May 11, 2007

Final Reflection

I didn’t know what to expect coming into this GWSS class, and now coming out of it there were things I really enjoyed and some things I probably could have done without or just kind of disagreed with. Overall I really am glad that I took the class because it opened my eyes to a lot of issues, some I knew were out there but had never really discussed or approached from a different perspective and others that I had just never known about or been exposed to at all. One of the most horrifying and moving things we did, for me at least, was watching the documentary on the disappearance and murders of the girls in Juarez. The fact that such corruption, cold heartedness, deception and murder can go on basically in plain view and with so many people involved blows my mind. I can’t imagine what kind of life that would be, to live in constant worry that you, your daughter, your neighbor, wife or friend could be next. The acts in and of themselves are horrible and gruesome, but the fact that people know about what is going on, not just in the corrupt Mexican government and that of Juarez, but that there are people here in the United States who would have the power to make it safer or to intervene (those who own the factories or those who run them) instead turn a blind eye and do nothing. I don’t know what kind of people can do such a thing.
Other than the documentary, I really enjoyed listening to and watching the final presentations. There were some really interesting topics covered and it was great to see how they tied into feminism and especially on a local level. There were a lot of things that were scary about peoples points of view (from interviews), what they knew and didn’t know and the availability of different resources in the area. The difference in women’s pay to men’s pay here at the U was especially troubling, you would think that today even if there was a discrepancy in pay, it wouldn’t be so incredibly glaring. I guess things have changed, but they still have a long way to go.

Where to even start?

As many of my fellow classmates have previously stated, this class has opened my eyes to alot of things that constantly surround me that you never really think about. Through readings, discussions and blog entries I feel I have learned alot about feminist theory, the progress that is and isnt being made and about myself through my own critical thinking on issues and others thoughts and opinions. I loved how the class was different every week, the topic and the format and enjoyed how much media was incorporated into everything.

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May 10, 2007

Final Reflections

I look back on this semester, and I'm really glad that I decided to take this class. I learned about subject matter that I had never considered before. I learned how I ,too, have been blinded by normative gender roles my whole life. This class really made me think critically about how I think about the world. I think that one of the most interesting things that I learned all semester was about blurring gender roles. Gender isn't biologically based; it's a societal norm. It really made me feel compassion for transgenders because I can't imagine the struggles that they go through day to day. Even something so little as deciding which rest room to go into would be a challenge.

I wasn't expecting that the class would have so much of a scholarly feminist background, but I think that it really added to the class. When you know that you're reading an article by someone who's educated about the topic and not just stating an opinion, it only adds to what you gain from the reading.

I agree with others in the class by saying that some sort of GWSS class should be a CLA requirement. The class really gives you information you wouldn't hear elsewhere. It forces you to think critically about the world in which we live.

Semester Reflection

Looking back on this semester, I would say that I learned a lot about feminism. Coming into this class, I really had a vague idea of what feminism was. I learned a lot about gender and how it is constructed by society. This class definitely helped me to learn to think critically and to think about everyday things, like what is on TV and on commercials, and how women are portrayed in TV and movies.

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A pensive reflection to a great semester

As I reflect over the past semester I am relieved and saddened that the year is almost over. Relieved, that summer is year and I can finally do nothing for three whole months! Saddened, that this class is over and I will have to actively look for new ways to educate myself about feminism and topics pertaining to feminism. When I first registered for this class, I had made an unofficial goal of answering my question: “Why do I want to minor in GWSS?? Now that it is the end of the semester, I really don’t have a concrete answer. Perhaps, it is merely that I am more educated on issues of reproductive rights, or that I learned how to be a better ally to the GLBT community, or maybe I am more on the up-and-up on feminism in the news, or I have thought of new and different ways race, class, gender, sexuality, and ability affect feminism and me. Maybe it is just a mix of all of those things…yes, that’s it. I have honestly, challenged myself and how I “do sexuality? and process sexuality as a socially constructed identity.

