Syllabus Clearly Not Written By a Woman
With second semester underway, students everywhere can expect a whole new round of excitement: new keeners in tutorials, new chess games to watch on classmates screens, and—most importantly—new syllabi. For most, syllabus week allows students to ease back into the panic of the school year, creating a safe environment to experience dread. But, for one class, school year stress came early as students read over the so-called monstrosity calling itself a syllabus.
“I simply can’t express the disappointment I felt reading this syllabus,” said Vic student Ellie Jenkins. “This syllabus clearly does not care about me at all, a five page reading response every week? What about listening to how I feel and being sensitive?” Jenkins described the syllabus as “a work clearly designed for the male gaze,” forcing her to be a one dimensional character that only has one job: going to school.
Apart from the fact that her syllabus doesn’t embody the spirits of Laurie Laurence or Nick Young, Jenkins emphasized that her syllabus also “fails to recognize her as anything but a mere student in this class. How am I supposed to have a nuanced character arch in my life if I have no time?” While Jenkins has expressed her disappointment on the fact that her syllabi that are written by women did not single handedly demolish the patriarchy, she still applauds their concerted efforts. The Boundary commends Jenkins’ bravery for speaking up on her syllabus’s injustice and hopes that her story will inspire others to think critically on their own course outlines. After all, why engage in a radical re-envisionment of society when one can simply label something as “written by a man” or “written by a woman” and call it a day?