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On Framing the Rest of the Semester

aybala50's picture

Lesson Plan?

Day 1- As several people expressed an interest in learning about the "basics" of feminism, we decided to dedicate the first class as a "Feminism 101" course.

Day 2- Continue with "Feminist Fairy Tales" by Barbara J. Walker

At this point we talked about having a week on Feminism and Sex Work 

Day 3- A documentary on sex workers? 

Day 4- First-hand accounts on sex-workers

We would then be able to discuss the role of the documentary in feminism, with the first-hand occurrences as well

Spend the next week looking at queer and sexuality? Some ideas for Day's 5 and 6:

Looking at the history of queer and sexuality. How does it relate to feminism?
Maybe "Khaos theory", or Judith Butler?

Day's 7 and 8:

Look at feminists who are not women

Men, transfolk etc. 

Look at Men's rights movement?
Discuss breaking down the binary? Feminism's role?

Last day before performances:

 Bring it home: Trans at women's colleges, which are traditionally feminist institutions. What is our role now? As feminist institutions? 


melal's picture

I like the idea about looking

I like the idea about looking at feminists who are not women. From the very beginning all works we looked at were done by women and focused on women. I think it would be really interesting to see how people who are not women (at least they define themselves not as women) think about feminists and feminism. But I have some concerns on the idea about looking at documentaries on sex workers. It is really hard for me to see the real standing point of the director when we look at a documentary on a specific group of people. As we argued before, documentaries are not completely objective in many ways, I therefore wonder that can we really gain what we want from documentaries?

j1377's picture



colleenaryanne's picture

This is definitely a good

This is definitely a good list, but there seems to be a distinct lack of fiction in most of the postings. Does any one have an fiction suggestions for any of the topics at hand? Because I know I don't, but I think it'd be good to hear, because I would love to explore more literature. And I don't know if I want to read weeks and week of feminist theory in a literature-focused English class.

On that subject, what does one mean by "basics of feminism?" I feel like the structure of this class is designed in a very feminist way, and doing a lesson on "the basics" could be problematic.  As dchin said, I think that a "feminism 101" course could force us to focus on a few "main theories" or "prominant feminists," an idea that is inherently un-feminist and harkens back to Mcintosh's Phase 2 - something I feel like Anne has actively tried to avoid in this class.  There is something very patriarchal in trying to "define" feminism by a select few theories and in giving someone's theory more credence than anothers, creating a heirarchy.  Also, I'm not entirely sure how to go about selecting works we would study as a part of the "basics."

I particularly like the end of this list, and how it brings it back to Bryn Mawr. This class has been very self-reflecting and I think it's an excellent idea to keep up with that theme. 

We have already touched upon the documentary form briefly, so maybe doing another documentary/discussing that form again would be overkill on that subject? But I definitely want to explore more with sex workers. I suppose I'm not against watching another documentary, but dedicating an entire week to it is a little much.

What about "Men's Rights Movement" would we explore? 

I would like to suggest that instead of spending three days on non-women or maybe include it as a part of the fairy tales or as a follow up to that, perhaps dedicating a day or more to feminism in pop culture or mass media, with some sort of focus on youth or young adult issues?

hwink's picture

Feminism 101

Hey! As the person in this group who brought up the "Feminism 101" day, what I had in mind was less focused on main theories, prominent feminists, or even the "definition of feminism" but more a clarification of terms that some people may be unclear on. When we say "queer," what do we mean? I kind of know, but I would like to have a fuller grasp of the concept of "queerness" when it is used in an academic setting. I don't want to break what I think is the fundamental strength of this class, but rather use it by discussing words that get thrown around when talking about feminism so that we can all feel a little bit more on equal footing for the rest of our discussions. What is performativity? Kyriarchy? Post-feminism? The male gaze? First, second, and third-wave? 

I am curious to know if you still find this problematic! I'd really like to find some way to make our discussions a bit more inclusive without resorting to a heirarchical situation where one person or a small group of people are simply providing definitions. 

dchin's picture

Day 1: When discussing the

Day 1: When discussing the "basics" of feminism, who will we look at? Which texts will we read? How will we choose who/what to look at? Would we be looking at western femininism? When you say "basics" of feminism, I'm interpreting that as choosing select women who are prominent in history/usually discussed in feminist studies. Are we ok with the idea that if we study the "basics" of feminism as I'm understanding it, then we'd be doing what McIntosh called phase 2 revision; we'd be studying the exceptional few at the cost of holding all women as authorities on their experiences.

Day 3: Who is a sex worker? How will we define that?


S. Yaeger's picture

Jumping in to say that I

Jumping in to say that I think all of this is doable, but to echo the idea that more fiction might be good.  I'm not sure about bringing in Butler though, because I think she is presented so often at BMC.  I would kind of like to see some other theorists in her place, though I don't really have a suggestion. 

michelle.lee's picture

I agree that this is a very

I agree that this is a very "do-able" schedule.  Is it possible to add a view on modern feminism in mass media? I also like that there is a class to just go over the basics of feminism. 

meowwalex's picture

Feminism in mass media is

Feminism in mass media is also something that I find very pertinent to our discussions. . . whether or not we specifically choose to be influenced or to notice the various forms of media around us all of the time, it is still there and it does not go away even if we would very much like it to do so. Adding to this, the way that media is now even more prominent within generations younger than us (iPads, iPhones in the hands of the little ones at the dinner table) might change the way gender roles and feminism are portrayed and learned. Gender roles could be illustrated in the various forms of media given to children that may sculpt the way they will think about these topics later on in life.

pejordan's picture

Thoughts on Content

I really like the idea of bringing in Judith Butler, because I know that I didn't fully appreciate how cool it was that she came to Bryn Mawr to speak because I was so unfamiliar with gender studies. I like the idea of looking at feminists who are not women, because that's something we haven't really addressed yet. I think the question of whether men can be feminists is something we could look at (Refusing to Be a Man: Essays on Sex and Justice by John Stoltenberg, Warren Farrell also writes about men and women's issues).

meowwalex's picture

I think the idea of looking

I think the idea of looking at whether men can be feminists is a great idea. . . it would help us see past the stigma of feminism that I feel is very relevant to address. I think it would be a beneficial, new perspective to hear from and would help us better see feminism as a way of thinking instead of something that is only specific to anyone who identifies as a woman.

epeck's picture

This is very comprehensive

This is very comprehensive yet seems very managable.  The only things I would add are some more novels, but I really like this outline and think we could use it on Thursday.  Maybe we could compress days 7 and 8 to one day and talk about cultural/global relevency of feminism?  We might also be able to consolidate the two days of sex workers.