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Changing My Mind

I’m glad to have covered as many topics and theories as we have in GWSS 1001—as thought provoking as they’ve all been, I’d have to say that what I’ve gotten most out of the class is a change in my own feminist perspective. A year ago, I gave a speech about feminism and porn to my entire high school. I wrote the speech as a response to my feelings about the porn my male friends watched. Although I tried to include many perspectives in this speech, I realize now that my reaction (and my resulting feminist stance) did not cover all it could have. My feminism has been born out of many years living a privileged, upper class white life.
By learning about the diversity of feminism and feminists, multiracial feminism, hip-hop feminism, punk feminism, male feminism, transsexual and transgendered feminism, I’ve become more aware of the multitude of backgrounds and experiences different feminists bring to the table. I feel a bit guilty knowing that some of my concerns really do result from growing up the way I did, and that many feminist measures (like workplace equality, etc.) do in fact address my concerns but not the concerns of others. I rarely have to think about racism, unfairness in welfare or gender binaries that make bathroom etiquette uncomfortable for transsexuals. We are all in this together, and there are definitely important issues that get ignored because those who have them lack power in our society.
I’ve really enjoyed this class; though I’d have liked it if the blog were more integrated into the class (perhaps links to people’s media journals would have been cool?) I had hoped to use it more than I’ve ended up using it. The readings on feminist theory have also been enriching (though I wasn’t as much of a fan of bell hooks). I still feel as though I have a lot to keep digging for- which is exciting, since I opted to keep my textbook. I want gender equality issues to float back into the mainstream! I’ll do my best to have conversations that will steer people in that direction. Thanks for a good class, Rachel!

A Final Thought

So there I was, stuck with not being able to register for a class over winter break because of a time conflict. Because of this, I opted to broaden my global perspectives by enrolling into GWSS 1001. Little did I know that this would be one of the most rewarding classes that I am sure I will ever be enrolled in. I had no idea that the oppression of women, and the feminist movement for equality was as strong as it is. I was very glad that the instructor incorporated technology in all forms of learning from computer and blogging to various media clips that demonstrated readings in class. I think using technology to educate society about a hot topic is probably the best way to go because it gets them more involved and interested. I think this class along with others should be required by either the late stages of high school, or in your college years at some point. With more knowledge of the subject, there is a possibility of more respect for women including less abuse and oppression. With continued support from the voice of feminism, gender equality is a realistic goal for all nations. Once again, I am very glad I enrolled in this class, and hope that everyone has a great summer!

Final Blog

I was really looking forward to taking this class and I was not disappointed at all! I have all my classes in the music building on the West Bank so it is always nice to have a little change. I thoroughly enjoyed the comfortable environment that was immediately established because I always felt comfortable sharing my thoughts during class discussions. The blog was really because I have never used one before and it allowed all of us to reflect on certain topics discussing in class but outside of the classroom.

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thankyouthankyou thank you for expanding my mind.

i didn't know much about the feminist movement prior to this class and i learned lots and lots and lots in this semester and i loved every minute of it. all of the readings were super interesting and thought provoking. it's so sad to think that there are a shit ton of people who will never be hit with this information and will continue to be ignorant and affect others negatively and believe all of the stuff that the media throws at us. it's also sad to think that i might never have became aware of this movement and all that it entails or stimulated my interest in these topics had i not taken this class.

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Final Reflections

I knew very little about this subject when I began this class. I took it because my sister is a feminist and what she talks about I find fascinating but most of the time I have absolutely no idea what she's talking about. I feel like at the close of the semester, I now have the tools to understand what she says and what's really going on in the world around me.

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Feminism is My Unofficial (and not so new) Religion

Most of my learning this semester was in handling of technology (Moodle, Bloging, etc.), but there were also many little pieces that added to my ever-growing and expanding interest and research of feminism. I see most of the problems and challenges we discuss in the course of this course as related to one another, for example: the gender/sex perception we are molded into, and our parents (or generally older generation) influences cause much ignorance and confusion about gender and sexuality. The religious/conservative perceptions and ignorance guide people to not instruct their children about sexuality and gender, and so they grow on false beliefs, traditions, stereotypes, gossip and media. The result? People think that gender and race are scientific facts while they are a merely social constructs. One most be a boy or a girl, no place for "others" (even if there is an acknowledgment that some "others" exist).

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final thoughts

There were a number of things that this class taught me. One thing that I found really useful was the ability to take the theory I read about and then to apply it to advertisement and media I see daily. This has given me to theory in which I can look critically at the world around me.

