Women and Gender Studies

Women and Gender Studies

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Women and gender studies contribute greatly to our understanding of the social and cultural world we inhabit. Studying the complex issues of this field has instituted many key insights. Two major insights that positively affected our society are the awareness through learning and through this awareness activism that can ensue.
     This course of women and gender studies, as would all courses, have produced awareness by coherently explaining the situations women are facing in the world today. One may not know of theses situations until taught. By learning of these occurrences, one can properly act upon them. Many women and men have taken the opportunity to attend classes on women’s and gender studies and have since then made strides to make a difference in the unjust society that must be faced.
      Knowledge is power. An example of awareness producing activism can be seen in the war against Iraq. When one learns of an unjust war being carried out they, now knowing the circumstances, will act as they will to stop the injustices occurring. The same can be seen in women’s activism. When people become educated on the topic of women’s rights, they come to understand the circumstances and can act accordingly to help stop the problems from carrying on. Anne-Marie O’Connor’s article about the maquiladora women in Mexico and their terrible working conditions brought awareness about, as well as Sam Dylan’s article on the mistreatment of these women.
     A growing population of women’s activists can be attributed to the growing number of courses being offered and information available. Only a few decades ago this would not have been heard of. It is due to the increasing amount of awareness on the topic of women’s status as second class citizens that activism has increased. Through various media, we have learned of topics such as the “glass ceiling”, the working conditions of women in Third World countries, the current injustices against women being carried out in the First World, reproductive rights, as written about by Angle Davis, and other limitations imposed on women.
     Awareness springs activism. When one properly learns of a situation that must be alleviated they can now act to reduce the problem. Courses and organizations on women’s and gender issues are most helpful in spreading awareness throughout the land. As more people become educated on the subject, there is a good chance that a percentage of those people will take action.

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This is seen everyday in protests, rallies, and assemblies. It is their right and duty to speak up on issues that affect our everyday lives. The people that organize these at first small rallies and assemblies are the ones to start organizations which in turn educate more people. It is these organizations that create pro-activism everyday in all forms of people.
     I have been enlightened to situations in countries, including my own, that I was not aware of before, such as the status of women in the Middle East, the dowry murders in India, domestic violence in the U.S., homophobia, and the general exclusion of women from men’s culture. By learning more and more on these topics, I have gained the mental strength required for me to question society, authority, the world. Acting upon it may be hard but I am willing to take my chances in order to help others to see the blinding truth. I am aware of what my society is telling me to be and I am aware of how to ignore their constant stereotypes. I am positive that courses and organizations on women’s and gender issues will certainly help the world to see clearer on the topic and understand a great deal more. Through my new found knowledge I am now able to act without fear of being outspoken on this topic, for now I know a great deal more on it than most.

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