Male Studies - An Educational Option or Just Hating Women?
By ShaynaLeahK on April 11, 2010
Reposted from Life: Forward:
Hearing the vitriol of the Ignorant Men Holding Hands and Hating Feminists was slightly disturbing, but since they seem to be made up of less than ten dungeons-and-dragons playing societal outcasts, of limited concern overall. Wagner, an actual educational institution (one that's recognized nationally as such unlike the so-called "Manhood Academy") that is instituting a "Male Studies" curriculum is distinctly more noteworthy.
I never understood the point of an entire major devoted to Women's Studies to begin with - Courses focusing on the role gender plays in politics, economics, anthropology, history, are all valuable as part of those respective majors (and I'm sure there are others), but an entire major made up on a potpurri of introductory level courses from across a variety of majors? I never understood what that would qualify someone to do professionally after graduation. To me, a college education, is supposed to be preparation for a career (or part one of preparation for a career if part two is law school/medical school/etc.). So, obviously, a degree in "male studies" sounds like it would be of even more limited use... Let's face it, most history, literature, science, etc. courses already are largely focused on the accomplishments of men (one lecture on Madame Curie or Victoria Woodhull is hardly equal billing) - what could a "male studies" curriculum possibly offer - and why?
Men's Studies is already offered, and gender studies (and again, I still fail to see what possible professions these prepare their students for as independent majors instead of being incorporated into degree programs that lead to actual productive careers). Male Studies, however "is independent scholarship without ideological ties to Men’s Studies, which emerged within Gender Studies to complement Women’s Studies. Male Studies focuses on the experience of being male and not only behavior (masculinity), according to the MaleStudies.org FAQ.
Lionel Tiger, an anthropology professor from Rutgers University, further distinguishes "Male Studies" in his statement that, "It’s not men’s studies as contrasted with women’s studies. It’s a study of males without all the ideology and self-righteousness of feminists about turning over patriarchy.”
Bitter much? I can only assume that Tiger got beat up by a girl, or beat to the top of the class by a girl, at some point in his career. Tiger also blamed feminism for generating "the institutionalization of misandry." He claims that "A lot of feminist argument is just irritating.”
The more I read from this guy, the more "irritating" (and misogynistic and crazy) I find him --- and the more scared I become of just how many people he has the power to influence in his position at Rutgers University (a nationally renowned educational institution). Especially since, and this is a big one, according to Ignorant Men Holding Hands and Hating Feminists (the so-called "Manhood Academy"), the "Male Studies" chair, Miles Groth, of Wagner College, calls their e-book, Principles 101, "an excellent resource." Groth, as quoted by the Ignorant Men Holding Hands and Hating Feminists then says, "We will review it to be added to proposed curricula. This is such important work!! Um, right. I don't know if the Ignorant Men Holding Hands and Hating Feminists were daydreaming (i.e. out and out lying as opposed to spouting self righteous delusions) or if Miles Groth is really that stupid - its hard to imagine that someone trying to mainstream extreme ideas would incorporate an even more extreme group (of unknown leadership), and their 100 plus page manifesto of profanity.
Regardless, I am disturbed by the prospect of an entire discipline dedicated toward dismantling the work feminism has done. It's one thing to find a way to stop the high rate of male suicides, or to work to increase the reading rates of boys, just as we have worked as a society to increase the integration of women in the sciences. The best thing I learned in my studies of Economics and Finance (my undergraduate degree) was "When we all do better, we all do better." When men are better at literature, compared to where they are now, we will do better as a whole. When women do better at science, compared to where we are now, we will do better as a whole. But if men doing better means that women have to do worse, then I fail to see the educational (or societal) merit in this discipline. Feminism is about giving women the same rights and opportunities as men - not better ones, and not at the expense of men - which means that as a society we all do better. Male Studies wants to strip those benefits from all of us, promote men as being better than women, while vilifying those women who dare to reach beyond the 1950s female stereotypes of housewife, secretary, nurse, and teacher.
A failure to take the normalization of misogyny seriously, could cost us so much more in the future, and so I encourage all of you to speak out - to not send your sons and daughters to Wagner College, to talk to them about what equality means, and why it is so important, and to keep your eyes and ears open to this important issue.
What do you think? Have you taken a Male Studies course? Would you? Please comment below to discuss!
Talking about women, the wage gender gap, and body image at Life: Forward.
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