Monday, March 30, 2015

“You hold women in contempt”: Frat culture isn’t an aberration, it’s everything men learn about being a “real man”

...thus reads the headline from Salon

There are a lot of stories out there right now about frat culture, which is maybe why I find myself circling back to bigger questions about masculinity. Or at least the version of masculinity on display in some of these fraternities.

 What does it say about men and their relationships with other men that sexual aggression is often seen as a way to bond? What does it say about men’s desire to belong that so many guys don’t intervene even if they feel like what’s going on around them is totally wrong? Is the routine sexism we see coming out of many fraternities right now an aberration, or is it just a particularly grotesque expression of how men are taught to feel about and treat women? And if that’s the case, what are we supposed to do about it?
 
And: 
 
I reached out to Michael Kimmel, a professor of sociology at Stonybrook University and one of the nation’s most influential researchers on men and masculinities, to get his perspective on fraternities, male friendship, cultural messaging about “real” men and what it might mean to remake masculinity into something healthier for men and women. Our conversation has been condensed and lightly edited for clarity.

Read the rest here

March 30, 2015 in Education, Manliness, Masculinities, Theory, Violence Against Women | Permalink | Comments (0)

"Political Lobby for Frats Wants to Make It Harder to Enforce Title IX"

From Slate: 

The political arm of the national fraternity system—known as the Fraternity & Sorority Political Action Committee (FratPAC)—is getting involved in the campus rape debate. Sadly, it seems it wants to make it as hard as possible for schools to discipline students who sexually abuse or harass each other. Bloomberg reports:

The groups' political arm plans to bring scores of students to Capitol Hill on April 29 to lobby for a requirement that the criminal justice system resolve cases before universities look into them or hand down punishments, according to an agenda reviewed by Bloomberg News.
"If people commit criminal acts, they should be prosecuted and they should go to jail,” said Michael Greenberg, leader of 241-chapter Sigma Chi, one of many fraternities participating in the legislative push.

The sentiment may sound fair-minded; it's anything but. FratPAC is singling out sexual assault as the only crime it wants universities to handle in this way. Underage drinking, drug dealing, burglary, assault—all of these actions break both school rules and the law, but FratPAC is not asking universities to wait for the criminal courts to adjudicate these crimes before punishing the students for breaking their corresponding school rules. In the situation it's proposing, a school could punish a student for stealing from another student without waiting for the courts to adjudicate the matter; but if a student rapes another student, the school couldn't act.

March 30, 2015 in Education, Manliness, Masculinities, Violence Against Women | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

"Nebraska bill would end fathers' rights in rape cases"

The story: 

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The biological fathers of children conceived through a sexual assault would lose their parental rights under a proposal reviewed by Nebraska lawmakers.

Sen. Tommy Garrett of Bellevue presented the proposal to the Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. Garrett says women who are sexually assaulted often feel pressure to terminate their pregnancy or put the child up for adoption to keep their assailant out of their lives.

Garrett says 29 other states have passed laws to end fathers' parental rights in rape cases. Supporters of the bill say 25,000 to 32,000 pregnancies occur because of rapes each year.

Garrett says the bill allows fathers to reclaim parental rights if their convictions are overturned. He says the bill still needs some work, but creates important protections for women.

__

The bill is LB358

March 25, 2015 in Abortion, Manliness, Masculinities | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sweden Introduces Gender-Neutral Pronoun

From the Guardian UK: 

The official dictionary of the Swedish language will introduce a gender-neutral pronoun in April, editors at the Swedish Academy have announced.

“Hen” will be added to “han” (he) and “hon” (she) as one of 13,000 new words in the latest edition of the Swedish Academy’s SAOL.

The pronoun is used to refer to a person without revealing their gender – either because it is unknown, because the person is transgender, or the speaker or writer deems the gender to be superfluous information.

“For those who use the pronoun, it’s obviously a strength that it is now in the dictionary,” one of the editors, Sture Berg, told AFP on Tuesday.

