My first major is Psychology. I have a double major and that’s Women’s Studies. But when people ask me my major, I usually just say Psychology since that’s listed as my first major and it’s easier. But I regret not embracing the fact that I’m a Women’s Studies major too more because I’m really proud of it. Sometimes I feel like I don’t say it because people ask me, “Oh, do you hate men?” or “Are you a lesbian?” (both answers are no) and the fact that these silly questions are even being asked and maybe even assumed, and Women’s Studies is still seen as obscure to some people, shows how necessary the department is. And I’m proud to be a student in that department because the classes I’ve taken have broadened my knowledge and world perspective more than I could have imagined. Even more than my Psychology degree.
The Women’s Studies courses I’ve taken throughout my undergraduate career have been some of my most valuable classes throughout my time here at Stony Brook. When I came to Stony Brook, I knew I was going to declare Psychology, but after taking an introduction Women’s Studies course, I was hooked. Two of my favorite courses over the past four years was “Sex, Politics, and Families in Gender and Sexuality” and “Sociology of Human Reproduction” and I’ve taken multiple courses similar to those that I’ve also loved. I’m currently taking a class on Women’s Health and Global Science, and it’s absolutely fascinating and has given me so much perspective on women’s health on a global scale. It has opened my eyes to the way our health system works and how care is received. These types of classes are so much more practical and you end up taking away information you’ll use through the rest of your life. I’ve taken classes that are related more to history, some sociology, others psychology, and even political science. The only difference is: I view it with a feminist lens. Women’s Studies is all about interdisciplinary studies and not only connecting these fields, but the connection of characteristics such as race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and status.
Women’s Studies has taught me immense amounts that is applicable outside the classroom and relevant to the real world. Women’s studies literally relates to everything! And not simply relating to women. Women’s rights and health are constantly on the news and groups of women are constantly fighting. Take the Women’s March for example! What a Women’s Studies major learns is ABOUT events such as the Women’s March and the history of feminism/women’s history and IT’S ALL SO RELEVANT. If you’re a women, or if you’re a man, it’s so important to learn and the fact that I get to apply it to my daily life is awesome. It’s funny because before taking Women’s Studies classes, I considered myself a feminist and therefore, I thought I knew what there was to know. But there’s always so much more to learn and so many more perspectives to hear from, and I’m going to continue to apply everything I’ve learned through the Women’s Studies department throughout my professional career.
So I’m a Women’s Studies major and I’m honestly so overjoyed that I’ve had the privilege to be a student in their department the past four years. I’m so grateful for the professors I’ve had and how connected I feel to them and their teaching.
And no, I don’t hate men. No, I’m not a lesbian. But yes, I’m a feminist. And a goddamn proud one at that.