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First-Year Seminar (101-6-21)


Being Female in the 21st Century


Ginger L. Pennington
Swift Hall, 2029 Sheridan Road, Evanston
Office Hours: By Appointment

Meeting Info

University Hall 118: Mon, Wed 11:00AM - 12:20PM

Overview of class

In this seminar, we will explore various perspectives on femininity and what it means to be "female," with a particular emphasis on the ways in which modern society exerts influence on the self-concepts of young women. In the wake of such events as the Women's March on Washington, the #MeToo movement, historic election victories for female candidates, record-breaking achievements for female artists, and highly-publicized sexual harassment allegations against major political and media figures, women are confronted with conflicting messages about the nature and impact of "girl power." Do today's young women feel more empowered than previous generations? Does the modern woman have the power to "choose" her own definition of femininity? What forces help shape girls' understanding of their own sexuality, social roles, and future opportunities? We will read work by psychologists, sociologists, journalists, ethnographers, and other scholars who present divergent points of view on gender roles and feminist psychology. Students will be encouraged to engage in the spirited exchange of ideas on these issues and integrate the readings with their own observations and lived experience.

Class Attributes

WCAS First-Year Seminar

Enrollment Requirements

Enrollment Requirements: Reserved for First Year & Sophomore only
Add Consent: Department Consent Required
Drop Consent: Department Consent Required