Lip Service on the Fantasy Lines
DOI link for Lip Service on the Fantasy Lines
Lip Service on the Fantasy Lines book
When the deregulation of the telephone industry co-occurred with a number of technological advances in telecommunications in the early 1980s, American society witnessed the birth of a new medium for linguistic exchange-the 900 number. On the fantasy lines, which generate annual revenues of more than $45 million in California alone, l women's language is bought, sold, and custom-tailored to secure caller satisfaction. This high tech mode of linguistic exchange complicates traditional notions of power in language, because the women working within the industry consciously produce a language stereotypically associated with women's powerlessness in order to gain economic power and social flexibility. In this chapter, I refer to research I conducted among five women-owned fantasy-line companies in San Francisco in order to argue for a more multidimensional definition of linguistic power, one that not only devotes serious attention to the role of sexuality in conversational exchange but also recognizes individual vari ability with respect to women's conversational consent.