Category Archives: Personal Reflection (Dec. 20)

Personal reflection Kayla Havercome 

Women and Gender Studies 1001 

Personal reflection 

December 21,2021


         I don’t know what I expected in women and gender studies 1001. At first all I know is that I wanted to get my pathway classes out the way so I could focus on my major. I think personally I’m not one to really think why this happens to which gender in any topic. But my general thought of this class is that I have come to learn everything that we know that our parents know and even way before that has always come down to gender in what way people are “supposed to treat each other”. I think that because my mindset has always been to not really care what people think of me and I know I’m gonna do what makes me happy even if I end continuing some social stereotypes, then so be it. But after just listening in some of the classes, I know that I should care, not enough to let it hurt me but enough in order to change these stereotypes, and I learned that by hearing the opinions of my fellow classmates in this class and hearing their views on the topics we had talked about. I know that in this class it was a safe space to talk about anything and we were able to hear each other out even when we didn’t have the same viewpoints. Personally, I have always loved history, whether it was geographic or the history of people in any shape and form, so learning about women as a whole and the LGBTQ+ community was a really interesting digest. And i think that on top of all of this having a teacher who you see really cares about hearing others opinions on these topics and just seeing their overall passion has really made me enjoy this class 10x better than i ever expected 


   I must admit I did have a hard time reading the readings except for like two of them because imma be honest I don’t read at all so my reading level is low but what helped was doing these hypothesis annotations and blog posts. Reading Angela Davis, the star interview, Stryker some of the one that were difficult to read, but looking at my classmates annotations and she how they decipher that text in front of them has really helped me find my own opinion on the texts because it gave me guidance on what the texts were talking about, and with dimming my point of view of the text i was able to find my own words of what part o father stories meant to me. When it came to writing the blog post, I did find it semi difficult because before this class like I said, I used to keep my opinions to myself and I don’t really like public writing or speaking like that because it does kinda make me uncomfortable. Then trying to figure out what to talk about, I do get in my own head because there are so many problems that I do want to talk about that don’t get enough light shed on them, so it was kind of hard to stick to just one, but I did. I wasn’t able to do the blog post with my classmates due to my situation so I didn’t get feedback on my post, which overall would have been helpful because I do get a little passionate when I’m writing and forget about grammar and other things that make up a proper paper. I wrote about this generation and how I think that everything doesn’t need to be put into a box. I know that the past generation is really specific in a negative way, so it would be how you were treated if you were in a certain category and I think that is wrong and unfair. That’s why I’m also proud to be a part of a generation that is still specific but owns who they are in the best way possible while also  knowing that everyone is human and shouldn’t be treated differently. Overall I did love doing this assignment and reading other points of view in blog posts by my classmates.


    I wasn’t able to bring much to the group project because i and some serious things that happened to me within the past weeks of creating the project and i did want to apologise my group which was high heels i know that my absence didn’t really help them because there was some stuff that i needed to contri0 to the group myself and I didn’t have anyway of communicating that I could help because i had to delete everything on my devices so I had no one contact info. But from watching the presentation it looked like they didn’t need me after all, which was cool to see their final project. 

     I definitely wanted to thank you professor for creating a safe space and honestly just letting us vent about the problems we face as women and sadly will face in the future until stereotypes are dismantled. It was a please hearing everyone from the classes I was present in.



Personal Reflection

Laneice Garner December 20, 2021

Intro to Women’s History: Personal Reflection

My experience of the Introduction to Women’s History class was a surprisingly pleasant experience that left me wanting more. The interactive readings coupled with the entertaining nature of the educational resources made each class painless and made me look forward to participating in the next class. To be honest, it was the passion of the professor for this class that made me relaxed after the first couple weeks of participation. I was excited to present to the class what gender texts I had found in everyday life which pertains to biases experienced by women on a daily basis and find out where the discussion would take us. It was a relief being able to discuss, with like minded, as well as opposing parties, meaningful conversations about how the texts reflected our real life experiences. It has always been difficult dealing with the feelings and thoughts of discriminatory expectations placed upon specific genders, and which outlet to release these thoughts into respectively. However, being introduced to Angela Davis’ book “Women, Race, and Class” set an interesting tone, especially in a selective socially sensitive society we are a part of today. Although the vernacular of Davis’ writing was difficult to process at first, it was the validation, power, and voice of many of the issues that don’t get discussed in today’s time that helped me feel empowered. It felt like the class understood what Davis was trying to convey and therefore others in our society could understand the contradictions of the life of women and how the underlying current of movements helped to shape where we are in the world today.

