Women Studies (or at times referred to as feminist studies) is a holistic, interdisciplinary academic field that taps issues both from the past, current and even future that concerns women. The course is interdisciplinary because it tackles different professions including politics, societal, psychological and historic through the point of view of feminists. The main reason behind the subject is not to make women superior, but to promote gender equality and eradicate oppression, discrimination and the misleading stereotypes against women. The subject is a timely answer to the growing cases of women discrimination in different areas of society. Although there has been a drastic change of women roles over time, there are still issues that continue to make women look as if they are second class citizens.
Do not be confused with the title of the subject, just because it’s named as Women Studies does not mean it is exclusive for women. The subject is also beneficial for males, because like what I have mentioned it attempts to promote gender equality. Hooks (2000) shared that she wrote the book Feminism is for everybody because she believes that men also has a significant role in ending the discrimination of women. What makes the subject even more engaging is that it will expose the students to different reading materials that will be helpful in both the understanding and opening the feminist mind of students. Students will be guided through the different facets surrounding issues concerning women, for instance, the discussion on the social construct of gender provided both social and psychological explanation regarding the construction of gender. The course will make people realize that they too have a role in creating and promoting gender stereotypes through simple practices. Gender is constructed by society, practices and traditions dictate a lot in gender. It shows how the media contribute to the promotion of misleading messages regarding sex and gender.
In addition, the subject offers many timely issues affecting society, such as rape, prostitution, incest, violence against women that will aid in shaping a critical thinker in each student. Although some of the discussions in class will question one’s personal opinion and judgment, the discussions in class will make student think carefully of their decisions especially if there are task to defend their stand. What can I take away from this course? First, this course showed me that equality is difficult to achieve, but it is not impossible. It takes the effort and collaboration of many sectors in society in order to achieve it. The continuous stereotype on women not only affects women per se, but it also makes the lives of male difficult. The subject women studies will enrich your mind with timely arguments that surround complex issues. You can expect to be puzzled with many readings, but in the end it will be worth it especially because you’ll feel empowered whether you are a male or female. Empowered in the sense that you feel that despite the dictation of society, you can now express who you truly are and be accepted for who you are.
Friel B & Grion R (2005) An Interdisciplinary Introduction to Women's Studies. Gival Press, LLC
Fausto-Sterling, Anne (2012). Sex/Gender: Biology in a Social World. New York: Routledge.
Hooks B (2000). Feminism is for Everybody. Pluto Press.
Davis, Angela Y. (2003). Are Prisons Obsolete?, Open Media (April 2003),