The Sexist

“Men’s Studies” Too Feminist For You? Meet “Male Studies”

Today in Inside Higher Ed, Jennifer Epstein profiles the newest academic discipline to emerge in the field of gender studies:  "Male Studies."

Male Studies made its official debut this Wednesday, when a symposium was held at New York's Wagner College to announce the formation of the Foundation for Male Studies. While the new discipline received the support of academics like Rutgers University anthropology professor Lionel Tiger and McGill University religious researcher Paul Nathanson, one contingent of scholars met the news with suspicion: Those working in the very much already existing discipline of Men's Studies.

So, what's the difference between "Male Studies" and "Men's Studies"?

According to Tiger, Male Studies emerged “from the notion that male and female organisms really are different” and the “enormous relation between . . . a person’s biology and their behavior." To the Male Studies set, "Men's Studies" has historically focused far too much on the social construction of masculinity, and not enough on the biological origins and purpose of "maleness." The Foundation for Male Studies states that its focus is on studying "the male as male":

A new academic discipline, male studies, explores the male as male, masculinity, and the lives of boys and men. This consortium brings together eminent scholars representing a range of academic disciplines, including anthropology, education, history, medicine, politics and psychology. Panelists together with teleconferencing scholars with take a fresh look at the male in history and a rapidly changing global culture. The male as male will be permitted to appear in all his complexity as new values are being forged and traditional values that have proven the test of time are affirmed. The consortium will set the stage for additional conferences and academic programs at institutions of higher learning and will support optimal conditions in which boys and men can thrive in all areas of their lives as male human beings.

But according to Robert Heasley, president of the American Men’s Studies Association, Men's Studies has already been performing the work of exploring males as males. "Men's studies came out of feminist analysis of gender, which includes biological differences," Heasley said. "[The Male Studies] argument is that they’re inventing something that I think already exists."

Perhaps the real distinction has a little something to do with that "feminist" thing. The American Men's Studies Association states that "Men’s studies includes scholarly, clinical, and activist endeavors engaging men and masculinities as social-historical-cultural constructions reflexively embedded in the material and bodily realities of men’s and women’s lives." But women's lives don't appear to be of much interest to the Male Studies set. According to Tiger, Male Studies was forged in contrast, not in concert with, feminism, which he describes as “a well-meaning, highly successful, very colorful denigration of maleness as a force, as a phenomenon.” Apparently, Male Studies was formed in order to study this phenomenon without the distraction of also occasionally thinking about women. So now, we need two separate disciplines devoted to studying men, because the first one just wasn't devoted enough.

  • Clarence

    Biff:

    I believe that what "gendernerd" is claiming is that all scientific interpretations of experimental results are subjective. Kind of ironic in view of the fact that we may very well live in a superdeterministic universe thus throwing all notions of subjectivity out the window : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superdeterminism

    In any csse, if there were really much of a problem with "subjectivity" in the interpretation of scientific results we'd expect to see:

    A. Less agreement then seems to be the norm about what an experiment means for a given field.
    B. Lack of follow up experiments. If a whole field merely consists of subjective interpretations then it would be impossible to know how a given experiment really "fit in" with the existing data and thus to have any idea of how to usefully add to it.
    C. Lack of applications. The fact that suspension bridges exist is an every day validation of the usefulness of calculus for example. The fact that atom bombs exists proves not only that E=mc squared is correct, but that the "interpretation" of the scientific results that Einstein took to get there was correct as well.

    None of those critiques that gendernerd linked to are particularily new or useful or very -in my opinion- insightful.

