Introduction to Gender Studies
Fall 1994
Tues. Evening 6:30 - 8:50

Dr. Ruth Nemzoff
Bentley College
Office hours by appointment
or after class Home Phone: 332-7060
Office Phone 891-3185
Secretary - Janice McMahon, 109 Morison

Course Objectives
This course is designed to help students develop a critical framework for thinking about gender. It examines the influence of gender in everyday life using critical tools drawn from several disciplines. Specifically, it examines gender socialization, male and female interactions and sexual stereotypes. in addition, the course will encourage students to reflect on the relevance of gender issues in their own socialization and on their future behavior as individuals, workers, managers and family members.

The course will use films, guest speakers, case studies, lectures, in-class exercises and class discussion in both large and small groups to explore and discuss gender issues. A high-degree of class participation is required. To facilitate discussion, students'are expected to have completed all reading and written assignments by the date scheduled.

Course Requirements and Evaluation
- Class participation
For each class meeting in which readings are assigned, students must prepare awrittencomment. Comments should be no less than a paragraph and no more than one page. These comments should state a reaction to the reading: they can be statements, positive or negative, or questions that will spark discussion. They can be personal, or philosophic, but must draw on the reading.

Choice #1 - Service Learning Project: Students must volunteer 10 hours in a not-for-profit organization which deals with gender issues or issues related to sexual identity. Students should consult with the professor to make sure the organization they have chosen fits the criteria.

A list of potential organizations is provided. This list is by no means comprehensive. Students are encouraged to find groups which serve others in their own communities or in their own specific interest area.

The oral report shoulddescribe the organization, and.its goals. Particular attention-should be paid to the way the organization is governed. How are decisions made and how does that reflect assumptions about gender?

What issues raised in class or in the readings'are dealt with by this organization. How does'the group deal with these issues? What is the history of this organization and how does that history fit in with the cultural messages of the which it was started? How has the organization changed over time to be responsive to changes in the society?

What did you notice about the role of gender in the organization? Inthe relationshipof the organization to the world around? What have you learned from this experience?

Students should be prepared to discuss the issues with which the organization deals, so that the class gains an understanding the issues, stereotypes and prejudices the organization encounters. Students should feel free to addtheir own categories and questions in analyzing their experiences.

Choice #2 - Explore the effect of gender in the organization in which you work. This should include an exploration of legal issues (affirmative action, sexual harassment, etc.) as well as informal divisions of labor, by gender. Reports must make explicit the organizations cultural norms regarding acceptable behavior for each gender. Promotion policies and practices and work family policies must also be included in these reports. Methodologies and insights from the readings should be applied to your analysis.

For either assignments, a detailed written outline of your report must be submitted two weeks before your presentation.

In addition there will be three short reflection assignments.

Extra credit is given to students who bring in magazine or newspaper articles which demonstrate gender issues in the news.


        Class participation            20%
        Reading Comments               20%
        Reflection assignments         30% (10% each)
        Oral. Report                   20%
        Report Outline                 10%

Students are expected to attend all classes, (unless they have a valid excuse). Papers must be typed, spell checked and written in good English. The professor reserves the right to lower grades if these criteria are not met.

Readinqs: available in Bentley bookstore

Richardson, L. & Taylor, V. Feminist Frontiers, III McGraw Hill, Inc. N.Y. 1993

Hochschild, A. The Second Shift Avon Books, NY 1989

Ehrenreich, B. The Hearts of Men, Anchor Books, NY 1989

Additional Readings
*available at any library or bookstore

Tannen, D. You Just Don't Understand Chapt. 2S p. 74-78

Some short readings to be determined

Class Calendar Sept. 13 Introduction and overview
Sept. 20 Socialization

          Readings due: Feminist Frontiers III  (FFIII)
          p. 30 to 36
          p. 41 to 50 & p. 67, P. 237 to 258
          In addition - 1/3 of the class will be assigned one of
          the 3 articles Hablando Cara a Cara
          Where I came from
          Genocide: Chinese Footbinding
Sept. 27  Socialization continued
          FF III
          p. 72 to 100
          p. 110 to 115
Oct. 4    Male Socialization
          History - Ehrenreich The Hearts of Men
Oct. 11   Reflection paper #1 due
          Growing up Female - Handout
          Growing up Male - Handout
Oct. 18   Sexual Politics and Ethics
          Guest Speaker: Randa Slater
          Lecture held at Lindsay Auditorium at 8:00 p.m.
          Pass in next week a summary of this lecture.
Oct. 25   Language
          Tannen, D, You Just Don't Understand
          Refection paper #2
Nov. 1    Violence
          FF III section 9 - p. 269 to 437 (see assignment)

