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Gender Studies

Overview

Find out why women's suffrage was actually a good thing.

Description

There's a good chance you know at least one woman. This sounds like a bold prediction, and while we don't want to ruin the mystique of our prognostication skills, it was an easy one to make. You see, 51% of people on the planet are women. In fact, playing the odds, you are a woman.

Yet women are rarely treated equally. It's true. Women are underrepresented in fiction. Women didn't get the right to vote until 1920. Women weren't even expected to have careers until the '70s or the '80s, and that's just in the U.S. That's crazy, right?

There's also plenty of violence (mental and physical) against women that's about as common as getting wisdom teeth pulled. Whether or not that's an accurate comparison, it still happens more often than it should. Actually, it shouldn't happen at all, but we don't exactly live in a perfect world.

The study of history and culture is going to focus on men. That's leaving out over half the story. For a long time, everyone was just sort of okay with this, but fortunately for us, that's no longer the case. This large blind spot in education is addressed with the existence of a whole new major. This one.

Don't let the word "feminist" scare you away. The word gets a lot of flak by people who want to tell you what it means in order to make a point. Really, all it means is someone who thinks women should be treated equally to men. Seriously, that's it.

So maybe you are a woman, or maybe you just know one. Your mom, maybe. Sisters. Cousins. A couple at school. Wonder Woman. (If you know Wonder Woman, please let us know. We have a ton of stuff we would like her to sign.)

Any of the above is reason enough to study what is usually referred to as "women's studies." You're going to learn about the female experience throughout the years—how women started out with a fraction of the rights their male counterparts had, and how they fought to be recognized as equal.

These days, we're finally recognizing that gender as a concept isn't as binary as we thought. You'll learn about a whole spectrum of new gender concepts, and even people who are genderless. A degree in gender and women's studies is likely to be part of a larger program, but there are tons of careers out there for those who specialize in it. You'll be on the front lines, helping to correct history's oversights.

Famous People who majored in Gender Studies

  • Ashley Judd, actress and political activist
  • Haleh Afshar, professor and Muslim feminist
  • Anne Hathaway, actress and princess of Genovia
  • Jean Fox O'Barr, feminism professor
  • Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, scholar of gender studies and queer theory

Percentage of US students who major in Gender Studies:

0.18%

Stats obtained from this source.