  • http://twitter.com/scaryjoann scary joann

    Hey pussy longcock, I have more guns in my house than are in most fucking hardware stores, I can fix a toilet and the electricity AND the car. I can also do it without strutting around screaming how difficult it is to fix things. I have cooked, cleaned, fixed shit, and learned to write professionally. I contribute articles to the local paper, I'm a certified massage therapist (those count as contributions) and when my ex boyfriends toilet kept breaking I was the one who knew how to do plumbing.
    I'm twenty (no degree yet). I helped raise my sister and learned to do my mom and dads roles, and know what, good fucking thing too, because tomorrow is the first anniversary of my dads death and it's been me, not my crackhead/newly imprisoned older brother who has held shit together.
    Unlike your pussy ass who can't do a dish and will eventually die from inability to cook for yourself, I can run my own fucking life without someone there to do chores or fix shit for me.
    I don't know what you're hoping for. You don't want to do dishes, or fix things. What do you expect to contribute then? You're super rational opinions?
    I am an Average American Woman. I'm changing my oil later today then taking my dads old revolver out to let some stress out. And know what I can do? Unlike you? I can clean it. I can clean a sink, and a gun, and then fix the sink and go load my own ammo.
    At twenty years old I write, have a profession, can take care of cars, horses, and paint a house. Any examples of what you can do? Can you... lasso a calf? Help a cow give birth? Break a fucking horse? Even saddle one? Can you even load a gun alone dumbass? Fuck, I bet you couldn't even lift a fucking bail of hay.

    And while I am the one doing all this "man work" you're the one with a fucking blackberry or some shit. Go text your mom and tell her the big bad feminist made you feel small by being more capable than you, who probably has a BA in nothing, and never quite made it to college.
    See, this is your problem, you assume that someones life is going to be ruled by their goddam genitals. But in reality, the only person getting held back by their own lack of dick is you.

  • Biff Longcock

    @ScaryJoann,

    I see I was wrong about you...maybe. Well, your sisters have thoroughly destroyed the institution of marriage. *You* may be a fine individual and it sounds like you are. But the vast majority of whores that are women have killed any last remaining hope for marriage between men and women. You are still young, so here is a little school:

    When women get bored they divorce, and when they do they get everything. The house, the assets, financial support, and the kids. Women get it all. Men, on the other hand, get a one bedroom apartment.

    Male Studies was established to give men options. Millions of men cannot have a relationship with a woman under today's toxic conditions. That you feel you are being exploited by having to do dishes is incredible. You own marriage, full stop. Men have no say in matters of marriage. We are your pets. I want to repeat: in the event of a divorce, which women overwhelmingly initiate, women destroy men. Women will use their own children as ransom, to further exploit the father. You may not know this yet, but since women mature much faster than men, I think it is safe to say, you do.

    If you are a modern american woman of 20 years of age, it is safe to say that you have already had lots and lots of sex, and are already rationalizing how you can exploit a man, how to get a child out of him, and if need be, how to financially ruin him. If you haven't been thinking these things, trust me, you will very soon. All women do. You are no exception, cupcake. Please don't tell me "I'm not like that". Please.

  • scary-e

    note to scary joann - The exception does not disprove the rule.

  • http://toysoldier.wordpress.com Toysoldier

    Please do present an argument that successfully demonstrates that science/scientific conclusions are objective.

    I never stated that science or scientific conclusions were objective. One could infer that from my prior statement, but that would be one's assumption, not my actual position. Those who believe biology is a social construct and is subjective must present an argument that successfully demonstrates that claim. Engaging in a list of logical fallacies does not constitute an argument, although it does suggest the inability to present one.

  • http://twitter/scaryjoann scary joann

    Longcock (which yours probably isn't). I never plan to get married, ever. I also never plan to have kids, ever. Neither does my boyfriend, who think's you're pathetic. Also asshat, we are both homeless and the vast majority of breadwinning comes from me, though we support each other depending on who has a job at the time.
    Also asshat, my parents got divorced and many a time I talked with my dad about laws. Women getting things is dependent on the state laws, california they might, but in Utah they get very little. There are plenty of families where men get the kids and house. In our case, mom got us because dad didn't want us... despite that he had the house. So life isn't fair to anyone, especially in divorce.

