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Kent State University offers class on #MeToo movement

October 8, 2018

Kent State University offers class on #MeToo movement

KENT, Ohio — Kent State University English professor Vera Camden hopes her students take away a few big ideas from her course on the #MeToo movement this semester.

Feminism is not a bad word. Misogyny is real. Sexual assault is an epidemic, and victims should not be silenced.

The students — about 10, including two men — taking the course this semester are studying books about misogyny and feminism, Beyonce’s “Lemonade” album, the “Jessica Jones” series on television — and of course, current events.

“I’m always interested in this question of women’s voices and the way that women, their stories become known,” Camden said. “And it seemed to me that what was really interesting about the #MeToo movement is this almost burst of narrative. This burst of storytelling, where I will not be silent about this event that occurred to me. I would rather speak about it.”

The students have read articles by #MeToo reporter Ronan Farrow, and watched a video related to pop star Kesha’s alleged sexual assault.

Camden adjusted her syllabus to discuss the sexual allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

“We might for instance be saying, OK, today we’re going to look at these fascinating proliferation of women’s comics,” she said. “So that’s on the curriculum, but then boom the weekend comes and the Kavanaugh thing hits the media and I walk in and I’m like, ‘We have to talk about this. We have to watch these videos. We have to watch these debates. Let’s take some time to discuss it.’” 

The class is always in flux, due to the continuing news and discussion surround #MeToo, she said.

“That’s part of being in a class that is based on cultural phenomena,” she said.

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