World War II and the Homefront: Government-Subsidized Childcare

After the lecture on second wave feminism today, many of you asked questions about the U.S. government providing childcare to women who went to work in the munitions factories and other industries as many of the working-age men went to war overseas.

Dr. Sonya Michel (Univ. of Maryland) offers a wonderful “History of Child Care in the U.S.” on the Social Welfare History Project website – check it out! Dr. Michel begins her history in the early 19th century and ends her analysis with the Reagan years and early 1990s, but she devotes a section to World War II (scroll down).

Also, for those of you interested in women’s labor during the War AND looking for something to watch in your free time, check out these three shows, all available on Netflix

BOMB GIRLS (Women working in a Canadian munitions factory encounter personal and political drama and intrigue)

bomb girls

THE BLETCHLEY CIRCLE (post-war murder mystery/women code-breakers – only two short seasons, but a wonderful show!)

blethcly circle

LAND GIRLS (BBC series, Women of the British Women’s Land Army, who took over much of the farming labor during the war)

land girls

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Feminism’s Second Wave

BETWEEN THE FIRST AND SECOND WAVES

The 1930s in America was a time of unprecedented policy and social reform and is often called The Progressive Era. Women’s social and political activism continued throughout this period. Even the first lady Eleanor Roosevelt set an example. During the New Deal, she was a key figure in advocating the appointment of women to positions within the administration.

However, America also saw a new emphasis on domesticity after World-War II. Thousands of women had entered the workplace in the 1940s to take over jobs that were left unfilled when many men enlisted. The women who stepped into these jobs were often making munitions and supporting the war effort. While the government actively recruited these women to take on such work in order to support the war effort, they did not do so out of a sudden interest in gender equality and they had no interest in permanently changing women’s economic roles; their entry was seen as a temporary and necessary solution. (If war often creates unusual opportunities for women to transcend or escape traditional gender norms, its climate and aftermath can just as easily work to reinforce a reliance on such roles. Consider our traditional war narratives: men fighting bravely on the frontlines, women “protected” on the homefront.)

"Rosie the Riveter," first published in 1942, remains a cultural icon and is often seen as a symbol of women's economic empowerment.

“Rosie the Riveter,” first published in 1942, remains a cultural icon and is often seen as a symbol of women’s economic empowerment, especially among working class feminists.

When American soldiers returned after WWII, women were almost uniformly fired and forced out of the jobs they had learned and worked at for years in order to give these jobs “back” to men returning from military service (and not necessarily the same men who had held them before the war). Women were expected to return to their private sphere and their duties of domestic chores and child-raising – and to do so without complaint – but the opportunity to be part of the labor force left an impression and a desire to be an equal part of the national work force.

Second wave feminism was a reaction to this post-war obsession with the ideal of the contented housewife and suburban domesticity, a lifestyle that often isolated women and severely limited their choices and opportunities.

This 1960s-era ad from Hoover draws on the ubiquitous image of the "happy" housewife Betty Friedan discusses in "The Problem That Has No Name" from her famous book The Feminine Mystique.

This 1960s-era ad from Hoover draws on the ubiquitous image of the “happy” housewife Betty Friedan discusses in “The Problem That Has No Name” from her famous book The Feminine Mystique.

The popular television show Mad Men and its characters may be fiction, but its portrayal of sexism and racism in the 1960s workplace is especially powerful. Below is a clip of Joan Holloway (the office manager/head secretary at the Madison Avenue advertising agency Sterling-Cooper) showing new secretary Peggy Olson the ropes on her first day at the office. Notice that Joan’s advice to Peggy has largely to do with how to please the men in the office, not how to further her own career or fulfill her own ambitions.

THE SECOND WAVE

Feminism’s second wave began in the early 1960s; Betty Friedan is often credited with starting this wave of the feminist movement with the publication of her book The Feminine Mystique in 1963. Friedan herself was influenced by the French feminist philosopher Simone de Beauvoir and her book The Second Sex (1949), which argues against psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud’s claim that “anatomy is destiny”; that is, the belief that one’s biological sex automatically determines one’s role in society.

For the first time, the government, led by President John F. Kennedy, also issued the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women (chaired by former first lady and activist Eleanor Roosevelt), which concluded that women did experience discrimination in American life (visibility!).

In addition, radical feminist activist Robin Morgan and the members of the organization New York Radical Women protested the Miss America Pageant in 1968, which made headlines across the country.

