By: Matthias Baudinet
Last semester during registration time, I signed up to take a Sociology/Anthropology class that was labeled ‘Women’s Studies.’ Women’s studies was never one of my strong suits because I was not particularly interested in the topic. However, when I saw that class being offered on MYGMC, I did not hesitate to register for it. I knew deep down that I could only benefit from taking such a class. I did not grow up in the most liberal family, so I considered myself a little ignorant in the subject.
Of course, I was a little nervous on the first day of class. As I entered the room, I saw an entire room of women. There were only 4 men in the class. This made me thought that the slightest ‘wrong’ statement would result in 30 pairs of eyes staring me down in the middle of class. Though I do tend to have some conservative ideas, I found that the class was not as ‘radical’ as I imagined. The course is very history oriented, which being a history major, allowed me to develop a strong interest in the class and to start doing further independent research in the history of women’s studies.
As the semester carried on, I noticed that the class started to separate into different groups. Some had stronger feelings than others on certain topics. Some were very unhappy with the current ‘world’ system, some acknowledge the progress of the women’s movement and that we should be thankful to live in a Western society, where we have rights that people in developing countries can only dream of. Others like myself, sit back and try to absorb everything that goes on in the class room, and randomly slipping in a few comments that usually starts a very intense discussion.
I have learned a great deal both from the professor (who is a new faculty here at Green Mountain) and my fellow classmates. I learned that the women’s movement is not as clear cut as I thought. There are a lot of women who have very different ideas about the way the women’s movement should head. I also now recognize that men’s involvement in the movement can either benefit or harm the movement depending on the amount of involvement.
I believe that all Green Mountain students would truly benefit from taking a Women’s Studies course here at GMC. There is always so much to learn about this long women’s movement that goes back many years, the evolution of feminism, the involvement of men in women’s lives, and many more topics.
It is my opinion that male students here at Green Mountain should have the experience of taking a women’s studies course. Not to become a ‘feminist,’ but rather to expand their knowledge on the history of women’s fight against oppression and how they can help the movement.