By Emma Weisberg
I have really enjoyed being in this class. It’s so funny, I joke that I fell in love with feminism like it was the best friend I always had, but I never noticed it until later in life. I always remember being extremely interested in gender issues. In high school, I wrote my junior thesis on the Lowell Mill Girls’ Ten Hour Movement; In another paper, I explored the 1950s housewife and connected her societal expectations to one of my favorite plays at the time, “Reasons to Be Pretty,” by Neil Labute. I was so intrigued by studying these women and connecting their lives to my own.
Sex, Gender, and Society has only increased my “love affair” with feminism (if you will). However, the best thing about this class is that it’s not a “women’s issue” class. It’s a class examining issues for every intersection: masculinity, hook up culture, family life, etc. We are taught to apply our knowledge of social construction of sex, gender, and so on and discover how these notions impact our daily lives.
One of the units that has made the greatest impact on me is the hook up culture unit. I joke to my friends that if I ever enjoyed a Cro dance (not likely), I most definitely cannot enjoy it now. Now, I observe. I watch as men stand on the side. I watch as women dance in the center, and perhaps a man comes up to dance from behind her. I listen as a group of women joke they need to get drunker before going in to dance. All of this, I absorb and think, “Kimmel and Ronen and etc were right. They were right on point.”
Also, I want to say that I’ll miss our class time more than anything else. I love the fact that we were seated in a circle, ready to converse and dig deeper into the material with personal examples and references to pop culture/politics. I loved when we would watch a clip and then simply talk about it. I think that’s the time when I acquire the most knowledge: going past the “typical” structure of classroom learning and instead applying the readings to observations about the real world.
Thank you for a wonderful semester. It has been such a pleasure.