Womens studies, Chicano/Latino Studies, African American Studies..why these are NOT useless majors.

I have an AA degree in Communications. I have double degree in Sociology and Women’s & Gender studies. Recently in discussing an alumni event where I was asked to be part of a panel discussion, the person I mentioned this to, responded by stating “Women’s studies and all those types of majors are the most useless ever.” They never said anything about allllll the other accomplishments I had (degrees) or other fields I have an education in. I responded by stating “well those are the people we need in government, politics, medicine, law….if you were a Latino organization wouldn’t it be a boon to get someone whose specialty is knowing the history and the needs of the population its supposed to serve?” To which the person said “I guess.”

I get this a lot. One person on a random internet thread told me “those majors shouldn’t even be funded by the student loan system.” I think these reaction fall under the idea that people criticize and fear what they don’t understand. Most people do not know what students in this major study for 4 years let alone what they can go on to do with these degrees. The answer, put simply, is ANYTHING. As I said before, we need people who understand ALL TYPES of populations in our society to be working in fields which theywill encounter said populations. Do you really want an OB GYN who doesn’t know anything about women treating you (or yuor mother, sister, friend)? What would be more impressive to a group such as the ACLU if you were seeking employment by them: a degree in a degree in history or a degree in Latino/Chicano/African studies? If you were a politician joining a committee or running for office, would you not consider it an asset to have a degree in the area you wish to serve? EXACTLY.

What can you do with a women’s studies degree besides “anything”? Well how about rape crisis counselor, birth center, WIC eligibility worker, feminist newspaper, womens magazines, lawyer for women’s issues, politician serving and advocating women’s needs (birth control, equal pay etc) …Latino studies: border issues, immigration issues and advocacy, fair pay, equal access to schools, second language learners, helping bring resources to schools which serve high minority populations, school counselor, doctor….

In other words…you get my point. Or I hope that you do.

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