Thursday, June 18, 2009

What is women's studies?

I definitely consider myself to be a feminist. Probably even more so after listening/reading the second module. It makes me extremely elated to know that women now have so many more opportunities to obtain a well-paying job when they graduate. It is also satisfying to know that women now have the opportunity to show the magnitude of their skills and the impetus that they have to achieve leadership positions.

I would define feminism as society’s process of obtaining equal opportunities for women and women. I would also define it as the integration of women’s modern cultural and intellectual characteristics into all aspects of society. It is the process of shaping and redefining society’s view of women as a whole.

This course appealed to me specifically because I knew it would try to expand on questions that I, myself, had been trying to answer for years. Questions such as: Why are women still viewed negatively in the media, when they are viewed positively in the work force? Why is society as a whole still not completely accepting of women and their modern-day roles in society? I wanted to find out these answers, and discover some of the root issues that cause these problems and similar problems in modern society.

I don’t have any fears or anxieties about this course. I do, however, have many expectations. I wanted to learn a lot about women’s image not only in the past, but in the present – where it is most important – as well. I want to learn about the different ways in which society is trying to make efforts into changing the image of a woman. I want to learn about the different ways in which the media affects a woman’s image.

I think a lot of negative stereotypes of feminism are that feminists are basically just emotionally-charged women that only complain about their roles in different aspects of society, and I think this is just not true.

I don’t think that equality between the sexes has been achieved. I certainly think that there has been a significant break through in achieving more rights for women, but overall I think there are still areas that need a lot of improvement. For example, there are still a lot of television programs that portray women in a negative light. There are some dramas on TV where women are seen as being sexually adventurous, and only interested in sex. Yet again, there are many TV programs that have started to accept the powerful aspects and characteristics of women (ie: Bones, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed, etc.). I think that some of these television shows attempt to portray women as being strong, individual characters, but in reality a male ends up coming to their rescue, much like in the television programs of the 1950s or earlier.

Outside of the media, I think that women are achieving equal rights in comparison to men. I honestly think the main issue that needs to be addressed is that of the media. There is a ridiculous amount of influence within the media that can easily alter the opinions of a society that comes from all different backgrounds. What one statement means to an upper or middle-class well-educated family can mean something completely different to a lower-class and not as well-educated family. There has to be a regulation of some sort stronger than the FCC that can balance the influence of the media on society.


  1. I think it's interesting that you say women are viewed positively in the workforce - I agree that sometimes they are, but I still think that a lot of times women in powerful positions in the workplace are seen as a threat rather than being valued for their contributions, and are often stereotyped as being "cold-hearted" or "soulless."
    Great point about the portrayal of women in television - I'm a little bit of an X-Files fan, and Scully ALWAYS plays the damsel-in-distress, but thank goodness Mulder is always there to come to her rescue! haha
    And your point about the importance of the media is so true - it's a big source of misconceptions and stereotypes.

  2. Great first post - you touch on a lot of different issues, and I hope you'll continue to come back and explore them in more detail as the course continues!