Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Promoting Women's Studies

Since we are on the subject of weird pictures that attempt to promote the idea of feminism, here is one more for you. This is one of a series of posters that our Department of Women's Studies created a while ago to promote itself on campus. As hard as I tried, I failed to get the point of these posters. I vaguely understand that they are based on the "Got milk?" commercial. I don't understand, however, how the image of a woman with a strained smile and a sperm-like substance on her mouth serves the goals of feminism. If this is supposed to be an attempt at humor, once again, it's extremely clumsy and unconvincing.

The very idea of having a department called Women's Studies seems very disturbing to me. The goal of feminism has always been to demonstrate that women are fully human and need to be treated as such. Why should we now create small academic ghettos for women? The existence of such a department seems to suggest that history, politics, literature, programming, geography, mathematics, etc. have nothing to do with women. Is that the message we want to send?

Naming this program "Department of Gender Studies" would make a lot more sense, in my opinion. At least, it wouldn't contribute to confirming the vision of women as the Other.


Anita said...

What do you think about African American/black studies? I have mixed feelings.

Clarissa said...

African Americans have something in common: a shared history of slavery in this country. Women are too big of a group to have anything in common except physiology.

el said...

Thought you would be interested:

Florida legislators want to rate public-school teachers half on their principal's opinion and half on student test scores.

I liked Doug Muder's analysis
and thought you may enjoy this RSA Animate - Drive's video he links to on motivation (when money reward motivates and when not, or even leads to the opposite result).

fairykarma said...

Look likes every other cheesy poster created by an academic department. I don't think the chemistry or sociology departments do their posters any better.

I've never attended a Women's studies class so I can't really comment on the material. Being the only guy in such a class, would be like being the only white Texan in a black history class. I have enough anxiety just waking up as it is.

I'm puzzled as to why an academic department would have an agenda as explosive as feminism at its forefront rather than simply studying and interpreting social and physical phenomena related to the female gender. Having an agenda puts one at risk for confirmation bias so that any data conflicting the agenda is ignored. I assume there is a reason it's called women's studies and not women's promotion.

Anonymous said...

I think that 'What Men Discuss except Sex' (or whatecer the title is) can be used as a textbook in the course of Men's Studies. I could lecture in that course - but not before I understand the difference between men and women except their physiology.


Clarissa said...

el: I disagree with the author of the blog you quoted completely. I think the idea proposed in Florida is good. I'm absolutely in favor of merit pay. We had a discussion of it on this blog a while ago:


Maybe I'm a bad teacher and a bad scholar or something, but I'm definitely motivated with a pay raise I'm expecting this year based on my stellar performance.