The New Women’s Studies Class

The New Womens Studies Class

Shivani Row

Women’s rights and gender equality are all tough topics to unpack. For the longest time, people would avoid talking about them, but as time passed, our understanding of these issues has evolved, as well as our willingness to speak about them. At Broad Run, a new class presents you with the opportunity to learn and talk about these topics.
Women’s Studies came to Broad Run last year while we were online amid the pandemic. This class is only available in a few other schools in Loudoun County, as it’s a relatively new course. The curriculum guides you through women’s roles in history. It starts with the first female author, Enheduanna, and continues to talk about women’s roles in religion, politics, government, etc. It’s a discussion-based class, and students read and learn about current events as well as historical events regarding women and gender equality.

The class started with a teacher who created it for Loudoun County schools, and then it was approved to be taught at Broad Run. Ms. Sacco, both an English teacher and the teacher of the Women’s Studies class at Broad Run, said, “I thought it would be such a cool opportunity to be able to teach this class. I was really happy when it came to our English department. So then when I requested it, the department chair gave it to me. I was then able to collaborate with the teacher that made the course to get some input on what it should be like.”
Just like every class, it had its obstacles. “Last year, the class was so difficult to teach because it was online, and it was my first time teaching it,” Ms. Sacco said. “Now that we have more people and it’s in-person, it’s really nice to be able to have deeper discussions.”

Students in the class enjoy talking about topics in this subject area. Dani Schiff, a senior in the Women’s Studies class, said, “I love this class, mostly because there’s just so much to talk about. There are the wage gap, current events like the government, and gender equality, and stereotypes. With stereotypes, there’s just so many that you can delve into the roots of all of them, and it’s really interesting.”

Women’s Studies is a very unique class, in that you have the opportunity to partake in class discussions and gain input from other students. “It’s not just a regular old English or history class where you read texts like Shakespeare,” Dani said. “It’s really eye-opening. Learning about the things that are happening and have happened in terms of gender equality, and it’s a safe space to voice your own opinions on the topic. It’s honestly my favorite class this year, and it’s an engaging atmosphere.”

For the longest time, our world has been led by men. We’re finally taking steps to ensure the shift to equality, and part of that is talking about the other side of history. This class is a rare opportunity to shed light on another perspective on our story.