Stacey E. Williams
Psychology, Gender Studies Major
A major or minor in Gender Studies is incredibly valuable because of its real-world application. Since becoming involved with Gender Studies, hardly a day goes by when I don't look around and notice something that can be explained in terms of gender, race, socioeconomic status, or another societal classification. We live in a hierarchical world, and the only way to expose the injustice of these arbitrary distinctions is to confront them hands-on in the academic environment that courses in Gender Studies provide. These classes aren't just "Feminism 101," and in fact, many of the classes I've taken are critical of feminism(s) in one way or another. They all have, however, opened my eyes to the ways that society still perpetrates injustice against women, minorities, and those of a lower socioeconomic status or oppressed sexual orientation. While the course material may be theoretical to some degree, it all has real-world applicability, so you're not left saying "When am I ever going to USE this?" as you might in other disciplines. Gender Studies has given me a different outlook on the world and the tools with which to effect change. Through my courses and interactions with faculty, I've met some of the most diverse people here at Notre Dame--which is not a very diverse place. The ideas and viewpoints that I have encountered have given me real perspective, and have forced me to critically rethink many of my beliefs about people and society in general.