Women’s studies courses a great way to expand worldview

Columnist

Take it from me, if you have an opening in your schedule next semester and don’t know what class to take, sign up for a class in women’s studies.

When I was choosing classes for my first semester as a Wichita State student, one in particular that stood out to me: Women in Popular Culture. The name stuck out to me because I thought it would be a class where we would discuss tough women in movies, television and other media, which I thought would be fantastic for me. Alas, I was wrong.

The class was actually all about expanding one’s worldview regarding the issues that women face because of popular culture’s influence on society. I can safely say this class succeeded in developing my worldview, and teaching me all about issues faced in society because of popular culture’s influence.

Women in popular culture is not a typical class. Instead of lecturing all class period and taking notes from a PowerPoint, most of the class was discussion based. Each week, we had a topic that started with a reading we were supposed to be finished with, and ready to be quizzed about when we got to class. After taking a quiz, we then discussed the reading, and students talked about it in relation to their worldviews.

Then we used real world examples to illustrate these issues in society. For instance, we discussed Internet addiction. We watched videos, and read articles online describing the effects of Internet addiction on those addicted to the Internet, the people around them, and how their addiction caused their life to fall apart.  

The best part of the class was discussing the material we covered in the course. It was great listening to different perspectives about issues that women face in society because of popular culture’s influence. It helped increase my awareness about how different people’s views on topics influence others’ viewpoints.

Because of this class, I am examining all sorts of things, especially the media, in ways I never have before. Whenever I’m watching television, I start analyzing how certain situations play out and why we as a society perceive certain behaviors as normal. I have even started analyzing life around me, including conversations between a man and a woman, and I start questioning their roles in the conversation and why they have their roles, which are often stereotypical roles.

Thanks to this class, I now am considering adding a minor in women’s studies to my communication degree. I am hoping to take more women’s studies courses during my time here at WSU to continue expanding my worldview about the issues that women face in society, which despite what anyone says to the contrary, is still a major topic in our world.

In short, I would recommend taking a Women’s Studies class to anyone who wants to expand their worldview, and keep an open mind about what they learn. WSU offers several entry-level courses for those interested in Women’s Studies. Take one that seems interesting to you. If you’re like me, you won’t regret it.