Feminists protest outside the 1968 Miss American Pageant, comparing the national pastime of judging women’s bodies to judging livestock.

Women hold protest signs at the 1968 Miss America Pageant.

When the movement began, it was first called Women’s Liberation (or, derogatorily, Women’s Lib) and its participants were sometimes referred to patronizingly as Women’s Libbers or, later, bra burners. (Contrary to popular belief, second wave feminist activists did not protest patriarchy by burning their bras.)

SECOND WAVE CHARACTERISTICS

In general, the second wave and their activist efforts focused not just on legal barriers to civil equality, as the first wave had largely done, but also examined social inequalities. Second wave feminists:

  • Spanned the period between the 1960s and roughly the late 1980s.
  • Focused on discussing and changing a broad range of pubic and private injustices, including: discriminatory laws and policies, sexuality and sexual identity; marriage and child-rearing; workplace environment; reproductive rights; and violence against women (rape and battering).
  • Questioned the very structures of power (e.g., government, labor, education, and religion) that continued to perpetuate legal and social inequalities for both women and people of color.
  • Were more conscious of parallels between sexism and racism (what we now call ” intersectionality”).
  • Were often simultaneously active in the Civil Rights Movement. Some activists also collaborated on behalf of gay rights.
  • Were also often involved in the Peace Movement, taking part in “Ban the Bomb” protests and opposing nuclear power, militarism and imperialism, and the Vietnam War.
  • Formed local, state, and federal government groups on behalf of women as well as many independent organizations that fought for women’s, and human, rights – meaning human rights and women’s social and civil equality were now becoming a growing part of the country’s political agenda.
  • Sought to create new, more fully human and positive images of women in both pop culture and the media to fight the negative images and messages so commonly in circulation (e.g., the image of Friedan’s “happy housewife”).
  • Created their own pop culture, including music, art, writing, and film to expand the “single stories” previously heard about women and minorities.

Helen Reddy’s “I Am Woman” (1971) is still considered something of a Feminist anthem:

 

LANDMARK MOMENTS FOR THE SECOND WAVE

  • Submission of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to Congress. It was narrowly defeated, and in only three states, by an anti-ERA faction led by Phyllis Schlafly, who argued that passage of the amendment would mean women would be drafted into the military. (Presently, only 21 states have an ERA in their state constitutions.)
  • 1960: FDA approves the oral contraceptive pill for women.
  • 1963: Equal Pay Act.
  • 1966: Betty Friedan founds the National Organization for Women (NOW).
  • 1967: full Affirmative Action rights for women.
  • 1968: Coretta Scott King (Dr. Martin Luther King’s wife and fellow activist) assumes leadership of the African-American Civil Rights movement and expands the movement’s platform to include women’s rights.
  • 1968: Shirley Chisholm, first African-American woman elected to Congress, on Democratic ticket (she would later run for the party’s nomination for president in 1972).
  • June 1969 – Stonewall Riots in Greenwich Village, NY, spark the beginnings of the Gay Rights Movement (today’s LGBTQ Rights Movement).
  • 1970: Title X, ensuring access to healthcare and family planning.
  • 1970: Lutheran Church allows women to be ordained.
  • 1970: Labor giant AFL-CIO discusses the status of women in labor unions.
  • 1972: first Women’s Studies program in the U.S.  at San Diego State.
  • 1972: passage of Title IX, ensuring equal funding for women’s opportunities in education (e.g., scholarships and sports teams).
  • 1972: Gloria Steinem founds Ms. Magazine (still in print today…and online!).
  • 1973: Roe v. Wade, the landmark case ensuring women’s access to safe and legal abortion.
  • 1974: Equal Credit Opportunity Act.
  • 1975: Military academies admit women.
  • 1978: Pregnancy Discrimination Act.

REMAINING OBSTACLES: WORKING TOWARD INTERSECTIONALITY

 The Feminist Movement in the U.S. worked increasingly to collaborate with African-American women and other feminists of color, as well as lesbians and gays. However, feminists were sometimes divided on issues like abortion, the role or use of pornography, and other issues surrounding sexual identity (e.g., the role of trans women in lesbian communities, or the role of lesbian women in the Feminist Movement). For example, even though Betty Friedan was largely credited with sparking the second wave, she was also notorious for coining the phrase “The Lavender Menace” to describe lesbians within the movement.

