Dr. Helen

Homeless Men Have More Pressing Problems than How They Use Hyperbole

I read with interest this article at PJM by Toni Airaksinen titled “Professor Slams ‘Hegemonic Masculinity’ of Homeless Men.” I wondered how low feminist professors have sunk and now I know: some are now even willing to ridicule the homeless in order to hate on men:

A feminist professor at Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada recently published a book chapter documenting the myriad ways homeless men allegedly perpetuate “hegemonic masculinity” while discussing their hardships.

The book chapter, “When a Man’s Home is Not a Castle: Hegemonic Masculinity Among Men Experiencing Homelessness,” was published last Wednesday by Professor Erin Dej, in a book she co-edited on patriarchy in psychiatric wards and homeless shelters.

The goal of her research, she explains, was to “assess the ways hypermasculinity is performed among men experiencing homelessness.” And to do this, Dej interviewed 27 homeless men and spent and additional 296 hours spying on them in homeless shelters…

Throughout her paper, as she writes up her research findings, Dej ridicules these men for everything from reinforcing gender stereotypes, to refusing to show emotion, to talking about how their ex-wives stole money from them.

For example, “Julien,” a homeless 45-year old man with severe anxiety was accused by Dej of perpetuating stereotypes when he confessed that “I’m ashamed that I have problems. Like, guys in our society are not supposed to have problems.”

Dej also interviewed “Ron,” a 41-year-old homeless man with depression and PTSD. Ron used various drugs to cope with his mental health issues, and by age 41, this had taken a heavy toll on him, causing breathing problems and muscle weakness.

“I walked down the street and, like, a little girl could have killed me. That’s how weak I was,” Ron told Dej during an interview. Extrapolating from this comment, Dej then suggested that Ron somehow views women en masse negatively.

“For Ron, the feminine subjectivity acts as the ultimate exemplar of physical weakness and the most absurd hyperbole of who constitutes a threat,” Dej wrote in her essay. She opines: “He has failed to live up to the basic tenets of hegemonic masculinity.”

Not surprisingly, Dej writes that the only alternative for these men is to become more emotional, insofar as men should “confront, display, and work through their emotions, adding to the complexity of what it means to be masculine.”

Good lord, what stupidity. It’s sad to even read this crap. These homeless men have serous emotional, financial and physical problems that are often tragic and this woman is using them as guinea pigs in some sort of revenge fantasy against all men. Their only worth in her eyes is how much they relate to and revere women. This “caring” woman has no idea that these are actual human beings with their own problems and issues, irrespective of the patriarchy or whatever nonsense she is peddling.

Not to mention that many of the homeless are mentally ill. According to the Treatment Advocacy Center:

Approximately 33 percent of the homeless are individuals with serious mental illnesses that are untreated;
Many of these people suffer from schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder or major depression;
The homeless population has increased steadily in cities and small towns since the 1970s;
In Massachusetts and Ohio, 27 and 36 percent of people released from mental institutions became homeless within 6 months;
Previously hospitalized people were three times more likely to obtain food from the garbage;
Studies show that psychotic individuals are much more likely to get assaulted or threatened while homeless;

Believe it or not, there are more pressing problems for these men then their “inappropriate use” of hyperbole. Good grief, get a life and stop picking on the mentally ill and homeless.