First off, I just want to say that I came into this class thinking it was going to be incredibly boring and more of a history of women type class. Now, I am finding myself wishing I had taken this class during a full semester because I feel like there is so much more to talk about. I think what benefited me the most about this class was how we focused on our society today and the controversy of it all.

We had a lot of freedom with our assignments and blog posts, which brought so many different issues to the class. My classmates started discussions on different media pieces they have come across, the gender pay gap, courtship norms, and even just the simple question of “what it means to be a feminist”. There are obviously so many more topics that had been discussed these past couple weeks, but those few seemed to be the most recurring ones, and the most interesting to me.

I started to realize how much we’ve talked about and learned this past 6 weeks when I look back at my posts and assignments. I looked at what I had written and instead of necessarily learning brand new information, I was taught by my classmates all the different ways to look at the issues. It feels good to have the opportunity to step outside the classroom and my personal thoughts to read what everyone else has brought up. My knowledge has expanded and my thought process has been enhanced due to the last 6 weeks.

The foundation of this course was, in my opinion, to give every type of person the knowledge of the controversial issues before forming an opinion. I think that is the biggest thing I have gotten out of this class. Some of my views on the topics we discussed has changed in the past 6 weeks, but I feel much better about those views. From here on out, when society brings up topics that turn into debates where people have strong opinions, I support the notion of obtaining all the knowledge about the topic before forming my opinion. For example, my freshman year at VT a bunch of people in my hall got in a heated debate about the gender pay gap between men and women. When one side tried to argue that it doesn’t exist, I then tried to argue back with facts that it does exist and it is pretty substantial. Unfortunately I was not as well informed as I should have been. I didn’t realize how severe the pay gap was until we wrote posts about it. In fact, I actually did some research and Virginia Tech’s employees’ salaries are all published for public viewing on the Richmond Times-Dispatch website (1). Credentials of the faculty member and what their annual gross is available to anyone who wants to see it, therefore the gender pay gap is clearly real.

This class brought so many great thoughts and discussions to my attention. I feel like I have learned a lot about the different directions gender can take us. I can be more open-minded and understanding when my knowledge of the topic is really great. Thanks for a great class!! I am definitely going to be recommending it!

(1) 2014 State of Virginia Employee Salaries. Richmond Times-Dispatch. November 2015. http://data.richmond.com/salaries/2014/state/virginia-polytechnic-institute-and-state-university-virginia-tech?page=2 Thursday 30 June 2016

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