Course ID EES87QWV
Department English
Subject Core English
Can you take this course more than once? No
Periods per Day 1.0
Special Permission No
  • All of the following are true:
    • Student is in 11th grade
  • Fulfills the following graduation requirements
    Also in the following groups
    Syllabus No Syllabus Found


    ‪"The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn." - Gloria Steinem

    Course Overview:

    Women’s Voices is open to seniors who wish to examine issues of power dynamics, sexuality, body-image, relationships, representation, and gender roles - from a solely female perspective. Reading works written only by women, we will investigate our own assumptions and prejudices, and examine the ways in which these issues have been treated by a number of women authors throughout history. We will focus both on the subjects these women bring up and the ways in which they write, expressing their voices in forms often different from those used by their male counterparts.

    We will also examine the ways in which women bring other aspects of their identity - race, class, sexual orientation - into their work. Writing assignments will include personal reflections, analytical papers, and creative pieces. Active participation in class discussion is essential. Course content is discussed in a liberal manner; have an open mind and be respectful of others' opinions. This course is offered in both the fall and spring semesters, but may only be taken for one term.  Women’s Voices will challenge you to rethink everything you thought you knew in a safe, collaborative environment.

    Class Texts* (may include):

    The Feminine Mystique by Betty Freidan

    The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

    Sula by Toni Morrison

    Hunger and Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

    We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

    Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen by Marilyn Chin

    Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

    Queer: A Graphic History by Meg-John Barker and Julia Scheele

    Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit

    Sex Object by Jessica Valenti

    A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf

    The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

    Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

    Aint I a Woman by bell hooks


    Documentaries/Visual Media:

    Miss Representation by Jennifer Siebel Newsom

     The Hunting Ground by Kirby Dick

    Lemonade by Beyonce

    *Not all texts will necessarily be read in their entirety.

    Essential Questions:

    -Which women have rocked the foundations of our society?  How?

    -Who are the women who have shaped our world?

    -What are some of the untold stories of women that might have otherwise gone unexplored in a high school curriculum?

    -What is the history of patriarchy?  How did patriarchy become incorporated in major social institutions?

    -How does media portray women?  How does representation (or lack thereof) affect social perceptions of women and femininity?

    -What is rape culture?

    -What is the definition of consent?

    -What is feminism?  What does it mean?  What role does feminism have in our lives?

    -What is the history of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd waves of American feminism?

    -What is intersectional feminism and why is it important?

    -How can we define the nature of women’s relationships, unmediated by men?

    -Are trans-women women?  What is a TERF?

    -How can we teach men to be strong allies of women?

    -How can we empower women to be their best selves?