Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What is Women's Studies?

Well to be honest, I'm still not completely sure that we can define exactly what Women's Studies is. It's not like Physics, history, or even English. It can't be broken down into digestible bits, which can be repeated, calculated, and recycled. Women's Studies is ephemeral, and with each new generation the content of Women's Studies changes. For example, they way the world looked at women in the 1800's is very different from the way the world viewed women in the 1950's. Women's Studies tries to examine the "experiences that recognize women's achievements, and addresses women's status in society." In other words, Women's Studies explores what women do, and have done. Each new achivemnt adds another faset to the genre of Women's Studies. If we're trying to understand women of the 19th century we would study aspects like, clothing, traditions, and family, but if we were trying to study women in the 21st century we'd have to study different aspects of life like the influence of technology, and the media on women's life. In order to learn about women, we need to explore the environments women lived or live in. Women's Studies is not about feminism and the "wrongs of men." It really is the study of women. Sure feminism is a big part of Women's Studies, and so are the oppressive male figures of the past and present, but the point that I am trying to make is that Women's Studies is not a judgment or a venting place for radical feminists. It is simply the study of women and their accomplishments.

1 comment:

  1. This is a nice, nuanced post to reflect the diversity of thought within women's studies, as well as the complexity of women's lives. It's important to keep the idea of diversity in mind as we continue in the semester - it's a big, big, big, big deal!