cosson, and those about to be PhDs: Kara MacDonald, , Minjeong Park, J i ryung Ahn , Avraham Cohen, Annie Weeks, Jacqui Gingras, Ruth from CUST and many others, who have participated in my journey at UBC. C h a p t e r I P r o l o g u e Since the f i rst t ime I picked up a hammer, as the volunteer coordinator at the Val l ican Whole Community Centre (personal journals, 1973-2003), I have loved construction work. Since the f irst t ime architect A l Luthmers gently and caringly taught five women on that site how to safely use a circular saw, I have collected and used a myr iad of hand and power tools. Prior to that I repaired and reconstructed 12 years of Volkswagens, which I did more out of need than love. Along the way of al l of these years, I have met other women who also love to use tools. As we told the stories of our lives to one another, the palpable qual i ty of resistance, of walls and inordinate challenges emerged. When I joined the Carpenter's Union in 1980, after a year of struggling to be allowed, I was shocked to realize that I was being welcomed as the f i rst woman in the "United Brotherhood" in Br i t ish Columbia. When I got my Interprovincial Qualif ication and Certificate of Apprenticeship i n 1981, and was hailed as the f irst Journeywoman in B.C. 1 ,1 was very surprised, as many women had started t ra in ing before I did. As a feminist, I was concerned for what had happened to them. I t had required great tenacity to overcome the pain, resistance and harassment I had experienced to achieve completion of my apprenticeship. What had i t been like for them? The stories told at the meetings of Vancouver Women in Trades, and the f irst national Women in Trades Conference in Winnipeg (1980) began to answer my 1 In a later study of the apprenticeship records for the province, I discovered that one woman had been qualified up North 6 years earlier, but no one had heard from her again or knew where she was. I was the first female to go through the program at PVT/BCIT. Chapter I - Prologue 2 questions. Back in 1980, these were mostly stories of 1st, 2nd and 3rd year apprentices, and they could easily make you cry. And yet, many of these women persevered, because they loved their work, because they would not allow the system to grind them down. Briefs were presented to Br i t ish Columbia Inst i tute of Technology (BCIT) and Pacific Vocational Inst i tute (PVI) call ing for non-sexist seminars for vocational and technical instructors, as wel l as other changes at vocational colleges. L i t t le was done by those w i th responsibility to undertake that work. I n 1983, I asked the Br i t ish Columbia government's Women's Program when something was going to be done? They suggested that I had the r ight skills to put a project together and make i t happen. So, in the spirit of "performing a head taller" (Newman & Holzman, 1993), I took their advice and gathered funding from the Br i t ish Columbia Provincial Council of the Uni ted Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, the Carpentry Apprenticeship Joint Board (employers and union reps), the B.C. Human Rights Commission, Secretary of State Women's Program and Employment and Immigrat ion Canada. I conducted a research project that would form the basis for a seminar for a pr imar i ly male audience. I interviewed 40 tradesmen, vocational instructors, employers and Joint Board coordinators from the bui lding trade unions about what they saw as the barriers to women in their trade. The trades instructors were by far the most vehement about women not being able to do their specific trade, "maybe they can be a carpenter, but never an electrician," " maybe a welder, but never a mason." I t was a very disheartening experience, but I managed to keep my spirit up while discussing and challenging the most outrageous of their stereotypes, i n what I hoped was a somewhat formative interview. I f I and the other tradeswomen I knew could do it , why not anyone else? Chapter I - Prologue 3 I flew home to the Kootenays and cried for three hours on the shoulder of the woman who was my apprentice, at the resistance and impedance expressed by those men, al l so sure that a woman could not possibly do their trade. Even i f women had proven to be successful in some other similar trade, the men expounded upon some t iny portion of their trade they were sure was so diff icult that "a woman could never handle i t ." The barrage of their voices almost silenced me. I almost qui t the seminar development project after those interviews; the barriers were so deeply ingrained inside those men who were the gatekeepers. But I had met a Mohawk woman ironworker from Ontario, and knew that many women were masons in Jamaica. I had met successful female electricians, and knew a woman avionics mechanic who worked on 747s. By then there were 33 women in the Carpenter's Union in Br i t ish Columbia. As my apprentice, Sally Mackenzie, reminded me of these things, and offered to help to develop the seminar, the task became less daunting, and The Workplace in Transition - Integrating Women Effectively seminar was born (Braundy, Mackenzie, & Ward, 1983), ably assisted as well , by Valerie Ward, the regional women's employment consultant for Employment and Immigrat ion Canada; a t ru ly gifted trainer. The baseline was a somewhat naive belief that the resistance was unconscious and unintent ional. The men expressed that their doors were open, that they would welcome women. But their att i tudes and behaviour created a different reality. Looking at al l the men's responses, and the experiences of the women, we created what we hoped would be transformative activities and exercises based on adult and cooperative learning techniques, and sensit ivity t ra in ing practices. We had mini : lectures on demographics and legal issues, and we asked the men to describe the barriers and their roles as instructors in overcoming them. The seminar's purpose was to assist people who did not know how to act in new and Chapter I - Prologue 4 unfamil iar situations to enact appropriate and legally required behavioural change, and support the integration of women into trades and technology t ra in ing and employment. The idea was that, as the men experienced the feedback the new behaviours would invoke, their attitudes might begin to shift. I n the meantime, at least the women and men in their jurisdictions would be able to experience and react to the improved behaviours. I n other words, " th ink what you like, but behave appropriately!" I t was the f i rst of its k ind in Nor th America in 1983. Most t ra in ing at the t ime was developed to help employers keep from contravening the Aff i rmative Action laws in the US, and was not part icular ly pro-active. 2 After successfully pi lot ing the seminar three times w i t h the Provincial Council of Carpenters, the Joint Board Coordinators of most of the Bui ld ing Trades Unions, and Selkirk College vocational instructors, we took i t on the road. Dur ing the 1980s and early 1990s, we delivered wel l over 40 fu l l day sessions: w i t h technical instructors at most colleges in BC, the Department of Nat ional Defence trainers and unions, Ontario Hydro staff trainers, Apprenticeship and employment counsellors, various employers' groups, union steward's t ra in ing, and nine sessions delivered to instruct ional staff at BCIT. There is always resistance. The major i ty of men, no matter how they are selected or volunteer to attend, come in and sit w i t h their arms folded across their 2 During the research phase of the seminar development, I travelled across Canada and to New York to interview those who by virtue of their other activities i.e. Women in Trades and Technology (WITT) courses, Affirmative Action consultants etc, might have developed a seminar we could just use. In Ontario, WITT instructors and the Ontario Women's Directorate said how much such a training session was needed, but had not yet developed. In New York, one of the leading AA consultants showed me his company's training materials which had far more to do with how to avoid breaking the law than any kind of pro-active social change. Chapter I - Prologue 5 chests, protecting themselves and pushing our their chests as i f saying "teach me something I don't already know!" After the seminar was developed and piloted, I created a " t ra in the trainers" session which I delivered three times across Canada, teaching 37 women about the seminar, the issues in delivering it , and some "how to" for part icular components. Of those 37 women, (educators, advocates, tradeswomen and industry representatives), I would have trusted only about five to be able to deliver i t . There is an extremely fine line between educating and lecturing, between challenging r ig id thought patterns and attacking an individual. The seminar dealt w i t h some pretty diff icult mater ial and belief systems. W i th al l that resistance, i f an individual female facil i tator had not worked through her 3 own issues and resolved her own anger towards men, or the male power structure, there was always the potential for sparks to f ly off the f l in t edge of those feelings. I had done years of Gestalt and personal growth work, work ing through some of those diff icult experiences in my own life. I was frank w i th the trainees about the need to be clear, and not loaded, not ready to be triggered by the f i rst ignorant remark. Our job was to take people through the activities, help to clarify the issues, respond w i th information, encourage new ideas etc, not to get into fights w i th the participants. We learned dur ing the f irst pilot the importance of having tradeswomen and female technologists present, to speak to their own real experience in t ra in ing and on the 3 Only once, towards the end of the series of deliveries, and at the request of BCIT, was a man involved as a co-facilitator. Bi l l Darnell, the Joint Board Coordinator for the Carpenters, was one of the few men at the time with the appropriate background (in the trades) trusted to share the role of facilitator and not allow the participants to get away with relating only to him. Modelling the kind of respect and communications expected from the group was of primary importance, and i t would not have been useful to enact a competitive example. Bil l did a great job of co-facihtating, and i f he hadn't gone off to another life, we might have continued the partnership, as i t was clear that having a skilled man and a skilled woman in those roles was useful. Chapter I - Prologue 6 job, so the facil itators could facilitate communication, and not have to constantly represent al l women. I developed and produced my f irst performative intervention, the slide/tape show, What Happens to Women in Tradesland? (Braundy, 1983), so another voice, another script, and almost life size photos of women workers i n many technical occupations, could present alternative ideas for reflection. R e f l e c t i o n s I I n this dissertation, I speak girded w i th the voices of al l the women I have met i n my career, and also create space for them to speak for themselves. Their ideas and sentiments contribute an essential emotional real i ty to this work. A tradeswoman who had completed her apprenticeship in a large industr ia l setting attended a 1983 session of the seminar as one of four women among fourteen men: union activists and t ra in ing coordinators. She provided these reflections on the experience: September 21, 1983 Dear Marcia, ...I left the seminar feeling depressed...with the attitudes of those men. They seemed very traditional, very defensive and closed to the fact that women do have extra problems in the male workplace. I don't really have any sense whether the seminar opened their minds-—you certainly provided the information and role models to do so—or whether that caused them to stand their defensive ground more.. .1 wondered whether we four tradeswomen dominated the discussion too much but on the other hand, we were constantly being provoked (by their statements) to tell our side of the story. We could never have sat back to let those things go unchallenged. [For example:] The first day on the job: either sex is nervous, eager to do well, facing lots to learn, meeting new people, being monitored by journeymen and/or foremen. Result is lots of stress. Extra stress for women: Chapter I - Prologue a) fellow workers come to look at her, her manner of working, to meet her, to give advice, to satisfy their curiosity about her motives; b) she has to learn about and adjust to a whole different society, form of communication, than exists in a women's workplace or mixed workplace; c) she must be constantly judging whether she is being treated in certain ways because she is new (apprentice) or because she is a woman (i.e. Is she not being given responsible jobs because she's inexperienced or because assumptions are being made about her capabilities?). I believe that if we attempt to prevent their defences from rising at the outset, they will be more open to hearing us. Considering that they don't hear that sexual harassment is a problem: the seminar and personal experience give ample evidence of its existence.. .1 think you must have instilled some doubt in their minds. On the point that they don't hear us when we say we are treated differently because we are women even when we give them examples. [They say] the examples are exceptions and the reasons (like socialization) are an individual woman's problem. Is the answer to this going into more detail about women's socialization and men's? Already the seminar is jam packed with too many time constraints. Even if we went off topic, I learned something from it — learned to understand their perceptions more. That's valuable in the sense of knowing thy enemy (the enemy being attitudes rather than sex). An example of one thing I learned: One man did not realize that women generally lack self-confidence.. It could be discussed, explaining that it is due to our conditioning, our history in low status work that causes many of us to doubt our own abilities deep down even as we struggle to overcome it; explaining that we have not learned to bluff (another extra skill that we must learn that most men have already mastered). [Handwritten letter, workshop binder, 15 July 2004] (Braundy et al., 1983). Chapter I - Prologue 8 What underlies such vehemence? Her suggestions and al l the other verbal and wr i t ten feedback we received was incorporated in one way or another, and st i l l , w i t h al l of our careful preparation, the very worst, most recalcitrant groups were the vocational instructors. And the most diff icult of those were at BCIT. They bought nine sessions of the seminar, over a five-year period w i t h several different administrations. The last was an "end of the fiscal year" event dur ing the worst downsizing the Inst i tute had experienced. No one had told the male instructors why they were assigned and required to attend, and though the importance had been made quite clear to the organizer about women attending the session as participants, none were invited. The woman organizer did not even show up. I t was a small group, and to save money, I had agreed to do i t by myself. Previously the session had always been delivered w i t h two people. Perhaps I had gotten "cocky" after the years of experience in faci l i tat ing the seminar and thought I could do i t on my own. I t was ugly. The men were on fu l l attack mode, and I heard al l about al l the "girls" who had made trouble for them in one way or another: by having a brush cut hairdo; rips in their jeans; provocative clothing; nothing about their capability on the job, always about their appearance, and the distractions they caused. These were classroom management issues that had turned into personal affronts, and I was going to pay for them! The day was f inal ly over and I left quite shaken. The wolf pack had tr ied their best. 4 4 As a carpentry pre-apprenticeship student at Northern Lights College in Dawson Creek, ultimately the first woman to complete a trades training course there (I heard much about "the ones who didn't make it"), I found what I came to call "the wolf pack mentality". There were a couple of leaders, and 14 or more followers, and when one would start to run down their prey (me) others would follow seemingly blindly. Only in the interview for this research did I begin to understand the complexity of what is driving them. Chapter I - Prologue 9 Several years later, as I sat in a meeting w i t h BCIT and Employment & Immigrat ion Canada representatives, one of the male instructors who had been in that session and the woman who had organized i t lost their cool and were screaming at the rest of us that BCIT would never have a women-only trades exploratory course. They had no reasons, but their feelings were strong. The Construction Association would have to go elsewhere to implement one of the major recommendations of their very expensive Industr ia l Adjustment Study. Sadly, i t was never implemented, though several years later women-only trades exploratory courses became available at that inst i tut ion. What underlies such impedance and resistance? Bui ld ing the Vall ican Whole Community Centre, at pre-apprenticeship t ra in ing in Dawson Creek, in Carpentry apprenticeship classes at Camosun College, Pacific Vocational Inst i tute and the Br i t ish Columbia Inst i tute of Technology, in the Uni ted Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, on construction sites and in the seminars, I did my best to humour, cajole, beseech, challenge and encourage men to make way, to f ind ways, to welcome women as workers beside them. I listened and observed, and developed courses for women to help them meet the needed ski l l levels for effective entry into the technical world. I advocated w i th the men who controlled the apprenticeship programs in provinces and in Canada to open the doors a bi t wider, to make welcome the women who wanted to come in, instead of standing guard against them, resisting and impeding the systems. I n each of those situations, the image of the men: students, instructors, union activists and fellow workers, apprenticeship and employment counsellors, standing or si t t ing w i t h their arms folded across their chests i n a stance of defiance, or protection, or challenge stays w i t h me. Body language speaks volumes. Chapter I - Prologue 10 And yet, every now and then, I would watch as they ever so slowly unwrapped their arms, sat up and even forward, in a willingness to engage. I t gave me hope, and the stamina to continue. Looking back at the tradeswoman's seminar follow-up letter, I can see how so many of the themes she addressed are reflected in the play which forms the centrepiece of this dissertation, themes which came from an interview w i th tradesmen-, struggling to come to terms w i t h male resistance. Performing Intervention Working w i t h men and women who supported the integrat ion of women in technical fields, I organized three national conferences (Braundy, 1989b) where WITT women came together on the f irst two days and then were joined, for another two days, by employers, unions, government and educators: those who had a role to play in making changes to our technical workforce. 250 people, 120 of them trades and technical women, came to the f i rst in 1988, at Naramata in Br i t ish Columbia. I t was a watershed event, st i l l spoken of today. W i th Kootenay WITT, I produced the audio-taped, transcribed and edited proceedings into a book, so that the voices of the women and the init iat ives of industry would have a continuing profile (1989b). Part ic ipat ing i n the founding of the national organization, i n Ottawa i n 1992, I was the elected Nat ional Coordinator. There were 374 part icipants at the 1994 conference i n Hali fax. We worked in several areas: Front Line worker/manager education, Women I n Trades & Technology (WITT) exploratory courses, integrat ing the apprenticeship system, polit ical advocacy, and grass roots development. This was a national framework for interventions, in concert w i t h min imal local and provincial interventions and federal employment equity legislation. And though we made small inroads, the numbers of women t ra in ing and working were Chapter I - Prologue 11 st i l l miniscule, and their experiences were not always improved. Despite the growing stack of reports and recommendations for increasing the part icipation of girls and women in trades and technology, few actions were ever actually taken by governments, apprenticeship boards, industry and community colleges to implement them. Since 1980, when the f irst Women in Trades conference took place in Winnipeg and Lloyd Axworthy gave his speech about ski l l shortages and the need for women to f i l l them, and Rosalie Silberman Abella's research formed the basis for the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Equal i ty in Employment (1984a), and legislation (Canada, 1995 & 1985), advocates for interventions have worked to change the representation and opportunities for women i n technical f ields 5 . Recommendations for exploratory courses i n trades and technology for women in industry 6 , and in colleges abound 7 . Several course manuals were developed 8, but infrequently implemented. The same has been the case for interventions at the junior, senior secondary and post-secondary levels 9 where any programs were 5 While not commonly done, given that I am among the most published observers of phenomenon in gender, trades and technology, it would be difficult to avoid referencing my own work. Reference to these materials is included, where appropriate, with my colleagues. 6 (Bohnen, Booth, & Klie, 1991; Braundy, 1997a; Cauley, 1981b; Ross, 1989) 7 (Booth, 1981; Braundy, 1986, 1992, 1989b; CLFDB, 1989-1994, 1991; CLFDB, 1992; CLMPC & EIC, 1990; Goldberg, 1992; HRDC, Robertson, & Gardner, 1992b; L. K. & Associates, 1992b; Lloyd, 1992b; McKnight, 1994; Ministry of Labour & Ministry of Education, 1978; Minty, 1992b; Muir, 1989; National Advisory Board on Science and Technology, 1993; National Coalition of Women and Girls, 1995; PAB, 1992-1997, 1994; Robertson, 1992a; Schom-Moffatt & Braundy, 1989; Wellmeier, 1993) 8 (Booth & Murch, 1981; Braundy, 1997b; Brooks, 1986; Ministry of Labour & Ministry of Education, 1978; Minty, 1992b; Sanders, 1986) 9 (Braundy, 2000; Braundy, Petrina, O'Riley, Dalley, & Paxton, 2000; Bryson & de Castell, 1999; Bryson, Petrina, Braundy, & de Castel, 2003; Castell & Bryson, 1998; Castell, Bryson, & Jenson, 2002; Hawkins, 1996; Hawkins, Mackenzie, & Shirley, 1999; Kutnick, Jules, & Layne, 1997; Chapter I - Prologue 12 implemented as 'one of a k ind' for br ief periods when they were championed by someone either internal or external to the school. But these programs are not integrated into regular programming. Efforts to increase equity i n apprenticeship t ra in ing have been consistent only .enough to demonstrate their promise 1 0 , but never to achieve their long term viabi l i ty. Perhaps the fiercest was, and is, the resistance from business, labour and governments to pro-actively move forward implementat ion of innovative programming to increase the part icipation of women in industry, or ensure the enforcement of equity legislation and guidelines related to women in technical f ie lds 1 1 . The Br i t ish Columbia government has even stopped making sex-disaggregated data available for technology-intensive courses in pr imary and secondary schools (Bryson et al., 2003), and apprenticeship t ra in ing in al l trades, while changing the legislation that required improvement in the part icipation of under-represented groups in apprenticeship. Petrina, 1998; Petrina & Braundy, 1998-2004; Volk & Holsey, 1997; WITT National Network, 1999) 1 0 (Bohnen & Klie, 1991; Braundy, 1986, 1992, 1994, 1996, 1989b; Brooks, 1986; Cauley, 1981a; CLMPC, 1993; Cohen & Braid, 2000a; Fields & Gordon, 1992; Gordon, 1989; Haw & Hoevenaars, 1989; Householder, 1998; HRDC et al., 1992b; ITAC, 1997; Kreutz, 1992; Liedtke, 1998; Lloyd, 1992a, 1992b; Madsen, 1999; McArthur-Blair, 1986, 1995; McKnight, 1994; Ministry of Labour & Ministry of Education, 1978; Minty, 1992a, 1992b; Muir, 1989; North Lake College, 1995; PAB, 1992-1997; Rexe, Braundy, Sarenac, Morrison, & Aliyargadeh, 1996; Robb, 1998; Robertson, 1992a; Scane, 1994; Schom-Moffat & Braundy, 1989; Schom-Moffatt & Braundy, 1989a; Steinhause, 1995; Technology, 1993; Thomas, 1993; WEEA, mulitple; Wellmeier, 1994; Wiltshire & McGregor, 1995) 1 1 (Abella, 1984a, 1987; Allied Hydro Building Trades Council & Columbia Hydro Constructors, 1993, 1999;. Apprenticeship Branch, 1997; Axworthy, 1980; Beck, 2000; Bernard, 1989; Bohnen & Klie, 1991; Braundy, 1989a, 1997a, 2000; Browning & Webb, 1989; CLFDB, 1989-1994, 1994; Cockburn, 1991; Cohen & Braid, 2000a; EIC, 1993; Freidman, 1999; Goldberg, 1992; Gordon & Fields, 1992; Grzetic, 1998; Grzetic, Shrimpton, & Skipton, 1996; Hart & Shrimpton, 2003; ITAC, 1997; L. K. & Associates, 1992a; LeBreton & Loevy, 1992; Legault, 2001b, 2003b; Minty, 1992a, 1992b; National Coalition of Women and Girls, 1995; National Women's Law Center, 2002; Riddle, 1994; Robertson, 1992a; Scane, 1994; Status of Women Canada, 1995; Stead, 1988; Technology, 1993) Chapter I - Prologue 13 I have played a role in a great many of the interventions to improve the representation of women from al l the designated groups. I have witnessed the subtle and overt walls of resistance. Lip service is paid and no action taken. I f even some of the ideas presented in the reports and recommendations were embraced, i t is probable more significant change would have been noticed between Annual Reports to Parl iament on Employment Equity in Canada (Canada Employment and Immigrat ion Commission, 1988 - 2004). A n ethical practice of witnessing includes the obligation to bear w i tness— to re-testify, to somehow convey what one has heard and th inks important to remember. Communities of memory are locations in which such obligations can be worked out...they are locations in which one can: (a) work through the difficulties of responding to the symptomatic questions elicited by testimonies of historical t rauma, and (b) decide which testimonies, and what aspects of them, should be retold to whom and in what ways (Simon & Eppert, 1997, p. 187). I am not assessing or engaging the aforementioned women i n trades and technology l i terature in any depth in this dissertation. The identif ication of barriers has been mult iple as the previous lists of references attest. As wel l , while I appreciate the vast l i terature on recommendations for integrat ing women and other designated groups into apprenticeship and technical t ra in ing and work, i t is the resistance to these init iat ives that this dissertation addresses. Where does the resistance come from? Early in my studies, when I mentioned that I was investigating resistance to equity init iat ives that increase the successful part icipation of women in trades and technology, a male professor said, "Oh, you mean the resistance inside the girls!" "No," I replied, having recently volunteered in a girls exploring trades and Chapter I - Prologue 14 technology (GETT) week-long summer camp, where I watched the intent ion and delight on the 6 t h and 7 t h grades girls' faces as they operated the jigsaw, dr i l l press, cut t ing torches and tap and dye set in constructing fanciful ly designed and drafted go-carts, which they raced on the last day. I had seen no resistance there; perhaps a bi t of fear of the unknown on a few of the faces at the beginning. But by the end of the week, everyone had enthusiastically thrown themselves into the action, and were gleefully demonstrating their prowess 1 2 . The same holds true for women in trades and technology exploratory programs and in industry. I had seen their faces as they used tools to construct, repair and modify tangible objects for use in their lives, and had seen no resistance, only increased self-esteem, excitement and fascinated engagement. The resistance lies elsewhere. I felt I needed to know more. The naivete that formed the basis for the seminars is now more informed, t/nconscious actions are constructed from some basis, and simply br inging the unfairness or i l legality of the actions to conscious awareness w i l l not suffice. There are underlying issues that I was not yet able to understand. What is this resistance about? Why not acknowledge, encourage and engage women's interest, learning potential and capacities i n these areas? Why, I wondered, the continuing impedance to women's active part icipat ion as trainees, co-workers, and even supervisors in trades and technical work? A long-time senior officer in the federal employment equity program who I interviewed for this research, in Ottawa in early December 2002, said that the resistance has become more subtle, but is st i l l extensive. As someone who has worked w i t h industry and trained equity officers in government and industry for 33 1 2 (Hawkins et al., 1999; Jenson, Castell, & Bryson, In press; Schom-Moffatt & Braundy, 1989) Chapter I - Prologue 15 years, he felt, "The problems are at that emotional level, and we in government are not necessarily equipped to deal w i th i t !" He was concerned that: In all fairness, we have made progress. But I must admit on different occasions I have sympathy for employers, because they are dealing with issues that are bigger than the workplace, there are attitudes that people bring with them to work... People may not have received training in high school or university and just haven't got the context. So we seem to be putting a lot of onus on the employer community to be doing things while at the same time I contend that we definitely have not done a very good job of public education and we continue not to do a very good job of public education. After 33 years with government, I would be lying if I didn't say that I get cynical sometimes. We go three steps forward and two steps back. What we say and what we do is not lined up. It takes a lot of patience to deal with that (comment from male Employment Equity research participant). He suggested that they had tr ied many other avenues wi thout great success, but thought the idea of using theatre to reach people on a more visceral level had strong possibilities. What undergirds the fear that has lead to the practices, historical and current, experienced by women 1 3 seeking t ra in ing and work i n technical and blue-collar fields of endeavour? M y doctoral journey is one step towards understanding and reflecting w i t h others on the complexities of this resistance. Through the epistemology of theatre, I explore the performance of patriarchal masculinity (hooks, 2004), a form of gender performance, which was so wi l l ingly offered up to me in my very f irst interview for this study; an interview that became a pedagogical tool: a 1 3 Based on my experiences and observations, three national WITT conferences in Canada, several international labour women's Summer Institute's at Simon Fraser University, and several years participation on the National Women's Reference Group on Labour Market Issues, I recognize that the resistance as experienced by women discussed here crosses lines of race and ethnicity. I t is also clear to me that women of colour, aboriginal women, women from a variety of ethnic backgrounds and women with chsabilities encounter additional resistance and other forms of discrimination that are beyond the scope of this dissertation. Chapter I - Prologue 16 dataplay (O'Riley, 2003) that explores the social construction of gender in trades and technology. I n exploring the insights into gender and its performance w i t h a part icular interest in construction and industr ia l settings, scholars in the l i terature [Chapters I I - IV, IX-X] point to some of the origins of the words spoken by those interviewed for this study; words that became the play, Men & Women and Tools [Chapters V I -V O ] . The scholars words are interwoven, w i th voices from the play, and my own voice, creating an interanimation (Bakht in & Holquist, 1981), a foundation for understanding. Chapter II Gender Is A Contentious Term Gender refers to a social construction of femininity and masculinity which varies over time and place and is enacted through learned, rather than innate, behaviour (Macdonald, Dubel, & Sprenger, 1997). Effected by the omnipresent patriarchal biases of our civilization [J the masculine in this fashion has come to be identified as active, dominating, adventurous, rational, creative; the feminine, by systematic opposition to such traits, has come to be identified as passive, acquiescent, timid, emotional, and conventional (Felluga, 2003, G). Gender is the structure of social relations that centres on the reproductive arena, and the set of practices (governed by this structure) that bring reproductive distinctions between bodies into social processes.... We are talking about relationships, boundaries, practices, identities and images that are actively created in social processes...subject to historical struggle and change (Connell, 2002, pp. 10, 27). Gender is...one of the foundations of every existing social order...an integral part of any social group's structure of domination and subordination and division of labour in the family and the economy... [it] shapes the individual's opportunities for education, work, family, sexuality, reproduction, authority, and the chance to make an impact on the production of culture and knowledge (Lorber, 1998, pp. 1-2). Chapter I I - Gender is a Contentious Term 18 Gender is a social, historical and cul tura l construct, whose meaning is currently being redefined, refined, and reinterpreted. This does not change its usefulness as a construct; i t only reaffirms the complexity of what i t may encompass. I t is also a term that is often confused or conflated w i t h biological sex, and some scholars use the terms interchangeably as was done in a study of occupational sex segregation (Weedon, 1998), or an examination of the interaction of physiologically based characteristics w i t h cul tural factors (Bland, 1998). I n this research, gender is a cultural ly constructed framework w i th in which women and men are l imited by historical and socially imposed roles and practices which define their scope, opportunities, ideas and attitudes, as wel l as their interactive, interdependent social relations (C. Moser (1993), in Society for the Advancement of Community, 2004, Definition of Gender). Sociologist R. W. Connell suggests that such a definit ion, "based on a dichotomy excludes the patterns of difference among women, and among men" (2002, p. 9), and offers the term gender relations to recognize and include a wider variety of patterns in which people act. And yet, there is an impressive degree of cross-cultural consistency in the content of gender stereotypes. In a study of 25 different countries with considerable geographic, economic, and cultural diversity, several consistent differences in perceptions of women and men emerged (Best and Williams 1993, cited in Glick & Friske, 1999, p. 378). While the quotes on the previous page lay foundation for the notion of gender used here, there are a variety of social, economic and polit ical elements that in form this discussion, explicated in the following chapter. The Longest War - Sex Differences in Perspective, by psychologists (Tavris & Offir, 1977) is the book that helped me make sense of my difficult and challenging experience i n pre-Chapter I I - Gender is a Contentious Term 19 apprenticeship t ra in ing. I t does not have "gender" in the index, though the word is mentioned a few times in the text. The Longest War predates the current common usage of the term gender, though i t explicates and analyzes the roots of the differential t reatment and constructive social relations of women and men through history to the present day. The authors chose to wr i te, soon after the advent of Women's Studies as a fledgling discipline, a mult i -discipl inary book in the social sciences looking at sex stereotypes, and sex-difference research and practice, in plain language accessible to a wide audience. They have included historical frameworks, as wel l as psychoanalytic, mythological and other religious references. Throughout, they have maintained a sense of humour i n examining complex and contentious issues, as explored below. Difference as Deficiency Tarvis and Offir (1977) begin their book by demonstrating the love affair and antipathy many men have felt for women. Such ant ipathy is found going back to at least the 7 t h Century B.C.E. w i th the poet Semonides of Amorgos: "'For Zeus designed [woman] as the greatest of a l l evi ls—and bound us to i t in unbreakable fetters'...need and desire" (p. 3). "Many cultures warned men about the horrible things that may happen to those who yield to female sexual mysteries and lures..." (p. 6). These ideas, tracked through l i terature, laws and religious texts, lay the groundwork for strictures and structures constraining the behaviours and opportunities of the women, and constructing the opportunities of the men, each in their own t ime. Thus, when the infant science of psychology took up the matter of sex differences in the late nineteenth century, it sought to identify the precise deficiency in the female brain that accounted for her weak intellect and strong emotions (with Stephanie Shields, 1975, p. 13). Chapter I I - Gender is a Contentious Term 20 Differences, in both race and sex, have come to be interpreted by the dominant culture as deficiencies, "deviance from an acceptable norm - even as pathology—and in both cases difference is used to rationalize racism and sexism" (Rothenberg, 1998, p. 11). Twenty years after her groundbreaking work on gender roles, Sandra Bern waded into the continuing debate about sex differences, and found that she had also entered the contentious arena of sex and gender diversity and race and cul tural identi ty representation. She notes that in al l of these cases, the differences are being played out against a "r ich, white, heterosexual, and male centered" world disguised as gender-neutral, which "transform such differences into disadvantages" (Bern, 1998, pp. 49-50). To engage constructively in this arena, she posits that " i t is much more important to shift from an analysis of difference per se to an analysis of the ways in which the social structure privileges some people's differences at the expense of others" (p. 50). Those differences at t r ibuted to male and female are characterized as "gender polarization," and tend to "constrain" and "script" aspects of human expression from work and personality to sexual affection and desire. Such polarization also defines those who deviate from the script "as problematic—unnatural , immoral , biologically anomalous, or psychologically pathological" (p. 51). She ends by endorsing a challenge to the belief that al l men are natural ly masculine, al l women natural ly feminine and everyone is natural ly heterosexual, categorical assumptions she believes are at "the foundation of gender inequality." Jud i th Halberstam (1998) reinforces this w i t h her challenges to reified gender roles. I n Female Masculinity, she argues against "a pathological theory of gender dysphoria" (p. 119) point ing out that "w i th in certain brands of lesbian masculinity, the effects of gender dysphoria produce new and ful ly functional masculinities, masculinities moreover, that thr ive on the disjuncture between Chapter I I - Gender is a Contentious Term 21 femaleness and masculinity." She quotes Gayle Rubin i n not ing that there are some women "who are more comfortable w i t h masculine gender codes, styles, or identities than w i th feminine ones" (p. 120). Di f fe rences a n d S i m i l a r i t i e s I n 1977, Tarvis and Offir examined similarit ies and differences between men and women in sexuality, the biological realms, psychoanalytic perspectives, socialization and learning theory, sociological perspectives on work and marriage, and anthropological descriptions of how things are done in other cultures, and their findings are st i l l salient today. They do this in a fullness that is quite unique. Lynn Segal, Professor of Psychology and Gender Studies, has since covered similar areas (1990), and her focus on masculinities has been an invaluable contribution. R. W. (Bob) Connell (1987; 1995; 2002) has also covered similar ground, using the concept of gender, masculinities and femininit ies as an organizer, demonstrating throughout the social constructions of these elements, characteristics and practices that have often been considered fixed. His theoretical approach provides a useful context to highl ight the dynamics of gender i n this dissertation. Biological basis Sex refers to the biological state of being male or female i n a society that accepts only two sexes. I t is clear to me from the l i terature on those children born w i t h both male and female physiological sex characteristics (Fausto-Sterling, 1993, 2000), and the var iat ion in chromosomal and hormonal representations across individuals, as wel l as the growing activism by and for those who experience i t (ISNA, 2004; Koyama & Weasel, 2001), there is a spectrum of biological potential that goes beyond merely the two sexes that are tradi t ional ly acknowledged (Lorber, 1994, 1998). Both men and women carry varying and indiv idual levels of Chapter II - Gender is a Contentious Term 22 testosterone and oestrogen (Rogers, 2000, i n Connell, 2002, p. 33) at different times in their lives. But that is not the subject of this dissertation. Throughout history, there have been theories and practices developed to create and respond to notions of the realms of differences characterized as inherent in the extremes of male and female physiologies. Bigger brains, smaller brains; stronger muscles, weaker muscles; skills and abilities in various occupations; emotional and nur tu r ing differences, etc. Maccoby and Jackl in (1974) thought they put those ideas to rest when they completed their meta-analysis of the sex difference l i terature and found only minute differences, reaff i rmed in 2003: They concluded that there were only four differences between boys and girls for which there was strong evidence. This is a much smaller number of gender differences than would have been predicted by most psychologists. The four differences identified by Maccoby and Jacklin were as follows: • Girls have greater verbal ability than boys. • Boys have greater visual and spatial abilities than girls (e.g., arranging blocks in specified patterns). • Boys have greater arithmetical ability than girls, but this difference only appears at adolescence. • Girls are less aggressive than boys: this is found in nearly all cultures, and is usually present from about 2 years of age. Most of these differences are fairly small, and there is much overlap in behaviour between boys and girls. Sex differences in abilities (verbal, visual, spatial, and mathematical) are even smaller now than they were in the early 1970s (Hyde & Linn, 1988, in Eysenck, pp. 303-304). What is not presented by Eysenck are the areas of s imi lar i ty Maccoby and Jackl in found: Chapter II - Gender is a Contentious Term 23 Table 1 Gender Similarit ies General intelligence No difference on most tests Reconfirmed in 2000 by Halpern & LaMay (in Connell, 2002) Creativity Female excel on verbal creativity tests; otherwise no difference Cognitive style No general difference Physical abilities 9 Males more muscular; males more vulnerable to illness, disease; females exceed on manual dexterity tests when speed important, but findings ambiguous. Sociability and love No overall difference; at some ages boys play in larger groups; some evidence that young men fall in love more easily, out of love with more difficulty. Empathy Conflicting evidence Dependence Conflicting findings; dependence probably not a unitary concept Nurturance Little evidence available on adult male reactions to infants; issue of maternal vs. paternal behaviour remains open; no overall difference in altruism (Tavris & Offir, 1977, p. 33) Maccoby and Jacklin's study has received wide acceptance, w i t h some caveats regarding their equal weighting of al l studies reviewed. Tarvis and Off ir explore the specific realms of difference and simi lar i ty in detail i n Chapter 2, br inging in other studies as wel l . Maccoby and Jacklin's work is quoted in "v i r tual ly every introductory psychology textbook," but " i t is the relatively small number of consistent sex differences that are highlighted in these texts rather than the much larger number of inconsistent f indings. Sex differences are stressed, rather than sex similarit ies" (Connell, 2002, p. 43; Unger, 1998, p. 96). Chapter I I - Gender is a Contentious Term 24 And there has been a recent resurgence of hairspl i t t ing and deep research into these "fair ly small" and overlapping behaviours noted in Scientific American.com (Kimura, 2002). There was also an extremely contentious debate about notions of sex difference on an internat ional feminist l istserv for Women's Studies (WMST-L)(Various, 2002). Of note in al l of this is the propensity to use such data and theoretical approaches to promote views that these few conceptual differences create an essential discongruity, aligned w i t h the idea that the male extreme is the norm and superior, and the female characteristics, at whatever level of expression, are an aberration, a practice referred to as androcentrism, andro meaning male (Bern, 1993). Rhoda Unger, a founder of the field of feminist psychology in the Uni ted States (1998), teases out the understanding that "controversies about sex and gender are controversies over what is assumed to produce a part icular sex- or gender-related behaviour," verily, the nature-nurture debate. Are these characteristics and behaviours generated by physiological requirements, or are they the result of social learnings? Sex/Gender Role Theory Historically, surveys of biologically-based sex differences have been used to develop and reinforce societal attitudes regarding the proper behaviours for men and women, and define what has become known as their gender roles. These sexual stereotypes are then used to create and/or just i fy differential social, economic and polit ical treatment. Typical t rai ts associated w i th each sex include: Chapter II - Gender is a Contentious Term 25 Table 2 Gender Traits Traits associated with males Traits associated with females Aggressive Gentle Independent Need security Blunt Tactful Hide emotions Displays emotions Never cries Cries easily Ambitious Kind Courageous Timid Strong Sweet Dominant Submissive Disciplinarian Nurturer Rational Emotional Self-sufficient Understanding Forceful Sympathetic Analytical Intuitive (Adapted from Broverman et al, in Tarvis & Offir, pp. 21-23) Sandra Bern, noted feminist psychologist, created the Bern Sex-Role Inventory (1974), confusing the current discussion through, her use of the term sex to describe characteristics which may be either innate or socially acquired. She used these characteristics to evaluate scales of masculinity, feminini ty and androgyny. Individuals can score high on both masculine and feminine scales, demonstrating degrees of androgyny, the representation of both masculine and feminine characteristics w i th in one person, able to use those t ra i ts as needed. Research has supported the idea that androgyny correlates with a number of other positive attributes, such as higher levels of identity formation in college students (Bern, 1974; Heilbrun, 1976; Orlofsky, 1977). In addition, androgynous individuals have been demonstrated to have more reasons for living than gender-typed individuals (Ellis & Range, 1988). These findings suggest that androgynous individuals tend to be more psychologically healthy and function more adoptively in modern living (Holt & Ellis, 1998). Chapter I I - Gender is a Contentious Term 26 Psychological androgyny was conceived to be a contradiction to the sex role and psychological health correlates that existed at the time, specifically the idea that healthy sex-role identity should consist of the adoption of behaviors and attitudes that were culturally consistent with one's sex (Bern, 1976, in Koesterer). Some of the typical t rai ts above are words used in Bern's test, which found a high degree of "high internal consistency and test-retest rel iabi l i ty." Since the test was over two decades old, there was some concern that i t may be outdated in terms of the representations of masculine and feminine gender roles. Another study using a somewhat different scale was completed in 1995 and its results were quite surprising. [It] examined college students' gender role perceptions of the ideal man, ideal woman, most men, most women and themselves, by completing the Sex Role Trait Inventory (SRTI) (Street & Meek, 1980). Students completed the SRTI for each of the five objects (ideal man, ideal woman etc.). It was found that both the female and male students rated the ideal woman as androgynous, women preferred an androgynous ideal man, and men preferred a masculine ideal man. Both female and male students rated most women and men in terms of stereotypical gender roles. It was concluded that little has changed in the gender role perceptions of college students since the 1970's (Street, Kimmel, & Kromrey, 1995). [Emphasis added] The Bern Sex-Role Inventory was revalidated in 1997 (Holt & Ellis, 1998). The findings showed that the masculine and feminine word scales were st i l l valid, i.e. "al l of the masculine adjectives were rated as significantly more desirable for a man than for a woman... [and] al l but two of the feminine adjectives were rated as significantly more desirable for a woman than a man." ('Loyal' and 'childlike' were words "only marginal ly rated as more desirable for a woman.) The f inding of note, however, was the indication that Chapter I I - Gender is a Contentious Term 27 an examination of the magnitude of differences in the difference scores ("change") of the desirability of the adjectives for males and females from Bern's 1974 sample to the present indicates that the magnitude of difference in desirability has decreased over this period (p. 3). I n other words, there was a lesser magnitude of difference scored for social desirabil ity of the adjectives for masculine and feminine, "suggesting that people are slowly becoming less polarized in their notions of t radi t ional gender-based characteristics. I t seems this f inding is at odds w i th the Street, K immel and Kromrey study, but one must also note that the two studies differed in the questions asked. I t w i l l be useful to replicate the Bern study