Men in the Classroom? Absolutely Not!

College Women Talking

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An overview of female-focused elective course options

You know that wonderful feeling you have when you get the opportunity to debrief the recent going-ons of your life surrounded by your girl friends? Like getting a warm hug of feminine energy? Wouldn’t it be nice to have that energy with you throughout the day as well? Here’s the secret: enroll in a female-centered elective.

To start you on this journey I’ve compiled a few options for your consideration: ENG 209 - Intro to Jane Austen, ADPR 216 - Event Planning & Management and PhyEd 243 - Rape Aggression Defense (RAD). These are all classes that can be taken by any major for elective credit and, if they are not exclusively female, then they are at least predominantly female.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Why would I want to take a female-centered class? How would that be any different than my normal classes?” Madelyn Stone, a former student of the Rape Aggression Defense class, talked about her experience in the class to shed some light on this very question.

“I feel like all genders are just more comfortable in a situation where it's a majority of their gender. There was the vibe that everybody was very comfortable and open with their experiences and what they were doing,” Stone said. 

In a class such as the one Stone was taking, this level of comfort can be very important to some as the class requires significant physical involvement and the certainty that you will make some mistakes in front of others.

“I liked that there was a fellowship. Everybody was just really supportive of each other because we were doing really cringey things and we all didn't make fun of each other,” Stone said.

Beyond that, this is a class in which you can learn many skills that would be valuable to know in unfortunate, but highly possible, future situations.

“People like to pretend like women aren't over sexualized and also don't get harassed at bars and things. I feel like it's just cool to be able to acknowledge that and then also find a way to not let that overpower you,” Stone said.

However, this is not the only benefit to taking a predominantly female class, especially in a more intellectual, discussion based setting. Dr. John Han, the professor of the Intro to Jane Austen class, details another.

“I think having women students makes it easy to talk about gender issues because there's kind of this base level of understanding. I mean, you guys are dealing with that on a day to day basis,” Han said.

This class is also one of the most popular English courses in the department and, according to Han, the female-centric and feminist nature of the course may have something to do with it.

“The fact that it's a woman novelist and woman writer, I think attracts students to explore why that's such a big deal and why that's worth exploring. If you are interested in feminism, I don’t think this is a formal intro to feminist studies, but it's a good general introduction. It's a good place to start,” Han said. 

I know that with so many great elective course options available each semester, it can be hard to weed through them all to find the ones that truly interest you. But, if you’re interested in having a course on your schedule where you get to look forward to that feminine energy each week, then consider these options as you start looking into enrollment for next semester.