I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your public comments and private journal entries regarding feminism. Most posed frank, yet thoughtful, ideas regarding the different types of feminism and how they are portrayed in everyday life and the media. When we get to the media section in a couple of weeks, we’ll talk even more about how popular entertainment and mainstream news construct and filter our understandings of gender and gender social movements.
For now, I thought I’d share (per the inquisitiveness of one student) a tally of feminist thinking in the course. Of 26 enrolled students, 25 completed the journal activity expressing your understandings and proclamations of feminist identity(-ies). Based on self-report 19 of you identified along some point of the feminist spectrum (liberal, social, structural, pro-feminist male). This includes 16 of the 20 women and three of the five men, which I think is pretty impressive. Now, please keep in mind that the goal of the assignment, nor the class, is to build a feminist army. Rather, it’s to challenge each of you to at least some introspection and reflection on gender inequalities and social movements.
Most of you mentioned in your journal assignments a previously skewed understanding of feminists as male-bashing lesbians, which you realize now as an inaccurate representation stemming from limited media portrayals and interpersonal experiences. I was amazed at how many of you shared a sense of enlightenment upon reading more about feminism(s), as well as learning more from the blog discussion. This only makes me look more forward to the second half of the class as we continue to challenge patterns and norms of gender in our social system.