Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Hey folks,

Eva and I totally forgot to announce today that there are no "presentation on Final Exam Project" for tomorrow. Given the structure of the exam, there is really nothing to present, so you don't need to be prepared to share anything. Though do come with questions, and we are happy to give some time at the beginning of class to answer them.

Sorry for any confusion!

LB :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Occupy Events for MLK Day

Just FYI, folks... a post from OCCUPY PROVIDENCE
Monday, January 16th: Martin Luther King Day!

*2:00PM-Rally at the State House: the for profit corporate charter school "Achievement First" is trying to snatch public money from Providence schools, & on January 19, the Board of Regents will decide whether or not to allow their venture to proceed.

*5:00PM-Facilitation Working Group Meeting: (131 Washington (2nd Fl - AS220 Merchantile Block)

*6:00PM-General Assembly (Potentially at Mathewson St. Chapel / Potentially at 131 Washington (2nd Fl - AS220 Merchantile Block)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Economic (in)Justice

We have talked in class about an intersectional analysis of the world, where we hone our critical lenses across issues of gender, race, sexuality, social class, ability and other like categories. As you think about issues of social class and economic injustice, why do you think that feminists would take these issues up? What makes money and class a "feminist issue?"

I want to raise a few issues for you to think about in this regard...

1) Jonathan Kozol is a well known writer who talks about issues of economic injustice. (You can find selections of his work on my electronic reserves, though they are not part of the assigned reading for this class.) Like Johnson, he looks at how systems are designed weapons that keep poor people in their place because it locks people out of opportunities and into low paying jobs without mobility. When offered few avenues for mobility, people get trapped by a system that claims to help them. Kozol would call this "class warfare."

2) That term — "class warfare" — is getting lots of airtime in the news and public discourse right now. As we debate the current state of our economy, the unemployment rates, the deficit, the tax code, we hear each side of the political argument staking their claims.
  • President Obama, in a speech on Monday 9/19/11, explained, "It is not class warfare... it is math." Obama's Speech defined his agenda for creating policy that reflects his committment to equity and tax reform.
  • Warren Buffet suggest that we are in a state of "class warfare" but in a statement last spring he noted, "“There’s class warfare, all right,” Mr. Buffett said, “but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.
  • Elizabeth Warren tries to redefine "class warfare" as well. "There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody..."
3) So how does public policy create and reproduce the state of our lives? See these charts below that reflect how our national goods get divided among our society. Play with the graph and try to understand what it means for our economy and our lives.

Would love to hear your comments on any or all of this... remember that my job is to help you understand the arguments. Your job is to then form an opinion and a position about where YOU stand on this issues and how they will inform the kind of personal reflections you bring to the world!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Assignments for Next Week

Thanks for all of your good work this week.
I am sure that your brain is full after an intense week!!

Here are the assignments for next week to help keep you organized:

1) Per the syllabus, read and post on your blog by Sunday night at midnight.

Assignment: Talking Points #5: Spend an hour exploring the websites and The Center for Working Class Studies ( Blog about what you found. Why/how is economic inequity a feminist issue? (NOTE: you do not need to use one of the format options for this blog post -- just answer the question above.)

2) Read my blog post for the week on Economic Injustice and leave me a comment by Monday night at midnight.

3) Read everyone's blog posts for the week and leave each person a comment by Monday night at midnight. (We strongly encourage you to comment back to the people who leave you comments -- you can do this in a new post or by leaving a comment on your own blog!)

4) Complete the reading and assignment for Wednesday's class and post to your blog by Tuesday night at midnight.

Readings: Ayvazian, “Interrupting the Cycle of Oppression;” visit Occupy websites online to explore what the Occupy movement is about.

Assignment: Talking Points #6 on Ayvazian and Occupy websites (posted to your blog by 1/17 @ midnight)

NOTE: We will be passing out the Final Exam in class.

5) Complete the reading and assignment for Thursday's class and post to your blog by Wednesday night at midnight.

Readings: Love and Helmbrecht, “Teaching the Conflicts”

Assignment: Talking Points #7 on Love & Helmbrecht (posted to your blog by 1/18 @ midnight)

Assignment: Prepare 2-4 minute Presentation on Final Exam Project (we will talk about this after we pass out the exam on Wednesday)

NOTE: Post on Occupy Experience is due Monday, January 23.

NOTE: Final Exam is due on Monday, January 23.

Friday, January 6, 2012

On Orenstein and Rich for Wed and Thur

Just a few notes for your other readings this week...

