Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Before doing the readings and listening to Ms. Ruhl's presentation, I'm going to be honest, I didn't even know there were different waves of feminism. I was familiar with women's suffrage and the struggle women faced as they fought for their right to vote. I was aware of the reproductive rights that women fought for as well as their fight for sexual freedom, and equality in the workplace. I just assumed it was all just women's history and that there was no set distinction between the different events. I credit this mainly to learning little about women's history in my history classes. Women's history is still history, isn't it? So then why do we spend such little time discussing it in our curriculum? In my history class last year, we dedicated most of a week to discussing, and then re-discussing, figures during the industrial revolution. Now I'm not saying this was unimportant, however our book only mentioned three or four names that it deemed notable even though we spent the majority of the week discussing those men, as well as more men who were historically irrelevant. By the end of our time discussing this, we were simply talking about business tactics and every way a business could be successful at that time. Most of this information didn't even make it to our next test which made it clear that it was merely fun conversation. When reading the next chapter, there was a small paragraph about women's suffrage where it stated that women fought and won their right to vote. I believe Susan B. Anthony's name was mentioned, but that was about all. The next day in class we started discussing the chapter in thorough detail as we normally did, however once the paragraph on women's suffrage was to be discussed, we skimmed over it. Our teacher confirmed that women were then allowed to vote and that they struggled in the process. But that was it. That was all that could apparently be said about women's suffrage after spending almost a week discussing many irrelevant business tycoons. I don't understand how something so important could be so easy overlooked. Now, thanks to Ms. Ruhl, I know that women's suffrage was the first wave that sparked the next. It was what gave women a sense of empowerment and left them wanting more. However, the only opportunity I have to learn about this momentous event is in my designated women's studies course, which although I love, shouldn't be the only place women's history is discussed in our curriculum.

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