WMST-L File Collection:

Societal Issues in the Classroom

Last updated: Sept. 7, 2010

The following files from the WMST-L file collection discuss how to deal with gender-related societal issues in the classroom:

The Appeal of (Same-Sex) Marriage
(The appeal that marriage holds for same-sex and other couples in spite of its being a "flawed and patriarchal institution." The discussion took place on WMST-L in January/February 2009, with added messages from June/July 2010. Of related interest may be an earlier file, The Politics of Marriage.)

Autobiographies/Memoirs by Women Activists and Leaders
(Reading suggestions offered on WMST-L in October and December 2001.)

Backlash: Girls vs. Boys
(WMST-L discussion in April 2003 about a backlash against women's and girls' achievement in education, both in the United States and abroad. See also the earlier WMST-L discussion The War Against Boys.)

Bigotry in the Classroom
(A WMST-L discussion from February 1995 on how to deal with bigotry in the classroom. 3 parts)

The Body and Culture: Suggested Readings
(This file offers suggestions for accessible texts dealing with the body and culture. WMST-L discussion, Sept./Oct. 2002.)

Boys and Rape
(Recommended resources dealing with the social factors that may influence boys/men to commit rape. WMST-L, May 2004.)

Breast Cancer and Abortion: Is There a Link?
(Discussion and resources for refuting the anti-choice claim of a link between having an abortion and developing breast cancer. The discussion took place on WMST-L in February 2005.)

Changing the "Second Shift"
(What kinds of social changes--large and small--might change the "second shift"? WMST-L discussion, April 2009)

A Christian Pro-Choice Perspective
(Suggested resources for students wishing to research pro-choice arguments from a Christian perspective. WMST-L discussion, April 2003. Of related interest may be the files Christian Feminists: Suggested Readings, Feminism and Evangelical Christianity, and Pro-Life Views in Women's Studies.)

The Concept of Invisibility
(This discussion was begun by someone who was about to teach Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, but it quickly moved to a broader consideration of the notion of "invisibility." WMST-L discussion, October 2006)

The Courage to Heal and Memories of Abuse
(WMST-L discussion about the book The Courage to Heal and the issue of memories of sexual abuse. The discussion took place in June 1998. 2 parts)

A Course on Women and Food
(Suggested resources for a course on women and food. WMST-L discussion, December 2003)

Dealing with Disturbing Films
(WMST-L discussion from February 2001 that focuses especially on some films by Spike Lee and on Boys Don't Cry)

Dealing with Sensitive Subjects in Class
(WMST-L discussion, February 1993. See also the related file Dealing with Sensitive Subjects II)

Dealing with Sensitive Subjects II
(WMST-L discussion from May 2000 about how to deal with student objections to discussing sensitive subjects in class. See also the earlier, related discussion above)

Domestic Violence Course Resources
(Suggested introductory materials for a course on violence against women, especially intimate partner violence in the U.S. WMST-L discussion, June 2010)

Domestic Violence in Film
(Suggestions for films that portray domestic violence. The first part focuses especially on popular, mainstream films, while the second part offers a somewhat broader ranger of suggestions. WMST-L discussiona, 2004 and 2007.)

Domestic Violence Training for High School Guidance Teachers
(Suggested resources for contructing a curriculum to help train high school guidance teachers about domestic violence (dating violence). WMST-L discussion, March 2004.)

Ecofeminism in the Caribbean
(Suggested resources for creating an undergraduate syllabus on this topic. WMST-L discussion, August/September 2003.)

Experiential Learning Activities
(WMST-L discussion of activities "designed to enable students to experience a brief slice of life from a perspective other than their own." November 1999)

Female Genital Mutilation
(Two-part WMST-L file including discussions from 1994 and 1997. See also Incorporating FGM into Courses, Female Genital Mutilation II, and Genital Cutting and Gender.)

Female Genital Mutilation, II
(Further discussions of the topic, these from January and August 2000, February and November 2001, and October 2004. See also the earlier discussions from 1994 and 1997 (above) and the files Incorporating FGM into Courses and Genital Cutting and Gender.)

Feminism and Social Change: Suggested Readings
(Suggested readings for a course on Feminism and Social Change. WMST-L query and responses, including syllabi. November/December 2003.)

Feminist Views of Pornography
(This discussion of feminist views of pornography took place on WMST-L in January 2004. See also the earlier file Teaching about Pornography.)

Feminist Visions of the Future
(A brief WMST-L discussion of resources for teaching about feminist visions of the future. December 2003.)

The Gender Knot - Allan Johnson
(Information and strong recommendations for this book by WMST-L subscriber Allan Johnson. It's the book most frequently recommended as an introduction to feminist issues for men and/or for those who "just don't get it." Messages on page 1 span 1997-2002, with one from 2005 about Johnson's second text that builds on _The Gender Knot_; page 2 adds messages from a 2006 discussion.)

Genital Cutting and Gender
(A WMST-L discussion from January 2008 responding to a request for resources dealing with FGM/FGE and male circumcision together. See also Female Genital Mutilation, Female Genital Mutilation II, and Incorporating FGM into Courses)

Globalization Resources
(Resources and strategies for dealing with globalization in a women's studies course. WMST-L discussion, March 2003.)

