Political Science Students Learn Outside the Classroom

Women and Politics course spring 18 term students

Throughout the spring term, students in the Political Science 3550, Women and Politics, course of Assistant Professor of Political Science Ngoc Phan, Ph.D., analyzed articles and examined data on how gender impacts human decision making, elected officials, and leadership. On April 5, Phan and her students took to the streets to examine how women are depicted in the downtown/capital district. The day’s tour included stops at the Queen Liliuokalani statue (group pictured at) and the Hawai‘i State Art Museum.

Following are student reflections from the April 5 learning experience:

• Downtown Honolulu has an interesting contrast of art and media: some streets and buildings display empowering and celebratory images of traditional Hawaiian culture vs. others that parade gender-norm conforming images of masculinity and femininity. (Allison Carone)

• I like the message that we are promoting with the new HPU banners on campus. A great example of a diverse and representational institution featuring young and intelligent women. (Sophia Vaeoso)

• I really enjoy touring around downtown to see how women are represented in society. For me, it was very eye-opening and I think it was a great opportunity for me to just observe what is around me. I walk around downtown to go to school and go to work and I had never paid attention to all the statues, art, and the museum. It’s amazing how easy it is to just ignore the things we see every day. One of the things that is still in my head from today is the "Starbucks BLONDE espresso BREAK RULES" sign at Starbucks. I think that if it wasn't for today I would have never noticed that. Another thing I really enjoyed was going to the Museum, and it was so nice that I'm planning on taking my fiance and son there. Thanks for the tour. (Hector Ordonez)

• It is infuriating how there is a lack of representation of strong women figures and leaders in our community. How are young women supposed to take on leadership roles when all they see in the community is oversexualization of women and statues of men. The most impactful thing for me to see this morning was the placement of the Queen's statue, where her importance is subordinated. (Victoria Ristikangas).