What do you do if students are not feminists? Do you require them to write their papers from that point of view anyway? Aren't you worried that this sort of assignment could be used to condition students socially? What subject do you teach?
In some ways, I think very highly of this sort of assignment - thinking more deeply and critically about the things we watch and read and the authors' aims. However, this seems to border on teaching kids your political opinions. This is the sort of thing that always frustrated me in school. We HAD to write essays against book-banning or chopping down trees in the Amazon. Yes, I agreed with most of the opinions, no, I didn't want my teacher telling me what to think and failing me if I disagreed. I also think this sort of assignment would be more worthwhile if you questioned things in a way that challenged our assumptions and prejudices, rather than reinforcing them. It is a rare student in our place and time who has seriously considered the idea that men and women are different in any meaningful, non-physical way. They have simply learned that men and women are equals. This may be a correct prejudice, but it is a prejudice nonetheless. Their education should challenge the beliefs that they have be raised in. This is always difficult, because they are the ideals most highly cherished by our society, but it is vital. Students should understand why it was once possible for people to support monarchy and aristocracy, restricted speech, and different gender roles. They will often conclude that their own culture is right, but having seen other options will give them a firmer foundation for their own beliefs and a better understanding of others'.
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