Why major in Gender and Women's Studies?

Are we “just for women”? Not by a long shot!! Not only do we offer courses specifically about men and masculinity, but every course we teach deals with issues of concern to both women and men. We are, as our name indicates, a gender studies department. Gender can take a dazzling variety of forms across time and culture, and one of our goals is to study that diversity. But everyone—men, women, and those who identify as neither, or both--lives within some system of gender. This has a tremendous impact on our everyday experience, from birth to old age.

Are we here to tell you to wipe off your make-up and burn your bra? Hardly. But you will learn about how those stereotypes of feminists got started, and what women’s movements all over the world have really been about. You will also learn about popular culture, mass media, and the role that they play in shaping our ideas about beauty, fitness, masculinity, femininity, sexuality. And you’ll study this from the perspective of global movements, as well as events in your own backyard.

Is a GWS degree a frill, and of no use in the “real world”? That’s the biggest misconception of all. As the success of past majors shows, a degree in GWS can lead to an amazing range of careers in law, public policy, journalism, education, consumer protection, violence prevention, environmental sustainability, and more. There’s really no career that a GWS degree can’t lead to!

For more information about GWS, visit: gws.as.uky.edu/

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