Feminism in the Classroom

If you’re not hip to Ileana Jiménez’s amazing blog, Feminist Teacher, it’s time. Throughout her thirteen year career, Jiménez has been a leader in the field of social justice education for students of color, LGBT youth, women and girls. She’s also a major advocate of getting intersectional feminism in schools at all grade levels.
In a recent post, she writes about making an argument for getting gender education in the classroom, pre-college. There is so much talk about women’s studies at the university level, that we often lose track of the importance of gender education in the early years. Jiménez asked her students to write a letter to President Obama asking him to “examine the issue of gender and education with a critical eye on the ways in which feminism might be addressed in the curriculum.” Here’s an excerpt from one of her student’s essays:

The first problem that I would like to address is the lack of intersectional feminism within education. Feminism is a wonderful example of how all social injustices interlock. In high schools on down in the education system, children are taught modified African American studies. Students are taught an even more limited version of Women’s Studies. They learn nothing about the struggles of say a Japanese woman during WWII or of an Ethiopian girl’s everyday life.
It is understandable that teachers cannot be expected to cram decades of struggles into 12 years of study. I just feel that there should be more time in the curriculum starting in the lower grades (if they can learn about the slave trade, they can learn about feminism) dedicated to learning about feminism and the goals behind it.

So. Awesome. I wish Ileana Jiménez could be my teacher.

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