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.