    Most importantly, you are fucking disgusting and terrifying. I sincerely wish I could meet you in person so I could pistol whip your egotistical ass. Men use kids as ransom just as often, and kids aren't fucking innocent either. My brother played people against each other a lot. My dad cheated on my mom and kept her in the house doing dishes and homeschooling us for as long as I can remember.
    I am not an exception. I will say it again. This is not uncommon. I am an Average American Woman.
    Furthermore, out of many of the women I know the things I do are basic. I have a friend who's one of the most respected horse trainers in our area two years out of high school.
    The reason I know how to make my own ammo, shoot, and fix shit is because people I knew saw fit to teach me. They didn't constrict me to making them fucking sandwiches. If you want women to all be able to do this shit, stop acting like it's unnatural to us. Shouldn't men be equally able to cook? If you're so against marriage then it makes sense that both sexes should do things equally in order to not need to marry at all.
    Also, if women were encouraged by you to do more than dishes, I bet they'd be happier, less bored and less likely to divorce you.
    I mean hell, I have a powerful urge to cut you and I just barely met you.

  • gwallan

    @Biff Longcock...

    Are you suggesting that e = mc2 is not an objective fact? Are you saying that this is a sexist statement?

    From Postmodernism Disrobed by Richard Dawkins...

    The feminist 'philosopher' Luce Irigaray is another who gets whole-chapter treatment from Sokal and Bricmont.* In a passage reminiscent of a notorious feminist description of Newton's Principia (a "rape manual"), Irigaray argues that E=mc2 is a "sexed equation". Why? Because "it "privileges" the speed of light over other speeds that are vitally necessary to us" (my emphasis of what I am rapidly coming to learn is an 'in' word). Just as typical of this school of thought is Irigaray's thesis on fluid mechanics. Fluids, you see, have been unfairly neglected. "Masculine physics" privileges rigid, solid things. Her American expositor Katherine Hayles made the mistake of re-expressing Irigaray's thoughts in (comparatively) clear language. For once, we get a reasonably unobstructed look at the emperor and, yes, he has no clothes:
    "The privileging of solid over fluid mechanics, and indeed the inability of science to deal with turbulent flow at all, she attributes to the association of fluidity with femininity. Whereas men have sex organs that protrude and become rigid, women have openings that leak menstrual blood and vaginal fluids... From this perspective it is no wonder that science has not been able to arrive at a successful model for turbulence. The problem of turbulent flow cannot be solved because the conceptions of fluids (and of women) have been formulated so as necessarily to leave unarticulated remainders."

    (* Intellectual Impostures by Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont)

  • http://www.garlandgrey.com Garland Grey

    @Biff: The way you speak about women is toxic. And from the behavior of the rest of the He-Man Woman Hater's Club, I can only assume you are typical.

    Idiot.

  • http://jfpbookworm.blogspot.com/ jfpbookworm

    George: How can "male studies" be about men if you all are going around deciding that lots of men aren't "proper men" because they're "pansies" or "male feminists"?

    Is male studies really "white middle-aged middle-class straight cis role-conforming male studies"?

  • Biff Longcock

    @jfpbookworm,

    We've already been through this ad nauseum. Read my above posts. The 'I am going to shame you because you are privileged' attack isn't working.

    *sigh*

    Ok, here we go again. Men's Studies is controlled by Gender Studies, which is under the direct control of Women's Studies. Whenever Men's Studies wishes to broach new ideas, it must ask permission from Women's Studies. Men's Studies professors are all -wait for it- women. Not only that, they are radical feminists.

    Men's Studies has one approach: sociology. In other words, everything is a social construct. Period. End of debate. If you wish to contest this, you will fail.

    Male Studies is a rejection of the feminist control of Men's Studies. This is why you feel threatened. As a straight, white, middle-aged, middle-class cis gendered privileged woman, you are threatened that change is coming. You needn't be. Male Studies is not a reassertion of traditional masculinity. It is the realization that males have options. We will therefore be looking at males from a multi-disciplinary angle: biology, psychology, anthropology, etc. Men's Studies does not.