March 25, 2015 in International, LGBT, Manliness, Masculinities, Theory | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 23, 2015

"Gender Defender Day" in a Washington Middle School

 

A Battle Ground Middle School hosted "gender defender" day, but a school district spokesman said the name was misleading. March 19, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)

The story: 

A Battle Ground Middle School hosted "gender defender" day, but a school district spokesman said the name was misleading. March 19, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)

BATTLE GROUND, Wash. (KOIN 6) — Thursday was “gender defender” day at a Battle Ground middle school, and some parents weren’t happy about it.

Lorelei Hunsaker, 11, showed up at Chief Umtuch Middle School dressed in protest of gender defender day. She said the day was designated for girls to wear pink and boys to wear blue —  and she believes that reinforces outdated stereotypes of what boys and girls should aspire to be when they are older.

“It’s a gender neutral school and it’s pretty good about these things,” Lorelei told KOIN 6 News. “It’s just that this day is sexist and I’m not okay with sexism.”

Lorelei decided against wearing pink or blue, instead she wore dark clothing in protest.

For the 11-year-old’s mother, it goes beyond pink and blue clothes. She is part of a nontraditional family in which she is the main bread winner. Her husband cares for their kids, and gender identification may not fall along traditional lines in their household.

“Why would you even have a gender-oriented event to show school spirit?” Lorelei’s mother, Andrea Isom, asked. “Why does gender matter when it comes to being a good student?”

March 23, 2015 in Education, LGBT, Manliness, Masculinities | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 13, 2015

Curt Schilling--A Father's Grief

From Huff Post:

The single most disturbing story coming out of the media and sports world last week was the horrific online abuse levied at Gabby Schilling, daughter of former Red Sox pitcher, Curt Schilling.

The story was first reported by Schilling on his 38 Pitches Blog.

Curt's daughter Gabby is also a pitcher, and they found out last week that she was accepted to Salve Regina University, where she will play softball.

Proud father Curt, who is active on social media and particularly on Twitter (@gehrig38) posted a Tweet that read "Congrats to Gabby Schilling who will pitch for the Salve Regina Seahawks next year!!"

 But trolls started to attack Schilling: 

2015-03-11-1426090249-3046367-curtSchillihngtweet3.jpg

2015-03-11-1426090953-9601745-curtschillingtweet2.jpg

♦◊♦

I post those Tweets here not to be sensationalistic, but because they have to be seen to understand how deeply and viscerally disturbing they are.

March 13, 2015 in Family, Manliness, Masculinities | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Single-Gender Schools Considered in Virginia

The story:

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is considering offering single-gender schools as a magnet program parents could apply for. The concept is one of several new themes the school district is exploring as CMS turns its eye on its magnet programs. 

Single-gender classrooms have grown in popularity over the past 15 years as federal rule changes have made them easier to execute. Supporters point to numerous studies showing that girls and boys learn in different ways, and that teachers respond to them differently.

But the evidence is not concrete on whether single-gender education offers a measurable benefit, according to research highlighted by the National Education Association.

March 11, 2015 in Education, Manliness, Masculinities | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 9, 2015

SUNY Stony Brook has a Center for Men's Studies

The website is here. Here are the Center's Mission Statement and Vision Statement: 

Mission

The Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities, established at Stony Brook University (SUNY) in 2013, is dedicated to engaged interdisciplinary research on boys, men, masculinities, and gender. Our mission is to bring together researchers, practitioners, and activists in conversation and collaboration to develop and enhance projects focusing on boys and men. This collaboration will generate and disseminate research that redefines gender relations to foster greater social justice.

Vision

The Center is committed to fostering a world in which everyone, regardless of race, gender, or sexuality, reach their full potential as human beings. We support and promote research that furthers the development of boys and men in the service of healthy masculinities and greater gender equality. We seek to build bridges among a new generation of researchers, practitioners, and activists who work toward these ends. This unique collaboration will enhance the quality and impact of research, and enable a more informed policy and practice.

And some editorial comments about the Center is here on the website of the American Men's Studies Association.  

