Should universities allow Men's rights?

(53 Posts)
Sausageeggbacon Sat 20-Apr-13 19:51:52

First want to thank whoever it was that posted the link to the article from the good men project about educating boys about sex and to lessen any impact from porn. Been reading different aspects of the website as a mother and a woman and while some of the articles I have struggled with but this is the one that has been discussed most here

Synopsis is about the lack of Men's groups at university and the fact that some universities have blocked them. We probably have all read about Toronto and the running battle between feminists and mens rights. So with male studies looking like it will appear in 2014 somewhere in the world do we fight against groups starting? I am interested as hopefully both my boys will go into higher education.

My opinion if we stop men having groups at uni then feminism is not about equality but about supremacy.

Ok sad TV with the kids so may not get back to this till tomorrow but wanted to post it as I have been talking about this with the boys for a large chunk of the afternoon.

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Sat 20-Apr-13 20:09:57

I suppose the crux of it is to say that allowing womens groups but not mens means feminism is about superiority rather than equality denies the power balance inherent in sexism.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sat 20-Apr-13 20:16:19

I can't see anything wrong with Male study. Managed well it can only further Feminism.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sat 20-Apr-13 20:17:18

But study Happy....study, learning and study...you can't regulate that according to the sexes.

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sat 20-Apr-13 20:18:00

How can younger males learn about the Patriarchy effectively...and women too...I assume women can sign up to Men's Study.

Lucyellensmum95 Sat 20-Apr-13 20:19:03

Well i think if we acknowledge that women have their own issues, it would be wrong to say that men don't have thiers. I wonder how popular such courses would be though

IThinkOfHappyWhenIThinkOfYou Sat 20-Apr-13 20:28:57

"My opinion if we stop men having groups at uni then feminism is not about equality but about supremacy."

namechangeguy Sat 20-Apr-13 23:14:17

What are 'men's rights', exactly, and what would these groups do? I am not sure what their purpose or aims would be.

HullMum Sat 20-Apr-13 23:38:10

I'm pretty sure every textbook I've ever opened was about men. Maybe a few token women but pretty much about men. feminism isn't about supremecy it's about dealing with the imbalance. Do we need more white studies too? File this under shit that isn't currently a problem and is unlikely to ever be a problem.

sashh Sun 21-Apr-13 02:29:16

I think it should be any disadvantaged group so at the moment no to men's groups, they are not disadvantaged as a group.

I am not sure what their purpose or aims would be.

To ensure the status quo.

Sausageeggbacon Sun 21-Apr-13 06:35:09

Well I DS2 feels if both sexes have groups that communicate with each other it may improve things. The only thing he wants to change is getting rid of radicals on both sides.

Sashh I think there are issues that men need to deal with, certainly how to encourage more boys to stay in education and how to provide role models. Prostate cancer and how to increase awareness in men (my father died of it so I take it hard when people ignore it). And yes there inevitably will be the discussion about father's rights. There are bound to be other issues that are covered.

Certainly the article caused interesting discussions at home.

namechangeguy Sun 21-Apr-13 10:28:14

Could you get away with calling such a course 'Men's Rights and Responsibilities'? I think that might make more sense.

vesuvia Sun 21-Apr-13 11:34:07

Sausageeggbacon wrote - "The only thing he wants to change is getting rid of radicals on both sides."

The invention of the printing press, the American Declaration of Independence and the abolition of slavery were radical.

GoblinGranny Sun 21-Apr-13 11:42:35

How about it emphasizing what is a right and what isn't?
getting them to challenge sexist assumptions and look at the reasons behind what is common practice?
I don't understand how it is in conflict with women's rights, it could be complimentary. Unless it's run by people like Clarkson.

Sausageeggbacon Sun 21-Apr-13 12:49:33

The point about getting rid of radicals was made by my 12 y/o son. But the radicals seem to be the ones who are not willing for men to have a group that could compliment feminism. The only way to see how it would work is let them run, not shout them down and get try to ban them. And would not expect men to police feminist groups so the agenda would be driven by the areas men felt were important.

Having seen the good men project which has a lot about positives for boys and educating them if it is an extension to that then I can see the value.

Hitler and Stalin were both radicals, it is not always a positive.

namechangeguy Sun 21-Apr-13 13:43:21

Hullmum said ' feminism isn't about supremecy it's about dealing with the imbalance.'

I like this, it's straight to the point. But it makes me wonder why this wouldn't be a combined course for both sexes, rather than a split that we seem to be discussing?

