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The Radium Girls


The incredible true story of the women who fought America's Undark danger.
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Discuss The Radium Girls by Kate Moore:
How do you believe the radium companies, and the press, would have reacted differently to the scandal had the workers been male? How did the women's gender help and hinder their case?

Created: 07/29/18

Replies: 21

Posted Jul. 29, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1626

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How do you believe the radium companies, and the press, would have reacted differently to the scandal had the workers been male? How did the women's gender help and hinder their case?

How do you believe the radium companies, and the press, would have reacted differently to the scandal had the workers been male? Considering the time period, how did their gender help and hinder their case?


Posted Aug. 06, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
katherinep

Join Date: 07/16/14

Posts: 118

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RE: How do you believe the radium companies, and the press, would have reacted differently to the scandal had the workers been male? How did the women's gender help and hinder their case?

Not every situation is pushed aside because the people involved are women--not even most situations . This was a different time, people and the women themselves were content with the mores of the time. I don't think any of them felt they were being ignored because they were women. They knew they were fighting city hall and they had no money and very little backing from society or even their own townfolk--including fellow women. Their husbands and brothers weren't any more successful in raising an issue--these were people without money, connections or political pull, period! Men and Women today find themselves in the same boat and unless the press and altruistic people like the lawyers and doctors and dentists that fought alongside these women come along, neither sex has a chance in you know where to get justice.


Posted Aug. 07, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janetr

Join Date: 02/05/14

Posts: 13

RE: How do you believe the radium companies, and the press, would have reacted differently to the scandal had the workers been male? How did the women's gender help and hinder their case?

If the victims of radium poisoning had been male, I believe the story would have taken a slightly different twist. Women in that era were viewed as weak and susceptible to drama and hysteria. Their income was negated by the fact that their husbands worked, so their income, though necessary was viewed by the companies involved as superfluous. If the victims were men, I think they would have won victory in court much sooner than the women did. They would be men predominately dealing with other men, and so more on an equal basis. The men would have been more believable to the corporations, and their doctor reports would have been viewed as more credible.


Posted Aug. 08, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jamiek

Join Date: 11/21/17

Posts: 12

RE: How do you believe the radium companies, and the press, would have reacted differently to the scandal had the workers been male? How did the women's gender help and hinder their case?

I don't think the main issue was that they were women. The issue was and still is today, greed. I am currently watching the trial of a Bay Area groundskeeper who says that the poison in Roundup has given him cancer and he's fighting Monsanto. One of the main differences today is that public sympathy is more with the victims, and there is greater awareness of how chemicals affect health. There is also a greater demand for accountability


Posted Aug. 08, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 179

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RE: How do you believe the radium companies, and the press, would have reacted differently to the scandal had the workers been male? How did the women's gender help and hinder their case?

My first thought was that men in that time had more status in the working world— and the world in general. However, there were men in the story that died of radium exposure and it was also swept under the rug. The women eventually gained the attention and sympathy of the press.but not before more were damaged. The companies were allowed to lie and cover things up.


Posted Aug. 10, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Carol Rainer

Join Date: 09/03/15

Posts: 72

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RE: How do you believe the radium companies, and the press, would have reacted differently to the scandal had the workers been male? How did the women's gender help and hinder their case?

Good question - maybe a tiny difference. But, ultimately, radium didn't decide on what gender's bones to attack. Whoever was exposed to it was affected by it. The women were much more prominently partaking in the danger of it by orally ingesting the radium particles.


Posted Aug. 11, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Peggy H

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 235

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RE: How do you believe the radium companies, and the press, would have reacted differently

This was the time women were getting the vote and at last working outside the home although not as much as during World War II. Men would probably have been pushier. Having said that I think the women eventually received more support because they were women.


Posted Aug. 13, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alissac

Join Date: 05/14/15

Posts: 49

RE: How do you believe the radium companies, and the press, would have reacted differently to the scandal had the workers been male? How did the women's gender help and hinder their case?

I’m not sure that the response would have been much different- perhaps justice may have come sooner, but I think the opinion was expressed repeatedly that these workers were of “lower orders,” therefore not as important, therefore expendable. Only once, I think, did Moore express this, as response was quick to determine radium as the cause of illness in a male doctor, but that response read to me as quicker bc he was a doctor, not necessarily that he was male.


Posted Aug. 13, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
evelyng

Join Date: 02/07/18

Posts: 8

RE: How do you believe the radium companies, and the press, would have reacted differently to the scandal had the workers been male? How did the women's gender help and hinder their case?

These were the times that predated the rise of workers Unions and the average young male or female, especially female, would have been grateful just to be gainfully employed. As such they would be very hesitent to bring this horrible health menace into any spot light. I had the feeling that many of the young women who worked at the radium factories hoped against hope that there was no connection between the awful illnesses that were being suffered several years down the line with other workers and the work they were making money at. It's all too easy to look the other way when it isn't bothering you. A group of young males might have gotten more attention earlier than these women who were, in accordance with the times, used to standing back until they were undeniably falling from their ranks where they stood.


Posted Aug. 13, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
renem

Join Date: 12/01/16

Posts: 185

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RE: How do you believe the radium companies, and the press, would have reacted differently to the scandal had the workers been male? How did the women's gender help and hinder their case?

