Download Gendered Politics in the Modern South: The Susan Smith Case by Keira V. Williams PDF

By Keira V. Williams

within the fall of 1994 Susan Smith, a tender mom from Union, South Carolina, mentioned that an African American male carjacker had abducted her teenagers. the scoop sparked a multi-state research and evoked national sympathy. 9 days later, she confessed to drowning the lads in a close-by lake, and that sympathy fast grew to become to outrage. Smith grew to become the subject of hundreds of thousands of articles, information segments, and media broadcasts—overshadowing the insurance of midterm elections and the O. J. Simpson trial. The notoriety of her case used to be greater than tabloid fare, even if; her tale tapped right into a cultural debate approximately gender and politics at an important second in American history.

In Gendered Politics within the sleek South Keira V. Williams makes use of the Susan Smith case to research the “new sexism” present in the schedule of the budding neoconservatism stream of the Nineties. She notes that during the weeks after Smith’s confession, soon-to-be Speaker of the home Newt Gingrich made statements linking Smith’s habit to the Nineteen Sixties counterculture flow and to Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” social welfare courses. whilst, quite a few magazines declared the “death of feminism” and a “crisis in masculinity” because the attack on liberal social motives received momentum. in keeping with this perceived obstacle, Williams argues, a different code of gender discrimination built that sought to reassert a conventional type of white male power.

In addition to consulting a large choice of resources, together with letters from Smith written due to the fact her incarceration, Williams contextualizes the notorious case in the historical past of gender politics over the past sector of the 20 th century. She finds how the rhetoric, imagery, and criminal remedy of infanticidal moms replaced and asserts that the newest shift displays the evolution of a neoconservative politics.

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