WMST1300 Introduction to Women's Studies

Course Description

Meets MN Transfer Curriculum Goal Areas 2 & 7 - Critical Thinking & Human Diversity. This course will investigate women's lives, their experiences, contributions, and culture, and the surrounding social structures and societal values, all from the perspective of women. This is an interdisciplinary course that is based on theoretical framework and approaches from a number of disciplines. We will be looking at the patriarchal system that produces and maintains unequal social relationships, and institutional exploitation, both political and economic. We will discover how both women and men can be a part of the process of solving gender inequality.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Examine ways women have contributed to society, both historically and in the present, and why women's contributions have been relatively unrecognized.
  • Define and examine the system of patriarchy in the United States, and how it affects each of us.
  • Examine the ways women have both survived oppression and successfully challenged oppression, and the effects of that on women themselves and on society.
  • Examine the destructive potential of the traditional images and stereotypes of our lives, and consider alternatives to these.
  • Discover how historically accepted theories and explanations are rife with prejudice and misunderstanding about women in particular, and humanity in general, and how they impact current beliefs about women.
  • Examine the gender issues deeply imbedded in the most familiar facets of life: family relationships, work, education, media, religion, and other popular culture.
  • Examine the ways sexism is promoted and maintained on the personal, institutional, and cultural level.
  • Examine the intersections of sexism and racism, ethnocentrism, heterosexism, classism and ageism.
  • Identify and analyze the major themes of gender roles, including the images of male and female ideals, roles, and expectations of gender as they have been expressed in aspects of our culture and institutions.
  • Examine the role that the cultural definition of masculinity plays in violence against women and maintaining unequal power structure.
  • Explain how both women and men can be a part of the process of solving gender inequality.


Please see eServices for section availability and current pre-req/test score requirements for this course.

3 credits: 3 lectures / presentations, 0 lab, 0 other