I took gender and sexuality studies as a minor in college, which is what my school offered instead of “women’s studies.” I assumed at first that they were just being PC with the name. But then when I took the first class, an introduction to the discipline, I realized it truly wasn’t just about women. We learned about constructs like gender and sexuality, yes, but we also devoted a lot of attention to the intersectionality of race, class, religion and able-bodiedness. That introductory instructor encouraged us not to assume gender was what individuals identified with first and cautioned us against ignoring other ways people are oppressed by focusing solely on gender. Gender studies was actually the hip new term for the discipline; “women’s studies,” on the other hand, sounded hopelessly old-school. I took four gender and sexuality studies classes and only one — “Women and The Media” — focused on women almost exclusively (that class was about media depictions). The other courses, however, were far more intersectional and examined all the different ways people can be oppressed; for example, “The History of Prostitution” talked a lot about how female sex workers flourished during Victorian times in part because men felt they had no other outlet.
I never took a “men’s studies” class that focused primarily on men. But if I could go back in time, I might have majored in G&SS instead of minored and taken a course strictly about masculinity. After all, gender is so intersectional and I do want to learn more about that particular construct. Approximately, 100 colleges around the country offer “men’s studies” courses — one would assume in the gender studies, sociology or anthropology departments — and though it’s not offered as a major anywhere yet, the proliferation of these courses is a good sign that in the coming years, masculinity will be critiqued and evaluated just as much as femininity has been by “women’s studies.”
So if G&SS is now incorporating the study of women’s and men’s experiences together, then what the heck is “male studies” about? Keep reading »
Education is supposed to enrich our lives and make us more worldly and learned. But for many of us, higher ed just brings on thoughts of debilitating debt and crashing credit scores. According to the Project on Student Debt, the average 2009 graduate owes around $24,000 after graduation. But that’s nothing compared to the astronomical amount of school debt Kelli Space has. Keep reading »
I graduated from college two years ago with $115,000 in student loans. I’m paying them off a little at a time, and when I need a reason to drink, I like to play with loan payoff calculators online, which tell me that, if my monthly payments stay as they are, I should be done in about 42 years. Sure, sometimes I wish I had picked a less expensive school, but so do a lot of people, right? What’s done is done, and now I have to pay for my degree, just like everyone else … right? Keep reading »
You’ve worked hard through grad school, but when you’re ready to graduate there are NO jobs in your field. Should you get a refund on your school tuition? It’s a radical thought, but that’s what one student at Boston College is proposing. The anonymous student wrote a letter to the dean of Boston College Law School, where he is a third-year law student, and lamented that despite doing well in school he’s been unable to secure a position. In the letter, the student outlined the difficulties he and his fellow classmates were having finding a job, and added that his failure to land a gig will make it difficult to support his pregnant wife. Keep reading »
It was a fruity, caffeinated alcoholic beverage called Four Loko, not the date rape drug, that sent a gaggle of Washington state college kids to the hospital during a house party on October 8. Police had suspected “roofies” had effed up the Central Washington University students. Instead, it was a 12 percent alcohol malt liquor/energy drink equivalent to six beers that got to these party monsters.
In other words, I thought this story would be a Lifetime original movie, but it turns out it’s an episode of “Jersey Shore.” Keep reading »
I have spent many an hour studying Jon Hamm’s raw, natural manliness. But is studying “Mad Men” in the ivy-colored halls of academia an equally frivolous pursuit? The University of California at Berkeley, a.k.a. a school with free-thinkin’ hippie roots, offers a two-credit class in which students analyze “Mad Men” like a work of literature. Keep reading »
So what is “drunkorexia,” you ask? It’s a new term given to the growing number of college students who choose to skip meals in order to binge drink without gaining weight. While these students are said to be proud of being able to drink and stay slim, just about everyone is understandably concerned about what could happen when calorie consumption is limited to solely alcohol. Health officials worry that the fusion of these two addictive behaviors not only signals major psychological issues, but also wreaks havoc on your physical well-being. As one eating disorder specialist summarized, “You’ve had the experience of drinking on an empty stomach? These folks are drinking on an empty body.” My stomach is quivering in horror just thinking about this. [Newser] Keep reading »
Curbing dangerous binge drinking on a college campus? An admirable goal. Slut-shaming women whose inhibitions melt away when soused? Not so much.
The University of Minnesota debuted a new anti-binge drinking campaign called “The Other Hangover,” which warns students to think about how their reputation will be tarnished if they do stupid things while drunk. It was created by students in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications for the 2009 National Student Advertising Competition. It’s an ad campaign blitzkrieg with billboards, coasters, sidewalk clings, magnets, and mirror clings all around the campus. Some of the sentiments on “the social consequences” of drinking: “‘But I was drunk,’ doesn’t repair the friendship” or “Just because you were drunk, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen,” which is innocuous enough. But others are straight-up slut-shaming young adults for being sexual. Keep reading »
If there’s one person you don’t want to mess with, it’s an irate college journalism student. All Long Island University journalism student Chelsea Isaacs wanted was a comment from Apple’s media relations department for a paper she was writing. Isaacs, a college senior, was assigned a story on the use of iPads in academic settings — especially prescient since her college was considering offering free iPads to incoming freshmen. When the company’s media relations folks failed to get back to her, she took her query to a higher power — Apple head Steve Jobs — complaining that the media relations department was ignoring her query, despite that kind of being its job.
What followed was a testy exchange, and somebody acting like a sullen teen. Keep reading »