"Deficient in love-interest": The Sexual Politics of the Office in Canadian Fiction

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Title: "Deficient in love-interest": The Sexual Politics of the Office in Canadian Fiction
Authors: Galletly, Sarah
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/11011
Date: 2012
Online since: 2019-08-20T12:31:08Z
Abstract: Using the concerns of the period over female workers’ susceptibility to office romance and sexual harassment as a starting point, this article will explore the depiction of secretaries and stenographers in Grant Allen’s The Type-Writer Girl (1897) and Bertrand Sinclair’s North of Fifty-Three (1914). It will examine the pressure to gain economic independence and personal autonomy through office work, alongside the need to conform to cultural ideologies, which still argue for women’s destiny to be centred on marriage and children. Did the working-girl literature of this era support and endorse the image of the independent, hard-working, emotionally fulfilled working woman? Or was women’s clerical labour instead seen merely as another step in their ‘natural’ evolution from girls to mothers? This article will also uncover whether the fictional office was presented as a site of potential female growth and autonomy, or as a hostile and dangerous space where women should escape from as soon as possible for the safety of the home. (Spanish): Con base en las preocupaciones de la época sobre la susceptibilidad al romance y acoso sexual de la trabajadora de oficina, este artículo propone explorar la representación de secretarias y taquígrafas en TheType-Writer Girl (1897), de Grant Allan, y en North of Fifty-Three (1914), de Bertrand Sinclair. Se mirará la presión para adquirir la independencia económica y autonomía personal a través del trabajo en oficina. También, la necesidad de ajustarse a ideologías presentes en la sociedad, que abogaban un destino predeterminado de matrimonio e hijos para la mujer. Se pregunta si el género de literatura workinggirl de esos tiempos abogaba la imagende la mujer independiente, trabajadora y emocionalmente realizada, o si el trabajo de oficina era interpretado como un paso natural hacia una evolución de niñas a madres. Este artículo también cuestiona si la oficina ficcional fue presentada como una ubicación de autonomía y potencial femeninos, o si fue vista como un espacio hostil y peligroso del que debería escapar lo más pronto posible para mantener la seguridad del hogar.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Universidad del Rosario
Journal: Perspectivas Colombo-Canadienses
Volume: 3
Start page: 91
End page: 107
Copyright (published version): 2010 the Author
Keywords: Sexual politicsOfficerCanadaFiction
Other versions: https://revistas.urosario.edu.co/index.php/perspectiva/article/view/2167
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:English, Drama & Film Research Collection

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