I thoroughly enjoyed Susan Stryker’s book “Transgender History” amongst many of the readings because it helped to expand my perception of the reality of how long people have been dealing with the different emotions outside of societal norms. As well as how many of the movements we see today, are not as new and how this is the reason people as a whole continue to fight for representation, expansion of mind, and validation of multiple life experiences, besides the one generic type of life experience that is culturally passed down or which we are forced to try to conform to, to become a part of normal society. The fact that my thinking and analyzation of the media, social interactions, certain images or waves on social media has strengthened because I feel like this class helped me to make my own deductions and peek behind the veil of what life has presented to me and explore with depth, not only what this means to me as a person, but how I would want to present my interpretation of my thoughts to the public as well so that we as a society can continue to mentally expand and be more than socially tolerable of each other. I personally enjoyed the videos we watched as a class and for homework because it brought a refreshing aspect to the discussion and I felt more of an emotional connection to the work provided, because it was visual and it made the work more than just black and white. I can tell that this class was designed to invoke thought and grow us as people and I really enjoyed going for the ride.

At first, when I saw the class site and how I would have to make my contribution to it, of course my first thought was that it was a burden, but after taking away the formalities of writing, which I was used to, and introducing the lax public writing aspect, I took pride in wanting to share with others my point of view on a topic that meant something to me. It was nerve wracking and extremely frustrating, being forced to guide myself on what questions I wanted to answer for my audience and not having structure. However, now that I reflect on the writing, I believe that that was the purpose of the blog posts, to break away from being told what to write about and how to write it. Having the opportunity to share and potentially teach a new perspective and spread that newfound knowledge to others on our topic was a truly gratifying experience. It is also extremely helpful to have the feedback from my peers because it not only validated my work, but it also helped to guide me on the journey of how I wanted to direct the point of my post. I continuously go back to my writing and other posts because I still can’t believe that I actually wrote about something that others appreciated and could take away with them and that will stay on the internet forever. After being one of the first groups of students to post my blog post, I definitely wanted to provide some guidance and structure to other students who felt unsure about what they wanted to present to the public or how they should present their thoughts and I enjoyed providing that for them and watching the point of the blog posts click in their personal thought process. I also enjoyed peeking into the minds of my peers and their viewpoints on issues that I also am passionate about, so to leave them praise or to create a discussion about what they were trying to convey, opened up new channels of communication and broke the ice in a deeper way than just being anonymous classmates who won’t see each again, I could learn from my peers as well as having professor guidance.

In terms of the group project, I feel like I brought structure, knowledge of the topic, and focus to the point of our presentation. At first, the topic of queer parenting loomed over me like a huge mountain that I wouldn’t be able to get to the other side of, but once I started to discuss what I wanted to shed light on and what I wanted the public and my peers to gain from this presentation, the fear somewhat ebbed away. I was worried at first because I realized while working with my partner in the group project that not everyone has the same understanding as I do, although that is a naïve way to perceive things. I also felt like I brought encouragement to the project because although some of us didn’t have common knowledge of the topic, in times when we were doubting ourselves or how this project would come together, I took the opportunity to be patient, to explain, to relate with my partner in these feelings of insecurity and I felt like that relates to how I should interact with people in everyday life instead of being off put or judgmental of people’s interpretations or perceptions of certain topics. Overall, I think I brought the black and white general knowledge, and bones of our project and that my partner brought out more personalization and a creative take on how we presented our research project.


Rukhshona Uktamova – Reflection paper

Rukhshona Uktamova 

Professor Ashton 

WGST 1001  

20 December 2021 

Personal Reflection paper 

                Women and Gender studies 1001 was a very interesting course. When I was registering for the course, I thought we will focus only on Women studies and then during class I realized how we can basically connect anything to gender, even how pink razors cost more than the blue ones, how gender reveal parties aren’t ideal, songs and so many other things. To be honest some of the readings were difficult to understand, maybe because my reading level is low. However, I really enjoyed the hypothesis annotation even though we did a few of them, I wish we did more of them because having everyone’s thoughts, ideas, opinion, analysis of the text on one page helped me better understand the text. The fact we were able to talk about anything, like anything going on our lives, complaints, problems, news we want to share was a great way to start the class because when we did, I felt more connected to the class, people supporting each other, helping others in making decisions, finding names for the cat. I also found the books by Susan Stryker and Angela Davis useful and interesting; I wish we read more of them in class so we could discuss them, but I guess I will read them over the break especially Women Race and Class book.  Show and tell gender texts was a great activity, I don’t think I was able to share both of my gender texts, in class but they are on the website but it was amazing to see what others brought to class.  

