After taking my first sociology course and Psychology of Women lest semester, I think this course was an excellent follow-up. In Psychology of Women we discussed many of the issues that women face, but this course allowed me to analyze these issues and further understand the ways in which they are really a product of our society. I was never afraid of the term feminism, as I think many people are, but until this year I don’t think I thought too much about how gender is pushed on us. I knew that there were certain pressures on men and women when it came to careers and parenting, but I never thought about how significant it was. Too often women in our culture we paint women as victims, but this class really encouraged me to look at this victimization and change the way I thought about women. Women aren’t powerless. Women are powerful, but because of societal pressures and ideals about masculinity and femininity they are painted as weak. The issues we discussed in class, along with our project, changed the way I take in information about these kinds of things. Now when I watch the news or shows on tv I am more aware of the gendered messages they are sending and I like to think that I am less susceptible to them as a result of this course and sociology in general.
To me, one of the most eye opening aspects of this course was the section on media. I think we all spend so much time consuming it without really being aware of what we are seeing. The fact that it is so controlled and constructed really escaped me, as I think it does most people. The fact that we are so unaware of it is what makes it so dangerous. When we really look at the issues focused on in the news or what happens on “reality” tv it’s disturbing. It definitely plays a very large role in the way that we view women and men and, as we read in the articles, it completely constructs the way that we see the world.
I really enjoyed hearing about all of the projects that people did in relation to this class. One thing I started to notice last semester is that sociology really changes the way that you look at everything. As a psych major I have been learning about how aspects of our lives affect individuals, but it is so different to really take a step back and see how our society really influences all of it. I think everyone’s projects really reflected the knowledge they have acquired through this class. It seems clear to me that we are all more aware of the gendered messages we receive through many aspects of our society and can acknowledge the effect that it has on women and men.