Intro to Women’s Studies

February 1, 2001

Texts: Annual Editions: Women·s Studies ’99-00 (AE); Richardson/Taylor/Whittier, Feminist Frontiers IV (R/T/W); Ruth, Issues in Feminism, 4th ed. (R); Handouts.

This course will introduce you to the discipline of Women’s Studies. We will employ a multicultural/interdisciplinary/experiential approach to address a number of questions: How does our culture define women and men? How do images of women and men in media shape our behavior? What roles do our ideas about gender play in the institutions of family, sexuality, health, work and politics? What can we learn about women, women·s lives, and a gendered culture through service learning, and how can we help to empower community members—both children and adults–as we learn? How do we conduct research in Women·s Studies? Strong emphasis will be placed on developing critical literacy skills and the ability to analyze power relations in a creative, safe and stimulating environment.

Tentative Schedule—we will discuss readings on the day they are listed:

Day 1 (M, 10/25): Introductions: One another, the course, Inn-Circle.

**Extended Learning Option: Panel on “Religious Diversity
& Homosexuality: Christian, Jewish & Muslim Perspectives,” 7-9
p.m., Harlan Dining Room.

Part I. Defining Women and Identity Acquisition

Day 2 (T, 10/26): R–“An Introduction to Women·s Studies” (pp. 1-19);
“Genesis” (pp. 201-203);
Defining R/T/W–Frye, “Oppression” (pp. 7-9);
Women/ Truth, “Ain·t I a Woman?” (p. 20);
The Handout–Rich, “Claiming an Education.”
**Morning Training at Inn-Circle. Leave 9:15 a.m. from Commons
Circle. There—write note introducing yourself to Inn-Circle staff and
Afternoon class in classroom.
One and a half-page typed letter due in afternoon class—”What
Helen needs to know about me in order to teach me well this block,
that I feel comfortable sharing.”

Day 3 (W, 10/27): R/T/W—Lorber, “Night to His Day” (pp. 33-47);
Gunn Allen, “Where I Come From” (pp. 18-22);
Gender Pogrebin, “The Secret Fear” (pp. 171-176);
Role Thorne, “Girls and Boys Together” (pp. 176-186);
Handout—Kimmel, “What Are Little Boys Made Of?”

Side by Side Journal due—first three days (see Requirements).

Day 4 (Th, 10/28): R—Burk and Shaw, “How the Entertainment Industry”(pp. 470-
Media and R/T/W—Richardson, “Gender Stereotyping” (pp. 115-122);
Gender Handouts—Dworkin, “Gynocide: Chinese Footbinding”;
Walker, “Dreads.”

**Morning service at Inn-Circle.
Afternoon class.

Day 5 (F, 10/29): R—Dinnerstein & Weiss, “Jane Fonda and Other Aging Bodies”
(pp. 267-275);
Body Image/ R/T/W—Galler, “The Myth of the Perfect Body” (pp. 342-3);
Women·s Thompson, “A Way Outa No Way: Eating Problems”
Self-Esteem (pp. 366-375);
Handouts—Richards, “Body Image: 3rd Wave Feminism·s Issue?”
Logwood, “Food for Our Souls.”

See films “Still Killing us Softly” and “Slim Hopes.”

Activism Project/Presentation/Performance Idea Due.

Part II. Ourselves, Our Bodies: Intimate Institutions

Day 6 (M, 11/1): R—Cataldi, “Reflections on ’Male Bashing·” (pp. 48-53);
“Men, Manhood, and the Dynamics of Patriarchy” (pp. 57-68);
Men/ Silverstein, “Is a Bad Dad?” (pp. 94-96);
Relationships “Women·s Personal Lives: The Effects of Sexism” (pp. 233-
With Men 258);
R/T/W—Poppvic, “The Game of the Name” (p. 265);
Tolman, “Doing Desire” (pp. 337-349);
Bernard and Schlaffer, “The Man in the Street” (pp. 395-

Individual meetings with Helen in College Hall 112—sign
up in class. Don·t forget!

