Recently in Class Announcements Category

Tracking the Issues Categories/Presentations

To make it easier to use the blog as part of the Sex War presentations, I made sub-sub categories for the three Sex Wars groups: Pornography, Raunch Culture and Prostitution. Please file your entries under the appropriate sub-sub category.

Here is another way to organize your entries for your presentations: Use your summary entry as the format for your presentation. Make links to all of your entries in the summary so that you can access them quickly. Put them in the order that you want to discuss them. Check out one example of how I used a summary page to organize my presentation. Here's a screen shot of my summary entry (note: since it is a screen shot, the links below won't work. Click on the "one example" link above to access the links):




  1. Make sure to turn in your first draft of the paper (the one that we graded) along with this final revised reflection paper. 
  2. Also, if you would like your paper to be returned over the summer, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope along with your two papers (first and revised versions).

Basic Requirements:

  • 5-7 pages, typed and double-spaced in 11 or 12 point font
  • Must draw upon at least 5 class readings.
  • Must draw upon at least 2 blog entries from the course blog.
  • Works cited page identifying all sources used in paper (use MLA Style)
  • Due May 6

In this 5-7 page paper, you should do a substantial revision of your first paper on feminism and whether or not it is necessary. Taking into consideration our comments on your first draft and our discussion of feminism (its histories, key issues, debates) in class and on the blog, this paper should reflect a more informed vision of feminism and its importance (or lack of importance).

As you are working on this revision, keep the following questions in mind: How have your definitions of feminism changed since you wrote your first paper? In what ways have our discussions/readings/films affected your understanding of feminism? (Why) is feminist/women's studies education important?

Your imagined audience should still be a friend or family member. Steer clear of over-generalized statements and make sure to ground your comments in specific examples from the readings, discussion, the blog, film or television clips, and/or your own experiences.

Make sure to check out Michelle's helpful writing tips here.


If you attend this event and then post a question or comment about it on our blog, you can get 5 points added to your total blog grade!

Gay Marriage and Beyond Handout

Here is the extended version of the handout that I distributed in class today. You can also check out the handout after the break and in the links section of this blog (under handouts)...

First, here is the schedule from the revised syllabus I distributed last week.


13 Some Historical Background

• Dworkin, Andrea. "Against the Male Flood: Censorship, Pornography, and Equality" (CP)
• Rubin, Gayle. Excerpt "Thinking Sex" (Web Vista)
• Lorde, Audre. "The Uses of the Erotic" (CP)
• Henry, Astrid. Excerpt from Not my Mother's Sister (Web Vista)

15 Sex Wars: Erotic or Pornographic? Exploitative or Empowering?

• Chapkis, Wendy. Excerpt from Live Sex Acts: Women Performing Erotic Labor (CP)
• Barton, Bernadette. "Dancing on the Mobius Strip: Challenging the Sex War Paradigm" (Web Vista)

FILM: Watch clips from Live Nude Girls Unite!

Sex Wars position paper due today

There is a lot of reading for next week (and a lot of different ideas). While I encourage you to read as much of it as you can, I also understand that it is a crazy time of the semester. Therefore, I have decided to break it down a little more into required and optional readings:

For Tuesday, April 13th:
Required: Dworkin, Lorde, Rubin
Optional: Henry

For Thursday, April 15th:
Required: Chapkis--ch 3, Barton (on Web Vista)
Optional: Chapkis--ch 7


I just received an email about this great event. Our schedule is a little more flexible next week (with no readings scheduled for Thursday) and this talk looks great and is fitting for our class as we work to explore a wide range of definitions of feminism. Therefore, I have decided to cancel class for Tuesday so that as many of us as possible can attend. So, don't go to class on Tuesday...go to this great event instead! Note: I am not requiring that you attend, just encouraging you to.

If you attend and post about it on our blog--how it made you curious/questions it raised for--then you can get 5 extra credit points on your total blog grade. I hope to see you there!

Instead of doing peer review on Thursday (see revised syllabus here), we will discuss the readings on marriage and beyond on Thursday. We will resume the regular schedule (with Sex Wars) the following Tuesday (4/13). I have also made the revised syllabus (as of 4.6) a link under the handout section of this blog.

