Women’s Studies class expands perspective of history

Hoping to educate students on the importance of women in history, Women’s Studies is meant to be a thought-provoking course.


Claudia Elwell

Learning women’s history…Watching the Suffragette movie in their Women’s Studies class, seniors Amelia Haworth (left) and Ava Beskar learn about the suffragette movement in the United Kingdom. Their Women’s Studies class watched the movie November 18.

With dedication and passion from social studies teachers Kimberly Dudek and Nicole Harner, the social studies department’s Women’s Studies course educates students on key figures throughout history.
According to Dudek, Women’s Studies shares information that is “missing” in history books, as many leave out important details about historic women.
Dudek aims to educate students about the untold stories of these individuals.
“We show them how important women were and how they helped build and develop our country to what it is today,” Dudek said.
Dudek believes the topics discussed in this class “enlighten” many students.
“I know that it’s very important to a lot of girls,” Dudek said. “It’s something that they know and they feel, but they don’t understand why, until they realize that all through history things have occurred and [women have] had to fight to get it.”
This type of understanding can stem from connections to these historical events and figures, something that is key to a student’s engagement in the course.
“If something doesn’t connect to you, it’s hard for you to connect to it,” said Harner.
Harner believes this mentality helps explain the importance of the class’ topics.
“Women’s Studies is a very empowering course for any individual who doesn’t fit into the traditional ‘norm’ of history,” Harner said.
Senior Amelia Haworth likes the idea of learning about influential women in history.
“It’s important to get more of [an] understanding of women’s history because a lot of times they are not mentioned in other history courses,” Haworth said. “It’s very eye-opening.”
Haworth believes other students would benefit from taking the course.
“I think everyone would enjoy it,” Haworth said. “Learning about these women who were so impactful is very inspiring.”
Junior Meah Jones holds the same belief.
“It would be a great thing for everyone in school to take this class,” Jones said. “It’s important for everybody to truly understand history from all backgrounds.”
Though the class focuses on important historic women, people of all genders choose to take the course.
Both Dudek and Harner believe young men have been informed and even changed their views based on the content taught.
“They don’t want to admit it in class,” Dudek said, “but I feel like they get it.”
The course aims to educate all on the subject. Jones believes it is one of the most essential classes available.
“I personally think it is one of the most important classes I’ve taken my entire school career,” Jones said.
While many believe it is crucial to reflect on these historical moments, Jones thinks it is also good to recognize the current improvement for women in our country.
“We are in a much better place now,” Dudek said. “But, you still need to tell the story, the story’s still there.