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Alex Bass


December 5, 2017

Final Reflection

This semester has proved to be very eye-opening. I feel I have grown to be a more

socially consensuses person, meaning I have a greater ability to understand other perspectives

and how social issues can have a different effect on every person. Most importantly I have

learned, in simple terms, that women are oppressed. Coming into the Gender Excellence

community, it was easy for me to live in ignorance when it came to womens oppression. For

example, I may have had a mindset of since it does not directly affect me, it does not hold

significance to anyone else either. This mentality was more regarding the age gap, racism,

bullying, and other topics that have not be prevalent in my life. However, being surrounded by so

many women that have different backgrounds, cultures, and experiences has broadened my

mind. I always could feel empathy for others, and exposing myself to their heartfelt stories has

helped me grow as a person. I now realize how profoundly comments can impact emotions.

Similarly, being a member of the learning community has made it evident that the world is male-

centric. For example, many women do place their self-confidence in the hands of the men

surrounding them, our everyday vocabulary is centered around male pronouns, males are offered

the high-paying positions first, and overall woman are looked over when it comes to intelligence.

This learning has been significant to me. I can now better recognize when sexist comments are

made and can address them accordingly. I know how to contribute to conversations and point out

facts that can aid in ending sexism. In the academic context, the gender excellence community

has played some part in the boosting of my confidence. So, knowing that I am as capable as the

person sitting next to me has given me the power to be confident in my work and want to work

hard to accomplish goals that were once unrealistic for women.

The learning community has provided me with challenges, especially the activism aspect.

I am one to avoid attention from large groups of people especially when strangers are involved,

but activism demands it. Therefore, fundraising was a challenge. It required gaining other student

and facultys attention and informing them of the learning communitys objectives. Womens

empowerment had proven to be a touchy subject in society, and reactions can vary greatly. It was

difficult to put myself I front of others and know that what they say back could be harmful.

Fortunately, many responses were positive, and they were willing to use their time learning a

small part of what Gen-X does. This experience made me realize a significant portion of students

do believe in womens rights, but just may not be as vocal about it. It taught me that standing up

for what you believe in is rewarding and an activity that I should look forward to.

When thinking of things that I would change about the semester, not many changes come

to mind. I could not have asked for better classmates, and the diversity was one of the most

rewarding components of the class. However, from a personal level, I would change the amount

of personal information we were asked to share. I do not enjoy talking about myself or reading

essays about myself in front of groups of people that I do not know well. I think information

about myself should be voluntarily shared, not forced to earn a grade. I do not argue that hearing

of others personal stories is inspiring and provides a basis for friendship, but again there should

be an option to share. This component of the class is what kept my essays based more on the

belief of what other people deserve than on personal struggles. I applaud those who are willingly

open with their efforts and use them to benefit those who may be facing the same issue, but I am

not one of those people. Along with this, I hoped this course would hold more discussions on

women in society and the facts that accompany their discrimination. The most enjoyable classes

were the ones that focused on our reading from the novels assigned, as they provided discussion

topics that allowed many people to share their opinions on a voluntary basis. Overall, the class

was very informational and enjoyable.

I chose to join the gender excellence learning community to become better involved on

campus and with the community. Throughout the semester I attended the events that impacted

the community, like Girls Rock and our In-Bloom Workshop. These events exposed me to

people who needed the empowerment and were a large part of the community. Also, I joined the

learning community to empower myself. I wanted to learn about the oppression that does affect

me and how to be confident in myself. I had to put myself in front of people during every event

and work within myself to speak loud and confidently. I feel like I made choices throughout the

semester that I knew would help me feel more connected to myself and the community.

As the semester draws to a close, I do feel like I have given back to society. I was able to

participate and plan events that would benefit young women or the future leaders of our nation. I

was able to meet many beautiful women and hopefully provide them with information that will

aid them when dealing with prospective relationships or self-confidence issues. I feel I have

proved myself to be a committed member of Gen-X. I made sure to be present at events that did

involve the community and ones that could give me different perspectives on the world, like the

roundtable discussion with Julio Salgado before his presentation. Overall, the gender excellence

learning community has given me experiences that will be unforgettable. I have been able to

witness the greatness of women and all they can accomplish. Women deserve to be independent,

and they will succeed in everything their mind is set to. I have gained knowledge, understanding,

confidence, power, and the indescribable feeling of making an impact on someone elses life.

The young woman I have met and had the pleasure of speaking to are using their resources at an

early age to learn how to be a leader and protect their right to be a powerful woman. It is

incredible to know I am one of those resources. This learning community was an enriching

experience and one that will always hold relevance in my life moving forward.