Day 7 (T, 11/2): R—Lunneborg, “Abortion: A Positive Decision” (pp. 296-304);
R/T/W—Davis, “Outcast Mothers and Surrogates” (pp. 375-384);
Abortion/Birth AE—Pollitt, “Abortion in American History” (72-75);
Control Sanger, et al, “Future of Roe v. Wade” (pp. 116-120);
Matthewes-Green, “Beyond ’It·s a Baby·” (pp. 222-4).

See film “Roe v. Wade.”

**Morning service at Inn-Circle.
Afternoon class.

Day 8 (W, 11/3): R/T/W—Allen and Kivel, “Men Changing Men” (pp. 400-402);
Caputi and Russell, “Femicide” (pp. 421-426);
Sexual Assault/ Handout—Knapp, chapter from Drinking: A Love Story, entitled
Activism “Sex”;
Tannenbaum, ch.1 from Slut!, entitled “Insult of Insults.”

Sexual Assault Center discussion co-facilitators visit class;
**Extended Learning Option: Sexual Assault Activism at Cornell,
noon, Harlan Dining Room.

Side by Side Journal Due.

Day 9 (Th, 11/4): R—Unknown, “The Rape of Mr. Smith” (pp. 315-6);
R/T/W—Martin and Hummer, “Fraternities and Rape on Campus”
Rape/ (pp. 398-409).
Pornography/ AE—Golden, “Behind Closed Doors” (pp. 200-206).
Domestic Violence
See film “Not a Love Story.”

**Morning service at Inn-Circle.
Afternoon class.

Day 10 (F, 11/5): R—Pharr, “Homophobia: A Weapon of Sexism” (pp. 276);
R/T/W—Rich, “Compulsory Heterosexuality” (pp. 81-100);
Women Ehrenreich, “In Praise of Best Friends” (pp. 328-330);
With Brenner, “A Letter from Claudia Brenner” (pp. 422-3); Women AE—Kantrowitz, “Gay Families Come Out” (pp. 192-194).

See film “Florence and Robin.”

Short Paper/Project Due.
Day 11 (M, 11/8): R—”Female Genital Mutilation” (pp. 317-325);
Women·s R/T/W—Steinem, “If Men Could Menstruate” (pp. 358-359);
Health Fausto-Sterling, “Hormonal Hurricanes” (pp.353-66);
AE—Howes & Allina, “Women·s Health Movements” (pp.66-

See film, “Period Piece.”

Long Paper Idea Due.

**Extended Learning Requirement: Mon. night, 11/8, 7-9 p.m.,
special viewing of “Not for Ourselves Alone: The Story of
Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Susan B. Anthony, Ratt.

Part III. Women·s Experience in Social and Political Institutions

Day 12 (T, 11/9): R—Martin, “The Egg and the Sperm” (pp. 220-229);
Hunger/ “U.N. 4th World Conference on Women” (566-578).
Science/ AE–Miller, “Women·s Work” (pp. 128-133);
Ecofeminism R/T/W—Adams, “Ecofeminism” (pp. 512-514).

**Morning service at Inn-Circle.
Afternoon class.

**Extended Learning Option: Hunger Banquet, Harlan Dining
Room, 5-7 p.m. Who is hungry in the world?

Day 13 (W, 11/10): AE—Barnett & Rivers, “The Myth of the Miserable Working
Woman” (pp. 54-57);
Gendered Schor, “Separate and Unequal” (pp. 165-172);
Work/ Koutsogeorgopoulou, “Parental Leave: What and Where?”
Economics (pp. 195-199).

See film “Fast Food Women.”

Day 14 (Th, 11/11): R–Lorde, “The Transformation of Silence” (pp. 173-5);
R/T/W—Lorde, “The Master·s Tools” (pp. 26-27);
Feminism Handouts—”Why the Dialogues are Difficult”;
and Race Armour, ch. 1 of Deconstruction.

**Special time: Morning Service at Inn-Circle, 8:30-10:30 a.m.
**Extended Learning Requirement: Ellen Armour Convo,
11 a.m., Hedges.
** No Afternoon class.
Day 15 (F, 11/12): AE—Shaw, “Women and the Early Church” (pp. 84-88);
Handout—Schussler-Fiorenza, “In Memory of Her.”
Ritual and
Religion Catherine Quehl-Engel and Ellen Armour in class.
Side by Side Journal Due.

