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Gender studies program celebrates anniversary with drag show

‘We need women, gender and sexuality studies and these conversations because we need to be working toward social transformation,’ professor says

The Oregon State University gender studies program will celebrate its 50th anniversary of fighting the patriarchy with a “drag show,” where men will dress up as cartoonish versions of women.

“Oregon State University’s Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program turns 50 this year, and a week of activities is planned for Jan. 23-29 to celebrate the anniversary and to learn about the program’s history and future from alumni, faculty, guest scholars and current students,” the department announced.

The festivities include “panels with faculty, alumni and current graduate students; an arts and activism exhibit and a drag show at Corvallis’ Whiteside Theatre.”

One professor in the program explained why gender studies is still needed today.

Professor Susan Shaw stated in a news release:

While we have made progress around gender, it’s been uneven and we have faced backlash, especially in recent years with the overturning of Roe v. Wade; the attacks on trans people, particularly trans youth; the resistance to the Black Lives Matter movement; what we’re seeing with immigration — all these are issues feminists care about.

“We need women, gender and sexuality studies and these conversations because we need to be working toward social transformation,” she added.

The announcement notes that students can take academic courses in topics such as “Disney: Gender, Race and Empire” and “Gender, Race and Pop Culture.”

Other courses, according to the program’s website, include:

Men and Masculinities in Global Context; Politics of Motherhood in Global Context; Indigenous Two-Spirit and Queer Studies; Women of Color Feminisms; Transgender Lives; Muslim Women; and Arts and Social Justice. [Graduate level courses include] Critical Race Feminisms; Queer of Color Critiques; Race, Gender, and Health Justice; Transnational Sexualities; Decolonizing Methodologies; Feminist Textual Methodologies; and Social Justice Theory and Practice.

These courses make up the program that “helps us identify places where we can resist, where we can intervene and where we can bring about positive social change for inclusion, equity and justice,” according to Shaw.

“Women, gender and sexuality studies help people learn how to look at the world with a critical eye to gender and its intersections with other forms of social difference,” she said.

MORE: UMass Boston hosts ‘Abolish the Family’ speech

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Matt has previously worked at Students for Life of America, Students for Life Action and Turning Point USA. While in college, he wrote for The College Fix as well as his college newspaper, The Loyola Phoenix. He holds a B.A. from Loyola University-Chicago and an M.A. from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He lives in northwest Indiana with his family.