March 9, 2015 in Education, Manliness, Masculinities | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Gender Neutral Shoes

NiK Kacy, luxury footwear designed to fit all genders.'s video poster

 

From HuffPost

As mainstream understandings of bodies and identity evolve and change, it's only fitting that industries, such as fashion, evolve too.

That's the case with NiK Kacy, one of the first luxury footwear brands to describe their product as gender-neutral. At HuffPost Gay Voices we've been documenting the shifting nature of queerness within the fashion world through our series"FABRICATIONS: Emerging Queer Faces of Fashion Design." The NiK Kacy brand is certainly emblematic of this shift and an exciting prospect for bodies existing outside of binary understandings of gender.

NiK Kacy is currently engaged in a Kickstarter campaign in order to fund the brand's first line. The Huffington Post chatted with Kacy this week about their vision for this footwear line, as well as its cultural significance.

 

March 4, 2015 in LGBT, Manliness, Masculinities, Theory | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 2, 2015

LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM

Wesleyan University has created a special dorm that is meant to house the LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM crowd. From the school website:


     Photo of Open House

Open House is a safe space for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Queer, Questioning, Flexual, Asexual, Genderfuck, Polyamourous, Bondage/Disciple, Dominance/Submission, Sadism/Masochism (LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM) communities and for people of sexually or gender dissident communities. The goals of Open House include generating interest in a celebration of queer life from the social to the political to the academic. Open House works to create a Wesleyan community that appreciates the variety and vivacity of gender, sex and sexuality.

 I must say that I am ambivalent about this.  Is this a good thing for the students in the dorm?  To segregate themselves so completely like this from the rest of the school?  So too I find disturbing the notion that all these quite different groups would naturally share a desire to live together, simply because they are sexually marginalized in society.....

March 2, 2015 in Education, LGBT, Manliness, Masculinities, Theory | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, February 27, 2015

Conundrum of Male Support for Feminism

From the Guardian UK:

Indeed, there can be a perverse irony involved in men speaking out in support of women. As the US sociologist Kris Macomber has put it, men are “members of the dominant group; they have access to social and institutional power that women lack”. In other words, their support for feminism is useful for the very thing feminism is struggling against – their power. Feminists have often expressed their frustration to me that men are applauded for saying what women have said for generations.

And: 

And then there are the men who elect themselves “feminists” as a way of granting themselves a certain type of coolness, or making themselves more attractive to women: “Look how sensitive and caring I am – I’m even a feminist!” Sexism is rife on the left – as it is everywhere in society – but the danger is that leftwing men may decide they cannot possibly be sexist, even as they interrupt a woman to assert their feminism. One leftwing feminist tells me she can work out a man’s attitude to women in five minutes: “Do they interrupt you? Do they listen to you? Do they presume they know more than you?”

So: 

So what is the role of men in all this? 

 

February 27, 2015 in Manliness, Masculinities | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

"Frozen" Threatens Manliness--Yikes

Frozen 

 

Humorous but telling satire from the Chicago Tribune:

I haven't been feeling my usual manly self lately. I keep messing things up in a clumsily absurd fashion and feel an overwhelming desire to spend time with a large and inordinately expressive reindeer.

I wasn’t sure what brought on this emasculating malaise until my friends at the Fox News show “Fox and Friends” explained that I and men across America are suffering from “the Frozen effect.”

Yikes. I don’t want to be either of those things.

 

February 25, 2015 in Manliness, Masculinities | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 23, 2015

"Girl, 11, demands DC Comics to feature more female superheroes – so they draw her as one"

Cute story from the Independent UK:

View image on Twitter

 

“Please do something about this, girls read comics too and they care,” the 11-year-old from Champaign, Illinois, added according to NBC’s Today show.

A DC Comics artist drew Rowan as a superhero complete with her blonde bob hairstyle and spectacles with a burgundy and yellow outfit to help her fly over a dandelion field.

Previously, they sent out tweets saying that they’re “working hard to create more superhero fun for girls” but she had said that, even though she appreciated the responses, her quest to see more girl characters was not over.

“It was really, really cool, because they’re so big and important people,” she said of the tweets.

