At the beginning of the summer, if someone asked me “what is feminism?” or “how do you study gender?” I would not have known how to answer. The most important thing I learned is that “feminism is for everyone”, which I learned within the first week of studying feminism. According to bell hooks’ Feminism is For Everybody, the goal of feminism is NOT for women to take over power. The goal is to create a world of equality, where one gender does not dominate over another (hooks, 2000). The idea that feminism is a fight for equality, justice and fairness stuck with me throughout the entire course.
Personally, I’d like to learn more about gender and sexuality. As I grow up, I know this topic will be debated more and more. I am grateful that I have a foundation of information and opinions from this course, but there is definitely more to learn. What I loved most about Unit 2 on Sexuality was intersectionality theory. I’ve always thought there is so much that ties together to create a person, but I never knew how to explain that with a theory. I learned about intersectionality first from Kimberlé Crenshaw in her interview at Lafayette College in 2015 as she described intersectionality as how we live “…based on a number of different identities that we have” (Crenshaw, 2015). This made me realize labeling someone as just male or female reduces that person into a single, incomplete category. I enjoyed writing about this for my Unit 2 blog post.
My favorite unit was Unit 3 on Bodies. I’ve never met a woman who isn’t affected by body image in some way. I think it is important to study where all the influences, both positive and negative, come from and what they do to our self-perception. Honestly, my favorite reading was Eve Ensler’s The Good Body. I have never explored body image outside of my personal world, and this book allowed me to see how body image affects women all over the globe. It was a great story that provided me with so much information on the ways bodies are seen, perceived and changed in different countries.
I’d like to end this reflection with the advice to DEFINITELY take this class. I advise students to push yourself and not be afraid to write something publically. I promise someone else is thinking the same. I advise future to take advantage of the supplemental materials. I chose to watch “How to Love your Body in 10 Easy Steps” by Ollie Schminkey, and I was so drawn to this passionate poem about the situations society places transgender people in just because of standards and stigmas. All in all, take this class. Push yourself to explore new thoughts, be open and honest with your writing and take advantage of all the useful information. I certainly do not regret all the time and effort I put into this class, and you won’t either.
Button Poetry. 2014. “Ollie Schminkey- ‘How to Love Your Body in 10 Easy Steps.'” YouTube Website (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=On3NXRqq6VE).
hooks, bell. 2000. Feminism is for Everybody. Cambridge: South End Press. (Selections)
Lafayette College. 2015. “Kimberle Crenshaw Discusses ‘Intersectional Feminism.'” YouTube website (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROwquxC_Gxc).