It’s not easy being a man on today’s college campuses. As the new year kicks off, several schools have apparently made it part of their New Year’s resolutions to stomp out anything that might be identified with traditional definitions of masculinity, also known as masculinity.
Via Campus Reform:
At the University of Oregon, for instance, students are invited to attend a “healthy masculinities conference” where they will “engage in collective imagining to construct new futures for masculinities, unrestricted by power, privilege, and oppression.”
An advertisement for the conference lists several other intended “learning outcomes,” such as examining “the histories and legacies of Eurocentric masculinities and [understanding] how they influenced and continue to shape modern global masculinities.”
“Join us in a collective examination of the histories and legacies that shape present day masculinities. Through a day of presentations, panels, workshops, and artistic expression, learn how to engage systems of power,” the advertisement states, noting that students will be allowed to attend free of charge.
Similarly, Ithaca College will host a workshop on “masculinity and violence” during its MLK Week celebrations, where students will “examine hegemonic masculinity and its role as the wheel that rotates a cycle of violence” while empowering “willing individuals to begin to recognize, acknowledge, own, and disrupt the toxicity of manhood in order to end violence.”
Duke University’s “Men’s Project,” meanwhile, is looking for applicants for a “nine-week long discussion group” that will also “examine the ways we present — or don’t present — our masculinities, so we can better understand how masculinity exists on our campus — often in toxic ways — and begin the work of unlearning violence.”
“We want to explore, dissect, and construct an intersectional understanding of masculinity and maleness, as well as to create destabilized spaces for those with privilege,” a description of the program explains. “Duke is an environment where some are rarely made uncomfortable while others are made to bear the weight of their identities on a daily basis — we aim to flip that paradigm.”
There were already longstanding anti-masculinity programs at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Brown. The American college campus is becoming downright hostile towards men. After all, “flipping the paradigm” means “we’ve been feeling oppressed, so now it’s your turn.”
Of course, while they supposedly fight to eliminate biases, they’ve adopted a strawman, stereotyped version of masculinity.
Yes, men are often ready to engage in a violent confrontation under certain circumstances — but it’s not that common of an occurrence. In 2014, the violent crime rate was 20.1 per 1000 people. Even if every offense was committed by a man — and they weren’t — and roughly half of those 1000 people were men, then only four percent of the male population exhibited violent tendencies during that time. Further, many of those crimes were committed by repeat offenders, dropping the percentage further.
And let’s not forget that it’s usually men who come to save the day, be they bystanders or first responders. Heroism, protection, and responsibility is what masculinity has always meant for the vast majority of American men, which is why it will always be an overwhelming positive for any society.