In wake of #MeToo, women and gender studies are more crucial than ever

Students can greatly benefit from expanding their classes to include women and gender studies courses

In light of the #MeToo movement, it is more important than ever for ASU students to explore women and gender studies classes.

With thousands of ASU students reading about celebrities coming forward to tell their stories of sexual harassment and assault, the #MeToo movement is undisputedly in the ASU student body's interest, which could allow for open discourse concerning women and gender issues in and out of the classroom.

“The #MeToo campaign has given a name and a concept that heightens understanding of the issue and how pervasive it has been for millennia," said Gloria Feldt, former president of Planned Parenthood and faculty associate at ASU's School of Social Transformation. "We have a generation of women who know they don’t have to put up with (sexual assault) anymore.”

It is important that all ASU students are educated about the prevalence of sexual assault, violence and harassment. 

This could start with students taking women and gender studies classes. These courses, along with other on-campus activities, allow ASU's student body to play a role in the effort to stop the epidemic of sexual assault and harassment.

“What we want to do is create a culture where sexual harassment and abuse simply do not happen," Feldt said. "We have to change the way that we think as women and men think as men." 

And as the new semester begins, ASU students have nearly 70 opportunities to take women and gender studies classes.

Students should be encouraged to learn about sexual abuse regardless of gender identity. Every student has the potential to either be directly or indirectly affected by sexual assault, harassment and abuse.

"Women are half the people on the planet, so given that, demographically, it would be important to know more about their experiences and unique perspectives," Yasmina Katsulis, associate professor of women and gender studies at ASU, said.

From a new series focused on women in the media to the organizations that promote feminism and manifest the core values of women and gender studies, ASU provides various resources that offer a look into the topic. 

In the wake of #MeToo, it is more important than ever that ASU students be educated on women's issues, which affect everyone, regardless of gender.

ASU's course selection of women and gender studies courses allows an outlet for students to become educated on a topic dominating headlines and Memorial Union conversations alike.



Reach the columnist at nlplunke@asu.edu or follow @ninalplunkett on Twitter.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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