There has been a great deal of discussion over the Feminist & Gender Studies Program changing its name to Gender & Sexuality. The basis of this debate is over the exclusion of the word "feminist" from the title. It is important to question how this modification will affect the direction of the program and the feminist movement as a whole. The categorization of this area of study must be sensitive to the complex social issues it represents. Bringing the term "gender" to the fore-front, and focusing less on women, is a necessary "part of the attempt by contemporary feminists to stake claim to a certain definitional ground, to insist on the inadequacies of existing bodies of men" (Scott, 166). This new spotlight on gender and sexuality does not detract from feminism at all; rather it represents the next step in the evolution of the feminist movement.
As Lacqueur stated, categorization "is an inescapable consequence of our biological makeup" (Lacqueur, 18). This is especially true in any college, where categories are institutionalized in order to help guide students along their academic path. It is hard to imagine academics as "a purely uncategorized and unconceptualized experience" (Lacqueur, 19). However, categories have a way of excluding some people, since people are diverse and do not fit into neat containers.
This holds especially true with the Feminist & Gender Studies Program. The term "feminist" is a category that many students do not identify with because of its history of race, class, and sex. Some female students are not comfortable with its overtly confrontational ideas and do not want to be associated with the "man-hating" stereotype that is portrayed in society. African-American students can feel alien...
... middle of paper ...
...ne society provided for me. I felt on the outside of feminism, because I thought my interests in boys, marriage, and motherhood was not included in its definition. After learning what feminism really was during my sophomore year, I discovered I was not on the outside after all.
I have to admit that, at first, I was disappointed by the omission of the word "feminist" from the title of the program. At the time, I was just feeling at ease with my personal realization that I was feminist. I found myself feeling, once again, on the outside. I know after taking this class, that defining myself by any category is a wasted effort. The focus should be on who I am and not how well I fit into any category. I now understand why the only required course, one which concentrates on de-constructing gender, and the new focus of the program is the only thing that will save us all.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Still Enduring: Equity Feminism for the Next Generation Webster defines feminism as both "the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes" and "organized activity on the behalf of women's rights and interests" (Webster 418). Equality of the sexes (in terms of rights) and the furthering of women's rights are seemingly positive aspirations; yet people tend to describe feminism using negative terms, and feminism today has acquired a bad reputation. "Radical" and "extremists" are adjectives commonly applied to feminism as a whole, when, in truth, feminists who adopt extreme positions constitute the minority.... [tags: Feminism Feminist]
1919 words (5.5 pages)
- The Ethics of Feminism Just seeing more of life, just recognizing that there are an awful lot of things that are common among people. There are certain things that you come to learn promote a better life and better relationships and more personal fulfillment than other things that in general tend to do the opposite, and the things that promote these things, you would call them morally right. The normative questions that come to fill one’s life, in this woman’s account, presume goals and methods that are inseparable from the history that creates a person as s/he is.... [tags: Ethics Morality Feminism Feminist Essays]
4561 words (13 pages)
- Pornography and Feminism It is constantly surrounding us. It cannot be evaded. Pornography is an initial part of the entertainment mainstream. Whether it is in magazines, or in music, pornography is gender-prejudiced. The word pornography can be defined as the depiction of erotic behavior intended to cause sexual excitement. Degrasion towards women is its only accomplishment. The poses they take and the acts they perform are all part of the discrimination that women face . The only thing pornography offers is negative effects on women.... [tags: Feminism Feminist Women Criticism]
1379 words (3.9 pages)
- The Difficulty with Defining Feminism In Feminist Theory: from margin to center, bell hook states on the first page what she believes to be the problem with feminism. In her opinion the biggest problem with feminism is that there is no real definition of what feminism is. The definition many people have formulated for feminism is having the goal of making woman socially equal to men. hook’s problem with this is the fact that all men are not socially equal. If women are to be the social equals to men then another question would be which men women will be socially equal to.... [tags: Definition Feminism Feminist Essays]
797 words (2.3 pages)
- Introduction It is a perceptible phenomenon that modern ideas and transnational interaction between people brings about so many changes that they come into conflict with the existing norms and belief systems of a society. In fact, the ability to assimilate productive changes and the capacity to discard beliefs that are detrimental to the interest of the society are the essential qualities of a good social order. If a society allows itself to be dominated by beliefs that are not in tune with the needs and aspirations of the changing times, one cannot ascribe it as a progressive society.... [tags: Islam Feminism Religion]
1456 words (4.2 pages)
- What is Feminism. What is feminism. By general definition, feminism is a philosophy in which women and their contributions are valued. It is based on social, political and economical equality for women. Feminists can be anyone in the population, men, women, girl or boys. Feminism can also be described as a movement. A revolution that includes women and men who wish the world to be equal without boundaries. These boundaries or blockades are better known as discrimination and biases against gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status and economic status.... [tags: Carol Gilligan Feminism Gender Essays Papers]
762 words (2.2 pages)
- Define Feminism "A woman should be barefoot, pregnant and chained to a stove," stated Ben Glantz, a high school senior. Drew Pershing, another senior, also shared a joke, "What does a woman do after she leaves a battered shelter. The dishes...if she knows what's good for her!" Daily jokes and comments such as these, no matter how harmless, are detrimental to the status of women and a dangerous undermining of their accomplishments. Shared by both genders, sexually discriminative comments are widely accepted in society as normal and harmless.... [tags: Feminism Feminist Women Criticism]
1877 words (5.4 pages)
- Makeover Feminism Most viewers of commercial television or consumers of popular magazines have seen striking images of women whose appearance has been dramatically altered. Many of these “made-over” women changed their body image through diet and exercise regimes, skillfully applied makeup, or elective cosmetic surgery. Possessed of higher education, prestigious careers, and families, these successful women often report that they felt some aspect of their appearance prevented them from reaching their goals.... [tags: Social Sociology Feminism Essays]
2022 words (5.8 pages)
- Feminism There has been a great deal of discussion over the Feminist & Gender Studies Program changing its name to Gender & Sexuality. The basis of this debate is over the exclusion of the word "feminist" from the title. It is important to question how this modification will affect the direction of the program and the feminist movement as a whole. The categorization of this area of study must be sensitive to the complex social issues it represents. Bringing the term "gender" to the fore-front, and focusing less on women, is a necessary "part of the attempt by contemporary feminists to stake claim to a certain definitional ground, to insist on the inadequacies of existing bodies of men" (Sco... [tags: Feminism Sociology Essays]
1514 words (4.3 pages)
- Feminism The notion of difference among the sexes has been studied extensively in terms of cognition and brain activity. An MRI can back these claims, showing male and female brains 'lighting up' in different locations based upon different stimuli. Anyone with a close relationship to a child can attest to the fact that they were born with certain traits. Perhaps their nephew is very shy, while their niece has never met a stranger. In other words, some difference among individuals is innate, fundamental.... [tags: Women Rights Feminist Papers]
3953 words (11.3 pages)