- Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls amysmartgirls.com
- Actor Amy Poehler and producer Meredith Walker founded Smart Girls to provide a supportive and encouraging place on the web for girls of all ages. From showcasing women in the STEM field to highlighting activist bios, this website casts a vastly great light on what awesome women are doing all over the world.
- Feministing feministing.com
- Feministing, founded by Jessica and Vanessa Valenti, is an online, activist community that prides itself on the ability to allow active engagement from its readers. Through popular message boards and public essays covering issues like pop-culture and politics, this gem on the web encourages voices from all identities to speak and be heard.
- The Establishment theestablishment.co
- This vastly topical site is a great resource for different feminist views on current events and society. Providing platforms for young writers and artists across the board, The Establishment is a great way to stay informed and up-to-date on what’s happening and what needs to get done, including a portion of the site titled “WHIT+WHIMSY” dedicated to hilariously satirical columns to get you through the day.
- Black Girl Dangerous (BGD) bgdblog.org
- Award-winning writer Mia McKenzie founded BGD in 2011 as a way to celebrate and promote voices of queer and trans people of color. Since then, the non-profit has grown to support over 300 diverse writers, and has even gone on to implement a publishing project of physical novels and essay collections. BGD is a great place to invest intellectually, and give a donation or two as well.
- PRIDE pride.com
- PRIDE is a website that focuses on queer visibility. Boasting a massive collection of articles about representation, identity politics, queer artists, and much more, PRIDE provides a great platform for voices from all across the LGBTQ+ spectrum.
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
- It’s probably become near impossible to not know about this book and its multiple award-winning Hulu series that shot into the zeitgeist last spring; though it bears repeating, if you haven’t read the source material, now is a great time to start. The novel depicts an, at times, uncomfortably plausible depiction of society’s future where the patriarchy rules and women are viewed as no more than vessels for reproduction. Told through the perspective of a handmaid named Offred, The Handmaid’s Tale is a sure way to get lost in some good ol’ thought-provoking prose.
“Don’t let the bastards grind you down.”
- Idaho by Emily Ruscovich
- As Emily Ruscovich’s debut novel, Idaho is a heart-wrenching story that depicts the navigation of loss and redemption. Told primarily through the character of Ann, a woman centered in the midst of unspeakable tragedy, the novel spans decades and perspectives, giving intimate depth to the world the novel inhabits. Through Idaho, readers are invited to endure and experience a thought-provoking story that is anchored in wonderfully written, complicated women.
“Just like that, she was deepened.”
- Sister Citizen by Melissa Harris-Perry
- The repeated perpetuation of hurtful and negative representations often force black women into restrictive social boxes of shame and discredit, resulting in constrained experiences as citizens. In Sister Citizen, Melissa Harris-Perry confronts these issues through literary analysis, focus groups, surveys, and more to allow black women the opportunity to speak on how they see themselves represented and what they hope to see in the future. In revolutionary and insightful accounts, Harris-Perry intimately shares stories from survivors of Hurricane Katrina to the First Lady.
“Citizenship is more than an individual exchange of freedoms for rights; it is also membership in a body politic, a nation, and a community.”
- Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet Mock
- A deeply intimate and profound memoir from Janet Mock, Redefining Realness showcases the struggles and trials of growing up as an underprivileged transgender woman of color in America. Mock has become a bright and outspoken voice for an often-silenced community through her own identity and affirmation of experience. With uninhibited honesty, Mock’s story provides insight into her powerful journey towards identity.
“I believe that telling our stories, first to ourselves and then to one another and the world, is a revolutionary act. It is an act that can be met with hostility, exclusion, and violence. It can also lead to love, understanding, transcendence, and community.”
- Kat Blaque https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxFWzKZa74SyAqpJyVlG5Ew
- As an insightful voice and activist on YouTube, Kat Blaque posts weekly videos on issues such as race, gender, identity, and intersectionality. Blaque is a social justice educator who dissects current social and political conversations through the lens of her own identity as a transgender black woman. She is also a keynote speaker providing honest conversation across the country—including TCU on March 1st!
“Who I am today is the most truthful incarnation of myself.”
- Her Story Show (2016)
- A six-part mini-series available on YouTube, Her Story navigates the often-complicated world of dating for trans and queer women. It is directed, shot, produced, and written entirely by women, and gives a funny, insightful and heartwarming depiction of the lives seldom shown on screen. The mini-series has garnered lots of critical acclaim, including an Emmy nomination.
