The 2-page handout





The reading

A high school in Canada has come under fierce criticism on the Internet for a women's studies course it offered to its female students. The online backlash was because the course included what many believed to be sexist subjects that were unfit and inappropriate for women in the 21st century. These included 'polite conversation,' dinner party etiquette, and 'nail application skills'. There was also a subject titled: "How to enhance your style by using tips and tricks designed for your face and body shape". The course also had lessons on the basics of web design, reproductive health, the role of women in history, and a look at how beauty is seen by the media and different cultures around the world.



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Among those who were shocked by the syllabus was actress and singer Siobhan Bryn. She wrote: "This is unbelievably sexist. Women's studies is not fashion and putting on a lunch." She asked: "Was this designed in the 1950's? Can you get someone who knows about women's studies to design this course?" Activist Meg Fenway said: "This is profoundly offensive and disrespectful." The school has since pulled the subjects from the syllabus. A spokesman said: "I know the way it comes across looks like we're supporting stereotyping girls….We want to do the best by our kids. We want them to have a positive image and build self-esteem. We want them to analyze things critically."

Sources:

  • http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4342910/High-school-offers-polite-conversation-classes-girls.html
  • http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39348155
  • http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/clyde-women-studies-pembina-school-1.4034711

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