Fwd: Women's Studies

Linda Purrington (lpurring@earthlink.net)
Fri, 21 Aug 1998 13:48:06 -0700

This was such a good comment, I thought you might be interested:

My experience of a Women's Studies course taught by Julia Sudbury,
Ph.D. at U.C. Berkeley, was beyond feminism, and very humbling for
white, American women. It was an opportunity to discover the ways
women struggle globally, in grass roots efforts and make tremendous
strides, not always based on the measures that we use for determining
success, but even more valiant ones.

The people in power may not be so much worried about emerging feminists
per se, but do not want young women learning about the imperialist
policies that have destroyed and continue to impede the infrastructure
on other continents so that the burden of living, even making sure their
families have water to drink, falls to women. They may not want young
women learning that women's grass roots efforts, sometimes more
effective than voting, have brought down dictatorships, linked countries
in issues of clean water and labor rights. These issues are not
typically taught in high schools. Some of the women in my classes had
very little background in what it took for them to be at the University
in the first place and very little information about women's successes
in other countries.

These classes are far beyond teaching about some of the things we
worry so mightily over in the U.S. Cutting these classes and these
departments is far more sinister than issues of women going into nice
U.S. companies, in nice suits, worrying about equality in the workplace,
unless of course that turns out to be a route to a position to affect
global economic change. These are not "just" classes about women and
women's issues. They are about economics, social policy, labor policy,
globalization, political science, but finally from the perspective of
those who we all know bear the brunt of the work on the planet.

Unfortunately, the vote against affirmative action will probably affect
the numbers of students who do enroll in these classes. Expect to see
more flack about them and please add your voice to their
continuation as part of University curriculum.

Jacqueline Janssen <jacjo@wenet.net>

-------------Forwarded, by permission of the author,
by Linda Purrington

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