×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Selling Women Short: The Landmark Battle for Workers' Rights at Wal-Mart
     

Selling Women Short: The Landmark Battle for Workers' Rights at Wal-Mart

by Liza Featherstone
 

See All Formats & Editions

On television, Wal-Mart employees are smiling women delighted with their jobs. But reality is another story. In 2000, Betty Dukes, a fifty-two-year-old black woman in Pittsburg, California, became the lead plaintiff in Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, a class action, representing 1.6 million women. In her explosive investigation of this historic lawsuit, journalist

Overview

On television, Wal-Mart employees are smiling women delighted with their jobs. But reality is another story. In 2000, Betty Dukes, a fifty-two-year-old black woman in Pittsburg, California, became the lead plaintiff in Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, a class action, representing 1.6 million women. In her explosive investigation of this historic lawsuit, journalist Liza Featherstone reveals how Wal-Mart, a self-styled "family-oriented," Christian company: Deprives women (but not men) of the training they need to advance. Relegates women to lower-paying jobs like selling baby clothes, reserving the more lucrative positions for men. Inflicts punitive demotions on employees who object to discrimination. Exploits Asian women in its sweatshops in Saipan, a U.S. commonwealth. Featherstone goes on to reveal the creative solutions that Wal-Mart workers around the country have found, like fighting for unions, living-wage ordinances, and childcare options. Selling Women Short combines the personal stories of these employees with superb investigative journalism to show why women who work these low-wage jobs are getting a raw deal, and what they are doing about it. A new preface to the paperback edition will reflect on Wal-Mart's response to this lawsuit and its critics-including this one.

Editorial Reviews

Washington Post
Her rigorous reporting on the stories behind the lawsuit makes the book a must-read for Wal-Mart's friends and foes.
Publishers Weekly
Fortune magazine's "Most Admired Company" for two years running, Wal-Mart offers its customers low prices and its shareholders big profits, but as freelance journalist Featherstone (Students Against Sweatshops) argues, this comes at great cost. Wal-Mart's success is based not only on its inexpensive merchandise or its popularity (Featherstone cites working-class shoppers and Paris Hilton among Wal-Mart's fans) but on bad labor practices. Using a close investigation of the class action suit Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and extensive interviews with female workers, Featherstone indicts Wal-Mart for low wages, discriminatory policies and sexist practices. "[Our] district manager sometimes held lunch meetings at Hooters restaurants," one female employee explains; another recalls being asked to work "off the clock." Failure to post open positions, exclusively male social gatherings, pay discrimination, "persistent segregation of departments"-all are part, she argues, of Wal-Mart's deep-rooted culture of sexism. Many women employed full-time at Wal-Mart make so little that they are dependent on public assistance: "It is curious that Wal-Mart-the icon of American free enterprise and self-sufficiency...-turns out to be one of the biggest `welfare queens' of our time," Featherstone writes. She doesn't give much time to related topics-racism, exploited overseas labor-but this is a clearly written and compelling book. It may not keep readers from their local Supercenters, but it should make them take a closer look at who's working the register. (Nov.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786738168
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
04/20/2009
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
File size:
299 KB

What People are Saying About This

Naomi Klein
A devastating story, superbly told. This is a breakthrough book.
—(Naomi Klein, author of No Logo)
Laura Flanders
Featherstone returns to the women of Wal-Mart what the corporation would steal: their humanity, their insight, their voice.
—(Laura Flanders, author of Bushwomen: Tales of a Cynical Species)
Frances Fox Piven
A must read for an understanding of the new service economy and the risks it poses to the U.S.
—(Frances Fox Piven, author of The War at Home and Regulating the Poor)
Andrew Ross
Featherstone's book is an important addition to the gathering arsenal of disgust that will bring Wal-Mart tumbling down.
—(Andrew Ross, author of Low Pay, High Profile and No-Collar)
Barbara Ehrenreich
Selling Women Short is a bargain even Wal-Mart can't match... It offers an unprecedented glimpse into Wal-Mart's pseudo-Christian, ultra-macho, corporate culture.
—(Barbara Ehrenreich, NYTimes Bestselling author of Nickel & Dimed)

Meet the Author

Liza Featherstone is a freelance journalist whose work has been featured in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday, Rolling Stone, and the Washington Post, among other publications. She lives in New York City.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews