If you had asked me what feminist theory was a few months ago I wouldn't have really known what to say. Most likely I would have stumbled over my words and given you my most basic definition of feminism. Explaining that it is about ending sexism and providing gender equality. My definition would remain the same today if it wasn't for my colleges GUR requirements. Even though I'm a business major I had to find a class to give me the required credits. I really wasn't interested in any of the language based classes, or anything related to history. So when I stumbled across intro to feminist theory I was interested. As someone who has always considered themselves a feminist, but not really known what that meant, I wanted to learn more.
At first I was really intimidated by both the subject matter and my fellow students. I didn't want to look arrogant, or come off as offensive in anyway. I was being way to careful about what I was saying for fear of criticism. At that point I would have never come on a public forum like this one and posted. Thankfully, as the course progressed I began to loosen up. As we read and researched iconic feminists and took a deep dive into feminist theory I started to feel a lot more comfortable sharing my views. I learned that feminisms aren't exclusive to any one group. Once I accepted that it became much, much easier to participate in discussions.
Aside from my new found confidence in vocalizing my views, I also have seen bi changes in my world views. We were assigned a book called "Feminisms Matter", by Victoria L. Bromley, that has really shaped the way that I look at things. Within the book Bromley explains the flaws in our sexist society, the past and present of feminisms, as well as how to use feminisms in your everyday life. In the beginning I thought that I was practicing feminism just by not being sexist. While reading the book I began to challenge that notion. Feminisms aren't something that you have lying dormant in the back of your mind. Once you learn about them you can't stop yourself from applying them to your everyday life. It really showed me that by researching, and learning more about feminist ideology the more I would be able to relate and actually make a difference in my life and the lives around me.
All of this serves to show the importance of education. If I had not been educated on these topics most of them would have never crossed my mind. Taking this class has made me wonder why this isn't taught to all students at a much younger age. It certanily would have changed the way I acted when I was younger. Education on social issues helps us to understand ourselves as much as it builds empathy. This is especially important in times like this. We need to educate ourselves and those around us as much as possible if we hope to live in a better world.