About a year ago I was introducing myself to my staff. As formal introductions were done I talked to my new coworkers. Somehow we got on the topic of our pursuit of study and I mentioned that I had a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. I’ll never forget watching my coworker wrinkle his nose and say, “Oh. That’s interesting.” in a way that told me that he found my minor interesting for all of the wrong reasons. Despite being proud of my minor I found myself suddenly embarrassed.
It wasn’t the last time I received that interaction.
If you are studying Women’s and Gender Studies or an adjacent program you know that feeling of being seized up. The person talking to you suddenly thinks you are an extremist. Or stupid. Probably both. You’ve learned that you shouldn’t care about what other people think but it still bothers you. I know it still bothers me. So I decided to bust some myths about Women and Gender Studies.
- We Don’t Hate Men. We Advocate for Them
It’s Women’s And Gender’s studies. Not just women’s studies. Within classes, I learn about how gender norms affect men negatively.
- There’s Actual Scholarship Behind Women and Gender Studies
I don’t think that people understand that Women’s and Gender Studies classes are actual classes. There’s a lot of hard work involved.
- True Feminism is intersectional, so we learn history about different types of identities.
Intersectionality involves learning about how different identities work together to create a human experience.
- Women and Gender Study Programs are Worth a lot in the Work Place
Jobs are looking for people who can talk to people of different identities with respect and sensitivity. Women and Gender Studies majors and minors learn how to do this.