Introduction to Women's Studies (WMS 101)

Introduction to Women's Studies is an interdisciplinary course clearly reflecting and acquainting students with recent scholarship on women, gender, and feminist theory. It critically examines cultural assumptions about gender. The readings and assignments reflect women's experiences with race, class, and gender, and provide information about women's psychology, biology, roles, experiences, contributions, and history.

The course is required for the Women's Studies Option in General Studies (see College Catalog).

TEXTBOOKS: available at College Bookstore or online

Burn, Women Across Cultures: A Global Perspective. 2nd. Ed.  McGraw-Hill, 2005..

Schneir, Feminism in Our Time: The Essential Writings, World War II to the Present. Vintage 1994.

How to find me: Dr. Anne Mills King


Link on Blackboard to find your assignments, other links, communications from me and your classmates.

Office Prince George's Community College, Marlboro3056 Office hours posted on the door

Phone: 301-322-0594

This syllabus and other information will be on my web page:

 COURSE OUTLINE: 12 units, each to be completed in a week. Three weeks of review, testing, presentations.

Unit 1: Developing frameworks for study:

A. The Social Construction of Difference

B. Understanding Racism, Sexism, and Class Privilege

C. The Economics of Race, Class, and Gender in the United States.

Unit 2. Institutions and the consequences of Inequality

A. Women's silences

B. Patriarchal attitudes

Unit 3. Race and Gender Issues in the Law

A. Sexual orientation

B. Class

C. Race

Unit 4: Gender issues in Education

A. Inequalities in education

B. Math and science anxiety in women

Unit 5. Women and Religion

A. Mythology

B. Spirituality

Unit 6. Women in the Media

A. Depiction of stereotyped roles of men and women

B. Feminism and creativity

Unit 7. Women's Health issues

A. The body

B. Age

Unit 8. Choices and Control: relationships

A. Violence, abuse

B. Harassment

Unit 9. Choices and Control: Families

A. children-- education, attitudes

B. Sexual orientation

C. Cross cultural, cross-generational

Unit 10. Choices and Control: Work

A. The "glass ceiling"

B. Sexual harassment

Unit 11. Feminism, the world, and the future

A. Influence of feminist research across the curriculum

B. How feminism has challenged traditional epistemologies

Unit 12. Future Changes

A. Power, authority, leadership

B. Integration of issues of difference


WHAT TO EXPECT: You are expected to turn in assignments on time. You must have the proper hardware and software to access this course, as outlined on Blackboard. When deadlines are announced, they will be firm. You are responsible for much of the research, using the library facilities and the internet. I will tie it all together with communications, materials, and lists of videos and web sites to make your introduction to women's studies more rewarding and fascinating. You can always communicate with me by email, and I will repond. You will be amazed at how the subjects we study mesh with what you have learned in history, literature, psychology, and sociology courses.  I expect mature, responsible behavior. See "Nettiquette" for what that means in an online course.



  • Homework: Responses to questions (Journal assignments) graded on promptness, coherence, relevance. (50%)
  • "Attendance"-responses to questions on Discussion Board, Virtual Classroom 10%
  • one report on something outside class: book, film, event, -10%
  • one documented paper on an issue connected with the course---20% [See an example on-line (Documented paper), also documentation guidelines, information on TURNITIN]
  • Final examination (10%)

Here's how I figure grades: A= 3.6-4.; B= 2.6-3.5; C= 1.6-2.5;

D= .8-1.5; F= 0.

You will receive separate handouts on the paper and reports.

  • Report Guidelines
  • Film and video list
  • Documented Paper guidelines
  • Nettiquette
  • Washington, DC area sites connected with women's studies
  • web sites on women's studies
  • Norma Schmidt, a librarian at PGCC, will post information and help on the Discussion Board to aid you in doing library research for this course. 

Grades will be reported on Blackboard—on the Gradebook—but not instantly!


Assignments: These are readings from Women Across Cultures, supplemented by selections from Feminism in Our Time. For each week's module, these assignments, quizzes, and the accompanying Journal entries must be completed by the deadline and posted on Blackboard Digital Drop Box or sent to me by email. You will find more information, including due dates, on each week's assignment in the "Assignments" section of Blackboard.


Women Across Cultures

Feminism in Our Time

Journal (Write a short page on one question from Women Across Cultures)

Orientation at Largo Student Center


Read introduction to book

Read introduction

On Blackboard Discussion Board, read my introduction and then introduce yourself

Week 1

Chapter 1: Overview of the book

Brownmiller, 272-

Choose one question: 1 or 2, p. 15

Week 2

Chapter  2 Women’s Low Status and Power

de Beauvoir, 3-20

Plath 33-

Friedan 48-

Discussion  questions p. 42-43 (1-4)

Week 3

Chapter 3: Reproductive Rights

"Our Bodies Ourselves" 351

Roe v Wade 399

p. 70-71

Week 4

Chapter 4: Lesbianism

Radicalesbians 160

Lorde 168, Rich 310

p. 993-94

Week 5

Chapter 5:Women’s Work

read 369-393 for documentation Individual reports on web sites; see Assignments

p. 131

Week 6

Film Reviews: see Assignments



Week 7

Chapter 7: Women and Globalization

Eisler 439, Daly 260

p. 187

Week 8

Chapter 8:  Women and Religion

Abzug 393

p. 221-222

Week 9

Chapter 9:Women in Politics

Civil Rights Act 71

Faludi 454

p. 260, or “Action Opportunities” #2 or 3.

Week 10

Chapter 10 and Ch. 11

Find and evaluate web sites.  See Assignments for directions.

Sites at the ends of chapters

Week 11

Project or paper due

See list of topics; documentation information. TURNITIN information

Discussion Board

Week 12


Share your papers-abstracts posted on line about your paper

Discussion Board

Final Exam due date