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Final Reflection Paper/Exam Lyndsay Flartey CMST 393 Prof. Oliver 5-8-13

2 Lyndsay Flartey CMST 393 Prof. Oliver 5-8-13 Final Reflection/Exam A very common question asked by people who are not educated or favorable of womans issues might ask the question is feminism is a legitimate area of study in college? The stereotypical feminist everyone thinks of would most likely say hell yeah it is! Before partaking in the Rhetoric of woman course I did not consider myself to be a feminist. Looking back at the past semester I am proud to have completely changed my mindset, and in fact do consider myself to be a feminist. According to Foss, Foss, & Griffin, feminism is a vital, engaging, and exciting perspective from which to view virtually every facet of life (p.1). The term feminism has expanded to include the elimination of oppression, compassion for all creatures of the planet, and for planet earth itself. Feminism is considered a legitimate area of stuffy because it opens your mind to see through a different perspective. Some people believe that to be considered a feminist you have to burn your bra, act butch, and hate men. In reality being a feminist supports values such as respect, caring, reciprocity, self-determination, and interconnection. These characteristics are something that every person, man or woman should want to achieve. The first wave of feminism was coined in the early 70s. Woman started to voice their opinions, and reach out of their norms, especially in communications studies. One of the first known published pieces a major rhetorical journal in the field, was the Quarterly Journal of

3 Speech. The journal discusses the contemporary womans movement in an oxymoron, which wavers between the rhetorical and non-rhetorical, the persuasive and the non-persuasive (Foss, Foss, & Griffin, 2006). After that many others had begun to rise within the jobs of academia, especially rhetoricians. There are many female rhetoricians that consider them selves to be feminist. Some are more radical than others, but they have all made contributions to the continuing spread of feminism. The feminist that I admire most is Cheris Kramerae. Kramerae strived to develop communication theory that more accurately reflected womans communicative experiences (Foss, Foss, & Griffin, 2006). She was born Cheris Rae Gamble on March 10, 1938, and in 1978 she changed her last name of Kramer to Kramerae. She was most intrigued by the actions of woman working together and of female friendship (Foss, Foss, & Griffin, 2006). What also helped Kramerae to become such a huge impact in the feminist society was that she had access to technology as a young child. She was able to learn from its vast of information and out it to use on how to change the gender world that she had grown up in . Kramerae is co-author of A Feminist Dictionary (Goodreads, 2013). This dictionary was the first of its kind to empower woman and not be gender biased. Foss, Foss, & Griffin (2006) state that her studies indicate that the idea of woman and men are ideas the must be learned and reinforced (p.39). The language system and how we utilized them is what gives those meanings power. In a sense, we do it to ourselves. If we were to accompany the word woman with power and equality we have more of a chance of achieving it.

4 The rise of feminism in the United States had changed for the better. It has leveled the playing field with men and helped womans suffrage. It has started to shape gender roles in a different way than they have been shaped traditionally. I believe that with the more feminist, the more equality and commonality the world will produce. Feminism should have to right to be studied in college because it not only has past history, but a future. The more educated people are on feminism the better chance for goodness in the world. People can learn what feminism is really about, not just what the overemphasized stereotypes that accompany it. I believe that people who learn about what feminism is really about in a college setting will more than likely end up supporting, or become a feminist themselves. Within this fast paced changing world, women are becoming the career holders and breadwinners of the family, while the males are becoming stay at home dads. Even though these situations are happening, they are ultimately moving at a very much slower pace than we would like. Within some cultures the switching of the normative male and female roles are very looked down upon. In response to the prompt question, I think that these changes are a good thing, but only wish that they would move faster and be more widely accepted. One instance that crosses my mind when I think about femininity and males roles is Gert Crawford. The moment that she walked into the room my jaw seriously dropped and I wish that I had the picture to prove it. I had never been face to face with a real drag queen before and I didnt know how I was supposed to act. To be honest I was kind of nervous. After hearing Gerts story, I realized that she is just a normal person like the rest of us with feelings and insecurities. Gert exerted so much confidence that she even made me confidant while sitting in my chair. It

5 was hard for me to believe that when Gert was not Gert, she claimed that she was less confident of a person. She feels that dressing up as a funny woman calling everyone darling, offering Krispy Krmes, and strutting her stuff gives her the most confidence in the world. It was so inspiring to personally meet and see someone strong enough to break that barrier that so many are afraid to even get close too. Feminist awareness affects my life in a few different ways. Being aware that there are people out in this world that do not like feminist or believe in what they stand for bothers me. It makes me want to try harder to share the true meanings of what it means to be a feminist. Ultimately I want equality for the world. I think that this topic of equality specifically pertains to me because of the career path that I have chosen. Its considered to be a mans job and I am a woman just trying to fit in. If there were more men that excepted feminist or feminism, it would make the gender barrier between what a mans job and a womans job a lot easier to cross. Before partaking in the Rhetoric of Woman course I wanted nothing to do with feminism because I thought that it had a totally different meanings. Now I call myself a feminist and find myself trying to tech the ways of feminism to others. Being a feminist is having a great outlook on all aspects of life and believe in change and equality within the world.

6 Work Cited Goodreads. (2013). Cheris kramerae. Retrieved from http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/83683.Cheris_Kramarae Foss, K., Foss, S., & Griffin, C. (2006). Feminist Rhetorical Theories. Long Grove, IL: Waveland