Note: When you vote next week before class, observe at polls. Do you notice and gender, age or class differences? (See Reflection Assignment #2)

Nov. 8 Polities & The State

          FF III p.  441 to 470
          1/3 of the class will be assigned one of the readings in
          FF III #26, 47 & 48.
Nov. 15   Gender issues
          FF III section 5, p. 181 to 223
          Refection paper #2 DUE
Nov. 22   Work and families in the workplace
          The Second Shift - Arlie Hochschild
          (Thanksgiving recess begins after class)
          I am willing to negotiate a change of this date for the
          program on Monday, December 5th or exchange the 5th for
          the 6th of December.
Nov. 29   Families - & Reports
          Science - Health & Medicine
          Guest:  Paula Doress-Worters writer,  author - Ourselves
          Growinq Older
          FF III p. 12 to 19
          p.  327 to 369
Dec. 6    Intimacy & Sexuality
          FF III p.  279 to 328
Dec. 13   Reflection paper #3 due

The last 3 sessions of the class will reflect student interest. Readings will be assigned closer to the time and will be tailored to student interest. -Oral reports will be given during the last four classes.

The professor reserves the right to modify the syllabus according to the interest and needs of the class and speakers availability.

Of particular interest to the class - a wonderful program on Monday, Dec. 5, 1994 onAdvertising's Image of Women - I would like to cancel a Tuesday class to attend- this, if the class is interested.


PURPOSE The purpose of a 2-3 page reflection assignment is to help you focus your thinking about concepts from the course. The reflection assignment asks you to do more than just read the course material. It asks you to think about and respond to the material more actively.

FORMAT Reflection assignments - They reflect your thinking in progress and there is no pre-determined right answer to the questions posed. They should, however, demonstrate your willingness to think creatively and seriously about course material and issues raised in the assignment. You will receive credit for the reflection assignments if they are:

  1. Thoughtful, creative, and demonstrate understanding of relevant concepts.
  2. Completed on time.
  3. Typed legibly.

EVALUATION The three reflection papers will count for 30% of your final grade (10%) each. Missed reflection papers will receive a zero.


  1. Watch morning cartoons or children's programs including the commercials. (As an alternative, visit a toy store and survey the toys available.)
  2. While you watch TV or visit the store, take notes on the messages given to the children about their expected interests and behavior by the commercial TV or by the toys.
  3. In a brief paper, reflect on what you learned about the socialization process for boys and girls. Did you notice any differences in themessages given bytoys/commercials aimed at boys and girls? If so, what were they? Does this seem to support or disconfirm ideas presented in the readings? If so, how? If not, why not?

Reflection Paper #2 - Due Nov. 15 - Gender Interaction at polls Observe at the polls on election day.

  1. Do you notice any gender differences in'the way male and female candidates present themselves?
  2. Closely observe a cross gender interaction for several. Pay attention to both verbal and non-verbal behaviors.

In you refection paper, briefly describe the interaction (e.g. where it took place, the approximate age of the participants, what you can tell about the nature of the relationship between the participants--formal, distant, close, family, and what happened.)

Reflection Paper #3 - Gender Communications in Daily life at Bentley. Due December 13th.

In each one of your classes, keep tract of who is called on. The amount of time each person speaks and the type of response by the professor.

Do you notice any patterns by gender, comment?

Describe the interactions, where and how they took place in class.

Reflect on how the interaction conforms to/contradicts gender differences in communication styles and patterns discussed in class and in the readings. Use specific examples from the interactions as well as specific concepts from class and the readings in your discussion.

Some suggested organizations inwhich to do service learning. This list is not comprehensive. The Bentley Service Learning Project 891-2408 can suggest other organizations.

Women's Action for New Directions
691 Mass. Ave.
Arlington, MA

Boston Living Center (AIDS/HIV)
140 Clarendon St.
Boston, MA 02116

The Cambridge Hospital (has several projects including a men's

1493 Cambridge St.        group and preparing for a conference
Cambridge, MA 02139       "Genes in primary care.")

Alison Morris

Greater Boston Lesbian/Gay Alliance P.O. Box 65 Back Bay Station
Boston, MA 92117
617-338-CAYS or Time at 266-0557

Boston Women's Health Collective 240A Elm St. Davis Square
Somerville, MA

Rosie's Place (homelessness)

Rape Hot lines - see phone book

Battered women's shelters usually require a long term commitment, since extensive training is required.

Girl's Clubs, YW's; Boy's Clubs, YM's

Big Sister Organization/Big Brother Organization

The Project on Women & Disability One Ashburton Place, Room 1305 Boston, MA 02108
617-322-7440 or
800-322-7440 voice & TDD