The value of what happens in a women’s and gender studies classroom is that the concepts the professor covers—e.g., the effects of the media on our self-perception, or the role of institutional power structures in sexism, racism, and other forms of discrimination—have a deep impact on our daily lives. Classroom discussions aren’t always easy, and usually rely on a (hopefully respectful and gentle) confrontation of deep-seated cultural assumptions and biases.
These assumptions constitute our shared common sense or conventional wisdom—”this is just the way things are,” we believe, even if “the way things are” requires us to accept unfair treatment or unfairly judge others. Or, we think our personal experience is equal to or greater than any cultural analysis, including that presented by some of the most brilliant minds in the field, such as bell hooks or Naomi Wolf.
The process of helping students put their personal experience—which is both valid and vital to cultural understanding—within historical and political context is, at its core, a process of awakening. It cannot be fully accomplished in one semester, but it can begin in the classroom. Under the best of circumstances, what begins as intellectual study expands into lived experience.
Which is exactly what my workshops can help you do.
While a workshop can’t provide the background you’d get in a full semester, it can do what a single class does—shine a spotlight on a particular issue, and provide insights about and solutions to the problem at hand. Whether your focus is media literacy for a group of students or work/life balance for a group of parents, my workshops bring the classroom to you.
I help participants apply academic concepts related to sex, gender, race, and class to their everyday lives through thoughtful discussion, interaction, and take-home materials. I am available for presentations as well as small-group discussions, and can tailor the workshop to fit your needs. For information about rates or to schedule a workshop, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In changing our perspective on gender, the goal is not to ensure that women are the “winners” in a zero-sum game, but to understand that shared power is both possible and desirable for us all.
Sexualization in our media leads to low self-esteem, eating disorders, and other unhealthy consequences for American girls. Fortunately, there is much we can do to counteract these effects and empower, rather than limit, our girls.
Because we live in a world that is saturated with media—much of it based on harmful stereotypes about sex, gender, race, and class—media literacy (the ability to think critically about the media) is a vital skill.
To help our boys grow into happy and healthy young men, we need to release them from a masculinity that relies on violence, sexism, homophobia, and the repression of emotion.
To overcome our cultural discomfort with powerful women, we need to understand how this discomfort is culturally constructed, how internalized messages have consequences in the external world, and how we can change our thinking to change our world.
Insights that can help you frame your perspectives (and hopefully ease your burdens) as you navigate life as a working parent.