Analysis Of Constance Bowman Reid's 'Slacks & Calluses'

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Constance Bowman Reid presents several captivating observations and narratives about being a woman working in a World War II bomber factory in her memoir Slacks & Calluses. Reid and her friend and fellow teacher Clara Marie, referred to as C.M., decided to spend their summer vacation assisting the allied war effort by working the swing shift at a local aircraft factory. Because of their gender, Reid and C.M were forced to challenge many presumptions and biases that the factory supervisors had about their abilities. Despite proving to be strong workers, the duo had to deal with sexism within the workplace and in the world around them. Due to her unique social positioning, Reid offers an unparalleled perspective on several wartime issues that in total provide a comprehensive story with spectacular historical value. After hearing that school teachers were wanted for building aircraft during summer vacation, Reid and C.M decided that they would apply to work at the Consolidated Aircraft Factory despite having little to no knowledge of aircraft or mechanics. The lack of background knowledge that Reid and C.M. have is a defining factor in the point of view of the memoir. Slacks & Calluses provides several instances where Reid’s ignorance of tools and how to use them plays a major role. One of these occasions was on Reid’s first day, she was being shown how to assemble safety belt holders and she asked her “leadman”, Mr. MacGregor, to demonstrate how to use a ratchet to loosen a

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