Interesting, surprising, and smart!? Is that what Gender Studies has become? :D

Suri’s post about the responses she has received telling colleagues about her course inspired me to write this.

Back in the states, most often when I told people that I was majoring in Women’s and Gender Studies I’d get blank looks and a “What’s that?,” or the ever-endearing, “What are you going to do with that?” with the obvious implication that they don’t think my major is relevant to any job -_-  Please, use your imagination. The world is full of idiots.  The other common response was an uninterested shrugging off.  Only once in a blue moon did I find a gem who thought it sounded interesting…

Here, however, the responses tell a completely different story, one that is much more validating.  Last week was orientation week, so there was a lot of meeting new people and having introductory conversations. When people ask what I’m studying, I generally say “Gender and Sexuality Studies, for a Master’s” rather than my specific course name (as read in a previous post).  Instead of responding with ignorance or demeaning disinterest, people here think gender studies is fabulous and impressive.  The responses I have been getting are, “Wow that must be hard,” ” You must be really smart!” or “That is so interesting!” They seem to think I’m doing something amazing.  I have not yet had to explain what my course is, or justify my job prospects.  I’ve been so taken aback I usually manage, “Yeah it’s super interesting…but I don’t think it’s really harder than most majors??”  Maybe it’s because I mostly mingle with postgraduates, supposedly with more wisdom and maturity than your average undergraduate, but I think it’s cultural.  Whatever it is, I like it!

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