Warning: not controversial.
As someone who has friends who put up with my criticisms of feminism, postmodernism, and poststructuralism, I am often recommended to take a gender and women’s studies course. However, university is a short and costly time in any person’s life, and so there is a steep price for taking a GWST (Gender and Women’s Studies) course. In light of this, a GWST course simply isn’t worth it.
The first cost is 52 hours of my life. University lasts 4 years. I’m in my second year. It goes by really quickly. Time is scarce. Your usual course in university has 3 hours of lecturing per week. On top of this, there is at least 1 hour of homework a week. 4 hours a week times 13 weeks (one semester) means a total of 52 hours.What could I spend 52 hours on? Lets say it takes 15 hours to read a classic. I could read 3 classics. I could also learn a new language, like French or Latin. I could learn about the Bible and the Quran on Coursera. If my salary were $10, which is a conservative estimate, what with minimum wage laws and my experience, I could get a part time job and make more than $5000 dollars.
The second cost is the cost of tuition. A course at UBCO costs around $600: 500 for the course, and 100 for the textbook. What else could I do with $600? I could take a more interesting and meaningful course, like Mythologies in Motion or Applied Ethics. I could also take a more practical and applicable course, like Computer Science. I could buy an iPad to read books on. I could buy 5 Leonid Afremov paintings. But it suffices to say that there are a lot of things that I would spend $600 on than a GWST course.
The third cost is to my brain. I think that reading Foucault, Derrida, and De Beauvoir would rot my brain from the inside out. Why is this? I’ve spoken with friends who have taken a GWST course before, and I’ve asked them all the questions I could come up with. GWST courses inflame students, and attempt to turn them into political activists. This is done by indoctrinating within them a postmodern worldview, which teaches its poor disciples to see all of the world in terms of victims and oppressors. This leads to agitation within the students to “ally” themselves with the victims and fight against the oppressors.
Now why is this problematic? A real education teaches you about yourself. It informs you about the great men and women of the past, to whom you can compare your lousy, flabby, valueless, immoral self, and gives you a reason to be a better person, to find and tweeze out your own flaws, to figure out who you should be as a person. You cannot do this when all you see are the problems in the world. To quote Christ: “Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote of thy brother’s eye.” Before you go looking to fix the problems, fix the problems in yourself. GWST courses advocate for the former, whereas a real education in something like Philosophy, English, or the Classics teaches the former.
So there you have it. I will never take a GWST course because it’s a waste of time, money, and brain power.