Why Everyone Should Take A Women's Studies Course.

Why Everyone Should Take A Women's Studies Course.

There's nothing dumb about diversity.
48
views

Per my experience, it doesn’t seem that Women’s Studies is one of the most respected programs outside of the university environment. I’ve been told many times how stupid it is, how it isn’t marketable, how it’s sexist by design. I feel like I shouldn’t even have to explain the ridiculousness of that last one. But for incoming freshman, or current students, if you have time in your schedule (we all know how packed pre-med majors are) you should definitely consider your university’s intro-level Women’s Studies Course. And yes, even if you’re a male. Almost especially so.

In my opinion, Women’s Studies is a dated term for the field and is now a bit misrepresentative. It’s rooted in the study of women’s history exclusively, so the origin of the title makes sense. However, it has evolved in coincidence with the social movements in our society. Regardless of if you specifically want to study women (which, if you don’t, you’re missing out on hundreds of years of some of the greatest parts of American history) or not, these courses, even just a simple intro class, will open your mind to events you’d never study in an average history project. You’ll meet unforgettable characters who were snubbed under the white-male eraser of history. You’ll be introduced to identities you’d never even imagined possible.

As a decently well-off white woman, I recognize the amount of privilege I have due to my race and socioeconomic status. Women’s Studies courses exposed me to a multitude of identities that I couldn’t possibly understand because of this privilege. There’s no way I couldn’t understand the experiences of a woman of color, but these classes can give me some sort of insight. I take them to better understand the women, men, and non-binary-identified friends I stand alongside in the fight for social equality.

Let me be clear: I’m not telling you to take this class to inspire you to join a movement. Activism isn’t for everyone, I get it. But when the world is shrinking by the minute, to be successful in any field you’re going to have to be sensitive to the identities of others. Commonplace micro-aggressions (small, usually subconscious actions against a minority group) are now being recognized and taught out of practice. We as a society have to consciously unlearn the racism, sexism, and other –isms that were implanted in us as children. Teaching our society these ideals will lead to a more respectful, peaceful and overall better world. A Women’s Studies class is a great starting-block for anyone to learn respectability politics, regardless of their views or experience in social justice.

Whether you want to go into activism or not, you have to learn to respect those you don’t understand. The people that can work together with those unlike them are the ones who lead and change the world. Women’s Studies will teach you to be a better employer, employee, and overall a better person.

Cover Image Credit: Florida International University

Popular Right Now

8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
22319
views

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

The Gap Between Knowledge And Action

Let's talk about action. There seems to be a mass phenomenon of disconnect between knowledge and action. Why is it that increased knowledge is not motivating people towards increased action.

270
views

In the world today, there are all sorts of social and political movements. Though society has always been flawed with endless problems, people are more aware of these problems today than ever. The rise of the internet, smartphones, and social media has created a new social climate of awareness as a result of greater interconnectedness. But how is it that the public is growing more aware, yet nothing seems to be changing?

I began really thinking about this perplexity recently, as I listened to a TedTalk discussing global warming. According to public polling from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, 70% of Americans agree that global warming is occurring. But according to the same polling, only 40% of Americans think climate change will affect them personally and are adjusting their lifestyles because of it. This is the gap between knowledge and action. Two-thirds of Americans acknowledge climate change, but only less than half are doing something about it. Something is being lost in translation, but what is it?

This phenomenon extends far beyond climate change though. Poverty. Hunger. Displacement. Lack of access to clean water. Sexual inequality. Like I said earlier, there are an endless array of problems the world faces, and we are more aware of them than ever, but how do we link knowledge and action?

We know that most issues that have risen due to globalization, affect the people who contribute to the problem the least, the most. Global warming is disproportionately affecting those in poverty who can't afford to recover from wildfires in California, stronger hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, or increasingly severe droughts in Syria. People in Flint, Michigan or Karachi, Pakistan lack clean water because of the actions of people far richer than themselves. Is a lack of personal victimization the reason? Is raised awareness and stagnant action a symptom of a bigger issue of lacking compassion or are people just lazy?

As a nineteen-year-old college student, maybe I'm naïve, but I refuse to believe that the U.S. and global, society as a whole is lacking in action because they are lacking in compassion or because third world problems "are not their problems." Philosopher, Christopher Heath Wellman, put it best when saying to "[n]otice how awkward it is to protest that those of us who are privileged cannot be obligated to change the system because we are impotent in the face of its enormity, while simultaneously suggesting that those who are starving to death are entitled to no assistance because they are responsible for the political and economic institutions which led to their ruin" in regards to world hunger.

You may be thinking, "OK but how can I make a difference, as just one person?" What Wellman meant in his quote was that you alone cannot make a difference for people starving in another country, but neither can they. It's only when we come together as a society and commit to action can we overcome these issues. Perhaps this is my Global Studies major speaking, but we are all citizens of the world, not just citizens of the U.S. and we must allow our compassion accordingly. No one has any choice in where, what circumstances, or what society they are born into so to refuse action which would help victims of circumstance would be an ignorant form of elitism.

This problem isn't exclusively on the national and global scale either; everyday people see problems in their personal lives and yet, only a small minority take action. Take, for example, people who stress about procrastination, but never change their time management habits. People who make the same New Year's Resolution every year because they never follow suit. Smokers who want to quit but don't try. Students who complain about poor grades but don't make time to study. Even in our own personal lives, knowledge rarely seems to prompt action.

I don't have an easy fix for this. And I don't hold the solutions to global warming, poverty, hunger, lack of access to clean water, or sexual inequality. But I do know that it doesn't need to be this way. It's often said that recognizing you have an issue is half the battle, the next half is action. Every day, our knowledge of the world and everything which inhabits it is increasing, the time for action is now. If we all, individually, take it upon ourselves to care for one another and work towards a better world, in small ways, I believe that together, we can make anything a reality.

Related Content

Facebook Comments