Women and gender studies is an interdisciplinary minor that explores the complex ways gender shapes who we are and how we live. It challenges conventional knowledge by examining complex subject matter through various lenses.
Why Choose Women and Gender Studies?
In this minor you will study social identities, such as gender, race class, ability, sexual orientation. And you will explore how these identities intersect with related systems of oppression, domination and discrimination. You also will examine how various biological, social and cultural categories interact on many and often simultaneous levels.
As a student minoring in women and gender studies, you will explore the complexity of gender across the humanities and social sciences. Choose from a variety of special topics courses in business, education and health, or science that focus on a relevant subject. Topics include:
Gender and Sexuality in Popular Music
Psychology of Women
Race and Ethnicity
Sexuality and the Sacred
Philosophers on Sexuality, Love and Friendship
Women in the United States
You will have access to hands-on learning opportunities such as working with faculty on research projects through the Summer Research Scholars program. These competitive experiences look great on resumes when applying to graduate schools or jobs. Past research topics include:
the role of pornography as a form of political commentary
understanding the relationship between rape, torture, and domination as tools used to build nationalism
Free the Nipple project which addresses female oppression and censorship
Explore a variety of opportunities on campus and in New York City. Attend our Women and Gender Studies Brownbag Series, a regular informal lunchtime presentation and discussion about issues related to women and gender studies. Past topics include Bangladeshi women and social change, forgotten women of the radical movement including Eliza Sharples and Breastfeeding in the Public Arena. Help organize campus awareness events such as Take Back the Night, a march and vigil in support of sexual assault prevention or attend a Green Dot workshop to raise your knowledge of power-based personal violence.
With our proximity to New York City, you may choose to get involved with organizations like the National Organization for Women or participate in the annual PRIDE parade.
“When you say women’s studies, most people assume it’s just about women but it’s really just about the relationship of gender between both sexes.
"When I came to Manhattan College, I was going to pursue a minor in Sociology, but when I took the Codes of Gender class with Dr. Badruddoja, I realized that Women and Gender Studies was more suited to my interests. The two fields overlap a lot, but I wanted to focus on the topics of gender, equality and women’s experience as well as men’s.
“So far, my courses have opened my eyes to instances of inequality and sexism that I had never recognized before — even in my own life! Another topic that drew me in was the issue of equal pay. I think about how hard I work in school and although I may outperform some of my male counterparts, when you look at the research, they have a better chance of being paid more in their future job simply because they are male. We also look at issues of female sexuality and how it is constructed within society.
“My major and minor really are tied together. I’m a research assistant for Dr. Zella Moore - she’s the chair of the Psychology department. We’re doing some research on domestic violence and aggression. My main goal is to be a clinical psychologist. While I hope to continue research in the clinical arena, as a clinician, I’ll need to know about the psychology of sexuality and the psychology of gender to best treat [my patients].
“I’ve had such a good academic experience - but so much more than that. I’m not the same person I was freshman year. I see the world differently now. I used to take things at face value, but my courses are helping me think critically about what’s going on in the world to expand my viewpoint. That’s why I’m so grateful for my education.”
“At Manhattan, every teacher cares about you outside the classroom, too. They take the time to get to know you. So when you have something that’s going on that is making it difficult to focus on your work, they are very understanding. Since my family lives a few hours away, my teachers here have been my support system. If you keep a line of communication open with them, they’re always going to be there for you."
What Will You Learn?
Women and gender studies is an interdisciplinary minor that will encourage you to explore the complexity of gender. As a women and gender studies minor, you will:
Explore the diversity of women’s experiences.
Examine gender relations in both the public and private spheres.
Analyze gender within social institutions and practices, power relations and beyond.
The minor promotes women’s issues and gender awareness to help create an equitable future.
While you develop your awareness of gender in the world, you will also be developing the critical thinking, writing and presentation skills that employers seek. Graduates of the women and gender studies minor work in a variety of fields, including arts, business and industry, education, health care, the media, politics, law, social work, psychology and sports.