Women's and Gender Studies
Women, sexual minorities, and people of color are oppressed around the globe--and in our own communities. Perhaps you’ve read or heard about "man-splaining," the wage gap, sexual assault on college campuses, race and gender-based profiling, female genital mutilation, sex-selective infanticide, and gendered sweatshop labor. Women and other marginalized groups have a long history of exclusion from political and economic power—and an equally long history of resistance. Of course, they still often lack basic rights, including control over their own bodies.
But where did these injustices come from? Why do they persist in the twenty-first century? What are women (and men) are doing to stop them? And most important, what can you do to help? If you want to explore these questions, then CMU's Women's and Gender Studies minor is for you.
Together with committed faculty from the humanities and social sciences, you'll learn what gender is, how to analyze it, and how it intersects with race, class, and ethnicity to (dis)empower women differently at home and abroad. You'll appreciate that "gender" is as much about men and masculinities as it is about women. You'll realize just how deep gender goes, how it props up social systems ranging from the family unit to the nation-state. You'll grapple with the reality that not everyone—not even all feminists—agree on what is to be done, and by whom.
Gender is central to a variety of disciplines, professions, and world-views. Minors therefore choose courses from at least three academic disciplines, with the aim of developing inter-disciplinary insights into gender dynamics. The Women's and Gender Studies minor complements your chosen major and helps to prepare you along your path to a career and/or further studies in social work, counseling, law, education, business, and the arts, among many others.
You may also be interested in our active student group, the CMU Association of Feminists.