One more thing: Position papers for family values are due on Tuesday. Here are several options for handing in the paper:
  1. Bring it to my mailbox in the GWSS office (FORD 425)
  2. Give it to me at the talk in Scott Hall
  3. Email it as a word document to me
  4. Bring it to class on Thursday

Readng for Next Tuesday (April 6)

Next Tuesday we will be discussing Marriage and Beyond. I have just added one more short reading, "Beyond Marriage." You can read it on this website or you can read it as a pdf--it is in the Web Vista folder for next week. Note: You only have to read/print the first 7 pages of this pdf.

The actual Revised Feminist Reflection Paper

Sorry about the mix-up. Here is the actual revised feminist reflection paper assignment.

Revised Feminist Reflection Paper Assignment


You can download the revised feminist reflection paper assignment here. Make sure to carefully read the entire assignment. For your reference, here are the basic requirements:

  • 5-7 pages, typed and double-spaced in 11 or 12 point font
  • Must draw upon at least 5 class readings
  • Must draw upon at least 2 blog entries from the course blog
  • Must include works cited page identifying all sources used in paper
  • Due May 6
I have also made the assignment into a link. It is listed under handouts in the link section of this blog (bottom right hand side).

Welcome back from Spring Break! I hope you had a great one. Tomorrow we will be discussing Patricia Hill Collins' essay "It's All in the Family" (available on WebVista) and the selections from The Feminist Family Values forum (in our course packet). In case you missed them, here are two important blog entries/announcements that I posted last week:

Revised Schedule for Issue #3: Family Values



23 What are Feminist Family Values?


  • Collins, Patricia Hill. "It's All in the Family: Intersections of Gender, Race and Nation" (Web Vista)
  • Selections from Feminist Family Values Forum (CP)

25 Feminist Family Values and the Environment


  • Pardo, Mary. "Mexican American Women Grassroots Community Activists: 'Mothers of East Los Angeles'" (Web Vista)
  • 3 "This is a feminist issue because..." Blog Entries:

Is Feminism Humanist Movement?
Consumerism and Waste
American Industrial Food System

30 Family values and Children/Youth


  • Martin, Karin. "William Wants a Doll" (Web Vista)
  • Berstein, Susan. "Transparent" (Web Vista)

FILM CLIPS: Free to be...You and me


1 Family Values and Children/Youth


6 Family Values: Marriage and Beyond


  • The Nation. Special issue on Marriage: The State of the Union (Web Vista)
  • Olson, Theodore B. "The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage" (Web Vista)
  • Normativity" (Web Vista)

Feminist Values position paper due today

Some thoughts on your first blog assignments...

I really enjoyed reading your first round of blog entries/comments and am, for the most part, very impressed with how well you are using the blog to engage with the class and each other. Keep up the good work!

Here are some of my thoughts about the blog assignments so far.

Never assume that your reader knows what you are writing about:
When you are drawing upon the readings, be explicit with your discussion. Don't assume that your audience has read the readings that you are discussing. Remember that we could have "silent" readers who aren't in the class. And even if we have read the readings, we might not immediately recognize what part of a certain text (or which text) that you are discussing.

Be very clear in your discussion:
You should always fully explain your points and link them directly with the readings. Mention page numbers. Follow up on statements like, "The author raised some compelling points about invisible labor," by describing at least one of those compelling points. Don't just write, "I think women are treated unfairly." Make sure to write how women are treated unfairly, what the causes of the unfair treatment are, and which readings discuss the unfair treatment.

Use the readings to support your points:
While it is fine for you to bring in your own opinions, make sure that you always work to connect your discussion with the texts. Relying on the texts, and specific examples that come out of the texts, enables you to focus your discussion and avoid statements that are too broad. Note: Using the readings is crucial because it is one very important way that you can demonstrate that you are reading the material.

Demonstrate a serious engagement with the readings and each other:
A serious engagement means that you spend time really thinking about what you want to write and how you want to respond to my questions or the blog posts of others. Always think about how to create entries/comments that can make us curious, that encourage us to ask questions, and that work to open up discussion instead of shutting it down. 

