Thursday, 15 April 2010

New discipline calls for an end to second-class male

By Matthew Reisz

Male studies will help fight 'pervasive misandry' in society, say scholars.
The "declining state of the male" was discussed by scholars at a conference in the US to launch what organisers claim is a new academic discipline.

Male studies, the conference heard, has to be distinguished from men's studies, which by definition focuses on adult males and "grew out of sociology".

The new discipline, by contrast, draws on anthropology, biology, history, politics, psychology and medicine.

A central issue, according to organisers of last week's event at Wagner College in Staten Island, New York, is "the growing problem of misandry - the hatred of males, an unacknowledged but underlying socio-cultural, economic, political and legal phenomenon endangering the well-being of both genders".

Speakers at the conference included Katherine Young, professor of Hinduism at McGill University in Montreal, and Paul Nathanson, a researcher in religious studies at McGill, who have already co-authored three books on misandry.

The blurb for their 2006 book Legalizing Misandry: From Public Shame to Systemic Discrimination Against Men speaks of a "pervasive misandry" that they argue has "been processed through popular culture since the 1990s" to create "a worldview based on ideological feminism, which presents all issues from the point of view of women and, in the process, explicitly or implicitly attacks men as a class".

Dr Nathanson also acts as an expert on behalf of those who oppose same-sex marriages.

So to what extent is male studies just part of a conservative backlash against feminism?

"We deplore misogyny," said Miles Groth, professor of psychology at Wagner College, which hosted the conference. "However, while misogyny has been identified, pointed out and addressed, misandry has not been given the attention it requires." He said this was mainly because any talk of misandry had been construed as being somehow "anti-profeminist", adding his apologies for the "dreadful locution".

The discipline's "target population" is "boys and young men under the age of 35-40, who have not had a spokesperson for their concerns", Professor Groth said. "And the concerns are plentiful: increased suicide rates among boys, failing literacy among boys and young males, unattended health problems of males of all ages, and depictions of being male in the media which, when decoded, show decided misandric subtexts," he said.

"Much recent literature on boys and young males coming out of sociology depicts males as the problem of modern culture, when in fact it is the problems of this population that need our attention, chiefly by scholarly work not driven by ideology."
The conference was organised by the Foundation for Male Studies and sponsored by the On Step Institute for Mental Health Research, which supports graduate fellowships at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

It ended with the announcement of the first annual conference on male studies, to be held in October, and the planned launch of Male Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal in 2011.

Original article at
with this extremely useful & informative post in the comments section by Marc A:

We need male studies to look honestly at male inequalities and systematic discrimination against men in child custody, parenting laws, criminal sentencing, domestic and sexual violence laws that ignore male victims, public health policies, forced labor and military conscription laws, genital cutting laws, etc., and how men make 80-99% of homeless adults, job deaths, dropouts, suicide deaths, combat deaths, incarcerated persons, etc. and have higher mortality rates for 13 of the 15 leading causes of death.

In "The Myth of Male Power," Warren Farrell, Ph.D. looks at how both sexes were limited, empowered and disempowered by gender roles in different ways, rather than just spewing the usual one-sided man-bad woman-good story. He looks at how gender roles spelled disposability for men - working in mines, getting black lung, dying on the job, sacrificing themselves and their health, having no option to stay home, working excessive hours, committing suicide, being apart from their kids, internalizing pain, being denied custody of their kids, having their limbs torn off in wars that women supported at about the same rate men did but only men were forced to fight, etc.

The oft-cited "pay gap" is just a snapshot of average full-time incomes that doesn't account for overtime (90% male), physical risk, hour flexibility, commute distances, etc. It exists because women have more options than men to be primary parents. That's why never-married childless women outearn their male counterparts and female CEOs outearn male CEOs.

Male studies would look honestly at issues such as how:

Fathers have long been denied equal parenting rights with mothers.,9171,1101011119-183968,00.html

In Germany, up till recently, single dads were denied any custody of their kids unless mom consented.

In Japan, dads are automatically denied custody rights.

In Ireland and England were men are denied equal paternal leave.

Men are in a silent health crisis but there are still no offices of men's heatlh except in Georgia.

Maternal gatekeeping is a major factor in the shortage of father involvement.

Men get higher sentences than women for the same crime when all other factors are equal.

Drunk drivers get a 3 year higher sentence for killing a female than for killing a male. “Unconventional Wisdom,” Washington Post, Sept. 7, 2000.

Men were excluded from the international ban on forced labor for years.
Article 11 at

Male slaves are frequently ignored by human rights laws and policies.

Men are half of domestic abuse victims and suffer 1/3 of the injuries.

Male victims of domestic violence and their children have long been discriminated against.

