chapter
8 Pages

The Politics of Women’s Addiction and Women’s Equality

What are “we” talking about when we talk about drugs and women who use them? Illicit drug discourse is an excellent arena for exploring how public policy affects women’s lives. Policy is shaped by the underlying assumptions and cultural figures that U.S. political discourse on drugs presumes and reiterates. Drug policy provides a case study of the interplay between political power, knowledge production, and a parade of fantastic figures-the “morphinist mothers” and “opium vampires” of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the “enemies within” and the “girl drug addicts” of the 1950s, the “heroin mothers” of the 1970s, and the “crack moms” of more recent memory.