There I was, a sophomore walking into my second PWID class. I took a seat in the front row next to one of my friends and watched my classmates file into the room. Right before class began, I looked around and thought, Huh, I’m the only guy in this room.
I felt a tinge of isolation, like when my parents vacationed in Michigan and left me at home alone. I liked my classmates—I’d already made friends with a couple of them—but something about having no male peers unsettled me. As the semester went on, I tried to make light of it or else forget about it.
Ah, but it would not be the last time.
During the summer that followed my sophomore year, I landed an internship and worked on a small team of technical communicators—the rest of whom were women. When I returned to school for my junior year, I sat down in my first class of the semester and watched female classmate after female classmate enter the room. Once again, I held the room’s only Y chromosome.
It turns out that the professional writing industry is dominated by women. Some sources say that women hold nearly 70% of all writing jobs (careerexplorer.com). If I had known that before declaring PWID, I might have wondered, “Do I have to be a girl to like writing?” and “Will people think less of me as a man if I enter a women-dominated field?”
As I continued with PWID, I became surer that writing is the field I want to pursue. I can’t help it—I love playing with words and organizing information on a page. But I still felt strange that my interests aligned more with my female classmates than with most of my male peers. “Good for you,” my guy friends said when I mentioned my major. “Couldn’t be me.”
But during my junior year, I learned another merit of being in PWID. God designed men and women to work best when we use our perspectives to complement each other. This basic diversity strengthens the work we do. And that’s what I add to classrooms and workplaces full of women: male perspective. Although my female classmates and coworkers are some of the coolest and most intelligent people I know, I can bring value simply by being a man among a lot of women.
We need male writers. We need men who are interested and willing to enter the writing industry. We need men who will serve the Lord through writing even when it is not comfortable.
I love writing. I’m only a junior, but I couldn’t see myself in any other field. PWID is the right place for me, even if I rarely get to enjoy male camaraderie in the classroom. But even (and especially) if I’m the only guy in my future workplace, I know that God made me to write. And those people and places benefit from men who are willing to embrace that calling.
About the author
Josh McClain is a junior professional writing and information design major.