A lesson in understanding: ‘That Guy in Our Women’s Studies Class’



“That Guy in Our Women Studies Class” is a memoir by Allan D. Hunter about his time at college and what he learned along the way. Hunter is an academic who focuses on writing about gender issues. Participating in women’s studies classes taught him how to view the world through a compassionate lens.

During college, Hunter realized leaving prejudices behind was possible through opening up the mind to issues of race and gender. By struggling and trying to find identity as a genderqueer person, Hunter discovered a world of information.

Derek Turner, the character meant to represent Hunter in the memoir, was pursuing a women’s studies degree at The State University of New York (SUNY) in 1985. Through taking courses in women’s studies, Derek began to question the world he grew up in. Derek had always identified as a genderqueer “sissy boy” but the classes allowed him to discover different perspectives of gender identity. Alongside this, Derek was able to learn about other people and how their experiences shaped them.

The memoir has a section where Derek describes his life as a commuter student. The struggles he shared were more personal, and Derek describes feeling out of place because student events are targeted to resident students. He resolves his struggle by deciding to live on campus.

The other two sections of the book involve Derek’s time as a resident student and a graduate student. The memoir takes readers on a journey of Derek’s discovery in better understanding the world and making sense of his thoughts.

Professor Baxwood, a women’s studies professor, gave Derek the opportunity to find true meaning. Her class opened up new doors for Derek and allowed him to continue his education through graduate school.

The memoir highlights the influence of good friends, the benefit of taking classes that will shape your understanding and the importance of searching for your identity. “That Guy in Our Women’s Studies Class” is a true example of the power of knowledge.

I would rate the memoir five stars for creativity and for having a strong message. This is a memoir to read if you are a college student unsure of what to do or what the future holds. Following Derek’s story may cause you to realize that the opportunity to find your purpose is already within your reach.

If you would like to purchase the memoir, it is available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon. You can also visit the author’s website for more information.