"Approximately 95% of all youth reporting staff sexual misconduct said they had been victimized by female staff. In 2008, 42% of staff in state juvenile facilities were female."

"Inside youth prisons, scores of female guards violated boys."

A student survey in New Mexico found 43% of teacher sex abuse comes from female teachers but over 90% of prosecutions are of male teachers.

Two out of five South African boys say they were raped, “most often by adult women.”

A Canadian study found high rates of homeless kids being molested, with 3/4 of the molestations of boys being by adult women, but there were still no programs for the boys, only for girls.

Male victims of rape often are ignored and denied services.

Men are frequently victims of rape, including statutory and prison rape, by both sexes.

Between 9% and 60% of rape accusations are false.
Archives of Sexual Behavior, Vol. 23, No. 1, 1994.
Forensic Science Digest, Vol. 11, No. 4 (December 1985), p. 64.

Men do their fair share of housework when you count all work inside and outside the home.

Camille Paglia's Thought For The Day

“Let us stop being small-minded about men and freely acknowledge what treasures their obsessiveness has poured into culture.We could make an epic catalog of male achievements, from paved roads, indoor plumbing, and washing machines to eyeglasses, antibiotics and disposable diapers. We enjoy fresh, safe milk and meat, and vegetables and tropical fruits heaped in snowbound cities. When I cross George Washington bridge or any of America’s great bridges, I think: men have done this. Construction is a sublime male poetry. When I see a giant crane passing on a flatbed truck, I pause in awe and reverence, as one would for a church procession. What power of conception, what grandiosity: these cranes tie us to ancient Egypt, where monumental architecture was first imagined and achieved. If civilization had been left in female hands, we would still be living in grass huts. A contemporary woman clapping on a hard hat merely enters a conceptual system invented by men.”

- Camille Paglia

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Male Studies: A proposed curriculum

by Barbara Kay

The 93rd anniversary of the battle of Vimy Ridge, considered one of Canada's defining moments as a young nation, was commemorated at the National War Memorial last Friday.
The Queen issued a statement honouring the memory of a "truly remarkable generation." The Prime Minister hailed Canada's "fierce warriors ... rock-ribb'ed patriots." The G-G spoke to the 8,000 attendees of a war "in which an entire generation of young people courageously braved gunfire."
But of course, it was not "young people" who "braved gunfire," it was young men.
You'll see the same tendency in reports of coal mine disasters: "Miners" are trapped, "rescuers" race against time, "families" await word. If you didn't know better, you'd think miners, rescuers and families were a mixed bag of men and women, when in fact the first two -- the ones taking the risks and facing the terror--are almost invariably men, while only the third--anguishing, but alive and well--are women and children.
And yet, consider: Reportage around the Montreal Massacre did not speak of "engineering students" -- the focus was entirely on the women as women. Men are what they do, women are who they are.
I can see "Gendered Disparities in Media Discourse" as precisely the kind of subject that is likely to be studied in the discipline of Male Studies, a historical first, launched this week at Wagner College, Staten Island, N.Y.

Interest in creating a program in Male Studies may have been spurred by weariness with feminism's misandric myths. But its subject matter, one hopes, will unfold organically along rigorous scholarly lines. Perhaps it will venture into the three "Ps" of normative masculinity: man as progenitor, protector and provider--and what happens to cultures that assign a low value to these roles. I would urge Male Studies specialists to go where the evidence leads--into areas such as intimate partner violence.
As it happens, the inauguration of the Male Studies program coincides with the 98th anniversary --April 15--of the sinking of the Titanic. As another putative course, "The Titanic and Male Honour Codes in Western Civilization" would open up a fascinating discussion on values around the perceived worth of men's lives and women's lives.
As most people know, when the Titanic sank, 75% of women and almost all the children were saved as against 20% of the men. That husbands and fathers should privilege their families' lives is taken for granted in the West. That the male crew went stoically to their deaths for strangers, simply because of their sex, is an extraordinary idea when you think of it.
That is the irony at the heart of the Titanic story. These heroes had been brought up in the very heart of the same robust, supposedly misogynistic patriarchy that feminists today use as a bogeyman to frighten young girls with. I think we should welcome the prospect of an academic program that will analyze the patriarchy in the more complex and objective light it deserves.
Canada has a special relationship with the Titanic. Of the 1,522 lives lost, 209 bodies were transported to Halifax. Three city cemeteries there contain the graves of 150 victims.
Our nation is full of memorials, via the Montreal Massacre, attesting to the suffering and death of women linked to men's lower nature. Tutorial question: Would it be a fine thing to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Titanic in 2012, with a memorial in Halifax attesting to the rescue and survival of women and children linked to men's heroism? Discuss amongst yourselves.