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Tulane Offers Course: ‘Feminism After Trumplandia’

Trump’s actions caused “an unprecedented dystopia for women."
In the window of a local wool shop is a display of a Pussy Hat, on 22nd April 2017, in Cleeve, North Somerset, England.
Richard Baker / In Pictures via Getty Images

Coming to Tulane University in New Orleans this spring: a new course titled “Feminism after Trumplandia.”

The  course description for the class, taught by Professor of English and Communication Studies Kate Baldwin, states that Trump’s actions caused “an unprecedented dystopia for women”:

When Donald Trump became the 45thpresident of the United States, many worried that a new era of precarity for women had begun. The defunding of Planned Parenthood, the Muslim ban, assault on pro-choice legislation, rescinding of protections for transgender students, the President’s own history of sexual assault — to name only a few — all seemed to present an unprecedented dystopia for women across the political spectrum.

Indeed, as we anticipate the inauguration of a new administration, how can we begin to make sense of the events of his reign? #Metoo, “evil media men,” Asiz Ansari, the Kavanaugh hearings, Jeffrey Epstein, BLM, Ivanka, Amy Coney Barrett, to name only a few, suggest that new, and more robust, feminist rhetorics took root over the past four years, and that feminism attracted disparate voices.

Matthew Wilson notes at Campus Reform some of the authors who will be studied:

Angela Davis, a former Communist Party leader and prison abolitionist who has likened the prison system to slavery. After being listed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List, Davis was arrested and prosecuted for conspiracy to commit murder in 1972, in connection with a courtroom shooting that left several people dead.

Other figures on whose work the class will center include Shulamith Firestone, a “radical feminist” who wrote that “pregnancy is barbaric,” sought to eliminate “male privilege” and even “the sex distinction itself,” and “reinterpreted” the communist ideologies of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels to attack the “sexual class system.”

Tulane has quoted Baldwin claiming, “It is not a politically-partisan course. It is more about the movement of feminism from 1950 onward and trying to chart how it has changed under the Trump administration.”

Tulane’s bio of Baldwin states, “Baldwin’s new book on women, race, and work developed from a course she started teaching a decade ago called ‘Motherhood and its Discontents.’”

Baldwin wrote in 2014:

It is not news that if you are a woman and you have a baby, you may be jeopardizing your career. Being a mom is a greater predictor of wage discrimination than being a woman. While studies show that having children is a career bonus for men, it can be a wrecking ball for women. Precisely at the moment when a women’s career should be thriving, it is bound to be stalled by the hiccups of parenting.

She continued, “Some argue that the question about whether or not women workers should have children is answered with an emphatic, ‘Well, not yet.’ At the stage when women should be progressing most rapidly in their careers, many are hit with the prospects of childbearing. And even with the opportunity for an employer-paid fertility hold, the results don’t look good for anyone.”

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