6 Reasons Why You Should Take A Women and Gender Studies Class at Mason

Reflecting on my time at George Mason, I realize that the place that I’ve done the most growing has been my Women and Gender Studies (WMST) classes. These classes have challenged me to think from another point of view. They’re classes that have taught me life skills like what healthy relationships are made up of. From reading Janet Mock’s memoir to analyzing "Orange is the New Black," I have become more aware of the culture that we all consume and its impacts on us. Here are six reasons why you should take a WMST class at Mason:

1. Learning about the importance of intersectionality

According to the English Oxford dictionary, intersectionality is the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage. WMST classes stress the importance of intersectionality and how people are impacted in different ways based on their intersecting identities. Feminism needs to be intersectional in its approach and account for trans and cis women, rather than just cis women. An example of intersectionality is a white lesbian woman and a Hispanic lesbian woman. They would endure discrimination in different ways.


2. Bridging the gap between activism and theory

Activism and theory go hand in hand and if you’re all about women empowerment (which I hope you are), it’s great to know what scholars in the field are saying about feminism. Then you can say that you’ve done your research about why women deserve equal pay and you’ll have the knowledge of the waves of feminism to refer back to.  Really appreciate the movement and where it is going. If you’re an LGBTQ Ally, this is a great way to gain knowledge about the history of the LGBTQ movement, learn why the month of June is called Pride month and get introduced to Judith Butler. 

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3. Having open minded group discussions

I have learned so much through the group discussions that have occurred in my WMST classes. These classes are sometimes discussion based which is so much better than just studying and taking exams on the material. In these classes, we unpack the material and share what it means to us individually.  While the textbook was a great starting off point to a conversation, I learned more from my classmates and their personal stories and experiences. These pieces of them made me realize that I am not alone in my personal journey and that everyone was fighting a battle that there was so much to learn from. Every WMST class of mine has felt like a safe space where I could share my experiences and ask questions without feeling awkward or unsure.

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Related: 5 Reasons You Need To Visit the Women and Gender Studies Center This Semester

4. Learning about gendered pronouns

This was something that I was unaware of before taking a WMST class and it is such an important thing to educate people about. I’ve learned that we should always ask someone their pronouns before assuming their gender. All my WMST classes have started with the professors asking us to state what pronouns we want to use and I believe that this should be implemented everywhere because it is problematic to label someone with a pronoun that they might not identify with. People identify outside the gender binary of masculine and feminine and we must always be respectful of that. According to Trans Student Educational Resources, There are no “male/female” or “man/woman” pronouns. All pronouns can be used for any gender and are gender neutral.

Via Stonehill College

5. Having access to the free printing and study space at the WMST Department at Mason

Let me just say, if you haven’t visited the WMST department, you have to go check it out now. It’s located in room 240k in the Johnson Center. It’s furnished with comfy couches, free Netflix and a giant teddy bear. They have cute buttons to put on your backpack and free printing services if you’re taking a class. It’s also equipped with great books that you could use for your assignments. The WMST department is a safe space to be yourself regardless of your sex, gender, religion and so on.

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6. Learning about life skills like healthy relationships

One of my favorite classes at Mason has been a class called Healthy Relationships by the WMST department. We learned about the importance of self-care, how to identify healthy relationships, the cycle of violence and toxic masculinity. What I learned it this class will go beyond coursework and will help me in my personal life.


Via lifewire

Take a WMST class and change your life, collegiettes! I’m not exaggerating.