    Males have a right to free themselves from the tyranny of matriarchal oppression.

  • Biff Longcock

    By the way, let's just say for the sake of argument that Male Studies is “white middle-aged middle-class straight cis role-conforming male studies"...don't we have an obligation, in a democracy, to cater to the needs of the majority?

    I fully expect Male Studies to be inclusive of the disabled, persons of color, transgendered, the aged, and any and all minorities.

  • http://jfpbookworm.blogspot.com/ jfpbookworm

    The only person I saw shaming anyone was the guy claiming that other men were not "proper men" because they were "pansies" or "male feminists."

    I fully expect Male Studies to be inclusive of the disabled, persons of color, transgendered, the aged, and any and all minorities.

    I hope that's the case, but from what I've seen so far it hasn't been.

  • http://jfpbookworm.blogspot.com/ jfpbookworm

    As a straight, white, middle-aged, middle-class cis gendered privileged woman, you are threatened that change is coming.

    I'm amused at the assumptions here.

    FWIW, I'm a man; I'm just sick of being told by people of any gender that I have to jump through hoops to be a "proper man," and this "male studies" seems to be an attempt to use academia to legitimize said hoops.

  • Arbitrary

    The only person I saw shaming anyone was the guy claiming that other men were not “proper men” because they were “pansies” or “male feminists.”

    Really, jfpbookworm, you don't think that Garland referring to some of the commenter's here as members of the "He-Man Woman-Haters Club" was an effort to shame them?

  • Arbitrary

    Again with the sticky apostrophe key. That should read "commenters" not "commenter's".

  • Arbitrary

    For Sarah, who requested sources for statistics indicating that women initiate 70% of divorces (give or take a bit...the rate has fluctuated between 60 and 70%, with the fraction initiated by the woman being about 5% higher when only marriages with children present are included), and 50% of domestic violence (a study from the journal "Violence Against Women" acknowledging the existence of some 200 studies confirming that DV is performed roughly at parity in the two directions).

    Note that the link I provided for which spouse is more likely to initiate divorce is a report from 1988; the CDC stopped aggregating national data on the matter then, but more recent surveys have corroborated this result (although I unfortunately do not have a link).

  • Crazy Cat Lady

    Dear Dude and Mr. Longcock,

    I'm sorry you're so oppressed. Here, have a Tonka Truck.

    Regards,
    The One Who Thinks You Must Be Either Kidding Or Lobotomized

    Dear Crazy Joanne,

    You rock. If you were on the same continent as me and less straight...ooh, girl. :-D

    Regards,
    Inappropriate Seeking Same

    Also, general comment:
    If women initiate 70% of divorces, what does that tell you about the men they no longer want to be married to?

  • Clarence

    Crazy Cat Lady:

    Since most women who divorce don't claim abuse, perhaps it says nothing other than that many women - with children or not - are overgrown children who are easily bored with having to deal with any marital obligations.

    I mean if we are going to be snarky and all.

  • http://twitter.com/scaryjoann scary joann

    Arbitrary, I echo crazy cat lady in this, my mom initiated the divorce after enduring my father mentally abusing and almost imprisoning her for twenty years, as well as having an open affair. She may have asked for it, but I don't blame her. My father was an amazing person, though not necessarily an amazing partner.
    Crazy Cat Lady, I have a boyfriend, but I'm queer. If you ever want to visit my continent, please look me up as my area has an alarming shortage of people who aren't straight and white and anyone new to mix it up is always welcome.

    Personally, just to get this out there, FUCK MARRIAGE. It's a tradition created by and for white, western, cisgendered people and revolved around rules that exclude everyone else for as long as possible. The reason I never see myself marrying is because I never see myself agreeing to honor and obey fucking anyone. Also, as long as it is illegal in any US state for me to marry a woman, I don't plan to marry a man either.