               It was my first-time writing blog posts, and I didn’t have much experience with public writing except those few of my poems that got published in my high school poetry catalog and in Stuckinthelibrary catalog in Brooklyn college. To be honest I found the blog post a bit difficult to complete, maybe because I was in group one, and I wasn’t sure what an ideal blog post looks like. Also, sometimes I get too focused on one side and forget to write and talk about the other side so that the readers are able to look at the full picture rather than just a part of it. I do realize the mistake I made on my blog post after posting the second draft because that’s when I got good useful critical feedback where students agreed and some disagreed with me which I liked and it was good to read the disagreements because those feedback showed what I was missing on my blog post but by the time they post their feedback it was late, I couldn’t do anything. I wrote a lot about how marriage is not a form of slavery and how it’s good, but I forgot to mention the disadvantages of marriage. Overall, it was a good experience learning but I had a bit too much confidence in myself that I was going to do great on the assignment based on the first few feedbacks I got but it turns out that sometimes having too much confidence in yourself is not good.  

                    I am glad that you assigned us the Research group project and gave us the option to do it in any format because it gives us choice and flexibility, which is awesome. Also, as you know since Covid – 19 and many classes are online I actually missed seeing people in class and talking to them. This assignment gave us the opportunity to chat with our classmates during class in breakout rooms and as well as outside class. I was part of the high heels group, overall, it was good working with my team members, but we did have a few small issues. I kind of felt like leading the group at some points because I was asking them what you guys have in thought? What do you guys want to write about? And I shared my ideas created a google doc and asked them to jot down their ideas. In some of the meetings it was only me and Amarah from our group who were in class, and even when we were missing many members, we got work done. I created the slides and shared it with all the members. Amarah and I labeled and organized the slides. I sent out reminders about citation, using the same font and size, asking them to make their slides less wordy more interesting. Eliza helped with decorating; the blue theme and Lady Gaga was her idea. A few minutes before presenting I remembered that we could have transformations on our slides and added those in. So, everybody presented on the slide they worked in, I did start the presentation, then did my own slides and then I wanted to ask questions, so we could have some discussion, and I ended the presentation and dressing up for the presentation and having the camera on helped me focus.  Communication is a key, that’s what I learned from doing the presentation because when I send out texts some members like Amarah and Oluwatobi replied back while some didn’t, which was a bit frustrating.  

              I want to end with a thank you note for all the things you have done for us. It was a great semester and I really appreciate that you had time after class to just chat with me and other students. Best of luck in your future endeavors Ms. Ashton!  


Personal Reflection

This isn’t my first time taking Intro to Women’s Studies.  Once upon a time, before Covid-19, I took this class in person. But I withdrew from all my classes halfway through the semester because I was struggling with my mental health. And thanks to this class I took way back then, my professor at the time pointed me to the resources that jump-started me on my journey. This class is more than learning about history through the lens of women and LGBT+ people, but it’s a place to be seen and heard. I’ve always been interested in learning about women’s rights and LGBT+ history but never had the time or space for it. With the election of the 45th president, it was clear to see that these issues aren’t some out-of-reach smudge on our history that lives in the past but its part of the history we make today.


I’ve heard of the name Angela Davis in presentations students would make about African-American writers for Black History month and be curious about her work. But I never had the time to read it for myself because I always focused on my school work more than my personal interest. So aside from the fact that this class is one of my personal interests but I also had the pleasure of reading Angela Davis for the first time. My heart fluttered when I saw her on the syllabus and I was more than happy to order her book for next day delivery. Not only did I enjoy reading her work, but I also used it in some of my other classes this semester. 