THE FEMINIST “SEX WARS”

Beginning in the 1980s, heated debates, sometimes referred to as the “Sex Wars,” pitted anti-pornography feminists  against sex-positive feminists. Anti-porn feminists like writer Andrea Dworkin linked violence against women to the ubiquity of pornography and other images of male sexual domination of women, and pushed for limitations on porn. Feminists who identified themselves as sex-positive feminists argued that sex work (e.g., prostitution, stripping, pron stars, etc.) should be seen, and thus regulated as, economic labor, and that such work was not automatically degrading to women but may even be empowering at times. A great example of this is Julia Query’s documentary Live Nude Girls UNITE!, which follows the successful efforts of a group of exotic dancers to unionize the strip club at which they work. (It’s streaming on Netflix.)

Note: While the term Sex Wars implies that there are two clear-cut sides to these debates, the reality of feminists’ diverse viewpoints on these matters are in reality much more complex and no so tidily divided into warring sides. In fact, our culture’s default binary thinking (either/or, male/female, white/black…or describing everything as a war between two opposing sides) is a kind of thinking that feminists often critique as one root of problematic power relations (e.g., us vs. them) that fuel inequality and oppression.

Sexual Assaults Plague Purdue’s Campus

The student-initiated Sexual Assault Summit held this past Saturday seems suddenly more timely. Two sexual assaults have been reported on Purdue’s campus just within the last week. In one case, a student was taken into custody and a fraternity suspended during the investigation of the assault.

Learn more from Indy Local News here.

Purdue is the only university in the BIG 10 without a Rape Crisis Center, and is reportedly second only to the University of Nebraska in mishandling cases of sexual assault. This means that Purdue is failing to meet the requirements of Title IX, which guarantees women the legal right to equal education – not just in terms of sports, but also in terms of funding/scholarships and safety.

Purdue students and student organizations, like Feminist Action Coalition for Today (FACT) and Boilers Educating Against Rape (BEAR), and more recently the Purdue Social Justice Coalition, have all been working to convince the university to correct this problem. Thus far, the university’s administration has seemed unreceptive.

WHAT TO DO AFTER A SEXUAL ASSAULT

Need more information about what to do if you or someone you know experiences a sexual assault? Visit What Now Tippecanoe: After Sexual Violence, also linked under “Campus Resources.”

 

 

A Crash Course in US Feminist History

The following three videos will give you a crash course in the political and historical contexts for first, second, and third wave feminism in the United States that we’ll be discussing today and next week.

In addition, for next Friday’s class, we will be meeting in the Purdue Women’s Archives, top floor of HSSE Library in Stewart Center. For this trip, please make sure that you bring no food or drink into the archives (a lunch or bottle of water that remains in your book bag is fine – but leave it there during our trip). Also, because you’ll be handling real historical documents, make sure your hands are clean.

WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE: CRASH COURSE #31

 

THE 1960’s IN AMERICA: CRASH COURSE #40

 

RISE OF CONSERVATISM: CRASH COURSE #41

 

History of Feminism in the U.S.: The First Wave

THE WAVES METAPHOR

Feminists and Women’s Studies scholars often refer to feminism’s “three waves,” particularly in America and Great Britain. This metaphor was first introduced in the 1970s as a way for second wave feminists of the 1960s and 70s to acknowledge their activist foremothers, women like Alice Paul, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Ida B. Wells, Lucretia Mott, and others from the 19th and early 20th centuries, and to denote strong “peaks” in feminist activism and protest in history. The first wave of feminist movement in America is often referred to as the Suffrage Movement and early feminist activists as suffragettes, because much of their activism focused on gaining the right to vote (i.e., suffrage) for women.

However, some feminists criticize the wave metaphor because it leaves out the ongoing activism of women throughout history, including women’s efforts to challenge the institutions and practices of patriarchy in the many centuries preceding the 1800s. It’s also rather ethnocentric, since these “waves” don’t take into account feminist activism outside the western world. In fact, they make it seem as though feminism and women’s activism began in the west when it did not.

The term “feminist” wasn’t coined until the late 1800s, in France (feminisme). The word wasn’t introduced to the U.S. until the early 1900s and was not used popularly until the beginning of the U.S. women’s movement in the 1960s, or the beginning of the second wave. Early feminists were more likely to identify themselves as suffragists.

VOTES FOR WOMEN

Suffragettes hanging posters advocating women's right to vote.

Suffragettes hanging posters advocating women’s right to vote.