“But I thought ‘I don’t want people to think, “Oh, yeah, OK, they responded to her. Now it’s over.” I want people to keep trying to make this happen, because it’s really important to me.”

Her parents Jim Hansen and Renee Trilling said that Rowan has been aware of gender inequality for years.

View image on Twitter

February 23, 2015 in Manliness, Masculinities, Theory | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, February 13, 2015

Can Gender Diversity Reduce Corporate Fraud?

This study suggests so.  The abstract available on SSRN: 

We formulate theory on the effect of board of director gender diversity on the broad spectrum of securities fraud and generate three main insights. First, based on ethicality, risk aversion, and diversity, we hypothesize that gender diversity on boards can operate as a significant moderator for the frequency of fraud. Second, we hypothesize that the stock market response to fraud from a more gender-diverse board is significantly less pronounced. Third, we hypothesize that women are more effective in male-dominated industries in reducing both the frequency and severity of fraud. Our first-ever empirical tests, based on data from a large sample of Chinese firms that committed securities fraud, are largely consistent with each of these hypotheses.

 

February 13, 2015 in Manliness, Masculinities, Scholarship, Theory, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 9, 2015

True Manliness

The Brian Williams story is disappointing.  He had bragged over the years that his helicopter had been shot down by enemy forces in Iraq; it hadn't.  I don't think, however, that Williams deliberately sought to lie.  He probably did what most men do, but he got caught.  He took a boring story that had only the faintest traces of manliness and then, over the years, embellished it gradually, and hence embellished his own manliness.  

True manliness is more modest, and to those whom we ascribe it, more mysterious and elusive.  Seth Moulton is a congressman who represents the greater Boston area.  He graduated from Andover and Harvard.  He had options in life.  But after 9/11, he joined the Marine Corps.  

During his election campaign, Moulton discussed his military participation but in muted terms.  Only later, only after he had won, did the his constituents discover--through some digging by the Boston Globe--that Moutlon had kept something from the public:  he had won two military medals for valor in combat.  

The Globe story:

The American political graveyard has more than a few monuments to politicians and public officials who embellished details of their military service, in some cases laying claim to medals for heroism or other military honors they never received.

And then, uniquely, there is Seth W. Moulton, the Democratic nominee for Congress in the Sixth Congressional District, a former Marine who saw fierce combat for months and months in Iraq. But Moulton chose not to publicly disclose that he was twice decorated for heroism until pressed by the Globe.

 The Globe learned of the awards — the Bronze Star medal for valor and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation medal for valor — after reviewing an official summary of Moulton’s five years of service, in which they were noted in military argot.

 And: 

In an interview, Moulton said he considers it unseemly to discuss his own awards for valor. “There is a healthy disrespect among veterans who served on the front lines for people who walk around telling war stories,’’ he said. What’s more, Moulton said he is uncomfortable calling attention to his own awards out of respect to “many others who did heroic things and received no awards at all.’’

Moulton, who is facing off against Republican Richard Tisei in the Sixth Congressional District race, has been so close-mouthed about the medals that in his campaign, only his campaign manager – a former Marine – knew of the awards before the Globe asked for the citations on Wednesday. Even his parents did not know, and were told just this week, according to Scott Ferson, a campaign spokesman.

February 9, 2015 in Manliness, Masculinities | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Female Vets Sue Military

From the Military Times:

HARTFORD, Conn. — A lawsuit filed Tuesday by plaintiffs including a female veterans group is pressing the Pentagon for information on gender targets and recruiting policies at U.S. service academies, where enrollment remains overwhelming male.

The complaint alleges the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the U.S. Air Force Academy and the U.S. Naval Academy did not respond adequately to requests filed in November for records under the Freedom of Information Act.

 

 

February 4, 2015 in Education, Manliness, Masculinities | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 2, 2015

So Andy Murray Lost the Australian Open

But he did make a positive statement about gender identity. From a few days back was this article from the Guardian UK:

 Andy Murray’s clash with Novak Djokovic in the final of the Australian Opentennis tournament is the fourth time he’s made it to the ultimate round in Melbourne. On the past three occasions he lost – and he is the favourite to do so again. But whatever the result, the 27-year-old Scotsman has already scored a historic victory – for women.

