Gender and women’s studies majors deserve your respect
When you tell your friends that you’re a neuroscience major, they respect you. Although they might not actually understand what you’re learning, they recognize its worth. When you tell your friends that you’re an English major, they may not have read Joyce or Chaucer, but they recognize the difficulty of your coursework. When we tell our friends that we’re gender and women’s studies (GWS) majors, we get nervous laughter in response. Our friends don’t seem to understand what it is we study, why we study it, or how it is of any intellectual value. We tend to crack jokes about our classes to our friends. At home, we often shy away from telling our grandparents just what it is we are studying at Bowdoin. Why is there so much shame surrounding the GWS major? We are passionate about our course of study, so why are we embarrassed by it? Perhaps it’s because we’re not oblivious to how GWS majors are sometimes perceived on campus.