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Claiming an Education

“Claiming an Education” is the title of the lecture that was delivered by Adrienne Rich at Douglass College in 1977. The reading touched on the point that female students should not only expect to “receive” an education when going to school, but they should “claim” themselves. In fact, I completely support this point of view and see that education is not supposed to be taken routinely; rather it should be taken in a different trend. In other words, female students are expected to take a part in the learning process and make a difference while in school. Instead of repeating what they hear they should be able to address their opinions and have a voice to express their thoughts. This could occur by various aspects such as evaluating, appreciating, or criticizing positively the way of learning. By doing so, female students may possibly perform their roles and assert on their identities. As I followed the reading, I was surprised to know that what all students were learning before, lectures they heard, and books they read were about men’s social relationships, experiences, and history. For instance, many books published purposely to refer to a human were under titles such that of The Future of Man, One-Dimensional Man, Man and the Machine, and others. After knowing about all these facts, I was very disappointed to find out that women were disregarded and marginalized to that great extent. This would prove that women were treated in a discriminating unfair way. It is until the evolving of the feminist movement that women started to be considered differently and gain more rights. Women in the U.S and other countries should affirm their uniqueness not as women but as educated elements that are able to make a difference in their lives first, and then the life of others. Education is a crucial aspect to strengthen women and enhance their way of thinking. Consequently, educated women are those able to have a voice to address their demands and show objection when encountering all forms of inequality against them. One should be proud and grateful for such movement that allowed women to gain more rights and take part in many fields. As a female student, I feel optimistic about the great transition women had after the feminist movement and look ambitious for further positive changes.


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