BRENDA A . RISCH "In my previous jobs I was just the hands that did the work; this is the first job where anyone ever valued what I thought. It's been really hard to adjust to doing `thinking work' rather than physical work." --Veronica, a women's studies intern When thinking about the opportunities that feminist courses offer students for personal transformation and reflection on their own lives, Veronica's comment sums up one possible outcome. A women's studies internship with a local women's foundation focused on women's education and empowerment constituted a pivotal educational experience for Veronica. She gained skills that enabled her to secure positions with feminist political organizations in Washington, D.C. A feminist civic engagement success story, Veronica learned to see how sexism intersected with other forms of oppression locally and globally and to focus on continual learning to facilitate social change (Orr 11). She also is a Latina from a lower-income neighborhood whose early work experiences focused on service jobs where others positioned her as "only hands," and her intelligence was not valued in her workplace.1 Veronica's story highlights class-biased assumptions often found in the civic engagement literature, which suggest that college students have little or
Feminist Teacher – University of Illinois Press
Published: Aug 21, 2012
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