The number of women’s and gender studies degrees attained by university graduates has tripled since 1990.
“We have just seen a flood of people declaring a major and minor — probably close to 100 now,” Doreen Mattingly, department chair of the women’s studies program at San Diego State University, told USA Today. “I know people teach about gender and women’s rights, but every semester, I have students come to me and say ‘why is it that no one ever taught me this’ and ‘no one ever taught my what you’re telling me.’”
Many students at San Diego State University take women’s studies courses to fulfill core curriculum demands. But Mattingly mentioned that after taking a women’s studies class, students adopt a different worldview and realize that they want to advocate for women and less privileged individuals.
San Diego’s women’s studies department is intersectional, examining how gender interacts with class, race, religion, sexuality, etc.
“When people with this degree and this background go out into the world, they have a really great tool set to be be able to understand and recognize different problems and obstacles affecting different people in our society,” Lilly Madden, who majors in women’s and gender studies at Ball State University, to USA Today. “I think there are a lot of people that think this field of study is about having pity for women or complaining about all the things that are wrong with our world, but the main goal is to help find ways to overcome these things in the real world.”
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