over t ime. Sex and/or Gender Theories Bob Connell, a scholar who has made a life study of gender, power and the construction of masculinities, describes and critiques the "frameworks" of gender (1987). He, too, confuses the situation by conflating sex-roles 1 4 w i t h gender roles. One must note and encourage the evolution of these terms in hopes of el iminat ing some of this confusion but as I am quoting h im, I w i l l use his original terms here. He uses the term sex-role theories, suggesting that " i t allows a shift away from biological assumptions about sex differences, emphasizing that women's and men's behaviours are different because they respond to different social expectation" (p. 48) and that these expectations are often reproduced through media images in the society at large. He feels that sex roles provide "a simple framework for describing insertion of individuals into social relations... [through] 'role learning', 'socialization' or internalization," so that "female character is produced by socialization into the female role, masculine character by socialization into the male role - and deviants 1 4 An example of a sex role would be one that is biologically based, such as mother/father, wetnurse, progenitor, copulator or other term that is based solely on having a particular sexual organ. Chapter II - Gender is a Contentious Term 28 by some kind of failure in socialization" (p. 49) (emphasis added). As these arguments direct attention towards "people and inst i tut ions responsible for the learning, the so-called 'agencies of socialization': mothers, teachers, peers and the media," Connell suggests they provide the opportunity for a politics of reform. If the subordination of women is largely a result of role expectations that define them as helpmates or subordinate, their characters as passive or expressive (rather than instrumental), then the obvious path forward is to change the expectations (p. 49). Connell posits that i f roles are reinforced through "reward of conformity to them and punishment of departures from them," adherence comes down to individual acceptance of the constraints, "personal agency" and not solely social structures, and that this is fur ther disti l led, i n role theory, by an impl ic i t assumption of biological determinism, revert ing to a discussion of inherent sex differences. He suggests that rather than examining the economic, domestic and polit ical power arrangements inherent in this construction of gender, what he later refers to as the gender regime of the gender order of a part icular segment of society (Connell, 2002, pp. 53-54), "role analysis substitutes a theory of norms...reducing al l masculinities and femininit ies to one dualism (wi th A n n Edwards)...a normative standard case". But in fact, "a crucial diff iculty is that what is normative, i.e. expected or approved, is not necessarily standard, i.e., actually the way things usually happen...especially not in the case of sexuality" (p. 51). This discrepancy promotes a concept of deviance, "produced by imperfect or inappropriate socialization," e l iminat ing "the element of power" and "the fact of social struggles" from the discussion. His main point here is that sex role theory "cannot grasp Chapter I I - Gender is a Contentious Term 29 change as history, as transformation [is] generated in the interplay of social practice and social structure" (p. 53). Categorical Theory I n the next section of his foundational work on gender and power, Connell (1987) explicates his choice of the term "Categorical Theory" in which is included a series of arguments from the l i terature that might be considered essentialist: based on notions that al l men are this, or al l women are that, "as in Susan Brownmiller's wel l-known argument that rape is 'a conscious process of in t imidat ion by which all men keep all women i n a state of fear"' (p. 55); or an economic division of labour based on sex, wi thout consideration of the capabilities of the individuals. Sociologist Judy Wajcman, i n her foundational analysis of the gendered interplay in science and technology (1991) describes essentialism as "the assertion of fixed, unif ied and opposed female and male natures" (p. 9). Ava Baron (1991a) offers that such categorical theories, "as those that posit the existence of distinct sex/gender or patr iarchal systems, treat sexual politics as relations between two internal ly undifferentiated groups of people w i th contradictory interests" (p. 21), are in opposition to one another and engaged in conflict and power struggles, provide only l imi ted i l luminat ion, and don't concern themselves w i t h "the process by which gender categories are constructed." Wacjman notes "the values being ascribed to women originate in the historical subordination of women... the belief in the unchanging nature of women, and their association w i t h procreation, nurturance, warmth and creativity," and reminds us that these notions are "constantly under reconstruction," and that , "there is no behaviour or meaning which is universally and cross-culturally associated w i th either masculinity or feminini ty" (p. 10). Connell points out that Chapter I I - Gender is a Contentious Term 30 Another form of categoricalism focuses on a representative individual...the argument that explains pollution, indiscriminate exploitation of resources and the threat of nuclear war, by the personal aggressiveness and ruthlessness of the typical man (p. 57). He counters the use of categoricalism because i t ignores the potential for change through the reconstruction of social processes: The insight underlying this argument is certainly correct. A power-hungry and emotionally blunted masculinity is part of the social machine that is wrecking the environment...but to theorize this as the direct outcome of masculinity is to miss the point of the social machinery that makes a given form of masculinity environmentally destructive...It misses the social arrangements that give a particular kind of masculinity a hegemonic position in sexual politics that marginalize others. And in many arguments it misses the social processes that construct this kind of masculinity in the first place (pp. 57-58). Connell's descriptions and argument are cogent for the most part . He criticizes the categorical theory after providing a simplistic schematic of gender and class, based on Tolson, and complicating i t w i t h addit ional considerations of race. I t is a similar heuristic to the original social cartography developed by theorist Roland Paulston, formed by two crossed lines, creating four quadrants, labelled: positivist, Marxist/cr i t ical theory, interpret ive and post-structuralist/postmodern. Paulston's later updated schematic (1997) added myriad components in complex juxtaposit ion to one another. This is to i l lustrate, as Connell suggests, that "categoricalism underplays the turbulence and contradictoriness w i th in the social process of gender" which is in constant f lux. The complexities that are continuing to emerge from scholarly discussions of what needs to be taken into account i n exploring the contextual roots of sex discrimination at work are wel l described i n the introductory chapter of Ava Baron's Chapter I I - Gender is a Contentious Term 31 historical look at situations and practices of women work ing in technical areas, Work Engendered — Toward a new history of American Labour (1991c). Rather than posit the post-structuralist and postmodernist theories as a progression of feminist theorizing from First Wave through Second Wave to Third Wave Feminism, Baron incorporates analyses of class, race and gender while posing the question: "How can feminist thinkers incorporate differences among women and st i l l formulate a theory about women as a social category?" (p. 33), acknowledging that some feminists "are concerned that such differences may eradicate the possibility of feminist theory and stand in the way of effective polit ical action i n mobil izing women qua women" (p. 34). I t would seem that she, too, has come to the conclusion that "difference does not preclude similar i ty. . . despite differences, i t is possible for women to share a feminist understanding of gender relations....Feminist politics does not need to be based on a shared identi ty, i t can be based on alliances between women who are different, but who share the same interest in part icular circumstances" (Charles, 1996, pp. 13, 32), i.e. work ing lives, trades or technical t ra in ing and work etc.. As well, there is potential for women and men as well , "as gendered beings, [to] actively constitute and reconstitute the social relations in which they l ive" (p. 23). Moving away from tradi t ional adherence to either/or brands of feminist theory, wel l delineated in the introductions of Women's Studies Essential Readings (Jackson, 1993) and Materialist Feminism (Hennessy & Ingraham, 1997), Baron advocates an integration, rather than even an interrelat ionship, approach for analyses of gender w i th economic concepts, work, the family, social reproduction, race and class relations, and, w i th Joan Scott (1988), "the way meanings of sexual difference are constructed and used to signify power and hierarchy" (1991a, p. 19). This model is exemplified in Feldman's exploration of patr iarchal theories as applied to women workers in Bangladesh (2001). Chapter II - Gender is a Contentious Term 32 Patriarchy Using the areas of paid employment, household production, culture, sexuality, violence and the state as organizers or structures, Sylvia Walby (1990) defines patr iarchy as "a system of social structures and practices in which men dominate, oppress and exploit women" (p. 20). She demonstrates how, in each domain, representatives of differing theoretical feminist constructs engage the concepts and practices of patr iarchy in their examinations of women's experience. Taking a dual-systems approach herself, the threads of capitalism and public and private patr iarchy are woven i n a compendium of historical and social acts of challenge and resistance. Patriarchy is defined by Carole Pateman as "...a set of social relations which has a mater ial base and i n which there are hierarchical relations between men, and solidarity among them, which enable them to control women" (in Cockburn, 1983, p. 125). She fur ther elaborates her use of the word and the concept in her conversation w i t h N i rma l Puwar (2002): The reason I picked the term patriarchy is that it is very difficult to find a term that captures the power of men over women, in whatever form it comes. Because that form of power has not been treated as a political issue..., we have not had analogous terms to those developed for other types of power. But you do not have to do any extensive amount of research to see how race, gender, class and ethnicities are...connected in the new global order (p. 124). Social psychologists Susan Fiske and Peter Glick deepen the understanding by adding the concept of structural power, that of "high-status positions in important social, economic, legal, and religious inst i tut ions" (Glick & Friske, 1999), positions, more frequently than not, occupied by men i n the society. While Jud i th But ler suggests that the term "patr iarchy" is/should be i n disfavour, part icular ly as a "universalizing concept that overrides or reduces Chapter I I - Gender is a Contentious Term 33 distinct articulations of gender asymmetry in different cul tural contexts" (1990b, pp. 3-4, 35), others have continued to mainta in its usefulness in providing a discursive tool. Because "hegemonic discourses are never total izing, but always contested, reasserted, reconstituted, and reformulated" (Feldman, 2001, p. 1120), patr iarchy provides a foil upon which clarity and contextual understandings can be bui l t . "Relations in difference negotiate w i t h dominant practices through the complexities of daily life in ways that both interpret and reconstitute emergent discourses and imaginaries of change." Patr iarchy is a verbal identif ier of complex processes and relationships, but does not provide an understanding of what actually constructs them. I use this term in this dissertation in the same spirit, rather than cit ing the word as "the original or founding cause" (Barrett & Phil l ips, 1992, p. 3) of the structures of oppression. I t is not the answer, but i t is certainly a component of the complex context i n which the words of the play emerged ful ly formed. Steve, the older union organizer in the play, Men & Women and Tools, reflects on what some of those processes and relationships look l ike i n technical workplaces today: Steve: When I was a kid, on a construction job, non-union - may I be forgiven - a young guy was carrying two cement blocks up a board and giving it to the masons. I saw the crew go to the boss and say look, this kid is going to die! He didn't have the upper-body strength to carry blocks like that. It was the crew that intervened. But I sure as hell have never seen a crew do that for a woman. Gender Re la t ions I n his work on gender, Bob Connell provides a complex review of analyses and theories from studies in diverse disciplines of the social, poli t ical and cul tural relations between women and men, including feminist and lesbian perspectives and those from gay l iberation, along w i th race and class orientations. He uses these to Chapter II - Gender is a Contentious Term 34 demonstrate both theories and practices that contest the somewhat received notion of unmoving categorical structures. These studies imply "the possibility of different ways of structur ing gender, reflecting the dominance of different social interests...[and] changing levels of contestation and resistance" (1987, p. 63). Years later, the issue of the biological factors in sex differences is st i l l unresolved in many people's minds, and st i l l , others are moving forward on more practical fronts in gender relations. This is more effectively noted i n Connell's later work (2002), and complicated by the notion that 'gender' is not about simple differences or fixed categories. We are talking about relationships, boundaries, practices, identities and images that are actively created in social processes, come into existence in specific historical circumstances, shape the lives of people in profound and often contradictory ways, and are subject to historical struggle and change (p. 27). Connell's lifelong explorations and investigations of masculinity and gender are undertakings w i th in the frame that these notions are socially constructed, and interventions which br ing such understandings to the surface have social change potential. This perspective means that what has been constructed, can be deconstructed and reconstructed, provides the ground on which to stand to br ing for th efforts in this ongoing social action reflexive praxis. Gender is a factor complicated w i th power dynamics and reconstituted through communication patterns and insti tut ionalized practices. Sometimes defined as "the cultural ly specific set of characteristics that identifies the social behaviour of women and men and the relationship between them..., the way i t is socially constructed... [as] a relational term, gender must include women and men" (Status of Women Canada, 1996) (emphasis in original). The structure, processes and Chapter I I - Gender is a Contentious Term 35 insti tut ionalized practices that govern that relationship can be referred to as gender relations. Gender relations are the rules, traditions, and social relationships in societies and cultures which together determine what is considered 'feminine' and what 'masculine', and how power is allocated between, and used differently by, women and men (Macdonald et al, 1997). Four contexts for gender relations Connell posits that gender relations are structured through the daily practices of people and groups, "reconstituted from moment to moment in social action" (2002, p. 55) in four contexts: power relations, production relations, emotional relations, and symbolic relations. I n his explications of power relations (pp. 58-60), he does not distinguish between 'power over' and 'power to', an understanding of agency found in grass roots women's movements. Cockburn also distinguishes this when she suggests that "women and other subordinated groups are potential ly able to recognize and use power not as domination but as capacity (1991, p. 241) [italics i n original]. St i l l , Connell refers to patr iarchal constructions of power in legal and inst i tut ional relations to women, and as applied to harassment and discrimination of gay men and lesbians, including the notion, at tr ibuted to Foucault (1977), t ha t power is widely dispersed, diffused throughout the culture, remark ing on the ways i t can and has been contested and transformed. Production relations encompass not only the "sexual division of labour" at work, but also the allocation of separate spheres of work and home, w i t h pr imary constructions of masculine and feminine domains, regardless of actual practices. He notes, w i th a nod to Mar ia Mies (1986), these processes are being "pressed" onto developing economies i n colonized countries, reproduced through gendered Chapter I I - Gender is a Contentious Term 36 accumulation processes, and instructed through gendered divisions in education systems. This latter postulate has been wel l documented in the development of technological competence in elementary and secondary schools 1 5. Ident i fy ing (wi th Freud, 1900) that "charges of emotion - both positive and negative - were attached, in the unconscious mind, to images of other people, Connell (2002) offers several arenas in which this takes place in gender relations. Host i l i ty and warmth towards women and/or homosexuals are "definite emotional relationships," (p. 63), as is ambivalence. Sexuality, indiv idual affections, and romantic love f ind differing arrangements in a variety of cross-cultural settings and even in the workplace. Last ly in Connell's four contexts is symbolic relations, the "world of meanings" created i n the social processes i n which we each live. Acknowledging French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan who gave the world the analysis of "the phallus as master-symbol...giving rise to an interpretat ion of language as 'phallocentric', a system in which the place of authori ty, the privileged subjectivity, is always that of the masculine...culture itself embodies the l a w of the father'" (p. 65), Connell suggests i t is this "dichotomous gender structur ing of culture" that "gives us some ink l ing of why patr iarchal gender arrangements are so diff icult to abolish" (p. 66). This symbolic relation permeates fashion, f i lm, advertising and architecture, is challenged and toyed w i th by queer activists and theorists Judi th But ler (1990), Jud i th Halberstam (1998), and performance studies professor Peggy Phelan (1993b; 1993; 1998). Halberstam uses the action hero notion as represented by James Bond to show how intent ional (or unintentional) parody can create an "exposure of the norm (p. 4), thereby un-natural izing the performance. is (Braundy, 2000; Braundy et al., 2000; Bryson, 1998; Bryson & de Castell, 1995a, 1996; Bryson et al., 2003; Petrina, 1998) Chapter I I - Gender is a Contentious Term 37 Connell's explication of gender relations while r ich and articulate, seemed to be advocating of a "gender-free society" (Connell, 2002, p. 70). This is of concern. I t is not the representation of gender, nor even al l specific relations that are problematic. I t is the pejorative constitution of deviance bui l t into those relations that are unacceptable. Instead, Mary Bryson and Suzanne de Castell (1995a; 1995b; 1996; 1999) open up the potential for playfulness in their taxonomy of gender/equity/and technology (1995b, p. 24; 1996, p. 124) by noting that A pedagogy of salvage and recycling might accordingly appropriate traditional skills, simultaneously abandoning traditional (gendered) meanings, functions and uses of those skills in a species of mimicry of (thus far usually masculine) competencies which, because of its self-conscious playing with positions, thence its parodying of the fixity of position, is at last capable of truly disrupting hegemonic relations between learners and technology (1996, p. 124). By creating programs where young and older women actually take the tools in their hands and develop the skills to use them as in the Einstein's Sisters project (de Castel, Bryson, & Jenson, 2002, pp. 5-6) and W I T T exploratory courses 1 6, this interference w i t h the tradit ions of normalcy provides a place for "maximizing the likelihood of opt imal outcomes" (Bryson & de Castell, 1996, p. 125) including the delight in the actualities of "restructuring power relations," and "transforming received knowledges...through ironic acts of mis/representation, mimicry, collage, montage, and re/degendering" (Bryson & de Castell, 1995a, p. 20). The paucity of these approaches speaks volumes to continued resistance to challenges to tradi t ional gender regimes. !6 (Bohnen et al., 1991; Booth & Murch, 1981; Braundy, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1997b; WRDC, 2004) Chapter I I - Gender is a Contentious Term 38 Equality of Outcomes Examinat ion of gender relations in "the division of labor, productive and reproductive activities, access to and control over resources and benefits, and socio-economic and environmental factors that influence women and men (OXFAM; 1994 40; IPS; 1996 30)" (in Society for the Advancement of Community, 2004, G for Gender), is called gender-based analysis. This "systematic investigation of the differential impacts of development on women and men," being conducted across the world today, is often called gender-mainstrearning, w i t h goals of equitable treatment and outcomes for women and men, sometimes referred to as equality. I n Nor th America, there is an underlying understanding that equality is to be valued. The inst i tut ional structures of patr iarchy have not crumbled, but the ' legit imation of patr iarchy' has been undermined. I n many places in the world, the denial of that equality has become suspect. 'Lip service' to the legit imation of equality concerns is becoming the norm, but understanding and implementing the elements required to achieve i t are rare. "Achieving equality does not mean that men and women are the same, i t means that one's r ights or opportunities do not depend on being female or male" (Brazil - ACCC, 2002, Gender Equal i ty Tools). But, rather than t ry ing to create a world that is gender neutral, or gender bl ind, the goal is to ensure that policies and practices are gender inclusive, welcoming of difference. Equal i ty of outcomes, referred to as equity requires more than being treated the same. I n Canada, i t may include special measures to remedy the effects of past discrimination and requires the reasonable accommodation of differences to enable equality of outcomes. Sometimes Employment Equity means treating people the same despite their differences, sometimes it means treating them as equals by accommodating their differences (Abella, 1984, in Beck, 2000; Braundy, 1997a, p. 2). Chapter I I - Gender is a Contentious Term 39 Special measures (i.e. special t ra in ing programs; short term h i r ing goals; developmental promotions) and the reasonable accommodation of differences (i.e. disabil i ty accommodation; flex hours) are part of the required plan which "would, i f implemented, constitute reasonable progress toward implementing employment equity..." (Canada, 1995, Ch. 44, p. 49), at least producing some level of economic equality. There is an expectation that women need to perform the same as men. Connie, the composite female character in the play, Men & Women and Tools questions this notion. F e m i n i s m in te rsec ts male n o r m s : Connie: Why is it women have to conform to how the men want it to be? Equity seeking programs can get into trouble when expectations of gender performances contradict individual socialization processes. For example, in Jason's statement, in the interview for this study that led to the play Men & Women and Tools, regarding a woman he found working beside h im i n construction: I expect that she's representing women out there, so she needs to make an effort to stand, you know, I'm here, and I'm a woman and I'm going to kick ass like the rest of you guys. I t is clear that Jason wants the women on the job to display "masculine virtues" (Cockburn, 1991, p. 69). This double-bind is explored by Kate Braid in What Happens to Women in Tradesland (Braundy, 1983) and in the early Saskatchewan women in trades exploratory programs. Such double-bind expectations are reinforced on the worksite (Mart in & Collinson, 1999, p. 297). Once women make "a decision to compete w i t h men there is a tendency for them gradually to take on masculine trai ts" (Cockburn, p.69) making i t more diff icult for the women who come newly into the jobsites, unwi l l ing to change their persona, as Steve, another research part icipant, suggests: Chapter I I - Gender is a Contentious Term 40 If a woman wants to succeed in trades or tech, she could just become one of the boys. But a lot of the women who are feisty enough to work in a trade say, "I'm not interested in being one of the boys! I know who I am, and I just want to make a living." Often the pressure to conform, or perhaps just to blend in , is great, experienced as an internal pressure as wel l as an expectation from coworkers and supervision. And once a woman can learn the rhy thm of the banter of the worksite, relations are easier. She is accepted. But the communication patterns prevalent on the worksite don't come easily to many women tradi t ional ly socialized into gender roles w i th the characteristics listed as feminine. And yet, Legault found: In SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) settings, when a women responds to a male colleague in anger, the incident ends without turning bitter. The employees accept it when a female colleague expresses her anger, even in front of their peers. Moreover, these women will become best friends with their male colleagues and will be acknowledged as 'one of us' if not 'one of the boys'! (2001a, p. 25). Girls and boys "learn how to adopt a certain ident i ty and produce a certain gender performance" (Butler, 1990a; Connell, 2002, p. 81). Connell suggests that engaging in such gender projects is an opportunity for active learning, for developing "the pleasure of creativity and movement," perhaps even f inding "a moment of separation from hegemonic masculinity," opportunities tempered by already constructed "class inequalities, ethnic diversity, regional difference, nations origin," (p. 83), sexual orientations or parental biases. Men and women are confused about what role women are to play. Tradit ional expectations are l imi ted to specific roles: wives, girlfriends, mothers, lovers and sometimes sisters. These are al l socially prescribed gender roles, not always challenged by women or by men. The notion of a woman as co-worker on a construction site or in an industr ia l setting is not famil iar, and the rules for roles aren't clear. I t interrupts. Jerry and Jason, Chapter I I - Gender is a Contentious Term 41 characters in Men & Women and Tools, trouble the implications of gender on their worksites, and Connie interjects: Jerry: ...But, when you go into the lunchroom with some of the women, the conversation stops. If they accepted the male conversation, they were accepted. Jason: The rules of the game didn't change. Jerry: You had your work and your interaction with the guys. It's not whether a female is better, smarter, more intelligent, faster, whatever. If you couldn't say what you thought...that's where it would jam. Jason: We have a couple of women apprentices, and Jane is really struggling to fit in... Connie: I wonder why???! Jason: ...while Darlene fits in quite well. . Darlene is clear. If you are stepping over the boundaries, she'll let you know. Jane is not fitting in at all. The guys have to be very, very careful. This double-bind is explored in Cockburn (1991, p. 69). These differing expectations of gender performance are exemplified i n What Happens to Women in Tradesland (Braundy, 1983), the A/V presentation, as wel l as in the handouts, developed by Kootenay Women in Trades and Technology (WITT) for the seminar, The Workplace in Transition - Integrating Women Effectively (Braundy, Mackenzie & Ward, 1983), created to assist male co-workers, supervisors, vocational instructors and counsellors to better integrate women into the technical workforce. Chapter I I - Gender is a Contentious Term 42 DOUBLE BINDS If she doesn't swear, they feel they have to stop swearing which they resent If she does swear, they are shocked by her "unladylike" behaviour If she asks for help, then she isn't holding up her own end If she doesn't ask for help, then she's trying to show them up If she is too friendly with her co-workers, she is seen as loose If she keeps to herself, she is stuck up and anti-social If she is unassertive, they think she is not capable of standing up for herself If she is assertive - she's a pushy dame If she accepts help, she's not capable of doing the work If she refuses help, she is seen as unfriendly and hostile If she appears too feminine, they say she will never make it in a man's world If she dresses in workclothes and acts tough, they say she is trying to be like a man When the sexual banter gets really rough: If she goes along with it they don't respect her, she is not a decent woman If she objects, they say she can't take a joke Women in Trades Kootenay Council © 1983 These double binds have changed l i t t le over the years 1 7 . Cockburn, looking at male resistance to sex equity i n organizations (1991), describes situations involving pr imar i ly white-collar work, while Braid and Braundy are looking at blue-collar construction and industr ia l settings. Cockburn focuses her discussion on managing and positions of authori ty. Females she interviewed said that women are specially competent and practical, make better managers because of their experience of running households; that women are better at detail, are more conscientious than men, have a more caring attitude toward staff and public, are less aggressive in their approach (Cockburn, 1991, p. 68). However, the males she interviewed criticized women as 1 7 (Braid, 1991a, 1991b, 2003; Braundy, 1997b; Cockburn, 1991; Legault, 2001, 2003a) Chapter I I - Gender is a Contentious Term 43 not capable of authority...'lack a bit of judgement', and get a bit emotional', 'are not cut out for it', 'find it difficult to be ruthless enough'..."At the same time, the men said the women "are 'bossy', 'pushy', 'absolute bastards', trampling on others in their ambition...insufficiently authoritative, or too authoritarian' (p. 69). The double bind is clear for women seeking promotion in white collar work: the environment they have joined, which is that of men in power, has threatened to repel them if they do not adopt to its culture...once such women have made a decision to compete with men there is a tendency for them gradually to take on masculine traits (p. 69). I was interviewed once by the CBC 1 8 , i n the bar w i t h some of my union brothers after the f irst paycheck on a job where I was the f irst woman carpenter on a union jobsite in Br i t ish Columbia (1981). The reporter had tracked me down and was asking me some questions. "What is i t that you w i l l br ing to the Brotherhood 1 9?" he asked. "Sisterhood," I replied, none of us really knowing what that might mean, but I was certainly hoping that i t might reconstruct the gender relations to achieve the k ind of camaraderie that I had found on that job, as opposed to the harassment I had experienced in pre-apprenticeship t ra in ing. The express ion o f the exper ience across d i sc ip l i nes Dur ing the course of the research for this dissertation, I became friendly w i th a South Afr ican doctoral student, a math teacher who had spent six years teaching, just out of school herself, i n a mult i -racial , all-boys t radi t ional and historic independent school. She faced many of the challenges, contradictions and conundrums that I consider here. Her description of her experience integrat ing into that environment was so profound that I asked her to wr i te i t down for me. She is 1 8 Canada's national broadcaster interviewed me in June 1980. 1 9 My union was the International Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America. Chapter I I - Gender is a Contentious Term 44 an excellent storyteller, in both oral and wr i t ten forms, and the story performs in the spir i t of theatre as epistemology, provoking a realization of an essential emotional reality. I t represents and evokes an understanding of many of the elements of gender and the exercise of patr iarchal masculinity that are under discussion in this dissertation. Wi th her permission, i t is included in its entirety in Appendix A, w i t h some key excerpts here. There were very few women teachers at the school at the time and none that were 'young' and female, other than myself, teaching in a prominent curriculum subject such as mathematics. It was an alienating experience for me as a woman, but the satisfaction I felt from my interaction with my students greatly compensated for it. I tried to blinker myself from the blatant chauvinism I often was forced to endure and accept, keeping my head down, focused on my work and my students, and hoping outwardly that if I didn't 'make waves', it would somehow go away or, at least, become more invisible. Inside me, I knew it wouldn't, that the layers of 'white patriarchy' were deeply entrenched and hegemonic, informed by the rituals and traditions within the school and the dominance of its colonial cultural ethos. I realized that this was how the power of prejudice operated... that it makes its mode of control invisible and irreproachable in context and that it takes some legitimate power base from within another context to begin to contest it. I was alone, vulnerable and weakly positioned within the context, all because I was a woman, and there was no legitimate space for a woman's voice in this place. But, I needed the job, I loved my job in the classroom, and I was trying my best.... One day, after a little while at the school, a male member of staff confronted me at a mathematics department staff meeting, suggesting that my students were 'doing so well' simply because I had seen the examination papers beforehand and I was 'obviously' teaching towards the exam. His evidence? Well, this was the interesting part! His argument was that: "it is not possible for the students of a young female teacher with so little experience to be achieving such consistently high results." The Voice was singular and uncontestable. It was situated in a place whose values and principles allowed for such blatant Chapter I I - Gender is a Contentious Term prejudice, illegitimating the voice of the victim. Although the overlying principle of 'respect' was that you had 'to earn' it, this was the underlying rule... that if you were a 'woman'you could never 'earn it', ... that 'earning it' was the precinct of men only, that you were exempt from these rules simply by 'being' a woman, and that the 'right to earn it' was beyond your control. I realized, even in my outrage, that I had overstepped the mark of the rules of this context in playing out the very rules that informed it... that I had achieved 'too highly', I had 'earned the respect' too well and I had shown them up ... and they didn't like it ... it made them uncomfortable and threatened. It began to challenge the existing stereotypes on women teachers and achievement, and made a mockery of the man-made rules of this context. I was beating them at their own game. How dare I? Who was I to challenge the existing social relations? I was being an upstart, even in my silence, through being 'good'at what I was supposed to be good at.... Even as I expressed my outrage at the blatant sexism of the remark, I knew that to take the issue further as a complaint to the principal or school board, would be to provide it, in this context, with some 'legitimacy' and to forever feel the shroud of doubt hanging over me. The other members of staff were obviously shocked by the male member of staff's unexpected challenge and in their bodily-visible discomfort and embarrassment, they remained silent, watching to see how I would 'handle the situation'. Would I 'handle it like a man', the only way to 'handle' situations in this context?! I was all alone, a victim in my own department... no one daring to stand up for me like a decent 'human' would. I was caught visibly and firmly in a double-bind, although, perhaps, it only highlighted that I had, in fact, never been otherwise in this context. I was forced, yet again, as if I had not had to do this enough, to 'prove' my innocence, to exonerate myself by turning myself inside out, being more 'male' than the men. I was a suspected criminal by being woman and I had to prove my 'manliness' so as to divest myself of the charge of criminality. And so she proceeded to do, w i th elegance and alacrity, teaching her students w i t h her own methods and ideas, w i t h no possible reference to exams, students achieved even higher levels than before. Chapter II - Gender is a Contentious Term / was elated! I had proven' myself unequivocally at their own game. But it had no joy. I expected some announcement... maybe some comment... I even hoped for an apology to be given to me. Perhaps I still had, or wanted to have, faith in them ... more faith in them than they had in me.... I waited.... There was nothing.... Only silence.... This time the silence came from them, but it was still my silence they held inside it. It was a silence of power, with the silence of alienation subsumed within. She again took the bul l by the horns: So eventually I raised the issue myself. I made an announcement! At a department meeting I stood up and thanked the person concerned for providing me with the opportunity to teach my students with some freedom, away from the tyrannical considerations of the evaluation instruments at the school... I rubbed it in a bit ... I told them what a wonderfulpre-exam teaching experience I had had, that they should try it some time ... that it was a liberating experience and that last, but not least, I was thankful and grateful for the opportunity for my students to have been granted the opportunity to do even better than before! Thank you! ... There was silence. Nothing ... nothing was said. No comment was ever made about the issue again. I knew, though, that they thought that I had taken it 'like a man.' I was still conforming to male rules... I had shown my disgust, but, according to them, I had kept my 'dignity' in that context, ... in a context, ironically, that allowed you no real dignity ... that was the precinct of men! I continued to teach at the school for many years and after a time I realized that I had become part of 'their' family whether they liked it or not. They now tolerated my sex and reconstructed my gender because I had become an old-timer. I was simply a familiar part of the fabric of the school that could not be done away with. I had a part to play in the history of the family, albeit an uncomfortable one for them, for I continued to gain a reputation for 'effective teaching' and for my students' achievements. I realized that I had become an 'honorary male' to them within the school, and at the same time, contradictorily and similarly as usual, I was also the school's mascot...But, for me, the full trust could never be regained. I learned to care for them, but unlike the way I Chapter I I - Gender is a Contentious Term 47 cared for my students, which was caring wholly, I cared for them without full or real respect.... They had taken that from me forever! ... This story captures so many elements that also came through in the interview that led to the play, and the stories of women's experiences on technical worksites: the sense of isolation and vulnerabi l i ty experienced by women on mostly male worksites, the delight in the actual work, many women's hope that the sexism w i l l somehow go away i f we just ignore i t , and our will ingness to do so to keep the needed job. The story is explicit i n the assumption of incompetence and the requirement to constantly prove capability, as wel l as the need to care for men's egos, to watch that women never "show them up" by demonstrating a higher calibre of ski l l , "to beat them at their own game," so wel l expressed in the play: Jason: But I'm just not sure how I would feel if a woman came on the job knowing more than me. And the contradiction is that i f women don't prove their capability, they w i l l be forever relegated to "the ones that didn't make it ." The story shows the need for women to "handle i t l ike a man," while no one else dared to stand up and challenge the perpetrator. And when the job was complete, there was silence; no one wi l l ing or even able to say, "Job wel l done!" Jason from the play would have been proud of her, she had Kicked ass like the rest of the guys, and was allowed to remain as an "honourary male." But they had lost her respect, and their own dignity seems, poignantly, to be t ied up in performing a role. Chapter I I - Gender is a Contentious Term 48 M a s c u l i n i t i e s 'Masculinity', to the extent the term can be briefly defined at all, is simultaneously a place in gender relations, the practices through which men and women engage that place in gender, and the effects of these practices in bodily experience, personality and culture (Connell, 1995, p. 71). White masculinities are constructed in relation to men of colour as they are constructed in relation to white women and women of colour. Working-class blue-collar men define their masculinity in relation to middle-class white-collar men, and a different construct is created in return. Mi l i ta ry men construct another sense of their masculine identi ty i n relation to those outside the mi l i tary, and towards the women who enter, and towards gay men who might enter the mi l i ta ry (Connell, 1995; Pinar, 2001). Bob Connell delved more deeply into part icular constructions of masculinity, in his life history studies. "The Social Organization of Mascul ini ty" (1995) is helpful in understanding the mult iple forces that construct gender relations not only w i th women but also between and among men. He, Jeff Hearn (1994), T im Carrigan and Harry Brod (1987) were instrumental in proposing the concept that there are mult iple masculinities, found at the intersections of race, class and gender. I n that chapter, he uses a number of organizers to examine the relations between men specifically. He describes hegemonic masculinity "not as a fixed character type, always and everywhere the same," but rather, "the masculinity that occupies the hegemonic position i n a given pat tern of gender relations, a position always contestable" (Connell, 1995, p. 76). A t t r ibu t ing the term, hegemony, to Antonio Gramsci's analysis of class relations, Connell identifies i t as "the cul tural dynamic by which a group claims and sustains a leading position i n social l ife" (p. 77). He uses i t to describe a situation in which one form of masculinity holds a hierarchical Chapter I I - Gender is a Contentious Term 49 relationship to another: Hegemonic masculinity is found in places where the "cul tural ideal and inst i tut ional power" intersect, such as that exhibited at the top levels of the corporate sector, the mi l i tary and the government. " I t is the successful claim to authori ty, more than direct violence, that is the mark of hegemony (though violence often underpins or supports authority)." bell hooks (2004) calls i t patriarchal masculinity. Judy Wajcman posits that hegemonic masculinity "is more strongly possessed by working-class than ruling-class men." However, her notion that "the exaggerated masculinity found amongst working-class cultures must be viewed against the background of their relative deprivation, their low status and their comparative powerlessness i n the broader society" (1991, p. 145) reflects a class bias, and a lack of understanding of the mult iple expressions of hegemonic masculinity. What she is referr ing to as 'exaggerated masculinity' is only one form of the potential expressions of hegemony. However, i t is clear that "no matter how masculinity is defined...it always constructs women as i l l-suited to technological pursuits" (p. 146). Connell uses the terms subordination, complicity and marginalization to explicate the nuances of hierarchy and domination exhibited i n part icular sets of relationships between men, i.e. gay men and straight men, black men and white men, middle class and work ing class men. He is quick to assure the reader that he recognizes that a working-class or a black masculinity does not exist; that these, too, are mult iple. But there are some things we can learn by examining the categories. Connell states that "oppression positions homosexual masculinities at the bottom of the gender hierarchy among men." I would argue that while the display of effeminacy in men may precipitate explicit violence, those gay men who present a more muscular, " t radi t ional" masculinity are less l ikely to be the vict im of Chapter II - Gender is a Contentious Term 50 such actions. For violent men whose patr iarchal masculini ty is threatened, i t is the display of the feminine that precipitates the response (Pinar, 2001, Ch. 19). Connell makes this clear when he posits that "some heterosexual men and boys too are expelled from the circle of legitimacy" w i t h such words as "wimp...sissy ...pantywaist...mother's boy," along w i th "four-eyes...dweeb...and geek...Here too the symbolic b lur r ing w i th feminini ty is obvious" (Connell, 1995, p. 79). As well, there is a hierarchy of colour and class that interacts w i t h homosexuality, representing marginal ization practices of their own, e.g. "Massive unemployment and urban poverty now powerfully interact w i t h inst i tut ional racism in the shaping of black masculinity" (with Robert Sharpies, Connell, p. 80). B i l l Pinar's incredibly wel l -researched and explicitly wr i t ten explanations of the intersecting and interacting practices noted here (Pinar, 2001) provides extensive background to these constructions of masculinity. Connell is quick to emphasize that "terms such as 'hegemonic masculinity' and 'marginalized masculinities' name not fixed character types but configurations of practice generated i n part icular situations in a changing structure of relationships" (Connell, 1995, p. 81), structures which are i n a slow but constant process of change. Gender a t W o r k i n Trades a n d Techno logy Wi th al l of the aforementioned i n mind, this dissertation is focusing on a part icular sector of practice: working-class and white-collar trades and technical workers. Here too, Connell provides some analysis. While some of these 'grand statements' are useful, his lack of experience in the mi l ieu is somewhat visible. I n presenting three responses distinguished by Gerschick and Mi l ler i n a study of men Chapter I I - Gender is a Contentious Term 51 affected by disabling accidents or illnesses, he does not problematize the rather simplistically presented ideas, or the fact that there are certainly more than those three types of responses possible. I t is true that those who work w i t h their body, mind, heart and hands at once are vulnerable to physical disabil i ty, and that, "heavy manual work calls for strength, endurance, a degree of insensit ivity and toughness, and group solidarity" (p. 55). Those who experience the impact of such disablizing often suffer the marginalization referred to above. "Emphasizing the masculinity of industr ia l labour has been both a means of survival, i n exploitative class relations, and a means of asserting superiority over women" (p. 55). Chapter IX in this dissertation examines the historical nature of these practices. I t w i l l be important to remember, "normative definitions of masculinity...face the problem that not [all] men actually meet the normative standards" (p. 79), and yet, many have enjoyed the patriarchal dividend. "Men gain a dividend from patr iarchy in terms of honour, prestige, and the r igh t to command. They also gain a mater ial dividend" (p. 82), wel l documented by Connell as he notes that men's wages worldwide in capitalist countries "are approximately double women's average income," a fact that is often obscured by presenting the statistics for only ful l- t ime employment, which obfuscates the unequal division of labour in childcare and home support work for which women are not paid, facts clearly presented in Mar i l yn Waring's excellent analyses of women's economic contributions worldwide (1988; 1999). Gus: Why do women want to become construction workers? It just baffles a lot of guys. I assume it's because they can make 25 bucks an hour as opposed to making seven. Chapter I I - Gender is a Contentious Term Time-budget studies show women and men work on average about the same number of hours in the year (The major difference is in how much of this work gets paid (United Nations Development Program, 1992, in Connell, 1995, p. 82). The ul t imate end of al l of these unequal relations is the exercise of power over another person or group of persons. This hierarchical relationship is noted in most books I have read on masculinity, and its exhibit ion has been present in almost a l l of the relations I have had w i th men in construction, the provincial apprenticeship systems, and the national t ra in ing systems in Canada. That does not mean that all such relationships represent inherent qualities of patr iarchal masculinity, but that part icular versions of masculinity may be interfer ing w i th opportunities for shared peace and prosperity around the world. It follows that the politics of masculinity cannot concern only questions of personal life and identity. It must also concern questions of social justice (Connell, 1995, p. 83) [Emphasis added]. 