n De Arte - Off the Beaten Path : Violence, Women and Art : views and (re)views

Volume 2014 Number 89
  • ISSN : 0004-3389
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Over several years of lecturing in courses on gender studies, feminism and sexuality, I am always astounded by students' responses to the lectures. In general, the students share a postfeminist sentiment towards the lectures (Gill 2007). The responses from the male students follow the standard 'crisis of masculinity' rhetoric in which feminism is blamed for the problems, pains and quandaries of contemporary living. However, even more perturbing is that the female students are equally sceptical of feminism and dismiss it as now holding regressive ideals. Even when discussions move towards the gains achieved by second-wave feminism, the common retort is apathy or ambivalence regarding the need for feminism to address contemporary problems. Moreover, the negative evaluations of feminism are coupled with only a small number of students ever identifying as feminists or supporting feminist causes.

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