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Feminism: Vital Movement-- Bad Name

I’m grateful for the focus this class had on the media: images, messages, effects, and structural hierarchy of the majority of the mass media system. I’ve been disgusted with the majority of media (especially magazine and television) viewing options for years. It’s invigorating to now have used intellect, analysis, and theory to study the negative images bombarding society. Instead of just attempting to avoid these mediums, I feel empowered to challenge them.
This course has also provided me with interesting, provocative, and diverse resources. The textbooks were effective in giving me an over-all understanding of the diversity and all-encompassing base of feminism. I’m looking forward to continuing my education on matters regarding oppression in a patriarchal society. Finishing the remaining articles of Feminist Frontiers and Grassroots will assist me in this endeavor. It’s not too often that I’m willing to read textbooks outside of class in my summer free time, so that is quite the compliment.
Now, for my rant, I purpose a question that feminism may or may not be addressing: Is the term “feminism? the most representative title for what it stands for? Part of me deeply appreciates a title focused on women, or what society relates to women. It’s something to be proud of and raise a fist in the air for. On the other hand, could the title be partly or greatly at fault for some of the stereotypes that are associated with the movement. I’ve posed this question for some very open-minded individuals who would be completely uncomfortable calling themselves “feminists? even after understanding that it stands for individuals against any type of oppression. Many men will not feel comfortable using such a feminine title. I would be resentful of a similar movement that was referred to as “masculinism?. It is just not inclusive; in fact, one of the friends I discussed this with asked me what I would call it, and upon no answer he suggested “inclussionism?. Considering the power language has on peoples, which we’ve learned about throughout class, I pose this title as an unfortunate problem, one that I find important to consider when talking to those people who share the same stance as feminists who could add knowledge and support, but will not refer to themselves as such.

May 9, 2007

Final Reflection

Overall, I find the class enjoyable. There were many topics that I find interesting. One of them is transgender. Up until we discussed the issue in class, I have never really given it much thought. It really hit me when we talked about the lack of support we have for the transgender community. The fact that there is only one unisex bathroom in Coffman available is discouraging. In the future, I do hope that the U of M will make more of an effort to accommodate people that are transgender.
Also another topic that I like is the journal analysis. I did not realize the horrible messages that advertisement company are implying. The powerful effect of the media on our society is unimaginable. The rate of eating disorder has gone up, more and more women are obsessed with being skinny. Similarly, the one aspect that scares me the most is how the media affect young children. It is disturbing to see young children in makeup, wearing clothes that are age inappropriate. Stores like Libby Lue should really be banned. I really don’t understand why some people would think that it is cute. But to have people thinking that it’s cute only means that they are not educated enough about feminism. That’s why I think classes like this are useful. Even for those who don’t really believe in feminism completely, at least they can still acknowledge what can benefit women and what hurts them.
Last but not least, the reality TV analysis is also one of my favorites. I did mine on The Hills. I watch that show a lot but it wasn’t until I had to do the assignment that I started to notice the difference. That assignment made me realize how show like that can really influence young people. Now I don’t watch it that often anymore.

Semester Reflection

After looking back on this semester, I can really say that I am now a pro-chioce feminist. Before coming into the class, I didn't really knew what feminism entailed. I really was naive to it along with all the components wrapped around it such as gender roles, male privilege and white privilege, reproductive rights, and equality in the workplace. I really liked the week where we anaylzed advertisements and now cannot look at an ad in a magazine and think about how women are portrayed. I think I am much more willing and want to listen about political issues such as abortion, because I am educated on it and know both sides to it and where I stand. This is never a class that I probably would have taken, but I am really glad I did and have learned so much about feminism and about myself throughout the semester.

May 8, 2007

Life Long Journey

My mom has been talking about feminism all my life. It wasn’t until this semester that I sought out what feminism really meant in the larger scheme of things. To be able to view things not only on the local, somewhat narrow view of things, but also on the national and international, broader view is empowering.

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There are many things that I learned in this course. It changed my viewpoints on feminism and how to approach it as a male. I never once felt out of place because I was a male; in fact it wasn’t even an issue.

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Reflections on this course.

I really enjoyed this class. Because I’m a graphic design major, most of the classes don’t incorporate much critical thinking outside of the design world (though they could). And I’ve always considered myself a very aware person, but there were many issues we discussed and read about that I’d never really talked about or learned about. This class was very refreshing because it dealt with so many issues that society is afraid or embarrassed to talk about. I also enjoyed that most of our assignments were done on a blog where everyone could read each other’s work; because the class only met once a week it wasn’t easy to get to know people very well, so at least reading other’s thoughts gave me a deeper connection to the class. The books we read were great and incredibly appropriate, especially beginning with bell hooks’ piece of literature. I found all of the essays in Feminist Frontiers to be very well researched and interesting. Overall, the class was achieved beyond what I thought it would, and really made me think critically and broadened my perspectives.