6"3 Chapter III Deconstructing Destructive Gender Constructions20 A n i n t e r v e n t i o n a p p r o a c h t o ep is temic u n d e r s t a n d i n g While this research focuses on men, i t ponders the interactions and relationships between men and women. The impulse for this research comes from a deep, abiding commitment for equal opportunity and responsibility for women and men together, to bui ld, and maintain, sustainable lives on this earth. I t is autoethnography, being present, creating interaction, part ic ipat ing, observing and reflecting i n and of the group, in i t ia t ing relatedness (Gergen & Gergen, 2002). This is a case study, where an examination of the part provides a metonym for the whole. This is performance ethnography (Denzin, 2003), an ethnographic performance text (Saldana, 1998), ethnodrama (Mienczakowski, 2001), using "data as drama" (Donmoyer & Yennie-Donmoyer, 1995). I t is research meant to evoke, and provoke, an intervention into the social construct, as a tool for social and polit ical chan ge (Lather, 1986). I f the wor ld is to change, men have to start ta lk ing to each other and to women about what underlies male resistance to women in technical areas. Representing their voices in a performative autoethnography may help others understand, through opening i t up in a more personal way, s t r ik ing a chord, and invoking dialogue. I f "al l researchers construct their object of inquiry out of the mater ial their culture provides" (Lather, 1991, p. 105), then as a journeylevel carpenter w i th 2 0 I attribute this phrase to one of my key informants, Dale Norman, whose way with words entices me, and who became my husband during the course of this research. Chapter I I I - Deconstructing destructive gender constructions 54 experience i n a variety of trades, i t seems appropriate that I would undertake the study of masculine resistance to women in trades and technology using what have been considered to be the "masters tools" (Lourde, 1979, 1984). I appreciate Maloney, as she suggests, "are they really the master's tools? ...They're just cultural ly defined that way, and there are ways to take that back" (2001, para. 2). They also can be steamed and bent to [re] form them, so they can reach beyond the constructed veneer of intel lectualism into the hearts of the matter. I have lived in the culture of men, trained and certified as a journeylevel construction carpenter w i t h 25 years at my trade. I am often seen in opposition to men i n power. Men also seek me out as an insider who is also an outsider. I can tel l them the pain of the experiences of our joined work ing lives. I have advised them and exhorted them. I have appreciated and despised them. But I have earned my place at the tables of their lives. Organizing three national conferences as a place for women to come together to speak publicly about their experiences and to bui ld personal and professional skills that would enhance their abi l i ty to respond to the challenges and difficulties they faced, I invi ted employers, unions, government agents and educators to jo in the women, to l isten to their understandings derived from their experiences and to work to solve the problems together. I transcribed and edited al l of their voices into a book (1989b) and fostered production of a video (Browning & Webb, 1989) to broadcast increased understanding of the issues. I have earned the r ight to explore more specifically what underlies the construction of the resistance to women becoming skil led in trades and technology. Chapter I I I - Deconstructing destructive gender constructions 55 This dissertation uses a performative autoethnography threaded through the excavation, investigation and elucidation of fears underlying the historic and current resistance on the part of men to allow, honour or appreciate the women who would work alongside them in trades and technical work. For the most part, the men I have encountered are white men, skil led and work ing in trades and technology occupations. Historically, at least in the Northern Hemisphere, these skills and occupations have been reserved for white men (Baron, 1991c; Downs, 1995; Parr, 1990). The struggles may have been bit ter, but, though there are geographic exceptions where racial diversity is found, the historical construct remains, for the most part, intact. I did not study those racially diverse settings. I cannot say how similar are the experiences for women and men. And I do not speak of "a l l " men, for there have always been some in each era and situation who often quietly, sometimes more vocally, support women's equal part ic ipat ion. Bu t so far, their voices have not held sway. I n referr ing to Carol Ronai's 1996 "account of what i t is l ike to be parented by a mental ly retarded mother", Mary Gergen and Kenneth Gergen (2002) suggest that "she invites others to hear her story through their own frames" (pp. 14-15). Such ethnographic positioning invi ted the reader into their own experiences. By giving voice and the potential for more public presentation of this ethnography, I hope to spark yet another relationship, that of the author, text and reader/audience (Ellis, 2000b). How do you judge these stories? Do the narratives r ing true? Resonate w i th our lives? Engage us? Are they plausible? Do they cohere? (Ellis, 2000b). What do they say to you as a man? As a woman? As a worker? As a scholar? Wi th in whose context? Chapter I I I - Deconstructing destructive gender constructions 56 One is not told the t ru th , perhaps not even a t r u th , but something is evoked. Using Laurel Richardson's poetic vehicles of expression as an example, Gergen & Gergen (2002) note that we are being shown "one way of put t ing things... invited into the dialogue w i t h her point of view from the perspective of our own" (p. 18). I t seems that we are invi ted in not to refute, but to add. They posit that "scholarship is not chained by the imperative of cerebral order, but is given fu l l lat i tude of revelation in action... i f the performance is effective, the audience participates in an embodied fashion" (p. 19). A n emotional understanding (Ellis, 2000a, 2000c) of the experience is invoked. This is relational work, work that performs, making space for conversation. I m p r e s s i o n i s t i c / I n t e r p r e t i v e Q u a l i t a t i v e Research Research re/presentations that engage a variety of epistemologies make knowledge creation the responsibility/possibility of the audience/reader as wel l as the author. Thus interpretat ion and interaction in dissemination of research incorporates pedagogy (the content and process of teaching and learning) as an integral part of the research methodology, because wi thout the abi l i ty to communicate what is being learned, what is the point of research? And i f that communication does not touch an emotional as wel l as an intel lectual space (Capra, 1996), can integrated learning take place? Providing a space for a "relationship between author, text and reader" (Ellis, 2000b; Ellis & Berger, 2002), the play provokes an "emotional understanding" (Ellis, 2000c) that could be deepened through subsequent discussion and exchange, but whose potential for reflection and re/action exists regardless of follow-up discussions. Chapter I I I - Deconstructing destructive gender constructions 57 This dissertation uses Impressionistic/Interpretive qualitative methods (Ellis, 2000b), "multi-voiced...evocative...interested in learning about a part icular setting." By author/iz/ing the voices of the research participants, and considering myself among them, stories "resonate w i th our lives," evoke and provoke response, and "involvement." "Do the stories r ing true? Resonate w i t h our lives, engage us, are they plausible, do they cohere?" "Are they open to mult iple interpretations? Discover more w i t h each tel l ing," or showing? Can "cul tural , theoretical stories" be found, "embedded in the personal and concrete?" (Ellis, 2000c).This is a work that "i l lustrates," and then leaves room for other voices to engage i n the interillumination and interanimation (Bakhtin & Holquist, 1981) begun by the participants in the play and continued through this dissertation. A "polit ical stance" is stated, but complexity is acknowledged w i t h a will ingness to engage in dialogue w i th others. Pedagogy, creating space for curriculum/teaching/learning, is foundational to this project. Bricolage Bricolage in research 2 1 is concerned w i t h the necessity to engage an array of philosophical, epistemological, and ontological frames, while sorting through theoretical constructs, which are exceptionally val id in part icular situations, and often lose vigour across disciplinary boundaries. Bricolage also has i n its roots the naming of a person who brings the abil i ty to wield a wide range of tools to solve a practical technical problem, a hands-on skilled practi t ioner of a variety of trades. M y f irst encounter w i t h the term was through the YWCA in Montreal, where they hired out tradeswomen to seniors, and others, wi thout the abi l i ty to take care of 2 1 (Denzin & Lincoln, 2000; Kincheloe, 2001; Lincoln, Pinar, & McLaren, 2001) Chapter I I I - Deconstructing destructive gender constructions 58 their own maintenance and repair concerns. The YWCA referred to these women as Bricoleurs, handyones! My role is as bricoleur in this project: to explore and br ing together the mult iple threads of complexity i l luminated when one focuses upon resistance to integrat ing women into trades and technical occupations, historically and in the present day. Employment Equity init iatives, the Columbia Basin power projects (Braundy, 2001), Women in Trades and Technology exploratory courses, the Hibernia Oi l Development project (Grzetic, 1998; Grzetic et al., 1996), and the under-representation of women in Apprenticeship provide the impulse. As a bricoleur, I util ize a mult ip l ic i ty of methodologies, including ethnography, autoethnography 2 2 , performance ethnography, inst i tut ional ethnography, l i terature refraction, " textual analysis" (Ellis, 2000b), interviews and case study research into the ways that social, cul tural , historical and psychological forces construct masculinities in a variety of disciplines to re/produce resistance to women i n technical fields. Conversations winding their way th rough epistemological, social, polit ical and educational domains f ind their representation in a bricolage of storytell ing, a dataplay and theatr ical performance, expository reflective wr i t i ng and conversations w i th texts. These evocative performances elucidate and expose some of the underlying elements that make crossing the 2 2 "David Hayano (1979)...credited as the originator of the term...limited the term to cultural-level studies by anthropologists of their "own people," in which the researcher is a full insider by virtue of being "native," acquiring an intimate familiarity with the groups, or achieving full membership in the group being studied (p. 100)" (Ellis & Bochner, 2000a, p. 739). The authors extend this definition to include a vast array of reflexive explorations and their methodological strategies in a medley of disciplines (p. 740-743). Chapter I I I - Deconstructing destructive gender constructions 59 chasm 2 3 between men and women so unobtainable. Engaging history and culture through performance evokes a l iminal space where "the crit ique and reevaluation of culture through subjectivity" (Diamond, in Garoian, 1999, p. 6) can emerge in a reflexive process. Is this dissertation feminist research? This dissertation draws on ethnography, observing a group to understand the cul tural impulses and interactions, " that form of inquiry and wr i t i ng that produces description and accounts about the ways of life of the wr i ter and those wr i t ten about" (Denzin, 1997, p xi). I t does not meet al l the cr i ter ia of "Feminist Ethnography" as described by Beverly Skeggs (2001) which specifies features of ethnography to include fieldwork "conducted over a prolonged period of time'; using a variety of research techniques; conducted within the settings of the participants, with an understanding of how context informs the action; involving the researcher in participation and observation; involving an account of relationships between researcher and the researched and focusing on how experience and practice are part of wider processes (p. 426) (emphasis in original). Describing the elements of feminist ethnography, Skeggs (2001) acknowledges that for "Reinharz (1992) i t is ethnography in the hands of feminists that renders i t 2 3 On the cover of the foundational book, The longest war : sex differences in perspective (Tavris & Offir, 1977), is a cartoon drawing of a naked man and woman standing, looking across to each other, on either side of what appears to be a bottomless chasm. The first chapter is preceded by such a cartoon, but the woman is now at the bottom of what appears to be a fairly, craggy pedestal, rather than a chff, looking up with a pick axe in her hand. The man is standing comfortably at the top of the object. Each succeeding chapter is preceded by a progressively activist drawing of the female carving away at the foundation of the pedestal, unti l prior to the final chapter, they are standing, on the same level, facing one another in the rubble, each on a flat rock, only a step away. Perhaps when I bought that book new in 1977, i t was prescient, foreshadowing the efforts that have taken up so much of my life. Chapter I I I - Deconstructing destructive gender constructions 60 feminist" (p. 426). Skeggs outlines what she see as requirements for a feminist ethnography, mapping out the "physical, cul tural and economic possibilities for social action and meaning. But when she comes to "enabling participants to both establish research agendas and to have some say in how they are studied, foregrounding 'giving voice' to those whose lives may tradi t ional ly have been silenced through ignorance, thereby providing the potential for a 'l iberatory strategy'" (p. 427), she seems to deny the possibility of the power balance in the relationship being potential ly weighted w i t h the studied, rather than the researcher. She does acquiesce that some ethnographic researchers w i l l base their studies on "a small number of interviews and some human contact." The element that crosses al l feminist ethnography is " that feminist research is related to wider polit ical positions," a position that is shared by Elizabeth El lsworth (2004). El lsworth holds that research must make a difference in the social mi l ieu, and that social change should be a goal, similar to Denzin's notion that research-based performance texts "have the abil i ty to move audiences to reflective crit ical action..." (1997, p. 94). I also share Pat t i Lather's commitment to openly ideological research (1986; 1993). I n exploring feminist standpoint epistemologies, Skeggs uses Dorothy Smith (1987, 1999), Patricia H i l l Collins (1990, 1997, 1998), Nancy Harstock (1983, 1997, 1998) and W.E.B. Du Bois (1968) to demonstrate the range of theoretical and practical uses to which feminist methods can be put in ethnographic research projects. Smith's notion of "insisting on women's r ight to speak from the actualities of our experience (1999, p. 17)," independent of "ruling relations" and H i l l Collins' perspective that "only those who have the appropriate experience of oppression are Chapter I I I - Deconstructing destructive gender constructions 61 able to speak about i t " (in Skeggs, 2001, p. 432), can be combined to set a framework for a part icular k ind of feminist research. This is reinforced by Harstock's argument that " i t is the perspective gained from polit ical opposition to power that produces a standpoint," something that I assume comes from the deeply engaged consciousness raising that has been going on in the feminist movement since the 1960s, greatly enhanced in the 1980's and 1990's by ethical intervention by "subaltern groups," who Du Bois argues have "a double consciousness." Referring to Du Bois's (1926) manifesto for an all-black theatre and Deavere Smith's work as researcher, p laywright and actor (1993; 1994; 2000), creating space for response at the intersections of society, race and gender, Norman Denzin reminds the reader that "radical theatre is a weapon for f ight ing racism and white privilege" (Denzin, 2003). Denzin's notion of a "radical performative social science" must include its potential impact for understanding and intervening in the practices of sexism as well . Denzin (1997), a widely read quali tat ive research author and editor, posits that ethnography is in its f i f th historical moment. Ethnography passed through the "tradi t ional (1900- World War II), modernist (World War I I to the mid-1970 's), blurred genres (1970-1986), crisis of representation (1986 to present,)" (p. xi), and arrived in the f i f th moment. "The sixth moment (Lincoln, 1995a, p. 40) charts the future" (Denzin, 2003, p. xxi). He suggests that at the present t ime, "the wr i ter can no longer presume to present an objective, noncontested account of the other's experiences". I n line w i th Skeggs, he notes that "those we study have their own understandings of how they want to be represented" (p. xiii). A t the same t ime, i t is the way that these texts are "dialogical" that demonstrates the complexity of the lives under study. [See also Bakhtin (1981)]. Through the exposition of positionalities at work for both the Chapter I I I - Deconstructing destructive gender constructions 62 researcher and the researched, "experience, discourse, and self-understandings collide against larger cul tural assumptions concerning race, ethnicity, nat ional i ty, gender, class and age" (p. xiii-xiv). Finding ways to enhance the "subjecthood" (Skeggs, 2001, p. 433) of research participants is noted to be part of the agenda for the f i f th and sixth moments of ethnographic research. But, i f feminist researchers "often use prescriptive ethics such as reciprocity, honesty, accountability, responsibility, equality, etc. in order to treat research part icipants w i th respect" (p. 433), I have to wonder how a feminist researcher is supposed to handle her research w i t h those who are not women needing someone to "equalize power differences." How shall feminists handle those who actually hold the power to which we may aspire? When the feminist principle espoused by Stanley and Wise (1983, in Skeggs, 2001, p. 434) is about rel inquishing control, in my own research, I could not accept that "the researched should control the outcome and analysis of the research." Can I st i l l be a feminist researcher? Skeggs argues that i t is about "exercising discretion and responsibility" (p. 434). I would agree w i t h both Skeggs and Denzin that i t is about ethics. Perhaps in my unique struggle to come to terms w i th "studying up" (Bryson, 1999, personal communication) w i t h these men who could be my co-workers and have always been my gatekeepers, I have found i n the method of theatr ical re/presentation, an ethical mode for this research. Methodo log ies i n con tex t To quote Cynthia Cockburn (1991), one who has studied both those engaged in technical occupations and those who resist equity init iat ives: Chapter I I I - Deconstructing destructive gender constructions 63 This was qualitative research. That is to say its legitimacy does not spring from number, either of organizations studied or of people interviewed. Rather it gains what authority it has from the depth of insight made available. Qualitative research is able to approach questions that are not answerable by quantitative research. It is better for seeing relationships, processes and contradictions (p. 4). I f "the central issue is how to br ing together scholarship and advocacy in order to generate new ways of knowing that in terrupt power imbalances" (Lather, 1991, p. 110), then the very process of research, as wel l as its representation, plays a role in the concept of intervention. Studying 'resistances to equity init iat ives' is an intervention in/of itself, a disruption of stasis, an interrupt ion of things as they are. I n pursuing the notion of uncovering what is underneath the resistance experienced by many in the process of increasing the part icipation of women and girls i n trades and technology work and schooling, i t is important to acknowledge the work already done in documenting the resistance. This work has been ably accomplished before: from my own experiences of faci l i tat ing seminars for technical men (Braundy et al., 1983), creating space for the voices of women work ing in technical areas (Braundy, 1989b; Schom-Moffatt & Braundy, 1989), counting the gaps i n design and technology education (Braundy et al., 2000), and i l luminat ing the sex-disaggregated part icipation and performance date in technology-intensive classrooms in Br i t ish Columbia junior and senior secondary schools (Bryson et al., 2003). Facts of inequity can be found in research that was done for the Royal Commission on Equal i ty in Employment (Abella, 1984a), the historical studies of union, industry and technology development 2 4, the documentation and explication of 2 4 (Baron, 1991c; Cockburn, 1983, 1985a; Downs, 1995) Chapter I I I - Deconstructing destructive gender constructions 64 gendered and discriminatory technical sett ings 2 5 , and the ideas and val iant efforts to effect change i n that sector 2 6. What bears highl ight ing is the slow pace of movement or change from the early 1800's through to the 1970's (Baron, 1991c; Downs, 1995), and on to 1991, when Cockburn was exploring the integration of women under mandated equity provisions in several sectors in England, through to 2001 when Marie-Jose Legault examined the integration of women into trades and technical sectors in Quebec. A l l found the reiteration of manifestations of that same resistance. These latter studies were looking at the 'how' of integration and came upon the realities of resistance. I endure the existence of the resistance, so wel l documented by Cockburn (1983; 1985a; 1991), Legault (2001; 2003a) and Schom-Moffatt & Braundy (1989). Exploring what may be underneath that resistance is the focus of this research. Previous studies looked at the lives and experiences of women working in technical fields, and came upon the effects of that resistance, and the strategies the women used to overcome i t (Braid, 1979; Ferguson & Sharpies, 1994; Martin, 1988; Walshok, 1981). Interestingly, many of those explorations focused on who the women were, what brought them to that work, the impact on the rest of their lives of developing and gett ing paid for their skills, and what programs could or should be in place to increase the numbers of women in technical fields. There were only small sections that dealt w i t h the negative aspects of these women's efforts to get t ra in ing 2 5 (Braundy, 1994; Cockburn, 1991; Cockburn & Ormrod, 1993; Cohen & Braid, 2000a; Davidson & Black, 2001; Goldberg, 1992; Gray, 1987; Grzetic, 1998; Grzetic et al., 1996; Hacker, Smith, & Turner, 1990; Legault, 2001, 2003a; Murch, 1991; Wajcman, 1991) 2 6 (Braundy, 1994, 2000; Brooks, 1986; Fields & Gordon, 1992; Gordon, 1989; LeBreton & Loevy, 1992; McKnight, 1994; Minty, 1992a, 1992b; National Advisory Board on Science and Technology, 1993; National Coalition of Women and Girls, 1995; Rexe et al., 1996; Ross, 1989; Sanders, 1986; Scane, 1994; Thomas, 1993; WIR, 2003) Chapter I I I - Deconstructing destructive gender constructions 65 and work and on their diff icult relationships at work, often stemming from blatant sexism and racism. The women were tel l ing their stories, and did not dwell i n their experience of that resistance, nor were they probed to present that material . L i t t le was said about what init iat ives might have been in place to rectify that experience. The focus was on what may have been significant, different about the women who would be interested in these fields, or sometimes on how much like everyone else they really were. Focusing on the constructive and positive aspects of our lives as we have changed them through technical ski l l acquisition and blue-collar work helps us make i t through the days and nights. But i t is only in naming the daily-l ived diff icult aspects of that work, i n problematizing the every day/every night experience (Smith, 1987) of resistance and diff iculty, that we might undermine the reproduction of i t . Notable exceptions to the lack of emphasis on men's resistance to women's presence are found in Blue Collar Women - Trailblazing Women Take on Men-Only Jobs (Ferguson & Sharpies, 1994) and Surviving and Thriving - Women in Trades and Technology and Employment Equity (Braundy, 1989b). I n these volumes, we begin to get a picture of what daily harassment and resistance mean to the women who experience i t . This is in no way to say that al l women have horrendous experiences on the job or i n school. I t is to notice and put on notice the unacceptability of those episodes that many women f ind al l too famil iar. Why, in their work ing lives, might any women have such experiences? What undergirds the fear? While many others play a part in constructing the environment in which these episodes take place, women themselves among them, i t is the men w i th whom Chapter I I I - Deconstructing destructive gender constructions 66 this study is concerned, the gatekeepers: i n union halls, vocational institutions, government agencies, apprenticeship offices, and wi th co-workers and employers, foremen and supervisors. What undergirds the fear that has lead to the practices, historical and current, experienced by women seeking t ra ining and work in technical and blue-collar fields of endeavour? This study acknowledges the fact of the resistance, and tries to look underneath it for elements that could, i n future, be probed more deeply, i n a reflective action process: reflexive praxis27. I recognize that the very act of asking a question about resistance to equity initiatives positions me as I am already positioned, inside the "belly of the beast" (Haraway, 1992). 2 7 One definition of the term Praxis is: The intellectual commitment...is to the promotion of positive social change through informed action (http://www.ssw.upenn.edu/~restes/praxis.html). Another is prax-is (prak'sis) n., pi. prax-es (prak'seez'): Practical application or exercise of a branch of learning (http://www.waste.org/praxis/history/). Micheal Zlotnik refers to Wilfred Carr (1995) for a discussion of praxis that associates it with the Greek, and states that it is "concerned with morally informed, thoughtful action (email communication, 9 November 2001). Leslie Roman notes that a notion of praxis comes from Marx, and refers to the "sensuous human activity, practice" to transform one's social world (email communication, 9 November 2001). Paolo Freire fostered the development of small groups which examined and acted upon issues, both personal and political, from their lived experience, and then reflected on the social and political implications in their actions. This was done under the aegis of literacy education in the poorest areas of Brazil. I share Freire's notion that through the raising of consciousness, or conscientizacdo, "even with my slips in the direction of idealism, my tendency [is] to review and revise promptly, and thus, adopting a consistency with the practice I had, to perceive that practice is steeped in the dialectical movement back and forth between consciousness and world"(1997, p. 104). This is part of what I have come to understand as reflexive praxis. ("The term conscientizacao refers to learning to perceive social, political and economic contradictions, as to take action against the oppressive elements of reality" (Freire, 1970, footnote, p. 17). Chapter I I I - Deconstructing destructive gender constructions 67 How vu.aw.Lj tiiM.es. have I poleed this beast, searching for a soft spot, a way in to the heart or wJmdl ...hoping to engage a seiA.se of justice, an ethic of care. Little did I fei^ow the depth and breadth of this thing I IA,OW cal l resistance, it crosses sexes and genders, classes and cultures, industrial sectors and educational liA,stltutloiA,s. it hides in the heart of those who staked a claim, to m.atee fairness in the workplace. It Is bred ln,to those whose heads are swollen with a sense of their own right to power. It Is passed on to the next generation who find the doors opened by those who can shut them, in the face of the unacceptable. The difference here is that this study begins on the inside of the problem, w i th a conversation 22 years ago, among workers t ry ing to tease out potential theories from the observations and incidents of their lives. The two females and one male were construction workers, carpenters bui ld ing high-rises, hospitals, coal silos, senior citizens housing, apartment complexes and Victor ian renovations. One was an apprentice and two were journeyed. A l l were activists i n their own way. One had a prior BA in communications, and had done research on women i n trades in Br i t ish Columbia. The man was a songwriter/folk singer, when he wasn't pounding nails. I was the th i rd part icipant. We had al l seen and experienced the challenges that women face on the job and in school as they tr ied to integrate into the construction workforce. We agreed to meet to explore what that might be about. This was a real conversation, consistent w i t h the insights of Ell is & Berger (2002) regarding emotional intelligence and evocation. The following autoethnographic story, based on this real event was wr i t ten as I t r ied to reconstruct from memory the origins of the impetus for this study in a style described by Carolyn Ell is (2000c). Serendipitously, in December of 2002,1 received the actual audio tape recording of the original discussion, confirming the clarity of my memory. We were workers, looking at i t from the inside (Lather, 1991). Chapter I I I - Deconstructing destructive gender constructions 68 T h e F i r s t N u g g e t T h e t h r e e o f t h e m , s a t around t h e L o w table, t h r o w i n g s i d e g l a n c e s a t t h e o t h e r s , Having c o m e t o g e t h e r f o r t h e e x p r e s s p u r p o s e o f t r y i n g t o f i g u r e I t o u t , e a c h w a s r e l u c t a n t t o s t a r t ; r e l u c t a n t t o g i v e v o i c e t o t h e q u e s t i o n s , h o p i n g , p e r h a p s , t h a t t h e I s s u e m i g h t j u s t g o a w a y b y I t s e l f . T h e s e w e r e p e o p l e w h o h a d w o r k e d t o g e t h e r , s h a r e d s w e a t a n d l u n c h , founded nails,, discussed t h e figuring o f angles on^ack rafters for c o m p l e x r o o f l i n e s . T h e y h a d t r u s t e d e a c h o t h e r w i t h t h e i r l i v e s a s t h e y c o n s t r u c t e d t h o s e r o o f s , b u i l t f o r m s a n d h e l d t h e i r c o l l e c t i v e b r e a t h a s t h e trucks came and t h e concrete began to four. " W h y d o y o u t h i n k I t I s ? " a s k e d M a r t a , a d d r e s s i n g t h e q u e s t i o n t o t h e m a n s i t t i n g b e s i d e h e r . " W h a t I s I t a b o u t men's response to women coming onto the j o b ? * a s I f p i c k i n g u p a theme d r o p p e d earlier In the d a y w i t h t h e c l o s i n g of their worker's lunch b o x e s , ' w h a t a r e t h e y s o afraid of?" "Hey," B i l l s a i d w i t h a cautionary, challenging tone. T h e n h e v i s i b l y related, taking a moment. "I don't k n o w a b o u t a l l m e n , b u t I l o v e I t w h e n a woman comes on t h e j o b . I ' m t h r i l l e d t o s h a r e m y s k i l l s w i t h h e r , t e a c h h e r everything I know." t t e p a u s e d . T h e t w o women looked at him q u i z z i c a l l y . T h e y k n e w h i s o p e n n e s s I n sharing technical s k i l l ; h e w a s c\ue/e/rled around t h e s i t e s o m . e t l m . e s f o r b e i n g s o w e l c o m i n g . T h e y w e r e a l s o n o t s u r p r i s e d b y t h i s a d m i s s i o n o f p a t e r n a l t e n d e n c i e s . " W h a t e v e r t h e m o t i v e , I t ' s g r e a t f o r t h e women he works, w i t h , " t h o u g h t c l a u d e t t e , o n e o f t h e m o s t s k i l l e d workers o n t h e i r s h a r e d construction s i t e . T h e y w a i t e d f o r h i m , t o g o o n . T h i s w a s a conscious ' t r u t h o r d a r e ' s e s s i o n , s e t u p I n advance to t r y t o t a l k a b o u t s o m e I s s u e s t h a t h a d b e e n alluded to all week In the lunchroom, m o s t dancing around them c u t e l y . T h e s e t h r e e h a d decided to t r y t o g e t under the surface. * B u t y o u k n o w s o m e t h i n g ? ' T h e w o m e n w a i t e d , curious to hear w h a t w a s coming. " I ' m . n o t s u r e h o w I w o u l d f e e l I f a woman came on t h e j o b w h o k n e w more t h a n me." I t w a s OK for her to learn It from him, o\c for him to be t h e teacher. B u t I f s o m e h o w , s h e h a d c o m e b y t h e s e c r e t k n o w l e d g e b y herself, w i t h o u t h i s s u p p o r t a n d assistance, she w o u l d be s u s p e c t . M a r t a looked u p , n o t s u r e h o w o r w h e t h e r t o challenge what seemed like b l a t a n t s e x i s m . . B i l l w a s h e r f r i e n d , w h a t r i f t m i g h t t h i s conversation cause? Chapter I I I - Deconstructing destructive gender constructions 69 " w h y d o y o u t h i n k t h a t I s ? * s h e a s k e d q u i e t l y , k n o w i n g t h e y w e r e t r e a d i n g s l i p p e r y g r o u n - d . B i l l w a s s i l e n t , w h e t h e r t h i n k i n g o r b i d i n g h i s t i m e w a s u n c l e a r . H i s p o i g n a n t b l u e - e y e d g a z e q u e s t i o n i n g t h e f a i t h e a c h h a d I n t h e i r f r i e n d s h i p , w e i g h i n g t h e p r o s a n d c o n s o f s e l f - d i s c l o s u r e , " i f y o u h a v e t h e t o o l s k i l l s t o o , t h e n y o u w i l l h a v e e v e r y t h i n g . . . . * i t s e e d e d t o be h a n g i n g t h e r e , a w a i t i n g c o n c l u s i o n , s e e k i n g s o m e e a s y r e a l i z a t i o n , w h a t w a s I t ? " T h e n y o u w o n t n e e d u s av^v^wLorti" " y o u c a n t a k e y o u r m a r b l e s a n d g o h o m e ? * "I w i l l n o t be e s s e n t i a l t o ijour l i f e , a n d y o u H e i g h t n o t s t a y ? * E a c h o f t h e m , ^o^dtred the e l e p h a n t o n t h e t a b l e , s h o u l d t h e y p o k e I t ? T h e h o n e s t y a n d t h e v u l n e r a b i l i t y I t implied was, a l m o s t a s t o n i s h i n g . T h e w o m e n d i d n o t l o o k a t e a c h o t h e r , k n o w i n g t h e i r g l a n c e m i g h t dt&troi^ t h e m o m e n t o f I n t e g r i t y . L i t t l e d i d t h e y k n o w t h a t t h e i r f a i l u r e t o d o s o w o u l d b u r y t h e I s s u e f o r a n o t h e r ZLO y e a r s . Li t t le did we know this conversation held so many of the nuggets of open, honest t r u t h s 2 8 to be explored, investigated and uncovered in future by myr iad male and female researchers. Two statements from that evening have stayed w i th me, resonating over the years, perhaps enabling a certain generosity in viewing the clumsy, discomforting, occasionally downright mean manner women experienced in the challenges of male-dominated workplaces. That B i l l would respond w i t h diff iculty to a woman who knew more than he did, is quite common, and reflects a notion of rank and privilege embedded in practices of masculini ty that I, and others 2 9 , refer to as hierarchy. The second holds some sense of pathos. I t suggests a 2 8 When I use the word truths here, I am referring to the level of self-reflection and emotional honesty that was present in the discussion, a willingness to dis/cover together, which I also found in the group interview upon which the play, Men & Women and Tools is based. Many people have expressed surprise that the research participants were willing to be so forthcoming. I believe i t is because they see me as one of their cohort. 29 (Connell, 1997; Creese, 1999; Grzetic et al., 1996; Kaufman, 1997; Messner, 1997; Ochberg, 1987). Chapter I I I - Deconstructing destructive gender constructions 70 deep fear of the loss of women's dependency; that the slender bond between men and women can only be prolonged through need and not through want. Therapist 1: What's your understanding of how men operate? Fred30: Most men that I know? They'd try to work overtime to get themselves needed by you. That's how men operate with women (Holzman & Mendez, 2003, p. 146) The men who acted as my key informants 3 1 confirmed that such feelings often underlie their actions. Concerns about being shown up by a woman, or being replaced i n the hierarchy of ski l l by another man undergird some of the challenges of the technical workplace. The need to be essential creates another dynamic. What else is at work? What forces invoke the harassment? The gatekeeping? What was underneath the resistance? These questions struck a cord for me, and laid the foundation for this exploratory study. 3 0 Fred Newman, co-founder with Lois Holzman of the East Side Institute for Group and Short-Term Psychotherapy, and a leader in the Social Therapy movement, has been a practicing social therapist and educator for over 30 years. He has published nearly 30 plays (see: Still on the Corner and Other Postmodern Political Plays), four of which were written expressly for production at annual conventions of the American Psychological Association. 3 1 During the process of this research, three men acted as key informants, or guides, listening as I described what I was finding, what I was thinking about it, reflecting on this with me, and answering some of my questions about the applicability of these ideas to their own experience. One is a 26 year-old physics teacher who had left Engineer training halfway through his program, the second, who ultimately became my husband, is a 54 year-old engineer who had originally trained, qualified and worked as an electrician for 10 years, and the third is a 53 year-old construction union carpenter who has gone on to design and build museum displays. Chapter IV Data as Evocation Research Representation as Provocation As stated earlier, this study explores what is behind the resistance and impedance produced by men i n the integration of women i n trades and technology t ra in ing and work. Through raising the question, and reflecting/on the responses, the research i l luminates some of the fears that are at the base of th is, as the men reflect on what their challenges are. Expressing this through a performative autoethnography, this dissertation opens up an epistemic framework for social change. While essentialist positions in differentiat ing the sexes are problematic (Unger, 1998, pp. 110-156) and the spectrum of gendered characteristics are extant w i th in both women and men (See Chapter II), experience has shown that many men and women each share a wide range of similarit ies. By acknowledging both the nature/nurture debate of those similarit ies, and the wonderful myr iad exceptions which confound any rules, reflections on both similarit ies and differences may provide an understanding of shared and diverse experiences which may be useful to educational projects. As a social activist wending my way through a Ph.D., I have been challenged to discover vehicles for sharing what I am learning w i t h a wider audience, to engage in an interactive approach to knowledge production. M y standpoint is both as an insider, one who has lived the working lives I am studying and also as an outsider, the sex that is Other than male. I have been a critic, a joiner, an advocate, and a Chapter IV - Data as Evocation 72 member. I t has been suggested that I am "studying up" (Bryson, M. personal communication) in terms of Rul ing Relations (Smith, 1999), though the fact that I come to my interviews as a co-worker has enabled a deeper level of conversation than might be afforded another researcher and her "subject." I appreciate that al l of our positionalities are very complex, and recognize the importance to my research participants of being able to tel l their stories both from their perspective, and also as they intersect w i th mine (Smith, 1999, p. 64). I t is always diff icult to know when the questions asked construct the answers given, and so I t r ied to make the queries as open-ended as possible (Cockburn, 1983). I t is in response to the issue raised by Dorothy Smith "regarding wr i t ing into texts that seal in a knowledge divorced from the lively par t i t might play in coming w i th others to know, together, our relations and society differently" (p. 69) that I have been seeking another way of re/presenting what I am learning. I am seeking an epistemic event, one that can evoke an "emotional understanding" (Ellis, 2000a) of the complexity of these l ived lives. Exploring both the experiences and the experiencing of those who are sharing their stories w i t h me demands creative concern for the interpretations I reflect back. As I br ing the understandings of those in the l i terature to bear on these stories, I hope to enable interpretations that honour their complexity. Returning these reflections back, through public performance of the play, to their communities of origin could broaden the scope of their impact, providing for a spiral out of the closed system, opening the way for further reflection and change of practice: reflexive praxis. Chapter I V - Data as Evocation 73 Expressing Data to Evoke Subjectivity For Carolyn Ell is, one of the leading proponents of autoethnography, there is a need to humanize the inst i tut ion of research, to br ing into focus the actual experiences of the real people w i th whom we must interact to discover that which we query. Research and scholarly wr i t ing for social justice require "systematic sociological introspection," br inging the personal and social voice to social science w i th "ethics and responsibilities to co-researchers, sponsors, part icipants and readers." Exploring both the personal and social voice w i t h our research part icipants develops and evokes an emotional understanding of how we come to know that can then be included in our research, "not as bias, but as the lens through which we understand" 3 2 . Through wr i t ing which can evoke, Ell is says, " I give you an experience of the experience...that I can live i n and w i t h as you enter the story through your own frame and life." This re/presentation "starts w i th the self and then engages outward to others." The social and cul tural practice of engaging in human experience differs from making researcher distant from the 'data' to analyze i t from the outside. " I t is more akin to biography, and repositions the reader in co-position in dialogue." I t is an emotional and physical experience that "resists the impulse to abstract and explain" (Ellis & Bochner, 2000a, p. 744), and provides an episodic form over "a curve of t ime." Evocative stories evoke subjectivity lessons for fur ther conversation based on int imate detai l rather than abstracted facts. Evocation provides a 'space 3 2 All unreferenced quotes in this section are drawn from the 2000 UBC Faculty of Nursing Summer Institute Seminar with Dr. Carolyn Ellis, and her subsequent address to the Learning Love conference at the University of British Columbia. Chapter I V - Data as Evocation 74 between' the text and the reader, the actors and the audience, in which new knowledge can be created and/or integrated. Tradi t ional approaches to intellectual understanding and description rarely touch the emotions needed to affect a response/ability to change (hooks, 2004). The heartfelt dimension must f ind a relationship for research representation to evoke emotional understanding. Ell is (2000a, 2000c) described the meaning of a new brand of ethnographic research representation as "making the connections between the experiences that enable other people in . . . I want i t to have a therapeutic impact on me and others. I t should also have a social justice/social change impact." I t was the f irst t ime I had heard an academic speak so boldly in public about the social uses of their work. To do this, Ell is proposes researchers must move from distant observer to engaged part icipant, and "f ind ways to treat the lives we f ind w i t h care and compassion." Ell is came to her notions of epistemology through her experience when her brother was ki l led in a plane crash, and through the years she spent l iv ing w i th her academic and life partner as he was dying of emphysema. She shifted her positivist quanti tat ive research paradigm to research and wr i t i ng i n the direction of greater subjectivity, tel l ing stories of human experience that evoke understanding and ongoing reflection in the reader. I n analyzing the differences between qualitative research which is realist/representational, and that which is impressionistic/interpretive, Ellis notes "the Realist side may speak as an I, but holds as the voice of authori ty, dist inguishing themselves from The Other: Them. This provides order, and stabil i ty, and helps us to understand what properties are held in common." The Chapter IV - Data as Evocation 75 words val idi ty, veri f iabi l i ty, replicabil i ty are st i l l associated here; people/words are st i l l coded; "the reader is taken for granted;" there is an aura of neut ra l i ty . 3 3 " I look and record what I see and tel l you the facts (rigorous) of what I see - (generalizable) — patterns show us what is general/typical — I am Author i ty : my voice is Nowhere and Everywhere." 3 4 Expressive multi-voiced stories, on the other hand, provide a context for an interpretive relationship. I t is "always unfinished, [you] discover more w i th each tel l ing, reading." I t "i l lustrates." I n this impressionistic/interpretive approach, performative or autoethnographic texts br ing into focus the actual experiences of those who are research participants. Their presence, invoked through the stories/presentations of their actions, challenge the reader to engage. The impression is one of a mirror, where the viewer may choose to look directly or obliquely, but engages w i t h what is there i n front of them. Using impressionistic/interpretive method, researchers and readers may develop and evoke an emotional understanding of how we come to know. To do this, researchers and readers must "get into the head of each of the people i n the s t o r y — you have to get their experience—it becomes more diff icult to vi l i fy them...You are positioning yourself, and contextualizing their story." Only when researchers open themselves to the experience and spirit of the other, can they interpret and portray the circumstances, motivat ion and emotion of those whose stories are being told; only then can an evocative relationship be bui l t 3 3 See Unger (1998, pp. 152-156)and Lather (Lather, 1986, 1993, 2001) 3 4 This is a uniquely clear representation of a Separate Knower (Belenky, Clinchy, Goldberger, & Tarule, 1986, pp. 103-112). Chapter I V - Data as Evocation 76 w i t h the reader/audience. "Wr i t ten dialogue is concise, minimal ist , succinct. There is a cadence that conveys thought through rhythm." The authors almost never became characters in their stories I n the Second Edit ion of The Handbook of Qualitative Research, Ell is & Bochner (2000b) bantered about distinguishing the elements of autoethnographic/reflexive research wr i t ing, and what may have been missing in the First Edi t ion of that Handbook. "And the authors almost never became characters in the stories they wrote..." was a very tel l ing comment. "They couldn't, because their chapters weren't really stories. They included l i t t le in the way of dialogue, dramatic tension, or plotl ine..." Recognizing that handbooks do provide a service, that "[t]hey provide citations and sources, a sense of history, and arguments others can use as justif ications for their own work" (p. 734), El l is & Bochner proceeded to incorporate al l of the above into a r ich, evocative, serious, humorous, practical guide which is also a reflection on methods of collecting and analyzing empirical materials using autoethnographic and personal narrative styles of wr i t ing . Their chapter, f i l led w i t h historical, current and complex references and addit ional sources of just i f icat ion and inspirat ion, is wr i t ten i n a performative fashion, and includes them as characters in the story. The researchers are embodied: reflective, textualized, represented and recognizable in their work. "Embodiment has this double sense: i t encompasses both the body as l ived experiential structure and the body as the context or mil ieu of cognitive mechanism" (Varela et al, 1991, in Fels, 1998, p. 30). This is an enactivist approach, which "challenges us to reconsider the interplay of researcher and Chapter I V - Data as Evocation 77 participants..., and the possibilities arising when research and part icipant 'bring for th a world together' through performance" (p. 30). T h i n g s are revea led a n d c o n s t r u c t e d i n i n t e r a c t i o n Things are revealed and constructed in interaction between a performative or autoethnographic text or experience, and the reader or audience in what may be called the l imina l space 3 5 between. I n their article, Their Story/My Story/Our Story: Including the Researcher's Experience in Interview Research, El l is and Berger (2002) demonstrate the concepts of data as evocation: 'impressionistic/interpretive' rather than 'realistic' or 'scientific' and creating a 'relationship between author, text and reader.' The article begins w i th a musing by one of the authors, and moves quickly into a story told w i t h dialogue and description, sometimes of the researchers, at other times we see the voices of their participants. Adjectives and adverbs, contextualizing phrases, and personal reflections on specific aspects of the interviews br ing the research to life. I am excited w i t h the undertaking. I am reminded that often when we share the impacts of our own experience as i t entwines w i t h the stories of others, we can evoke engagement, draw others out into a meeting in what I call 'the space between' where sometimes i t is easier to see what the mirror might have to say. 3 5 A limen is a threshold, a border, a neutral zone between ideas, cultures, or territories that one must cross in order to get from one side to the others. According to performance theorist Richard Schechner (1982, p. 80), people anxiously want to negotiate the limen quickly, to take sides. Its condition is unstable, indeterminate, and prone to complexity and contradiction. For the anxious, the limen serves no purposes other than demarcating absolute value between conflicting opinions. For the artist, the limen is desirable (Garoian, 1999, p. 40). Chapter I V - Data as Evocation 78 Ell is & Berger demonstrate the actualities, both the "messiness" and the rich complexity of giving readers "mult iple places to stand and look". " [A]s we examine ourselves, we invite readers to do the same, and to enter into their own conversations...things are revealed and constructed in interaction that might not be accomplished with one voice" (p. 38) [emphasis added]. Peggy Phelan, Professor of Performance Studies at New York Universi ty reflects upon this space i n which performance art ist Robbie McCauley's images, actions, and narrative recall five generations of racism i n her fami ly i n fragmented testimonial vignettes (Phelan & Lane, 1998). McCauley's work provides audience members with multiple points of reference for witnessing and interpretation...creates opportunities for audience members to return testimony to her. In doing so, she breaks through the 'fourth wall' of theatre, the invisible border of the proscenium that separates audience from performer. As she crosses back and forth over that border, she creates a liminal space wherein audience members are repositioned from passive spectators to active participants (p. 13). When performance provokes, the actors and the audience engage and come to know more about the story, and more about themselves. T h e r o o t s o f p e r f o r m a n c e s t u d i e s Performance has so many meanings today: the ways i n which we are pressured, consciously or unconsciously into roles and play out these identities on the stage of life as "the parodic proli feration and subversive play of gendered meanings" (Butler, 1990a), as wel l as the ways i n which we choose to present or use performances of ideas and emotions as pedagogical tools (Hart & Phelan, 1993a). Chapter I V - Data as Evocation 79 I have found the some of the roots of these ideas i n Erv ing Goffman's (1959) book, The Presentation of Self in Every Day Life. Goffman's idea that people perform a show in daily life has part icular significance when one considers the constraints required to ensure each individual audience believes al l of the impressions of a part icular role, and that "the attr ibutes claimed by or imputed to [the performer] are their most essential and characteristic attr ibutes" (p. 136). The efforts required to mainta in the illusions are Herculean, and might demand a level of stage management not frequently at t r ibuted to the general population. Such performances, Goffman seems to say, happen on a daily and hourly basis, w i t h the purpose of evoking respect and advantage from the audience/witnesses. He refers to this as impression management. Looking back, one might say this notion could wel l have been an early detection of the ways in which gender is constructed in society. 