Use more images:
The design for this blog is very basic so adding in images makes it a lot more fun to look at. Here is what I wrote about how to post images in my How to Blog, a primer:

a. First, find the image you want. Probably the easiest way to do this is by opening up a new tab or window, going on, and putting in a key word to search. That's where I have found most of my this one:


Because this is a basic primer, let's stick with google images. So, you have typed in "Brady Bunch" and found a great image of the family that you want to use. Click on the image. Then click on "see full size image". Drag the full-size image onto your desktop. Now you are ready to upload the image into your entry.

b. Switch back to the entry you have been working on. Put your cursor at the place in your text that you want the image to appear (like where you are discussing the Brady Bunch). Then click on the button (which is a few after the link button) that looks like an image and is called "insert image."


Click on the "upload new image" link and then browse on your desktop for the image of the Brady Bunch that you just found on google images. After you have selected the image, click on upload. Now that the new image is uploaded, you will be given a bunch of file options. It is up to you how you want the image to look, but here is what I usually do. I click on "display image in entry," "use thumbnail (with a width of 150 pixels)" and "Link image to full-size version in a popup window." In terms of alignment, pick whichever works best for you.

Finally, click on finish.

Want more advice on how to write on the blog? Check out these two entries, here and here, that I wrote about blog writing for students.

Blog Folder Due Date Change

According to the official assignment, you are scheduled to hand in your blog folders again this Thursday. As was discussed in class, I am extending that deadline until we have completed the second cycle of blog entries/comments (that is, once everyone has completed 2 entries and 2 additional comments). Therefore, you are now required to turn in your blog folders on March 30.

Remember to print out your blog entries and put them in a folder along with a filled out blog worksheet. Only entries included in the blog folder will graded and awarded points.

Event with Joan Tronto

Hey everyone,

Here's your chance to meet and talk with one of the authors we just read! Join me for a Feminist Studies colloquium event with Joan Tronto on feminist ethics this upcoming Monday, March 8 in Ford 400 from 3:30-5:00. We will be discussing Dr. Tronto's paper, "What Counts as Democracy? Globalizing Care Ethics from the Bottom Up." We will also reflect on the larger question, "what is feminist ethics?"

You can access Dr. Tronto's paper here.

Spread the word. It should be a great event!

Writing Tips & Options

Hi Class!

I just thought I'd provide some general feedback about your writing projects since I've now had the chance to review each of your papers--sometimes twice. For the most part, I've been impressed with your thoughtful engagement with the assignment, readings, and class discussions, each of which have surfaced in the essays. It's also exciting to see the new considerations and illustrations that appear in your writing, which shows me you're extending your knowledge and interest of the subject matter into other realms. Learning through your research and insight is one of the best parts of my job!

There are a few topics I'd like to address to ensure your success in the future. First and foremost, while you are encouraged to share your opinions, you must always justify your beliefs with some kind of rationale. Opinion papers don't mean you can get away with saying anything. Sometimes it helps to pretend that the reader knows nothing about the subject, and may even disagree with you. The best way to prove your point, in that case, is to use many illustrations, bring in opposing arguments, draw upon the readings, and discuss why your perspective is more sufficient. This is what academic writing is all about. You have a short amount of space to work with, so this should make your essays even more concise and organized. Make your point, then move on to another illustration or pro/con.

Second, the most successful papers are those that select a dilemma within the topic range--something that can invite a shallow, expansive discussion of the topic in general, and something that allows you delve deep into a specific analysis of one aspect of that topic. This shows me that you understand the complexities involved in what are so often cast as simple, two-sided feminist issues.

Third, please, please, please proofread. These essays are very short, so checking for spelling, grammatical, and structural errors needn't take long. It's always helpful to have a friend or parent read over them as well. Taking advantage of the writing center is highly encouraged. Ultimately, it's your ideas that are most important, and that are weighed most heavily when I grade essays. But your ideas need to be communicated efficiently!

Finally, Sara has decided that if you are dissatisfied with your performance on a writing assignment, you will be welcome to rewrite one of them. If you choose to do this, it must be resubmitted within a week of when you received the graded essay. Be sure to submit the original essay with the new essay so that I can compare the two. If you've already submitted essays you'd like to rewrite, you can do so within one week of this post (which means I'll accept them until March 11). The other alternative you can consider is writing a third position paper, and we'll take your top two scores of those three. This should not be abused as an opportunity to submit low-quality work; please respect the extra time it will take for me to grade these additional papers by handing in your best effort.

