Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.

UNIVERSITY PRESS

Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.

UNIVERSITY PRESS

Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.

UNIVERSITY PRESS

Column 1

Okay, hands up. How many students knew FAU had a Women’s Studies program? How about a Women’s Studies certificate? Yes, it’s true. But I can’t rightfully advocate this without saying that before last semester, I didn’t either.

While looking to fill space on my transcript, my advisor suggested the Women’s Studies certificate. It requires five classes in total: Intro to Women’s Studies, three core classes and one elective. And since many of the classes can be taken outside the Women’s Studies curriculum, students may already be ahead of the game.

Classes such as “Women, Image and Reality,” “Women of Color,” “Gender, Health and the State” and “Sex, Violence and Hollywood” cover a vast amount of topics and concerns for both women and men. But since December, the list of classes available has dwindled significantly. The fall 2002 schedule offers only five classes so far.

Disappearing classes have been a source of anger and unwanted stress for students recently, and the Women’s Studies Department has felt the pinch especially hard. But don’t let that discourage you gals (and guys)!

Wait, there’s more! In addition to interesting classes and a crop of delightful professors, the Women’s Studies Department offers a multitude of lectures and activities. The Brown Bag Lunch Series started in February and runs throughout April. Lectures (free lectures, that is) such as “Presidential Partners: Politics, Influence and First Ladies” and “Love, Magic and Medicine In Old French Verse Romance” offer an insightful look into women’s history.

The department has also hosted Middle Eastern Movie Night (free movies!), spotlighting a different country each month – definitely a refreshing change of pace from the mind-numbing banality of television.

Back to the above reference of guys in Women’s Studies. I have noticed, as others have, the unspoken “one-man rule” for many classes. That is, there only seems to be one guy per 20-30 female students.

Now, I can see why guys would be intimidated, being surrounded by independent, intelligent women and all. Most of the men I have talked to said they took Women’s Studies classes for a different outlook, or to learn more about women.

Unfortunately, many men retain the fear of “male bashing” and stay away like it’s the plague. It’s hard to believe men and women still find it hard to talk intellectually about gender differences and that assumptions are still based on outdated and **ingrained stereotypes. It’s not as if a classroom of women is lying in wait for an unsuspecting male student to walk through the door, then grabbing him by the throat and forcing him to admit why he really reads Maxim.

Rather, Women’s Studies offers a broad range of topics – such as gender, race, class, media influence, work and sexual orientation – which may help a few more men jump over that gender barrier, not pit men and women against each other.

Thirty years ago, women in college were a rarity. To be able to receive a college education and learn about the history of women is a truly liberating experience. Give Women’s Studies a shot – I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.

* You can visit the Women’s studies web site at:www.fau.edu/divdept/womenstd/women.htm*

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