Being a part of this class wasn’t without its challenges. Sitting in front of a computer at the end of the day for three hours was intimidating and challenging for me. I would’ve loved this class to be twice a week instead of once a week. If it was twice a week, each class would be shorter which for me would be more manageable. And also I would’ve seen the people in this class twice a week instead of once.


Everyone’s presentations were amazing. My fellow students showed some real talent with their projects. The thing about group projects is that they usually turn out so awkward and it’s clear to see who did all the work and who didn’t. But all these projects were gorgeous. Each one was visually pleasing and very informative. Everyone cared so deeply about what they were talking about and it showed even though we couldn’t see their faces. I would sit on my bed looking at the slides and the pictures and colors. My favorite part was that they clearly practiced giving their presentation and if they didn’t then that’s even more impressive. I could never be as articulate as they were off the top of my head with no practice. I, unfortunately, wasn’t a part of any group project but that’s okay. I struggle with deadlines and groups in general. To feel the weight of other people relying on you to do your part is a lot for me at the moment. 


But the most important point about this class for me was the causal engagement. As I said before the idea of a three-hour class at the end of the day was so intimidating, most of the time I didn’t want to go. But I never regretted going after the class ended. We all cared about each other and made the class personal. Because these issues that we’re learning about are personal, they’re personal to us. They’re not theories in a textbook or stories from the past but in some way, they applied to our lives. And by making it personal we were also learning from each other.


This class has been amazing and I’ve learned more outside the lessons than inside them. The information was great but the idea of a group of women coming together at the end of the day to encourage each other and lift each other up while collectively raising our awareness of women’s rights, that’s priceless. There will never be another class like this one. I hope everyone had an amazing semester as I did. Challenges and all.

Personal Reflection -Yanjun Jiang

      First of all, I am very happy and grateful that I chose to take this class. This class brought us, women together and shared our opinions and ideas on various topics in the class. Such as white supremacy, masculinity, and the stereotypes women receive in society. What impressed me most was the article we annotated together in class which is the excerpt from ‘The Feminine Mystique’. This article reveals the stereotype that women have left from the past to the present. That is, women have always been regarded as housewives. They should take care of their children and their husbands at home. This is their responsibility. However, this article also reveals that women are helpless about this stereotype. They also feel more and more restricted by what society thinks women should do. This makes them feel that life has no other color, but lives are getting more meaningless. They repeat doing the same housework every day and gradually lose themselves. This article impressed me deeply since it taught me that women should radiate their own glory, not blindly obey the image that society has set for them. They have the right to live for themselves, create a better future for themselves, and bring enough sense of security and happiness to themselves. So personally, I’m glad that this class has taught me a lot about how women should be strong and change the stereotype brought to them by society. Women can be independent and have more masculinity and ability than men. This is a personal ability, rather than defined by gender. Therefore, the gender stereotype should be eliminated, and bring them gender equality. 

        Moreover, I am also very happy that the professor asked us to write a public blog post. This is my first time writing a public blog post. I think writing blog posts promote our learning and reflect our growth. I enjoy the process of writing blog posts, which can reflect our personal thinking process, not just the result of thinking. We never understand a problem or field, from understanding to familiarity, from familiarity to mastery. This helps us record a person’s growth process of thinking and solving problems. In my blog post, I wrote about the theme of gender equality. Because it has been believed that women are lower than men in physical and intellectual aspects historically. It has always been a stereotype that women should stay at home. Although it seems equal for today’s women to go to school and work like men, in essence, men and women are unequal. They have been defined since birth because of gender factors. Society is calling for us to be competent and play the roles of men and women. For example, women should be gentle and graceful at any time, and then men should be firm, strong, and aggressive. However, what I want to say is that everyone has the freedom to choose himself. We have no right to define a person according to sex. Women can be gentle or strong; Men can be strong or weak. At the same time, they can be heterosexual or gay, which is moral. What we need is a city without gender discrimination, a society in which women can make money to support their families and men can take care of their children without discrimination. Women are not only mothers, wives, and daughters, but also other identities. Men and women are equal in spirit. Everyone can choose their own appearance instead of being “beautified” by public opinion. I hope to take this opportunity to write a blog in order to share knowledge and exchange views with my dear students and all the public. Just as we replied to other students’ blog posts and agreed or disagreed with their blog posts. We discussed together and listened to other people’s thoughts and expressed our opinions. I think this really helps to promote the common progress of both sides. 

