Sunday, April 29, 2012

Teaching: Women of the World

This term I am teaching a transnational feminisms course called, Women of the World. I cannot believe how fast the term is going. We are already moving into week 5.

We've had a great first month. The term started off with the basics of patriarchal theory. Next we talked specifically about transnational feminism and what it is (a global movement to create lasting gender equality) and what organizations are involved around the globe to make life easier/better for women. We have discussed the importance of water in women's lives--specifically women living in the Global South.  For these women their days are consumed with water: walking hours to retrieve it, returning home to boil it and hopefully kill the toxics and diseases out of it and repeating that process day in and day out. How different life would be for these women if they and their families had access to a clean water or well in their local villiage. They would have time to work and earn money for their families. The girls, usually in charge of water fetching, would have time to receive an education. Water is huge. This video is a great synopsis and highlights the important role that clean water plays in our lives:

Next we talked about the global politics of the body and how women's bodies are objectified the world over. And just yesterday we talked about the effects of colonialism and globalization on women's sexuality--namely pornography, sex tourism and sex trafficking--the worst that can be done to a human being. I showed this power film in class, The Day My God Died. You can stream it free here:

I really love my students this term, like I do every term. But what I particularly like about my class is it's small size. We are a group of 14 and together we can have some wonderfully in depth conversations and really get to know one another. It reminds me of my classes at Principia.


Pure Joy said...

Such wonderful posts, Jen!!! It is interesting you talk about water...I guess I have always taken it for granted - and my last roommate was from a 3rd world country and said that she gathered her water up until she was 15 when she moved to the US - now she is a Naturopathic doctor...totally amazing - it opened my eyes to the water factor. Thanks for opening so many people's eyes to it!!

Pure Joy said...

I love your posts, Jen!! So interesting about the water factor...I never had a clue about it until my last roommate...she was from a 3rd world country and spent her life gathering water up until she was 15 and moved to the US - now she is a Naturopathic doctor! Thanks for opening so many people's eyes to this incredible resource we take for granted and it's impact on our life paths!!