The Orenstein reading, from Cinderella Ate My Daughter, is in the electronic reserves. But also check out this article that just ran in the NY Times a week or so ago. As you write about these chapters and article using one of the blog post formats, i am curious to hear about what you make of all of this. Is this information new to you? Have you thought about the 'pinkification' of girl culture before?

For Thursday, you are reading a very famous article by Adrienne Rich called "Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence." It is a very difficult text so don't get frustrated when you read. My advice to you first to google the author and the text to see if you can get an overview before you start reading. This will help you label the file folder in your brain. Then, as you read, stay focused on trying to understand what Rich means when she says that heterosexuality is "compulsory" in our culture. Then blog about it (and include lots of links if you found sites that helped you understand her point!)


Reading groups for Monday (1/9/12)

Per the syllabus, there are four readings for Monday's class, but each one of you is only responsible for ONE of them. Please read your piece very carefully, take lots of detailed notes and post on your blog about it (using one of the Talking Points formats listed in your syllabus).

When we meet in class you will meet with your group and discuss the piece — as students. As you work through the main ideas and nuances of the piece, you will prepare to talk to people in the other groups — as teachers. As experts on your text, you will take responsibility for teaching the rest of us about your article so that by the end of our class, everyone will have learned about all four texts. (This teaching and learning technique is called a "jigsaw.")

Yamato, "Something about the subject..."

Smith, "Racism and Women's Studies"

Anzaldua, "La Concienza de la Mestiza"

Lorde, "The Master's Tools..."

Resources from class discussion

Here are a few interesting things that I mentioned in class on Thursday...

Check them out!!

The Obama Effect: A study finds that the presidency of Barack Obama has a direct impact on the standardized test score of Black students

Racism 2.0: According to social critic, Tim Wise, the experience of racism of 2011 is not the same as it was in years prior. In his book, pictured to the left, he talks about the new racial realities in America since the election of Barack Obama. Check out the video below for more on Racism 2.0.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Welcome to Gender and Society!

Welcome to this Women's Studies blogging adventure!

On the first day of class, you will set up your own blog to use this month for all of your Talking Points assignments, and to keep track of your thoughts about any of the issues we cover.

A blog is your very own, personal online journal. It is public, in that I and your classmates can read it and comment on it, but it is your space and you can control most everything about it.

To start your own blog, you will go to:

The big orange box at the top right of the page will direct you to creating your own blog on a site called Follow the instructions to open up a free account. Don't forget your Username and Password!! You will need them to login everytime. (If you already have a gmail/google account, then you don't need to create a new one.)

As you fill in the info, you will be asked to name your blog. This title will appear at the top of your blog. (Ours is called "WMST 200 January 2012")

Every blog has its own URL, or web address.

This will be the web address associated with your site. you can call it anything you like. Be clever or simple (or both) -- it is up to you.

You will also need to choose a design template for your blog. Look through the options listed and see what appeals to you. You can change this later and can even find fun, creative templates at sites like PYZAM.

Once you have the account set up, you can start posting. A “post” is an entry on your blog. (For clarification, you have one blog, but many posts). Give the post a title and then compose as you would any journal entry. When you are finished, hit the button at the bottom that says Publish Post. It will not appear on your blog until you publish it. You can always go back and edit old posts and create new ones.

Your First Post:
Your first post should be a short introduction to you: who are you, what you did over break, why you are taking this class, what do you do when you are not in class, etc. (Just a short paragraph — no big deal).

When you are done creating your site and posting your first entry, please come back to this blog and post a comment at the end of our first post (scroll down) that includes your blog address so that we can post it in the blog list to the right.

Some Tips and Helpful Hints:
  • Once you are in your blog, look at the top right corner of the screen. If you click on the word DESIGN, you will be able to make design changes, create new posts, edit old posts, etc. (You can only do this if you are logged in to your blog.)
  • Once you are in the DESIGN screen, you can do all kinds of things to make your blog a bit more interesting. Change your fonts and colors, edit a post, change your settings. See the tabs at the top of the screen for all kinds of options.
  • Poke around online and make a list of websites related to education, diversity, social justice or anything else relevant and post them on your blog. You can add all kinds of things by ADDING A GADGET from your Design Screen.
  • Just do the best you can with this. If you get stuck, don't fret... we are happy to help you anytime as you work on getting this started. Send an email, come see us before or after class, ask a peer for help. And remember: you can't break it. It is just a blog. Everything can be changed if need be!
Good luck!!

Dr. Bogad and Eva