Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Teaching the Conflicts: (Re)Engaging Students with Feminism in a Postfeminist World- Love and Helmbrecht (Quotes)

As I post my final blog I am with Merylda on this it is bittersweet. I thought that we should have finished with Avyazian and her article on becoming an ally. As I read, “Teaching the Conflicts: (Re)Engaging Students with Feminism in a Postfeminist World,” by Love and Helmbrecht I understood why this piece was a nice closer. It really brought us full circle back to the feminism and its effect on the youth. The article really focused on how we can help to teach feminism in the classroom. I found it to be very enlightening to see that the people in the woman study classes they were talking about in the article were doing the same kinds of thinking and learning we are doing in our own classroom. I figured I would sum up a few quotes they used to really help bring this idea of feminism full circle.

“Although there never has and never will be a monolithic definition of the term “feminism,” we subscribe to Judith Butler’s simple definition: “Feminism is about the social transformation of gender relations” (204). In other words, feminism should be more than just an identity label. It must do. It must signify action” (44).

Love and Helmbrecht are right, Feminism is an action. We cannot really describe it we just have to do it. We could all sit around and say we are feminist; men, women, everybody, but unless we act on these thoughts and feelings then Feminism will no longer be a move forward. It will remain a distant memory of the past and of all the work people have done to get gender equality to where it is today. It is a transformation and transformations take time; these changes will not happen overnight.  If we stick to this definition and strive to be active instead of passive we can keep this definition alive.

I found a Yoube video that speaks to the idea of people who view themselves as feminist and those who don’t. From discussions in class and in the video I can see that it is the younger people who do not really call themselves feminist. They feel as though it has a negative connotation. We need to change this. We need to educate people that feminist are people who care about gender equality. Hopfully through what Love and Helmbrecht were talking about in their article we can teach women AND men that being a feminist is a good thing for everyone. 

“But the personal cannot remain personal if social change is the goal” (46).

We all love to help the good fight. We like to call ourselves activist on society and do what we as individuals can do to help a great cause. Unfortunately to create a sense of social change we need to ban together and realize we cannot fight this fight alone. To relate it to homosexuality people we remain closeted homosexuals are not helping the fight to show people that this is not just something people choose. The person may donate to HIV and AID organizations, and tell a few close friends but nothing more. That is not helping to create social change. They need to let go of the personal and claim themselves for who they truly are. Only then can they help the gay community to fight for social change. Being an ally means putting ourselves out there for the world to see, it may be scary but for social change to take place we need to take risks.

”And if we lose our drive for social change, then feminism is truly over” (56).

That is what I think this class really helps to change. If colleges still have people to teach women studies and gender studies then I think that the world will keep becoming a better place. This class really focuses on the problems and how to fix them. How we can do so little but help so much. Feminism can never be over if taught correctly to the next generation. Through thoroughly taught pedagogy in the classroom we can never stop think about feminism in our everyday lives. We learn so many things that help us, to not only help ourselves but to help teach others. We are taught to question why, what are the steps to becoming an ally, and even that we have to be true to what we are and what we believe. The idea as we are always told in class is not to “conform” us to be feminist or any other kind of social activist, but how can we sit back and hear about the people fighting for these things and not take a stand and fight the good fight as well. We all want to change the world it just takes some good pedagogy, and the right tools to teach it.

As our last class approaches I feel like we have covered a lot of topics and have been given the tools, even if they are a little hard to handle in such a short amount of time. I guess we can really talk about the important of a women studies course. How it has changed us in such a short amount of time? Do we see the world through a different lens then we did before? I really enjoyed my time in this class I got to learn a lot from many different people; scholars, classmates, and even myself. I have learned from myself that I can “BE THE CHANGE.”


  1. Nice choice of quotes!! I liked ending the class with this reading but I am a bit sad it's over :(

  2. I kind of got a crack out of that video chris good job!