In this paper, I will be reflecting on the aspects of women studies that I have learned about, disagreed or agreed upon, and pondered about, felt a sense of empathy about, a sense of rage and a feeling of helplessness. I will be exploring what women studies is all about and what I have gotten out of the reading assignments for this class over this semester. This paper will be a summary of the key points in the readings of this class that left a mark on my mind and which have shaped my life going forward one way or the other. Wexler in his paper “Shame-o-phobia” describes a research study done with three groups of men to determine masculinity. These men were given the task of keeping their hand in painfully icy water for as long as possible. Those who were told that the ability to withstand the discomfort was a measure of male sex hormones, kept their hand for longer. They wanted to be seen as manlier. Wexler’s paper on shame-o-phobia has impacted the way I look at actions and tasks that I earlier divided into masculine or feminine. Prior to reading this paper, I had difficulties with doing anything that would associate me with feminine characteristics. Acting feminine to me meant that I was acting Gay and that to my African tradition is a taboo, although I have no problem with other people’s sexual preference. Wexler states in his paper that most men would do whatever it takes to prove their manhood. I have been with my spouse for ten years and have been asked a few times to help carry the so dreaded “purse”. I only did it may be once and that was after we had gone through a very rough patch. I had determined that I needed to suck up to her to get her not to be so mad at me. I however must admit that I still felt like a part of my male ego had been taken. My brother’s wife once laughed at me stating that in Africa men do not carry Diaper bags, the women are in charge of that kind of thing she said mockingly. My wife was very angry and made...
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