3 6 His later analyses of gender performances (1979) i n photographs and advertisements show a much greater appreciation for the nuance of gestures and the notions communicated by them in the "portrayal of gender" (p. 8). Socially learned and socially patterned expressions provide "the evidence of the practice 3 6 The examples Goffman (1959) uses to illustrate his ideas reflect the sexism, racism and classism unconsciously pervasive in his era. But the notions developed in that thesis, and in his subsequent works, demonstrate why his influence has been widely embraced and acknowledged in recent times (Denzin, 2003, pp. 4, 25). The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (1959) was published on the cusp of a massive social and intellectual shift away from the corporate reality and towards a recognition of the oppressions the corporate image signified: culturally, historically, politically and socially. I t was a culture come to consciousness, and Performance Studies has been able to use Goffman's ideas to provide a context within which to interrogate, reflect upon and educate about social relations. Chapter I V - Data as Evocation 80 between the sexes of choreographing behaviourally a port ra i t of relationship." While he acknowledges that such gender displays are an enactment, or a reification of cul tural norms as they pertain to power relations, representing and reinforcing the hierarchical roles of "protector and protected, embracer and embraced, comforter and comforted, supporter and supported," he also reminds the reader of the complexity of human emotional expression at stake for both the men and the women. Goffman notes that women are part icular ly disadvantaged by these "asymmetries" (p. 9). "Performance Studies" seems to take Goffman's sociological behavioural notions of performance to the conscious level where such ideas are examined, analyzed, interpreted and restructured through reflective practice. This new field of study incorporated, i n i ts most early stages, social anthropology, psychology, semiotics and the performing arts. Performance Studies has grown to include polit ical science, comparative l i terature, gender studies, history, geography and law (Schechner, 1998). Education is threaded through al l of these, as meaning is constructed through ' interstanding' (Taylor and Saarinen, in Fels, 1998) between the performers and the audience. New interfaces will be added as time goes on, and older ones dropped. Accepting "inter" means opposing the establishment of any single system of knowledge, values, or subject matter, Performance Studies is unfinished, open, multivocal, and self-contradictory. Thus any call for or work toward a "unified field" is...a misunderstanding of the very fluidity and playfulness fundamental to performance studies. That sidewinder again, the endlessly creative double negative at the core of restoration of behaviour (Schechner, 1998, p. 361). "Any event, action, i tem, or behavior may be examined as performance" (p. 361). So Schechner sets the frame for breaching the boundaries between art and life, Chapter I V - Data as Evocation 81 laying the groundwork for the study of both the conscious and unconscious performance of constructed identity, the "performative," as dis/entangled by Aust in (1962) and But ler (1990). Peggy Phelan (1998), chief of the organizing committee of the First Annua l Performance Studies Conference, held in New York i n 1995, may provide another perspective. Could the '^theatrical acts' that in tercul tural observation was everywhere revealing" (p. 3), constitute the notion of performance to which Goffman was alluding? I t is interesting that in each of the encompassing lists of heritage and referents of Performance Studies, e.g. (Phelan & Lane, 1998; Schechner, 1998), sociology is missing. Certainly i n a f ield of this breadth, there are diverse influences. I t is the concept of "escaping] the conventions of methodological allegiance to a part icular field's system of knowledge" (Phelan & Lane, 1998, p. 4) that I f ind part icular ly pert inent. " In the eyes of its adherents, performance studies was able to combine new work in crit ical theory, l i terary studies, folklore, anthropology, postcolonial theory, theatre studies, dance theory, and feminist and queer studies, while forging a new intercul tural epistemology." "Remember the Future!" the Performance Studies conference participants were told by a contemporary French performance art ist, Orlan. "For the future is the stage...that promises to dramatize our pasts, to enact them in such a way that we might begin to understand those pasts, to touch them, to know them, to become int imate w i t h them" (Phelan, 1998, p. 6). Phelan reminds us that other roots of Performance Studies lie w i t h Freud, psychoanalysis, and "the retrospective account Chapter IV - Data as Evocation 82 that reinterprets the past in such a way that what had been repressed by the unconscious can be joined w i t h consciousness." This talking after and talking over is where the curative interpretation occurs within psychoanalysis: In the rehearsing of the event that has passed, the analyst and the analysand learn how to play the past when it happens again in the future. Performance studies as a discipline has, until recently, been in the first part of this process: the careful recitation of facts of the event. It is only recently that the field has given a sharper attention to curative interpretations...Such interpretations, which are always reinterpretations, are also what I most hope will become the future of the field and the truest end of performance—truest in the sense that they help us move past the time of the diagnosis and bring about, enact, give us the time of the cure (p. 7). I n a theatr ical re/presentation, there is the possibility of recognition, and a retrospective reinterpretat ion to occur in the space between. The possibility for a public interpretat ion of actions that occur in more private circumstances requires that the "behaviour," or the performance, be performed again, open to greater scrutiny and the potential for "reading the performance". There is also a potential for reflection w i th in an interactive educational process. Schechner (1998) refers to performance as "twice-behaved behavior" reminding us that what we are watching is a somewhat rehearsed re/interpretation of past actions. Phelan suggests that "this mimicry and i terat ion is the place where performance and performativi ty intersect." Does this mean that performativi ty is the re/production of the re/interpretation of a role? And that performance is the public exploration or representation of that? This notion of conscious intent may be the guiding line of dist inct ion for the recognition of a performative behaviour. But consideration must attend to how Chapter I V - Data as Evocation 83 much such intent ion is influenced by societal norms (i.e. the socialization process). Even when we are consciously performing, for example, gender, the level of conscious reflection on those actions may be occurring anywhere on the spectrum of reflexive analysis. Butler, in Critically Queer (1993) refines her reading of performativi ty w i th this i n mind: In no sense can it be concluded that the part of gender that is performed is therefore the "truth" of gender; performance as bounded "act" is distinguished from performativity insofar as the latter consists in a reiteration of norms which precede, constrain, and exceed the performer and in that sense cannot be taken as the fabrication of the performer's "will" or "choice," further, what is "performed" works to conceal, if not to disavow, what remains opaque, unconscious, un-performable. The reduction of performativity to performance would be a mistake (Butler, 1993, p. 24). I n a most playful interrogation of these notions, Jon McKenzie (1998) explicates the ties between Butler's uses of performativity/gender performance and the historical roots of performance studies. He notes "she uses theories of anthropological and theatr ical performance, specifically, Turner's theory of r i tua l , to construct a theory of performativi ty as the citation of social gender norms" (pp. 226-227). Is i t possible in al l this ta lk of Schechner's restor[ative]ed behaviour and Turner's r i tuals of passage and "Butler's own concept of performat iv i ty as the "re-enactment" and "re-experiencing" of socially established meanings" (p. 226), that one might reflect back through performance, (theorized by But ler as both normative and transgressive), and provoke a self-reflective process? Diana Taylor's (1998) description of a polit ically charged interchange of which she found herself a part comes close to the notion of practices of performance Chapter I V - Data as Evocation 84 in "everyday life." Her crit ical response to a graphic theatr ical depiction of violence against women found her awash i n antagonism. Her reflections on both her own actions and the performances of others attest to the conscious recognition that each was acting out in performative fashion... "recognizing the performative frame of the encounter allows us to recognize how both of us were caught in the spectacles we crit iqued" (pp. 183-184). She goes on to point out the responsibility required on the part of the "witness" to the performance, regardless of whether the performance is consciously produced: Looking entails a responsibility, a risk, and a danger. However, it is not only the responsibility or receiving, decoding, and acting on a scenario... witnesses, of course, make witnesses of others, ensuring that the memory of injustice and atrocity is engraved upon, rather than erased from, collective memory (p. 184). Taylor's notion of the spectator who does "not take on one's fear or the other's guilt," but understands their role in "enabling or disrupt ing the scenario" (p. 181), leads one to question what the actions of a witness should entai l (Simon & Eppert, 1997). Lynn Fels refers to Felman's (1992) construction of the word respons/abilty when noting that " in the tel l ing of a story where the teller 'bears witness,' we must consider the abi l i ty of both the teller and the listener to respond to the testimony" (1999, p. 58). P e r f o r m a n c e as Ep is temo logy There is the potential for learning w i th in performative sites of intersection between audience and performers, text and readers. Performative inquiry as a research methodology was conceptualized and art iculated by performance theorist Lynn Fels (1995). Performance is formulated as an action site of learning, evoking Chapter I V - Data as Evocation 85 "an ecological interstanding that invites the co-evolving world(s) of performance and cognition in a transformative dance" (Fels, 1998, p. 30; 1999, p. 56). Performative inquiry refers to a range of research practices that incorporate performance in the process of inquiry, reflection, and/or re/presentation of research. Performativity, on the other hand, describes consciously and unconsciously performed, socially structured behaviours which reproduce or challenge norms, often associated w i th gender performances (Butler, 1990). Performance on or off stage is made up of self-reflective or constructed behaviours (could this be Richard Schechner's "twice -behaved behaviour"?) Deborah Br i tzman (1998) uses analysts Michael Bal int , Alice Bal int , Sigmund Freud and Anna Freud to explore the tensions between education and psychoanalysis, f inding the "unconscious" also represents the individual's struggles w i th learning f rom w i th in and learning from without. "Something unravels the narrative's coherence, something interferes w i th the indiv idual intent ion, something resists knowledge" (p. 29). This resistance creates the acts of impedance, put t ing on the brakes, acting out a "refusal to learn" (p. 31). But i t is only w i th a coming to consciousness that learning can take place: "the self must bother itself. I t must learn to obligate itself to notice the breaches and losses between acts and thoughts, between wishes and responsibilities, between dreams and waking l i fe" (p. 32). Non-propositional knowledge (Babbitt, 1993), or emotional understanding 3 7 evoked through performance may wel l be a way to reach into the unconscious to allow the conversation to take place. 3v (Bochner & Elhs, 2002; Ellis, 2000a, 2000b; Ellis & Bochner, 1996, 2000a) Chapter IV - Data as Evocation 86 I t is w i t h the notion: "things are revealed and constructed i n interaction that might not be accomplished w i th one voice" (Ellis & Berger, 2002, p. 38) that the concept of performance, or performative inquiry takes hold for me. For in performance there is always the other, the audience. Even w i t h a text, you are not alone: there are many forces behind and w i th in the wr i t ten or performed word, and these reach the many voices that are internal to each of us as wel l . I t is through the tension created when someone allows the impact of someone else's experience into their own consciousness that something occurs that can be called learning. That impact can create danger. Sometimes i t is safer when learning can occur in a sl ightly removed context (i.e. between the reader and the page; between a character on a stage and those watching i n a dark theatre.) Such learning takes place in a very private /public engagement. P e r f o r m a n c e as Pedagogy - P e r f o r m a n c e p r o v o k e s Engaging w i t h performance is always a learning process, there in the space between. There is opportunity to choose a level of part icipation: respond to the intervention, ask and answer questions, either as an indiv idual or as a par t of a larger collective endeavour. Is my experience represented there? What impact does i t have on others? On myself? What are the issues i t raises? What do I feel about how the issues are presented? A m I pleased? Shocked? Satisfied? Provoked? To what? What issues does i t raise for me? What does i t remind me of? What does i t cause me to th ink about? How does i t make me feel? Why? Performance as a pedagogy involves Chapter IV - Data as Evocation 87 a process of making, doing, production in dance, music, and theatre, architecture, landscape architecture, and the various genres of the visual arts. Performance includes audience members' embodiment of aesthetic experiences, their absorption while viewing, listening, and participating in works of art" (Garoian, 1999, p. 8). Performance includes the audience, as i n performative wr i t i ng includes the reader. " [ I jdent i ty and ideology are not fixed but in continual formation" (p. 5). Performances construct the world in which we live, and as performance theorist E l in Diamond suggests, performance enables the critique and re-evaluation of culture through subjectivity—a reflexive process of embodiment that enables the subject to turn history onto itself and to explore and interrogate its terrain. Learning history from a subjective vantage point in this way makes possible the construction of new historical ideas, images and myths (in Garoian, , p. 6). Such self-reflection and analysis of purpose or result i n performance becomes an intervention, an opportunity "to expose and interrogate cul tural inscription and to re-consider and construct culture anew" (Diamond, in Garoian, 1999, p. 5). My concept of educational intervention denotes an understanding of learning as embodied experience w i t h potential as a tool for social and polit ical change. Intervent ion suggests that there is a construct requir ing adjustment: social or polit ical change. I f there is a construct requir ing adjustment, there is usually a resistance to that change, therefore a resistance to the intervent ion promoting that change. W i th performance, there is the possibility of educational intervention. "The border has suddenly moved... [we become] aware that the 'object' of our gaze is also the subject who looks back, who challenges and objectifies us" (Taylor, 1998, pp. 182-183). Chapter I V - Data as Evocation 88 How useful i t might be to engage the resistance i n reflexive praxis provoked by a performance, providing The Stop (Appelbaum, 1995). The concept of providing "the stop" is a good one: that moment of respite, alone w i t h one's self, i n which to come to terms w i t h the emotional impacts and reactions to performance. The stop hides a secret dimension of experience. To stop is to uncover what is hiding, which is to say, to experience ourselves in hiding. Yet the stop means something more. The stop opens and closes. It open to an actual unfolding of a life event, that which lives on the other side of hiding. To come to experience is always to come from a disembodied, disengaged state of thought construction. The first is the unhinging of the second, and the stop is the hinge. The stop is not the negation of movement. It is movement itself a form of movement way from the entrapment of automatic and associative thought, just as it is a movement toward an embodied awareness. The stop is a movement of transition (Appelbaum, 1995, p. 24) Pause is not a bad th ing, i f i t gives t ime for one to l isten to another, the actual opportunity to reflect, there in the darkness of the theatre, in the space between. A performance authorizes itself not through the citation of scholarly texts, but through its ability to evoke and invoke shared emotional experience and understanding between performer and audience (Denzin, 2003, p. 13). 91 Chapter V Play Development Scripting itself can function as a mode of inquiry (Strine, Long, & Hopkins, 1990, p. 186) t The integrity of experience Theories constitute and facts construct, a notion put for th by feminist sociologist, Dorothy Smith (1999). I began this research w i t h my own experience (Smith, 1987), rooted in 25 years of active and aware observation of the practices of gender relations acted out in the technical workforce. These experiences provoked my curiosity, and led me to question what was creating the fear that must lu rk in the hearts and minds of men involved w i t h technical fields, a fear that could cause a resistance so fierce. Phillips and Taylor, in "Sex and Skill,"[contribute] to our understanding of skill by exploring how men satisfied their gender interests by using their organizational strength to control the definitions of jobs.38 Their explanation for women's subordinate economic positions hinges on the existence of a societal gender ideology that through some unspecified mechanism works its ways into the sphere of production (Baron, 1991c, p. 36) [emphasis added]. Disquieted by historical and continuing evidence of resistance to women's part icipation i n trades and technology, I returned again and again to the questions raised for me in the worker's conversation described in "The First Nugget." Early in my doctoral research I organized a group interview, w i t h male tradesworkers and 38 [Cockburn (1983, 1988) and Downs (1995) also document this process quite clearly]. Chapter V - Play Development 90 myself, to explore their perceptions of that resistance. Their comments led me back into the l i terature on gender, masculinities, masculine ident i ty and work, as wel l as historical studies, looking more specifically at the policies and practices of the exclusion of women from technical workplaces throughout Nor th America, England, Scotland and Wales. M y investigations were also fuelled by an inst i tut ional autoethnography 3 9 4 0 at the various sites of my work ing life. The intent ion of that in i t ia l group interview was to assist me to develop questions I could use i n further interviews w i t h men and women t ra in ing and work ing in trades and technology about their experience of resistance. I chose five men of my acquaintance, [four of whom showed up], of varied trades backgrounds, who had experience w i t h integrat ing women into their trades/technical workplaces. They were men on whom I felt I could count for open and for thr ight response. Present were two unionized construction carpenters, 43 and 47 years old, then work ing on a site w i th employment equity requirements i n the collective agreement; a 38 year old auto service technician w i t h his own garage, and a 63 year old tool and die maker who had worked in a wide variety of mostly unionized industr ia l settings. The interview took place in the Vall ican Whole Community Centre, a locus for me as a site of contention, exploration and some resolution for women and men t ry ing 39 Ethnography does not here mean...restriction to methods of observation and interviewing. I t is rather a commitment to an investigation and explication of how "it" actually is, of how "it" works, of actual practices and relations. Questions of validity involve reference back to those processes themselves as issues of "does i t indeed work in that way?" "is i t indeed so?" Institutional ethnography explores the social relations individuals bring into being in and through their actual practices (Smith, 1987). 4 0 (Bochner & Ellis, 2002; Denzin & Lincoln, 2000; Ellis & Bochner, 2000a; Gergen & Gergen, 2002; Pinar, 1992; Sparkes, 2002) Chapter V - Play Development 91 to work together. I t was, for them, a comfortable, neutra l space for such a unique conversation. 4 1 These men had known me peripherally, which may have influenced their will ingness to participate. They knew me as a construction carpenter, and as a contr ibut ing member of the larger community in the Slocan Valley in south eastern Br i t ish Columbia, Canada. Some were aware of my activities as a W I T T advocate. I had worked on a couple of different construction sites w i t h two of them, and they respected me for my technical skills. One I would call a fr iend, and the others were acquaintances. I believe they showed up out of curiosity, as wel l as a desire to put their "two cents wor th" into my work on this subject. We did not discuss thei r reasons for coming, and i t was obvious from their start ing postures that they were nervous and somewhat self-protective. Yet, they did come, and engaged w i t h me and each other, and drew up from their hearts and minds the qual i ty of reflection and analysis that became the centrepiece of this dissertation. W i t h permission, I videotaped our two-hour discussion. While I did not dominate their discussion, and provided only a few guiding questions for an open-ended reflection, I was also not an uninterested party, occasionally interjecting or contr ibut ing to the conversation. To begin to arrive at questions I might use in future, the participants engaged a complete discussion of the issues underlying the 41 As is often the case in employment equity related situations, particularly i f there are no "others" present, those who are in the majority do not process or recognize the absence of those who are seeking access, i.e. in an all white group, i t is rare for someone to identify the fact that there are no persons of colour present. I t is not noticed. I t takes the presence of at least one, to draw attention to the fact that there are few. And sometimes when there are only a few, i t is perceived that there are too many, i.e. "they are taking over!" In this case, the fact that this was a site of contention was most probably only noted by myself, who had been in the middle of i t for lo, those many years. Chapter V - Play Development 92 questions that might be asked, thereby undergoing their own self-reflective process, examining their own experiences, demonstrating their own struggles. I t was a r ich discussion, though I felt I needed more clari ty to create in-depth questions for my research. I set that interview aside to review the l i terature and undertake addit ional interviews. When, over a year later, I went back and transcribed that interview, the clarity of the whole interview was str ik ing. I t reminded me that "the t r u t h is not born and does not reside i n the head of an individual person; i t is born of the dialogical intercourse between people in the collective search for t r u t h " (Mikhai l Bakht in , 1973, i n Leggo, 1994). I t was the permission these men gave to one another to express, in interaction, their t ruths, their understandings derived from their experience, that I recognized. The years spent 'on guard,'—-working, watching—equipped me w i t h the experience to perceive that a representative group of trades people had covered a wide breadth of the issues and demonstrated quite a variety of the positions often taken on the subject; positions which corresponded deeply w i t h the notions being expressed in the body of l i terature examining masculinities and masculine ident i ty and work. The salience of the emotions, perceptions, deliberations and musings expressed in the interview, and their appearance in such order and comprehensiveness, denoted a unique opportunity for reflection and re/presentation. The transcript of their discussion was r ich w i t h historical, psychological and sociological significance. The process they went through to get there was eminently insightful . I thank them for their honesty and will ingness to engage the discussion. I had my case to study, and I was a par t of i t . Much of the other individual interviews undertaken w i t h women and men functioned as confirmation, aff i rmation, evaluation, interpretat ion, judgement and/or analysis of what had been Chapter V - Play Development 93 raised i n colloquy w i t h those four men and myself. The question then became, what was the most effective mode of re/presenting the material , a mode that would in itself be an educational intervention. "Men and Women and their Tools" Theatre is an 'empowering' force..., through the transformations of time, space and the body that occur in all genres of theatre there is also the capacity to transform not just our dreams and aspirations but also the societies and cultures in which we live (Neelands, 1996, p. 28). "Show me, don't te l l me!" the professor exhorted i n an Alternatives in Research Wr i t ing class. "The key to p laywr i t ing is that everybody has to be an alcoholic so they say things they wouldn't normally say," our guest speaker f l ippantly interjected, as she entered on the ta i l end of our critique session. How, I wondered, could those voices be present wi thout everybody being drunk? "The play's the thing, wherein I'll catch the conscience of the king" Wilham Shakespeare (1564-1616) Hamlet. Act i i . Sc. 2 Fear...is another mask...Confusion habitually provokes reactive emotions, notably fear. The reactive configuration stands as an obstacle to a moment of poise. It is what must be met to become responsive to the needs of the situation (Appelbaum, 1995, p. 21) Rather than subduing or supplanting voices of the men in my group interview (Smith, 1999), by interpret ing or mediating the potential public response to their words, I wanted to create an opportunity to reflect back out to others, what they were actually saying, to create a mirror for their struggles, a pedagogical too l . 4 2 My 4 2 This was the reason that I was undertaking my doctoral studies in a faculty of education, rather than in sociology or psychology. Chapter V - Play Development 94 impulse is to educate, and in educating, evoke a response/abil ity 1 to transformative social change. We do not despise our knowledge and our skills...But we are hampered by methods of writing into texts that seal in a knowledge divorced from the lively part it might play in coming with others to know, together, our relations and society differently, from within yet not subjectively, knowing them as we actively participate in them and as they are brought into being in the actual practices of actual people in the multiple sites of their experiencing (Smith, 1999, p. 69). The resistance to women in technical fields is overt, covert and often deeply embedded in persons and practices. As Dorothy Smith would say: The Everyday World [i]s Problematic (1987). I f these men were wi l l ing to engage the conversation, then I needed to f ind a way to re/present them that did not deny them their voices; that was not an interpretat ion, and yet st i l l provided the possibility of an intervention into the wor ld that had been constructed over such a long period of t ime. A primary concern of discourse toward critical social science is how to generate knowledge in ways that turn critical thought into emancipatory action... [find] the juncture between human agency and structural constraints...that subordinated groups [can] arise to construct more democratic social forms (Lather, 1991, p. 109) For interventions, there must be an intervener, one who sees something as problematic, and chooses to act to change that. For interventions to be successful, collaboration is needed among those who play a role in both the problem creation and the resolution. Chapter V - Play Development 95 Both a way of knowing and a way of showing I n this dissertation, I have used the play "both as a way of knowing and as a way of showing" (Kemp, 1998, p.116). The copy renders performance authentic and allows the spectator to f ind in the performer "presence" (Phelan & Lane, 1998, p. 10). Hopefully, "audiences w i l l understand how these sorts of dramatic and rhetorical tools create rather than simply reflect meaning" (Donmoyer & Yennie-Donmoyer, 1995, p. 418). If, as Donmoyer and Yennie-Donmoyer suggest (with reference to Denzin), "we can never free ourselves from the process of interpretat ion" (p. 419), perhaps we might at least create a space for audience engagement. The possibility for a public interpretat ion of actions that occur i n more private circumstances requires that the "behaviour," or the performance, be performed again, open to greater scrutiny and the potential for "reading the performance". The D e v e l o p m e n t o f E t h n o g r a p h i c P e r f o r m a n c e Tex t It seems foolish at best, and narcissistic and wholly self-absorbed at worst, to spend months or years doing research that ends up not being read and not making a difference to anything but the author's career (Richardson, 1994, in Gray, 2000, p. 377). Should it be Readers Theatre or Role Play? I n exploring alternative means for representing my research that also achieved acceptability in academia, an article on using reader's theatre to re/present data struck a strong cord (Donmoyer & Yennie-Donmoyer, 1995). Not only was i t a notion that took me back to my childhood and early undergraduate roots in theatre, i t reminded me of the potential pedagogical uses of a public mirror. There were moments early on where I imagined men in union halls across the country re/presenting the words of their brothers and sisters, reading scripts together, Chapter V - Play Development 96 performing the performances they had been structur ing for so long, reading aloud the words that created a mirror. As I explored this potential theatrical vehicle, my mind went to the 1980's. Kootenay WITT, advocates for women i n trades, technology, operations and blue collar work, had developed the seminar for men, The Workplace in Transition, Integrating Women Effectively (Braundy, Mackenzie, & Ward, 1983b), referred to earlier i n this dissertation. Designed as a tool to assist vocational instructors, apprenticeship counsellors, job stewards, etc. to develop the skills to hire, t ra in and retain women in the technical workforce, the seminar was delivered across Canada. The participants were a pr imar i ly male audience, though after the f irst pilot, we asked groups to include several tradeswomen and technologists so they might speak for themselves in response to some of the stereotypes suggested by the men in the groups. I t was important that the facilitators did not become targets for the unresolved, often free f loating anger and resentment in the group. Elucidation of al l of the elements engaged and learned from the delivery of the seminar w i l l be the subject of a paper at another t ime. One element stood out as I explored varieties of theatr ical presentation for this dissertation. I n the early stages of tak ing the seminar on the road, i t included a section where the participants were given a scenario and were asked to, i n small groups, role play the problem and t ry to come up w i th some resolution. For the most part, these are men who work w i t h their hands, head and heart, and are or were technically proficient. As I said earlier in the dissertation, they often sat w i th their arms folded across their chests in a gesture that sometimes appeared defiant, at other times, protective. They had great diff iculty w i th , and resistance to, role playing. When Kootenay W I T T modified that section, and presented the scenarios Chapter V - Play Development 97 as what is, today, known as Problem-Based Learning, w i t h questions 4 3 for discussion, they participated w i th efficacy and enthusiasm. Research-based theatre represents another attempt to come to terms with issues such as: the nature of knowledge construction, considerations about how to best honour and represent others' voices, concerns about truth and validity, and especially the desire to have research make a difference in the world (Gray, 2000, p. 377). Reaching people where they are would be essential, and pu t t ing them on the defensive i f they have discomfort w i t h playing roles would be self-defeating. Role playing was out; perhaps even Reader's Theatre would be too much of a stretch. According to Vygotsky, individuals become motivated to grow by f irst learning. " In other words, learning leads development" (Newman & Holzman, 1993, p. 60). A fundamental part of what we understand growth to be demands an acceptance of who you are in order to move beyond it...its not easy to change the world, even the little piece of it that happens to be you (Holzman & Mendez, 2003, pp. 61-62). What lurks might hold up a mirror to the self What I was looking for in the representation of this research was to provide a space where "every insight was both a doorway and a m i r r o r — a way to see into their experience and a way to look back at mine" (Schwalbe, 1996, in Tillmann-Healy & Kiesinger, 2001, p. 82). A performance piece would be created, which the audience could engage on their own side of the Fourth W a l l 4 4 . The concept of a mirror provides a porthole into the potential for reflective practice leading to growth, change, and new action. Watching scenes we th ink we know wel l , reinterpreted and 4 3 See Problem Questions Appendix B. 4 4 The Proscenium or archway between the stage and the audience is known as the Fourth Wall. Chapter V - Play Development 98 reified i n a public performance, may provide that access to awareness, the moment of The Stop (Appelbaum, 1995), "an active concentration of awareness—the poise before movement..." and in that moment, we might f ind that "what lurks might hold up a mir ror to the self and its fears and desire" (p. xi, 16). "The performance text is the single, most powerful way for ethnography to recover yet interrogate the meanings of l ived experience" (Denzin, 1997, pp. 94-95). Most appropriately for re/presenting my research, a play would be carved, for the most part, from the two-hour group interview. Some mater ia l would be drawn from other interviews, but the pr imary source would remain w i t h the five people who came together i n a group interview to explore the questions around this topic. The play would have future use as a pedagogical tool. By representing ethnographic data...in artistic form we can access a richer understanding of the complexities of lived experience which can throw light on broader social structures and processes. Such work can also reach a wider population, beyond academic communities, facilitating understanding/interpretation and, maybe, action/praxis in relation to certain social issues (O'Neill, Breatnach, Bagley, Bourne, & Judge, 2002, p. 70). Tensions between dramaturges and ethnographers Never having wr i t ten a play, I approached the Creative Wr i t i ng Department at UBC, where the Graduate Advisor wi l l ingly welcomed me into their joint pilot program. Combining the student actors, directors and dramaturges of the Theatre Department w i t h the Creative Wr i t ing students, the Play Development Workshop had been running for 1 year. Supported by faculty from both departments, i t was a t ru ly t imely and amazing opportunity. I already had the "words" of my play, though I had too many words, and put t ing them together in a vehicle that had theatr ical Chapter V - Play Development 99 appeal and maintained the integr i ty of those who had trusted me w i t h their words would be my challenge (Gray, Ivonoffski, & Sinding, 2002, p. 62). The fifteen or so members of the class were, for the most part, 2 n d year Creative Writ ing/Theatre students who had wr i t ten plays before, some more extensively than others. We spent part of each class cr i t iquing each other's work. Listening wi thout reacting was expected. Some read the plays of the others w i t h great attention, and were a r ich source of feedback. Others were less forthcoming w i t h critique. The general response I received was that my play lacked theatr ical impact. "Who is the protagonist?" they asked. "Where is the climax?" "Too many characters!" they urged. Most, including the wr i t i ng professor, stated that they could not imagine a situation i n which the men would say the things I had them saying. "But I have i t on video tape," I defended. " I t comes straight from the transcripts." I t was actually an aff i rmation of the gift of open, verbal reflection the research participants had afforded me. But i f no one believed i t , I might have a problem. I t was important for me to remember who my crit iques were: Caucasian, twenty-something creative wr i t ing, English and Theatre Ar ts undergraduates, and a couple of Master's students in creative wr i t ing, w i t h l i t t le experience of the world I was t ry ing to portray. This does not mean they did not have depth. Several of their plays dealt w e l l w i t h challenging experiential moments. But, as has been true for many years, I was the expert in my own field, and needed to keep my focus on tel l ing the stories as they were expressed to me. I t was a two-term course. Not far into the f i rst semester, I was given the opportunity of work ing towards honing my play to fifteen minutes for presentation as part of the Brave New Play Rites Festival. I t would mean cut t ing to the bone, Chapter V - Play Development 100 and then some. I t was strongly suggested that I choose some small incident described in the two-hour interview, and dramatize i t . M y deepest commitment was to mainta in the integr i ty of those who had given me their words, not to stereotype them or minimize the breadth of their characters. The stories they had to tel l , and the expressions of their social constructions as men were too important to tr ivial ize. I was not w i l l ing to take only one part of the conversation, or eliminate any of the individuals. The many elements of our conversation formed a gestalt, and i t was the whole created i n interaction w i t h the group that sustained the t ru ths told. This created a struggle and a tension w i t h one of the professors. While he intellectually supported the concept of my work, he seemed not completely comfortable w i t h the subject matter. The other instructor worked w i th me outside of class, teaching me how to "use the pen as a par ing knife". I am thankfu l to both of them. Early in the development of this dissertation, I excitedly told a fr iend about the plans to t u r n my interviews into a play. Her question i n response was, "Wi l l you be the conductor or the composer?" I replied that I did not th ink I would be the composer, as the words were already written/spoken, so that must mean that I am the conductor, at which point she suggested that I l isten to Pachabel's Cannon, for an exploration of a weaving of themes. The question has remained w i t h me over the years that this work has developed. Just last weekend, I attended a performance of Pachabel's Cannon by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra at the Chan Centre at the Universi ty of Br i t ish Columbia (UBC). I n sharing that original conversation w i t h another at the event, she suggested that perhaps I was also the compiler. I Chapter V - Play Development 101 thank her for this insight. I am both the compiler, and the conductor, though I had an able director to assist me. In i t ia l ly I considered the mater ial to be their story, the working-class men who use their tools to bui ld their lives. I, in the role of a part icipant observer, have been privileged to tel l their story through their own words. But I also must recognize i t is my story, as a "deep insider researcher" (Edwards, 1999). I have been of them; among them and their worlds for close to 30 years. Much as I have respected the conversation they engaged, i t is I who set them to i t , and abbreviated their words. I t is also my eye/mind/heart through which I view their stories. While seeking to remain true to their context, sequence and continuity, and bui lding on my own part icipation in the discussion, both voiced and silent, a re/construction has been formed (Gergen & Gergen, 2002, p. 13). I n Gray, Ivonoffski & Sinding's (2002) description of the script development for Handle With Care? and No Big Deal?, "ethnodramas" based upon research interviews w i t h women suffering from metastatic breast cancer and men w i th prostate cancer respectively, the process was described as two separate projects, one the pr imary research interviews and analysis, and second, the ongoing knowledge development using a group of additional cancer sufferers, oncologists and actors in discussions around the development of the actual script. They chose this route in recognition of their own experiential l imitat ions in understanding the realities behind the original interview (a recognition that to reconfigure those words, they needed confirmation of their interpretation). I n contrast, I chose to use my own years of experience to hone the dialogue of these research participants. Instead of drawing from a wide range of individual Chapter V - Play Development 102 interviews, constructing a completely new script and confirming that i t captured the depths and varieties of experience (Gray et al., 2000; Mienczakowski, 1995), I immersed myself again in the threads and stories, challenges and conflicts emergent i n the two-hour group interview. I did not rearrange or reconstruct to suit some notion of the themes (Saldana, 2003), but allowed those themes to emerge as a direct consequence of the progress of their discussion. One method is not better or worse than the other. The mode that I chose was a result of being of the group, rather than an outsider viewing the group. The meanings of their words struck viscerally, a result that I hope to achieve, in future, w i th others who are also of the group but who were not present that night of the interview. I had my audience in my mind's eye. "Theatre has the potential to present research mater ial in a way that helps to clarify and transform social understandings; where insights occur because of the audience engagement w i th dramatic material , the potential for positive indiv idual change is heightened" (Gray et al., 2000, p. 138). Drawing upon the work of Adorno and Benjamin it is argued that alternative re-presentations of ethnographic work can create multivocal, dialogical texts that can make visible 'emotional structures and inner experiences' (Kuzmics, 1997: 9) which may 'move' the audience through what can be described as 'sensuous knowing'or mimesis (Taussig, 1993)... The 'audience' is brought into the action and invited/enabled to live through the experience 'as though they are having the experiences and emotions the performers represent' (Becker et al, 1989:93, cited in O'Neill et al., 2002, p. 71). Chapter V - Play Development 103 Preparing for Production The Director Unlike Johnny Saldana (1998), both playwright and director of his "ethnographic performance text", I was assigned a director by the Brave New Play Rites producers, a situation for which I was alternately thankfu l and terr i f ied. I n her second year of Master of Fine Arts Directing Program, this was her f irst play, i and we did have some struggles over whose play i t was, and what ' theatrical ' meant. I heard i t is not an unusual struggle for a director and playwright, but i t was challenging as i t was the f irst t ime for both of us. We did succeed. The Actors The director and I attended the city-wide auditions which brought professional and semi-professional actors to t ry out for roles in any of the fifteen Brave New Play Rites Festival plays. We sat w i t h directors and some other playwrights through two days of auditions. Not al l playwrights were present, a fact I found odd, considering the amount of investment I felt i n the work. Wi th five characters to cast, i t was heartening to f ind that my director and I agreed easily on four of the candidates. We struggled over the f i f th, perhaps because I knew the individual being portrayed, and finally, the actor I chose was agreed upon. I t was the f irst sign that caricaturing of the men in the play might be an issue. The next stage of selection allowed the actors to choose from among those plays that were seeking them. Most actors did not participate in more than two of the shows, and we did not have a finished script to show them, only the main idea and some of the dialogue. I was st i l l cutt ing the play from a two hour interview into Chapter V - Play Development 104 a 15 minute play, then called: The Step Change. The Director and I were thr i l led when al l of the actors we had selected, four men and one woman, chose our play. The actors and director proffered welcome recommendations for reducing the script, and unacceptable notions of changing the characters to create more "dynamic theatrical tension," or to increase their satisfaction w i t h their roles. As w i th the work of Gray et al. (2002; 2000), the actors' interactions and responses w i th performing the roles needed to be taken into account as the performance of the work developed, as did the notions of the Director. We started w i th a play that was st i l l 42 pages long, and the advice and impulses of the cast and director were invaluable i n helping me decide where and what to cut. A t the same time this made visible my own tensions related to keeping the voices of participants intact. I t was very diff icult for me to eliminate some scenes and some dialogue, though ul t imately each of the areas covered by the participants found its place in the text, albeit i n an abbreviated form, a theatrical form. Often, I felt that I was the guardian of the persons who had been wi l l ing to share their thoughts and feelings w i th me in the original interviews. What is in a name? The play has had three names since I began honing the script: The First Nugget, The Step Change, and Men & Women and Tools. I began w i t h "The First Nugget", because i t was my in i t ia l intention to create a play w i t h three acts: The Men's story, The Women's story and the f inal act, which would miraculously emerge w i t h some k ind of resolution. I had wr i t ten a story called The First Nugget describing the in i t ia l impulse for my research [see p. 69]. Wr i t i ng three acts was an idea that drove me for a long t ime, reflecting my efforts and desires of the past 30 Chapter V - Play Development 105 years to make some inroads through this deep divide I have observed since working on the Vall ican Whole Community Centre 4 5 . But the opportunity to construct, for the Brave New Play Rites Festival, a 15 minute play shifted my th ink ing. I t was an ideal length for an A/V intervention tool, around which discussion might take place in the future. Other acts might be constructed at other times, but now I would work towards a whole one act piece. Crafting Theatrics I f i rst constructed the play w i th a couple of introductory expository scenes, insert ing addit ional made up characters to introduce the ways that race can intersect w i th sex, and how they both interact w i t h the embedded class dynamics. These scenes were removed from the play that was ul t imately performed, part ly because they were "made up," and part ly because my critics felt they were being h i t over the head w i t h the message. I n the discussion that followed showing the video of the play to one of the participants recently, he expressed concern at the k ind and quali ty of the lunchroom conversations he had been hearing, related to women work ing on the construction site where he worked. The scenes he described were very close to those I had "made up" and removed. 