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School helps students ‘nurture feminist masculinities’ during ‘Masculinities Month’

In contrast with ‘patriarchal masculinities’

The Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity at the University of Kansas has devoted the month of February to developing “feminist masculinities” and questioning “the collective socialization of men” through a slate of activities they’ve dubbed “Masculinities Month.”

Eight events are scheduled for the month, ranging from DIY craft nights to a keynote address by a prominent anti-patriarchy writer.

“Through these [events], the Emily Taylor Center encourages you to learn about and question the ‘collective socialization of men,’ the ‘traditional masculine script,’ and the concept of ‘the man box’; consider the relationship between intersectionality and masculinities; explore the differences between patriarchy and feminism as well as between patriarchal masculinity and feminist masculinity,” the center’s website states.

“We also share strategies for those seeking to practice and/or nurture feminist masculinities in their everyday lives.”

The center did not respond to The College Fix’s request for comment on event attendance so far, as well as where the funding for the month’s programs comes from.

Two of the month’s events are “zine” nights, where participants can gather to make “zines” or tiny homemade magazines. One event is geared toward zines where participants can “create your own counternarrative.” The zines will be collected, copied, and disseminated on-campus by the center. Organizers of the zine events did not respond to requests for comment on the expected turnout for the activities.

Masculinities Month kicked off with a roundtable discussion on “The Rise of ‘Toxic Masculinity’ and ‘Woke Capitalism,'” a panel hosted by five university affiliates. The event’s Facebook page states it was attended by 14 individuals.

A lunch forum was also hosted on “incels,” a community of “involuntarily celibate” men that, according to the event’s Facebook page, “promotes violence against women.” The lunch featured a presentation on “incels” hosted by a transgender YouTube personality. The Facebook event indicates that six people attended it.

The keynote speaker for the month was Donna Zuckerberg, author of the book “Not All Dead White Men: Classics and Misogyny in the Digital Age.” Zuckerberg’s book focused on “a virulent strain of antifeminism” and dived into the “virtual communities of the far right.”

According to the event’s Facebook page, it was co-sponsored by “Sexual Assault Prevention and Education Center, the Department of American Studies, the Department of Classics, and the Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Kansas,” and 23 people attended.

MORE: Male college students to undergo ‘critical self-reflection’ of masculinity

MORE: Students told term ‘be a man’ represents toxic masculinity

IMAGE: Leszek Glasner / Shutterstock.com

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About the Author
Aryssa Damron -- Yale University