Vanderbilt University recently announced via a post on the university’s Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center news page that Thursday, September 10th will kick off “Healthy Masculinities Week 2015”
What exactly is Healthy Masculinities Week 2015?
According to the same post, it’s an event sponsored by the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center that will aim to:
“Explore healthy masculinity through various lenses: American society, the gay and bisexual community, fraternities, and more.”
Here is the official advertisement flyer that was sent around campus displaying a list of the week-long activities that will be taking place:
Further research into the first event planned “The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt And How All Men Can Help” reveals something quite interesting. The title is in reference to a book written by Jackson Katz, (guest speaker) who is an anti-sexist activist. A Booklist review for his book says:
“Katz explores those aspects of American culture that promote violence against women, focusing separate chapters on pornography, prostitution, and other sex-related businesses as well as sexual violence in the military, the music industry, and athletics.”
The review ends with:
Based on his work with gender violence, the book also offers advice on how men can ally with women to curb violence and change those aspects of the “boys will be boys” attitude on male aggressiveness and masculinity that can lead to violence and abuse.
It is clear as day given the guest speaker, the ‘thought bubble’ on the advertisement for the event, as well as the lineup of activities, that this “Healthy Masculinities Week 2015” is nothing short of a male-shaming fiesta. Nowhere in the list of activities does it seem to squeeze in any room for open debate, but rather focuses on a week-long demonization of men. An ad hominem as MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow would say, although definitely not in this context.
This even is sponsored by the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center, Vanderbilt Athletics, Dean of Students Project Safe Center, Women’s and Gender Studies, Martha Rivers Ingram Commons, Office of Greek Life, Office of LGBTQI Life, Bishop Joseph Black Cultural Center, and the Interfaith Council.