Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
at Miami University
Student Profile: Rebecca Lancaster (2012)
Rebecca Lancaster (Class of 2012) is from New Carlisle, OH. She is a double major in philosophy and women's, gender, & sexuality studies. She participated in the 2011 Feminist Summer Camp in New York City.
Why did you choose Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGS)?
"I chose WGS because it is a combination of my interests. I began taking classes just to 'get a feel' for what women's studies would be like, but I immediately fell in love with the courses and had to take as many as I could.
"This major has allowed me to learn more about the world around me, both internationally and in my own backyard, through the perspectives of women and people who may not be heard in mainstream society. Learning more about these perspectives, I felt unable to stop the process and return to a life of ignoring the world around me. WGS allowed me to look more deeply into my activism and the contributions that I would like to make to society.
"By pairing WGS with philosophy, I've been able to look at issues from separate, but at times related, fields. Alongside a philosophy major, WGS is a helpful tool for looking into the ways in which these fields can interact, such as feminist theory.
"WGS makes a great second major as it spans many areas of study and offers insights into other classes. I want to go into a field in which I work with women and children, offering services and advocacy. WGS has provided me with resources and information that will be useful in my daily life, as well as in my career. It has also given me more information about my passion and has shown me that there is still a lot of work to be done!"
Feminist Summer Camp
In 2011, the WGS program gave me the opportunity to attend Feminist Summer Camp (now Feminist Boot Camp) held by Soapbox, Inc., in New York City. This camp, planned and carried out by writers Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards, gave me and other students the opportunity to meet with professionals working to promote feminism. A wide assortment of professions was represented, from religious groups to writers to foundations. We conversed with key people working in feminism and gained insights into carrying out our own feminist work.
"The participants were from diverse backgrounds and had varied interests and career goals. We stayed in a hostel together and had time to bond and get to know people like us. It was a wonderful relief to talk to people who had the same interests and wanted to have a life surrounding feminist activism.
"The time I spent networking and making connections will move with me into my career, and the time I spent getting to know other people who feel the same way that I do is something that I will never forget."
Would you recommend WGS?
"All students should have an eye-opening experience about the world around them. WGS provided that experience for me and I think that students who have not found their niche, or would like a more diverse look at the world should try a WGS course.
"As a major (or minor) the course load provides many options to take classes that interest you and you can really make the major work to meet your goals. I've had amazing experiences and met wonderful people through this major and I would recommend it to anyone."