A suffragette with a poster challenging President Woodrow Wilson's hypocrisy (c. 1913) in being alarmed at the Germans' lack of freedom while overlooking women citizens' lack of freedom in his own country.

A suffragette with a poster challenging President Woodrow Wilson’s hypocrisy (c. 1913) in being alarmed at the Germans’ lack of freedom while overlooking women citizens’ lack of freedom in his own country.

THE FIRST WAVE

 “[Y]our Declaration of Independence declares, that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. And as women have never consented to, been represented in, or been recognized by this government, it is evident that in justice no allegiance can be claimed from them …”

-From the letter penned by 44 married New York women who petitioned the Assembly in March 1848 to pass the state’s Married Women’s Property Act.

To put the time period in perspective, consider that at the time of first wave feminism, women were legally prevented from:

  • owning property
  • executing wills or signing legal documents
  • serving on juries (even if the defendent was a woman)
  • voting in elections (or even local meetings)
  • refusing to have sex with their husbands
  • attending university (or depending on race, class, and region, attending school at all)
  • having legal custody of their children (both wives and children were legally owned by husbands)
  • divorcing their husbands

Think of first wave feminism not as the beginning of women fighting for equality, but as the beginnings of an organized, nation-wide movement advocating women’s rights in the western world, including the United Kingdom, Canada, and the U.S. Members of organizations like the American Women’s Suffrage Association (AWSA ) focused solely on one issue: gaining the right to vote state-by-state as a precursor to gaining a federal amendment granting women the right to vote. Other organizations like the National Women’s Suffrage Association (NWSA) had broader goals for greater social equality and were considered more radical.

 Characteristics of The First Wave:

  • Spanned the early 19th through the early 20th centuries (1800s through early 1900s).
  • Focused on women gaining civil rights, or rights as full citizens, including the right to vote (suffrage), equal access to education and health care, and the right to enter and practice in the professions; that is, the right to enter and shape the public sphere.
  • Sought to articulate women’s public (legal) and private (in the home) oppression and make such oppression visible; and questioned the arguments that God and nature justified such inequality.
  • Grew out of and was often linked with the abolition movement, the fight against slavery.
  • Was heavily influenced by the Religious Society of Friends, or the Quakers, who believed in egalitarian relationships between husbands and wives, but also by Christian charity (pity for the “less fortunate”).
  • Employed mostly moderate activist tactics (e.g., using available political channels like signing petitions, lobbying, etc.), but sometimes more radical activism (e.g., hunger striking and picketing), as portrayed in the film Iron-Jawed Angels.
  • Was aided in some ways by the onset of World War I, when many women went to work outside the home for the first time (though they were limited to factory and domestic labor).

EXCERPTS FROM THE FILM IRON-JAWED ANGELS

1913 March for Women’s Suffrage

Force Feeding Suffragists in the Work House (feat. Hilary Swank as Suffragist Alice Paul)

 Landmark First Wave Moments:

  • 1833: first co-educational university in U.S. (Oberlin).
  • 1848: Seneca Falls Convention in Seneca Falls, NY, the first women’s rights convention, organized by Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, with others.
  • 1854, Florence Nightingale establishes female nurses as adjuncts to the military.
  • 1851: Sojourner Truth delivers her famous speech “Ain’t I a Woman?” at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention in Akron, OH, bringing race into the conversation.
  • 1855: first co-ed public or state university (Univ. of Iowa).
  • 1860: New York’s revised Married Women’s Property Act (allows women shared ownership of children and a say in their wills and wages; allows women to inherit property).
  • 1892: Investigative African-American journalist and activist Ida B. Wells  (a freed slave) publishes and lectures from her book Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases.
  • 1896: Wells founds the National Association of Colored Women and the National Afro-American Council.
  • 1913: (In)famous March for Women’s Suffrage in Washington, organized by Alice Paul; often considered the moment when the fight for women’s rights was desegregated. (Portrayed in the movie Iron-Jawed Angels.)
  • 1915: American Medical Association begins to admit women.
  • 1916: Margaret Sanger opens the first birth control clinic in the U.S. (led to her arrest); opened the first clinic with all-female staff and the first clinic in Harlem staffed entirely by African-Americans.
  • 1918: Marie Stopes publishes Married Love, more popular than works by both Einstein and Freud at the time, in which she argues for the importance of women’s sexual desire (unthinkable at the time).
  • 1920: 19th Amendment passed in U.S. (gives women the right to vote).
  • 1921: Sanger, who coined the term “birth control,” forms the American Birth Control League (later called Planned Parenthood).