4 5 In a completely volunteer building project, when unskilled women came on the site, men (of a variety of skill levels) would take the tools out of their hands, give them sweep-up jobs to do, and generally discount their efforts and contributions. The women became quite demoralized, not a good sign on a project that depended on the women for the bulk of the volunteers. After we decided to have special 'women-only' work days, this changed markedly. The joy on the faces of the women as they learned to use the hand and power tools, and started to see the results of their work emerge in tangible form, was extraordinary. I t led to many wonderfully satisfying and productive days of work on the building, and ultimately to much better relations on the site when the women and the men worked together. As the women's skill levels grew, so did their confidence in speaking out strongly to those who tried to interfere in their work. Chapter V - Play Development 106 There were two female characters inserted into the play at that t ime. Wr i t ing the script gave me the option to create on the page a circumstance for which I longed, and so I created a "Messenger" who could speak al l the words the women ever wanted to say, but could not f ind the space inside of themselves or w i th in the context of their lives to speak. For example: The Messenger: I come to you as a Witness, one who has both experienced the depths of misogyny and heard testimony of the trauma of hundreds of others. In a paraphrase of Albert Camus, I follow the dictates of my heart and find Thus: decidedly, it was up to me to speak...to compile this chronicle so ...not to be one of those who hold their peace but should bear witness in favour of those...so that some memorial of the injustice done them might endure (Camus, 1972) The Messenger, a rather prophetic and somewhat didactic androgynous being, and a character called Anywoman, who performed the experience of diff icult and challenging events on the worksite, were inserted and eventually discarded. Again, the students i n the Play Development workshop assisted as they expressed concern at being "hi t over the head w i th the facts." I began to th ink i t might be better to keep to what actually transpired in the interviews. Gray (2000) talks about both the challenges of want ing to be sure that the meanings of concern are clearly represented, and the potential of adding addit ional mater ia l . His team, too, came back to what was actually said, leaving the audience to receive what they might, and f inding, as I did, the benefits accrued to l imi t ing the texts pr imar i ly to those collected in the research, including my own, sometimes unspoken, responses. Those elements wr i t ten for the Messenger really were the voices of women interviewed and those who had told their stories in the past (Braundy, 1989b). They were her words and my words and their words, and I f inal ly had to put those words Chapter V - Play Development 107 back. M y fellow p laywr i t ing student critics suggested that many of these statements came more effectively from "Connie's" mouth. Thus Connie became a composite figure, speaking the thoughts of other women as wel l as her own. I t was easy to do this because I had been the original participant, and there were some things that I had chosen not to say out loud during the group interview. The Messenger's comment, Deeply embedded in the cultural context of work are expectations of all employees to conform to what men do? Became: Connie: Why is it women have to conform to how the men want it to be? Statements and questions for Connie came from my other interviews, some from the stories told i n forums by the 120 trades and technical women at the Surviving & Thr iv ing Conference and others of a similar nature. The men in the interview spoke for themselves, w i t h al l of the dimension that each of them brought to the discussion. Through the combination of both presentational (symbolic representations of experience, and the outward depiction of internal dialogue that invite the audience to make meaning) and representational theatre ("a fa i th fu l rendering" (Denzin, 1997, p. 97) of actual dialogue from research interviews), I opened the space to give voice to crit ical reflection. Not necessarily Ethnodrama, which implies a iterative process w i t h informants (Mienczakowski, 2001, p. 468), my ethnographic performance text has as its overt intention, "to be a form of public voice ethnography that has emancipatory and educational potential" (p. 469) to create an opportunity for the audience to experience that moment of The Stop (Appelbaum, 1995) that "lives in the Chapter V - Play Development 108 interstices of action." I n that moment, in "the poise 4 6 before movement," before we pick up the next tool, we might f ind "a key to a deeper engagement in a meaning that unfolds our lives. For i t offers a choice" (p. xi), to reflect, to (re)consider, to re/evaluate how to respond. "Either to remain habit-bound or to regain a freedom in one's approach to an endeavour. The stop is the advent of an intelligence of choice." There is also a space for the researcher to " ta lk back": Christine Griffin (1991) in a study of racism, argues when the participants in the research are reproducing damaging and racist ideas, enabled and legitimated by years of collusion from other white people, then the 'researcher should talk back", arguing that not to do so would reproduce, legitimate and collude in the racist ideas being articulated. Griffin argues less for caring for the researched and more for caring about wider inequalities (Skeggs, 2001, p. 434). Except to include the ideas from the original impetus for the study, [see The First Nugget in Chapter I I I ] , the integri ty and sequencing, the statements and reflections made by the men were as in the original interview. I t was not an easy process, going from 55 pages of dialogue, to nine. After going through 32 iterations, I did reach a point of cut t ing beyond the bone to achieve the 15-minute l imi t . I rectified this afterwards, in the text version, which comes i n at 12 pages wi thout academic notes. Dur ing the course of the playwri t ing, I also engaged w i t h the l i terature, highl ight ing elements in the play's text w i t h endnote references, comments and analysis. As the men's voices spoke to the historical and sociological reflections in 46 Poise is the response of awareness to the call of a situation. Dancer, athlete, player, and performer—as well as we ordinary agents—all embody poise...Poise is ever fresh in its ability to answer...in its continually renewed sensitivity, i t is unlike its apparent siblings— control, steadiness, and firmness of intent. Poise has flexibility. I t stretches, bends, adapts, and accommodates...Poise is fluidity of response (Appelbaum, 1995, pp. 14-15). Chapter V - Play Development 109 the l i terature, my work began to go deeper rather than more broadly. When I f inal ly reached the end of the edit ing period, f inding the endnotes section almost completely intact aff irmed for me that I had retained the generative elements of the work. I had had edited out l i t t le of v i ta l importance. A Step Change I soon realized how clearly reflected in the drama of the interview was the fear and tension I had been discussing w i t h Dale, one of my key informants. A n electrical engineer, he had become fascinated w i t h the language that I was using to describe the situation for women, my efforts to make a difference there, and what I was experiencing in that process, including in the recent interview explorations. I kept ta lk ing about resistance, and impedance. W i th h im ensuring that my use of the language of physical systems was recognizable to his constituency, I began to explore a metaphor for the challenges we were facing in t ry ing to integrate women into technical fields: a metaphor that could be understood by men who were standing in the way, consciously or unconsciously. By the end of January, when the Brave New Play Rites producers were await ing the finished script, the Messenger's metaphor was again looking for someone to perform the words that so wel l expressed the concept: It appears that what is being suggested here is a Step Change. The kind of Step Change the oscillations of which could explode the bridge under the marching men. If they do not act to impede those forces by changing their steps, their world could blow apart, like a glass subjected to the oscillations of a brilliant voice in high C. And so consciously and unconsciously in their efforts to create a critical damping force, they impede, overdamping the oscillations, slowing down the Step Change, resisting, impeding, protecting their world from explosive Social Change. [See Appendix C]. Chapter V - Play Development 110 By February, we were getting close to the deadline for changes. As the actors were learning their lines, the play was down to 17 pages. I had removed extraneous characters and scenes, investing those lines, where necessary, in one of the remaining main characters. Many of the voices of Anywoman and the Messenger had been integrated into Connie's character, and yet, not al l the Messenger had to say could be absorbed in that way. I gave one of the men the opportunity to reflect w i t h Connie after the climax, using the concept of the Step Change. Each man responded as per his character to the notion of the Step Change. I t seemed natura l and "worked" theatrically. But i t was st i l l too long. There continued to be a great struggle w i t h classmates, a professor, and now my director to continue to reduce the numbers of characters, and the range of issues addressed. This I resisted, being committed to demonstrate the range and dimension of topics discussed which represented the men as the whole characters they were, and not caricatures for expediency's sake. The reflexive performance text must contest the pull of traditional "realist" theatre, "method" acting, (and ethnography) wherein performers, performances, and texts solely or primarily re-enact and re-create a "recognizable verisimilitude of setting, character and dialogue" (Cohn, 1988, p. 815), in which dramatic action reproduces a linear sequence, a "mimetic representation of cause and effect" (Birringer, 1993, p. 196). A postmodern performance aesthetic and evocative epistemology must be developed...[which] potentially answers Trinh's (1991, p. 162) call for the production of texts that seek the truth of life's fictions in which experiences are evoked, not explained... [turning] tales of suffering, loss, pain and victory into evocative performances that have the ability to move audiences to reflection, critical action, and not just emotional catharsis (See Coger & White, 1973, pp.29-31; Maclay, 1971, pp. 37-38) (in Denzin, 2001). Chapter V - Play Development 111 There was a version that had gone to the Brave New Play Rites Festival producers on January 28 t h , st i l l a bi t long, though i t was now w i th in moments of being the 15 minutes required. I was feeling the internal struggle of getting i t r ight for them, for the actors, and for my research participants. I had renamed the play The Step Change, and the concepts were exposited by characters created to do so. But such exposition was beyond the scope of the t imeframe in which I was working, and perhaps even too didactic for the evocative medium in which I had chosen to work. I t was st i l l my hope to educate, by creating a mirror in which the metaphor was visible. W i th each pass of the penknife, the essence of the idea was unfurled, and the expository hammers were removed. When the wonderful producers of Brave New Play Rites asked for a one line description of the play for the record, I sent an email: The Step Change explores the vulnerable underbelly of male resistance to women in trades and technology. The men, themselves, were exemplifying, characterizing and conveying that metaphor. From Metaphor to Metonym Metonomy, less well established in the discourse of performance than its companion trope, metaphor, is also of practical and theoretical use to the researcher. When the performance is considered metonymically, its meaning emerges as relational rather than representational. The performance is contiguous to; it is partial, thus opening the study to a wide range of associations and affiliations—part of a biography, part of another text, part of an institution, part of a social reality, and so on (Said, 1983). The performed text achieves meaning in terms of its relations, some near, some remote, and all somehow different from the literary work (Evans, 1986; Johnson, 1986) (in Strine et al, 1990, p. 185). Chapter V - Play Development 112 The play emerged as a metonym, the part that speaks for the whole: a trope (Chandler, 1995). El l iot Eisner, an historical champion of ar t fu l expressions of research (Donmoyer & Yennie-Donmoyer, 1995, p. 405), refers to the concept as a "structural expressive equivalent of an idea, a feeling...the public embodiment..." (cited in Donmoyer & Yennie-Donmoyer, 1995, p. 403). Ted Aoki , a renowned curr iculum theorist influenced Rita Irwin's description of "an ent i ty closely associated" (Irwin, 2003, para. 27), when he refers to metonymy as "a space of doubling". I n this context, the plays potential as a curricular intervention is aff irmed. A n d on t o P r o d u c t i o n We met as a group several times, and at the actors' request, I shared w i th each of them the intentions and constructs, as I knew them, of the people they were playing. They asked good questions about motivations and how they would express certain statements in the play. The actors and director started workshoping the characters, f inding and giving them "back stories." There were times when I would have to interject, when to create some theatr ical tension, they went off in a direction that contravened what the person that I knew stood for. Interestingly, one of the actors was a construction carpenter in his 'day job,' and provided aff i rmation that the dialogue represented his experience and was a contribution to the realism of the events. Another was a theatre l ight ing technician as wel l as being an actor, and his contribution to the theatr ical i ty of the piece was invaluable. Each of the actors was fascinated that they were playing real people, and were most interested in the "back stories" of their "characters". A t the same time, dur ing in i t ia l readings, as actors they wanted to push the l imi ts of their characters, Chapter V - Play Development 113 often to the point of caricature. I continued to urge them to respect the mult iple dimensions of these people who had given me their words. I provided as much background on the characters as was possible in the f irst few weeks. Dur ing read-throughs and evenings away w i t h their parts, the actors and the director also assisted me in identi fying superfluous dialogue. I heard that i t was unusual for actors to suggest el imination of their own lines. On March 7 t h , st i l l t ry ing to get i t down to the inimitable 15 minutes, I took out the last scene, w i t h its mention of the concept of the Step Change. The play was reduced to the bone, and beyond. And the Director and the Actors really went to work. Emai l to co-supervisor, 19 March 2002: 47Sunday was quite interesting, as the Director was asking each actor to state the motivation of their character for the play, and in doing so was also asked what her concept was. It was both good and hard for me to see what they were each doing with what was there. But, as we say, it is all data. The Director's idea is that "people should leave the play outraged that in 2002, women and minorities are still treated in this way" (and this after all the work I have done with her to help her understand the complexity of the characters!). Luckily, the actors have greater beliefs in who they are: Connie: to get these guys to start calling each other on this shit! Gus has five: 1) To solve my workplace problems, 2) Defender of Right, 3) Create a forum, 4) To show Jerry it's not such a big leap, 5) To be a catalyst for change; Jason has three: 1) Put Connie in her place, 2) Back up Jerry 3) Have a good time without being a total pig; 4 7 The major italics in this section are direct quotes from my journal notes, some of which were sent by email to committee members. Chapter V - Play Development 114 Jerry: To get Connie to accept that he is too old to change, and so is everyone else!; Steve: 1) Arbitrate, observe and disseminate in ways others can understand, 2) Don't confuse it with passivity—"I would rather die than allow injustice," 3) Active and quiet resistance. It is quite remarkable that the four men who were selected by both the Director and I (and we got who we wanted) are so completely engaged in the process. The woman who plays Connie is wonderful, someone who is young enough to have to go through a number of the stages of "growing up as a tradeswoman" to reach the level of character she is being required to play. She is doing so, and also has excellent suggestions for cuts, blocking, and has even contributed to the name. Because the Producers had seen one version which had as the title: The Step Change: Men and Women and Tools, they suggested that The Step Change was a bit pedantic: I might shorten it to just the latter part... "Connie's" suggestion, which I have accepted is: Men and Women and Their Tools. Somewhat explicitly provocative. [May 2004,1 have since changed i t back to Men & Women and Tools, as the tools have multiple meanings and I prefer the flow.] The play was at its f inal edit. A feeling of strain developed w i t h the director. The actors looked to me for character background, and this undermined her authori ty. We met together once w i t h her directing professor who helped both of us understand that the tension between playwright and director was natural . When I discussed this w i th the Festival's producers, they said, "What, you didn't have any shouting matches? That's rare!" I recognized that I had given al l I could, and now she needed the space to put her own mark on the performance. I left for three rehearsals to let them fly at i t wi thout my crit ical eye. When I came back, I found that the director and the actors Chapter V - Play Development 115 had found and bui l t upon, through l ight ing, staging and characterization, the essential elements of the script, and they had formed a "theatr ical" piece at last. I t was clear they were moved by the stories they were tel l ing. For the evening of the dress rehearsal I thought about using my video camera to capture the performance, and prepared consent forms. After a br ief discussion w i t h each of the actors, I received permission and signed consent forms to videotape the dress rehearsal and the three performances, and to use the mater ial for al l educational purposes except broadcast. For that, I would have to come back for addit ional permission. I t was an amazing fluke, for which I had not really prepared, and only thought of at the very last moment. Otherwise, I would have found microphones for everyone, or at least one to set on the table. As i t was, the only microphone was on the camera, which made for diff icult sound reproduction. Each night I placed the camera at a different angle, and amateur that I am, was able to ul t imately produce something of use. The dress rehearsal began in darkness. One of the actors was also a l ight ing designer, and i n the process of making the show more "theatrical," they had pulled one of the scenes described by a research part icipant (which originally had been given to Anywoman to perform) and brought i t to l ight, v i r tual ly . Connie was walk ing the th in beam of l ight, in silence. And then the cat calls came from the men, loud and obnoxious. Oh, my God, Connie was losing her balance! No, she found i t again, she centred herself. She finished walk ing the beam...but at what cost? Taussig (1993) understands 'mimesis as both the faculty of imitation and the deployment of that faculty in sensuous knowing' (p. 68). Moreover, Taussig concludes his book on mimesis and alterity by re-affirming his interest in the power of the copy to influence what it is a copy of ...(O'Neill et al., 2002, p. 80). Chapter V - Play Development Opening Night On the evening of the f irst performance I wrote in an email: 1 Being exhuberantly proud of and pleased with my actors, and wanting to heal any rift with the Director, now that it was too late to do anything else about it, I bought a miniature rose plant for each of them and walked back over to the Chan Centre. The first to get his rose began a rich conversation where he spoke of his understanding of who Jerry is, and his struggle with how to play him. A bit later I found "Connie," and gave her the off white roses that were the only ones that actually had a scent. Her contributions to this production have been wonderfully constructive. Each of her questions has made the play, and her playing of the role, deeper and more eloquent. Her suggestions were most useful in terms of what could be cut or edited. Her understanding of and dedication to playing the women who Connie represents was astounding for someone who had never worked in a technical field. In many ways, she is a lynch pin. But each of the guys has a grasp of their role, and a willingness and ability to play that role in contributing to the story. I feel graced. While I knew wel l what directions they were going w i t h the material , the f irst public performance was a wonderful achievement of their work. Chapter VI A Performative Autoethnography "It is often said that a play only really exists when it is given life in performance; the text, the argument runs, is a mere shadow of any realisation" ([Dollimore and Sinfield:1985, p. 130] in Goodman, 1998, p. 5) "Performativity must be understood not as a singular or deliberate 'act', but, rather, as the reiterative and citational practice by which discourse produces the effects that it names" (Butler, 1998) lid Chapter VII Men & Women and Tools Connie (35) construction carpenter Gus (42) - construction carpenter crew leader Jerry (43) Automotive repair shop owner Jason (38) construction carpenter lead hand Steve (62) tool and die maker, retired union activist A dark stage. Silence. A beam of light appears on the floor. Connie, in construction clothes, comes up to the beam, puts on her hard hat and stands on the beam. She starts to walk, about three steps, and men catcall from the 4 corners of offstage: Male voices: Hey, baby, I got something long and hard you can balance on! Nice Ass! Etc. Connie starts to falter, gets her balance, and continues to the end of the beam of light, where she takes off her hard hat and throws it on the floor. Blackout. Music comes up and lights come on. Jerry owns a small automotive repair shop, the front end of which sells milk, juice, confections, and hot soup. A round table is set up for a card game with 4 chairs. Jason, Steve and Jerry are already there with a pizza. Gus and Connie arrive laughing. Jerry and Connie have an intense, somewhat uncomfortable moment. Jerry: What's she doin' here? Gus: There's been some shit happening at work this week, and I thought i t might be good to invite Connie to Poker Night. OK?! Jerry: Isn't there any place left where guys can just be guys anymore? Jason: Connie's OK. She gets along fine w i th the guys at work. Chapter V I I - Dataplay 119 Connie: Hey Jerry, i f you're good enough to t inker w i th my truck, you're good enough to play cards w i th me! Steve: (Breaking the ice...) OK, what ' l l i t be? Jerry: 5 card draw. One-eyed Jacks wi ld. Ante up! They all ante up. Steve stays the dealer (the choice of game rotates around the table from game to game). They pick up their cards and sort them. There is a round of betting. Everyone calls, and signals how many cards they want. Steve deals the new cards. The dialogue takes place, paced over the action. Connie: You know? I have worked construction for 15 years w i t h men who were thr i l led to have me around, and men who couldn't bear the sight of me. Women have been tel l ing me horror stories since I started this work. Jason: (with a cautionary, challenging tone) Hey! (He pauses, taking a moment to visibly relax.) I love when a woman comes onto the jobsite. I'm thr i l led to share my skills, teach her everything I know. (He pauses again, this time as if he has more to say but is reluctant.) But I'm just not sure how I would feel i f a woman came on the job knowing more than me. Connie: (Pauses, shocked, then half-joking) Yeah? Wel l you'd better figure i t out. Jason: Makes the guys nervous. (With some bravado) Not me, of course. (Throw in a chip to see, and one to raise) Gus: I'm in for a buck. (Pause) You know, Guys equate themselves w i th their jobs... it's the last bastion of maleness. There's a lot of br ight guys, but there's a lot of real narrow-minded guys, in terms of women, in terms of race, - everything. When a woman comes on, some guys don't know how to act, so they react the only way they know how, real macho: Hey Babe! Hey, Nice t i t t ies k inda line. Jason: (Pretending to be someone else) " I ain't t ra in ing no goddam woman to take my job when she oughta be home anyway!". (Call by throwing in a dollar chip) Jerry: Sorry folks, but I am the red-neck. We go to work for two reasons. Money, and enjoyment. We ta lk about our jobs, cars and women. You know, the gir l in the bathing suit walk ing by the worksite, right? When you get a female in the place, you can't do that. (Throws a loonie into the pot) Steve: So you lose your freedom. (Steve folds his cards) Chapter V I I - Dataplay 120 Jerry: I can't walk over to you and say (pointing) God, she's got nice t i ts, right? Cuz there's a female on the job. (Pause) A t the industr ia l plant, the women were 300 pounds, 6' ta l l , bui l t l ike trucks... Connie: (Interjecting) What k ind of trucks, Jerry? Jerry: They belong there. No problem...But, when you go into the lunchroom w i th some of the women, the conversation stops. I f they accepted the male conversation, they were accepted. Jason: The rules of the game didn't change Jerry: Yea, You had your work and your interaction w i t h the guys. It 's not whether a female is better, smarter, more intell igent, faster... whatever. I f you couldn't say what you thought... that 's where i t would jam. Connie: Why is i t women have to conform to how the men want i t to be? Jason: We have a couple of women apprentices, and Jane is really struggling to f i t in . . . Connie: I wonder why???! Jason: ...while Darlene fits in quite well. . Darlene is clear. I f you are stepping over the boundaries, she'll let you know. Jane is not f i t t ing in at al l . The guys have to be very, very careful. Connie: Whose fault do you th ink that is? (Connie lays down cards/collects the pot.) Jason: I expect that she's representing women out there, so she needs to make an effort to stand, you know, I'm here, and I ' m a woman and I'm going to kick ass like the rest of you guys. Jerry: Right, should the rules be different for her? This is my point. Gus: No, they shouldn't be treated differently but they are! A woman is under the microscope al l the t ime. I remember Connie saying years ago... (Lights fade and the beam of light comes up. Connie begins to walk across it, towards the audience, walking carefully, balancing between nervous at being watched and self-assured in her ability. Chapter V I I - Dataplay 121 Gus: (as a voice over)... i t was the f irst t ime she had to walk across a beam. The crew stopped to watch. Was that to see i f she could make i t , or i f she would fal l off halfway through? A woman has to work a lot bloody harder. It 's not fair, and it's not bloody r ight, but they have to recognize: i f they're gett ing into our trade, they're gonna be scrutinized that closely. Lights fade up and the men come back to the table as Connie comes back with a beer. Steve deals another hand, and the poker play continues gently through the dialogue. Jerry: I don't believe they should be treated any differently. Male or female, they have to keep up. Gus: To an extent that's true, but there's great big guys i n construction and l i t t le wee men. The big guys get the big jobs and l i t t le guys get into the t ight places. Jason: People,in physically demanding trades, male or female, are going to have to have some capability. Jerry: They have to be able to pick up an air nailer. Jason: Some women are dynamite. Like Delia. She's r ight beside those guys, banging and l i f t ing and tot ing. She is a good tradesperson, she's got good skills. And her social skil ls... Jerry: I f you can't handle those sheets of lead: You won't be there. Sorry, they hired you and you can't do the job... Connie: But what about the men who create an unfair test? Like the instructor at BCIT who told women that i f they couldn't l i f t a 100 pound battery and put i t on the th i rd shelf, they couldn't be in the program? And the fact that no man ever l i f ted that by themselves? Jason: On my job, I have to carry green 4x6s or 2 inch f i r planks, 16' feet long and heavy. I don't want to spend my day carrying twice as much for anyone. Jerry: (To Jason) What i f i t takes you and two other strong people? Connie: Are you suggesting that the women aren't strong? Steve: When I was a k id, on a construction job, non-union—may I be forgiven—a young guy was carrying two cement blocks up a board and giving i t to the masons. I saw the crew go to the boss and say look, this k id is going to die! He didn't have the Chapter V I I - Dataplay 122 upper-body strength to carry blocks like that. I t was the crew that intervened. But I sure as hell have never seen a crew do that for a woman. Connie: Why are you guys so protective of these skills? (Silence) Jerry: Wasn't smart enough to go to college. I wanted to be something w i th a future, they said sorry, you don't have enough schooling for i t . We could put you in the plant. Ok, I'll take the job. (Jerry and Gus split the pot) Steve: When I finished my apprenticeship, I thought, I'm not inferior to any punk that just got out of college w i th a BA. He's gonna take that to some employer and hope they w i l l teach h im something real. My 5-year apprenticeship was equivalent to any BA! As far as I'm concerned, i t st i l l is! Connie: But women weren't even allowed to t ry . Tech classes are st i l l a male bastion. Men are so resistant to women getting skills. What? Are they masculine skills? Steve: I th ink i f you go to work every day for th i r t y years, and you're surrounded by men, and men only, that you come to look upon i t as a men th ing. I mean, in twenty - f ive years in the machine shop (holding up his finger) I've worked w i th one woman. Jerry: Was she any good? Steve: She was very good...a machinist. A fire-eater. She took no crap whatsoever. But that's one in twenty-five years. So, yeah, I look on i t as a man's job. Jason: I th ink our self-worth is t ied into our jobs. Gus: Oh I th ink it's more than tied to i t . M y I ta l ian father was proud to use his hands to provide for the family. That was his focus, -to provide wel l . That's my mission in life. I know when I'm not working, I don't feel good about my self. Jason: (quietly) I feel the same... Steve & Jerry nod. Connie: Mission in life, eh? Some men have said that i f women have the tool skills too, then we'l l have everything. I t seems there's a fear you're becoming redundant. Chapter V I I - Dataplay 123 Gus: You're a man when you provide for your family, and you're honest and you're fair. My job as a carpenter doesn't make me masculine. The fact that I have a job, and I'm a good worker, that makes me masculine. Connie: I t amazes me! When you ask men about the meaning of tools in their lives, they say it's so they can take care of everyone. Trades and technical women love that they can take care of themselves! (Connie wins the pot) Gus: Why do women want to become construction workers? I t just baffles a lot of guys. I assume it's because they can make 25 bucks an hour as opposed to making 7. Connie: That's one reason. Steve: They f ind a lot of satisfaction in that work. (Steve deals another hand) Gus: Yea! Most guys like that. Connie: I do too! I created the blade for my spokeshave from a car leaf spring, bending i t to f i t my carved wooden handle, hardening i t in that intense oven; honing the cutt ing edge. I made gorgeous folding chairs... Jason: You're creating something real. Steve: That's a lot of i t . But everybody in manual work, which is not so damn manual, there's a lot of brainwork involved in every trade. The men are scared... Automation has ki l led a whole bunch of jobs, certainly i n forestry and metalworking. Machines are doing stuff I never thought I'd see a machine doing. Gus: Like in our trade, used to be, you get a mi l l ion dollar job, there are 10 guys on the job. Now you got a 10 mil l ion dollar job, we st i l l only got 10. Steve: So everybody feels their job's on the line. Gus: (slightly joking) and then women are coming on the job (All laugh and uncomfortably shake their heads yes.) Steve: (slightly ironically) and to add insult to in jury you suddenly got a bunch of people who aren't really "breadwinners..." Gus: (slightly ironically) and they want to let some more Vietnamese in too, you know, Holy shit! We can't deal w i th that. Chapter V I I - Dataplay 124 Steve: Most tradesmen want to go back to the days when they were really skilled, al l male and preferably white. But, i t can't happen, and it's not gonna. Jason: Jobs are getting scarce, especially i f you live outside the big urban areas. Men are concerned. Jerry: Security for my family. That's al l I need. Working, doing a job, helping my wife and family: security. Jason: That's how we've been socialized. Connie: What does that mean? Jason: Cubs, scouts... Those sort of outdoor things w i t h men and boys. I guess its a few steps away from a parami l i tary group. My father, he was a very gentle man. He would take us al l f ishing, but hunting? He never took my sister. Guns were a boy's th ing. Christmas t ime we got bikes, and mechano sets. M y kids have both been given the same toys, but I have a very masculine l i t t le boy and a very feminine l i t t le gir l . We gave h im dolls... he had no interest. Gus: My wife is a feminist, and I always have been. But my son is pret ty bloody red-neck. He certainly wasn't taught that at home. You should hear h im ta lk about women in the trades. Holy shit! He sounds like a 60 year-old teamster. Can't put his finger on why, just knows they don't belong there. Steve: I t proves that the kids at school put on the peer pressure. You learn more about what your r ight att i tude oughta be from your peers than you do from your parents. Connie: (to Jerry): How were you socialized? Jerry: Oh, German upbringing, male-dominated. I shouldn't say my mom was at home, she worked hal f her life in the Post Office. Boys did the chores. Girls cleaned the house. Boys shot guns, boys played hockey. I haven't seen much change, to be honest. Jason: You've had a woman mechanic Jerry: She needed two more years to complete her apprenticeship, so I took her on. No problem. Chapter V I I - Dataplay 125 Steve: Well, she is making a lot more money than a t i l l clerk. (Pause) My father and mother were both union organizers. They taught me that I l ived in a Patriarchy, that males are in a privileged position, have been for several thousand years, and men were going to f ight like hell to keep those privileges. (Pause) But, those privileges aren't so real anymore. (Pause) Jerry: How are we going to survive as a human race? Someone has to stay home and raise the children! Steve: Nobody knows how to make i t change. (Steve deals another hand) Connie: Nobody is wi l l ing to make the move. The unions are acting as gatekeepers, the vocational instructors are protecting the industry from the hordes of women, and the government doesn't want to upset anybody. I'd like just once to walk onto a job site and see a bunch of happy workin ' women and feel welcome! I t would be better for everyone. Jason: The dynamics are different when you are work ing w i t h women. There is some sexual energy there. I am not saying it's appropriate or inappropriate. It 's just there. Steve: It 's not necessarily a bad th ing. (Laughter) Gus: No i t isn't. Jerry: (Exaggerating) We're al l male. We're al l heterosexual males, We're all...you know... aren't we? (There is a moment of pause, with a variety of thoughts quickly going through all of the minds on the stage. Connie is rolling her eyes.) Connie: Are we? Gus: I act differently when a woman's there, whether it's on the job, or off. I t comes down to that sexual th ing. Guys don't know how to deal w i t h that , they don't feel comfortable because they are not in control. Connie: Not in control of what? Gus: Their feelings... the situation. We have a pretty structured set of rules on a construction site. You see a beauti ful young woman comes into the trai ler and she takes her T-shirt off, and she's got beauti ful breasts, wel l , I mean, i t affects every guy in that room. Chapter V I I - Dataplay 126 Connie: (In a shocked, joking and comradely tone) Holy shit Gus! Can you really imagine a situation where a female construction worker comes into the lunch trai ler, and takes her T-shirt off? Sounds like wish ful f i lment! Probably took off her f lannel shirt an' had a T-shirt underneath. But did you ever expect that she didn't have breasts? Gus: It 's just something i t 'd be easier not to deal w i th . I f the woman was gone, we wouldn't have to deal w i th this shit. We could have our posters up and we'd be quite comfortable. (Lights down, spotlight on Connie standing at the back, Gus is just visible standing at the edge of the light.) Connie: (losing it a little) So those guys at trade school were just uncomfortable, the ones who put up the Fuck You Ms, signs on the toolroom door, and "Connie's t i ts" on the blackboard. They didn't want to have to deal w i t h that shit, so they twisted my framing square into a l i t t le bal l and wrote CUNT on my desk. The instructors, didn't want to have to deal w i th i t , so they gave me a new square and shut up the fuck up about i t . When are men going to start call ing each other on this shit?! (Gus turns away, Lights dim and come back up on the table with everyone present) Gus: I t comes down to: do you feel comfortable w i t h women in your personal life? We have guys on the job that are absolute social misfits. They are fine at work, but when a woman shows up, they don't feel bloody comfortable and they don't fuckin' l ike i t . Connie: How come men have such a hard t ime looking at women as co-workers? Gus: I view the women I work w i th as co-workers. I am certainly in the minori ty. The only ones who really seem to accept women are the old hippies, tha t group of guys are quite comfortable w i th i t . Connie: Respect is the bottom line. There is something about men and women being able to respect each other. Jason: I respect both those apprentices on the site. I th ink, maybe you want to see change quicker than it's gonna come. Steve: I f a woman wants to succeed in trades or tech, she could just become one of the boys. But a lot of the women who are feisty enough to work in a trade say, " I 'm Chapter V I I - Dataplay 127 not interested in being one of the boys! I know who I am, and I just want to make a l iving." Jerry: No, they don't want to do that. Connie: Yes they do. Jerry: They want to come in . . . Steve: I've seen 'em! Jerry: They want to come into your lunchroom and take your Playboy pictures off the wal l . That's the problem. The whole th ing is, i f you are going to come into the workforce, why do you need to change it? Gus: A lot of construction workers are pigs, but a lot of guys don't l ike looking at pussy pictures while they are eating their sandwich. Jason: Maybe they're religious. Gus: I th ink where the l ine gets goofy is when you have a beauti ful young woman standing there in a b ik in i holding a power tool and they take offence at that. It 's something we see in any bloody magazine we open. Steve: You mean like the advertising? Gus: Yea. That doesn't bother me. But i f there's Penthouse Pets glued all over the walls, she's got every r ight to come in and say something. But some say,"Guys, I don't feel comfortable. Could you take i t down?" And others w i l l walk in , r ip i t down, and say, "you guys are assholes!" Jerry: Geez, we're f inal ly getting to the bottom of this. I've been work ing here for 22 years. You come in and want to change the way I've done my life. I'm too old to chang Gus: Women don't want a whole lot of change, and I don't th ink a whole lot of change is required. We can st i l l sit around the lunchroom and ta lk about hunt ing and fishing, ta lk about trucks and cars. We just don't ta lk about pussy in a real gross way, and that's fair enough. Jerry: Yea, but i f I have a Playboy in my back pocket I could get accused of sexual harassment. That's bullshit. I'll read and do whatever I want, cuz I am Canadian! Chapter V I I - Dataplay 128 Connie: Yea, but you can't put i t up in the workplace. Gus: It 's against the law, whether you disagree w i th the law or not. Jerry: Or guess what! You just don't hire a woman! Steve: Listen, i f you don't reason your way through this, you're gonna get more laws. Aff i rmative Action laws. Men won't like that. Employers didn't l ike to pay union wages either, but everybody didn't just go home. They forced i t . Then you can reason w i t h them, after the law says 50% of your workforce has got to be female. Jason: I t might take that, but i t seems to me there's already been some change to the good. I f only women would. Jerry: (Gets up and throws down his cards.) 4 Aces, I have 4 bloody Aces! Connie: Can't beat a Straight Flush! (Connie lays down her hand and the Lights go off!) (Music up) Chapter VIII Green Room Conversations P e r f o r m i n g Gender If, as Jud i th Butler suggests, "the 'being' of gender is an effect...an insistent and insidious practice, sustained and regulated by various social means...the repeated stylization of the body, a set of repeated acts w i th in a highly r ig id regulatory frame work... to produce the appearance of substance" (Butler, 1990b, pp. ' 32-33) then br inging those practices and stylizations to the l ight of day provides an opportunity to "expose the contingent acts that create the appearance of a naturalist ic necessity." Dur ing the week of Apr i l 10-13, 2002, a 15-minute construction of my play, Men & Women and Their Tools, was performed at the Telus Theatre in The Chan Centre at UBC, as part of the Brave New Play Rites Festival. Set in a weekend poker game, i t was a holistic honing of my two-hour group in terv iew 4 8 w i t h current and ret ired tradesmen. I videotaped the dress rehearsal and a l l three performances, w i th wr i t ten consent from the actors for use in my dissertation work and al l other educational purposes except for broadcast. I have since digital ly edited i t into one piece, w i th colour and sound correction, and an introduction. The actors, chosen in collaboration w i th my assigned M F A Directing student, found their place in the hearts of those I had interviewed, and w i t h the Director, 4 8 The original 41-page play was edited down to 9 pages while doing my best to maintain the integrity of all of the issues being addressed. Chapter V I I I - Green Room Conversations 130 produced a wonderful ly theatrical rendit ion. But more than that , the quali ty of discussion i t has precipitated is a sign of its potential as a pedagogical tool to intervene in the social constructions of gender. For the in i t ia l performances at UBC, I invi ted a woman who works in a box factory w i th 120 men, and her male computer engineering partner one evening, and an activist for the bui ld ing trade unions on another, and a doctoral student from environmental engineering came that evening as wel l . Between my own guests, and those who were my colleagues in the theatre and play development work, the level of thoughtful engagement w i th the work, and the diversity of questions i t raised, was wonderful ly provocative. A l l recognized the challenges in the issues being represented and yet felt safe to engage them because of what they saw as a val id and "balanced approach" which avoided "stereotyping" and "essentialism". Nestor Korchinsky, now retired Director of UBC In t ramura l Sports and Recreation for UBC, w i t h whom I had been si t t ing on the "Bui ld ing Campus Community" sub-committee for CABSD [Campus Advisory Board on Student Development}], unbeknownst to me, came to my play. I had passed out advertising postcards for the Brave New Play Rites Festival at a committee meeting, for information and my own enthusiam. Two weeks later, when I called Nestor to check the t ime of a part icular meeting, he said, "Marcia! I am so glad you called! I have been meaning to call you. I went to see your play." And he proceeded to spend the next 15-20 minutes tel l ing me what he had seen, what fur ther thoughts i t had provoked in h im, and how impressed he was that such a small play could contain so much to th ink about. Chapter V I I I - Green Room Conversations 131 A n interesting contrast to those types of comments came w i th the video presentation for a group at UBC, attended by graduate students, 8 women and one man. Two other men sent their busy regrets. The women were incensed that such attitudes and behaviours existed in 2002, and engaged the conversation from that perspective, while the man presented a wonderful and thoughtfu l reflection on the play i n i tself as a pedagogical tool. I f i t is true that identi ty and ideology are i n continual formation, and we know that each person w i l l do w i th those moments of reflection according to what has been previously constructed in their experience, and i f we come to learn through a combination of experience, observation, emotional impact and reflection, the question may be i f we can ever al l achieve a similar end through a part icular educational intervention (Bordo, 1990). Those who w i l l come to see the play have reached many different places in their development, and w i l l move to many others in their t ime to come. The moment of poise, the stop, w i l l mean something different to each of them. Perhaps i t is through the follow-up of group discussion and interaction that notions become ideas become reflections become thoughts and conversation, and then form more f i rmly into knowledge upon which action takes place: performance, questioning, providing feedback and further reflection on what is seen, exploring what can be known, what might need to change, what might preclude that, and what might assist. Perhaps al l we can hope for is each to open up the question. But i t w i l l be essential to remember that to "f ind a gap i n the revolving door of habit...requires exquisite t iming" (p. 29). Chapter V I I I - Green Room Conversations 132 Responses Many came to watch the performance from the Centre for the Study of Curr iculum and Instruct ion, (now the Centre for Cross-Faculty Inqui ry in Education), and brought their partners and friends. The hugs and kudos were heartfelt and sincere, they saw something important i n the work. Through their comments, and those of a number of others who watched the play over the next few days, I was able to see the value in the work, aside from the in i t ia l joy of production. One comment heard several times was that i t had a clear message, but i t was balanced and the complexity of the issues was wel l represented. The creative wr i t ing professor, who strongly suggested I focus on one or two scenes in constructing a play from the interview, was impressed that I had been able to retain all the characters and circumstances, and had still been able to find the humour and theatricality in it49. Men and women see very different things in this play, as they experience very different things in the workplace. A male environmental engineer's comment was that while the message was clear, I really left it to the audience to decide how they felt about that, or what they might want to do with it. A male member of the Play Development Workshop said that the two elements were intent and content, and that the intent was not to be.stated, or obvious, but should emerge through the content, and that I had achieved that. Many members of the Workshop, male and female, were surprised and pleased at the result. Women wi thout technical experience are shocked by what they see, that at this point in history such language and values could st i l l be present. So in effect, the 4 9 The material in italics is quoted from emails I sent to a co-supervisor. Chapter V I I I - Green Room Conversations 133 director got what she wanted. On the other hand, the men who have viewed i t have often said they felt they have been represented fair ly. A n airl ine worker said he: recognized all the men in the play, and was glad that I had represented them with dimension. A senior Bui ld ing Trades activist said that he knew everyone there, and really couldn't think of anything I had left out. Another man said I had pushed all the right buttons. Other venue responses When I took the video of the play back to one of the original research participants, Jason's in i t ia l response was that I had done a good job... represented the men fairly, and had produced a useful tool. He wondered whether i t would be good to show i t on the jobsite where he continued to work in a situation where employment equity for women was being implemented. One evening I showed i t to a group of people in a church group. When I asked their occupations I found that I had a very useful cross-section: a female electrician, a male electrical engineer, a male college math teacher, a ret ired female occupational therapist, a ret ired counselling therapist, a female employment counsellor, and a male and female couple who identif ied as community activists. He had worked years ago in a plant which introduced women into technical areas. They had al l self-selected to be there, but were not actually research participants, just there to watch the show and engage in a discussion. The female electrician said that she was Chapter V I I I - Green Room