I received a mass marketing email captioned, “Let Ms. help you pick a college.” Here’s a portion of the text:
Dear feminist activist,
Picking a college? Or have a sister, friend, daughter or granddaughter who is? To help you make your choice, the Spring issue of Ms. contains a first-ever, 16-page special 2009 guide to more than 650 women’s studies programs at U.S. colleges and universities. * * *
Tired of being asked, “But what can you do with a women’s studies degree?” Inside this special guide, you’ll learn how women’s studies is a fast-growing, cutting-edge field of study in high demand from 21st century employers.
In fields ranging from public policy to social work to international development to academia and beyond-and especially the nonprofit sector, which now accounts for one in six U.S. jobs-women’s studies is a particularly desirable background.
Ms. has taken at least one lesson from U.S. News: sell magazines with a claim to an expertise about higher education. Admittedly the big difference between the two magazines is that U.S. News engages in destructive rankings of higher educational institutions, and Ms. aggregates information not readily available elsewhere. But let a magazine “help” you pick a college? Don’t do it.
Pick a college based on information, personal preference, guidance from family members and trusted advisors. A magazine might function as a great source for information. Use the information to inform your decision. You should decide what is what is right for you.
Don’t let a magazine define what “women’s studies” is, either. It’s not just preparation for social work, academia, or work with non-profits. (What do these three career paths have in common? They are not financially lucrative.) Economics, science, business, medicine — those are all “women’s studies,” too.