The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women Themes

Kate Moore
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Female Networks

The female networks in the dial-painters’ stories acted as the impetus for change and justice. Without one another, the doctors may not have made the connection between their cases. As soon as Irene Rudolph fell ill, she suggested that her doctor examine Hazel Kuser, who was also suffering intensely. Their symptoms were different and therefore were not obviously connected to medical professionals, but the women had information that they did not. It became crucial for them to speak up, and they did just that. Katherine visited the Department of Labor shortly after her cousin, Irene’s, death, for example. Catherine and Charlotte also spoke up for their former colleagues when they confronted Mr. Reed. Catherine looked out for Charlotte when she suggested she also visit the blood specialist, Dr. Loffler, and then Charlotte gathered former dial-painters to have informal clinics with him.

Not only did the dial-painters...

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