Conversations 134 amazed to find that someone else could document, and present the feelings and perspectives on experiences so similar to her own, She had not known that others were going through such a thing. One man said it seemed that things hadn't really changed very much from his experience in the 1970's [integrating a large industrial plant]. Several women were shocked by what they saw, but one of them said the female in the play was a model for appropriate ways of dealing with the issues with humour, assertiveness, etc. The employment counsellor and one of the community activists felt that women should be shown this f i lm i f they were considering going into the trades, to see that there are ways to handle themselves, to demonstrate that there is a way to exist in this environment. "We lose so many to the crap!" The men expressed that Connie was a good role model, she was calm, she handled things with humour—she was willing to show up. She modelled and we could learn from her in that situation. She had credibility. This model is needed so women don't feel personally attacked. She countered with questions rather than arguments. This lat ter comment provides insight into the educational process needed to engage men in the discussion. Most of the men who have since seen the video of the play do not want to be told they might be doing something that needs changing. By holding up the mirror of the play, women and men are provided w i th an opportunity to examine and compare their own performance w i th those of the lives they are watching, and choose how they want to respond. I n another small group, a woman w i th years of experience work ing w i th men in construction, viewed the play and commented that she could see the "artistic Chapter V I I I - Green Room Conversations 135 license" I had taken, because she was sure "these men would never say such things i n front of a woman." "Rest assured," I told her, "these are their words, in the order in which they were spoken, in the fullness of the complexity of their concerns. I have the original interview on videotape." The F u t u r e When I approached a leader in the bui lding trades sector about presenting the video of the play at their upcoming conference, there seemed to be some discomfort. Whether this was coming from the shortness of lead t ime, or some resistance to opening that door to his brotherhood was unclear. There was no invi tat ion to future potentialit ies. I t is clear to me that i t w i l l take a willingness, one men have shown before, but for other purposes. This notion of willingness found its way into a br ief story at the urging of a professor who heard me talk about i t : W i l l i n g n e s s M y f r u s t r a t i o n w i t h n o t b e i n g a b l e t o a c c e s s o n e - p a r t i c u l a r E n d n o t e l i b r a r y d r o v e me o u t o f t h e r o o m , f o r a q u i c k w a l k around t h e c e n t r e , i t w a s a f t e r £>, and a p r o f e s s o r w a s a t t h e p h o t o c o p i e r . To her "How I s I t g o i n g ? " I h a d t o r e p l y t h a t I w a s f r u s t r a t e d , b u t t h a t I w a s w a l k i n g a w a y a n d w o u l d be b a c k . " B u t y o u a t L e a s t h a v e t h e s k i l l s t o t h i n k a b o u t w h a t m i g h t be g o i n g w r o n g . * " N o , " I s a i d , "I h a v e a w i l l i n g n e s s t o k e e p t r y i n g d i f f e r e n t t h i n g s . I learned many years, ago t h a t j ) t i m e s o u t o f 10, w h e n your car s t o p s o n t h e s i d e o f t h e road, I f y o u a r e w i l l i n g t o g e t o u t a n d l o o k under the hood, you w i l l f i n d j u s t a Loose w i r e , o r o n e disconnected from your d i s t r i b u t o r c a p , a h o s e connection or something else s i m p l e a n d e a s y t o f i x . W h e n y o u a r e on a dark country road, that w i l l i n g n e s s I s a n e c e s s i t y . T h e same a p p l i e s t o c o m p u t e r s . j u s t g e t t i n g I n t h e r e a n d trying d i f f e r e n t t h i n g s can L e a d t o a s o l u t i o n . ' " w i l l i n g n e s s , * s h e mused, " t h a t ' s a n e w t e r m , you may be o n t o s o m e t h i n g t h e r e , Have y o u e v e r w r i t t e n a b o u t t h a t ? " Chapter V I I I - Green Room Conversations 136 o u r conversation e x p l o r e d s o m e o f t h e p o t e n t i a l g e n d e r d i f f e r e n c e s I n t h e u s e o f w i l l i n g n e s s , s h e w a n t e d t o u s e t h e w o r d c o u r a g e , y e s , t h e r e I s s o m e o f t h a t I n t h e k i n d o f r i s k - t a k i n g b e h a v i o u r required t o a p p r o a c h e n g a g i n g I n n e w hands-on l e a r n i n g . B u t I w a s t h i n k i n g m o r e a b o u t B l u f f i n g , h o w w h e n someone s a y s " S o a n d s o n e e d s t o be d o n e , w h o c a n d o I t ? * a n d t h e w o m e n w i l l t h i n k , " w e l l , I h a v e o n l y d o n e I t t h r e e t i m e s , p e r h a p s t h a t i s n o t g o o d e n o u g h , * w h i l e t h e m e n w i l l a l l y e l l o u t " s u r e ! , I c a n d o i t , ' k n o w i n g t h e y h a v e n e v e r d o n e e x a c t l y t h a t b e f o r e , b u t b e i n g w i l l i n g t o t r y a n d p e r h a p s s u c c e e d , i t i s t h e d i f f e r e n c e b e t w e e n l e t t i n g t h e h i s t o r y o f l e a r n e d h e l p l e s s n e s s p r e v a i l , I n s t e a d of finding t h e w i l l i n g n e s s t o t r y t o p r o v e o n e s e l f i n t e r v e n t i o n s f o r w o m e n , l i k e W o m e n I n T r a d e s a n d T e c h n o l o g y ( W I T T ) a n d < ^ i r l s e x p l o r i n g T r a d e s a n d T e c h n o l o g y ( < ^ e T T ) Cours.es. have b e e n f o c u s i n g o n p r o v i d i n g t h e s p a c e a n d t h e t o o l s I n a s a f e e n v i r o n m e n t t o e n g a g e t h a t c o u r a g e , t h a t w i l l i n g n e s s , s o m e w o m e n h a v e learned I t b e f o r e , w h e n c h a l l e n g e d b y b r o t h e r s o r f a t h e r s , o r b y t h e i r o w n desire t o succeed i n a l l t h a t t h e y d o . M a n y h a v e b e e n s t o p p e d b y r u l e s , o r w a l l s , o r u n w e l c o m i n g a t t i t u d e s . T h e i r w i l l i n g n e s s w a s s u s p e c t , a n d f a d e d . F o r s o m e , t h e i n t e r v e n t i o n s h a v e p r o v i d e d t h e i m p e t u s t o t a k e t o o l s i n h a n d a n d t r y , t h e w i l l i n g n e s s t o m a k e m i s t a k e s f o r a g r e a t e r success. B u t s t i l l t h e w a l l s a r e t h e r e . W h a t b u i l d s t h o s e w a l l s ? T h e o n e s o u t s i d e o f ourselves? Now is the t i m e for the m e n to come f o r w a r d . W i l l t hey be w i l l ing? C h a p t e r I X G e n d e r , M a s c u l i n i t y a n d W o r k I n t r o d u c t i o n I n the spir i t of Bakhtin's dialogism 5 0 , I present this chapter and the next as an inter i l luminat ion, an orchestration of heteroglossia 5 7. The "dif fering individual voices f lourish" (Bakht in & Holquist, 1981, p. 263) and create themes w i th in the play and between the l i terature and the play, much like Pachabel's Canon. I hope to provide space between the text and the reader for thought fu l reflection/action w i th the participants voices, for revell ing in tha t moment of The Stop (Appelbaum, 1995), where new knowledge can be constructed. I draw on Bakhtin's notion of polyphony, where, w i th in the "many-voicedness" of the play, Men & Women and Tools, the "author" "does not speak over the characters' heads..." (Vice, 1997, pp. 4, 6). The characters speak w i t h their own 5 0 Dialogism is "the characteristic epistemological mode of a world dominated by heteroglossia (At any given time/place, there wi l l be a set of conditions—social, historical, meteorological, physiological—that wi l l insure that a word uttered...will have meaning different than i t would have under any other conditions, p. 428.) Everything means, is understood, as a part of a greater whole—there is constant interaction between meanings, all of which have the potential of conditioning others (Bakhtin & Holquist, 1981, p. 426). 51 The novel orchestrates all its themes, the totality of the world of objects and ideas depicted and expressed in it, by means of the social diversity of speech types and by differing individual voices that flourish under such conditions. Authorial speech, the speeches of narrators, inserted genres, the speech of characters are merely those fundamental compositional unities with whose help heteroglossia can enter the novel; each of them permits a multiplicity of social voices and a wide variety of their links and interrelationships (always more or less dialogized). (Bakhtin & Holquist, 1981, p. 263). Chapter IX - Gender, Masculini ty and Work 138 voices and words, as they did in the original interview, "author's and [characters'] discourses interact on equal terms" (Bakhtin, Voloshinov, Medvedev, & Morris, 1994, pp. 248-249). I n the play, Men & Women and Tools, one might, then, argue that characters are represented not as objects who are manipulated and commented upon by an omniscient narrator, but as subjects, on an equal footing with the narrator (their voices are constructed in exactly the same way as this figure's voice), whose own word about themselves and each other is all we know about them (Vice, p. 114). I n this chapter of interweavings of the voices of the play interacting w i t h scholars looking at sex and gender in technical work from historical and cul tural perspectives, "dialogic interaction w i l l occur w i th in textualized heteroglossia, w i t h potential ly posit ion-altering effects" (Vice, 1997, p. 18). Polyphony and yet Parody As the "author" of the play, I "reproduce the speech of the other" i f not "neutral ly" and "objectively," at least " in al l its authori ty, as in 'recitation'" (Manjal i , 2001). And yet, while the mult iple voices that make up the play have become an "internal ly dialogized inter i l luminat ion of languages, the intentions of the representing discourse are at odds w i th the intentions of the represented discourse; they f ight against them" (Bakht in, 1981, pp. 363-364). And, though I fought and struggled dur ing the creation of the play to mainta in the integr i ty of the men I interviewed, to ensure their dignity, to "represent them fairly," the complex result is that I have also used their voices to create "an expose to destroy the represented language" (Bakht in, 1981, pp. 363-364). I have created a parodic 5 2 stylization. The play is both parodic and tragic. 5 2 "...a joyous, chaotic, subversive, energetic play with/play against the dominant language forms for the purposes of shaking free the mind and spirit, an energy and activity often Chapter IX - Gender, Masculini ty and Work 139 Hopefully, i t is not a "gross and superficial destruction of the other's language, as happens in rhetorical parody" (p. 364). Hopefully i t is "authentic and productive," able to "re-create that parodied language as an authentic whole, giving i t its due as a language possessing i ts own world inextricably bound up w i t h the parodied language." By combining my own voice w i th each of the other unique perspectives: those I interviewed, and scholars who wri te from less personal perspectives, "the mult ip l ic i ty of social voices" (Bakht in & Holquist, 1981, p. 263) w i l l create a "crit ical interanimation of languages," an inter i l luminat ion that "enters into in teranimat ing relationships w i th new contexts." Ideas, expressed in language, are located as outcomes of social and historical processes. As an interactive part of ongoing historical processes, language, and hence ideology, is open to change; and i t is open to i t through dialogue and narrat ive, heteroglossia and polyglossia, interaction, history, and the parodic (Lye, 2003, para. 18). When I was able to hold the two elements, the play and the voices of the l i terature, side by side, I discovered some interest ing roots and relationships for the words spoken by the men in the interview. There was an interanimation: they both i l luminate and inform one another. Contex t While some have documented the facts 5 3 , there have been few interrogations by feminists of what underlies male resistances to equity ini t iat ives and women in technical fields. Ava Baron suggests that "the history of work ing class masculinity has yet to be wr i t ten" (1991a, p. .30). bell hooks decries the lack of feminist wr i t ing officially recognized and sanctioned" (Lye, 2003, bottom third). Could it also be seen as an intentional mockery; a burlesque, a travesty? [i.e. The trial was a parody of justice.] (Braid, 1981; Braundy, 1989b; Cockburn, 1983, 1985a, 1991; Grzetic et al., 1996) Chapter IX - Gender, Masculini ty and Work 140 that addresses men and masculinity in clear, concise ways (hooks, 2004, p. 111). This section explores the historical construction of masculine ident i ty as i t relates to work, part icular ly in trades and technical t ra in ing and work, and how that construction has influenced resistance to the integrat ion of women i n those fields. The historical facts of such resistance have been well-documented, from the industr ia l revolution to the present day. The current experience of women in trades and technical fields is rooted i n these historical constructions, as seen in the words of the men in the play, Men & Women and Tools. I am not looking "for the original or founding cause" (Barrett & Phil l ips, 1992, p. 3) of the structures of oppression, the elements are too complex and interacting to be able to identi fy singular specificities. Shedding l ight on the historical roots of practices that continue to construct this oppression may help others to see how their own behaviours contribute to these effects. Power and Hierarchy: the historical roots of practices The historical construction of patriarchal masculinity (hooks, 2004) in work outside the home, i n Nor th America, France and Great Br i ta in since the 1850s 5 4 , offers "a myr iad of relations of power and hierarchy, including between employer and employee, men and boys, whites and blacks" (Baron, 1991c, p. 1) and also between men and women. Ava Baron (1991a) documents the changes i n labour history itself, as i t moved from a study of labour unions towards a reflection of the history and sociology of the working class overall, and their relations to production. She notes the continuing gap i n the expression and analysis of women's experience as part of that work ing class, and the missing analysis of male experience in the 5 4 (Baron, 1991c; Cockburn, 1983, 1988, 1992; Downs, 1995; hooks, 2004; Noble, 1992) Chapter IX - Gender, Masculini ty and Work 141 work world as gendered: "the history of work ing class masculinity has yet to be wr i t ten. . . [we need to understand] the significance of gender regardless of women's presence or absence" (pp. 30, 20). She goes on to postulate questions for examining employment practices, work processes and workplaces as gendered spaces that shape our lives, e.g. how do people construct and understand what i t means to be a man or a woman? What are the terms, the discourses, the social practices and the mater ial power relations that influence working class [and male technical] experience? How are they formulated and changed? How does race intersect w i t h these elements? (pp. 32-35). The essays in her book reflect a deep engagement w i th history from these perspectives, to show us how "gender is important for understanding men's as wel l as women's work and part icipation in the labor force" (p. 38). The progression of ideas in the f irst chapter of her book provides an excellent frame for some of my own conceptions, and the reflections of others I have read on these subjects. Labour history as women's story Women's labour history is often isolated as par t of Feminist scholarship, rather than incorporated and analyzed w i th in the context of their relationship to the "working class." Baron asserts that labour historians relegate women workers to their "pr imary" roles as "wives, mothers and daughters" (p. 7), and analyze their part icipation in the work world as "transient," and their " feminini ty" as a symbol of their lack of "ski l l , economic independence, and commitment to work..." This is contrasted w i t h efforts by women's labour historians, often sidelined as feminist and not as worthy, to incorporate women's part icipation i n labour unions and labour activity in general, noting that they were often "stymied by the discriminatory tactics of the male-dominated labor movement" (p. 9). Chapter IX - Gender, Masculini ty and Work 142 The current experiences of female trades and technical workers bear witness to the ongoing nature of discriminatory practices. These are described by Braid in the construction sector (1981; 2003); in my own representation of the voices of women in trades and technology in Canada (1989b) and the reflections of men who work in trades (2002); in Cockburn's studies of the pr in t ing industry (1983), the history of technology (1992), and sex equity in organizations in England (1991); Ferguson & Sharpies' stories of blue-collar women in the Uni ted States (1994); Goldberg's research into the construction industry for the Amalgamated Construction Association of Br i t ish Columbia (1992); Gray's expose of shop floor practices at Westinghouse (1987); Greztic's policy study of women and technical work in At lant ic Canada (1998), her earlier probe, w i t h Shrimpton, & Skipton, of women's experience in the offshore oil project at Hibernia, and Har t & Shrimpton's in-depth examination of women's t ra in ing and work there (2003); Riibsamen-Waigmann et al.'s documentation of women in industr ia l research for the European Commission (2003); and in Schom-Moffatt & Braundy's quanti tat ive and quali tat ive survey of those who graduated from trades and technical exploratory programs for women (1989). Returning to a more historical view, Baron (1991a) notes that "women's labour historians in i t ia l ly downplayed differences between men and women," and highlights the important clarifications gained from looking at the unique ways women formed the bonds that led to a successful level of solidarity in a variety of labour struggles i n both unionized and non-union worksites. She poses questions, "What assumptions about gender have been structured into unions? How does the union organization serve to recreate or challenge gender hierarchies?" and others that might explicate the underlying factors for the denial of access and acceptance of women in working-class labour and history. Chapter IX - Gender, Masculini ty and Work 143 Skill acquisition and ownership as gender identity Across the l i terature on masculinities through the late 2 0 t h and early 2 1 s t centuries 5 5 , men and women have delved into male psyches and social structures to either just i fy, excuse, remould or i l luminate men's relations to women, to themselves, to power, violence, sports, organizational and management activities and sexuality. The steel wires undergirding themes of masculinity and technical work w i t h tools have rarely been explored in great depth. Even Bob Connell, considered by many to be an authori ty on men and masculinity, only examines work in terms of class relations and unemployment, w i t h a fleeting, superficial reference to technical skills and expertise as constructors of a part icular type of masculinity (Connell, 1995) . He does, however, reference Cynthia Cockburn's work on engineering and technical know-how in new technologies (1985a). Cockburn is among a select group of women who have explored, examined and investigated men at work in trades and technologies (Hacker, 1989). I n each of the books wr i t ten on her unique research projects, Cockburn takes us into and analyzes the work ing lives of those who are engaged w i t h the technologies of production (Cockburn, 1988) [Italics added]. Cockburn (1992) explicates the factors that led to the perception of women's absence as she tracks the development of technology from feudal times when women were an integral part of producing what was needed for family and community life, to a more classrbased society, where warfare based on metal tools and weapons segregated women into activities related specifically to domestic consumption: dairy work, spinning, weaving, and gardening (p. 196-197). The craft 5 5 (Brod, 1987; Cockburn, 1983, 1985a, 1991; Connell, 1987, 1995; Edley & Wetherell, 1995; Hearn, 1994; Hearn et al., 2002; Kaufman, 1987; Kimmel, 1987; Kimmel & Messner, 2001; Legault, 2003a; Mac an Ghaill, 1996; Messner, 1997; Noble, 1992; Pinar, 1992, 2001; Tolson, 1977; Willis, 1981) Chapter IX - Gender, Masculinity and Work 144 and merchant guilds constructed the rules for apprenticeship and controlled who had access, not only for production of goods, but especially for those who "produced tools and implements: carpenter, shipwright and various kinds of smith. The guilds were male in character..." (p. 198). Women in the towns were found in occupations related to their domestic purview: brewers and bakers, inn-keepers and textile workers. Cockburn notes that this division of labour was not absolute, that women were also found in skil led and semi-skilled occupations such as shoe-maker, draper or chandler, and might even be a member of a guild "wi thout actually ply ing the trade," having inheri ted i t from a husband or father. Women did not have a place in skills that were required for making tools, implements and weapons...[which] involved competence in the production or adaptation of other producers instruments of labour.. .those that make machinery.. .those who possessed these skills had a source of power over everyone who did not (p. 199) [Emphasis added]. Cockburn adds, "the technological skills, defined as male property, were therefore both a cause and an effect of male supremacy." She posits that as the newly emerging capitalists structured new relations, as owners of the tools, between producers and their products, "working men alone had the craft know-how to use [the tools]" (p. 202), giving them their strongest bargaining power over the next couple of centuries. "These technical men were the one category of worker whose earning power was not reduced by the introduction of machinery" (wi th Marx, p. 203). Ava Baron turns to ski l l as a factor for i l luminat ing the gaps in the analysis of work-based masculinity. Working class historians have "paid much more attention to skil led workers and their craft", conflating ski l l w i t h mil i tancy, ski l l that gave male workers greater leverage "both as men and as workers." She Chapter IX - Gender, Masculini ty and Work 145 highlights that "women were less l ikely to be found in art isan trades" (p. 14), but notes that "skills are not simply ideological epiphenomena; they are a part of a larger process by which the occupational structure itself is created" (p. 36). I n Ben Birnbaum's study of the clothing industry, i t was found that "the same type of machine work was classified as skil led when performed by men, and semi-skilled when performed by women" (in Segal, 1997, p. 299). Such a process constructs a world i n which "the craftworker's belief that sk i l l was l inked to manhood influenced the form and content of class conflicts and relations between male and female workers" (p. 14). Men's working-class historians contributed to this construction in their wr i t ings by making women "subservient to the study of modes of production." This construction of the ownership of ski l l is a significant p art of the foundation upon which women's exclusion from t ra in ing and technical work has been predicated for "the intervening 200 or 300 years" (Kirkup & Keller, 1992, p. 202). Such a conflation of ski l l w i t h masculine industry is. a denial of women's active part icipation in crafts work and productive labour both i n feudal times (Noble, 1992) and throughout the rise of capitalism and socialism (Cockburn, 1985a; Zuga, 1998). Women were also employed, particularly when single, in the heaviest types of manual labour, were exploited as domestic servants,...working in the fields, and even carrying coal, washing lead and breaking ore in the mines...[they] became outworkers in their own homes...and followed the work to the factories (Kirkup & Keller, 1992, p. 205). The technical skills needed and used by women i n the domestic sphere are easily transferable to other materials and industr ies 5 6 . But, the female labour force was subjugated to the needs of both patr iarchy and capital ism. While women were (Booth, 1981; Booth & Murch, 1981; Cockburn & Ormrod, 1993) Chapter IX - Gender, Masculini ty and Work 146 often forced into earning some form of an independent wage, " i t was quickly subsumed into household income for the disposition of the head of the household" (Kirkup & Keller, 1992, p. 206). The earnings may have been from occupations t radi t ional to women or from the wider range of labouring work afforded to them in the factory systems in making "nails, bolts, screws, buckles, locks, bits and stirrups" (p. 207). They may have been tending production of the machines, but would never have set them up or kept them running. " I t could be taken as a given that those jobs belonged to men" (p. 207). C o n s t r u c t i o n s o f gender d i v i s ions o f l a b o u r For the men i n the play, Men & Women and Tools, gender is a dichotomy, "a static structure... reified," w i t h l i t t le understanding of the "mult ipl ici t ies of co-existing gender[ed]...processes embedded in social relationships, inst i tut ions and processes" (Baron, 1991a, p. 36). There is l i t t le comprehension that those processes are integral to "a myr iad of other relations of power and hierarchy" the study of which means going beyond looking at male and female workers to how gender is "bui l t into the organization and social relations of work." As Baron (1991c) "examine [s] how the cul tural meanings attr ibuted to sexual differences developed and changed and w i th what consequences for work and labour conflicts" (p. 37), she unpeels the layers of the gender schema referred to in Why So Slow? The Advancement of Women (Vall ian, 1998) 5 7 . Baron's depiction of the minute and global challenges faced by women and men as they struggled to f ind economic sustenance provides an historical context for how concepts and practices of gender difference have been constructed, contested and continue to change, creating space for new deconstructions and reconstructions w i t h attendant polit ical and social 5 7 The concept of a sex/gender system or gender schema has also been noted by Connell (1987; 2002), Carrigan, Connell and Lee (1987) and Edley & Wetherell (1995). Chapter IX - Gender, Masculini ty and Work 147 implications. One is both heartened and disheartened at the tenacity of women who fought those battles both w i th in and outside of labour unions. We also f ind the roots of the current catastrophic undermining of apprenticeship t ra in ing as a ski l l bui lding tool, when Ava Baron demonstrates the contradictions created as male workers t r ied to redefine their craft i n l ight of changes wrought by the Industr ia l Revolution (1991a; 1991b), struggling against the employers who were looking to emasculate (deskill) the individuals who gained their strength from their unique abilities to wield the tools of production. We are able to see how, in al l of these struggles, women were the losers as they were characterized and genderized as less f i t or seemly for the work, and not suitable to the task. The fine lines that were drawn to define the distinctions between "manly" work and what was to be left to the women seem ludicrous to some today, and stand as a representation of the "perpetuated sex segregation and gender-based wage differentials" (Baron, 1991a; Downs, 1995). A n interesting note here is the different characterizations and results obtained in kn i t t ing factories on both sides of the At lant ic Ocean. Feminist historian Joy Parr, in her extensive socio-cultural historical account of the industr ia l bases of two Ontario towns, documents the migrat ion of workers from the midlands in England to the small town of Paris, in southwestern Ontario. Following the pattern of family production in the hosiery and kn i t goods industry, men and women worked i n the kn i t t ing industry on both sides of the At lant ic . A t the tu rn of the century, after the move into the factories from handcraft ing to steam production, differences emerged: In the technological and organizational changes that followed, knitting rooms became disputed terrains. As the sexual division of labour was reformulated with increasing automation, the knitter was the worker whose appropriate Chapter IX - Gender, Masculini ty and Work 148 gender was most in question, most frequently seen to require explanation and defence. In the midlands and in Ontario knitting was made men's or women's work through a complex interaction which combined tradition from the workshop and the early factory with social prescriptions about who was entitled C to work for wages at all and characteristics of the local labour market and labour organization and of both the product market and the prevailing technology (Parr, 1990, p. 60). But the gendered occupational distr ibut ion was sold to the public in terms of the skills required to perform the work, and the workers' abi l i ty to adjust the machines, skills that, more often than not, were obtained through apprenticeship as wel l as through use, and often, part icularly in unionized factories in the midlands, contested to be men's work. "Women did not jo in the unions i n as great numbers as did men," perhaps for the same reasons that plague some unions today: women's double work role w i t h home and family responsibilities, and the treatment they often undergo once they do become members (Braundy, 1989b; Cockburn, 1991; Legault, 2003a). Regardless, "union officials intervened more frequently and f i rmly to defend men's jobs than they did those of women and, in disputes over entit lement by gender to jobs, consistently favoured males" (Parr, 1990, p. 66). The difference in the Ontario mil ls, where the machinery and kn i t t ing practices were almost identical, was that rather than small Engl ish factories independently producing specific goods, there was only one major employer who controlled the "yarn mi l l , dye house, three kn i t t ing mil ls, and a box factory" and "Canadian managers...saw a good community mix of men's and women's jobs as the best way to secure a stable female labour force"(Parr, 1990, p. 70), while at the same time keeping clear divisions of labour between men and women w i t h mechanical skills as a divider. When women's part icipation in industry dur ing the First World Chapter IX - Gender, Masculini ty and Work 149 War proved them to be ski l fu l on al l the elements of production, the gender division was recreated, this t ime based on day and night shift work. Along w i t h Parr, from the 1820s to the 1970's, Baron's essays document the facts of the gendered, class-ridden and racialized struggles of workers as the effects of technological changes were felt i n industry in Nor th America, and the impact that had on women's labour history as those struggles were won and lost. M a s c u l i n i t y at W o r k I t is fascinating to discover that the most wel l art iculated analyses and proposals for considering the area of masculinities and work have come from women 5 8 . While men have explored masculinities related to sports, politics, sex roles, psychoanalysis and hetero/homosexuality, there is a dearth of studies among male researchers which look at the construction and defence of masculinity as a gendered project relat ing specifically to work and work-related subjects, part icular ly in trades and technical work, w i t h a few noted exceptions 5 9. Roger Horowitz, associate director of the Hagley Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society in Wil lmington, Delaware, is one of the exceptions. W i t h ideas growing out of the "germinative impact" of Ava Baron's Work Engendered, Boys and Their Toys—Masculinity, Class and Technology in America, Horowitz's edited volume (2001) has a balance of male and female authors. They recount, from a variety of applicable settings, how gender as an analytic category, along w i t h other factors, is embedded in and produces the social construction of work identities. Also a socio-cultural historical explication, the essays in this book look at 19 t h and 2 0 t h Century settings where versions of "manhood" were consciously 5 8 (Baron, 1991a, 1991b, 1991c; Braid, 1981, 2003; Cockburn, 1983, 1985a, 1991; Hart & Shrimpton, 2003; Legault, 2001, 2003a; Parr, 1990) 59 (Gray , 1987; H o r o w i t z , 2001; Noble , 1992; a n d to some extent, W i l l i s , 1981) Chapter IX - Gender, Masculini ty and Work 150 created and "rough" vs. "respectable" manhood were contested and co-opted by both unions and employers in their struggles for the hearts, minds and bodies of workers. I n Stephen Meyer's examination of Masculine Culture on the Automotive Shop Floor, 1930-1960 (in Horowitz, 2001), the swaggering competition for impression management (Goffman, 1959) as "each t r ied to impress the others w i th how important his part icular job was, how much ski l l i t required" (Meyer, 2001, p. 14) fed into increasingly masculinized versions of who belonged in the world of manufactur ing and construction. "For Marquar t [an early autoworker and labour radical who wrote reflectively in 1975] and his circle, manhood meant work (especially skil led work), daily dr inking, and the weekend foray to what they nicknamed 'Joy Street,' the red-light district" (p. 14). While I am concerned at the lack of self-reflection and analysis of this part icular construction of women in the lives of these men, the descriptions of the workplace as "central to the forming, nur tur ing, widening, and deepening of masculine culture" rings true today. "Yet men were men...and they persistently insisted on their male r ight of social interaction on the shop floor" (p. 21). Jerry, the part icipant in this study who came out as a "redneck," makes i t clear that these lines are st i l l being drawn in the 2 1 s t Century when he cries out: Isn't there any place left where guys can just be guys anymore? To become a man requires the denigration of women Jerry: And what do they talk about? Their jobs, cars and women! And goin' out drinkin'. And let's say, 80% of the males will talk like that. I got this girlfriend, she's hot, really hot. OK? We can talk about our trucks, we can talk about our females, we can talk about the girl in the bathing suit walking by the worksite, right? For construction workers, manliness took on a 'decidedly male idiom' characterized by 'physical jousting, sexual boasting, sports talk, and shared Chapter IX - Gender, Masculini ty and Work 151 sexual activities,' which consciously operated to exclude and debase women....The remasculinization of the shop floor often resulted in the general degradation and dehumanization of all women" (Meyer, 2001, pp. 17-18). There was a struggle for definitions of manhood between rough and respectable in the f i rst decades of the 2 0 t h Century, w i t h "dr ink ing, f ight ing, gambling and confrontational opposition to management" on the one hand, and demonstrating their competence and r ight to the respectable side of male culture w i t h "relatively high wages...economic stabil i ty and independence" (pp. 17-18) on the other. Women had no place on either side in the automotive industry. Close to 100 years later, Jerry is wi l l ing to incorporate women into his reflections, but damns their presence in even small numbers, his complaint indicating the small cul tural changes that have evolved early in the 2 1 s t Century: Jerry: When you get a female in the place, you can't do that. Cynthia Cockburn found similar desires for female exclusion in male -dominated worksites i n her historical tracing of men, women and technology in the pr in t ing industry: But for many of the men, it was unthinkable that women should be allowed to join the all-male trade society from which they drew so much of their self-respect as artisans and men. It was their club, as sacrosanct as the gentleman's dining club in Pall Mall...it has always been men's work...a large number of men are attracted to the trade because it is man's employment (Cockburn, 1983, pp. 152-154). I n their chapter on Masculini ty and Social Relations, Edley & Wetherell (1995) cit ing Tolson (1977) depict working-class men as "more directly humil iated by capitalist practices, and more directly subordinated," compensating for this w i th "an exaggerated masculine culture... a language of brotherhood, a chauvinistic sexuality, blatant machismo...," a greater will ingness to direct confrontation w i th Chapter IX - Gender, Masculini ty and Work 152 authority, and ".. . [ t ]alk of sport, sex, and practical joking" for the basis of a "highly stylized symbolic exchange of masculinity" (p. 105). I n Brothers - Male Dominance and Technological Change, a study of the history and current status of masculinity construction in the pr in t ing trade, Cockburn (1983) suggests "the social currency of the composing room is women and women-objectifying talk, f rom sexual expletives and innuendo through to narrations of exploits and fantasies." I t is interesting to note the way the real i ty of that gr i t ty characterization emerged in the interview the play is based upon. Meyer (2001) noted that skilled craft workers' respectability and economic security, founded on a masculinity that valued ski l l , control and independent decision making, was not above the inclusion of other pleasures of the flesh, which then became an intr insic part of their social interaction. Moving back and for th across the shop floors of various working-class industr ia l sites, Meyer focuses on the automobile and auto parts sector to explicate the impacts of the industr ial izat ion mandates of Taylorism and Fordism on the formation of masculine identi ty and culture. The subversion of the hard-won "respectable" ident i ty came from the loss of control and loss of ski l l w i t h the onset of progressively more complex automation and was exacerbated by "the growing movement of women and children into formerly all-male terrain," leading to a derogation of "those who appeared to threaten them." "The oral histories of women who worked in the automobile and auto parts plants in the 1930s testify to the harassment and abuse from their male colleagues at the workplace" (2001, p. 17). I t is curious where, in Meyer's presentation of the unski l led "rough...crude male communities" (p. 15) the Chinese rai lway and logging camp workers f i t. He does acknowledge that these issues are not ful ly explored in his work, nor is there an adequate exploration of the aspects of gender that include women. He refers to i t Chapter IX - Gender, Masculini ty and Work 153 as "the gendered component of masculine culture on the shop floor" in t imat ing that the subject is not gendered unless women are present, an inherent flaw in much research about masculinity. These elements are more effectively addressed i n Paul Taillon's chapter on Railroading (2001) where the stratif ications of skilled and unski l led labour are clearly inter twined w i t h race, and women were never included in the Brotherhood, a fact that ul t imately led to Canada's f irst court ordered integrat ion of women into Canadian National Railways's technical workforce (Cox, 2003; Supreme Court of Canada, 1987). Speaking out from the belly of the beast60 Gus: No, they shouldn't be treated differently but they are! A woman is under the microscope all the time. The more moderate men don't speak up or challenge the sexist bullies, afraid of having their masculinity questioned (Gray, 1987, p. 386). There is a set of l i terature by male academics, wel l documented in some of the feminist explorations, which examines the history of work i n part icular settings. Some of those even those focus on the construction of masculinity in those male cultures, but my work here is more informed by those who use the construction of gender idea(l)s to look at the inclusions and exclusions of women as well , in those technical work processes. Stan Gray is a unique example of this latter category. A worker and union activist in the Westinghouse plant in Ontario dur ing the 1970s and 1980s, he broke ranks w i th his brothers, and wrote from wi th in the belly of the beast to challenge 6 0 This notion was first expressed by me, in 1989, in relation to my participation on the Canadian Labour Market and Productivity Centre National Task Force on Apprenticeship, where I was the lone woman among 12 male scions of industry and labour. Donna Haraway's (1992) work using this concept has since been called to my attention. Chapter IX - Gender, Masculini ty and Work 154 the "policy briefs and unanimous convention resolutions" which masked "a male resistance w i th in the unions and on the shop floor that doesn't surface publicly" (1987, p. 378). Acknowledging his own complicity, where for years he watched from the sidelines, he advocates for male unionists "to confront chauvinism openly w i th their brothers in the shop and in the labour movement" because "sexism is harmfu l to working men. I t runs counter to their interests and undermines male trade unionism". He goes on to describe the "debates and struggles among the men on the shop floor at Westinghouse," when women tr ied to move out of the tradi t ional ghettos to which they had been delegated in the Westinghouse factories in Ontario. As a health and safety activist, he was quite aware of the unsafe lengths to which men would go to prove they were "manly," and the ways management used this. He became more aware of their embedded sexism when women, whose plant had closed, transferred into his plant. Dur ing some of his union brothers' challenges to these transfers, part icularly the one where they suggested that women might be able to do some of the jobs, but certainly not al l of them, Gray found he had to remind them that many of the men could not do al l of the jobs, and there had been great struggles to ensure that those members w i t h health problems or back trouble or who found some work distasteful were protected and kept "their rates." Judy Wacjman notes, Craft workers, who have been seen as the defenders of working-class interests in struggles over technical change, in part derive their strength from their past exclusionary practices. Their gains have often been made at the expense of less skilled or less well-organized sections of the workforce, and this has in many cases involved the exclusion of women (1991, p. 34). Chapter IX - Gender, Masculini ty and Work 155 Stan Gray pushed them "to apply their class principles: universal standards of equal treatment. Treat women just as we treat brothers regarding work tasks, seniority, illness, etc." (p. 383). Gus reiterates this when he responds to Jerry: Jerry: I don't believe they should be treated any differently. Male or female, they have to keep up. Gus: To an extent that's true, but there's great big guys in construction and little wee men. The big guys get the big jobs and little guys get into the tight places. One aspect of Stan Gray's article stands out, amongst the important exhortations of his union brothers: his willingness to identify and explicate what I call "the wolf pack" mental i ty (Braundy, 1999, p. 203). At Westinghouse as elsewhere, many of the men are less chauvinist and more sensible than the others. But they often keep quiet in a group context. They allow the group pattern to be set by the most sexist bullies, whose style of woman hating everyone at least gives in to. These "psycho-sexists" achieve their result because they challenge, directly or by implication, the masculinity of any male who doesn't' act the same way. Your manhood is on the line if you don't gloat at the pornography or ridicule the women or join in the harassment. All the males, whatever their inclination are intimidated into acting or talking in a manner degrading to women (Gray, 1987, p. 386). Having f irst experienced the impacts of this mental i ty dur ing my pre-apprenticeship t ra in ing in Dawson Creek, Br i t ish Columbia, i t was hearte ning to f ind a man wi l l ing to speak openly to condemn the practices. Connie, the composite female character in the play, Men & Women and Tools, recognizes the necessity and also the infrequency of such a stance when she calls out, When are men going to start calling each other on this shit? Instead, they pat each other on the back and share in "good-natured insults" (Braid, in Braundy, 1983; Gray, 1987, p. 391) while enjoying the patriarchal dividend, "the Chapter IX - Gender, Masculini ty and Work 156 advantage to men as a group for maintain ing an unequal gender order" (Connell, 2002, p. 142). Regardless of individual men's actual feelings towards the women in their lives, be they co-workers, lovers, wives or sisters, "men gain a dividend from patr iarchy in terms of honour, prestige and the r ight to command. They also gain a mater ial dividend" (Connell, 1995, p.82). "Monetary benefits are not the only k ind of benefit. Others are authori ty, respect, service, safety, housing, access to inst i tut ional power, and control over one's own life" (Connell, 2002, p. 142). Cockburn calls clearly for men to make a choice: "And men today have a choice: accept the patr iarchal system or work collectively to contradict i t . Be part of the problem or part of the solution." Such a notion leads directly to the statement that " [w]hat in the long run has to change is the pat tern of men's lives" (Cockburn, 1991, pp. 8-9, 104). Such challenges strike fear in the hearts of many men, Jerry: Geez, we're finally getting to the bottom of this. I've been working here for 22 years. You come in and want to change the way I've done my life. I'm too old to change. This has resulted in the continuing impedance and undermining of women at every level, wel l documented by Rosalie Abella, in the Royal Commission Report on Equal i ty in Employment (1984b); Kate Braid's (1979) M A thesis on female blue collar workers in BC; the voices of trades and technical women from across Canada (Braundy, 1989b); Cynthia Cockburn's study of male resistance to sex equity in organizations in England; Marie-Josee Legault's (2003a) examination of Worker Resistance to women in technical fields; and the unique survey of the experience of graduates of trades and technical exploratory courses for women (Schom-Moffatt & Braundy, 1989). Occasionally, we are seeing men take up this challenge. Stephen Petrina's review essay critique of the 44th Yearbook of the Council on Technology Teacher Chapter IX - Gender, Masculinity and Work 157 Education (1998) notes the lack of acknowledgement of extant female contributions to the field, feminist analysis of technology itself, or any reference to race and gender-based discussions of technological literacy. Petr ina suggests that based on Foundations of Technology Education, "technology education arrives intellectually stunted in the academy" ( th i rd last paragraph). Curriculum and Instruction for Technology Teachers (Petrina, Forthcoming), has an extensive background section on part icipation by sex i n technology intensive courses, and some of i ts historical roots. 6 1 But challenging the status quo in the technical classroom or workplace has its pit fal ls for women as wel l as for men. Researchers and consultants on equal opportunity and equity integration (Cockburn, p. 72) as wel l as both Federal and Provincial legislation and policies have noted the need for systemic organizational change i n order to effectively integrate women, visible minorit ies, aboriginal people, and people w i t h disabilities. The "Chil ly Climate" (Castell & Bryson, 1997; Chil ly Collective, 1995; Murch, 1991) created by the daily resistance and ongoing impedance wears down the psyche of both women and men, but women certainly pay the greater price. Masculine hegemony62 is under-evaluated as the men engage one another in the social discourse that constructs the world of trades and technology. The male workplace culture functions as a form of rebellion against the discipline of their society...It was 8 hours full of filth and dirt and grease 6 1 1 would argue that it would have been richer had he included the set of questions he developed for evaluating the quality of gender equity in the Technology classroom (1999), or described the Gender Panels and their contentions in student discourse so that others might get a better sense of how they might effect change their own classrooms. 6 2 See Connell (1995, p. 77) for the roots of the original term hegemony (Gramsci's analysis of class relations), also Cockburn, 1983, p. 205.) Connell uses it to explicate relations among men of various masculinities. Chapter IX - Gender, Masculinity and Work 158 and grime and sweat—manual labour, a manly atmosphere. They could be vulgar and obscene, talk about football and car repairs. Let their hair down. Boys could be boys. The manly factory culture becomes an outlet for accumulated anger and frustration... Working men everywhere are treated like dirt; at the bottom of the heap, under the thumb of the boss at work, scorned by polite society. But, the men can say, we are better than them all in certain ways—"man's work." Physically tough. The women can't do it, the bankers and politicians neither. Tough work gives a sense of masculine superiority and this compensates for being stepped on and ridiculed... The Women's Invasion threatens all this (Gray, 1987, p. 388). Stan Gray could have been s i t t ing i n on the interview on which the play was based, to develop his representation of workplace culture, as could Kate Braid for her rendit ion i l luminated in "Woman in a Man's Terr i tory: The Sexuality of the Non-Tradit ional Workplace" (1981). L i t t le has changed in this setting from the earlier studies 6 3 . What is notably pert inent is the protection of the trades workplace as a "last sanctum of male culture" (Gray, 1987, p. 388), "the last bastion of maleness" as Gus calls i t . Braid suggests that "a woman disrupts and destroys the exclusively male-defined sexual nature of the workplace" (1981, p. 68). I n practice class, gender, and race interact in complex and diverse ways 6 4 . When everyone in the room is white and male, no one notices there is an absence of women and people of colour. I t is (Braundy, 1994, 1989b; Cockburn, 1991; Legault, 2001, 2003a). 