For the past five weeks I have dedicated my time to Women studies which refers to the feminist studies that have contributed greatly to the understanding of feminism and the ideals behind it. According to the knowledge I have gained, it investigates and criticizes the societal norms of race, gender, sexuality, class in addition to other social inequalities experienced by women (Okazawa-Rey& Gwyn, 2009). This study thus has been employed in the spreading of the feminist ideologies thus enhancing their successful integration in everyday lives. In theory, Feminism encompasses the economic, political and cultural movements which are aimed at enhancing women’s legal protection, women liberation and greater women rights. Gaining knowledge about feminism has greatly affected my life in terms of my thinking capacity.
Initially, mentioning the word feminism to me directed my thoughts to gender stratification in the society. I thought that the feminism movement was a means of changing the society in terms of the replacing male domination with female domination in the society. After engaging in women studies my ideologies have shifted towards supporting feminism to some extent (Okazawa-Rey& Gwyn, 2009). This is because it endowed me with the realization that the feminism movement is not only based on spreading the feminist ideologies but it is also based on establishing greater societal and legal rights for women, advocating for women liberation from the binding societal norms as well as providing legal protection to women especially in instances of gender violence.
I perceive myself as a semi feminist because some types of feminism are based on racial and sexist stratification whereas feminism is supposed to be based on the elimination of class oppression, racism and sexism. Most feminist in the modern world have diverted from the original ideals of feminism and translated feminism into sexism in which they discriminate the male sex. Feminism should be employed in empowering women in changing their minority perception rather than turning them against the male sex (Okazawa-Rey& Gwyn, 2009). This has easily culminated into stratifications between the two sexes yet it should be the enhancing factor of unity between the two sexes.
Women’s lives is a good reading that has impacted my sense of self because it covers all the aspects of a woman’s life. It covers the aspects of women and their identification, relationships, women’s bodies, sexuality, violence against women, women and the global economy, health, women and crime, women and the military, women and the environment as well as how the women can effect change in the society (Okazawa-Rey& Gwyn, 2009). In this case, I have leant that I am important in the society thus I should uphold the changes that I would want to see effected in the society. This has aided me in adopting better interaction skills with both the people and the institutions around my life as I can use them in helping me to effect change in the society.
Feminism is one factor that has enhanced the women’s self determination because it encourages women to take up the role of controlling their lives as in this way; they can be able to change the societal norms that have been an obstacle towards their self determination. This should matter to all people because unless gender equality is enhanced in the society, surmountable unity cannot be enhanced in the society (Okazawa-Rey& Gwyn, 2009). Women studies, has enhanced the creation of secure and sustainable relationships because it spells clearly the role of women in relationships and encourages the women to play their important part. Those who go through the women studies thus take up their role effectively enhancing secure and sustainable relationships.
Feminism might assume a positive notion as well as a negative notion. Those who translate feminism into class, racial or sexism stratification build up the negative notion of feminism but those who utilize it in enhancing the role of women in society have built up the positive notion of feminism. I am in support of feminism as long as it advocates for the equal roles of women in society (Okazawa-Rey& Gwyn, 2009). Those in charge of feminism should therefore help in educating women on their role in all aspects of the society, to ensure that the women have taken up their place in society without any form of discrimination. In conclusion, gaining knowledge about feminism has greatly affected my life in terms of my thinking capacity and I am now geared towards effecting change in the society because if we don’t all try, then we will never experience the change we would want to experience.
Okazawa-Rey, Margo, & Gwyn Kirk. Women’s Lives: Multicultural Perspectives. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2009. Print.