Course Reflection Women Studies essay

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From the police officers' perspective, it did not matter whether I was a member of the upper class, educated, affluent or even an important person in the community. The only identification that mattered was my skin color. On that day, I encountered all three types of oppression. The state institution on my group and I oppressed us by unlawfully labeling us. Interpersonal oppression because I started to hate the individuals in my neighborhood who committed the criminal activity, if one had actually been perpetrated. Finally, my internalized oppression as I became enraged with myself for being in that scenario and not keeping in mind the skills that had been trained to me to secure myself from a powerful team like the New York Cops Division.

Change must occur not at the governmental stage but at the societal stage. Policies designed by those who have the power are only trivial efforts to relieve issues and problems that dwell much further in the origins of what society if founded upon. The readings shed light onto the idea of social justice and feminism. Oftentimes, I find myself analyzing the primary level of interventions that certain organizations in the community take as being merely for the advantage of the ruling class. With the current knowledge, I have appreciated all aspects relating to feminism and social justice by attending to such issues and resolving them in the society. I comprehend the need for change, but I find myself anxious when considering the responsibility it entails. The process for me will be to assess, challenge, and query the status quo (Bell, 2010). At the end of this course, I will have a better knowledge on the topic of social justice work. As such, I will encourage all efforts on the need for our society to embrace social justice models. In addition, I will be able to communicate the factors why it would be more efficient compared to the oppression seen nowadays.

There are two themes emerging from the readings. First, gender equality has been obtained, and women no more have need of feminism and secondly, women of this generation are extremely consumerist and individualistic. Therefore, they tend to draw on feminism when they are likely to benefit from it. Several responses to both stands have been seen, often with the insistence, that modifying social dynamics and the several ways women are engaging with feminism are left out of the conversation. Obviously, something is missing because the readings continue to debate with, for example, the continuous publication of books on the subject, such as "Reclaiming the F Word: the New Feminist Movement" by Catherine Redfern and Kristin Aune.

Against this base, the readings theorize young women's relationships to feminism in terms of what it means to different females and how it guides their sense of self. In these articles on feminism, the authors found that attitudes toward feminism are formed by class and racial background, and by life experience. They expose that women's connections to feminism are highly complicated, impacted as they are by their social location, different areas they navigate, and individual struggles and interest. The technicalities of these connections are often ignored or covered up within popular culture in support of simpler characterizations of young females as either dismissive of the need for feminism or using it for individual gain. Utilizing the idea of care the self and the ideas of third-wave feminism to support the themes allows recognition of the dynamics of the society and discursive impacts as affecting the embodiment of subjectivity. Care of the self includes crucial attention of the situation and activities relating to disciplinary discourses. As such, third-wave feminism motivates recognition and acceptance of the contradictions and complexity inherent in women's lives (Darraj, 2010, pp. 89).

I have learned that the readings illustrate the involvement with feminism in their initiatives to negotiate prominent and intersecting discourses of sexuality, femininity, class, and race. While reading the articles, I felt that women's level of potential to deal with normative femininity does not include deliberate or conscious acts. Rather, through their constant self-questioning and knowledge of social standards, they make an effort to accomplish a positive connection with their bodies and a crucial involvement with the world. I found that women experienced a stressed negotiation with feminism against the perceived judgment they are exposed to at work, which pose as a risk to their financial freedom.

However, feminism serves a language and viable solutions to restrictions of sex and gender for some people. The readings do not expose women's lack of involvement with feminism. In fact, it is quite the contrary: feminism seriously informs women's choices to take up particular influences and practices how they negotiate their positions. Each woman battles with feminism: with what they think, it means, with how it shapes their lives, and with the experienced or perceived restrictions of its usefulness (Topolski, Boyd-Bowman & Ferguson, 2013, pp. 117). The findings of these readings illustrate the significance of taking an intersectional strategy to understanding women's issues and connections with feminism. The authors also highlight the need to decline simple readings of what feminism means for women. For feminist movements to keep thriving and growing there needs to be improved identification of ways that feminism is experienced: both as strengthening and as disciplining or restricting and many other things besides and in between.


Bell, L.A. (2010). "What is Social Justice?" NEW York: Routledge.

Collins, P. (2010). "Toward a New Vision: Race, Class, and Gender as Categories of Analysis and Connection" p.60-67.

Douglas, S. (2010). Enlightened Sexism: The Seductive Message that Feminism's Work Is Done. New York: Henry Holt and Company.

Shaw, S. And Lee, J. (2011). "Sex, Power, and Intimacy" Chapter 4: p.163-80. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins.

Darraj, S., M. (2010). "It's Not an Oxymoron: The Search for an Arab Feminism. Lanham, Md: Lexington Books.

Jones, D. (2010). Falling off the tightrope onto a bed of feathers.

Topolski, R., Boyd-Bowman, K. & Ferguson, H. (2013). Grapes of Wrath: Discrimination in the Produce Aisle. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, Vol. 3, No. 1, 2003, pp. 111 -- 119

Other sources

Winnie Byanyima on Women's Unpaid Care Work

Women and Work: Feminists in Solidarity with Domestic Worker[continue]

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