Throughout the course, both the readings and posts from classmates taught me a new way of analyzing cause-and-effect relationships and the complex processes of thought. I learned that social issues, specifically feminism, are intricate topics within a network historical, geographical, and political events. There is always something new to learn about social problems, and every article I read brought up either and idea or way of thinking that I had not considered before. Some of my favorite articles in the class were Judith Lorber’s “Night to his Day”: The Social Construction of Gender [1] and Pat Mainardi’s The Politics of Housework [2].

Judith Lorber first opened my mind to a new way of thinking when she explained the difference between sex and gender. Her distinction that sex just is, while gender is taught, at first took me off guard, but upon further reflection made so much sense. I was able to explain one of my experiences with this idea that Lorber proposed, even though beforehand I did not even know the idea existed! I liked Pat Mainardi’s piece on The Politics of Housework because I think she did an excellent job of expressing the frustrations of dealing with traditionally “female” responsibilities in today’s society. While some may initially act in favor of “equality” and “sharing the work,” it becomes a much more complicated situation from which true feelings of privilege arise. It was another eye-opening piece and made me really consider what it’s like for so many women in Mainardi’s situation.

The assignments definitely required that you thoroughly understood and analyzed the related readings, and considered the implications of the author’s words. The advice I would give to someone thinking about taking the course is that you need to have an open mind and be willing to explore topics you may have not even known existed before. If you do so, you will learn a lot from the class and will be able to apply your knowledge to better understand everyday experiences and the stories you hear about in the news. I will use the knowledge I gained in this class as a foundation to build upon when I delve deeper into similar concepts, and hopefully as a means of overcoming difficulties and finding ways to solve some of our society’s biggest issues.

 

[1] Lorber, Judith. “Night to his Day”: The Social Construction of Gender. Yale University Press, 1994.

[2] Mainardi, Pat. The Politics of Housework. McGraw Hill, 1999.

 

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