         Also, when I did a research group project with my groupmates, I really enjoyed the process of doing our project. I think our group activity has created a harmonious working atmosphere. Each of my group members and I have equal opportunities to give full play to our opinions and ideas on the theme we chose. The theme we chose was gender stereotypes. Our group chose to introduce the story of a specific female role to the public women to make a voice. We talked about the stereotypes of our female role faced from her early childhood to her marriage and family life. Finally, it expounds that women should live for themselves and give themselves the most stable sense of security. Instead of taking your husband and children as your everything. When we work on group projects, our group members learn from each other in communication, mutual inspection, and mutual evaluation activities. We learn to check our own parts while checking each other’s contributions to the project, and combine everyone’s into a perfect group presentation. I think this research group project promotes us to study vividly and actively. And let us have a deeper understanding and new knowledge of the theme of gender stereotypes. This has cultivated our innovation potential. In research group project learning, each of us uses our existing knowledge to find ways to solve new problems, and we often have new ideas on this topic. And then we add our ideas to the PowerPoint slides. Therefore, I also think that taking this opportunity of research group project activity has created conditions for our careful thinking and created an atmosphere of sustainable development.

        Finally, I am very grateful that we met you, our professor Ashton. We enjoy communicating and sharing with you every time in this class. We had a good chat and brought a good atmosphere and laughter to the class. We have also learned a lot of topics in your class that we haven’t touched or learned before. This class is the one that makes me feel most relaxed and happy. Thank you, Professor Ashton. I wish you all the best and have a happy holiday! We will miss you and everyone in the class. You all did a good job and congratulations on ending another semester!!

Course Reflection

Oluwatobi Oshodi

WGST 1001

Professor Ashton

December 20 2021

Personal Reflection 

To begin with, I took this class to fulfill a requirement. However, after a few meetings I began to love the energy and connection this class came with. As a senior in Brooklyn College, I’ve had many professors but Professor Ashton stands out. Apart from being a professor she took the time to get to know her students, did multiple check ups and found a way to make the class engaging. Coming into the class, I felt like the class would be just readings and essays. Although there was a lot of reading, Professor Ashton made the whole class seem like it wasn’t a class. Although she’s grading us, Professor Ashton allowed us to have a voice in our grades.I learned quite a lot in this class. It made me think deeper about certain things and not just look at things lightly. Although I hate speaking in public or in class, speaking in this class seemed normal. I felt comfortable enough to voice out my opinion whether it made sense or not. 

For my blog post, I did research on bleaching. As a young Nigerian lady, I see bleaching a lot in my community. When I see those who do it, I used to look down on them for not loving themselves enough. However, because of this class I dug deeper and saw the reasons. This class allowed me to see the root of bleaching and why people did not. After the things I discovered I realized that the blame on bleaching is not on those who do it but society and the company who creates bleaching cream. Before working on my paper, this class allowed me to sit down and think about things that are affecting the society I live in. Bleaching has become a nationwide thing for women and men nowadays. 

When working on the group project, it took a lot of patience. This is because people have different ideas, different ways of doing things. One of the good things about the project was that Professor Ashton was literally always there. She was there for us to reach out to, seek advice and motivate us. For the group project, my group worked on high heels. We were quick to pick different subtopics to talk about within the topic without engaging in other group members’ ideas. Being in a group is not always smooth, however my group found a way to deliver. I decided to talk about the origin of high heels because I found it fascinating. I love wearing heels although it hurts after a few hours, it still makes me feel empowered and strong. Through research I got to know that it was actually men who created and wore heels before women got it. I found it particularly interesting that when women started wearing heels that’s when people negatively perceived it and felt like it was too much. However, when men like King Louis XIV wore heels, it was magnificent and powerful. People loved when those with power wore heels because it represented wealth and power. However when heels became a women thing, it was seen as out of style, dramatic and too feminine. This only emphasized how women are not seen as strong as men. It is clear that in society, women and men are not seen as equals. 