Overall, first wave feminism saw many women, state-by-state, gain control over their wages, property, and inheritances and finally have a say in their wills, and acquire trade licenses and enter professions, including medicine and law, gain access to higher education, and, finally, to vote in elections. But it’s important to remember that this affected only some women.

Problems and Limitations:

While it made unprecedented strides in gaining women legal rights and a foothold in the public sphere, first wave feminism was not without its limitations. First, reform often granted married women more rights than single women, or even widowed women. Second, although many suffragettes were also abolitionists, Black women (and “foreigners,” or immigrants) and men were sometimes ignored or denied participation in meetings and demonstrations, and arguments of whether or not African-Americans should be granted the right to vote (before or even after) white women was a divisive issue in the movement. Overall, most prominent feminists tended to be white, middle- and upper-class women with leisure time and some education. Finally, first wave feminists often based their arguments on the belief the because women were mothers, they were “naturally” more nurturing, kind, and moral, and would therefore make better leaders and politicians than men because of this virtue.

SUFFRAGETTES IN THE MEDIA

From the beginning of women’s fight for equal rights, female activists and suffragettes were often portrayed negatively in posters and other print media that sought to discredit their efforts and arguments. They were often depicted as unattractive with large teeth and shrill voices, sometimes wielding a threatening umbrella – or, on the other hand, as completely ineffectual and weak. Some images even advocated violent or inhuman punishment of such women.

An early 20th century poster arguing against women's entry into the public professions, implying that their (more important) work of taking care of the children and the home will suffer. Note the expression on the husband's face.

An early 20th century poster arguing against women’s entry into the public professions, implying that their (more important) work of taking care of the children and the home will suffer. Note the expression on the husband’s face.

A British postcard depicting noted activist Emmeline Pankhurst. Notice how the poster interprets the suffragette's arguments as emasculation.

A British postcard depicting noted activist Emmeline Pankhurst. Notice how the poster interprets the suffragette’s arguments as emasculation.

Another British anti-suffragette postcard, using a pun on the word "plain" to describe both their ideas and their looks.

Another British anti-suffragette postcard, using a pun on the word “plain” to describe both the ideas and the looks of these female activists.

Another postcard "humorously" depicting a violent punishment for a suffragette.

Another postcard “humorously” depicting a violent punishment for any suffragette. Notice she is still portrayed as “witch-like,” with snaggly teeth and hair.

 

To see more anti-woman’s suffrage propaganda, check out “Posters That Warned Against the Horrors of a World with Women’s Rights.”

Obama’s 2015 State of the Union Puts Childcare and Paid Parental Leave Front-and-Center

As you’re gearing up to start your semester-long Current Events Journal, consider watching President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union address, delivered Jan. 20th.

Childcare SOTU 2015

 

Unlike previous presidents, Obama placed both childcare costs and the issue of paid maternity/parental leave front-and-center, framing it not as a “women’s issue,” but as an economic one. The president pledged to bring the U.S. into the 21st century and follow the example of every other country in the developing world, who already guarantees paid leave and free or subsidized childcare to its citizens. In many developed countries, paid parental leave can be taken by anyone, not just expectant mothers.

 

Source: International Labor Organization (2013)

Source: International Labor Organization (2013)

 

This comes at a time when many American employers, like Wal-Mart and UPS, have come under fire for firing pregnant women or failing to provide safe and appropriate working conditions for them. Of course, this reality tends to impact poor and working class women most.

Will the president follow through in the next two years? Keep your eyes and ears open for these issues in the news.

Watch the President’s full 2015 State of the Union address below:

 

Eve Ensler: Reclaiming the “Girl Self,” Vulnerability, and Other Ways of Knowing

“I love that I don’t take things lightly. Everything is intense to me…These feelings make me better – they make me better, they make me present, they make me ready, they make me strong.”

Feminist activist, writer, and performer Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues which are still performed every V-Day (Valentine’s Day, End Violence Against Women Day/Vagina Day) all over the world, celebrates the emotional, intuitive “girl” part of ourselves that we, as both women and men, often devalue  as weak, foolish and irrational as a result of our gender socialization.

