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Casino WomenCourage in Unexpected Places$
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Susan Chandler and Jill B. Jones

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450143

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450143.001.0001

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“Kiss My Foot”

“Kiss My Foot”

Cocktail Waitressing

(p.29) 3 “Kiss My Foot”
Casino Women

Susan Chandler

Jill B. Jones

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the world of cocktail waitresses. It is a collection of body stories—revealed breasts, protruding bunions, trashed wrists, and smoke-blackened lungs; of sexual come-ons and closely regulated weight requirements; of exhaustion and drugs that make smiles brighter and wearing high heels easier. It plays close attention to what those breasts, bunions, wrists, and lungs tell us about who has power and who does not. It notes the tight control casino executives exercise over cocktail waitresses and their bodies in this world where ostensibly “anything goes.” But control, it turns out, is never total. Cocktail waitresses are rarely docile; guests may consider them babes, but most are working-class women with strong ethics of care for each other and their families. And because they are regularly exposed to the raw side of both management and guests, they have few illusions, something that generally serves women and workers well. Cocktail waitresses, who feminists worry might be the least likely to come back at men in power, actually can do it with gusto.

Keywords:   cocktail waitress, feminists, casino workers, working-class women

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