From other classmates’ blog posts, I was able to learn quite a few things too. Each person spoke on different things going on around the community, whether people know about it or not. In this class, I loved how many classmates felt comfortable and engaged with each other. I’ll like to take this opportunity to call out Mildred who helped me throughout this semester for this class. Sometimes when I’m confused about certain things and reach out to her, she is always there to help. This class allowed some of us to form bonds. I really enjoyed this class. There are certain things that have been said in this class that I will continue to take with me everywhere. Finally I would like to thank Professor Ashton, for not only being a wonderful professor, but also someone a student can reach out to. Thank you for being understanding and genuinely caring about your students. I am super glad that I took this class. It did not feel like a class, however I still learned a lot. It made me realize some things about myself. This class also made me change my perspective on certain things around me, making me more open minded.

Sabrina Vahobova-Personal Reflection

Intro. to Women’s Studies was an interesting course to take this semester and really opened up a new world of learning for me. Prior to taking this course I wasn’t very much invested in the topics that we discussed in the class like gender myths and theories or feminism early on. Although I consider myself to be a woman, I was never one to have strong opinions based on the identities of women. I learned to continue unraveling myself from the things I have been taught, the typical cultural expectations of a woman being a wife and mother and doing things like taking care of the home. 

It was such a coincidence to see The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan once more, as I had previously read it for my senior English class back at my high school. It was one of my favorite readings from that class and I held admiration for my teacher too. It was such a nostalgic moment for me which I found to be really nice. The Feminine Mystique, when I read it back then, was like a catalyst for me and changed the way I saw the cultural and traditional aspects that I have been taught by my parents.  

Being a part of this class really changed my outlook on that and made me want to be a part of something more than someone who is like a bystander. The research project made me feel accomplished in helping others be informed on abortion rights, which is something that has been on the news lately. Hopefully what we presented could have inspired others to be part of a bigger cause and really keep up with the news on the reproductive rights of women in the U.S. Thank you professor Ashton for this wonderful class, I thoroughly enjoyed the conversations we had during class and the work we did.

Adrianna Gallina_ Personal Reflection

Adrianna Gallina

WGST 1001

Professor Ashton

20 December 2021

       Personal Reflection

If a student at Brooklyn College asked my opinion on whether they should take the course, ‘Intro to Women, Studies: Gender, Sex, and Power,’ whether it is to fulfill a pathway or out of general interest, I would highly recommend, especially with Professor Ashton. I have been trying to take this course since my freshmen year of college, as I am now a junior. My interest in the course grew after I had also taken a few anthropology courses as well. I would’ve never thought that when I would get a seat in the course that it would be completely remote. However, although continuing my education in these unprecedented times has transitioned my college experience to mainly virtual, it has taken over three semesters that I felt like I was in an actual class rather than a zoom screen with many tiny boxes representing my fellow peers. Professor Ashton is one of the most engaging, attentive, and genuine professors I have had so far in my college career. Her teaching style was even more imperative to aiding what I learned throughout the course, especially as it was an online course. Her structure of the course was organized and easily accessible through our syllabus, detailed class schedule and course website all which made the group project extremely pleasurable. Her teaching style and passion to share her knowledge, while also making it a point to connect it to modern times has contributed to what I gained and experienced in the course. Thus, shows why my experiences with the group project and public writing were ones I enjoyed and made me feel like I was taking an in-person course, even while in the comfort of my own home.

When I think about what I learned throughout the course I realized it is so much more than just a general understanding of an introduction to women studies within the U.S. I can confidently say that I have a profound understanding in intersectionality, double standards and analyzing the effects of having prenotions on gender. Although not a new term to my knowledge, I have learned the deep effects of intersectionality on women of color. My interest in intersectionality sparked throughout the semester especially as I was able to connect my knowledge of the concept to our course readings. Although, I enjoyed all the course material, the ones that struck the most interest were “Excerpt from Feminine Mystique,” “Black Feminist Thought in the Matrix of Domination,” and the video “Frameline Voices- Pay it No Mind: The Life and Times of Marsha Johnson.” My strong interest in these topics led me to incorporate them in my public writing post while also connecting them to the course materials.

The experience of writing in this course is one that has shaped the way I look at public writing. I dedicated a lot of time to working on my blog post, however, it was not a single act as I would not have gotten a high grade like I did if it wasn’t for Professor Ashton spending almost 45 minutes with me after class on two occasions to discuss the material. I learned the importance of focusing on the nontraditional way of writing and incorporating the concepts within one’s analysis. I was able to have the opportunity to expand on my knowledge and incorporate my own way of writing with the use of metaphors, repetition and tone while also utilizing a very nontraditional format. I have done public writing before, however in the typical structure and I feel this course’s use of public writing has broadened my horizon on how I go about it the next time it is introduced to me.

