By LAURA SANCHEZ, Staff Writer
It all begins with a typical conversation. “Want to go eat out with us?” people ask me. “I can’t, I have class,” I answer. “What class?” “…Women and Gender Studies,” I say, already bracing myself for the response I’m going to get. “Oh…THAT class,” they reply pointedly, eyes and smirks widening. Yes, I am indeed going to that class. THAT class, the monstrous class that gives women IDEAS and turns them into horrendous monsters, ready to join a hippie commune to run barefoot on the grass and shun men forever.
This is a weekly occurrence, a weekly conversation that I have to endure, reactions I have to face, and judgments people make based on a class with women and gender in the title. I shouldn’t have to face these plaguing judgments and assumptions based on these prejudices. These prejudices are the reason I take Women and Gender Studies in the first place, prejudices that come to light throughout my experiences have shown me that the world needs a bit more feminism and a bit less patriarchy.
Newsflash: We don’t turn into monsters by taking that class. This class does not promote placing women above men, or teaches us all to become man-haters. In fact, this is the first thing we learn in class: feminism is not about placing women above men. It’s about the simple notion that women are equal to men, a notion people still do not understand nowadays.
It may come as a shocker to some, but there are men taking that class too. These are men interested in learning about social issues that affect all genders, because they understand the struggles women face. Or at least they do, after taking the class. Everyone should learn about these issues because they concern all of us. They concern how we’re treated in society, how qualities are overvalued and undervalued, how our race, class, and gender all intersect with each other so we can construct our own experiences, and how certain levels of privilege benefit us all in different ways. It’s important to realize this in order to understand how the world works. It’s not all black-or-white. It’s a little bit of everything, and learning about a different, gendered perspective is even more eye opening than I had thought it would be.
If there are still any people weighing their options about taking this class, do it. Do it for the women, do it for the men, do it for the unprivileged, do it for you. But do it mostly for the haters. Kick their prejudiced little butts by being smarter than them and believing in a better, equal world.