Finally, I think classes like these should be mandatory. I believe that ignorance is what causes hate and hate crimes when talking about many of these issues, and even I broadened a lot of my thought throughout the course of this class.

Final GWSS Post :(

This class completely changed my view of feminism. When I entered this class, I was afraid I would be in a class with a bunch of feminists. I realized very quickly that I was in a class with a bunch of feminists and that I was one myself. To be honest, I had the stereotype of what a feminist is in my own mind. This class helped me to grasp truly what feminism is and what a feminist is. I know that feminism, more than anything, is a way of thinking and a set of beliefs, but these beliefs are not concrete and many people have differing views on what is and is not feminist thinking.

From the beginning of the class, I have changed how I look at certain issues based on a feminist way of analysis. These issues include, rape, patriarchy, family, abortion, gender discrimination, power and control, white male privilege, sexuality, homosexuality, gender, and its social construction. Further, I better understand the effects of race and class on these issues as well. If I had never had this class, I would have been blind to the real truths behind these issues. I think everyone should have to take a class on gender, feminism, and sexuality studies.

It's the final countdown doo de do dedooooooo

This class was cool.
I like to learn about women.
I also enjoy making videos, and I'm very glad the project allowed me to.
That was nice.
I like to meet new people, and I'm very glad this class allowed me too.
That was also nice.

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Final Thoughts on the Course

Overall I have enjoyed taking this class. It’s been interesting to learn perspectives of current-day feminists and reading actual scholarly resources that have gone against what many people’s stereotypes of feminists have been and what their beliefs are. It was unfortunate that I held some of the stereotypes about feminists that weren’t necessarily positive, but they were definitely proven wrong. I think feminism is a movement that has been put on the backburner for a while, but has seemed to have shown light in the forefront now in society.

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Final Post

I think this course really exposed me to a lot of things that I would have never been exposed to on my own. A lot of the ideas and theories we talked about in class are things that were right in front of my face but I just didn’t notice because I wasn’t aware of them. I also didn’t realize how different it was for women just a few decades ago. There were a lot of things I didn’t realize or took for granted before this course. I don’t really think about the rights I have as a women as something that people didn’t have before. For me it is just so normal that I don’t pay attention to it. It’s hard to imagine a time when women couldn’t vote even though it wasn’t that long ago. I probably never would have been exposed to blogging like this either. I have a blog for another class but is only the teacher who blogs on it. I think making the assignments in the form of blogs really exposed me to something new that I wouldn’t have really used before. I also would have probably never gone to the events on my own. The talk I went to was actually very interesting and really opened my eyes to how the media portrays things whether it is true or not. I think I really took a lot from this course.

May 5, 2007

Dear Diary...

I came into this course pretty naïve about feminism and gender studies, but I am definitely glad I took the opportunity to explore a new area. I learned that “feminism? encompasses a broad range of perspectives and degrees of intensity, and for the most part, it is not as hard-core angry radical as it is often portrayed to be. In fact, I found that feminism is actually very compatible with most of the core beliefs I already held, such as empowering women, being accepting and supportive of a variety of different lifestyles that people choose, standing up for the rights of marginalized individuals even in other countries, and deemphasizing physical appearance as a way of judging people.
I think many people would be more in line with feminist ideals than they will ever have the chance to find out. The effect of the media has been to stigmatize feminism, and people are discouraged from learning more about it for fear of being labeled a sissy (men) or a lesbian (women). This stereotype needs to be obliterated for feminism to gain more credibility and influence. For example, a friend of mine who does not “look? like a feminist is actually very involved in the movement and is pursuing a GWSS degree. She recently wore a bright pink shirt around campus that said “This is what a feminist looks like.? She said she received some pretty odd looks from people, but this is what they need to see!

May 4, 2007

Final Thoughts

This class has really challenged me to think critically about the society we live in. I thought I was pretty critical of media and society before this class, but I really learned how to focus that criticism and analyze the racism, sexism and bigotry that surrounds us in our daily lives. Just being aware of the implications of the media and how it shapes our culture and "norms" in our society is a good lesson learned. But I think this class offered so much more. The theory and discussions provided me with many peoples view points and stories which I can now apply to my life and the culture I am surrounded by. Learning about women's struggle to be recognized and to earn rights has opened my eyes and expanded my thoughts. I have learned a lot of all my friends (being that most of them are women) and have a new found respect for their lifestyles. The feminist agenda is an amazing movement that needs to continue and I realize that I want to be a part of it. The most valuable lesson I have learned through this course is that feminism includes all people. The movement is fighting for equality and changing the way that society interprets roles performed by all genders. I really enjoyed this class and I think it should be a requirement at this University for all students to take a course that challenges our perceptions of our own society.

