The importance of feminist research

By Jo Reger

Thursday morning, I had just come back from my Methods of Feminist Analysis class where I ended class by asking students if they wanted to talk about the election. It had been a pretty somber meeting and we had just finished talking about community action and participatory research. Their question was “What can we do?” It was more than the class context that led me to answer, “We need to keep researching.”

As the editor of Gender & Society, I am so proud of the work that we publish six times a year but I am even more proud of all the work that crosses my desk, much of which we cannot fit into the journal. I see research daily on the major issues of this world – poverty, discrimination, persecution, lack of education, the deficit of basic needs for survival, and more. I also see research on how we fare in social institutions from the systemic issues that plague our country to the micro analyses for how we interact and come to understand one another.

What I see in all of this amazing work is love – yes, love. Love as a verb that draws us to understand the world and make it a better place. Love that brings us together to ask the questions that need to be asked. I see love in the research questions, the data collection and the analysis. I see love in the thoughtful and detailed peer reviews. I see love in the willingness to take on this work to make a better world.

Now more than ever the work we are drawn to do is essential for the world we want to live in. I am humbled that I get to play a role in helping bring that to world.

For my daughter and your children, for my family and your family, for my colleagues and your colleagues, for my community and your communities, let us continue to work and love.

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