Women's Suffrage and Early 20th Century

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Kelsey Galati
WMST 340


As my last upper division GE, it would be an understatement to say that I was tired of the regular, fact-reciting, GE courses. I’d taken one too many courses that were based on memorization of facts, all of which were forgotten twenty minutes after the test. For these reasons, I decided to make my last GE class Women’s Studies 340. Not only had I heard the material was motivating, but also that there wasn’t a final at the end of the semester, a huge bonus. Coming to the end of this course, I can say with confidence that all the things I had heard were true. This class has raised the bar upon which I base each of my classes’ meaning and significance. Every text studied in the class has provided me with insights into the biased history of women. One theme that stood out to me over the course of the semester was scientific sexism. To me this clearly revealed the struggles faced by women throughout the centuries, and that even facts deceived them. In the story of Sarah Bartman, she was considered a “freak” and was taken from her home to be viewed like a museum exhibit. Drawings and studies done by scientists show Sarah’s body way out of proportion, and are used to “prove” that this woman was not a normal human being. Studying the imperfections of science opened my eyes to how easily a persons’ own beliefs can interfere with the truth. This message is something I can apply to my daily life. Now, whether I am listening to a story, or telling it myself, I constantly try to put myself in other people’s shoes. I truly believe that no story is told without the personal prejudices of the storyteller. In order to keep the validity of history, I’ve learned that it is necessary to keep the writers biases in mind at all times. Another lesson I enjoyed studying was the story of Sylvia Pankhurst and women’s suffrage. Another example of the biases of history, Sylvia’s story revealed the frustration and obstacles that women faced on a...
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