Male Studies? We don’t need Male Studies. Because reasons.

14 Jan

male-studies-promo

In what amounts to a heartening trend in the land Down Under, The University of South Australia will be offering a “world first” course in “male studies”, if all goes as planned.

If.

Australian feminist writer Tory Shepherd is already doing her best to derail the course by using logical, reasoned argument and irrefutable facts outright lies, obfuscation and omission to demonstrate the course is unnecessary and even dangerous.

Let’s take a look Tory’s argument.

Update: the course has been pulled.

LECTURERS in a “world-first” male studies course at the University of South Australia have been linked to extreme views on men’s rights and websites that rail against feminism.

This is probably a good time for some definitions.  “Male Studies” is indeed a world first, and there is an important distinction to be made between Male Studies and Men’s Studies.

Male Studies is “a new academic discipline [that] explores the male as male, masculinity, and the lives of boys and men.”

donate-boys

Men’s Studies, on the other hand, “came out of feminist analysis of gender, which includes biological differences”.

Here we go with obfuscation number one:  the fact that an academic discipline is not embracing feminism as a theoretical paradigm is not the same thing as “railing against feminism”.  While it is certainly true that many, many websites are deeply critical of feminist thought *cough* JudgyBitch *cough*, the attempt to conflate an academic discipline that eschews feminist theory as an underpinning as automatically “anti-feminist” is disingenuous at best.

There is nothing in the course outline that mentions feminism one way or another. Gender? Yes. Absolutely. Power and privilege?  Yep. Masculinity? Sexism? All on the course outline.

The main source of rage from feminists is that nowhere does the course claim these issues will be viewed either through the lens of feminism, or in a way that is critical of feminism.

Feminists are losing control of the narrative.  And that doesn’t sit well with them.

The lecturers’ backgrounds are likely to spark controversy, but organisers of the predominantly online course, promoted as the first of its type in the world, insist they are not anti-feminist and “it’s very difficult for anybody who has opposing views to get a word in”.

Gee, Tory, why would anyone think that?  Isn’t this whole article an attempt to silence the conversation? And this one.  And this one. And this one. And this one, too.

Shut up and go away?

Two lecturers have been published by prominent US anti-feminist site A Voice for Men, a site which regularly refers to women as “bitches” and “whores” and has been described as a hate site by the civil rights organisation Southern Poverty Law Centre.

So much bullshit here.

AVfM regularly refers to women as “bitches” and “whores”, does it? Which is completely and utterly different from Jezebel regularly calling men “assholes” and “creeps”, right? Since there is no rigorous definition of “regularly”, and since one contributor at AVfM actually refers to herself as a bitch, let’s just go with it.

It’s called hyperbole. In more colloquial terms “shock jock” journalism.

What is the difference between

Catering to Assholes

Republicans Worried Women Won’t Vote For Assholes

Chris Christie is a Petty Asshole

Samsung Thinks Women Will Fall for a Creep With a Nice Watch

and

Namaste, bitches!

Feministing: privileged white bitches in our dust

That second article about bitches actually begins with the sentence “OK, so the title is a bit sensational and a bit misleading”.

And how about this little nugget: the course Tory is referring to is not the one being offered. Her entire critique of the instructors is based on the wrong fucking course.

Let’s follow up with one more mind blowing factThe SPLC did NOT refer to AVfM as a “hate group”.

Oh, oopsy.

The US site specifically welcomed the UniSA course as a milestone, editor Paul Elam saying it marked the end of feminists’ control of the agenda.

Yay!  A sentence that does not contain a lie!  Good job, Tory!

One American US lecturer – US attorney and self-professed “anti-feminist lawyer” Roy Den Hollander – has written that the men’s movement might struggle to exercise influence but that “there is one remaining source of power in which men still have a near monopoly – firearms”.

Yeah, we can cherry pick feminists for appalling quotes, too.

Most feminists don’t hate men, as a group (we hate the system that disproportionately favors men at the expense of women), but — congratulations! — we are starting to hate you. You, the person.

The ever charming Lindy West in a post titled If I admit hating men is a thing, will you stop turning it in to a self-fulfilled prophesy?

He also argues that feminists oppress men in today’s world and refers to women’s studies as “witches’ studies”.

…rage-filled, obsessively anti-woman horseshit

…unapologetically misogynistic bags of rot

…entitled shitbags who hate women

The lovely Kate Harding, describing men’s right activists in her post titled “Fuck You, Men’s Rights Activists.

Clearly, only men ever engage in shock jock tactics.

Another, US psychology professor Miles Groth, says that date-rape awareness seminars might be deterring men from going to university.

