Why take gender studies courses?

Source: Wonderlane / Unsplash

Long before there was an area called gender studies, it was women’s studies. Many college and university programs are now referred to as Women and Gender Studies or Gender and Women Studies, and some also have the word Sexuality in the title. This is crucial to remember because the discipline emerged in the second wave of feminism. It was the academic arm of the women’s movement. It was and remains radical to have a gynocentric lens.

As these programs have grown in popularity and evolved, they share certain characteristics. These include:

  • Have an interdisciplinary scope.
  • Promote diversity in all its forms.
  • Tackle intersectionality – intellectually and experimentally, in terms of multiple and intersecting identities such as race, class, sexuality, religion, disability, etc.
  • International in breadth and depth and with possible connections abroad with other programs.
  • Interculturally informed.
  • Based on classical and contemporary feminist theory and mindful of cutting edge theory.
  • Inspired by community / activists.
  • Cultivate service learning opportunities, feminist-based internships and work opportunities.
  • Demonstrate the constant fusion of intellectual and emotional dimensions of knowledge building.
  • Strengthening of the alliance between studies on women and gender as an academic program with extracurricular activities.
  • Embrace how studies of women and gender offer potentially transformative analysis.
  • Recognize the opportunity to work on masculinities and to think more broadly about gender while maintaining a gynocentric perspective.
  • Embodied and Conscious / Conscious of the Whole Person – drawing on a variety of traditions and practices to infuse academic life with a sense of mindfulness and embodiment and to infuse a better balance between work, play , creativity and imagination.

For many people, it is new and liberating to teach and learn in gender studies and finally acquire meaningful language to deal with experiences that we know to be unequal but that we could not fully understand. up to this point. Gender studies give language and voice to social inequalities, processes, conditions, arrangements and rituals that might otherwise remain unspoken and anonymous.

Through gender studies, we learn how the biological fact of sex is transformed into a complex system of gender stratification, and we have a place to reflect and explore the social construction and reproduction of gender identity and gender. inequality. Gender inequality is in the air we breathe.

Gender studies also examine how gender relates to other aspects of social inequality. In this way, we explore the interplay of gender, race, class, sexuality, religion and disability. Each provides us with a unique lens through which to see the world, but it is predicted that when their interconnection is conceptualized, we will have a richer, more kaleidoscopic lens for dealing with social issues.

Everyone benefits from taking gender studies courses. It can become a grand major or a minor and something to complement another program of study. We learn that feminism is not a dirty word and that gender studies is a perspective that centers social justice. In gender studies, students develop and refine their ability to think critically and creatively about structural inequalities in society.

Because of the way gender organizes and structures social life, students can really study anything. This makes it dynamic and interesting. Topics that students tend to explore in gender studies include, but are not limited to, family life; intimacy and violence; creativity; Arts; use; Politics; economy; religion; the environment; the body, medicine, health and well-being; beauty standards and body image; Literature; mass media; sports; LGBTQQ + history, experiences and issues; activism and social movements; the story; psychology; intersectionality; poverty; popular culture; Disney; education; maternity, paternity; women who choose to remain single and / or not to have children; incest; grated; pornography; sex work; prostitution; masculinities; Business; weddings, etc. Some disciplines that cut across gender studies include sociology, psychology, anthropology, political science, economics, history, English, medical humanities, public health, business, communications, nursing, legal studies, etc.

Students of gender studies will be more successful if they are curious, motivated, open-minded, expressive, and willing to venture into unfamiliar and often uncomfortable subjects that challenge them intellectually and emotionally. In fact, the fusion of intellectual and emotional rigor is a big part of these courses, providing students with the opportunity to reflect on things in the world and in themselves.

Graduates tend to follow many of the same paths as their peers in other liberal arts disciplines. This includes a law school, medical school, graduate studies in gender studies or other field, MBA, masters in public health or public administration, masters of fine arts, etc. Specific jobs / careers that draw on this area include therapists; educators; policy makers; journalists, business leaders; entrepreneurs, etc.

Comments are closed.