  • http://twitter.com/scaryjoann scary joann

    oh, and clarence, the vast, vast majority of abuse cases in the US are not reported. these women are already leaving someone they've been with for a long time, and poured themselves into. They often don't want to damage them further, are afraid, or ashamed. Sometimes they just want to spare the kids from knowing.
    You're an ass, and you and longcock are clearly miserable, lonely, self pitying and self absorbed. Too much so to do any clear research.

  • http://beyondfeminism.wordpress.com Mary Tracy9

    This "Male Studies" is just propaganda, plain and simple.

  • PlusSizedWomanist

    So will this Male Studies be inclusive to the intricate intersectionalities that occur within the male group? Or is it just the cis, white, ablebodied heterosexual male that will be analyzed? Because if it is the latter, then it will not be an effective course.

  • Erica

    backlash backlash, backlash backlash*

    Their defensiveness is pathetic. A response to a response to the status quo isn't actually a response. It's just the status quo. Eh, I don't think that was very clear. What I mean is, this "Male Studies" BS as its defined isn't necessary to "contrast" or provide an alternate viewpoint to feminism, because most of our culture IS a contrast to feminism! All they're doing is seeking to validate the status quo.

    *to the tune of Dora the Explorer's backpack song

  • Alii

    Men's Studies includes vocabulary, terminology, and useful ways of thinking about how men function in a greater context. This includes discussion of how men can shuck the rigid constraints that lower their quality of life. Feminism for men means eliminating conflict and harmful behavior on the part of both genders. *shrugs* Nothing happens in a vacuum and all the guys I know have benefited from feminism.

    Also, I know this comes as a shock, but... heterosexual feminists like to have intercourse with men. If there were no heterosexual feminists then maybe you could make an argument about about misandry, but as a heterosexual feminist I prefer to sleep with men I like. It's in my best interest to communicate with men what I will accept as behavior, and I fully expect the same communication from men. If those boundaries are not acceptable to either of us, then we don't interact. It is not a difficult concept, though it does require maturity, self-confidence, and communication.

    What I boggle at is the man-hating sentiments expressed by the people in favor of Male Studies. "Men have no say in matters of marriage. We are your pets" according to Biff Longcock. It could be true in some instances because of issues or if the guy gets off on being a pet. However, I could just as easily say that women have no say in matters of marriage. We are your maids. My statement is valid because I have anecdotes! I don't buy any grand generalizations of the entire institution of marriage based on the dysfunction of someone's immediate peer group.

    In reference to the earlier-mentioned 'toxic conditions', what toxic conditions are being referred to? The fact that women are less willing to put up with immaturity, lack of communication, and blatant disregard for their humanity? The 'millions of men' spoken of, if they can't get a date from ALL the women they talk to... perhaps the women aren't the source of the problem? Occam's Razor, that. If you try a computer power cable in a dozen different wall sockets without it turning on and other items plugged in turn on just fine, maybe it's not the wall socket that's the issue.

  • Harry Finkbein

    @Alii,

    the question you need to ask yourself is, why do you feel threatened by Male Studies?

  • friday jones

    If science is objective, then why are there ongoing debates about such things as cosmology and global climate change and human nutrition? Objectivity would mean that once evidence has settled a matter, it's settled, not up for debate.

    But science has proven that the Observer is entangled with the Observed, and they influence each other, which means that scientists bring their prejudices into the laboratory and the classroom, so some of what we all view as the scientific consensus is actually just prejudice driving the "results." Two great examples of this would be "The Bell Curve" and "IQ & the Wealth of Nations."

  • merielle

    lionel tiger has one of the best names ever, but oh ye gods and little fishes, is he an asshat!

  • Harry Finkbein

    But e = mc squared is still an objective truth.

  • Harry Finkbein

    Ask yourself, why are all of the women who comment here against Male Studies. It is fear of change, and fear of the loss of privilege.

