If I were the education minister, I would implement Women’s Studies (or Gender Studies) as a compulsory class in either elementary or high school. Although I’m able to foresee the immense number of opposing views this will get, I still believe fervently in exposing children (or teenagers) to feminism at the earliest age possible. I’ll leave educators and psychologists—they obviously have to be feminists too—to determine the appropriate age to integrate such classes into the compulsory school curriculum.
Ideally, we will be able to re-construct our deep-seated gender roles and eliminate intersectional discrimination. It’s quite obvious that in reality these will not be happening anytime soon, if it were to happen at all. While I have hope that these will be possible in the future, I’m certain it will not be happening in the next few decades.
Before anyone is already turned off by this post so far, thanks to the bad rap attached to feminism--think militant aka bra-burning feminists of yesteryears—which I am not ridiculing, such methods might have been applicable to that time and place and since that time but place has changed, those methods are definitely inappropriate—here are some very important things to note about feminism (These points aren’t exactly original, however they’re what I believe in, what I’ve deduced from experience and from my engagement with feminist discourse of various forms):
Women’s Studies wasn’t born to preach about feminism. Women’s Studies and feminism are closely interlinked, but are not the same. The Venn diagram analogy is great here. Women’s Studies would make the bigger circle, and feminism would be a circle within Women’s Studies. It becomes clear that one cannot be used in place of another. Nevertheless Women’s Studies to me is life-changing, eye-opening and so vital for a holistic education.