**Extended Learning Requirement: Conversation on
Feminism and Race at Cornell College, 12-1 p.m., Harlan
Dining Room.

Day 16 (M, 11/15): R/T/W—Lorde, “The Master·s Tools” (pp. 26-27);
AE—Christiansen, “Women and War” (pp. 131-140);
Politics/ Jaquette, “Women in Power” (pp. 141-147);
Power Jones, “Women of the Future” (pp. 30-33).

Day 17 (T, 11/16): Paper Presentations/Celebration at Inn-Circle (?). Paper is due
for re-write option by 2 p.m. in Volunteer Services Office.
Our Voices

Day 18 (W, 11/17): Papers Due by noon in Volunteer Services.

The weights for each of the areas outlined below are approximate. You must keep up with the reading and written work on a daily basis, and you must let me know your compelling reason if something is late. Above all, stay in touch with me; if you do, I’ll be understanding, if you don’t, no breaks.

1. Class/service/extended learning/activism participation: You must attend all class periods and all service placement sessions, and you must be on time. Your active participation is essential to the success of this course. Stretch yourself: If you·re a comfortable talker, work on your listening skills; if you·re a good listener, work on your speaking skills. You are responsible for (1) notifying me before or a.s.a.p. after an absence, and (2) apprising yourself of what went on in class. We will meet in the mornings from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on Mon., Wed., Fri.; do service work at Inn-Circle on Tues. and Thurs. a.m. from 9-11:30 a.m.; and meet for class on Tues. and Thurs. afternoons from 1-3 p.m. 20%

2. “Side By Side” journal, with one half (vertically) of your pages devoted to your analysis of your reading, and the other half devoted to observations from your service experience at Inn-Circle and perspectives from our class discussions and extended learning options. The journal is due three scheduled times over the course of the block—and an additional surprise time, so be sure you’re staying up to date and that you bring your entries to each class. This is not a diary or a place to record every detail of the day’s reading or service; you must analyze, process, sort, and interpret the evidence in order to get ready for discussion the next day and to reflect on where we’ve been. You should be asking regularly, “what perspective does the reading offer to our service at Inn-Circle and other experiential opportunities this block, and vice versa?” Journal entries should be about a page long per day; use a folder rather than a spiral bound notebook so that you can continue to write while I grade your submissions. 20%

3. Extended Learning Requirements enable you to learn from presentations and resources available on campus outside of our classroom. Those required sessions noted on the syllabus (“Not For Ourselves Alone” film, Ellen Armour convocation, “Feminism and Race” at Cornell discussion) are part of the class for everyone and should be reflected upon in a paragraph or in your journal entry for that day. Extended Learning Options (religious diversity panel, sexual assault activism, Clothesline Project) are encouraged but they are not mandatory. You may write a paragraph to submit and receive 5% extra credit for one extended learning option if you wish; please mark your submission accordingly so that I know it is extra. (Plus 5% if you do one for extra credit) 20%

4. Activism Project/Presentation/Performance: Women·s Studies is an academic field, but it also encompasses action based upon knowledge. As individuals or in pairs or small groups (no more than four) you will pick an issue to address on our campus that is related to our course; gather information through Internet research, extra articles in our texts, interviews; present, organize, perform it outside of class; and summarize your goals and results in writing or the appropriate format (illustrations, photos, etc.) by Friday, Nov. 5. The goals of this project are to encourage you to learn more about a topic; to act on what you·re learning; to broaden our audience and encourage more activism; and to go beyond the usual learning parameters. 20%

5. Final paper, 8-10 pages in length; presentation to be shared on Tues., Nov. 16. A research paper in your major field or area of academic interest, this paper must be grounded in careful investigation and treat themes relevant to women and gender; a multicultural perspective is highly desirable, and where possible it should relate to our work at Inn-Circle. The topic idea is due on Nov. 9; the paper is due on Tues., Nov. 16 for the re-write option; the final paper is due promptly at noon in the Office of Volunteer Services. 20%

Late policy—1/2 grade off for each day late, unless arranged otherwise with me. Cheating: See entry in The Compass.

School: Cornell College
Professor: Helen Damon-Moore
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