Looking back from start to finish, I am extremely pleased with how far I have come in terms of my understanding of women and gender studies. Aside from learning the facts and figures, I feel that I have grown in the sense of being more accepting of a wide spectrum of ideas and beliefs, as well as treating others more fairly who share and do no share my values and ideas.
In my very first blog post, ‘Feminism in Everyday Life,’ I admit that I had little perspective on the feminism movement. I must say, I really enjoyed the first assignment, where we wrote a ‘Letter to the Haters.’ This really helped me piece together my own understanding of what feminism was and how it applied to modern times. I realize now that although feminism has brought us very far in terms of education, work and the home, we still face many modern and evolved problems. I was excited to explore some of these subconscious oppressions through the body image unit, and especially through my blog post about ‘Dove Evolution’ and ‘Losing Ourselves to the Norm.’ This was my favorite unit because of how important and relevant it is for young women and even young girls growing up of what their ideal body should be. Through the media, we see many photoshopped and distorted images of models to the point where we aren’t even sure what is normal anymore. This is why it is so important for us to find a healthy balance between simply being healthy and loving our body and all its flaws. More than anything, this unit not only taught me about the staggering facts and figures about women in the media and body portrayal, but it taught me to love my body and appreciate a variety shapes and sizes of all women. Furthermore, I thoroughly enjoyed the unit about women in the working world, a topic that is so relevant for young women in college. I was excited to examine the experiences of men versus women in ‘Women in the Medical Field’ and ‘How Traditional Roles Influence Job Preference’ because it really helped me understand areas where women have excelled and where there is still work to be done. It is so frustrating that many people do not believe that the pay gap exists, or that women are not at a disadvantage anymore in 21st century in America. I hope that with my newfound knowledge, I can extend my ideas to the classroom and beyond about gaining equality in the working world.
It is so hard to sum up all I have learned in this class. It has been so much more than facts and figures; it has really challenged me to be open minded and observant of social issues in and outside our culture. I would like to end with a statement by ‘Time for Change’ that I saw at a concert in reference to the advancement of women, “None of us can move forward if half of us are held back.” I really like this quote because it is such a simple way of expressing that women need to be equal in all aspects for the world to effectively progress forward. Honestly, I wish that these topics were covered in general education classes because it is so important for both men and women to understand the struggles we face with gender norms and inequality. I hope that from here on out, I will be more sensitive in promoting the basics of feminism, and I believe that I have accomplished my goal of learning enough to formulate my opinions on feminist ideas and goals so that I can share my thoughts with my peers.