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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Margaret Griesse
T WOMN 100
Tacoma Campus

Introduction to Women's Studies

Surveys the roles and status of women in the US; the process of gender socialization; the intersection of gender with identities such as race, class, and sexual orientation; the history and experience of women; and feminist theory and practice.

Class description

Why study about women? Are women’s studies just about opinion or is this a REAL academic class? What does feminism got to do with women’s studies? Can women’s studies be relevant to all women? Why are women’s issues always so controversial? Why were women so important in this last election? These are just a few of the questions that we will consider as we discuss the history of the women’s movements; systems of privilege and inequality that are grounded in gender, race, sexuality, ethnicity, nationality, ability and other socially constructed categories; feminist theories, and issues such as beauty, work, health care, violence, media and social policy as they relate to women. This class takes an interdisciplinary, multicultural and intersectional approach to studying women’s practices and theories and encourages students to develop tools for a critical analysis of social issues.

Student learning goals

1) Understand the historical background to women’s studies.

2) Demonstrate understanding of the social construction of gender and sexuality.

3) Analyze the role of social location and power in the production of ideas, theories and representation.

4) Demonstrate ability to analyze the role of gender in its relationship to other areas of social participation and inquiry such as health, work, science, religion, public policy, relationships, domestic life, culture and so on.

5) Understand the ways that women’s lives are shaped by the intersectionality of different dimensions of social organization such as gender, race, ability, age, class, culture, etc.

6) Improve writing and speaking skills through class assignments and presentations.

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

All those (women and men) interested in engaging in respectful discussions are welcome to take the class.

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Margaret Griesse
Date: 02/21/2013