Teaching the Women’s March

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Oh wow, how amazing.  I am writing this just shortly after women marched not only in DC, but around the world.  Some of our students and faculty participated in local marches, returning renewed and re-energized and ready to continue the fight for basic human rights for all women everywhere.  What began as a response to a particularly difficult election cycle ended up echoing around the world.  What a great event to bring into the classroom.  Emerging is full of essays for teaching these issues.


Roxane Gay’s “Good Feminist?” challenges the stereotypical notions of what a feminist is, broadening the realm of feminism while debunking notions of what makes a feminist “good” or “bad.”  Ariel Levy’s “Female Chauvinist Pigs” is similarly complex.  In exploring raunch culture, Levy asks important questions about gender and feminism.  Students will have to dig a little to find it all, which makes for good critical reading.  Julia Serano’s “Why Nice Guys Finish Last” takes on questions of masculinity while interrogating rape culture.


Many other essays would be useful for this discussion, include Kwame Anthony Appiah (focused on how to get along in a complex world), Kenji Yoshino (discussing how to build a new model of civil rights), and Charles Duhigg (on peer pressure and the connections that enable social change).


It’s a shame the march was needed at all; it’s a reminder that we all have a long way to go.  Perhaps bringing this issue into the classroom will add to the momentum of change.

About the Author
Barclay Barrios is an Associate Professor of English and Director of Writing Programs at Florida Atlantic University, where he teaches freshman composition and graduate courses in composition methodology and theory, rhetorics of the world wide web, and composing digital identities. He was Director of Instructional Technology at Rutgers University and currently serves on the board of Pedagogy. Barrios is a frequent presenter at professional conferences, and the author of Emerging.