    I used to work with a Philippino seaman. He worked so that he could feed his family. We all know that men who are without jobs or money lead lives of sexual scarcity. If he did not send money home it would certainly lead to marital discord. How is this not oppression? Where are the feminists when a Philippino seaman needs help?

  • Harry Finkbein

    "is it just the cis, white, ablebodied heterosexual male that will be analyzed? Because if it is the latter, then it will not be an effective course."

    Male Studies will pander to the truth -not votes.

    You just admitted feminism was a political lobby group, not a group concerned with truth and justice.

  • Harry Finkbein

    @merielle,

    oh yeah? well you are a douchenozzle!

  • Alii

    @Harry Finkbein

    I do not agree with the theoretical basis for Male Studies and have explained why it is ill-founded.

    Did I mention feeling threatened? Please quote my post so I may clarify.

  • Harry Finkbein

    @Alii,

    "Men’s Studies includes vocabulary, terminology, and useful ways of thinking about how men function in a greater context. This includes discussion of how men can shuck the rigid constraints that lower their quality of life. Feminism for men means eliminating conflict and harmful behavior on the part of both genders. *shrugs* Nothing happens in a vacuum and all the guys I know have benefited from feminism."

    What is of critical importance, Alii, is that Men's Studies is under the flagship of Women's and Gender Studies, which is rigidly controlled by feminist dogma. Professors of Men's Studies are almost entirely women, and furthermore, radical feminist.

    Many women have responded, "Too bad, take it or leave it. Suck it up." This attitude wrt Men's Studies demonstrates that women wish to control what it is men study and how it is men think. Men want other men to help think about men's issues -not feminists. I think that is fair. If you believe it is unfair, please explain.

    Also, I would not take a few comments you have read here as an indication of the theoretical basis for Male Studies. That Biff Longcock believes women control marriage doesn't tell us anything about a Male Studies curriculum. I'm sorry he feels that way, but that's all.

    I would think you would welcome an increase in communication between the sexes. Do you really think that this is some sort of baseball league, where men get together and chew tobacco? It is an academic discipline, devoted entirely to male issues. Women already have it -Women's Studies. All men want is the same thing, but written, directed and fully OWNED by men. Not feminists.

    Now, I can understand if women are nervous. Lionel Tiger and Christina Hoff Sommers have stated that they will be openly challenging some aspects of feminist dogma. They will also be taking money from federal coffers, where previous monies would have gone to women's groups. You might be interested that what I see men discussing is chivalry. Men want out of the gender binary trap. It seems to me that women have wanted out for decades -now men want out. What makes women nervous is that they may have to do things they never did before. Pay for dinners. Hold doors open. Pick up hammers and nails. Hard work, etc etc.

  • karamel

    I'm gonna go ahead and say: If maleness is such a phenomenon, why is it considered normal in every area of "anthropology, education, history, medicine, politics and psychology"???

  • Alii

    @Harry Finkbein - I believe that a reactionary position towards the assumed control of "what men study and how men think" is counterproductive. Women's Studies and feminist theory provide valuable tools that Male Studies could utilize. As men in the introspective contemplation of men, Male Studies proposes to abandon the critical theory of an entire related field because it was developed by women. That is poor academic practice in addition to being sexist.

    I believe it is very fair for men to participate in (and lead) dialogs about their roles in society and the boxes they are placed in. I, however, do not believe that Male Studies will be able to join productive dialogs as long as it takes a separatist stance. Men's Studies is an outgrowth of Women's Studies, sure, but that means the field benefits from a shared vocabulary.

    I am unsure what aspects of feminism constitute the dogma you speak of. I do not recall being indoctrinated into feminism and ordered to toe a party line. In fact, the primary point of my prior post is that feminism is not a threat to men. If Male Studies really is about developing positive and healthy self-conceptions, such as deconstructing chivalry and gaining financial independence for both sexes, and not about simply being anti-feminist, then Male Studies should not object to using feminist theory as foundational prior research where pertinent. There is a lot of ink spilled within the realm of feminism that speaks on those very same topics with the very same goals.