“I value stories told by our community, about our community.”
- Lady Bird (2017) dir. Greta Gerwig
- Currently making its way along the 2018 Oscar circuit, Lady Bird is a wonderful film created by women, about women, for women. Writer and director Greta Gerwig wrote Lady Bird partly as homage to her hometown of Sacramento, CA as well as the uniquely special relationship between mothers and daughters. Saoirse Ronan stars as Lady Bird, a senior in high school trying her best to figure it out opposite her mother, played by Laurie Metcalf. Lady Bird is funny, introspective and exceeds all expectations of the traditional coming-of-age story that, at the end, will make you want to call your mom.
“Don’t you think maybe they are the same thing? Love and attention?”
- Insecure (2016- ) HBO
- Recently renewed for a third season, Insecure is a half-hour comedy portraying the experiences of two 20-something best friends living in California, starring Issa Rae and Yvonne Orji. Issa Rae created the show, largely based off her popular YouTube series, Awkward Black Girl, in order to explore the contemporary lives of modern black women in America. The show navigates issues such as race, gender, and relationships, and has garnered two Golden Globe nominations along the way.
“The very definition of ‘blackness’ is as broad as that of ‘whiteness’, yet we’re seemingly always trying to find a specific, limited definition.”
TCU’s Women and Gender Studies Program currently offers a minor and emphasis for undergraduate students, a certificate for graduate and PhD students, and coming this fall, an undergraduate major. The skills garnered through the WGST program range widely, including research, oral and written communication skills, critical analysis, problem solving, leadership, creativity, and many more. All of these are highly valuable to employers, and prove useful beyond graduation.
With so many great opportunities in the department, what are some viable paths to shape career goals or ambitions? Here are a few examples and helpful links for professional development, post-WGST:
- Education– the knowledge and understanding of a wide range of relevant topics through studying WGST is a great stepping-stone to becoming a successful teacher at any level. With such interdisciplinary study, a career in education is a great way to go. teacher.org/careers-in-education
- Social Work– experience with problem solving and analytical reasoning are extremely useful skills in any social work position. Providing knowledge and support to those in need with a background in WGST is a major plus in this field. socialworkguide.org/careers
- Law– with experience in research, problem solving, and great communication skills, pursuing the world of law—whether it be law school, a paralegal, or a court reporter—is greatly supported by studying WGST. legalcareerpath.com/legal-careers
- Public Relations– skills and study acquired under the WGST program like communication, social science, and organization are key to a successful career in public relations. PR is a wide field that incorporates many professions and businesses, so bringing an education backed by WGST to the table would be a great asset. Potential occupations include speechwriter, market researcher, public outreach coordinator, social media promoter, or event coordinator. forbes.com/sites/robertwynne/2016/01/21/five-things-everyone-should-know-about-public-relations/#482d5a602a2c
- Non Profit– pursuing the non-profit sector is a great way to find rewarding, impactful work for someone looking to help others. These organizations function essentially the same way for-profit businesses do; they need accountants, IT workers, online developers, and basically every job you would find elsewhere. So if compassionate work is what you hope to go after, a non-profit job, strengthened by a WGST education, could be a great path. Some prominent non-profit companies include; (RED), charity: water, Kiva, Education Pioneers, and TED. https://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2014/03/26/thinking-about-a-nonprofit-job-heres-what-you-should-know
- Health Sciences- another field that is highly rewarding with the ability to see first-hand the impact your work has on others. Due to daily interactions with patients and others in your care, tools like compassion, leadership, and social skills learned through WGST are essential. There are also many other career avenues besides the traditional nursing or medical school paths that go into health sciences. The field is wide and varied, with almost unlimited pursuable opportunities. https://www.publichealthonline.org/health-sciences/
- Fine Arts– if producing, studying, or enjoying art is something that you love to do, the area of fine arts may be a viable long-term career option. The ability to turn passion into occupation is a wonderful thing, and not always easy. However, having the perspective of WGST study is highly valued and marketable as an employer. Whether you want to be a writer, critique, director or any kind of artist, utilizing an education centered in women and gender studies is vital to the world of media in all forms, and vital to its future. https://www.allaboutcareers.com/careers/career-path/fine-art