What is the biggest obstacle in today's culture for the students who are actively pursuing a degree in women's studies?
The biggest obstacle is society's lack of understanding on the severity of gendered issues. For instance, the social relations of gender have implicated systemic crises which have contributed to issues of social exclusion, gender-based violence, and social alienation ( Antrobus, 2004). For example, in recent news, in the United States of America, the Trump administration wants to remove the term 'gender' from the United Nations human rights documents replacing it with 'woman' (Borger,2018).Thus, by doing this , it would in fact contribute to social exclusion of trans-gendered , gay and non-conforming individuals violating their basic human rights. Therefore, it may be difficult for some people to understand the complexities of underlying gendered issues. Some may even view this degree as irrelevant to society / economy. However, do not be discouraged because it is an asset to have such degree. By using your knowledge, this could contribute to global gender justice and give an insight to economic and social policy.
Thanks for your question.
Although I am not a professor, but a women's studies student, I do feel as if I can give some insight on obstacles I have faced being a women's studies student. The main issue I have is the push back I receive from people who do not understand what women's studies is about. The idea that women/gender studies professors and students only discuss issues that men create versus the experiences and theories from an intersectional lens rather than the typical academic (euro/white heterosexual male) perspective.
A major roadblock I face is pushing myself to speak out against problematic situations in my daily life. To speak out against discriminations women and LGBTQ people face in an academic way that can potentially change a persons perspective. Also while being sensitive to the person in order to keep them engaged in the conversation to learn about how they can change by simply understanding a perspective that is not represented widely.
I hope this answered your question, Donovan. I can only speak on my experience as a male women's studies student (which is definitely different than the perspective of a female women's studies student).
Do great things,
However, a society headed by patriarchy is responsible for such an obstacle but the obstacle can be overcome when you have passion and confidence in what you believe to have learned as a career. I advise you to look beyond the glass-ceiling of culture which I consider the biggest obstacle to women's career development. Focus on your passion and dedicate your time to learn what you love.
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To answer your question: “What is the biggest obstacle in today’s culture for the students who are actively pursuing a degree in women’s studies?”
In my perspective, the biggest obstacle is perception. What do you expect to gain from a women’s studies degree? How are you going to make money from it? Is there going to be any long-lasting satisfaction from such a degree? Sometimes students spend time and money on a degree because it seems to further their current personal interest, or agenda, not realizing that there is going to be a time to pay back the student loan from the income made from a degree in Women’s Studies.
On the other hand, who do you hope to work for? What impact does a degree in “Women’s Studies” have on an agency who hires - looking for results? You could take such a degree and create a niche in sex trafficking; women in positions of authority; or the question of, “if being a woman is a good thing, then why does she have to look like a man?”
What is the biggest obstacle? Perception…and longevity.
Good luck and take care of yourself.
In my experience studying Women's and Gender Studies in college and hoping to purse a Masters in the field, the biggest obstacle is that people don't know what it is and therefore don't value it. I often get strange looks and the staggering "what will you do with that?" question from family and friends who don't quite know what we study. In addition I very much agree with Asha's answer. Women's and Gender studies is a simple name for a field that studies gender, sexuality, race, culture, religion, and the modern world in every aspect. Many do not value this on top of the struggle that many don't think racism, sexism, and any other "ism" is a real issue.
First of all, there is a big problem regarding stereotypes. We are born without stereotypes, but the whole society, our family, friends... create stereotypes in the way that we think or we act.
For example, there is a recent paper in Science journal (Bian et al, 2018) that find these stereotypes in children as young as 6! We need to be really careful because not all these stereotypes are evident but all of us have them. It is important to recognize them and try to avoid them.
Hope it helps
in my humble opinion there are no obstacles, you just have the will and the courage to continue your studies.
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Hi there! I was a Gender Studies Major in undergrad at the University of Maryland. I was a nontraditional student who went to college later for financial reasons and graduated at 32. I absolutely loved the Gender Studies program! It taught me so much and has had an impact on every area of my life. The biggest obstacle for me was in finding work in the field after graduating. If you major in Gender Studies, you may want to minor in something more easily employable, or make sure to do an internship with a nonprofit or other organization that may lead to employment after. I am currently going to grad school for a Masters of Arts in Counseling, and there is a Feminist Theory base that can be used as a counselor/therapist. Definitely research what kinds of jobs are out there and good luck!
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