Have Women Achieved Equality?
(Discussion of how to deal with some students' belief that today "men and women are equal in every area of life." July 1998; 3 parts)

Housework: Nonfiction and Martha Stewart
(This discussion began with a query about nonfiction works dealing with housework, but it quickly expanded to include much attention to Martha Stewart and parodic elements of housework. 2-part WMST-L discussion. November/December 2001)

Incorporating FGM into Courses
(Suggested readings and lesson plans for incorporating the issue of female genital mutilation into courses on Contemporary Moral Issues and on African American Women Writers. See also Female Genital Mutilation, Female Genital Mutilation II, and Genital Cutting and Gender.)

Is Modern Medicine Sexist?
(Two-part file resulting from a discussion on WMST-L in October 2000 about whether modern medical research and funding are biased in favor of women and offer inadequate recognition of men's health problems.)

Judging Other Cultures
(Discussion about whether a culture can/should be judged by how the women in that culture are treated. WMST-L, February/March 2002. 3 parts.)

Male Oppression
(WMST-L discussion, July 1998)

Marriage and Name Change
(A discussion of various societies' practices concerning the changing of one's last name when one marries. WMST-L discussion, December 2001.)

The MIT Discrimination Report: "Junk Science"?
(WMST-L discussions in December 1999 and February 2001, prompted by criticism of the MIT report admitting that the institution had discriminated against female faculty members. 2 parts)

Motherhood and Pregnancy in Popular Culture
(WMST-L discussion in November 2001 about representations of motherhood and pregnancy in popular culture and in the media.)

Novels for a Course on the Women's Movement
(A request for suggested novels for a course on the Women's Liberation Movement gave rise to this WMST-L discussion in May 2005.)

Pay Equity Issues and Women's Studies
(A discussion of claims that Women's Studies does not pay adequate attention to women's pay equity. WMST-L, April 2007)

The Politics of the Burqa
(Readings and films on the politics of the burqa. WMST-L discussion, December 2009)

The Poverty Game as a Teaching Tool
(Three-part WMST-L discussion. October-November, 1999. See also a related discussion from 2005, Resources for Teaching about Poverty.)

'Privilege' Exercises
(Five-part WMST-L discussion about exercises that help raise students' awareness of 'privilege' -- their own and others'. April 2002.)

Pro-Life Views in Women's Studies
(This discussion of pro-life feminism took place on WMST-L in October/November 2002.)

Prostitution in Film
(A two-part WMST-L discussion from March 1995 in response to a query about films depicting prostitution/sexwork, for use in a seminar. See also the 2002 discussion Prostitution/Sexwork.)

Prostitution in the U. S.: Recent Work.
(A WMST-L discussion in January 2005 that deals with recent work about the experience of prostitutes and/or attitudes toward prostitution in the United States.)

Prostitution / Sexwork
(A four-part WMST-L discussion from April 2002 that arose in response to a query about influencing students' understanding of prostitutes/sexworkers.)

Rape Culture?
(A 4-part discussion of the term "rape culture"--what it means, where it originated, whether it's an appropriate term. The discussion took place on WMST-L in March 2000.)

Rape Narratives
(Suggestions for novels, memoirs, etc., that include narratives of rape. WMST-L discussion, November 2004.)

Rape Scripts and Rape Acknowledgment
(A 1994 paper by WMST-L member Arnie Kahn and two other authors)

Readings for a Course about Violence
(Responses to a query about course readings, especially those focused on warfare and/or male-on-male violence. WMST-L, January 2002.)

(Re)-Defining Activism
(A WMST-L discussion in May 2003 about works that define activism in new ways.)

Representation of Women in Advertising
(Suggested resources concerning the representation of women in advertising. WMST-L discussion, October 2000)

Reproductive Technology in Courses
(Suggested resources for including a discussion of reproductive technology in gender courses. These suggestions were offered on WMST-L in June 2005.)

Research on Welfare Reform
(A query about research on the aftermath of welfare reform produced this WMST-L discussion in May 2000.)

Resources for a Course on Sexual Violence
(Suggested resources for a proposed course on sexual violence. WMST-L discussion, January 2009)

Resources for Teaching about Poverty
(A WMST-L discussion from August 2005 about exercises, books, and other resources for teaching students about poverty. Also of interest may be an earlier discussion, The Poverty Game as a Teaching Tool.)

Service Learning Courses for Women's Studies
(Some suggested resources for service learning courses in Women's Studies. WMST-L discussion, October 2002. See also the 2005 discussion Service Learning in Women's Studies)

Service Learning in Women's Studies
(An April 2005 WMST-L discussion of suggested resources and strategies for service learning in Women's Studies. See also an earlier discussion, Service Learning Courses for Women's Studies.)

Sex Between Faculty and Students?
(A discussion of the contentious issue of sexual relations between faculty and students. The discussion took place on WMST-L in April 1994; it has been divided into two parts because of its length.)