I definitely think the radium companies and the press would have taken it more seriously if more men were being affected than women. After all, in their minds, men were not as expendable as girls and young women. The women's gender hindered their case because many still believed they were making it all up. It eventually helped their case when the press stepped in and had pity on them.


Posted Aug. 14, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
annar

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 62

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RE: How do you believe the radium companies, and the press, would have reacted differently to the scandal had the workers been male? How did the women's gender help and hinder their case?

I think the situation would have been much different if the workers had been male. Today women are taken more seriously, but still, have to work hard to be heard. During the time period of this book, women were treated as "the little woman" and didn't have the same value in the workplace as a man.


Posted Aug. 20, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianaps

Join Date: 05/29/15

Posts: 277

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RE: How do you believe the radium companies, and the press, would have reacted differently to the scandal had the workers been male? How did the women's gender help and hinder their case?

I doubt they would have reacted very differently. The 20's and 30's were a rough time for people and the companies figured workers were a dime a dozen.


Posted Aug. 20, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
iread49

Join Date: 04/10/13

Posts: 49

RE: How do you believe the radium companies, and the press, would have reacted differently to the scandal had the workers been male? How did the women's gender help and hinder their case?

Plainly spoken , women were negated in society. Their lives of less value.


Posted Aug. 21, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pennyp

Join Date: 03/22/12

Posts: 330

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RE: How do you believe the radium companies, and the press, would have reacted differently to the scandal had the workers been male? How did the women's gender help and hinder their case?

I think gender wasn’t the primary issue of the slow response. Greed was then and still is today, the primary reason. Men may have been more vocal and the response may have been quicker but we have only to look at situations such as the coal miners to see gender really doesn’t matter in the world of exploitation.


Posted Aug. 27, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
SD Reader

Join Date: 02/10/16

Posts: 14

RE: How do you believe the radium companies, and the press, would have reacted differently to the scandal had the workers been male? How did the women's gender help and hinder their case?

I think that it was more a matter of class than gender, and the need for work due to hard economic times. I think the women bonded together in a way that men may not have, especially because of the toll their sickness had on their children and husbands.


Posted Aug. 28, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
darylb

Join Date: 06/23/13

Posts: 104

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RE: How do you believe the radium companies, and the press, would have reacted differently to the scandal had the workers been male? How did the women's gender help and hinder their case?

I think it may have been taken more seriously as the management, who were all male, thought they could bully the women into going away. Just the fact that their doctors were diagnosing them with ridiculous illnesses like syphillis showed the lack of respect shown to women in those days.


Posted Aug. 29, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mildas

Join Date: 05/11/16

Posts: 14

RE: How do you believe the radium companies, and the press, would have reacted differently to the scandal had the workers been male? How did the women's gender help and hinder their case?

There was one male case and it was settled quickly. So perhaps, if the workers had been male things would have been different. Women were looked upon as second class citizens to be bullied and exploited. They were not respected and men were responsible for them.


Posted Aug. 29, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mildas

Join Date: 05/11/16

Posts: 14

Would male workers have been treated the same.

There was a male case and it was settled quickly. This leads me to conclude that perhaps things would have been handled differently if the workers had been men. Men were responsible for women in the handling of money, and decision making. Women were second class citizens that were looked down upon. Their gender hindered their case because their opinions were not valued. Their gender helped the case because they appeared frail and helpless.


Posted Aug. 30, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Peggy H

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 235

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RE: How do you believe the radium companies, and the press, would have reacted differently to the scandal had the workers been male? How did the women's gender help and hinder their case?

I can’t see men in that specific occupation, especially, licking the brushes to points. However, the problem was greed, as the company knew there were problems but felt they could cover them up. The women did need the support of some doctors and lawyers to get the result.


Posted Sep. 03, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
robertm

Join Date: 08/02/18

Posts: 4

RE: How do you believe the radium companies, and the press, would have reacted differently to the scandal had the workers been male? How did the women's gender help and hinder their case?

As everything in that era, the men's complaints would have been addressed quicker, though I believe the financial considerations of the company overrode everything. This was a time when heads of companies fully held the reins of industry, and I believe they still would have fought over every penny they had to pay out of their pockets that was not directly tied to profits. Sad to say, I don't think the laborious litigation or the final outcome would have been very different.


Posted Sep. 10, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianet

Join Date: 08/13/18

Posts: 6

RE: How do you believe the radium companies, and the press, would have reacted differently to the scandal had the workers been male? How did the women's gender help and hinder their case?

If men had been the sole workers, as head of households the companies would have settled any litigation quickly using the press to ensure that they would not "uncover" any "shortcoming" on the part of the companies. Since it was "only" women, the companies believed that there would be no doctor that would look into the possible tie-in with the radium. Thankfully there were. Unfortunately many of the women did not live to see the results of their insistence.


Posted Sep. 23, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 363

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RE: How do you believe the radium companies, and the press, would have reacted differently to the scandal had the workers been male? How did the women's gender help and hinder their case?

The American culture was - and continues to be - dominated by men. During the era of this novel, women were truly second-class citizens, able to hold jobs which were considered menial; that meant that the workers were also replaceable and disposable. Women could be dismissed by calling them hysterical. I'm not sure that having females be the victims helped them in any way, but I definitely think it hurt their pursuit of timely justice.


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