Hinderer, an average New Yorker in the Woman’s Liberation Movement in 1968, talks about how patriarchal structures cause both women and men to be oppressed in distinctive ways. This belongs in my text set because it acts as a direct response to what is perhaps the most common critique of feminist movements: that they either ignore or seek to perpetuate the disenfranchisement of men. This document will no doubt spur (hopefully productive) discussion in my classroom about the nature of the second wave feminist movements and their relation to modern day feminist movements, thus ideally engaging my students.
Those of my students who already hold strong opinions regarding the legitimacy of feminist movements (a demographic which–in the age of competing Third Wave Feminist and Mens’ Rights Activist reactionary movements–I’m sure is fairly large) are likely to be particularly engaged by this text.
This landed on the border of the 10th/11th grade readability levels on the Fry scale, mostly because of Hinderer’s use of multisyllabic, conceptually complex vocabulary words (including “dichotomy,” “alienation,” “anachronistic”.) I think that this is a pretty fair assessment; the text is absolutely approachable for students below this level, but only if they receive some assistance regarding the vocabulary terms.
Use in and outside of class
While I don’t think it wholly necessary to tackle this text as a class, I do think that it would be prudent to break students into carefully selected groups (groups which match stronger readers with weaker ones) to best ensure that they could engage effectively with it. I think it would also be useful to help them tackle the more obscure vocabulary terms by defining the terms I anticipate them having the most trouble with and putting these definitions on the board at the front of the room to serve as a reference point. I could, alternatively, conduct a guided reading session to help scaffold these terms for students. While I would feel comfortable assigning this article as independent reading in, say, a class full of stronger readers who had already demonstrated a fair understanding of the concepts covered in this interview, I think the risk of alienating weaker readers is too high to justify this use in other contexts.
Much like the Newton text, this isn’t particularly difficult if one is already familiar with the appropriate concepts found in it OR can effectively exploit context clues. As such–just as I recommended for the Newton text–I would recommend covering this only at the end of a unit if one’s students aren’t already adept with deducing the meaning of difficult vocabulary words.
Submitted by Mitch Linde