The following excerpt comes from Ensler’s TED Talk “Embracing Your Inner Girl.” Here, Ensler captures how vital the “girl self” is to our humanity – it strives to be connected, to everyone and to everything, and to feel those connections, that is, to feel communally, not just individually. The girl self comes to knowledge through the gut, through intuition, rather than through intellect alone – so when we cut off the intuitive, emotionally-knowing girl self, in fact we cut ourselves off from a great deal of knowledge about the world.

I AM AN EMOTIONAL CREATURE

Michael Kimmel: “Mars, Venus, or Planet Earth: Women and Men in a New Millenium”

For Friday’s class (1/16), listen to Michael Kimmel’s talk below. It is broken up into six parts, from youtube (about 54 minutes total). As you listen, take down some notes for discussion using the worksheet handed out in Wednesday’s class.

M KimmelBIO: Michael Kimmel (author of Guyland: The Perilous World Where Guys Become Men and numerous other books) is a noteable American sociologist, specializing in gender studies and focusing on studies of feminism and masculinity. He is the founder and editor of the academic journal Men and Masculinities and is a spokesperson of The National Organization For Men Against Sexism (NOMAS). He was also a keynote speaker at the National Women’s Studies Association conference in Atlanta, GA in 2011.

Watch Michael Kimmel’s Lecture, Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

Part 6:

Who’s Afraid of the "F" Word: What is Feminism?

“I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute.”   -Rebecca West, Nov. 14, 1913

WHAT’S A FEMINIST?

When you hear the word “feminist,” what comes to mind? It might be a positive image, but more than likely it’s not. There are any number of troubling connotations associated with that word, especially for people not familiar with it, and many of these aren’t new. Let’s take a look at some of the common images and narratives we get about feminism from pop culture, courtesy of Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency:

 

SO WHAT IS FEMINISM?

According to the dictionary, a feminist is someone who advocates for social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men.

Still, that definition’s pretty oversimplified – and consider this: whose perspective was it written from? With which men do we aspire to be equal? If you’re a woman of color in this country, do you aspire to have equality with men of your race? Do Black men or immigrant men or Latino men have equal rights in this country?

Such a definition certainly makes feminism seem less scary and like something we’d all want to support, right? But it doesn’t get at the intersectional analyses and restructuring of both private and public power dynamics that shape both our private and personal lives that feminists have long been invested in changing.

For the sake of our class, let’s agree on the following definition of feminism, written by African-American feminist scholar, writer, and teacher bell hooks in 1981:

“Feminism is a commitment to eradicating the ideology of domination that permeates Western culture on various levels -sex, race, and class, to name a few – and a commitment to reorganizing U.S. society, so that the self-development of people can take precedence over imperialism, economic expansion, and material desires.” 

In addition to equal rights for women, feminists advocate bringing an end to structural inequalities based on gender, race and ethnicity, class and sexuality that affect us all.

Of course, Feminism isn’t a dogma; while feminists are united in their advocacy of equal rights, they don’t always agree with each other about what the best way to go about obtaining equal rights or ending prejudice, or about which issues are the most pressing at any given moment. Just like the rest of us, feminists come from a broad range of nations, cultures, and experiences, and speak an array of languages, all of which influence how they define themselves as feminists and what they see as the most important goals of the ongoing global Feminist Movement. But those differences don’t stop them from working together for social justice all over the world.

Welcome to WGSS 280: Introduction to Women’s Studies

Welcome to our course blog. For the next 16 weeks, this blog will serve as the online home for our section of WGSS 280 (Women’s Studies: An Introduction).

smashing-patriarchy-feminism-comic-hammer

 

Each week, I’ll post lectures and class activities, relevant campus events, news and videos, and breaking news here, so check it frequently. In addition, readings, podcasts, and other online resources marked (B) on the calendar attached to your syllabus can be found under the links to the right under “Readings & Podcasts.”

You may already have noticed the posts from last semester’s course below this post feel free to browse those if you like. The most recent posts always appear at the top of the page, older posts toward the bottom.

You’ll also see links to important resources on campus and in the surrounding community, as well as links to feminist activist organizations and blogs that address everything from breaking news to pop culture. When it comes time to write your assignments, you can also find links to helpful writing resources, including a site to help you with citation format.

One more thing: our blog is open to the global public – that is, to anyone with internet access – and it does have a few followers, so from time to time, you might see a comment on a post from someone not in our class. Our class is part of a much larger, ongoing dialogue about changing the world, and I hope you carry some of what you learn here beyond the boundaries of our classroom as well.

I look forward to getting to know all of you over the next few weeks.

Sincerely,

Dana