By: Holly Millet, Guest Contributor
An eye-opening and transformative campaign is currently taking place on the campus of James Madison University (JMU) in Harrisonburg, Virginia. The powerful campaign, Dukes for Feminism, aims to debunk myths about feminism, to raise awareness about the movement, as well as to broaden students’ educations by incorporating Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS 200) in the general education program.
Feminism, which isn’t typically covered in schools prior to college, aims to create a more equal society. Many girls and women in our culture face low self-esteem and a great deal of pressure to conform to beauty standards. Feminism works to end these patterns and encourages girls, women, and everyone to love themselves and to love others.
Educating students about feminism and social patterns is very important. Offering WGS200 as a general education option will allow students to become aware of the social issues that surround them on a daily basis.
The general education program at JMU aspires to create informed global citizens of the 21st century. The program is a vital component to a JMU education, as well as one that creates a space for exploring the experiences of all students through diverse perspectives, topics, and issues. Including WGS200 in the general education program will allow individuals from all realms of campus to become aware of vitally important issues.
WGS200 is incredibly interdisciplinary and covers topics such as race, sexual identity, gender identity, disability, nationality, ethnicity, religious identity, and other group alignments. The course encourages students to think critically about institutions that are often taken for granted and to understand their ability to be agents for positive social change.
JMU encourages students to “Be The Change,” and to become critical thinkers. WGS200 is vital to fulfill this mission. Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies is a course that could positively change students lives through knowledge. Not only will this course make JMU a better place, but it will also make the world a better place through cultivating awareness and understanding of cultural patterns and inequality.
To support Dukes for Feminism, sign their petition to incorporate Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies (WGS200) into the general education program, watch their video (below), and follow them on social media. Thank you!
Holly Millet is a senior at James Madison University, studying Sociology, Communication Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies. She is passionate about equality, social justice, and bringing happiness and joy to others.