The Gender Press was for three years the online home of my introductory course on Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies while I taught at Purdue University. This was an introductory survey course and addressed the following topics through a variety of readings, films, and other media:
- Social Construction of Gender and Sex, including Femininity and Masculinity
- Interplay of Privilege and Oppression
- Intersections of Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality
- Breaking News, Law, and Public Policy
- Women and Education
- Ecofeminism (Women and the Environmental Movement)
- Images of Women in the Media and Pop Culture
- Reproductive Health/Rights
- Women in Labor/Work (Social Class)
- Women and Violence
- Family Structure and Mothering
During the academic year, I regularly post lectures and class activities, videos and podcasts, relevant images, discussion questions, news, and homework assignments for my students.
This course invites students to consider how gender, race and ethnicity, class, and sexuality have shaped their own identities as well as the larger public and private institutions in which they live, love, and work. In addition, we will examine how these categories are socially constructed, and how they have been challenged and/or reinforced in recent history. While the coursepack presents a variety of landmark works by key authors of the feminist movement, we will also explore current events from the news. Writings from a range of feminist writers, theorists, and activists from diverse backgrounds and disciplines will engage the core issues of feminism, including: the formation of both private and public identities, questions of privilege and oppression, images of women in the media and pop culture, the beauty industry and body image, violence against women, political platforms and reproductive rights, labor practices, access to education, immigration and international politics, and activism.
This course aims to help you:
- Gain a greater awareness of how intersections of gender, race and ethnicity, class, and sexuality affect both our public and private lives and identities.
- Analyze how these intersections have been instrumental in reinforcing or challenging systems of privilege and oppression in America.
- Develop compassion for the lived realities and experiences of others, including those that may be markedly different from our own, and the ability to engage in difficult dialogues.
- Understand that women and feminist activists from diverse backgrounds have been creators, initiators, and shapers of public policy and social reform.
Credit: the current header is an excerpt of a larger work of art titled “Young Rebels” by the Norwegian street artist Skurktur.