Carol Gilligan

Carol Gilligan the author of In a Different Voice and co-author of Meeting at the Crossroads: Women’s Psychology and Girls’ Development, is a professor of psychology at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has been teaching in Cambridge – in England, that is – for the last year and a half.

The Dream of Everywhere

Carol Gilligan, 10 March 1994

After reading Unbearable Weight, I began to notice the word ‘slim’. It seemed ubiquitous – on cans in drugstores and supermarkets, in the personal columns of the New York Review of Books. It was a cultural mantra, a synonym for ‘lovable’. In the personal ads, one man described himself as ‘trim’, as in ‘tall, trim, well-built, passionate’; he was also married, vigorous, in his sixties, discreet, and with excellent credentials. But it was in the women’s ads that ‘slim’ became repetitive, dispelling the ever-present suggestion that this woman was too large, too big, too heavy, fat.’

The important question is not whether a truly gender-blind capitalism is possible, but whether that would be an equality worth fighting for.

Read More

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences