Global Fem

"This is What a Feminist Looks Like" - International Day of the Girl 2013 t-shirt project / photo credit: MingRoseC

“This is What a Feminist Looks Like” – International Day of the Girl 2013 t-shirt project / photo credit: MingRoseC

Women’s empowerment worldwide stands to be the defining issue of our time. While the feminist movement has transformed the conversation about women’s rights in the United States, women worldwide still face gender-based violence (including honor killings, acid attacks and ritualized rape), trafficking and forced prostitution, poor medical treatment (including complications related to female genital mutilation / FGM), and obstacles to education.

What do these issues mean for us? How do we situate ourselves in the global conversation about women’s rights? Students will first consider how feminism has developed in the United States, and then apply this thinking to a global scale. Should issues like FGM be understood from a cultural relativist perspective? What role should countries like the United States play in advocating for women’s rights in communities where women do not identify as being oppressed? How can young women and men actively engage with these issues from a distance? Students in this course will be challenged to confront these questions through readings, digital media, and discussions, and to help others consider these issues in class and in public.

Syllabus  / Global Fem is a quarter-long “module” class offered during the 2013-14 school year


What is “feminism?” (April 8 – May 2)

What do these issues mean for us? How do we situate ourselves in the global conversation about women’s rights? Students will first consider how feminism has developed in the United States, and then apply this thinking to a global

– Intersectionality

– History of the “F-word” and Global Feminism

– Language and Media


Trafficking and Prostitution (May 5-9)

“Modern-day slavery is relatively unknown, in part because it does not fit our historic image of slavery. Contemporary human slavery can take many forms, including forced labor, child marriage, debt bondage, and commercial sexual slavery. Modern slaves can be garment workers, domestic help, agricultural workers, and prostitutes.” – Half the Sky

For this week, read and discuss chapters 1, 2 and 3 from Half the Sky. Relevant books from our library this week include Sold, Slave, Girls Like Us, and The Road of Lost Innocence.

– Global

– Domestic (United States)


Gender-based violence (May 12-16)

“Although it is widespread, violence against women and girls goes widely unreported due to factors such as fear of retribution, shame, stigma, lack of economic resources, inadequate social services, ineffective legal systems, and concern for children … As a result, victims of violence are left vulnerable to further abuse from the systems and institutions that are meant to protect them, and the perpetrators are often left unpunished and free to continue perpetrating violence.” – Half the Sky

For this week, read and discuss chapters 4 & 5 from Half The Sky. Relevant books from our library this week include Speak, In the Name of Honor, Zoya’s Story, Who Fears Death, and My Name is Nujood.

Global

Domestic – Rape Culture


Health (May 19-23)

“Maternal mortality has been identified as a global crisis and the greatest health inequity of the 21st century. Ninety-nine percent of deaths occur in developing countries, with more than half in sub-Saharan Africa and almost one-third in South Asia. … A high maternal death rate indicates not only a country’s inadequate healthcare system, but also a violation of women’s fundamental rights to life and health. … The United States’ average maternal mortality rate is relatively high at 1 in 4,100, making it more dangerous to give birth in the U.S. than in 40 other countries.” – Half the Sky

For this week, read and discuss chapters 6, 7 and 13 from Half The Sky. Relevant books from our library this week include Do They Hear You When You Cry and The Girl With Three Legs.

Global

Domestic


Education and Empowerment

Readings: “The Education Ripple Effect,” from the Half The Sky website, as well as chapter 10 from Half The Sky.


Our Feminist Library

Titles from our Feminist Library via Amazon Collections

Library Check-Out spreadsheet


Feminist Projects

The 1 in 3 Campaign – “1 in 3 women will have an abortion in her lifetime. These are our stories.”

Stop Telling Women to Smile (activist art inspired by street harassment)

project unbreakable (photographs of survivors of sexual assault with a quote from their attacker)

Pink Loves Consent (activist art commenting on rape culture)

Tropes vs. Women (a video series that comments on the plot devices and patterns most frequently associated with female characters in gaming)

“Women Should …” Ad Series (UN Women campaign comments on widespread sexism)