“The Feminist Studies program at Stanford developed my critical thinking skills and made me the proud deconstructionist I am today.”
~ Anonymous ʻ08
“Feminist Studies allowed me to write a novella as part of my honors thesis, combining creative and academic interests, and also combining academic and practical interests, such as activism and community service. I love the support and flexibility I received in designing my own projects.”
~ Shamala Gallagher
“Feminist Studies has completely changed my life. The ability to think critically about social hierarchies (e.g. gender, race, class, sexuality, ability, etc) has completely changed my perspective of the world and has broadened and deepened my understanding of many social issues. I can think for myself and thoughtfully critique the work of current scholars in any discipline with my feminist lens. The classes I’ve taken in the FemSt Dept have all been incredibly fulfilling and have greatly influence the direction of my future career endeavors. I am eternally grateful to the department for helping me to realize my life’s purpose: challenging hierarchies and promoting REAL equality for all.”
~ Anonymous ’12
“I majored in a science department that had a huge number of undergraduates and very little structured advising. Completing a minor and honors thesis in Feminist Studies provided me with an opportunity to develop much closer relationships with very inspiring faculty members; develop strong critical-thinking, writing, and oral presentation skills; and build much more confidence in myself and my intelligence. The social theory and research exposure I gained as a Feminist Studies minor compelled me to pursue a graduate degree in public health and then to go into medicine. I’ve encouraged several of my friends and friends’ younger siblings to look in to majoring or minoring in Feminist Studies — I think it’s a fantastic way to really find an intellectual “home” at Stanford, learn an enormous amount, and be surrounded by incredible students and faculty members who will do everything they can to help you intellectually, academically, and professionally.”
~ Anjali Dixit
“There are few programs in college educational systems that challenge and inspire you to look beyond what people tell you to think, but Feminist Studies has given me an entirely new perspective of myself and the world around me. this way of critical thinking has prepared me for any job i wish to pursue.
No other program is going to give you the opportunity to make that same connection between activism and academia. Not only did the Feminist Studies program at Stanford offer me preperation for future careers, but also prepared me for life: the Personal if Political.”
~ Renata Sanchez
“I decided to major in Feminist Studies as well as History because Feminist Studies allows me to incorporate an academic analysis of oppression and social change into my field of study. Feminist Studies has helped me to think critically about the way we do History and some of the problems of traditional scholarship.”
~ Grace LaVance
“For lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities, Queer studies can be a saving grace, a connection to our histories and futures. As a major in Feminist Studies, focusing on LGBT/Queer studies instilled in me a strong sense of pride and connection to the communities i am a part of.
After analyzing the work of scholars and activists who come before me, i leave Stanford confident that i can make a lasting contribution to a better future for both women’s rights and LGBT rights.”
Upon graduation, I thought I would be a professor of women’s history. I went to UCLA to get my MA en route to a PhD, but i dropped out because it turns out Academia isn’t for me after all. I’m now happily employed as an accountant at a small CPA firm. One might think that this is a waste of my degree. One would certainly be wrong. I am almost always the smartest person in the room. Seriously. This is a direct result of my majoring in Feminist Studies. I started out here as a full-charge bookkeeper. However, because I am really really good at taking information, analyzing it, and coming up with intelligent interpretations and solutions, I have earned the respect of my white male bosses and my clients. I have outlasted two men who had accounting degrees, one of whom is a CPA.
The skillset that I learned as a Feminist Studies major transcends subject matter. I learned how to ask critical questions. I learned how to pinpoint the strengths and weakness of someone’s argument and/or assumptions. Because I learned that nothing is a priori, that everything is pretty subjective, and it’s a matter of how attached one is to his/her assumptions, I approach problems differently from traditionally-trained accountants. My specialty is understanding the logic of others, whether I agree with it or not. I not only solve current problems, but I can anticipate future issues or concerns because I can follow my clients’ logic to various possible conclusions. How? Because, to put it bluntly, I think better than most people; because I have an interdisciplinary mind. This is what I got from majoring in Feminist Studies.
Finally, and this is really really important. I am Black. I am female. I look about ten years younger than I am. While this is an advantage at the club and the bar, it is a disadvantage in my traditionally stodgy profession. However, because I am feminist, I know and embrace my intelligence. I do not dumb myself down in order to make others feel comfortable. In fact, I make others feel comfortable by consistently demonstrating my competence in my chosen field. Because I am feminist, I have the confidence to inform my white male bosses of my value. I promoted myself from bookkeeper to accountant, and they hopped on my bandwagon. Instead of hiring an ‘experienced accountant’ they hired a bookkeeper to do the work I used to do, so that I can devote more time to higher-level work.
So, when your parents ask you, ‘What are you going to do with a degree in Feminist Studies?’ Just tell them what I used to tell people who ask me the same question: ‘Whatever I want.’”
~ Monique Reece