Although not based on the specific material I also learned through each class the importance of engagement with your peers and professor. Each class I looked forward to the five – minutes that were spent discussing important things going on in our lives, the rest of our courses, while always making sure that she asked how each of us were doing. For me, this has been extremely lacking within my college experience as I transitioned too online. I feel like this is extremely imperative and one of the great teaching/engagement methods of Professor Ashton, which made me want to actively participate in each class.

Furthermore, I also feel that this casual engagement method with one another helped with the final research group project, which is another party of the course that I enjoyed greatly. I have had other courses where group projects have been nothing but hardship, where you have no idea who the person is and are expected to do a semester worth of work in a project. However, this was not the case, I was in the group with the topic of Women’s Suffrage, which was nothing short of a pleasant time working with the other members. We all equally collaborated, shared the research and each were excited to add some creativity to the PowerPoint as well. Again, all of this can be attributed to Ms. Ashton and the way she formatted the class, as we also had designated research days in the course. As someone who has an interest in doing research papers, this project was one I enjoyed, as I learned more information about women’s suffrage that we soon found out was blocked out by media outlets and can be seen as the hidden story. I have not had one group project besides this one that has gone as smoothly, which I believe I also contributed to the Professor.

I can confidently say that within my last three virtual semesters at Brooklyn College, I have learned the most in ‘Introduction to Women Studies: Gender, Sex, and Power,’ with Professor Ashton. I find myself talking about the things I learned in the course and sharing my knowledge with others, especially pointing out when what they are saying is not sensible in relation to gender. This course for me personally has been more than just a pathway needing to be fulfilled, it was a three-hour engagement.

word count- 1017.

Personal Reflection – Karen Zheng

To be completely honest, I walked into this class with no knowledge at all in the field of equality and human rights, which I guess was also what brought me here in the first place. Being a science major, discussions of gender and stereotypes seemed so far away from my dwelling amongst microscopes, specimens, and Erlenmeyer flasks. It was outside of my comfort zone and I felt clueless on the subject, which made it all the more unappealing. However, I quickly came to realize that I was wrong. Gender expectations were not so far away as I had originally perceived and had all the more effect on my life, precisely because I was a female and in the STEM field. 

I really enjoyed our class discussions and the works we read that provided an insight into the injustice many faced in history and continue to face in modern times. Time seemed to fly during those discussions and before I knew it, class was already over. My favorite read by far was definitely “Women, Race, & Class” by Angela Davis because it really connected with me on a personal level. My entire life, I’ve been told by others what I needed to do as a female, and what I heard the most was being able to perform domestic duties so that someone would be willing to take me as their wife one day. Having an older brother with the same outdated thinking really didn’t help the situation. When you are told something continuously over and over again by everyone around you, even if you try to fight back, eventually you’ll still be overwhelmed by the voices. So I’m really thankful for this class, not only for the valuable knowledge that I gained but also for the voices that I heard. For knowing that I’m not the crazy one for fighting back. For knowing that I’m not wrong.

In terms of public writing and blog posts, this was my first “official” experience. I wrote blog posts for classes in the past but they were usually limited to 150 words, meaning it ended before we even started to delve into our main argument. They were also written and posted on Blackboard so it didn’t feel like a real blog, just another assignment. Writing blogs in this class was a wonderful experience; we got enough time to explore the topics we wanted to expand on, enough word count to actually write something, and freedom to choose our own prompts. I was beyond excited. I knew from my previous experiences of writing Blackboard posts that I was going to love it because blog posts not only give me the opportunity to express my opinions on a specific topic but also provide a safe space for sharing ideas and peer-reviewing. As for the topic of my post, I chose to write about Friedan’s “The Feminine Mystique” and Davis’s “Women, Race & Class”. Since all the voices I’ve heard in my life so far were along the lines of housework, I really wanted to write my own thoughts on the subject, even if it was just a small excerpt, as a way to fight back.

