Monday, October 25, 2010

Short Post 10/25

I found the two chapters we read very informative and enlightening, especially the second, "Daughters and Generals in the Politics of the Globalized Sneaker." I've definitely heard about the "cheap labor" abroad and the terrible conditions under which female employees (particularly in the sneaker industry) in countries such as Korea, South Korea, and Japan have to work under. However, I was never aware of the complexities behind the situation and how countries' ideologies about femininity support "cheapened labor." Women were essentially brainwashed to be content in their low paid sneaker factory jobs. They were encouraged to view themselves as patriots, migrating "from their small towns to cities in order to participate in the industrialization of their nation" (60), as well as "daughters" and "potential fiancees," needing the money to send home to their families and win over men with large dowries.

At one point, Cynthia Enloe claims that when women consumers in other countries (especially the United States) "see an expensive row of Reeboks or Nikes on the store shelves, there is more to weigh than merely the price listed on the tag" (56). When I read this it really struck home with me because I have bought countless pairs of Nike sneakers in my lifetime. The sad and pathetic thing is even after reading all of this about the terrible positions female workers, who create these sneakers, are put in, it still won't stop me from buying the sneakers next time. I wish i felt differently, but I don't, and it makes me ashamed.

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