Thanks to all of you for your hard work thus far in the semester. I look forward to reading all of the new ways you engage with upcoming topics! If any of this is unclear, you can always email me, and if you'd like some help with your writing, please feel free to swing by my office hours to discuss it before an assignment is due.


For next week (3/9-3/11)

On Tuesday (3/9), we will be discussing some of the "this is a feminist issue because..." examples. Two themes that I would like to discuss are: a. gender differences and science and b. what is masculinity?

In preparation for class discussion, please read the following articles:
  • Martin, Emily. "The Egg and the Sperm" (on WebVista)
  • Wilchins, Riki. "Can Sex have Opposites?" (on WebVista)
  • Skwarecki, Beth. "Mad Science: Deconstructing Bunk Reporting in 5 Easy Steps" (online--click on article)
  • Bornstein, Kate. "Abandon Your Tedious Search! The Rulebook has been Found" (on WebVista)
  • Skim through our blog category, "This is a feminist issue because..."
On Thursday (3/11), we will focus our attention on your feminist reflection papers. You will have the opportunity to reflect on your definition of feminism in small groups (to be assigned next week). We will also spend some time discussing the larger question of feminism and its scope: Should feminism be a broad-based movement (or coalition of movements)? What are the limits of making feminism too broad? Who should decide what feminism is? What are some ways to educate others on feminism and its various agendas? Do all feminists need to agree--what are the advantages and disadvantages of requiring agreement?

In preparation for class next Thursday, please do the following:
  • Type up your working definition of feminism and three ways you plan to describe/discuss/develop that definition in your paper. Bring it to class and be prepared to discuss it in your groups. Also bring one extra copy for me (Sara). 
  • Skim through our blog and think about the different ways that feminism is expressed/articulated on it. What themes/connections do you see in our wide range of "this is a feminist issue because..." entries?

AGENDAS: Some more information

First, here is what I wrote about the agenda assignment in your blog assignment handout:

1 Agenda: 50 points
Several times during the semester, we will devote class time to developing agendas for
addressing contentious and important issues within feminism. In these sessions, you will break up into small groups and collectively develop an agenda. You are required to post one of those agendas on our blog site. You are encouraged to be creative in your post. For example, you could post a bullet list of action items or an image of flyer that you want to circulate. Or you could post a manifesto that you and your group have written. Or you could post a vlog (video blog) in which you speak out against the issue or a Public Service Announcement in which you try to raise awareness about the issue.

In other words, over the course of the semester, you and your group will get together and brainstorm a single agenda for each of the 5 issues. One collective agenda for one of the issues must be posted on our blog. (note: this doesn't mean that you should post one agenda for each of the issues). Pick one person from your group to post your agenda. You should identify groups members by your group number instead of your individual names. As I indicate above, be creative with your presentation of the agenda. Your agenda is due one week after our class session devoted to that issue.

Issue                                 Agenda Class Session            Agenda must be posted by

Repro Rights                     3/2                                             3/9

Work                                 3/4                                             3/11

Feminist Values                5/4                                           5/11

Sex Wars                          5/4                                            5/11

PIC                                    4/29                                           5/6

Please post any questions you about this agenda assignment as comments to this entry.

Academic Source: Nursing

men in nursing

The article I read about nursing and feminism actually had a lot to do with nursing and masculinity. It was about men in the nursing workforce and how they act in a female dominated occupation. The article is called Men in nursing: issues of gender segregation and hidden advantage. The author talked about how women nurses usually obtain nurturing, caring, dependence, and submission traits whereas men obtain contrasting traits such as strength, aggression, dominance, self- control, and objectivity. Men hold a very little percentage in the female to male ratio and men obviously take a different path when it comes to their nursing profession. The author also mentions a lot about how men dominate the physician health care. They would pursue psychiatry because of their physical strength, anesthesiology for their autonomy, and emergency care for their cool- headedness.
I thought it was most interesting when the author said that through-out history, men have not been a big part of the nursing profession and so women have made big gains by themselves, in technology and healthcare, without needing men's help. I took this as semi sexist, but I realized the author wasn't trying for that intention- just making a point.
Lastly, the author stated that "men in the nursing profession continue to be stereotyped as anomalies, effeminate, or homosexual." This is based on the beliefs of masculinity, and is very stereotypical. Some could interpret this as a social control mechanism that re-instates nursing as women's work. I thought that was an interesting concept and I don't totally agree with it.

