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Interesting Lectures and Seminars

To the Modern Era through Gender:
Western History IB "The Present Day West and Gender"

Shotarou Jono
3rd year student at the Faculty of Law

Professor Naoko Yuge is in charge of this class and the major theme of this course is to understand how the study that forms the foundation of the women's movement in the latter half of the 20th century in women's history came into existence and what significance it possesses in modern times. There are probably many, even among those interested in gender issues, who would hesitate to take a class with this as the main subject. There is a tendency to have an impression that the relationship with the ideology of women's history is deep and difficult. However, I think it would be regrettable to miss this opportunity to receive systematic lectures about gender. This is because this study throws at students on this course criticisms and questions from the front toward the modern era.

This class also touches widely upon themes other than those of women's history and gender history including family history, body history and men's history. For example, in a lesson looking at gender history and men's history, there was a lecture on how society's position has changed over history in regards to intersexuality and homosexuality. When I heard about the process in which the present day society has delineated these people as sexual minorities and differentiated them as socially vulnerable persons, I was keenly aware of my low level of awareness of such issues before I started this class. I think it is of great value for everyone to understand that the "gender order", in which people are distinguished by gender and pushed into boxes without consideration of individual differences, has dominated history in the modern era. Nowadays, we often hear the words of "gender issues are not just about women." I just took this that men also should focus on solving female issues; I now think it is important to have an understanding with the meaning that men also need to become aware of their gender and sexual identity.

I am only able to write a brief outline of this class here, but through these lectures I was made to think that it is scary to accept common sense and values without questioning. The gender perspective supports sensitivity toward unfair discrimination centered on a point of view from those who are weak. I definitely recommend taking this course with interest and making effective use of this class as a place to make discoveries in one's own way.

This time, the abortion pill in Japan came to an issue.