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Male Nurses

In: Psychology

Submitted By katrynvaldez
Words 6796
Pages 28
Program in Writing and Rhetoric

Autumn 2005 Honorable Mention Matthew Gribble
Instructor’s Foreword
Movies tell us that in the wake of a murder, detectives would stretch what appear to be pipe cleaners, or a very taut yarn, through the bullet holes left in walls, in lamps, in the hollow doors of haunted rooms. The yarn was there to demonstrate the location of the shooter – or indeed, shooters – relative to the victim. But the fact is that other forces might have conspired in the murder. (Poison may have been used; bullets may have been fired only as an afterthought; perhaps they were fired by the victim himself, before he died . . .) Yarn can tell us the story only in certain circumstances. As a researcher and a writer, Matthew Gribble analyzes his crime scene with diligence and care. The crisis: The shortage of nurses in America. The question: How and why did this shortage become a persistent problem? Matthew affixes strings of yarn to a number of gunshots: the increasing average age of the workforce, long hours, work that is often menial or clerical, and finally, relatively low salaries. But these strands lead to new questions, wider causes which have nothing to do with social yarn. These new questions have to do with rhetoric and the enduring association of nursing with “women’s work” and “femininity.” Matthew has the audacity to ask how the rhetoric of femininity actually functions. How and why are we compelled to accept images and tropes as ‘normal’ or ‘natural’ when they are anything but normal and natural? Is it possible that the rhetoric of nursing is responsible for the shortage? Or perhaps it is the rhetoric of femininity and masculinity as such? But how did such a crime take place, right under our noses, when so many of us never noticed that an injustice ever took place? This essay is brilliant and provocative because it will not stop until the crime...

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