    I would love increased communication between the sexes. I do not feel that setting up Male Studies as something separate-but-equal facilitates communication. The 'fuck you feminists' basis does not accomplish anything but draw lines in the sand. I personally think that communication between the sexes (or anyone at all) happens when both parties do not feel they are required to defend themselves.

  • Fausto

    I wish I knew more of that subject to be able to discuss... However I do feel like the male studies might not be going the right way, after all.
    We're observing a sex war going on lately and there's no discussion about it wherever we go...
    Am I alone in this or anyone thinks the same here?

  • Barath

    The whole tone of this discussion is offensive and the vocabulary and language used by all genders is aggressive. Obviously no consensus (if that's what you think the point of communication ultimately is) can be reached.

    I think that, upon reading a bit on the Symposium's web site (www.malestudies.org), I am in favour of male studies. Studying males in a vaccum may be a bit disturbing, but exploring men as beings whose nature lies- at least in part, possibly in great part- in their biology seems reasonable.

    A lot of people here seem not to understand some terminology. I am male, but I am a feminist. I may prefer some other term (it does somehow "sound" wrong), but essentially feminism means to me a belief in the innate equality (equality, not sameness) of everyone. That's in my interest, even if my gender was previously the dominant one. Alii is right: as a male (more critically, as a human being), feminism has been good for me. It's given males and females ways to communicate more effectively with one another, and that communication is critical to my happiness. And, like I said, equality is in my interest: just because I am male doesn't actually mean that I would be materially or otherwise successful in a society that rejects equality (based not only on gender, but thanks to feminists also ethnicity and religion).

    I am grateful for feminism and the equality and ever-improving means of communication it has afforded us. But I am certainly intrigued by the possibility of studying myself. Thank you, Alii, for acknowledging that males ought to lead dialogue about what it means to be male. I really question why it needs a shared vocabulary with feminism, though- possibly it should be viewed as separate from existing gender studies.

  • Pat

    I'm sure this has been stated before in this forum, but it bears restating: the name of this blog is highly appropriate.

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  • al

    When men start getting killed, raped, beaten, and abused by women in anywhere near the proportion that women are by men, we'll start talking about "matriarchal" oppression. When women start getting paid for their domestic labor and make more than men do for the same jobs, we'll start talking.

    Until then, teh Big Bad Masculine Mens whining about "oppression" is farcical.

    Amusing, though. Amusing.

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  • Gorbachev

    This isn't a judgment on the utility of Male Studies.

    Just an observation:

    The backlash to the - perceived? - discrimination against men as fathers, husbands, and, well, "men" may not be welcome, ... but it's real. It's also broadly conceived throughout the English-speaking world. It's foolish in the extreme to dismiss it out of hand or to ignore it.

    The intellectual arm of this movement is not entirely irrational or misogynistic. A lot of it will ring true to many men, and women. A very large number of non-Feminist-identified women have signed on already, and more will likely do so.

    Like it or lump it, "male studies" and advocates are going to be pushing hard at the borders, and the groundswell advancing them won't easily be resisted once this gains momentum.

    No judgment there; just noticing the inescapable trend.

    It's going to become very, very important to start developing non-reactionary, inclusive, highly rational, evidence-based and non-ideological criticism.

    Many of these MRA activists and their allies will not be intellectually easy to dismiss.

    Not to admit the need to do this is the height of hubris and doesn't speak well of academic Feminism's ability to adapt to changing circumstances.

    The simple logic that men, of any ideological stripe, are best equipped to study what it is to be men and the effects of social paradigms on men, is going to be extremely compelling and difficult to refute.

    Careful and measured and well-considered responses will be necessary. There's too much chest-beating and self-congratulation going on in progressive academia.

    Our younger scholars are in for a surprise if they think this sort of challenge will be easy to deal with.

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