It’s that time of the semester — course selection for spring is quickly approaching, and a majority of people have an idea what they would like to take. But what about those who have no idea? Most academic advisors are helpful in guiding students with their course selection, but some just glance over the most important course a student can take: Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies (WGSS).
Taking a WGSS class educates students regarding the history of women and the political, social and economic issues they face today. The program gives an in-depth look at how social norms are pushed onto people since birth. The program is purely discussion-based, allowing students to hear and learn from other students’ experiences and gain first-hand knowledge about the issues regarding race, gender, sexuality and class.
The main focus of a WGSS class is intersectionality. Intersectionality is the idea that all varying identities are interconnected and should be treated as such. That is an important concept regarding feminism, because it dispels the common conception of “white feminism.”
“White feminism” is feminism that focuses on the struggles of cisgendered white women, neglecting women of color and LGBTQ issues. Every student should take the time to learn and understand intersectionality, because it shows how different identities create and affect people’s experiences.
These types of classes and the concept of intersectionality is not only for women but for men as well, and those who are non-binary. Men are able to gather a better understanding of some of the challenges women face daily. They also have a chance to learn the true concept of feminism and how it changes across the globe, enhancing their social awareness. These types of classes are beneficial to non-binary people, dispelling misconceptions and engaging others in a rich history that is lacking from standard textbooks.
The concept of feminism is believing in the social, economic and political equality of women. All students taking a WGSS class will engage in conversations, not solely about women, but about the spectrum of sexuality and gender. If everyone takes one WGSS class, it will further the feminist movement in educating the common population about the grievances of those who are not straight, white males face every day. People become more socially aware, and once that occurs, the feminist movement will gather more allies and take off further than before.
Everyone, regardless of gender, sexuality or beliefs, should take a WGSS class. Taking one class will open a student’s mind to the world around them. The class breaks down communication barriers and gives students a chance to be heard. Students should consider taking one WGSS class during their time in college, and what better time than this spring semester?
Iana Fields is a freshman studying english creative writing at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk to Iana? Tweet her @FieldsIana.