What makes you want to be a CRIS major or minor?
I don’t think I have a specific moment that I knew. It definitely took me a long time to officially declare. What makes me want to be a CRIS major is the process of changing how I think and feel about the world that I have been going through since I took Sex and Power. CRIS has led me to confront a lot of my biases and fear about social identity and bodies and my own insecurities.
If you’ve already taken CRIS courses, what has been your favorite reading orassignment? Why? OR, what CRIS course do you look forward to taking? Why?
One of my favorite readings that has stuck with me since I read it is “Being a Boy” by black feminist and cultural critic bell hooks in CRIS 303 Masculinities. She writes about how privilege can be different than love. That in general, no matter how much privilege individual men may or may not hold, men raised under patriarchy are raised unloved and emotionally disconnected, taught that to be a man means something very limited and singular. This piece, along with the book The Will to Change that I have read since then, has helped teach me that it is possible for me to love myself and hold myself accountable for my thinking and actions, that it is necessary to care for men in my life at the same time as holding them accountable for harmful patriarchal and racist, ableist, classist, heterosexist, cissexist thinking and behavior. And, just as important, I learned from the class as a whole that “men” is a group that is just as beautifully and complexingly diverse as any other identity group.
What are your CRIS learning goals?
I have a couple of CRIS learning goals. First, I’d like to be able to write better to get my ideas across. A lot of the concepts I’ve studied in Sex & Power last semester were, and still are very foreign to me, so it is difficult for me to write about/ present them. Hopefully being more exposed to even more theories and through the writing assignments in class, I’ll be able to meet this goal.
Second of all, I’d like to have the ability to raise awareness and educate people about the many social identities that are unheard of. As mentioned above, I’ve grown up in environments where everything’s very binary/ traditional. I’d like to be able to stand in front of people that are/ will be in the same position as I was before, and share with them what I have learnt in all of my CRIS classes.
I think that the Sex & Power course that I took last semester has already helped me in initiating my second goal. I’ve been able to share what I’ve learnt in class along with my own ideas to my peers and my parents. Even though after a long conversation, my mother still cannot grasp the idea of gender fluidity, I believe that taking more CRIS classes will only enable me to become a better debater/convincer.
What do you want to do with your CRIS knowledge/skills in your post-Beloit life?
I think that the analytical and writing skills I will be practicing through CRIS classes will benefit me immensely in whatever I decide to do in my post-Beloit life. Careerwise, I am thinking about working for non-profit organizations that promote woman’s rights. However, I am not totally sure if this is definitely the path I’m going to take by the end of senior year.
What would you tell other students thinking about majoring or minoring in CRIS?
Everyone has multiple, if not hundreds, of identities. In our society nowadays, a lot of these social identities are being suppressed, mostly because they are unheard of and/ or do not fit into the binary system that we tend to categorize everything into. Majoring/ minoring in CRIS would allow you to get a deeper insight of what these various identities are, and how they are affecting people around us/ ourselves.