What is Women's Studies?
Women’s studies is the interdisciplinary study of the impact of gender on individuals’ lives. Because much of the information taught in traditional college level courses is about and from the viewpoint of men, the focus of women’s studies is to attempt to create an equal balance of knowledge between genders. Women’s studies also recognizes that gender is only one status among many that shape our lives. Therefore, women’s studies examines the ways that gender intersects with other social statuses, such as race, ethnicity, nationality, social class, sexual orientation, age and able-bodiedness to create unique experiences, life chances and worldviews for different groups of individuals.
Women’s studies seeks to achieve three main goals:
1) Include women’s experiences and accomplishments in traditionally male-dominated academic knowledge
2) Examine ways that sociocultural gendered expectations, norms and stereotypes shape women’s and men’s lives
3) Examine ways that our experiences as gendered beings are shaped by other social statuses, including race, ethnicity, nationality, social class, sexual orientation, age and able-bodiedness