Sexual Assault Statistics
(WMST-L discussion of the "1 in 4" statistic and related matters. February 2002)

Sizism: Resources for Teaching
(Resources for teaching about sizism/body image. A WMST-L discussion, August 2001)

Songs for Women's Issues
(Responses to several queries for songs about such issues as abortion, rape, women's safety, etc. as well as mention of several women who perform women-oriented songs. All messages appeared on WMST-L in 2000.)

Students Who Deny That Problems Exist
(A WMST-L discussion about how to respond to students who deny that gender problems exist in media representations--or in life more generally. May 2001. See also the earlier related files, Have Women Achieved Equality? and Teaching Students to "Get It".)

Take Back the Night
(A three-part file of messages from 1995, 1997, 2001, and 2008)

Teaching about Abortion
(How to teach about abortion and other controversial issues. WMST-L discussion, March/April 1993)

Teaching about Abortion: Films
(Suggestions for films to use when teaching about abortion. WMST-L discussion, June 2008. Also of interest may be the earlier files Teaching about Abortion and Teaching about Abortion to Conservative Students.)

Teaching about Abortion to Conservative Students
(How to teach about abortion in a conservative classroom. WMST-L discussion, February 2002)

Teaching about Class
(Suggested resources for teaching about class. WMST-L discussions, May/June 1994 and August 2010)

Teaching About Patriarchy
(A brief discussion of how to teach about patriarchy that took place on WMST-L in August 2006. See also the earlier file Patriarchy: Use of the Term.)

Teaching about Patriarchy and the Status of Women
(Discussion of how to help students understand patriarchy and its effects on the status of women. WMST-L, February/March 2008.)

Teaching about Pornography
(Whether/how to teach about pornography in a Women's Studies course. WMST-L discussion, September 1993. See also the later file Feminist Views of Pornography.)

Teaching about Rape
(A May 1996 WMST-L discussion about rape and how to teach about it.)

Teaching about September 11
(A discussion of how to deal with the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in a Women's Studies class. WMST-L discussion, September/November 2001. 2 parts.)

Teaching Pornography: Scholarly Articles
(A WMST-L discussion in April 2006 about scholarly articles dealing with teaching pornography. The following WMST-L files may also be of interest: Teaching About Pornography, Feminist Views of Pornography, Dealing with Sensitive Subject Matter in Class, and Dealing with Sensitive Subjects II.)

Teaching Students to "Get It"
(WMST-L discussion about how to help students recognize that women still face oppression. October 1999)

Teaching Women's Studies to Disadvantaged Women
(Suggestions for teaching women's studies to women with histories of drug addiction and prostitution. WMST-L discussion, October 2003.)

Toxic Tampons
(WMST-L discussion about possible health risks from tampons. April 2001)

Using Eminem in Women's Studies Courses
(This lengthy discussion of how/whether to use Eminem's music in Women's Studies courses took place on WMST-L in February/March 2001. 4 parts.)

The Vagina Monologues
(Three WMST-L discussions of Eve Ensler's play "The Vagina Monologues," one in February 2001, the second in July 2003, and the third in the spring of 2005. The 2005 thread also includes discussion of female genital excision.)

The War Against Boys
(2-part WMST-L discussion of Christina Hoff Sommers' Atlantic Monthly article, "The War Against Boys." WMST-L, May/June 2000. See also a later WMST-L discussion of the backlash issue, Backlash: Girls vs. Boys.)

Wedding Ceremonies: Feminist Critiques
(Suggested resources offering feminist critiques of traditional wedding ceremonies. WMST-L discussion, September 2002)

White Privilege
(A five-part file. The first two parts describe and assess Peggy McIntosh's well-known work on white privilege; parts 3 and 4 focus on the question of whether Jews are considered 'white' by themselves or others; part 5 raises questions about the "white" status of other ethnic groups. Part 1 includes WMST-L messages from 1992 to 2003; parts 2, 3, and 4 date from September/October 2001; part 5 dates from July/August 2003. See also the file White Privilege II.)

White Privilege II
Further discussion of white privilege. This 3-part discussion appeared on WMST-L in January 2003 (Parts 1 & 2) and September/October 2005, May 2009, and August 2010 (Part 3). Parts 1 & 2 focus on using Peggy McIntosh's work in the classroom and consider as well whether such use should be deemed "education" or "indoctrination." See also the earlier file White Privilege.)

Women and Physically Demanding Jobs
(Three-part WMST-L discussion in July 2001 that focused on women's performance in physically demanding jobs such as firefighter. Among the issues covered were dual standards, discrimination, differential death rates for men and women, and how to teach about such topics.)

The Women's Rights Movement: Where It's Been, Where It's At
(Keynote address given in October 2001 by former WMST-L member Sonia Pressman Fuentes, a founder of NOW, WEAL, and FEW. Fuentes deals with the second wave of the women's movement: its history, her role in it, and where it is today.)

Women and Domestic Help
(Selected messages from a lengthy discussion about domestic labor and the complex relationship between feminism and domestic labor. The discussion took place on WMST-L in June/July 2010.)

Women, War, and Peace
(Suggested readings on women, war, and peace for a lower-division women's studies course. WMST-L discussion, September 2001. See also an earlier discussion entitled Women and War: Suggested Readings.)

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