And: 

After his semi-final victory over the Czech number seven seed, Tomas Berdych, Murray made an impressive speech in which he paid tribute to his coach, Amélie Mauresmo, and hailed the progress of female coaches in a sport that can sometimes appear reluctant to leave its colourfully sexist past behind.

“A lot of people criticised me for working with [Mauresmo],” Murray told the cameras and a delighted crowd. “And I think so far this week, women can be very good coaches as well. Madison Keys, who reached the semis here and had her best tournament, is also coached by a woman – Lindsay Davenport. I see no reason why that can’t keep moving forward like that in the future.

“I’m very thankful for Amélie for doing it. It was, I would say, a brave choice for her to do it and hopefully I can repay her in a few days.”

 

February 2, 2015 in Manliness, Masculinities, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Fathers as caregivers

From the New Republic:

....there are two problems with what President Obama said about paid parental leave in his State of the Union: First, he called it “maternity leave.” And, second, that statement quoted above is all he said.

In the press release from last week, “parental leave” was the chosen phrase. Critically, it was gender-neutral. As President Obama said tonight, "it’s time we stop treating childcare as a side issue, or a women’s issue.” And as the CAP report points out, parental leave isn’t a women’s issue either, “men increasingly want to be caregivers.” It also clarifies, “As family demographics shift, parents of young children are not the only types of workers with significant caregiving responsibilities.” Specifically, the report is referring to the realities of “care for elders” and “same-sex families,” where maternity leave would not apply even if it were guaranteed.

 And: 

And President Obama should have said more. He could have brought up that men do increasingly want to be caregivers, that paid parental leave should be given equally to men and women, that paid parental leave could have important economic benefits, like reducing employee turn over when men and women seek to change jobs to have children, that paid parental leave isn’t something that only elite workers have earned.

President Obama’s announcement last week may have been a wonderful surprise to federal workers and their families, and even to Americans everywhere eager to see universal paid parental leave become a reality. But the announcement set high expectations for what else President Obama could have said on the topic tonight. A one-liner about “maternity leave,” left us all hanging.

January 29, 2015 in Family, Manliness, Masculinities, Work/life | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Female Terrorists Finding Their Way in Militant Ranks

From the LA Times:

From bikini-clad beachgoer to veiled jihadist fugitive, the partner of Paris gunman Amedy Coulibaly underwent a startling metamorphosis that illuminates the dangerous potential behind militant groups' efforts to increase their recruiting of female terrorists.

Although French police initially questioned Hayat Boumeddiene, 26, five years ago, they acknowledge that she was subsequently able to make hundreds of phone calls and arrange meetings for Coulibaly through the wives of fellow assailants. She is then believed to have fled to Turkey just before the rash of killings in Paris this month, and is believed to have crossed into Syria.

 

January 25, 2015 in International, Manliness, Masculinities, Religion | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Ruby Tuesday Sued by EEOC for Sex Discrimination

The lawsuit arrives with institutional assumptions about who is likely to be a restaurant server.

EUGENE, Ore. - International restaurant chain Ruby Tuesday, Inc. discriminated against male employees for temporary assignments to a Utah resort, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.

According to the EEOC's suit, in the spring of 2013 Ruby Tuesday posted an internal announcement within a 10-state region for temporary summer positions in Park City, Utah with company-provided housing for those selected.  Andrew Herrera, a Ruby Tuesday employee since 2005 in Corvallis, Ore., wanted to apply because of the chance to earn more money in the busy summer resort town.  However, the announcement stated that only females would be considered and Ruby Tuesday in fact selected only women for those summer jobs, supposedly from fears about housing employees of both genders together.  Ruby Tuesday's gender-specific internal posting excluded Herrera and at least one other male employee from consideration for the temporary assignment.  

 

January 23, 2015 in Manliness, Masculinities, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)