Group Members: Carlyn, Monique, Mallory, Yein

A question about the layout of the blog...

Hi everyone,

I recently tinkered with the layout for this blog. I moved the categories up to the top (on the right hand side) and moved the comments down a little further. I was thinking that it might be easier to access the categories if you could immediately see them. But now I wonder, are the comments too far down? What do you all think--which layout do you prefer? Let me know what you think by commenting on this entry.

See you later today!

Tracking Sign-up Sheet

Here is a list of your groups from the tracking the term assignment. Remember that blog entries for groups in Reproductive Rights and Work are due next week. You can file them under "reproductive rights" or "work" categories, which are sub-categories for "tracking the issue" located towards the bottom of the category list.

Quick Guide for Due Dates

So, Melissa asked if I could put together a quick guide for the due dates. I have added it to this blog, under the "About" section at the top, right hand side (here). Let me know if I missed any assignments or dates. If you have any questions or comments, please post them as comments on the "due dates for the assignments" page.

Next Week's Readings

The syllabus has the correct readings for next week. As a reminder, here they are:
(note: all of the readings are available on our WebVista site, even those listed as part of the Course Packet)

16 Two proposals for (house) work equality

• Friedan, Betty. "The Problem That Has No Name" (CP)
• Syfers, Judy. "Why I Want a Wife" (
• Cox, Nicole and Silvia Federici. "Wages for Housework: A Perspective on Capital and the Left"
• Flyers on Wages for Housework

18 The Nanny Problem

• Ehrenreich, Barbara. Excerpt from "Maid to Order" (CP)
• Flanagan, Caitlin. Excerpt from "How Serfdom Saved the Women's Movement"
• Tronto, Joan. "The Nanny Problem"

These readings should be completed by class time on the date listed.

Announcements from yesterday's (2.9) class


Here is the Group Activity handout that we did yesterday. Did you like the format? How about the guiding questions? Too many? Too few? I would really like to hear what you all think. You can post comments to this entry. I thought I would do my own 5 minute free-think. Here it is:


I am not sure how well it scanned...Anyone else want to post their free-think drawings/images/words?

Here are some announcements:
Position papers for reproductive rights are due next Tuesday (2.16) You will hand in your blog folders for the first time on Feb. 25 instead of Feb. 11. Remember tomorrow's reading. See here, if you have forgotten the schedule.

Course Packets are in!

You can pick up your course packets at Paradigm copies. There are 14 readings in the packet. The rest of our readings will be available throughout the semester on our Web Vista site.

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Still not sure where they are located? Click on this map to find them.

Slightly revised schedule for Issue #1


This is the slightly revised schedule that I announced in class yesterday. If you have any questions, you can post them as comments to this entry.


FEB 2    Feminist Debates discussion and begin Reproductive Rights: Some Background

• Enloe, Cynthia "Curious"
• Jaggar, Alison. "Feminist Contradictions"

FILM: Begin The Pill

Feminist reflection papers are due today.

FEB 4     Fighting for rights, but at what cost?

• Roberts, Dorothy. Excerpt from "The Dark Side of Birth Control" (WebCT)
• Sanger, Margaret. "Birth Control--A Parents' Problem or Woman's? from Women and the New Race" (handout)
• Sanger, Alex. "Eugenics, Race, and Margaret Sanger Revisited: Reproductive Freedom for All" (WebCT)?

FILM: Finish The Pill

FEB 9     Reproductive Rights: What is choice? Who gets to choose? What choices?

• Roberts, Dorothy. Excerpt from "The Meaning of Liberty" (CP)
• Ross, Loretta J. "The Color of Choice" (CP)
• Crews, Allison. "And So I Chose" (CP)
• Sayce, Liz and Rachel Perkins. "They should not breed: Feminism, disability and reproductive rights" (CP)
• "Language: On choice" (handout)

FEB 11    Continue discussing choice and reproductive rights

• Mingus, Mia. "On Claiming my Movement: Disability and Reproductive Justice"
• elle, PhD. "The Limits of Choice"
Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice "A new vision for advancing our movement for reproductive health, reproductive rights, and reproductive justice" (WebCT).

Reproductive Rights position paper due today.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Class Announcements category.

Agendas is the previous category.

Direct Engagements is the next category.

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