20 December, 2021
I do not really remember what my expectations were for this class before the semester started but whatever they were, we exceeded it. Being a woman myself I thought what can I possibly learn from a class about Women Gender Studies… This class has actually introduced so many new points of views to me. This class was well put together from syllabus, to professor, to even the readings. In many of my other classes you could hear a pin drop when a professor asked a question or put us in small groups. That is the complete opposite experience I got from WGST 1001. There was never a moment of silence in this class! Many times we would plan to leave class a little early but never actually did it because we could not cut the discussion short! That is something many professors aim to have in their classes but sometimes are not as fortunate to get.
With class being almost 3 hours long you may ask, well what did we talk about for all that time? The class readings were not only informational but very relatable. We would discuss the readings and then be able to relate it to our actual lives and then speaking on that would open a window for another classmate to talk about their experience and so on. This class seemed to be a safe place for not only me but my classmates as well. Most classes you take in college you will never apply to life outside the classroom but with so many people that were able to relate to the readings in this class, you know that this class is important to take. One course topic that stuck with me is Marsha P. Johnson. I had never heard of Marsha P. Johnson prior to this class but once I started watching the STAR interview and was so invested. I was rooting for her so much that 5 minutes into the video I googled her to see where she was at in life and broke my own heart to see she had passed. To say the least, I watched the rest of the video holding back tears. Trans rights was something we spoke frequently about in class. Many other topics we touched on I thought I was an expect on but the readings we did allowed me to dig deeper for example “Gender and Genitals: Constructs of Sex and Gender” by Hubbard. This reading was more towards the beginning of the semester and talked a lot about sex vs gender and how gender was a social construct. This topic definitely tied into my research project of Gender Stereotypes 2. Hubbard is a great author along with Angela Davis! Judith Butler was a challenge and hard to follow but the video we watched helped a lot to understand her view point.
As mentioned before my topic for the group research project was Gender Stereotypes 2. From my experience the group project was actually a roller coaster. My group and I all agreed on the basics of what we wanted to present but when it came down to the actual presentation there was a lack of communication and it was frustrating. I overall was not pleased with the presentation being honest. Some of my group members were not the fastest repliers and did not do their slides with the format and font we used already. I felt like some of the slides were almost in essay form and not in presentation form and every time I brought up a suggestion no one would really answer. I often found myself going on to the slides and fixing other people’s work to correct the format, font, and spelling/grammar. I even had to fix the work cited multiple times and remind my group to actually cite and not post links. This made me feel like I put in more effort than others. My part of the presentation was Marriage and Family. I introduced the stereotypes on a graph and then further explained on the following slides. I presented my stereotypes with statistics, pictures, and videos. I really wish the video I had uploaded would have been able to load because I felt it would have brought some humor to our presentation. Finding out the statistics for the stereotypes we already knew was actually pretty interesting. Although I was not overall very pleased with the presentation it did come out better than I was expecting. One thing I learned from this project was patience and how being a team player sometimes means helping your team out besides your part. On the other hand I would love to compliment everyone else’s presentation because I felt every single one was informational and interesting. Sometimes with an online class it is easy to lose focus but I was so attentive while everyone was presenting. I loved seeing the other Gender Stereotypes group presentation, I was worried our projects would have repeating information but it was fun to see how we presented on opposite spectrums under the same umbrella.
My public writing in the blog post was titled Misogynistic Music Industry. My thought process behind this topic was I wanted to do something different. I saw many posts on gender roles for women and felt like everyone was repeating the same things and the same quotes from Angela Davis’s book. I would have loved to see some more original ideas throughout the blog posts but I do realize how Gender roles in a house or marriage setting was the easiest to quote from the readings we have done. I do like the idea of the blog post because I like reading everyone elses work and seeing their thought process. I liked getting comments on what I should improve. I feel like constructed criticism is needed to advance in anything. I even enjoyed helping others improve their work. I focused on the music industry because gender plays a big role on how artists present their music.
What a thoughtful and heartfelt reflection; truly a pleasure to read. I’m so tickled that in your first sentence, as I read it, you credit everyone in the class with exceeding your expectations. That we all did it together, which I would agree with. And I love how you describe the vibrancy of our class discussions.
I teared up a little bit with how warmly you wrote about Marsha P Johnson, who is one of my personal heroic figures. I love this: “I was rooting for her so much that five minutes into the video I googled her to see where she was at in life and broke my own heart to see she had passed.”
And I appreciate your candor about the group project experience. They’re not always easy and the feelings you describe are ones that I have had in groups at different times myself. Well I don’t wanna take away from that, you should know that what you all presented together, it was more cohesive and informative than I think you experienced it as. (Which is also something it’s very natural to feel as a presenter!)
Take good care, and keep in touch.