Honestly, I was dreading the final project, mostly because I really dislike public speaking. Despite my dread, what’s to come will eventually come so there’s no use stressing over it, until maybe the last ten minutes before it actually comes. My group quickly came to the conclusion that we wanted to do gender stereotypes, but it was such a large category that we had to narrow it down to gender stereotypes in professions of our choice. My pick was childcare workers because every time I go to a place involving child care, the staff there were mostly, if not all, women. And on a personal note, I was just really curious about the origins of daycare systems, like how did everything transition from mothers caring for their children to, well, other women taking care of children of other women. Wow, looking at it now and actually writing it out just makes it sound all the more messed up, which it is! Point is, the men seem pretty content with being out of the picture and that’s not how things should work. So I embarked on the journey of researching to find out exactly why women are always associated with the caregiver role. I had assumed that they would at least have a valid excuse along the lines of women being better caregivers and are backed up by science and experiments. Not quite. From what I found, the gender of childcare workers doesn’t really matter, which is good to know. On a side note, my group members were all really amazing and super knowledgeable, to the point where I was scared that I was gonna mess up and ruin everything. But, overall, I’m really happy with the way our presentation turned out.

Lastly, I’m really glad that I ended up registering for this class. It was a destresser for me amongst my other heavy-loaded courses with quizzes and homework every other day of the week. The class was so much fun and super empowering, and I no longer feel as clueless as I came in feeling. Thank you for the wonderful semester!

Jessica Anzurez – Final Reflection

I’ll be honest in saying that I took this course as one of the prereqs that I needed. Of course there were other courses to choose from but from the beginning the name of this course caught my attention. Now at the end of the semester I can confidently say that I’m very glad that I took this class, and that I’m coming out of it with more perspective. This class taught me how to look at things from all different types of views and it taught me how to listen. For me personally listening hasn’t always been the easiest. I tend to zone out or lose interest pretty quickly. During class, my classmates spoke in such a way  that really caught my attention. Every time someone spoke I noticed that they all talked with so much passion. They weren’t afraid to voice their opinions. Because of this I feel like I learned how to speak with confidence and that it’s okay if not everyone agrees with you. Taking this class showed me that women have to stick together, we are strong and together we can make change happen. Oftentimes I’ve seen how one woman puts another woman down. Instead of helping one other they try to always be better and act superior. This class taught me that there is another way. Together we can help each other grow! We have to support each other. We have enough with society putting labels on us, women have to fight for a better tomorrow. 

When I learned that we were going to be writing public blog posts I’m not going to deny that I wasn’t all for it. I had never done something like that so I wasn’t entirely comfortable when thinking that my classmates were going to be able to read my writing and then give me their opinions on it. I mean if we are speaking honestly, sometimes I don’t even want the professor to read my work. In the end it had to be done. Ultimately I ended up writing the post and got my feedback. Now at the end of the semester I can look back and say that I appreciate the experience. When people other than the professor give you feedback it helps you to see more clearly what you can improve on and what you did well. Sometimes if just one person reads it, they can miss certain things and if multiple people read your work then it’s more likely that you get more well rounded feedback. The same concept goes for when we had to give feedback to the other writers. It feels good to give someone your opinion on what you think could make their post even better. The one thing that I most liked about the blog posts was being able to read what other people thought about the readings. You read so many many different points of views and relate to some and learn from others. That’s what I would say I most enjoyed from the blog posts assignments. 

Group projects… Some people love them, and some really can’t stand them. As for me, I’ve always been more of a “work alone” person. When you work in a group you have a lot of responsibility. You can’t let your group down so you have to try and work hard to make sure everything comes out the way it was planned. I see it as a “please everyone project” with this group project. I felt that it wasn’t that difficult. I’m not sure if it was because the topic was interesting or if it was because my group members were so easy to work with. They really took everyone’s opinion into consideration and tried to insert everyone’s idea into the project. For this I am grateful and I would like to say that I think the end project was pretty great, and I think we worked nicely together without any problems. To this day I don’t believe I worked with a better group and I believe we discussed “women’s rights” in the best way we could.

Overall, this class was quite the experience for me. I came in not knowing what to expect. Before this I don’t think I had even heard of this class. Now I’m sure that if anyone ever asks me I’ll be sure to say “take it” this class was so empowering and each time we logged off I felt so great about myself. Knowing that there are other people out there that relate to the things you go through gives you such an unexplainable feeling. This class makes you feel heard and not alone. For this i want to say thank you to my classmates and thank you to Professor Ashton for such a wonderful experience and semester!! 🙂