These are our personal takeaways from this project:
My experience was very insightful doing this project. I was able to get a few opinions on the matter as well as conduct some research. At first, I wasn’t sure what kind of answers I was looking for. When I read over some research, I realized just how important literature is in empowering women and how big of a role it plays in violence and oppression against women. My greatest takeaway was that when women speak up about their experiences or other people’s experiences, they inspire other women to do the same. Literature is one of the most significant sources in providing this opportunity. Whether we realize it or not, we are constantly relying on literature to inform us, whether that be through reading books, blogs, the news, or captions on social media. We are retaining information and learning new things subconsciously everyday through literature. It is something that is constantly affecting our daily lives. It is one of the most accessible sources to retrieve information. This is what makes literature such a powerful reference in addressing issues affecting certain communities, including women. While doing my research, I came across a book called The Groundmen which consisted of stories about physical abuse against women from five different perspectives. The author wrote an article following the publication of her book claiming that literature is one of the best ways to reach all different audiences and put things into perspective- women are not okay. This is the superior purpose literature serves in the community of women.
Working on this project I learned that women should speak up and should not tolerate violence and oppression against women. If one woman speaks up about her experience or violence against her that it might motivate other women to speak up and the best way to reach the broader audience is to use literature. Using the literature to express these experiences against women plays two roles. First, a lot more women become aware about what is going on around the world and second, it motivates other women with similar experience to speak up.
My experience undertaking this project was very insightful. There were some challenging parts when it came to further develop the research. Something that I learned about the relevance of literature in the wider world outside of the classroom is statistics, and what those statistics mean. The numeral research reflects real women and the violence that they went through. It allowed me to understand and be able to connect with identifying as a woman. The research I was reading and collecting opened my mind to real stuff that happens daily. I found that research papers were more effective in developing the understanding of women and the connection with violence.
During the process of this project I learned great impacts that literature have had on women. In my home country (Dominican Republic) there were 3 great women that were known because they stood up against a corrupt system to defeat the most known dictator at that time. A book was written about the battles that they faced, and this made women want to be like them. They were able to embrace their gender and realize that if they wanted a change, they were going to have to take it for their own hands instead of demanding it. After they were assassinated by the dictator, they were always remembered and praised as a symbol of women equality because of their great achievements. Literature is like a common language that we all speak, through poems we can find a common ground where we share a mutual understanding or a mutual sense of confusion. In the classroom we can use literary devices to find deeper meanings of poems that we can’t relate to. Since not everything that is written in literature is relatable to a specific person, it can bring fresh ideas to students who did not know about these ongoing issues. Women in literature have given clear representations and comparisons so that they public who reads their work are able to relate and that way better understand the type of violence they were going through. My biggest takeaway from this project, is that it is easier to speak up about things if you know someone who is going through the same thing. Having a common struggle helps to develop a way to overcome the problem. I believe that a community of women that want to reach the same goal and that have the same passion towards achieving that goal can overcome all forms of violence with effort, perseverance and resilience.