Why Women’s Studies Should Be Mandatory

I took my first women’s studies class during my sophomore year of college, simply because I saw the word “women” on the course roster and thought, “Hey! I identify as a woman; maybe I could find this useful.” Notably, I found the class to be more than just useful. I learned so, so much, about not only society, but about myself, as well. 

Women’s studies classes are not only beneficial to girls, BTW. EVERYONE, regardless of gender, should make it a point to take a class of this kind. You will learn how to articulate, reason and analyze, tools that are useful in all sectors of life. 

You will also gain knowledge regarding different forms of oppression that you may or may not have experienced personally. Having said that, I remember learning about white privilege, something I had never heard of until that class. Being a white, cisgender, straight woman of middle-class economic status, I am clearly privileged, but I never really thought about it until that time. To expand, my eyes were opened; I was able to see how unearned advantages were given to me “just because.” On the contrary, a lot of people face inequalities, or unearned disadvantages, “just because” society says so. With recognizing your own privileges, comes recognizing others’ inequalities. That being said, women’s studies classes encourage advocacy, giving you the opportunity to speak up in favor of change. You could actually make a difference in your community, simply by providing insight to your friends, family, colleagues, etc.

When people think of a women’s studies class, they tend to think of a room full of girls who sit around and bash men, which is NOT the case. Lol. Classes are usually discussion-based, but we don’t sit around and “hate” on men. That being said, the forefront of discussion usually follows a particular lecture, thus allowing people the chance to talk about their individual experiences, thoughts, opinions, etc. This, then, gives the rest of the class an opportunity to develop different perspectives and ideas, where change and advocacy are the ultimate goals. 

Why wouldn’t you want to be an informed, kind, understanding human being, who wants to live in the best world possible??

Exactly. Everyone wants that. 

It’s a good thing, then, that they offer several women’s studies classes here at Penn State! Now, you can sign up for one…or fifty.