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WMST 1000- Midterm Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam ( 123 pages long!)


Department
Women's Studies
Course Code
WMST 1000
Professor
Amy Butchart
Study Guide
Midterm

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U of G
WMST 1000
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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Study Questions
Unit 1
1. What is oe studies? What is the ipotae of oes studies oth iside ad outside the
academy?
a. Academic courses in soc., hist., lit., and psych., that focuses on the roles, experiences,
and achievements of women in society
b. The importance of WMST inside and outside the classroom is understanding feminist
curiosity, which is about embracing and encouraging the questioning of social
relationships that exist between men and women from this we question our social
position (gender roles and the relationships that exist between women and men).
Feminist pedagogy is the style of teaching and learning embraced in Women's Studies.
This style of teaching is one that itself has been developed to embody feminist goals and
values. This means trying to include the perspectives of those that have been
marginalized in traditional academic disciplines, encouraging the development of
academic-activist relationships, critiquing all forms of silencing, domination and
inequality, and transforming the traditional teacher-student relationship.
2. Why have educationally systems traditionally been limiting rather than empowering places for
women?
a. We are taught to think that an education is going to "liberate us", ensure we have the
requisite knowledge to be able to pursue whatever career we want, and ensure we have
the resources necessary to become successful members of our communities. Kelly et al.
point to three ways women have been marginalized in the education system. The first is
the push to "female" careers. Women are too often encouraged to pursue occupations
that have traditionally been associated with women rather than those that have
traditionally been associated with men. Most notably women have not been
encouraged to pursue careers in thee fields of science, technology, engineering and
math (the so-called STEM disciplines). This is in part because of gendered expectations
of where women and men's natural abilities lie, but it is also because once women get
to high school, or university, they often encounter primarily male teachers or
professors. Secondly, women are often constructed as passive and emotional. Teachers,
parents, media, and others in positions of authority, reinforce stereotypes that women
are by nature passive and emotional rather than inquisitive and assertive. Thirdly, in the
education system men tend to occupy positions of authority. Men typically are the ones
in higher-level administrative roles. This means that they have had the authority to
define what counts as "valid areas of inquiry" and "legitimate methods for knowledge
seeking". In other words, because of the gender imbalance that we find when it comes
to those who have the most power when it comes to structuring the education system,
women, women's experiences, and work by those working in Women's Studies have not
been adequately brought into the mainstream education system and curricula. "In sum,
the dominant message is that human experience equals male experience. Sometimes
this message is overt, but it is sometimes so subtle and deeply embedded in the
educational experience that we are not aware of it." (Kelly et al, p. 9) All three of these
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factors work together to keep women's voices on the margins of the education system,
perpetuating the "dominant message".
3. What does ‘ih ea  lai a eduatio? What is at stake i ot laiig it?
a. Rich suggests that we should think about what a university education really means. We
should think of a university education as more than just attending classes where
information is absorbed, then memorized, and then reproduced in tests or papers
where the answer written is the one that one thinks their professor wants to hear (or
read). She wants us to rethink the teacher-student relationship in ways that allow us to
move away from this kind of educational paradigm. Her view is that we should think of
the student-teacher relationship as a contract. The teacher is obligated to respect the
student's abilities, taking her ideas and abilities seriously. The student is obligated to
take responsibility for her own learning. The student must take an active role in what
happens in the classroom, because it is the student that has the most at stake when it
comes to what is learned and how it is learned. Rich makes the (very inspiring!) point
this way: "You cannot think of yourselves as being here to receive an education; you will
do much better to think of yourselves as being here to claim one."(p. 19) This is your
education, and so you should be an active part of it.
b. Women have traditionally been omitted or erased from the classroom: historically they
were physically erased, but more recently they've been omitted or marginalized from a
much of university curricula. Their voices and experiences have not been included.
4. What does feminism mean today? What are some of the reasons that women do not want to be
associated with feminism?
a. The term feminism refers to the belief that women have been historically subordinate
to men as well as to the commitment to working for freedom for women in all aspects
of social life.
b. The range of stereotypes and negative cultural representations associated with
feminists. They have been characterized as "man hating", "perpetuating the view that all
men are evil", "working to have women dominate men", etc.
5. What are the key issues that characterized each of the three feminist movements?
a. First Wave: runs from the late 18 C to the 1930s, and is largely concerned with better
education for women, and political representation for women (in the form of pro-
women representatives in politics, and eventually the vote for womeni.e. women's
suffrage).
b. Second Wave: runs from the 1960s to early 1980s, and it is concerned with advancing
the social and legal status of women. During the second wave, women fought for
further political representation and a change to existing patriarchal laws (especially
regarding divorce, domestic violence, and abortion). But the second wave also had a
socio-cultural purpose: to improve the representation of women in the media, to
advance women's status in the workplace, and to question the assumption that women
should prize marriage and raising children over their educations and careers.
c. Third Wave: runs from the late 1980s (but mostly the 90s) to the present. Third wave
feminists focus on other marginalized identities. Third wave feminists are concerned
with earlier feminist assumptions about what sorts of women are represented by
feminist politics, arguing that earlier feminists forgot to talk about race, class, age, and
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