Yay!  Another sentence that is almost true.  Because asking a question is almost the same as answering it, right? Dr. Groth’s actual quote:

Indeed, what does it mean to a first-year male student to have to attend a date-rape seminar where they are told they harbor dangerous impulses that must be controlled, when they have never for a moment ever in their lives thought about coercing a female (or anyone) sexually.

Mr Den Hollander has tried to sue ladies’ nights for discrimination against men. He has likened the position of men today to black people in America’s south in the 1950s “sitting in the back of the bus”, and blames feminists for oppressing men.

Women get special privileges in bars that entitle them to cheaper/free alcohol or admission for no reason other than the fact that they are women.  Comparing that situation to slavery would have been pretty over the top, but comparing it to the American south in the 1950’s?

A child born to a Black mother in a state like Mississippi… has exactly the same rights as a white baby born to the wealthiest person in the United States. It’s not true, but I challenge anyone to say it is not a goal worth working for.

Thurgood Marshall

Interesting that New York City is on a campaign to prevent hairdressers, dry cleaners and nail salons from charging different prices based on gender, handing out fines that range from $50 to $500 for violating a law that makes gender-based pricing illegal. 580 violations handed out in 2012.

Must be pretty rare, huh?

The course, which has no prerequisites, begins this year and will canvass subjects from men’s health to gender bias.

Yay! Another 100% true sentence, but what is up with that “no prerequisites” comment?  Is it supposed to suggest that anyone can take the course?  Like, just any common person?

Well, that’s terrible.

What prerequisites does women’s studies require, again?

The five courses offered at University of South Australia in Gender Studies appear to have zero prerequisites or co-requisites.

Interesting.

Course founder Gary Misan, from UniSA’s Centre for Rural Health and Community Development, said they were “not anti-women” and that lecturers were associated with a range of groups.

“I wouldn’t say any of them are extreme or anti-feminist,” Dr Misan said.

Oh, this is so cute, Tory.  You do know that anti-woman and anti-feminist are not the same thing, right? See how she switched words?

“The aim of the courses are to present a balanced view and to counter some of the negative rhetoric that exists in society in general and in some areas of academe about men.

“It’s very difficult for anybody who has opposing views to get a word in. As soon as somebody mentions anything they perceive as being anti-feminist, they’re pilloried, and in some cases almost persecuted.”

And their words are changed from anti-feminist to anti-woman.  See above.

Dr Misan also said that writing something for a specific website did not necessarily suggest an affiliation.

Wait, there’s a word for that….. let me think …. Freelance writer?!?! Who knew such a thing existed? Remarkable.

Dr Michael Flood, from the University of Wollongong’s Centre for Research on Men and Masculinity, said these types of male studies “really represents the margins”.

Hmmm.  AVfM has an Alexa ranking of 11,419 in the US, and 33,713 globally. Visitors from virtually every country on the planet.

Yep.

Pretty marginal.

“It comes out of a backlash to feminism and feminist scholarship. The new male studies is an effort to legitimise, to give academic authority, to anti-feminist perspectives,” he said.

How does questioning disproportionate sentencing for male criminals relate to anti-feminism?

How does exploring male health seeking behaviours relate to anti-feminism?

How does investigating male workplace deaths and safety relate to anti-feminism?

How does addressing the wildly different suicide rates for men relate to anti-feminism?

Make no mistake, all these topics certainly can be and should be explored through anti-feminism, but I am just one, admittedly very vocal, writer.  There is no requirement built in to promoting the interests and rights of men that forces anyone to address any aspect of feminism or women’s interests at all.

Oh boo hoo.  Feminists aren’t the center of the world?

Cry me a river…. The refrain comes to mind for some reason.

Flinders University School of Education senior lecturer Ben Wadham, who has a specific interest in men’s rights, said there was a big difference between formal masculinity studies and “populist” male studies.

He said there were groups that legitimately help men, and then the more extreme activists.

Yep.  There is a big difference.

“That tends to manifest in a more hostile movement which is about ‘women have had their turn, feminism’s gone too far, men are now the victims, white men are now disempowered’,” he said.

Again, conflating “women” with “feminist” serves no purpose other than to suggest that questioning a very specific ideology is equivalent to hating an entire group of individuals who may or may not share that ideology.

Don’t like radical Islam? You must hate all Muslims everywhere.

And the accusation that somehow it is only “white men” who are sensitive to the fact that women’s healthcare is funded at four times the rate of men’s healthcare, despite the fact that men die earlier, is utterly laughable.

What kind of world do you live in where you imagine black men or Asian men or gay men or any man anywhere doesn’t care that his children are only likely to go to college if they happen to be female, and they get to go with their genitals intact because only male infants can legally be mutilated?