May 3, 2007


I really feel like this class was one of the most useful for me so far in my college career. They always say, “You need to take a math class, and a science class, and at least x number of writing intensive classes,? but they never mention anything about taking a Gender, Women, and Sexualities class. As many of us in the class agree, a GWSS course should really be a requirement for every college student. Some of the issues discussed in class are crucial for everyone coming into the real world to know and understand.

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My Final Thoughts

This course is one that is not in my major, yet it has been one of the most enjoyable courses I have taken this year. I have learned so much not only about women’s studies, but also about how to use blogs and how to interact with people using this means of communication. Before taking this class, women’s studies is something that I had never really given much thought to. When I would think about it I just thought it was a bunch of women who are fighting for equal rights for women. Little did I know that there are many facets of this subject. Now, after taking the class, I feel I have a much deeper understanding of what women’s studies is. I understand how many issues feminists face, ranging from issues regarding transsexuals to sex segregation to ethnic segregation and many more.

I have enjoyed this class because now I feel more educated on the subjects relating to feminism, and I now feel that I can have educated conversations with people regarding the topics. I am able to come up with convincing arguments so I can argue what I believe in, where before I would just be saying what I thought, with no facts to back my argument up.

All-in-all this was a fun course because it is a topic that really interests me, but it was also made very interesting by the different ways in which we were exposed to the material. I enjoyed analyzing the songs we listened to, watching the video clips we watched, and hearing everyone’s opinions in our class discussions. It was a great class that was made even more fun by being able to see how women’s studies related to my everyday life.

Final Reflection

Over the course of this semester, I have learned many things concerning feminism. As I’ve said before, my middle school and high school never taught much about the feminist movement; my teachers only touched on Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Roe vs. Wade. This class really did a good job of exploring the many different facets of feminism, not just the struggle of women alone. I really liked the aspects that concerned race, class, and sexuality because those topics made me think more about them than I used to do. I was comfortable in my ignorance of the struggles of minorities and non-heterosexual people, but now, at the end of the semester, I am comfortable addressing, talking about, and understanding (as much as I can), the struggles of such people in American society. I think the biggest thing I took out of this class is how to think with a feminist lens. The ability to do a feminist analysis has helped me in many of my other classes as well, especially when I have to do cultural analyses or cultural criticisms; being able to analyze in multiple directions has proved helpful and useful.

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May 2, 2007

Final Thoughts

Before I entered into this class, I was unaware of the feminist movement in its entirety. I knew that women were fighting for equal pay and that the womans movement stems much deeper than gaining the right to vote. I was watching an episode of Family Guy the other night and in one scene Peter says to his wife that it is illegal for women to drive. Before this class I would have probably laughed very hard at that comment, however, when he said this I just sat there and thought to myself "wow, is this really what society thinks about women?" Obviously I know that women can drive, but I guess it just bugs me that comments like this are made. I've never thought of myself as a feminist and this class hasnt changed that idea in my head. However, because of what I've learned I do see womens rights in a new light. I do feel that women should be paid equally for equal work and I also wish women werent discriminated against in their attempts at gaining a job.

Final Reflection

In this course I learned many different things from my original field of study. I am a chemical engineering major and I am used to studying math and science. I took this course because I heard from a friend that it was very interesting and I thought it would get me away from my math and science classes I had all this semester. It turned out to be totally different than what I expected. I did not expect it to be so much on feminist theory, but that turned out to be very interesting.

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Final Course Reflections (3 points)

Thank you for being a part of this classroom community, for being diligent bloggers and for thinking deeply about issues concern gender, power and our everyday lives.

Best to you all.

+ + +

Please post a 200-300 word reflection to this course by 11pm on May 10th.

This post is an open space to share your thoughts, reflections or responses to course topics or the course itself.

For this post you could:
- list things that you've learned this semester (from blogging to being more critically aware)
- discuss topics or themes that resonate with you
- address things that surprised you (or didn't)
- share what you may be interested in studying further
- proclaim why (or not) GWSS is an important field of study
- discuss how feminism has changed (or continues to change) your life
- suggest improvements to the course
- suggest alternate assignments or additions to course material (like readings, films, activities)
- consider how or why feminist thought can (and should) occur in your discipline

Truly, this is an open assignment for you to share some final thoughts!