6 4 (Charles & Hughes-Freeland, 1996; Ferree, Lorber, & Hess, 1999; Hennessy & Ingraham, 1997; Rothenberg, 1998) Chapter IX - Gender, Masculinity and Work 159 only w i th the introduction of an Other that the incumbents can become identifiable as white and male. Gus: I t comes down to: do you feel comfortable w i th women in your personal life? The real i ty of the impact of sexual innuendo on a worksite is only seen when one can th ink about that real experience in relation to a sister or daughter, a fr iend or companion [See Chapter X] . P r i d e o f a t ang ib le a c c o m p l i s h m e n t Steve: I really liked the idea of saying "That's what I did today!" and then picking it up and making something else with it. Gus: Yea! Most guys like that, you know. The working men contrast themselves to other classes and take pride in having a concrete grasp on the physical world...we control the nuts and the bolts of production, have our hands on the machines and gears and valves and wires and lathes and pumps and furnaces and spindle and batteries. We're the masters of the real and the concrete, manipulate the steel and the lead and the wood and the oil and aluminium. We know what is genuine— the real and specific world of daily life (Gray, 1987, p. 389). But I, too, have always referred to my construction workwor ld as the "real" work, when I am in settings I see as removed from that, such as a community college, boardroom tables, a university classroom. I take such pride i n my work, as do other women, so wel l depicted in studies and representations 6 5 . Why is that so threatening? The printers interviewed by Cynthia Cockburn had much to say about the satisfaction of a job wel l done, "they likened i t to a sense of completion...Tve done 6 5 (Braid, 1991a; Braundy, 1989b; Ferguson & Sharpies, 1994; Grzetic et al., 1996; Hart & Shrimpton, 2003) Chapter IX - Gender, Masculini ty and Work 160 that'.. . 'You could feel you were involved w i th a base mater ial , creating something out of i t , l ike a carpenter w i t h wood..." (1983, p. 51). You can hear their echo in the voices of men in the play, Men & Women and Tools: And then you discover that Connie has the same intensity of feeling about her experience of the work: Connie: I do too! I created the blade for my spokeshave from a car leaf spring, bending it to fit my carved wooden handle, hardening it in that intense oven; honing the cutting edge. I made folding chairs... Jason: You're creating something real! 'Half the enjoyment is seeing the thing go off at the end of a shift and being able to say: I've done that...and you feel as if you had achieved something.. .A good comp [compositor] is an artist as well as working with his [sic] hands, like Michelangelo I suppose...I like to do a man's job. To me, to get your hands dirty and work...brings dignity to people...doing something useful...That's what it is all about. Craftsmanship'(in Cockburn, 1983, pp. 51-52). Many tradesmen see their capacity to use tools to produce the "real" necessities of life as part of their "manhood," and are surprised to learn that female tradesworkers can have a similar experience. But i t is when that "real" work is threatened that the resistance becomes even more palpable. I remember part icularly the recession in the early 1980's, when the recession h i t a l l of a sudden, after a boom period of intense construction in dam bui ld ing and coalfield development in Southeastern Br i t ish Columbia. As the recession went on, several of my union brothers, who knew no other work for themselves, were forced onto welfare. They were devastated by the experience, and yet, many had not the imagination to t u r n their skills to something else that might see them through. Heavy construction was al l they knew to earn their "competence." Chapter IX - Gender, Masculini ty and Work 161 But i t is not fear of recession alone that causes the resistance, fear complicated by the received notion of masculine ident i ty as the breadwinner. The economic picture is often suggested as a rationale for fewer women being hired and trained, but in 1992, Employment and Immigrat ion Canada produced a research paper looking at Apprenticeship Trends (Welch, 1992). I t presented the registrations, completions and terminations for men and women in the twelve most populated trades for the period between 1984 and 1991 (See Appendix D). There were massive shifts in the numbers of male apprentices before, dur ing and after the recession in the mid-1980s. There was l i t t le change in the numbers of women throughout. As an example, during the period 1986 to 1991, start ing in deep recession and ending in a boom, the number of male electrical apprentices went from 848 to 2009, while the numbers of female apprentices went from 17 to 21. Similarly, male carpentry apprentices went from 875 to 1912, and the numbers of female apprentices went from 24 to 22. Concomitantly, the numbers in Alberta were in line w i th t h i s 6 6 . The fact of the recession or the fact of the boom had no impact on the numbers of women who were able to access apprenticeship, even when the numbers of men more than doubled. The underlying factors must lie elsewhere. I t may be that some aspects can be at t r ibuted to underlying fears related to that part icular recession, but perhaps these results emanate from tradi t ional 6 6 I n 1995, out of 80 skil led trades in Alberta, there were 40 w i t h no female participants at al l . Only 7 trades achieved greater than 10 % female representation: cooking, baking, and landscape gardening among them. Hairs ty l ing was the only one to achieve greater than 33% representation (Alberta Apprenticeship & Industr ia l Training). Chapter IX - Gender, Masculinity and Work 162 historical constructions of messages for men about the need to keep these skills to themselves to ensure long term employability and 'stroke' or power in the workplace. But the result is the same. Technological Change and its impact on Skill Steve: The men are scared...Automation has killed a whole bunch of jobs, certainly in forestry and metalworking. Machines are doing stuff I never thought I'd see a machine doing. Gus: Like in our trade, used to be, you get a million dollar job, there are 10 guys on the job. Now you got a 10 million dollar job, we still only got 10. Steve: So everybody feels their job's on the line. The history of technological change throughout industries, and its attendant incursion into both the application of skills and the administrat ion of work processes, has been wel l documented by Cockburn (1983; 1985b), Ava Baron (1991c), and Laura Lee Downs (1995). Stan Gray, as a worker, reminds us that the technological changes occurring at Westinghouse plants had impact on the ski l l sets needed to accomplish the work, "eroding the heavy manual labour.. .making them simpler, easier, more standardized, tak ing the strength and ski l l out of them" (1987, p. 390). These industry shifts were affecting al l of the workers, removing the elements that gave pride of accomplishment, as wel l as assured place in the work. Steve and Gus make i t clear in the play that construction and manufactur ing are st i l l dealing daily w i th the impacts of technological changes i n their industries. The poignancy of their conversation epitomizes and reflects both the emotional and fiscal challenges this presents. I t also heralds its potential and real effect on women from al l the designated groups, racial and ethnic minor i ty men and the disabled. Chapter IX - Gender, Masculinity and Work 163 I t was a challenge to get the members of the CLMPC Task Force on Apprenticeship to even discuss re/training people w i t h disabilities. The recommendations (1990) do not effectively represent the denigrating conversations among the power elite, regarding inclusion i n discussions of Apprenticeship and tool ski l l development of even those disabled at work . I represented 'Equity' as the only woman among the 12 men. And these were men who were supposed to be leaders of industry and labour. Stan Gray reminds us, as does Steve i n the play, that union 'brothers' when put i n the role of President or chief steward can " th ink like patriarchs" which is "harmful to the labour movement" when i t substitutes for a democratic and active membership" (1987, p. 400). This was certainly my experience in the Carpenter's Union in Br i t ish Columbia. Many men have done others a disservice when faced w i t h the loss of their livelihood, or even the fear of that in the potential future. Since the advent of the Industr ia l Revolution, cottage industry moved out of the home, where al l members of a family had contributed to its economic well-being, and into factories where others controlled the process of work. W i t h this change came sex segregated workforces where women, who had been active contributors to the economic life, were relegated to specific social duties: child bearing and raising, the sustaining of home and hearth, and menial work tasks. As well, they were socially constructed as too fragile for the rough and tumble of the 'men's workplaces,' and somehow not capable of learning the intricacies of machine tools when i t came to working w i th metal but, paradoxically, were perfectly capable when i t came to mater ial made of cloth. A 19 t h century French adage, "To the man, woodworking and metals; to the woman, family and clothing" indicated that i t was a "distinction based on the resistance of the mater ial being transformed" (Downs, 1995, p. 213). Chapter IX - Gender, Masculinity and Work 164 A response to such a distinction is found w i t h the analysis of what lessons were needed in Women in Trades and Technology (WITT) exploratory programs (Booth & Murch, 1981; Braundy, 1997b), where pat ternmaking, cutt ing, f i t t ing, fastening and f inishing are practiced across a variety of materials from soft to hard, from cloth to wood to plastics and metal, and an analysis of transferable skills takes place. But at the t u r n of the last century, moving among the materials was unimaginable, and the acquisition of machine tool skills in the metal trades was denied to women (Baron, 1991c; Downs, 1995). Responses to technological change Responses to technological changes in the pr in t ing industry, for example, highl ight the meaning of ski l l i n the lives of men. The local union organizations were called 'chapels,' denoting their close association w i t h the sense of religious fervour used in the early days, to successfully protect their positions in the hierarchy of work ing people. Those who have gone through the t ime and rigour of apprenticeship, who have gotten their hands di r ty and used their skills to produce needed objects in the world, whose body/mind/soul are the means of production: they are the most affected when the machines come in and the work processes change, taking "the soul out of the job". Skill in the man was now out of kilter with skill in the job, and the union was only with great difficulty ensuring that skill as a class political concept held the line in the turmoil of this employer-sponsored revolution...is the loss of skill equivalent to the 'degradation of work'? (Cockburn, 1983, p. 116). Cockburn does an excellent job of uncovering the nuances and implications of the changes i n work processes pert inent to men's sense of being men. One of the elements of this is their sense of feeling Chapter IX - Gender, Masculinity and Work 165 reduced to the level of women. 'If girls can do it...then you are sort of deskilled you know, really.' ...levelling them down to what they see (and have always feared) as the undifferentiated mass of the working class: unskilled men, unemployed men, old men...and women (p. 118), each named in their relative sequence i n the hierarchal system of the patr iarchal order. She conflates the relation of ski l l w i t h control of the work ing environment and control of production, using a well-developed Marx is t analysis, shorthanded as "a theory of classes defined by their relation to the means of production" (p. 195). I t was not a slow erosion. Because the pr in t ing industry has undergone such tremendous technological changes in fair ly short order, the workers in what was a heavily unionized field can easily describe what the process had been like for them. Dealing w i t h the challenges of such formidable change brought quickly to the surface their hubris, the sense of hierarchy and ent i t lement that undermined both women and their unskil led, or racialized brothers. Incorporating patr iarchy as part of her analysis, Cockburn enriches our understanding of these complex relations. Using Heidi Hartman's description: "Patriarchy is a set of social relations which has a mater ia l base and in which there are hierarchical relations between men, and solidarity among them, which enable them to control women," she demonstrates how "...an alliance between skilled and unskil led men over-rode their r ivalry on a matter concerning women" (p. 125). Oh woman! In our hours of ease You are so soft and nice to squeeze And hold, as something ever bright To minister to man's delight. When in our daily work you dare To boldly ask that you may share Chapter IX - Gender, Masculini ty and Work We fail to see your special use -And straightway send you to the deuce! 166 The need to be in control The issue of control is an elemental one for skil led workers, and one that I have not found explicated in the l i terature in any detail. Reference is made to issues of controll ing the work processes, the relations w i t h employers, and here in relation to their feelings and interactions. Gus addresses the issue i n terms of sexuality on the worksite when he suggests Guys don't know how to deal with that, they don't feel comfortable because they are not in control. bell hooks (2004) mentions control in her discussion of the elements of patr iarchal masculinity. She faults Susan Faludi for the bald statement, "the underlying message: men cannot be men, only eunuchs, i f they are not in control" (p. 30) because Faludi "never interrogates the notion of control" (p. 31). Using tools to subdue materials to one's bidding is one of the satisfactions of technical work. I t also provides the status of being a required element of the work process. Emasculation is a term found in some discussion along w i t h control: For working-class men, Maynard asserts, "the crisis of the craftsman' was... both a crisis of work and masculinity, of class and gender "...the internal forces of the American Industrial Revolution emasculated both the physical and intellectual bases of working-class male identities...These forces undermined the rough masculine identity through the elimination of brawn and strength from unskilled work and subverted the respectable identity through the removal of independence and control from skilled work (Meyer, 2001, p. 16). 6 7 Typographical Association of New South Wales, 1891 in (Cockburn, 1983 p. 187) Chapter IX - Gender, Masculinity and Work 167 Looking at the pr in t ing industry from this perspective, i t is deeply saddening to recognize that al l their efforts to protect their "competence" have come to naught. The pr in t ing industry was one of the f irst in Canada to have a federal Industr ia l Adjustment Service (IAS) Committee associated w i t h i t , i n which union and labour came together to preside over the demise of this once proud and honourable sector in which to earn one's l iv ing. I share Cockburn's sadness at al l the t ime wasted conflating masculinity w i th skil led manual labour, creating exclusionary work processes, invent ing theories and sending 'memorials' (p. 155), demanding to keep women out of the club; and for the men to end up unemployed in a world where t radi t ional office skills are required, or higher level electronic technologies have gained ascendancy. To have come from a place where "men's self-respect depends on the idea of being able to do work that men alone are f i t to do... [to feel] degraded... at having to descend to such vile practices as competing w i th women for work (Scottish Typographical Journal, 1886 in Cockburn, 1983, p. 179), depicts a level of hubris which, unfortunately, begs the chastening of ignominy. But we f ind the same existing in 1980. Some of the shine would go out of the job for me... i f I said to my mates I was working w i th a woman, they would feel, say, oh, he's doing a woman's job—because they can see that a woman can do i t . They wouldn't th ink to say that she is the one who is doing a man's job (p. 180). I n 2001, industr ia l relations professor Marie Josee Legault (2003a) found similar, though sl ightly less overt, responses. The elements of resistance to women in technical fields are complex and many. The pr in t ing industry again provides a useful example. Beginning w i th the notion of patr iarchal ascendancy over apprentices, almost always already male in Chapter IX - Gender, Masculinity and Work 168 the pr in t ing industry, Cockburn takes us to the trade societies that protected the sanctity of craft workplace, the early precursor of today's unions, and shows how they staked their claims on the labour supply. Craft organizations in compositing and pr in t ing insisted that i t took seven years for a boy to learn their trade, and indiv idual workers ensured that the tasks available to apprentices were l imited. Capitalism and its mechanistic solutions to increased production and profits, created the struggle in which the printers worked to ensure their livelihood. Cockburn tells us that women were working in bookbinding and paper manufacturing, but were completely absent in pr int ing. A part icular exception to this came about dur ing a labour dispute in 1872, w i t h the introduction of women compositors in Edinburgh, t rained to replace st r ik ing men. The women increased to 750 by the end of the century, working at lower pay which undercut men's wages and union strength (Cockburn, 1983, p. 153). I n the struggle to put food on the table, i n most ways the same struggle for women as for men, women were put into the untenable position of strikebreakers, and set a historical stage for a justif iable, to some, rationale for keeping women out of skil led trades t ra in ing and work: the notion that women undermine wages. But wi thout the recognition of their equal needs for liveable wages and working conditions, the safeguard of incorporating women as sister workers in the struggle for safe, economically viable and consistent work was beyond the ken of the (male) skil led trades workers of the t ime. As machines were introduced in the f irst hal f of the nineteenth century, a result of which was to make the work more accessible, these early 'Brotherhoods' "stood by the absolute r ight of skilled men to the machines" (p. 28), and al l of the Chapter IX - Gender, Masculini ty and Work 169 other skil led and unskil led jobs in the compositing room, to ensure no competition for their jobs. The compositors held fiercely to the ideology of ' the family wage'...the norm they wished to establish was that of a family dependent upon a single male breadwinner 6 8 . To uphold their patr iarchal dignity, male workers i n the pr in t ing industry were wi l l ing to sacrifice their class relations ideology. I t is w i th in this context that Cockburn makes explicit the elements and implications of the interplay between Marxism/capital ism class issues and the "sex/gender system". "Feminism, like Marxism, is a worldview and its subject is the world itself: a total i ty" (p. 195) which we can also use to explain the workings of the mater ial world. She suggests that Marx ism relies more on economic factors, and the sex/gender system places a special degree of importance in physical and social realities, not ing that both concepts "have mater ial form and that mater ial i ty has fu l l phenomenal expression in economic, in socio-political and in physical reality. Both, too, have ideological expressions" (pp. 196-197): // men had represented themselves and women to employers as an undifferentiated labour market, with undifferentiated skills and rights to work and pay, to challenge the employer's manipulation of labour, then the occupation and earnings pattern in the industry might look much less lop-sided that it does (p. 200). Even the notion of the male pecking order, valuing differently skilled and unskil led performance, has undermined the establishment of a real work ing class, w i t h real common interests. 6 8 "This theme...runs through the Minutes of Evidence to the Fair Wages Committee, report to Parliament...vol, 34, 1908, p. 622f (Cockburn, 1983, p. 238) Chapter IX - Gender, Masculini ty and Work 170 Change as the thin edge of the wedge Rigid control of a l l aspects of p r in t ing work is based on the t radi t ional notion of male breadwinner out in the workforce and the woman at home maintain ing the base and raising the children. This paradigm has shifted significantly in the past 35 years. 79% of women in Br i t ish Columbia between the ages of 25-54 were in the paid labour force in the late 1990s and into the 2 1 s t Century, accounting for 47% of total employment (STATS, 2002). "67% of women w i th children less than age 16 and who had a spouse were employed, up from 40 per cent in 1976," rendering this part icular gender schema out-moded, i f i t was ever useful at al l . I n paral lel w i t h Baron's notion that we st i l l have no adequate theory for what motivates patr iarchy (1991a, p. 29), Cockburn (1983) questions Marx is t theory's abi l i ty to remove the stranglehold of male control in society. She cites countries around the world that aspire to a socialist ideal, but are unable to engage men's part icipation in the caring work that makes up women's double burden. Not ing that some have said, "men's power w i l l only fal l when women challenge i t " (p. 198), she reminds us that while some gains have been made by suffragists at the t u r n of the century, and feminists in the 1970s, "male power does not wi ther so easily. The power elites in the mult inationals are men... i t is just as l ikely that patr iarchy is merely giving way to another form of male superiority..." (p. 199). But i t seems clear that "sex-essentialism" and "gender-complementarity," in the minds of many men and women, have combined as "functional ideologies...to make patriarchy, l ike capitalism, as system to which men and women f ind i t very hard indeed to imagine a viable alternative" (p. 206). Almost as an addendum, Cockburn posits, "even i f sex roles break down, few men can see themselves tak ing up the new options. So, they may be jealous that a Chapter IX - Gender, Masculini ty and Work 171 woman can take on a man's capabilities wi thout losing her own, reaching a new wholeness. They may feel bit ter.. ." (p. 208). I t was not un t i l the First World War that , for a br ief period i n history i n both England and France, women were urged into industries beyond their t radi t ional work in textiles, baking and brewing. W i th the advent of war tak ing men to the front, women became proficient, highly skil led and extremely productive in the munit ions and metalworking industries, and though they did the work w i th alacrity: Even those who praised women for learning their work more quickly than the men believed that this agility of mind sprang from absence, in this case of male hubris, rather than from any positive virtue: "they do not pretend to have any knowledge whatsoever about machinery, but the men pretend they have some knowledge...and will go their own way. The woman will take all that is told here and she will carry it out (Major Evans, manager of five national factories, War Cabinet Cmtte. Minutes, October 1918, pp. D44-45, in Downs, 1995, p. 103), they were never allowed to obtain the certificates of apprenticeship and qualif ication in their trades. I n her in-depth historical documentation and analysis of the integrat ion of women in the technical workforce in France and Br i ta in dur ing the war and interwar years (1914-1939), Laura Lee Downs (1995) uncovers the contradictions and convoluted th ink ing that structured women's part icipation while l imi t ing their use. Management and workers of both sexes pressed constantly on these gendered boundaries, and frequently renegotiated the contours that distinguished men's work from women's work, men's skills from women's "special abilities"...the specific content of the categories "men's work" and "women's work" often varied over national and even regional boundaries; what was a man's job in Paris might well be performed by a woman in St. Etienne. Chapter IX - Gender, Masculini ty and Work 172 The language of skill differentials... represented] the multiple divisions of labor in metalworking as smoothly intersecting in a stable hierarchical order, build on 'self-evident' distinctions in skill and gender. But this hierarchical system, constituted by a series of nonparallel binary oppositions (skilled/unskilled, male/female), produced a set of categories that were in fact incommensurable. Hence, "woman" could be a trope for "unskilled labor" (though not visa versa); but employers could in the same breath speak enthusiastically of their skilled women workers. The ostensible coherent discourse on skill was thus riddled with internal instabilities...as concrete instances of women as skilled (and hence highly valued) workers vied with generalized conceptions of women as paradigmatically unskilled...To workers and employers alike the sexual division of labour that was grounded in this unstable discourse on skill seemed perpetually on the verge of collapse. Yet the distinction endured, defining the horizontal and vertical structures that shaped gendered divisions of labor, occupational segregation, and relations of authority in the workplace (p. 225). Such convoluted th ink ing also shaped the wage rates. Men's pay was based on the value of their work, and women's pay was based on their sex and their needs as defined by the sexist perceptions of the society in which they l ived (p. 107), practices we are st i l l struggling w i th almost 100 years later. The B r e a d w i n n e r Role Jerry: How are we going to survive as a human race? Someone has to stay home and raise the children! The male role literature took it for granted that being a breadwinner was a core part of being masculine. But where did this connection come from? Wally Seccombe has shown that the male 'breadwinner' wage is a recent creation and was far from universally accepted. It was produced in Britain around the middle of the nineteenth century in the course of a broad realignment of social forces. Both capitalists and workers were deeply divided over the issue. Trade Chapter IX - Gender, Masculinity and Work 173 unions gradually adopted the 'breadwinner' wage objective, at the price of driving divisions between male and female workers, and between craftsmen [sic] and unskilled labourers (Connell, 1995, p. 28). A concept that continues to elude factual challenges is that of "the breadwinner," an ideology that assumes men have more need of work and wages as i t is they who support their family. The early foundations of "breadwinner" notions are foundational in the exercise of masculine identities as they relate to work (Parr, 1990; Suzik, 2001). As we saw in the play, Gus and Steve both understood the power of the idea(l), while at the same time using i t in a teasing way that showed that they didn't ful ly subscribe to i t as they expressed their overbearing comments regarding breadwinners and Vietnamese people. Steve: (slightly ironically) and to add insult to injury you suddenly got a bunch of people who aren't really "breadwinners." Jerry, on the other hand, despite the factual experience of the daily toi l of his own mother and wife, st i l l held dearly to the image of the male as the breadwinner, demonstrating that "patriarchy as a system remains intact, and many people believe that i t is needed i f humans are to survive as a species" (hooks, 2004), a notion that hooks sees as ironic since patr iarchal notions of social control have led to the slaughter of mill ions on this planet. Cynthia Cockburn analyzes the ways in which men construct/obstruct women's part icipation in the workplace based on ". . .what women are to most men [and to most women]: people who have domestic ties." She found, in her historical study of the pr in t ing industry, that the conflicted notion of being the "male head of the family... its breadwinner," able to "keep a wife and children" i n the home, was at the core of the bitterness of the struggle to eliminate women from the industry in Scotland (1983, p. 181). Chapter IX - Gender, Masculini ty and Work 174 These practices can only exist through the construction of women as supplemental to the workforce and not capable of the same qual i ty of production as the male. Even i f the woman in question is celibate or childless she is seen and represented as one of the maternal sex" (p. 76). And Jason reproduces this notion when he says, "I ain't training no goddamn woman to take my job when she oughta be home anyway!" which is a direct quote from a male worker on the Island Highway Project (Cohen & Braid, 2000a), considered one of the more successful equity integration init iat ives. I n describing the way in which "...women's presence i n the workplace is a highly polit ical issue for men" Cockburn, in her fulsome analysis of the resistance experienced in the implementation of equity policies in several sectors of Br i t ish employment, reminds us that historically, and according to the findings of her research, currently, i t is st i l l accepted that " [ i ]n the original terms of the sexual contract a woman's proper place is at home" (1991, p. 142). One doesn't have to dig far to f ind these roots in Jerry's lament: Jerry: Security for my family. That's all I need. Working, doing a job, helping my wife & family: security. The notion of the male breadwinner has provided men w i t h "both ideological and economic strength" (Cockburn, 1983, p. 183) and at the same time driven them to desperation w i th a fear of loss of that position; a fear that feeds a sense that i f women have success w i th tool skills, "then you w i l l have everything", as we heard from B i l l i n The First Nugget. "A man has got to be a f l icking man, whatever that means. He has to f ight for his family, for his wife" (Cockburn, p. 183). Chapter IX - Gender, Masculini ty and Work 175 Male pre-eminence in the family Jason: I think our self-worth is tied into our jobs. Gus: Oh I think it's more than tied to it. My Italian father was proud to use his hands to provide for the family. That was his focus, to provide well. That's my mission in life. "Skilled craftsmen, such as compositors, continued within the labour movement to resist the introduction of state family allowances which alone could have made a more equal distribution of income" (Cockburn, 1983, p. 182). The Brotherhoods of rai lway workers, through the efforts of their leaders, "art iculated a vision of'respectable' manhood" that "would earn a family wage as a result of productive labour and support their households as breadwinners" (Taillon, 2001, p. 44). I f ind i t curious, on the one hand, that Labour was part icipant in shif t ing the notion of masculinity from its identif ication w i t h unique craft ski l l towards the more general conception of the abil i ty to earn a competence to sustain a family by producing goods and services. The relationship between one's tangible accomplishment and one's paycheque becomes less direct. On the other hand, the tradi t ional notion of the workshop promoted the idea that al l worked together to create the products. Perhaps this notion carried over, al lowing the original sense of the camaraderie of production to be used to construct social forms that served to control a larger number of production workers of varying ski l l levels. I t is important to note that such reengineering of masculine identi ty was in response to massive changes in work structures and practices brought about by industr ial izat ion, mechanization and technological change in both t radi t ional and emergent industries. Edley & Wetherell (1995) refer to Tolson (1977) i n defining patr iarchy as, among other things, a "practice of male pre-eminence w i th in the family, captured in the ideal of the male breadwinner and represented in the duties and privileges of Chapter IX - Gender, Masculini ty and Work 176 that position (p. 102). But these duties and privileges were constructed from the joint efforts of unions and employers in hopes of assuring a stable and docile labour force producing a panoply of goods for regular public consumption, thereby l in ing the pockets of those who owned the machinery of production. There needed to be a raison d'etre, or reason for being in the servitude of the work ing conditions of the t ime. Social historian Joy Parr reviews in detail the shifts in male furni ture manufactur ing workers' defence of their work, originally based on the quali ty of life as producers and controllers of their work on the shop floor. This changed to a defence based upon their role as breadwinners, a position promoted by the newly joined union, in 1919. The message "was that cash would smooth the way to domestic satisfaction, to al l those good things a couple shared when the wife was not nervous [sic] and the husband was doing what husbands should do" (Parr, 1990, p. 150). This also paved the way for a new class of owners and managers. Rather than demonstrating "their manliness and earn[ing] their author i ty over the men they employed by practising craft ski l l " (p. 154), as was done by the developers of the early production workshops, these new managers were encouraged to work apart f rom their craftsworkers and labourers, setting a new rung in the hierarchy of the workplace. The evolution of male identi ty from craftsworker/producer to provider comes about as a result of the shift f rom skilled craft workers and engineers to a greater preponderance of unskil led factory workers and managers in the f irst quarter of the 2 0 t h Century. The notion that masculine identity could be found outside manual work, in the explicit rejection of craft knowledge, in the delegation of workplace competence to others—this took some selling...[mjany male workers were unwilling to Chapter IX - Gender, Masculini ty and Work 177 follow...this route. For them the connection between manliness and craft practice—the arbitration of quality, the control of pace, the mutuality of confraternity—was too close. [But] in the 1920's managers and owners too were offered their manliness in cash...Amid all this change, where were the elements from which manliness was made? (Parr, 1990, pp. 142-164). I n looking at the rai lway industry, i t becomes clear tha t race was a factor, as wel l as gender. "Railroading in the late nineteenth and early twent ieth centuries was a man's world, and in the running trades i t was a white man's world" (Taillon, 2001, p. 36). The "complex job hierarchy" was constructed by "mult iple gradations of ski l l , prestige, arduousness, and race" w i th men of colour and immigrants receiving the bulk what were considered less skil led jobs. Native-born white Americans, sons of "old immigrant stock" populated the more prestigious runn ing trades. Women were not acceptable at a l l i n this environment, where the union brotherhood saw itself as part ic ipat ing in the construction of "successful man-bui lding" through the articles and expectations laid out in the many journals for each segment of rai lway workers. The young boy learns to "associate work w i th masculinity" and "hopes to duplicate" the alienating practices of a father preoccupied w i t h a world outside the home which he comes to see as a privilege, "an instant iat ion of masculinity" (Tolson in Edley & Wetherell, 1995, p. 103). Brotherhood leaders assumed their members would earn a family wage as a result of productive labour and support their households as breadwinners, and they expected brotherhood men to dedicate themselves to their crafts and conduct themselves as dependable employees at work...translating the virtues they preached—cultivated manners, practicing self-control, and striving for self-improvement—into 'heroic,' 'manly'qualities (Taillon, 2001, p. 44). Chapter IX - Gender, Masculini ty and Work 178 The breadwinner role is noted by Parr as a construction of the mid-19 t h century (1990) i n her in-depth case study of two industr ia l towns which emerged in Ontario, one in the textile industry and the other, a furni ture manufactur ing site. Her analysis is well-presented, describing how the meaning of work shifted, in the discourse and ident i ty construction of workers, from producer to provider in response to the onslaught of technological change in the mid-19 t h and early 2 0 t h centuries. Ava Baron, in her historical study of the pr in t ing industry, also refers to the way the completion of apprenticeship symbolized passage simultaneously into manhood and into competent worker status...one acquired an ability 'to earn a competence' by learning a craft. Through apprenticeship a boy became a proficient in a trade, obtained a means of earning a 'family wage,' and gained a position of 'honorable independence' (1991b, p. 50), conflating the development of ski l l w i t h earning 'a fami ly wage' or becoming a 'breadwinner'. She at tr ibuted the quote referring to the notion of earning a 'competence' to the "Circular letter to the Master Printers of the City of New York, Ju ly 13, 1811", thus sett ing the date of this notion of breadwinners back another 50 or so years. Segregation practices: Division of workers The implementation of the notion of the male 'breadwinner' deeply divided male and female workers, as wel l as dr iv ing a wedge between craftsworkers and un-skilled or semi-skilled labourers and apprentices 6 9 , and has continued to construct gender relations to this day. A t Westinghouse in Ontario, in the mid-1970s: (Cockburn, 1983; ConneU, 1995; Downs, 1995; Gray, 1987; Parr, 1990) Chapter IX - Gender, Masculini ty and Work 179 The company went after the women. They were to be weeded out of the plant, despite seniority or skills...the progress the men had made fin accepting and supporting the women] seemed to vanish. From the first day of the layoff announcements, many of them rallied to the call of Get the Women Out First. The harassers and psycho-sexists came out again into the open and campaigned full-blast. They found many sympathetic responses on the shop floor: protect the breadwinners, all the women out before the men (Gray, 1987, p. 397). Some of the roots of this v i t r io l come out of the slow eroding of apprenticeship t ra in ing dur ing and after the Industr ia l Revolution, as machines (which st i l l required skil led craft attention to set up and maintain) replaced much of the hand tooling work, l im i t ing opportunity and the need for significant numbers or ski l l levels of apprentices and skilled crafts workers. Employers and "middle-class reformers" (Baron, 1991b, p. 62) advocated for and set up t ra in ing schools to teach the broad range of skills in the classroom to "lower-class boys." The descriptions of the struggles and the rationales at the t u r n of the last century between those favouring the t ra in ing schools and those opposed makes clear that l i t t le has changed almost 100 years later (Dewey, 1915a, 1917; Snedden, 1915). My experiences prior to and dur ing my five-year tenure on the Provincial Apprenticeship Board and the Canadian Labour Force Development Board highlighted the same struggles between employers, government, t ra in ing insti tut ions and the trade unions noted by both Baron and Downs, and this is explicit i n the reconstructions of apprenticeship t ra in ing i n Br i t i sh Columbia today, and during the past decade. I n the early 1900s, afraid for their livelihoods, unionized craftsworkers negotiated l imitat ions on the numbers of apprentices required or allowed onto the shop floor, and "art iculated a version of masculinity in which white, working-class, Chapter IX - Gender, Masculini ty and Work 180 native-born sons were the heirs to true manhood: ...the qualities necessary to be a competent craftsman" (Baron, 1991b, p. 62). When Steve says: Most tradesmen want to go back to the days when they were really skilled, all male and preferably white, he wasn't looking that far back. Cynthia Cockburn, in a foundational study of male resistance to sex equity interventions, cites race along w i t h gender, and we are able to see how such notions are as alive today: It can be shown that there are cumulative advantages in being variously a man, white, non-disabled and heterosexual, which enable the individual to attain and hold economic and political power (1991, p. 173). Black (and in Canada, Aboriginal) women f ind themselves in the most disadvantaged positions, along w i th women w i th disabilities. Cockburn documents the perceived impacts of blacks and women in a public service setting (p. 60). A 2002 sub-theme on the popular TV program, The West Wing, dealt w i t h the Press Secretary whose white, working class father was passed over for promotion. Her personal negative reaction to the Aff i rmative Action proposals on the docket clearly arose from her at t r ibut ion of progress for blacks as the source of his troubles. Choosing to highl ight that issue through the mouth of a woman on the program was an interesting device, which some might characterize as making i t both palatable and implacable, and others might see as manipulative (BCTV, 30 January 2002). Subdivision by Tool Skill The gender divisions born of the t u r n of the last century ensured that the sons of craft union members had f irst call on any apprenticeship opportunities (Baron, 1991b, p. 69). This has continued through the 1990's and into the 2 1 s t Century in some unions. I modified this w i th great effort, i n my small Local of the Chapter IX - Gender, Masculini ty and Work 181 B.C. Carpenter's in the late 1980's, through a motion, that such opportunities went not only to the sons, but to the daughters of members as well . I t is unknown whether any daughters have taken advantage of this. I t was impossible to w in an opening of apprenticeship to just anyone who wanted to t ra in in the trade. The tension created, in the 1890s to the First World War, between who could acquire these skills, and whether that acquisition would be in a t ra in ing school or on the job, has too many factors for effective exploration w i th in the scope of this dissertation. Suffice to say there were pros and cons that related to women's part icipation, but the piecemeal t ra in ing in small components of part icular trade jobs added to the challenge. Those who were educated to their work in this way were incompetent, be they women or boys who had entered the system outside of the union's control. This ul t imately led to the creation of union-sponsored trades t ra in ing insti tut ions dur ing the early part of the 1900s, some of which have lasted un t i l today. "Apprenticeship came to mean a combination of classroom instruction and job experience," and pressure was put upon the government in 1912 to provide public funding for this t ra in ing (p. 67). Ski l l differentials, power, hierarchy and the denigration of women's potential were most pronounced in manufacturing and construction, where women were often used to undermine the stranglehold union men held over "skil led work". The hierarchies existed long before women entered the scene i n great numbers dur ing the war. " S k i l l — t h a t body of knowledge and host of capacities learned from the craftsman [sic!]—seemed a constant component of labor value in this productive system" (Downs, 1995 p. 80). But [ijndustrial rationalization was to change all that. Through a detailed subdivision of labour, employers gradually broke down the craftsman's complex task, standardizing parts and mechanizing the various operations Chapter IX - Gender, Masculini ty and Work 182 so that each individual phase of the former skilled job could be performed by cheaper, unskilled labour (p. 18), notes Downs in her examination of the development of gender divisions in Br i t ish and French metal manufacturing industries dur ing and after the First World War. Ava Baron does an unusual job of explicating the nuances of contradiction created to distinguish the notions of manliness as i t related to the performance of ski l l and competence. She describes the corners into which pr inters painted themselves while t ry ing to define the criteria to keep themselves and hopefully their sons in jobs to ensure their success as family providers. So, when Gus says, "My job as a carpenter doesn't make me masculine. The fact that I have a job, and I'm a good worker, that makes me masculine," . he isn't consciously considering that i t is his accomplished ski l l w i t h tools that ensures his long-term success as an employed worker. Both Cockburn (1983) and Tolson (1977) discuss the importance of work as a representation of masculinity. The importance of tool skills in ensuring an ongoing supply of work led to the r ivalry between skil led and unski l led workers noted in Cockburn's Brothers (pp. 134-140). For both skilled and unskil led male workers, physical strength and endurance is yet another way to t ry to distance themselves from women (Braundy et al., 1983b; Cockburn, 1983, pp. 136-137). The reconstructions of masculine identi ty from the skil led craftsworker who could journey anywhere to obtain work w i t h their tools and their skills into worker who define their masculinity by the fact that they are work ing at al l is a sad t u r n of events, and one that the capitalists would and did promote and welcome. The tradi t ional hierarchy ranged then, as i t does today, from unskil led labourer through to apprentices on a track to become skilled, interlaced w i th . Chapter IX - Gender, Masculinity and Work 183 semiskilled machine operators. Very few normally move out of their category, and on to skil led craftsworker, who performs al l of the tasks of the job w i th manual and machine ski l l and dexterity, as wel l administrat ing the work. Determining which level of skills was to be accessible to men, to boys and then to women became a task of the times dur ing the early war years, "as employers sought to locate women in relation to the existing hierarchy of difference..." (Cockburn, 1983, p. 80). Some of the most significant debates "arose around the issue of t ra in ing women for skilled work" (p. 81). These same constructions and debates were documented in the furni ture manufactur ing industry by Parr (1990). I t was clear both before and after the war that men controlled to whom they passed their skills and knowledge, even among the boys coming up, but the vehemence w i t h which they undermined female part icipation determined the women's lack of acceptance. W i th the advent of machines which 'di luted' the skills needed to do the w o r k , the t radi t ional elements of a tradesperson were broken down into more simplif ied tasks. Women, desperately needed as workers in the war effort, became proficient at both the simple and complex machining and f in ishing tasks. Employers had stereotypical constructions of women's 'essential' capacities, "gentleness, regularity, assiduousness, t imid i ty , dexterity, swiftness" (p. 84). As wel l , employers were dependent upon the few male skilled craftsworkers and had to negotiate w i th them to implement the machinery that would eliminate the need for large numbers of apprentices. Their coding of the simplif ied jobs as 'female' "represented the employers attempts to resolve a difficult and much-fought-over redivision of labor w i t h their skilled men" (p. 86). // a woman can do it, who am I? Connie: Some men have said that if women have the tool skills too, then we'll have everything. It seems there's a fear you're becoming redundant. Chapter IX - Gender, Masculini ty and Work 184 Regardless of how talented and skil led women became, there was no career path into apprenticeship allowed to them. Yet, "the wa l l separating the skil led from the semiskilled might wear quite th in indeed" (p. 87), and in both France and Br i ta in , some women raised themselves to the level of highly skil led metalworkers, continually being challenged by employers who would "confine women to 'an education in motion and manoeuvre' only... [to] smooth the ruff led feathers of skilled men, who eyed the new female labor force w i t h a mixture of hosti l i ty and trepidation" (p. 94) that continues to this day. This confinement flies in the face of notation after notation of statements found in the minutes of the War Cabinet Committee and elsewhere (Downs, 1995, pp. 103-106), dur ing the war and the interwar periods, from male employers and women managers about the talents, skills, dedication and productivi ty of individual and collective women workers. Perhaps i t has more to do w i t h a male phobia about being seen to do the same job as a woman, as i f this might somehow diminish their masculine capacities. This seemed to be the situation at Philco, when Laura O'Reilly was assigned, in 1937, at the end of a long and arduous strike/lockout situation, to "use an air gun to t ighten nuts on a metal cylinder," a job previously done only by men. He kept on needling her...and complaining that she was doing man's work. Her presence confronted him with the masculine union's recent defeat, Philco's superior power, and the elimination of his and his male co-workers' jobs. It also had symbolic meaning to him as a man. Having a woman do his job challenged one of the implicit meanings of being a man in the plant—having a different and better-paying job than a woman could hold (Cooper, 1991, p. 346). This understanding of the challenge to masculine ident i ty is very much in line w i t h Bill 's statement in the story, The Fi rs t Nugget: Chapter IX - Gender, Masculini ty and Work 185 Bill was silent, whether thinking or biding his time was unclear. His poignant blue-eyed gaze questioning the faith each had in their friendship, weighing the pros and cons of self-disclosure. "If you have the tool skills too, then you will have everything...."It seemed to be hanging there, awaiting conclusion, seeking some easy realization. What was it? "Then you wont need us anymore?" 