“I would argue that the kinds of masculinities which these populist movements represent are anathema to the vision of an equal and fair gendered world.”

Right.

Equal healthcare funding

Equal sentencing

Equal educational opportunities

Equal reproductive rights

Equal parenting rights

Equal obligation to serve the state

Why, if that kind of equality came about, that would be no fair to women at all.

Dr Wadham said that universities needed to uphold research based traditions instead of the populist, partisan approach driven by some.

Research based –traditions?  Which traditions?  Whose?  The first universities were established in 1088. The first women’s studies course was offered in 1969.

Ya sure you want to appeal to tradition? That could come back and bite you in the ass real hard.

And you know how research is conducted, right?  You gather some data and analyze it.  Facts. Evidence. Hypothesis. Analysis.

You don’t refuse to allow the conversation to happen because someone’s feelings might get hurt.

Men’s Health Australia spokesman and Male Studies lecturer Greg Andresen is also the Australian correspondent for US-based site National Coalition For Men, which declares false rape accusations to be “psychological rape”, argues that talking about violence against women makes men invisible.

Yeah, no.  Here is what Greg actually has to say about intimate partner violence:

Uncovering the staggering depth of brutality women used to be subject to at home without question – and denouncing it – is one of the signature civilising social movements of the past 40 years. To this day, women are more likely to be severely injured, assaulted or killed at home. But are a smaller but significant number of men victims of domestic violence, too? And are they falling through the cracks?

Asked about his connection to NCFM, he said they were the longest-running organisation in the world to look at discrimination against men and boys.

“Certainly they don’t shy away from touching issues like false rape allegations, domestic violence, some of those hot topics,” he said.

“We have had 20 if not 30 or 40 years where the only study on gender has been from a feminist perspective … that’s why I think this course is so long overdue,” he said.

Yep. Long overdue.

UniSA’s Provost and Chief Academic Officer, Professor Allan Evans, said the courses covered important men’s health issues and would equip allied health professionals who deal with men’s health.

How offensive.  That’s misogyny!

“All new courses are reviewed thoroughly prior to being offered to ensure they are suitable and beneficial to our students,” he said.

And obviously, when it comes to the University of South Australia, all courses are put through the ideology machine to make sure equality is not a goal, if it means feminists have to surrender some privilege.

Such as the privilege to talk exclusively about men’s rights and needs.

I call bullshit.

Anyone else?

Lots of love,

JB

19 Responses to “Male Studies? We don’t need Male Studies. Because reasons.”

  1. Andrei January 15, 2014 at 00:44 #

    This almost seems like some kind of bad joke. I don’t understand how some random article from some nobody calling herself a “journalist” could possibly lead to a University course being cancelled.

    Hopefully enough people make a fuss over this and the course gets to happen. We really shouldn’t stand for this kind of BS.

    • JBfan January 15, 2014 at 01:51 #

      Even though Judgy Bitch hasn’t anything hard and fast (phrasing!) the feminists probably did what they did to Dr Steinmetz in Delaware :( And hello ‘Michael Fraud’ er-I mean Flood’, fancy seeing you here and not at xyonline you snake! Another Hugo Schwyzer in the making now are we?

  2. JP January 15, 2014 at 02:32 #

    Well, frankly I don’t have much good to say about Muslims, but that’s because the so-called radicals are the ones who take Mohammed seriously. The more seriously you take Islam and the Koran and the hadith and sharia, the more people like Osama bin Laden and the Saudi Wahabbis start to sound sensible. Or at least, that’s what I’ve learned from my research thus far; frankly there are actual TV programs that air in the Middle East that teach husbands when and how you should -beat your wives-. Not satirically, I might add (such a program, even satirical, could never be broadcast in the West).

    As for the rest of the article, as far as it goes it sounds pretty on-the-spot. Wish those guys the best of luck.

    • kyle March 7, 2014 at 20:43 #

      I would Agree with ou, But look, I’m a white boy. The longer I live in AMERICA, the more Osama bin laden starts to make sense. Maybe we should just burn this motherfucker down and go back to the drawing board?

  3. Eric January 15, 2014 at 09:52 #

    I’ve been involved as an activist in causes that were also promising until temporarily stopped by similar counter-moves. But we continued to learn, evolve, and maneuver, and we eventually succeeded.

    This is progress and an early step forward, as long as the proponents don’t surrender due to the adversity and make it their last step forward.

    I hope 2 things happen. One, proponents at UniSA, now wiser, adapt and keep maneuvering toward their goals. Two, the publicity from this case inspires similar initiatives to flare up throughout the West, or at least the Anglosphere.

