Reflection: Lesson Planning Introduction To Feminist Theory - Section 2: Introduction To Feminist Theory


An interesting discussion came out of the term “misogyny.” I taught this lesson to two groups of eleventh graders and in each class, at least one student asked whether a misogynist is by definition gay. What this revealed to me is that they had a difficult time wrapping their brain around the idea that some people hold a general hatred of women. They were wondering what kind of person this may be and this led them to think of the only population they know who can vaguely fit. This does not mean that they think homosexuals by definition hate women, but they had a difficult time understanding the complexity of a misogynist. I explained that a misogynist is capable of hating women and being attracted to them at the same time. I asked them to think of the slave master who raped Nanny, a character in Their Eyes Were Watching God, and explained that we can make the argument that the slave master, in addition to being a racist, is a misogynist who considered Nanny an inferior object, but still rapes her.

Any teacher who chooses to address this concept in their classroom has to be ready to answer questions like this one. I definitely considered leaving the term “misogyny” out of their handout, but it is too useful in understanding the position of most of the men in Janie’s life so I chose to leave it in. Students will be able to use it soon to explain some of Joe Starks’ behavior. Also, it is only one of several concepts on this higlighted handout of notes on feminism so students will have options in terms of what they can choose to discuss.

  Lesson Planning: On Notes On Feminism and Sexism
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Introduction To Feminist Theory

Unit 1: Reading Their Eyes Were Watching God
Lesson 6 of 12

Objective: SWBAT gain knowledge of a theory to use as a lens to analyze Their Eyes Were Watching God. SWBAT apply concepts learned by using a short text as practice.

Big Idea: A nonthreatening text works to illustrate complex ideas.

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