'You can take your marbles and go home?" "I will not be essential to your life, and you might not stay?" (See Chapter III). I f a woman can do i t , who am I? Could this be the notion that Connie is responding to? bell hooks (2004) reminds us that men are socialized "to believe that wi thout their roles as patriarchs they w i l l have no reason for being" (p. 115). Janet Davidson's (2001) account of the introduction of women as clerks in the rai lway industry highlights some of these challenges and focuses on male responses to the threat of being displaced. I n poetry and song, t radi t ional methods for communicating social concerns, women were noted to 'distract men from their jobs...cost men money..." disrupt office relations, keep men from swearing and create "tension between male workers and managers who competed" for female attention (p. 73). Though wart ime required women to f i l l jobs previously held by men, there was also a clear expression of the certainty of women as "a threat to men's wages." They were often found in clerical jobs, which were now being characterized, as "unmanly" (Davidson, 2001, p. 76), and were used as a "f loating signifier, a concept through which to express male workers' fears...Subtly and not so subtly, the clerks' union undermined women's status as legitimate wage earners." Despite the USRA's70 insistence that women should receive the same pay as men, their superiors undermined women's rights to those wages. This 7 0 The United States Railroad Association ran the railroads from 1918-1920, mandated equal pay for men and women in the same jobs, but this was constantly undermined by the Chapter IX - Gender, Masculini ty and Work 186 attempt to abrogate federal labor policy shows the lengths to which male officials were willing to go to palliate the destabilizing effects of having to pay women the same wage as their male counterparts (Davidson, 2001, p. 77). I t is beyond the scope of my work here to elucidate historical rationales and justif ications for the payscale and wage differentials between women and men, such work was ably accomplished by others 7 1 . Suffice i t to say that as a result, such wage differentials have continued to plague women around the world. Especially w i th the advent of Equal Pay legislation, employers have gone to a great deal of trouble to ensure that there is some differentiation in the occupational tasks that they could hold up as justi f ication for unequal pay rates. The sex differentiations in occupational tasks appears to be a guise for holding on to part icular and specific ski l l sets that could provide a sustainable family wage. But women continually challenged this, demonstrating their abilities in the "flexible" work environments created by technological change. Downs' (1995) research into pr imary documents continually opens these contradictions to view. Davidson uses specific case studies to demonstrate the ways the rai lroad companies and the unions used misapprehended notions of gender to subvert women's wages and promotions. One part icular case stands out, that of El la Barnett who had worked 31 years for the New York Central Railroad. After winn ing her grievance related to her ra t ing for the job she was doing, the union, opposed to her promotion, used a technicality to have the job renamed, opening i t to competition from the whole department. She was again hired for her job, and the union protested. Barnett 's comment on the situation speaks to Jason's underlying fear that Pennsylvania Railroad for many of the 100,000 women who were hired during the peak employment periods created by the war. « (Baron, 1991c; Cockburn, 1983, 1985b; Davidson, 2001; Downs, 1995) Chapter IX - Gender, Mascul ini ty and Work 187 a woman might come on to the job knowing more than me. "The trouble is pr imar i ly jealousy on the part of the men at having a woman raised to a position of rank and pay equal to their own" (Davidson, 2001, p. 81). This was my own experience in Dawson Creek, where I had gone to take pre-apprenticeship t ra in ing after 3 years work ing in my trade: In less than one week the tension emerged: "Today was the first day that I had to say to someone that I would rather do it myself. I may have to say something to because he is a bit paternalistic, but basic relations with everyone are good" (7 Jan 77). By the 11th, the reasons were becoming clearer: "I got it in the lunchroom from a guy in Agriculture that the 1st term carpenters are quite impressed with my abilities - & that they couldn't quite understand how a woman could just walk right in and be 'as good as them' (personal journal, 1977). Li t t le did I know that I would be the f irst woman to complete any trades t ra in ing at that inst i tut ion. The ensuing six months were horrif ic, as the men in my own class did their damnedest to make me quit, w i t h their porno posters on the walls, non-cooperation on the shop floor and daily drawings on the blackboard, just so they could continue tel l the stories of the females who didn't make i t . I t steeled my w i l l and damaged my soul. Bu t I graduated w i t h the highest mark in the class on the f inal exam, and went to work bui lding beauti ful things w i t h some fine men, elsewhere, who had chosen to challenge those constructions of masculinity. The resistances were vicious, and i t was clear why al l the women who had started before me didn't complete. And when i t came to railroading, though women made inroads into clerical work in many other disciplines, "the hegemonic power of the idea of railroads as a masculine domain is i l lustrated by the rapid removal of women from the rai lroad wor ld after the end of World War l...The Pennsylvania Railroad began f i r ing Chapter IX - Gender, Masculini ty and Work 188 women clerical workers at a time when their need for clerical help was increasing" (Davidson, 2001, p. 83). I n this and many other settings, women were "summari ly ejected" from their technical work locations, even after proving their wor th in both world wars. C o n s t r u c t i o n a n d R e c o n s t i t u t i o n While most of the characters in the play, Men & Women and Tools, would be unable to describe gender's implications i n their daily thoughts and actions, i ts elements are embedded in the historic/psycho/sociologic of their lives. I f you go under the text of their words, the foundations of the play rest in the context of the gendered constructions of masculine identi ty and work, constructions which have emerged from systems of patr iarchal masculinity (hooks, 2004) at work in western economic and social lives. The men interviewed for this dissertation might be unaware of the impact or unable to articulate the ways their lives have been influenced by such gender constructions, but others have explored and wr i t ten texts to br ing those concerns to our attention. The play is a metonym for that social reality. Forefronting and interweaving the voices of scholars who study the historical, sociological and cul tural roots of gendered practices w i th the men's voices in the play, i l lustrates the ways that social real i ty is constructed and reconstituted. The words, thoughts, sentiments and expressions found in the play, Men & Women and Tools are, for the most part, direct quotes from a two hour interview in which I participated w i t h the four men. I t was an open-ended discussion, based on a few general questions about the experience of the men integrat ing women on their worksites. A l l of them had specific experience of this. They poignantly demonstrated the struggles facing men in a society that constructs and l imi ts their vocational and Chapter IX - Gender, Masculini ty and Work 189 emotional relationships, while placing and embedding expectations regarding their contributions to society. They exposed their own fears, and concerns. They talked about how they thought i t should be for women as i t was for men. But also interwoven was a construction of women and their place in these men's interpretat ion of the social order that needs fur ther explication and comprehension. The notions of patriarchal masculinity were overpoweringly present, bell hooks (2004) reiterates throughout The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity and Work that we in the western wor ld live under the forces of a set of " interlocking polit ical systems": " imperial ist white-supremacist capitalist pat r iarchy" 7 2 (p. 17), and that both women and men contribute to its daily reconstruction and reconstitution. Viewing and transcribing the interview, there was resonance w i t h my own experience as a tradesworker. I t struck cords w i t h equity interventions undertaken w i th both men and women to change the social construct of gender and work. The interview was exemplary in the way the voices embodied, echoed, reinforced, and resonated w i t h the hegemonic struggles in contention for the past 250 years. 7 2 "Patriarchy is characterized by male domination and power" (hooks, 2004, p. 23) and governs work, family, religious and educational systems. I70 C h a p t e r X D i f f e r e n c e - a C o n t e x t f o r S c h e m a Ava Baron (1991a) chronicles a variety of approaches to scholarship to describe the necessary components and balance of gender and class analysis. She lights upon "Joan Scott's call for examination of the way meanings of sexual difference are constructed and used to signify power and hierarchy" as a resource for "a new understanding of the making of the work ing classes... in ways that w i l l incorporate gender into labor history wi thout either denying women's differences from men or segregating women into a separate sphere" (pp. 19-20). That we must "correct the dichotomous, oppositional categories used to examine working-class men and women," and use "a cont inuum that allows for a range of similarit ies and differences between and among women and men" (p. 24) is a notion shared by feminist psychologist, Rhoda Unger: It might be more valuable for the understanding of psychological processes associated with gender to examine those individuals who rate themselves as high or low in traits considered characteristic of a particular sex rather than looking at group differences between the sexes. Such a procedure would test the assumption that on any given characteristic, males and females usually form two overlapping distributions with a minority of people of either sex at the extremes (1998, p. 121), see also (Connell, 1987, p. 80). Baron qualifies this by saying "...we must go beyond conceptualizing gender as a linear continuum. We need to develop gender analysis in ways that allow for the historical specificity of gender identi ty while uncovering the ways gender assumptions are incorporated into social inst i tut ions and practices" (1991a, p. 24). I would add that this may be a way of gaining insight wi thout holding each Chapter X - Difference - A Context for Schema 191 individual culpable, providing the option of tak ing action and choosing behaviours that counter t radi t ional hegemonic practices. Using this approach, feminist activists and academics might f ind common cause in confronting social inst i tut ions, and not always have to f ight our way in from the margins (p. 25), as powerful as that may sometimes be. Patriarchy Steve: My father and mother were both union organizers. They taught me that I lived in a patriarchy, that males are in a privileged position, have been for several thousand years, and men were going to fight like hell to keep those privileges...But, those privileges aren't so real anymore. "We exist simultaneously, rather than sequentially, in the social relations of class and gender" (Parr, 1990, p. 8) Social historian Joy Parr (1990) counsels that the ongoing interactions and influences at the intersection of gender w i t h race, class, and national identi ty cannot be ignored, and explanations that privilege patr iarchy over capitalism or gender above race, while useful in some instances, "belies the wholeness of consciousness and experience" (p. 8). W i th a nod to Poovey, she suggests that "we lose sight of 'the mult iple determinants' that constitute any individual's social position and access to power and also of the many ways in which social identities are simultaneously formed from a mult ip l ic i ty of elements" (p. 9). Baron does an excellent job of comparing and contrasting rationales for the engagement in and acceptance of the oppression and discrimination against women in historical workplace settings based on various sex, gender and class paradigms and perspectives. Using the development of the "family wage" as an example, she weighs whether and how men cooperated in or consented to their oppression by employers, and what part the concept of patr iarchy played in the construction, development and acceptance of this notion. "Patriarchy assumes a mater ial Chapter X - Difference - A Context for Schema 192 advantage for al l men in oppressing w o m e n — a n advantage that conflicts w i th their class interests" (p. 29). This is further explicated by Bob Connell, as he explores the notion of the patr iarchal dividend (1995; 2002): the benefits accruing to al l men as a result of the existence of the patr iarchal system, regardless of whether or not they personally subscribe to i t . I n her study of the pr in t ing industry, Cynthia Cockburn adds to this description of patr iarchy by noting that the hierarchical order also includes the authority of older men over younger; the economic and social dominance in the family of the male head of household; primogeniture; individual (and often inherited) male power exercised through the ownership of the business firm; the 'family' values of a masculine Christian church; fraternal formalities within all-male societies—whether these are the gentlemen's clubs or the craftsmen's societies (1983, p. 197). G e n d e r S c h e m a Jason: Cubs, scouts... Those sort of outdoor things with men and boys. I guess its a few steps away from a paramilitary group. My father, he was a very gentle man. He would take us all fishing, but hunting? He never took my sister. Guns were a boy's thing. Christmas time we got bikes, and mechano sets. My kids have both been given the same toys, but I have a very masculine little boy and a very feminine little girl. We gave him dolls...he had no interest. Our interpretations of others' performance are influenced by the unacknowledged beliefs we all— men and women alike—have about [sex-based] gender differences (Vallian, 1998, pp. 2, lip. 7 3 Vallian distinguishes sex as being' related to the possession of XX or XY chromosomes, noting that the use of the term sex difference may relate more often to how males and females are treated, and may have nothing to do with chromosomal or reproductive status. She uses gender as a representation of "our psychological and social conceptions of what i t means to be a man or woman...In sum, sex is used to categorized people into two groups, and gender is used to describe our behefs about sex-based categories" (Vallian, 1998, p. 11). Chapter X - Difference - A Context for Schema 193 Perhaps a useful construct for explicating gendered constructions of tool use is the notion of a gender schema or gender regime so wel l described by Val l ian (1998), noted by Butler (1990a), and unpacked by Connell (1987; 2002) and Segal (1997). Under the notions of gender thus described, and operant, employers have promoted the fear of being misplaced. The notion of being wi thout the work that is foundational in most masculinities, is a fear that is among the roots of skil led workers' resistance to women. Another foundational element, the desire to be a reproductive organism, was suggested by David Noble (1992). Br ian Easlea, i n Father ing the Unthinkable (1983) uses i t to account for the dedication and overriding pleasure and sheer joy [the scientists working on the atom bomb] experienced in achieving technological perfection...For Easlea, this behaviour can be accounted for in terms of these male scientists substituting for their lack of feminine creative power, that is, 'womb env.y. Men give birth to science and weapons to compensate for their lack of the 'magical power' of giving birth (in Wacjman, pp. 138-139). So st i l l , men construct the wor ld to keep this port ion of i t to themselves. This is not to say that women do not contribute to this construction, either i n support of i t or in their challenges to i t . bell hooks (2004) provides a useful analysis of the role women play i n mainta in ing and perpetuating patr iarchy and sexism. Here I am teasing out how social and economic structures are fabricated to foster the men's ideas expressed in the play. Jerry: Boys did the chores. Girls cleaned the house. Boys shot guns, boys played hockey. I haven't seen much change, to be honest. Chapter X - Difference - A Context for Schema 194 Virg in ia Val l ian has provided a remarkable compendium of study after study that demonstrates the ways i n which gender schemas impact upon men's and women's educational and working lives in terms of opportunities, evaluations and performance. She ends w i th a chapter on remedies, the f irst of which is to better understand how we construct and reify these notions. Acknowledging that such examination and reflection does "not automatically correct those errors" (p. 304), she highlights a range of behavioural practices that may lead to systemic change. Cynthia Cockburn has studied the practices that constitute these phenomena since before the 1983 study she conducted in the Pr in t ing industry which began as a study of the human impact of technological change. It ended as a study in the making and remaking of men. It is also about the uses to which men put work and technology in maintaining their power over women (p. 3). Her findings led her to an expanded view of the gendered nature of technical know-how (1985b, 1988), and for me, her work culminated in her investigation of male resistance to sex-equity init iat ives (1991). She uses the term: sex/gender system, which originated w i th Gaye Rubin (1975). Bob Connell calls i t a gender order, referring to a general societal construct, and distinguishes i t f rom a gender regime, which is represented more locally, in a part icular inst i tu t ion or workplace (2002, p. 53). He reminds us that the structure and patterns of constructed gender relations "has no existence outside the practices through which people and groups conduct those relations. Structures do not continue, cannot be 'enduring', unless they are reconstituted from moment to moment in social actions" (p. 55), a notion also found in hooks's The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity and Love (2004), where she reflects on the ongoing reification of patr iarchal masculini ty by both women and men. Chapter X - Difference - A Context for Schema 195 Cockburn (1983) ends w i th a chapter suggesting some reconstructions: "Men and the making of change." But change, even on the minute level of removing offending or pornographic mater ial from the walls of shared workspace, is a fearful th ing. S e x u a l i t y - Secu lar a n d Re l ig ious Jason: The dynamics are different when you are working with women. There is some sexual energy there. I am not saying it's appropriate or inappropriate. It's just there. Gus: I act differently when a woman's there, whether it's on the job, or off. It comes down to that sexual thing. Guys don't know how to deal with that, they don't feel comfortable because they are not in control. Histor ian David Noble (1992) reminds us of a t ime prior to the 10th Century when the Christ ian church was a more egalitarian organization where women and men lived and "worked together i n their common pursui t of knowledge and salvation" in monasteries, often overseen by female abbesses. Try ing to pinpoint the in i t ia t ing moment when patriarchy's persistent notion of male power over women took hold in the current era, he notes "wi th in this overarching patr iarchal pattern of gender relations, there have been significant variations of experience, variations that have shaped part icular cultures and lives" (p. 4). He interweaves the moments when these variations created space for women's contributions to science and technology, for example between 1600 and 1710 in France and Germany, where "household-craft tradit ions persisted beyond those in other European countries" and enabled women to participate " in fami ly-run workshops as daughters and apprentices, wives and assistants, independent artisans, and widows carrying on the work of their late husbands" (pp. 202-203), in fields such as chemistry, astronomy, medicine, mining, and natura l history. He Chapter X - Difference - A Context for Schema 196 contrasts that w i t h how Issac Newton, in England dur ing this t ime, schooled and schooling at Cambridge in social, scientific and religious order, maintained, promoted and ensured, along w i th many others of his t ime, an asceticism which set women as "the Devil tempting them to lust" (p. 237). With the grace of God, and in the absence of women, the self appointed apostles of science continue to extend their heavenly rule over earth...In such a rarefied realm, masculinity came to be associated with separation and transcendence...The more 'earthy' feminine...was disdained as disorder, dreaded as the embodiment of worldly corruption (p. 281). Jason and Gus, two men interviewed for this study, and represented as characters in the play, Men & Women and Tools, allude to the configuration of woman as sexual distraction promoted in the present day. bell hooks (2004) points out that, both historically and currently, "the underlying message boys receive about sexual acts is that they w i l l be destroyed i f they are not in control, exercising power." I n adolescence, "when a boy's sexual lust is often intense...patriarchal culture expects h im to covertly cult ivate that lust and the w i l l to satisfy i t while engaging in overt acts of sexual repression...the boy learns that females are the enemy when i t comes to the satisfaction of sexual desire." They both evoke desire and require h im to repress his sexual longings. To achieve "manhood" he must move past this repression to engage in sexual acts. This conundrum underlies Gus's remarks: It's just something it'd be easier not to deal with. If the woman was gone, we wouldn't have to deal with this shit. We could have our posters up and we'd be quite comfortable. Chapter X - Difference - A Context for Schema 197 Porn as the last stand Jerry: They want to come into your lunchroom and take your Playboy pictures off the wall. That's the problem. The whole thing is, if you are going to come into the workforce, why the hell do you need to change it? The wall is graced with four-colour litho 'tits and bums'. Even the computer is used to produce life-sized printouts of naked women (Cockburn, 1983, p. 134). The lawyer for the complainant (Lapointe vs. City of Nelson) against a municipal i ty in Br i t ish Columbia, for sexual harassment i n the Public Works yard, brought into the Human Rights Tr ibunal the life sized stand-up cut-out the male workers had placed in the lunchroom. The Commissioner, who was a woman, asked that i t be removed. The lawyer said he just wanted those hearing the case to experience the impact of what was being discussed (Personal observation). Legault informs us that one woman learned, to her detriment, about the sacred nature of pornographic posters when she dared to move one of the hard-core posters that stared her in the face as she ate, in a construction site shack. First, she asked for permission to move it and no one responded. Then she moved the poster and positioned it behind her. The next day, a united group of her colleagues literally wallpapered the shack with even harder core posters (2003a, pp. 14-15). Pornographic posters "...dealing with pornographic posters is a very delicate matter for the women since there is a certain public awareness that such posters serve for their male colleagues as what anthropologists refer to as totems, taboos, the last bastion. I use this metaphor because the relation these men foster with these posters is less simple than it could seem at first glance. In many places, it is never said but although pretty well known that women should never, never touch, comment, neither criticize these posters. Actually, standing outside of this symbolic world, one can feel that evokes a kind of worship... Chapter X - Difference - A Context for Schema 198 Let there be no misunderstanding about it: I do not underestimate the sexism there is in pornography. That is not my point. All I want to emphasize is the depth of the men's relation, in shops and trades, with that kind of pictures and, as a result, the importance and the difficulty for women of finding their way through these problem (Legault, 2003a, pp. 15-16). Messages of exclusion M a r t i n and Collinson, referencing K immel (1996) te l l us that generally, men sexually harass women to impress other men. Workplace pornography signifies " in -group heterosexuality, conveying messages of exclusion to gay and bisexual men and of objectification to women...men proclaim their heterosexuality by using women to establish relations w i th each other" (p. 296) so they can continue to participate in a homosocial environment. I t is also more than that . While there is the notion of some form of male solidarity, harassment is predicated upon demonstrating a clear lack of respect, the intent ion of which is to undermine the performance of the woman/women in the environment. Pornographic posters demonstrate the conviction men have that they are in their place and that they are justified in acting the way they do. Women are not the only ones who often don't know what to do in this type of situation. Neither the union nor management knows what to do either.... The women would like to integrate into a setting where they are in the minority for now. But they must establish priorities with respect to their objectives, on the one hand, and their convictions with respect to pornographic posters and human rights, on the other. The attitudes of the women vary with respect to harassment and pornographic posters, but the message they perceive is always the same: you are not in your place. It is in this respect, above all, that the women are made to feel as if they are under scrutiny, that their presence is not accepted, that they are living, nothing more nothing less, in occupied territory (Legault, 2003a, pp. 15-16). Chapter X - Difference - A Context for Schema 199 When the complainant submitted that such treatment was, in fact, systemic discrimination and should be treated w i th systemic employment equity remedies, the arguments were coherent and cogent. Regretfully, the Br i t ish Columbia Human Rights Tr ibunal chose a more l imited interpretat ion of the law, and decided that Sexual Harassment was not a systemic discrimination problem. I f they had been able to base their decision on Legault's (2001, p. 56) analysis that "harassment is not always specifically sexual, but rather sexist" in nature, the more expansive definit ion may have held. It is important to recognize the quality of insignia pornographic pictures have for many men in their workplaces, and, as a result, the importance and the difficulty for women of finding their way through these problems. Women are not the only ones who often do not know what to do in this type of situation. Neither union nor management knows what to do either" (Legault, 2003a). Responding appropriately is part icularly challenging when the numbers of women are small. Landrine and Klonoff (1997) quantify the prevalence of non-violent sexist harassment and the impacts of i ts daily occurrences (cited in Legault, 2001). M y own experience in pre-apprenticeship t ra in ing, where the men in the class put up pornographic pictures and "Fuck you, Ms" signs on a regular basis in the college classroom, and again in 4 t h year technical t ra in ing where I was greeted by three poster-size naked crotch-shot posters of women on the back wal l of the classroom at a large provincial t ra in ing inst i tute has been documented (Braundy, 2000). I t does not feel "non-violent." Choosing the most effective response is very difficult. But the one th ing I learned in those situations is that responding w i th silence in hopes that i t w i l l go away is not a good solution. The perpetrators w i l l escalate the behaviour. For the woman, responding clearly to the impact, and Chapter X - Difference - A Context for Schema 200 requesting a straightforward change in behaviour is a beginning. She must also recognize that such a signal may be unwelcome. Fear o f Change Jerry: Geez, we're finally getting to the bottom of this. I've been working here for 22 years. You come in and want to change the way I've done my life. I'm too old to change. Any request for change is seen as the th in edge of the wedge; 'give them an inch and they w i l l take a mile' is a famil iar expression in the sex/gender arena. A t base, we see i n Jerry a complacency w i th the status quo, and a deep fear of change. Cockburn distinguishes between the material ist factors that hold the sex/gender system i n the minds, hearts and daily practice of many: the comfort and ease that comes from knowing your place in the hierarchy of class and sex; the l i t t le vanities gained as a white collar worker in looking askance at "male manual production"; the social and personal satisfactions of being a t radi t ional wife and mother, "cocooned in their 'essential' [heterosexual] feminini ty", and the ideologies that give rise to the contradictions inherent in those same systems and practices: the lack of working-class solidarity, the unequal wages, benefits, opportunities for ski l l development, and the overriding necessity for dual incomes to survive in the western economies. Her suggestion that these "explosive contradictions" (p. 213) w i l l lead to social change has yet to be realized, 20 years later. Steve and Gus allude to the fears of technological change: Steve: The men are scared... Automation has killed a whole bunch of jobs, certainly in forestry and metalworking. Machines are doing stuff I never thought I'd see a machine doing. Gus: Like in our trade, used to be, you get a million dollar job, there are 10 guys on the job. Now you got a 10 million dollar job, we still only got 10. Chapter X - Difference - A Context for Schema 201 Steve: So everybody feels their job's on the line. And we see the ways that materials and processes are deskil l ing tradeswork on every worksite today. Cockburn provides several scenarios for response to this moment of potential created by the massive technological upheaval and innovation. Using Marxist notions and sex/gender analysis, she projects futures which al l look bleak, including the "alternative option" which suggests that "men are l ikely to respond in one of two ways: by h i t t ing back, reasserting sexual primacy w i t h whatever means are to hand; or by accepting the dismantl ing of the hierarchies of male power in favour of a more egali tarian way of l iv ing and organising," a highly unl ikely utopia from the perspective of the past twenty years of equity interventions into the technical workforce. I t seems more l ikely that we have gone in the direction of the "workerism," seen by Cockburn as "peculiarly masculine": Because of the centrality, in the lives of working men, or the shop-floor struggle for control, and because of the power of the men in the family and community, the masculine rhetoric of the workplace comes to dominate every aspect of working class-politics. It is enshrined within the Labour Party and the trade-union movement—a language of 'brotherhood', a preoccupation with the right to work and an emphasis on wage struggles in (Tolson, 1977, p. 64, in Cockburn, 1983, p. 225). Gus represents this position when he reiterates that: You're a man when you provide for your family, and you're honest and you're fair. My job as a carpenter doesn't make me masculine. The fact that I have a job, and I'm a good worker, that makes me masculine. The historical context described thus far indicates that this is a more complex issue than Gus has thought through. I n many ways, his wide-ranging and -part icular skills as a qualified tradesperson have enabled his continued Chapter X - Difference - A Context for Schema 202 employment, proving his f lexibi l i ty in maintain ing marketable skills in the face of the historical challenges of technological innovations to reduce the need for workers (Cockburn, 1992, pp.203-205). Ownership of technical skill Cockburn's notion of one big union that w i l l engage i n reth ink ing "the polit ical use of ski l l " w i t h "a critique of technology itself," w i t h its attendant "continual, exponential growth of production and consumption" ideology seems st i l l quite out of reach. That unions might act as an educational force is not quite so far-fetched, but the inherent conflict w i t h real or imagined shortages of work keeps this Utopian vision of ensuring "that technical knowledge becomes common knowledge" (Cockburn, 1983, p. 233) at a distance. That "technical knowledge becomes common knowledge" is also a Deweyan dream (Dewey, 1900, 1915a, 1915b, 1917; Dewey & Dewey, 1915). Philosopher and educator John Dewey's hope of a widespread introduction and understanding of the elements and practices that underlie the production and manufacture of those things of use to our daily lives, education through occupations, keynoted his belief that this knowledge, " industr ial intelligence" and practical application, was foundational and necessary for part icipation in a democratic society. Decision-making based on anything else was fatuous. He was also aware of the more l imi t ing uses of such t ra in ing advocated for by those in control of capitalist indus t ry 7 4 . 7 4 I object to regarding as vocational education any training which does not have as its supreme regard the development of such intelligent initiative, ingenuity and executive capacity as shall make workers, as far as may be, the masters of their own industrial fate...I am utterly opposed to giving the power of social predestination, by means of narrow trade-training, to any group of fallible men [sic] no matter how well-intentioned they may be (Dewey, 1915a, p. 42). Chapter X - Difference - A Context for Schema 203 The 1915 argument between John Dewey and David Snedden in The New Republic (Dewey, 1915a; Snedden, 1915) outl ined this argument in detail, and sadly, Snedden's view prevailed: that vocational education should be for the purposes of increasing productive capacity for capitalism rather than achieving industr ia l intelligence for a l l citizens. Perhaps i t was this expression of what the purpose of vocational education should be that sealed the fate of technical t ra in ing to the present day (Braundy, 2004), where the t ra in ing of workers through apprenticeship is being consistently diminished. Governments are giving in to employers' desires for t ra in ing workers for individual task components of the complex ski l l sets that t radi t ional ly make up a fu l l apprenticeship, to undermine what a tradesperson can negotiate for wages as a "skil led" person. The social construction of the gender segregation of occupations was embedded in the trades t ra in ing schools created at this t ime, for i f t ra in ing was to be for occupations, there would be no place for women in areas where there was l i t t le chance they would be hired. But just as there is concern today regarding which comes first, the skil led workforce or innovative technology implementation, i t is ' possible that i f women had access to t ra in ing, they could be contributors to constructing an effective economy. Currently, w i t h the call for greater worker involvement in workplace solutions and invention, those seeking to learn and use technical skills for the benefit of society sorely feel the loss and redirection of Dewey's vision. U n d e r the Fear Cockburn's, Baron's, and Down's research into historical constructions h int at the ways psychological pressures were developed and brought to bear in creating the gender divisions we f ind in society. Using theoretical constructs suggested by Chapter X - Difference - A Context for Schema 204 Lynne Segal (1997), I w i l l briefly explore elements that make up resistance in the social and psychological terrain. Focusing on practical explorations found in Cockburn (1991) and Legault (2003a), I look next at other forces at work w i th in male resistance to women in technical fields, so wel l represented by the men in the play, brought for th by the participants in the group interview. Segal, working gender at the interface of social sciences and the humanities in Great Br i ta in , notes: The force and power of the dominant ideals of masculinity.. .do not derive from any intrinsic characteristic of individuals, but from the social meanings which accrue to these ideals from their supposed superiority to that which they are not (p. x). ...Nor are we simply dealing with a multiplicity of masculine styles, for these are always cut across by, and enmeshed within, other, differing relations of power—class, age, skill, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and so on (p. xi). She unravels and expounds upon the recent history, notions and forces motivat ing both change and resistance to change for men in western cultures. Segal (1997) argues that after the Second World War, when men return ing received prerogatives over women for the jobs outside the home, a process of domestication took place for both women and men. She uses the books and movies taken up as popular culture, along w i th a number of research studies to i l lustrate the themes and practices promoting and representing appropriate gender performances for the times. Interestingly, themes and practices cross class lines, and she finds similar notions of the essential nature of separate spheres for men and women in both working-class and middle-class studies. To men, the 'real work'; to women, Motherhood; notions sold through books, plays, f i lms, advert ising and television, wel l documented in her work. " I t is insufficient for the 'men' to be distinguished from the 'boys'; the 'men' must be distinguished from the 'women'...many men are Chapter X - Difference - A Context for Schema 205 today condemned to live w i th ever increasing levels of insecurity over the distinctiveness of their 'manliness" (Segal, 1997, p. 132). After the Second World War, from politicians t ry ing to settle society down to work and prosperity after the war to "angry young men" who in wr i t ing and action often expressed a hosti l i ty towards women, wives and mothers especially, the war between the sexes came out into the open. The influence of military forces And w i th these gender struggles came more public acknowledgement of fears of effeminacy, often acted out as homophobia. Social forces emerged after the actual war which demanded "the forced repression of the 'feminine' in al l men... a way of keeping men separated off from women, and keeping women subordinate to men" (p. 16), reinforced on both sides of the At lant ic through continued conscription and forced mi l i ta ry t ra in ing, w i th the casual brutality and crude insensitivity generated by the futile monotony of conscript life...The daily tedium of army life was relieved only by the swearing, drinking, and boasting of male bonding...Army training relies upon intensifying the opposition between male and female, with 'women' used as a term of abuse for incompetent performance, thereby cementing the prevalent cultural links between virility, sexuality and aggressiveness (p. 18). The intensified high alert of the Cold War kept the focus on mi l i tary preparedness, yet conscripts had no place in which to exercise their honed skil ls. Sociologist David Morgan explores his own National Service experience when he says, It was not that, simply, boys learnt to swear, drink, desire women, favour toughness, rely on their mates and so on...It was more a matter of learning to identify masculinity and being a male with these traits and pieces of behaviour (Morgan, 1987; in Segal, 1997, p. 20). Chapter X - Difference - A Context for Schema 206 There are many paradoxes here. One element that Segal puts forward reminds us that this was also a time of the public awakening of women's sexuality. The responsibilities for the "new family man" included both in i t ia t ing and satisfying what seemed for many to be an enigma. Actions and att i tudes might be required that contravene the codes of behaviour ingrained historically and i n other contexts. The Desire to be Desired These "opposed faces of masculinity" continue to this day. Jules Fieffer, a revered New York cartoonist in the last hal f of the twent ieth century, told Look Magazine i n the 1950s, "Man has always seen woman as his enemy. But he needs her" (in Segal, 1997, p. 22). Human Desire must be directed towards another Desire...To desire the Desire of another is...to desire that the value that I am or that I 'represent' be the value desired by the other...It is only by being 'recognized' by another, by many others, or—in the extreme—by all others, that a human being is really human, for himself [sic] as well as for others (Lacan, cited in Sarup, 1992, p. 68) Perhaps i t is here that we see some needs or wants underlying those who hold onto their position as 'the one who wields the tools.' I f men desire to be the value desired by another, one way would be to hone the tool skills necessary to secure the construction and maintenance of the physical components essential to l iv ing, and keep those skills for themselves (Kirkup & Keller, 1992, pp. 199-205). I suggest i t may wel l be this need to be essential, this desire, and the attendant fear of loss, that drives men to hold so t ight ly to their tool skills, believing this w i l l ensure their place in the lives of those so necessary to their well-being. This view was affirmed by three of my key informants. Connie notes this, in the play, and the contradiction i t raises for women, when she says: Chapter X - Difference - A Context for Schema 207 It amazes me! When you ask men about the meaning of tools in their lives, they say it's so they can take care of everyone (McCloughry, 1992, p. 220). Trades and technical women love that they can take care of themselves! I t seems we have a conundrum. And yet, the nervous laughter ensues each t ime I say the name of my play out loud. Men wield their 'tools,' measure one against another, call each other 'tool,' or 'dickhead' sometimes i n fun or in derogation. The immediate extrapolation from tools to penis, understood by each and every person, regardless of gender identif ication, symbolizes potency and productiveness, vigour and virtue. Recognized as both the organ and the Phallus f irst, and only later allowed to be the physical representation of technology, perhaps as the extension of the Phallus. Interestingly, that was not consciously part of my l i teral notion when I created the t i t le. I was referring to the struggles I have known and seen, where so often the men take the tools out of the women's hands, ostensibly to show them how to do i t , but in effect, "emasculating" them, removing the power of the tool from their hands. I was highl ight ing the continuous efforts over centuries to ensure these divisions. I t was only after naming the play publicly and hearing the response that I realized my double entendre, and the depth of meanings i t implied. But this tool, this Phallus, the potency of which seems to be expressed in the ironclad control over sex-segregated employment i n trades and technical occupations, is a metaphor which becomes a metonym. A question which weighs in my work on this dissertation: Is it possible to attack the Phallus without attacking, or being alleged to attack, the penis? Object Relations Bi l l Pinar, a wel l-known curr iculum theorist w i t h a strong interest in sex and gender, encouraged me take up the theories of Object Relations, a sociocultural l imb Chapter X - Difference - A Context for Schema 208 of material ist psychoanalysis focusing on interpersonal relations, in my exploration of the roots of resistance to women in technical fields. Relations, part icularly between mother and child, form as cathected (or desired) objects and part-objects, attachments, and lay the foundation for future relationship experiences. Pinar builds on the work of Dorothy Dinnerstein (1976) and Nancy Chodorow (1978), noted founders of feminist object relations theories. They rely on desire, (often referred to as cathexis), and Greek mythology to explain the influences created in the home by the t radi t ional patterns of female child minding and male authori ty figures who are, for the most part, absent from the daily lives of children. "The boy must repress and deny the intimacy, tenderness and dependence of the early symbiotic bond w i t h the mother i f he is to assume 'masculine' identi ty" (Chodorow, in Segal, 1997, p. 79), and Dinnerstein posits "the universal exploitation of women is rooted in our att itudes towards early parental figures and w i l l go on un t i l these figures are male as wel l as female" (in Segal, 1997, p. 79). These theories have some meri t , but regardless of the origins, Michael K immel contends in Manhood in America: A Cultural History: The fears of feminization...have haunted men for a century (in Pinar, 2001, p. 1139). These fears come from somewhere, and their presence is constructing gender and gender relations. B i l l Pinar deepens object relations theories, when he suggests, in his voluminous examination of The Gender of Racial Politics and Violence in America, that i t is "the repudiation of the mother identif ication and an active identif ication w i th the father" (p. 1143) which reproduces "heteronormative, oedipal structures of self, family and society." He sees this as a key in the drive to homosociality, the need for men to relate in a single sex setting in work, sports, and Chapter X - Difference - A Context for Schema 209 most settings outside the home; a notion that is clearly expressed by Jerry several times dur ing the play, and described by Cockburn (1983, 1991), Legault (2001, 2003), and in Roger Horowitz's compendium of men at work and play. Some notions of its historical roots are explicated by David Noble (1992). The repudiation of the mother requires "the repudiation of femininity, a repudiation at times almost hysterical in its shrillness: hypermasculinity" (wi th K immel , Pinar, 2001, p. 1150). Seen in many varieties of current masculinities, at work, at play, in politics, and in violence against women and homosexuals, Pinar posits this "male self-division" as the process which constructed the '"separate spheres' ideology, w i th desexualized, saintly mothers labouring at home, and rugged, competitive men at work in a public sphere they controlled and conflated w i th manhood." I n what might be considered a Utopian postulate, he ends the section on "Men in Crisis. Again? Still?" by suggesting "a democratization of the white male 'self," by "reclaiming projected gendered and racialized fragments as wel l as repudiated identifications, including pre-oedipal identif ication w i th the mother" (p. 1151), that might function 'to negate the most basic premise of male subjectivity: an identif ication w i t h masculinity" which might end "racial [and genderized] violence in America." The Need to Work Gus: I know when I 'm not work ing , I don't feel good about my self. For the male wage-labourer, the threat of redundancy is a humiliation... unemployment strikes not only at the pocket', but also at a man's dignity - the basis of his pride...for over and above its sheer economic necessity, the experience of working is at the centre of a man's social life. The wage, which redundancy removes, is much more than an economic 'wager (the exchange of money for labour-power). Not only in its capacity to purchase, but also in what it represents (in the pub, or in the family) the wage symbolizes a man's 'social presence'. If his symbolic power is destroyed, a man's personality is undermined (Tolson, 1977, pp. 77-78). Chapter X - Difference - A Context for Schema 210 Gus is expressing a malaise that is having a continually growing impact on masculine identi ty through the 2 0 t h and into the 2 1 s t Centuries documented by M a i r t i n Mac an Ghai l l (1996) and Roy McCloughry (1992). Andrew Tolson's (1977) widely referenced study of working class and middle class men highlights the differences i n some men's approaches and responses to their work ing lives in Chapter 3, The 'right' to work, and provides a background to Gus's remark. I f ind i t interesting, given the depth of impact and influence of work outside the home on, part icularly, masculine identity, that there is so l i t t le mention of i t i n the psychoanalytic discourse. I can only guess that this is a class issue, that those whose identi ty has been historically most involved w i t h 'work' are from the 'working classes,' and hardly of interest to the class of people who could afford to become or patronize psychoanalysts. The symbolic and actual power enshrined in "men" and "masculinity" is not dissipated even when characterized as "vulnerable," "insecure" or a defensive reaction to the "al l powerful" mother. A l l the psychoanalytic theories seem meagre in understanding the underlying factors that compel men to hold tool ski l l jobs as their own. There is st i l l a need to understand the motivations underlying this drive to "take of everyone" as Connie suggests. But, w i t h a nod to Lacan, tool skills can also prove their wor th as essential to those whose desire they desire, and from whom they may st i l l be t ry ing to separate. Gender Regimes Gus: But my son is pretty bloody red-neck. He certainly wasn't taught that at home. You should hear him talk about women in the trades. Holy shit! He sounds like a 60 year-old teamster. Can't put his finger on why, just knows they don't belong there. Chapter X - Difference - A Context for Schema 211 'Masculinity is best understood as transcending the personal, as a heterogeneous set of ideas, constructed around assumptions of social power, which are lived out and reinforced, or perhaps denied and challenged, in multiple and diverse ways within a whole social system in which relations of authority, work, and domestic life are organised, in the main, along hierarchical gender lines (Segal, 1997, p. 288). Psychology professor Lynn Segal provides a framework for exploring some of the notions of work-based masculinity (pp. 94-103). When Gus wonders where his son learned his sexism, he is acting bl ind to the reproduction of masculinity which is reconstructed in the camaraderie of workplaces and union settings where exclusion of women is a sometimes unspoken 'watchword' (Legault, 2001, 2003a; Tolson, 1977). Segal gives us an example of the underlying forces using Ernest Hemingway's role models of action-packed pursui t of manliness, power and tough, competitive violence, in t imat ing that 'they protesteth too mu