One of the complaints of Occupy Wall Street was that many young people emerge from college with diplomas and dim job prospects. I thought about that as I read this:
As a women’s studies PH.D. and instructor, here’s the challenge I face in today’s classroom (and one I’m sure many feminist educators encounter daily): How do we engage the next generation of computer-savvy students in feminism and women’s studies?
As a humble English major, I could offer Karon Jolna, author of this piece in Ms. Magazine, a research scholar at UCLA’s Center for the Study of Women and "faculty director" of the fabled "Ms. in the Classroom" program, a few tips on English grammar: that first sentence has a dangling modifier, Sis, and later you might want to review tenses with regard to “Ms. magazine has long strived.” Has strived? But I quibble.
Ms. Jolna outlines the many wonderful ways to include Ms. in the classroom:
I integrate Ms. into my lectures and discussions, assignments and tests—both in my online courses and in the “old school” classroom. And it’s not just up-to-the-minute Ms. articles that I can choose from, since Ms. in the Classroom includes a selection of iconic Ms. pieces (“The Best of 30 Years: Reporting, Rebelling & Truth- Telling” and “Best of Ms. Fiction and Poetry”). I’ve loved browsing through classics from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, recalling my own feminist light-bulb moments and adding those articles to my classes’ reading lists.
I would particularly have liked to have been able to be present when the Ms. classic “If Men Could Menstruate,” a 1978 article by Gloria Steinem, was taught. If only.
Such discussions as it inspired must have been both personally enriching and helpful in preparing for future employment. Not to mention fascinating.
Ms. definitely found the right gal for getting their product into classrooms. For example, Ms. Jolna introduced the 2011 Ms. cover story “Most Effective. Speaker. Ever” into her class as a way of "kicking off the class with this discussion question: ‘Why do you think Ms. was the only national publication to put Nancy Pelosi on its cover when she became the first woman speaker of the house in 2007?’”
Yeah, terrible the way the rest of the media ignored Pelosi’s ascent!
Jolna’s musings appear just as Ms. magazine is gearing up to celebrate its 40th anniversary. (Alas, the “Lunch and Conversation with Gloria Steinem” is sold out. Just my luck.)
I can't help noticing that, despite this glorious anniversary, Ms. Jolna sounds a tad desperate.
That she has to beg so hard and plead so relentlessly undoubtedly signals that enrollment is waning for courses that traffic primarily in radical ideology.
Indeed, the tone is so plaintive that I am tempted to refer to this this opus as “Most Desperate. Article. Ever.”