Congratulations are definitely in order for Stony Brook University, part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system on Long Island. The home of the Seawolves has, at long last, answered the calls for equality by adding a Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities in 2013.
Don’t be fooled, however. This isn’t a response to “I am woman, hear me roar.” In fact, the majority of the center’s Board of Directors are women, including actress (Hanoi) Jane Fonda and “The Vagina Monologues” author Eve Ensler. The men on board range from a queer studies historian to psychiatrists and college presidents. Not many Gen. James Mattises to be found.
You also won’t find a deep dive into how young men are being emasculated from a young age, as Christina Hoff Sommers has argued for years. Instead, the “revolutionary” institution is run by sociologist Michael Kimmel, author of such bipartisan books as “Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of an Era,” in which the phenomenon of the so-called whitelash is examined in the wake of President Trump’s election. The description of said book includes an outline of how terrifying angry, young boys are — that all school shootings are committed by boys (not true.)
“Masculinities 101,” the blog curated by sociology PhD students at Stony Brook, doesn’t fare much better for the conservative-minded. The headlines alone, “How Trump Seduced the White Working Class By Preying on Their Physical Pain” and “Misogyny, Racism, Sexism, and Capitalism Rule Everything Around Me” among other pieces crafted from the tears at the Javits Center on November 8, bring to mind obvious cultural reasons as to why the White House’s current occupant is there at all.
Fortunately, Kimmel and Stony Brook leave no doubt as to what the Center is; it’s nakedly partisan and hard-left. It’s the study of men, through the eyes of progressive women, and according to Bruce Bawer, writing for the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, the first Masters of Arts program in masculinities studies is also being drawn up.
“The Men’s Center, in short, is not about understanding men’s psychological and emotional development and their personal and professional lives; it is about encouraging young men to feel guilty about being born male, to check their own natural male impulses and interests, to emulate (as best they can) the manners and mores of women, and to subordinate themselves, in all ways and all circumstances, to their female friends, relatives, and colleagues,” writes Bawer.
The Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities is anything but an unbiased and fair-minded institution for molding the next generation. Nevertheless, if the emergence of a counterculture on the right has proven anything, it’s that millennials and Americans of every age, are tired of having their customs and culture dictated to them by a star chamber of ivory-tower pundits. Only time will tell if the minds that emerge from this masculinities program will add to the growing backlash from conservatives.