After reading Chapter 1 of Threshold Concepts in Women’s and Gender Studies, I couldn’t help but ask myself if the ideas discussed in the chapter should be considered political or academic. Ultimately, I decided that a a Women’s and Gender Studies class is fully capable of being both.
While plenty of people believe that academia and politics should never mix, I’m not somebody that subscribes to that belief. I think the two intertwine a lot more than people might think. While you might not be discussing bipartisan issues in your calculus class, I think you could definitely make the argument that subjects like history, art, sociology, science, and even English have a certain political aspect to them. Humanity is discussed to some extent in each of these classes, and I think that’s a key element of being “political.”
Plus, Women’s and Gender Studies courses are ultimately teaching the history behind groups of individuals fighting for what they believe in. I don’t see how that’s any more political than your average American history class. Sure, issues like reproductive rights are discussed, but that’s because the discussion surrounding those issues have played a major role in the history of how women are treated across the globe.
I understand that people want to be able to separate politics from different parts of their lives, but at the end of the day, politics has a massive impact on everyday living. It’s understandable that it bleeds into our education, and personally, I don’t have an issue with that.