Courses Challenge What It Means To 'Be A Man'

Article here. Excerpt:

'One of the summer-term courses took a more philosophical approach and the other a more psychosocial approach, with some overlap, examining ideas about what it means to “be a man.” Matthew Andler, a doctoral student in the Department of Philosophy, just finished teaching “Masculinity.” At the same time, Lisa Speidel, a full-time lecturer in the Department of Women, Gender and Sexuality, taught “Men and Masculinities.”

Masculinity is generally defined as a combination of biological and social characteristics or learned behavior. Students in the summer courses explore that it’s not just a matter of biology and physical traits; there are too many variations and exceptions to a simple dual model of male and female. Concepts of masculinity and femininity also vary among cultures, and over time within the same culture. For instance, upper-class male fashion in Thomas Jefferson’s time included lacy shirts, wigs and stockings – items that would not be considered manly today.
...
Andler, who is teaching his course on masculinity for the first time, emphasized the importance of feminist philosophy to the study of men and masculinity. He claimed “men are not oppressed along the axis of gender. The very social structures that, in part, cause unhealthy masculinities are also central to patriarchy. Although men are privileged in a gender hierarchy, gender roles, norms and symbols can negatively affect men.”

Speidel calls it “the man box” – stereotypical expectations that define men in certain ways; if there’s something about them that’s outside the box, they might suffer for it. It’s a big contributing factor in bullying and violence, she said. Words associated with femaleness, femininity and homosexuality are used to put down boys and young men, which is negative for everyone.'

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Not ALL bad

That the matter of masculinity as a social construct is being examined isn't bad. Coming at it from a feminist perspective though tells me a negative spin on everything is to be expected.

Here's a role needing challenging: ATM for women. Let's see them look at that.

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Gender? Studies

Absolutely agree. Masculinity is in desperate need of study. Unfortunately, gender studies at a tertiary level in Australia and world wide is dominated by feminist theory.
This explains why masculinity is so often described in terms of its relationship to the condition of women, and articles actually discussing masculinity in terms of issues affecting men are considered radical.
Trouble is, feminist gender academics are writing the curriculum for our primary and high school students, firmly entrenching misandrist propaganda and self loathing in our boys and young men.

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you nailed it

Rabel11, this is from the article, it supports everything you said:

"Andler, who is teaching his course on masculinity for the first time, emphasized the importance of feminist philosophy to the study of men..."

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