20 Things Only Gender Studies Majors Know

1. You know better than anyone that gender is performed, that gender is not a “fact” of our being and that nobody “is” a gender from birth.

2. That in social situations on campus and out in the real world people automatically assume you are a lesbian or a gay or a bisexual when they hear that you are or were a gender studies major.

3. Well, it’s that or they will also assume you hate men. Like, why do you hate men so much? The worst, though, is when somebody comes at you with the whole, “Well, there are only two genders so I don’t really know what you could possibly learn.”

4. How to read the same Judith Butler passage over and over, trying to figure out what is going on.

5. The feeling of reading deep, serious, critical theory by people like Foucault, Irigaray, Laura Mulvey or Monique Wittig and feeling like OMG THIS IS MY EXACT LIFE.

6. You have at least one friend who is “heteroflexible” or “gender queer,” a term you had never heard until setting foot on your college campus.

7. EVERYTHING IS A PANOPTICON.

8. You have a group of fabulous friends who are radical queers, drag queens, who perform all sides of gender, and they form every sort of non-normative relationship imaginable and it is beautiful.

9. It’s hard to enjoy pop culture, even some of your favorite shows, without getting angry when you notice something “problematic.”

10. You know that race, class, gender, and sexuality work together as a unit that can’t be detached. You tell people all the time that “to talk about race is to also talk about gender and class and sexuality.” Can’t have one without the other.

11. Literally everything is a gender studies text BECAUSE SOCIETY IS PROBLEMATIC.

12. You have taken a class that included discussion of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and that class was one of the most memorable ones you’ve ever had.

13. You get annoyed when people ask you what you are going to “do” with a “degree” in “gender studies.” Is that even a real degree? They tell you good luck working at Starbucks and all you want to do is knock them in the head with The History of Sexuality.

14. “Heteronormativity” and “normativity” are words you use, like, pretty frequently just cuz.

15. The first time you heard the phrase “the heterosexual matrix” you were like WTF omg that is completely brilliant, because it literally explains everything.

16. You know what it is to get annoyed walking into the baby section of basically any store anywhere and getting pissed at how gendered everything is.

17. You get a certain rush from studying things that have a direct impact on your every day life and experience in the world.

18. You are the first person to put a nasty article in check by calling out sexism or discrimination.

19. You know exactly how to respond to objectification and slut shaming, body shaming, gender shaming, and any type of body-based discrimination.

20. Finally, you literally can’t when someone asks you what classes you’re taking and you say “Intro to Women’s and Gender Studies,” and they are like: “Oh, what kind of recipes are you going to learn this term?’ HASHTAG DONE. TC mark

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