    • Eric January 15, 2014 at 10:25 #

      Add: The feminist protest against this course indicates to me the course is hitting the right pressure point.

  4. Modern Drummer January 15, 2014 at 20:42 #

    We don’t need male studies because Jane Fonda and Gloria Steinam are grabbing the bullshit by the horns and teaching our young men how to be good feminists at some uni in New York,I think.
    It is funny to see the feminists freak out over losing control of the narrative.
    Maybe young men will feel understood and worth something at the U. Of South Australia.

  5. Erik Norén January 16, 2014 at 03:08 #

    Makes me once more wonder which is the hraher judgement of feminists, maliciousness or stupidity. And which one is more true.

    • Erik Norén January 16, 2014 at 03:10 #

      Harsher

  6. Matt January 16, 2014 at 16:49 #

    Male studies? I thought we had that already – it is called history.

  7. LostSailor January 16, 2014 at 22:09 #

    Oh boo hoo. Feminists aren’t the center of the world?

    Actually this is the root of the objection to Male Studies courses. They don’t focus on women, they’re not presented from a feminist perspective and therefore can’t possibly have value, and most important, they change the subject of a social conversation away from women and feminism. And that can’t be allowed.

    From the Jezzzie article: “Apparently, Male Studies was formed in order to study this phenomenon without the distraction of also occasionally thinking about women.” Because how could research or study of maleness and masculinity proceed without the ladies explaining it? Femsplainin’. It’s a thing.

    From DailyLife.au site (couldn’t find the linked article) piece “What Would a Men’s Rights Course Look Like?” Apparently it would cover such subjects as

    *Internet trolling
    *Fashion: Skyrim t-shirts and hiding stains on the shorts your mom picked out.
    *Negging, because men don’t know how to have conversations.
    *Porn, because feminists women will never sleep with you, you loser.

    Let’s examine the feminist man-mockery checklist, shall we?

    video-game-playing? check.
    still lives with mom? check.
    Nice Guy™ shaming? check.
    neckbeards? check.
    poor hygeine? check.
    basement-dwelling? nope.
    small penis? nope.
    never getting laid? check.

    Well, well, I’m sure the penis mockery was just an oversight.

    The Frisky, at least, abjures the mockery checklist, calling Male Studies illegitimate, suspicious, a fake academic discipline trying to “co-opt” the “prestige” of (feminist approved) Men’s Studies, a Trojan Horse trying to “erase” the sexual revolution, all perpetrated by right-wing fringe elements.

    I didn’t realize that “gender as a social construct” is considered unassailable fact. My bad.

    It’s not just that these courses are focused on men, though that would be enough in an of itself, but that they are focused on men in ways that feminists cannot control. Male Studies aim to study men as males. Men’s Studies aim to study ways to turn men into women….

  8. implying names January 17, 2014 at 02:06 #

    That “Big Red Sings” video reminded me of this:

  9. javaloco January 17, 2014 at 18:33 #

    JB. Recently in Canada there were two similar events. One at York university and the other at a martial arts school in a public facility in Halifax.

    http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/sunnews/canada/archives/2014/01/20140113-152628.html

    http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/sunnews/canada/archives/2014/01/20140115-190313.html

    On the surface, these are about religious accommodation. However, when one digs in a bit, I am satisfied these are more about personal liberty.

    York University – student enrolls in an online course so he doesn’t have to work with women. That the course outline did not specify group work is corroborated in versions of the story written elsewhere. He is then told he must.

    Halifax – the story makes it sound like this guy demanded segregation of the class. A Facebook commenter says he is at this class and that the student segregated himself.

    Commentary seems to center around “damned Muslims” and according to the York professor, not hurting the feelings of the female attendees.

    I am not a fan of Islam. However it seems that these guys were quietly honoring their beliefs and are being vilified Left side comments make it sound like this needs to be fought because of hurt feelings.

    Hurt. Feelings.

    Anyhow. I’ll stop there for now.

  10. Eric January 22, 2014 at 19:23 #

    JB,

    I am waiting eagerly for your take on Wendy Davis, her narrative, and the way she’s treated the men who’ve helped and supported her on her way.

    • judgybitch January 22, 2014 at 19:25 #

      She’s on my radar screen for sure but I am swamped at the moment and my little guy has the flu

      😢

      Poor duck

      Don’t know when I’ll get to it. I have a new post almost ready but duty calls!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    […] Male Studies? We don’t need Male Studies. Because reasons. In what amounts to a heartening trend in the land Down Under, The University of South Australia will be offering a “world first” course in “male studies”, if all goes as planned. […]

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