Hearing people talking about personal experiences, like the stuff on everydaysexism in a classroom environment would open a lot of people's eyes, I think.

AutumnMadness Sun 21-Apr-13 14:43:43

I am in two minds about this. Women's rights groups and women's studies usually have a very clear purpose - to fight patriarchy. Not men, but the system that has been devised mainly by men and mainly for men's benefit (keeping in mind that both men and women participate in it). What would be the purpose of "Men's rights" group? Yes, many men are most definitely oppressed within the present patriarchal system. But they are generally oppressed by other men. Which men's rights do we mean here - the right of men not to go to war or the right of men in high and powerful position to send other men to war? The right of men to take extended paternity leave or the right of male CEOs to work their male subordinates 24/7?

So, to me, the label "men's rights" is just too vague. It would be much more helpful if these groups were clearer with their agendas. There is a qualitative difference between "North European Studies" and "White Race Studies." So should be with men's rights.

I think a 'men's rights' group would be as inappropriate as a 'whites' rights' group. However, I think that if a university has a female-only feminism group, it ought to encourage people to start a mixed group too.

If we're talking courses as opposed to groups: loads of universities run gender studies courses, which is different from women's studies. It might be interesting to run a 'men's studies' course, I suppose, but frankly I agree with others that it seems a bit OTT given that men tend to get the lion's share of the focus anyway.

I know academics who do research on the history of masculinity as a construct and I think that can be really interesting - it is part of gender studies but some people who do it are mostly interested in gender as a construct, not in laying down the law about how men or women should behave.

Btw, sorry, do you have a link to what you summarised in the OP, because it's obviously passed me by! blush

vesuvia Sun 21-Apr-13 18:47:35

Sausageeggbacon - wrote "So with male studies looking like it will appear in 2014 somewhere in the world do we fight against groups starting? "

First, we had women's studies, based on feminism. Then women's studies had to be watered down to gender studies by including lots of "what about the men". More recently, we've had men's studies, which looks at masculinity and men's issues, but still studied largely through the prism of feminist theory. Now we have the possibility of male studies.

From what I've read about male studies, they are different from men's studies.

Proposed university courses of male studies are very likely to focus on the following topics:

- looking at men from the viewpoint of men and boys as an under-represented minority
- opposing the political incorrectness of masculinity
- blaming and opposing feminism
- the feminist-generated institutionalisation of misandry
- the powerlessness of individual men
- pride in masculinity e.g. entitlement to pornography
- reversing the feminist feminisation of education
- failure of the education system to consider the needs of males.

(I've written that list from the viewpoint of the male studies advocates, not from my viewpoint. For example, I do not believe men and boys are under-represented, nor that masculinity is politically incorrect, nor that there is institutionalised misandry, nor that men should be entitled to pornography, nor that the education system does not consider the needs of males, etc.)

An example of an article comparing men's studies and male studies is www.insidehighered.com/news/2010/04/08/males.

To me, "Male studies" looks like anti-feminist MRA studies.

I think women's studies, gender studies and men's studies courses based on feminism have something positive to offer the world. I think male studies based on anti-feminism is a bad thing.

SinisterSal Sun 21-Apr-13 21:53:36

Dunno about men's 'rights', men have never been denied rights simply because they are men. They'be been denied them because of class, or colour, or religion and there are already people working on that.
Men's issues is different, and valid - its not just semantics
Feminism has done loads of work regarding gender roles and how good it would be for every one to get rid of them.(simplistic and rushed-sorry)
I personally don't see why you wouldn't approach male studies etc building on the work feminists have done. Unless you are hostile to feminism. In which case you are supporting the status quo.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Mon 22-Apr-13 07:55:42

SEB, I'd appreciate the link too.

To me, gender studies is about the sociology of gender itself
Whilst women's studies focuses on women's experience in eg history (so it is about a subject but concentrating mainly on women's experience of it. Is that broadly right? What would men's studies cover?

I get the impression what 'women's studies' covers varies from place to place, but in some places you could be a radical feminist and work with it, whereas in 'gender studies' you'd be constantly arguing against the name of your own discipline.

Also - and this is my ignorance from not having the link - but a taught curriculum or a department in a university is surely very different from a group set up by students? I'm getting confused what the link between the two is meant to be.

ecclesvet Mon 22-Apr-13 10:56:31

Nice.

'See also 'Men's liberation' and 'misandry''. hmm

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