Response to Feminism in the mind of a college student

I’m currently taking a First-Year-Seminar class, focused on “discussing classics”. In this class, we read and discuss different reading every class, usually about different philosophies, news, historical events, etc. Tuesday, our readings to discuss were geared towards feminism. Before every class, we must have the texts read and discussion questions ready to discuss. I was disappointed, but not surprised, with what the questions were and how the conversation went. The two readings were “A Woman’s Philosophy of Woman” by Jenny d’Hericourt and “Women and Fiction” by Virginia Woolf. To summarize, the first reading is discussing how men and women have their differences, but how you perceive them is what influence it has in the world. It focuses on how women should be encouraged to take more authoritative roles in science, politics, etc. and have different qualities and skills to offer in those positions. In the second reading, to condense into one sentence, men and women have different values and qualities which produce different works, in this case it is poetry, criticism, and history. In our group of nine, there are seven guys and two girls, so the conversation was going to be a little biased. It was just surprising to see how many people still do not see faults in their ways or the general way of society. One question that stuck out to me was, “why do some women just naturally assume that all men hold some stereotypical viewpoint on women?” This was kind of frustrating to listen to, because the guys in our group were basically saying that it is all in women’s’ heads and women stretch to be more valuable than men. This is not the case, as generally, these stereotypes are strongly rooted in society and affect women in many aspects, such as jobs, sexual violence, physical abilities, family roles, etc. Another area of feminism we discussed was whether the increase of women going into the workforce rather than staying at home with the kids was taking away from the ‘importance of being a mother’. As expected, most of the discussion was sexist and degrading-with a majority of the guys in the group implying that all women are good for is reproducing. You would think with so many women making a difference in the world that the idea that being mothers is all women are good for would change.

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