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I find the most important thing about Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies is that feminism is measured as a movement to end oppression. And, it is a movement that should not even exist. We live in the 21st century after-all, and we as a society should be beyond this. So feminism is here, and will remain stationary until change occurs. It is a delicate topic in which many of us proceed with caution when debating its surrounding issues. Hooks states that some believe that feminism is about being anti-male, while others believe it is purely about equality. The problem is simply sexism. Women can be just as chauvinistic as we perceive some males to be. We may not realize it at time, but we all have been at fault for making sexist remarks. Since birth, males and females have been groomed to accept sexist behavior. It has been ingrained to be our way of thinking and it has taken years, and still is taking time, to break that cycle. This all leads into gender stereotypes with the differences in treatment between the two, and it is still transpiring today – whether it is in a classroom setting or a job, there is an imbalance with equality.
Reading “The Mapping the Margins” by Crenshaw, really explains the obstacles of sexism and how it can even differ between women of color and white women. It genuinely constructs you to realize that the movement with feminism is not just finding equality between male and females, but with every one of every kind. Modifications constantly need to be implemented along the way through the Women’s Studies Scholars acting against sexism. Without feminism, we would not see change happen. So the movement continues.
One valuable contribution that stood out to me, one that seems so simple, was in the 1970’s when women began to question why their concerns, experiences, literature and history were left out of academic study. They noticed their worth was being left in the shadows. And it stood out to me, because speaking for your rights is one of the most thought-provoking things to do, especially those undergoing the five faces of oppression. That fear, to stand against those of authority, and in a male dominating world, was just the beginning. Speaking out was the first step and hardships were sure to follow. But women remained headstrong and put their foot down, establishing a goal to implement Women’s Studies into a development of courses. These courses would seep into other studies, crossing boundaries of conventional academic regulations.
The Women’s Studies Scholars have paved the way and they are continuing to do so, for many of us. Their contributions have allowed for women to be heard and acknowledged in the academic curriculum. Each article shared a captivating note, that all intertwined with one another. And the faces of oppressions explain in-depth, the unjust constraints it carries in its five defined meanings. Young explains that groups must experience one of five conditions to be classified oppressed. I have to say; I have encountered at least four out of the five. It will be interesting as we go along through this course, to see how much we all relate to the readings, and each other’s experiences.
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