by Rose Laoutaris

Hobart and William Smith Colleges in upstate New York is offering a course next semester called “Men and Masculinity” as one of the required courses for obtaining a minor in men’s studies. According to the course description,

This course offers a reinterpretation of men’s and boys’ lives from the perspectives of history and sociology, informed by pro-feminist men’s studies. We assert that masculinity is problematic – for men and for women – but also, subject to change, since it is socially constructed and historically variable. We focus on men’s lives in American society from the late 19th-century to the present, and explore multiple masculinities in the intersectionalities of race, class, ethnicity, and sexuality. This course allows all students, however gender identified, to develop a deeper understanding of men as men, and to re-think male experience.

The first problem with this course is that it has a misunderstanding of what masculinity is and assumes that it is only evil. While negative traits, such as aggressiveness and violence, can be harmful, they can also be used for good.  In Allie Stuckey’s video for PragerU titled, “Make Men Masculine Again,” she explains how “[t]he same masculine traits that bring destruction also defeat tyranny.  The traits that foster greed also build economies.  The traits that drive men to take foolish risks also drive men to take heroic risks.  The answer to toxic masculinity isn’t less masculinity; it’s better masculinity,” and she is correct.  This creator of this course does not understand that masculinity is necessary for relationships, families, and society, as a whole, to function.

In her video, Allie also describes the consequences of getting rid of masculinity. She says, “One in four fathers now live apart from his children.  And children who grow up without a dad are generally more depressed than their peers who have a mother and a father.  They are at far greater risk for incarceration, teen pregnancy, and poverty.  Seventy-one percent of high school dropouts are fatherless.”  They are also almost four times more likely to live in poverty, more than twice as likely to commit suicide, and have a greater risk of becoming drug or alcohol abusers.

The creator of this course does not realize that eliminating masculinity is dangerous to society. Feminists want to feminize men because they believe men and women should be the same, but this will never happen.  Men and women were created to be different and complement each other.  Neither masculinity nor femininity are bad, and both are necessary for a functioning society.  The demonization of men and masculinity by feminists harms everyone which is especially seen in fatherless homes.

This is a required course students must take to receive a degree in men’s studies, but it is just taught through a pro-feminist lens. Students are not taught anything positive about masculinity, but will still receive a degree in men’s studies if they pass this course and other required courses like it.  How will students get a balanced perspective in men’s studies if they are not taught the importance of positive masculinity?

Making men less masculine will only worsen the problems feminists want to solve. As Allie Stuckey stated in her video, “Rape, murder, war — they all have two things in common: bad men who do the raping, murdering, and warring; and weak men who won’t stop them.  We need good men who will.”  Making men more passive and feminine will only allow evil to flourish, but if men are taught to embrace their masculinity and use it for good, they will fight it.  Hopefully, Hobart and William Smith Colleges will realize this stop demonizing men and masculinity through this course.

Allie’s video ICYMI:

Rose Laoutaris is a 2018 Fall Intern.