chapter
10 Pages

Introduction

ByDrug Policy, Social Reproduction, Social Justice

Housecleaning has long been associated with legal drug use by white women (see Figure 1). “Mother’s little helpers” once pepped up 1950s middle-class housewives afflicted with the feminine mystique.1 Today a spick-and-span house or too-well tended yard may betray a methamphetamine user.2 “Meth” or “crank,” once the “blue-collar cocaine” of truck drivers and carpet layers, was declared the “pinkcollar crack” of the 1990s. “Today, you have the sense that it’s moms trying to juggle a job and three kids and day care, and women working on their feet as waitresses for twelve hours a day.”3 Portrayed as a “white woman’s drug,” meth reputedly numbed the pangs of hunger and postpartum depression (see Figure 2). In 1992 in some areas of the country women tested positive for meth at higher rates than men. “That’s the first time we’ve seen that on any drug,” remarked Clinton administration drug czar William McCaffrey. “There may be a piece of it related to weight loss and a piece of it related to enabling prostitution-it’s a drug that allows you to deal with your feelings of remorse.”