Another offering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, this one on masculinity, is drawing fire from conservatives as an example of ideological excesses at the school.
The target is the Men’s Project, a six-week voluntary discussion program that “aims to explore masculinity and the problems accompanied by simplified definitions of it,” according to a UW Health Service news release.
Cultural influences distorting ideas of masculinity include “media, hook up culture, alcohol, violence, and pop culture,” said another promotional piece posted on UW-Madison’s Multicultural Student Center website. “Understanding the connections between our experiences and experiences of masculinity and issues in our society can help build stronger communities.”
State Sen. Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, a long-time critic of the UW and vice-chair of the Committee on Universities and Colleges, on Wednesday said the UW-Madison offering “declares war on men.”
Nass was recently joined by State Rep. David Murphy, R-Greenville, chair of the Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities, in blasting an African Studies course set to begin later this month called The Problem of Whiteness.
Nass and Murphy last month suggested that legislators use their control over funding for the university in the budget-writing process now underway to force UW System schools to “reform.”
Nass repeated that call Wednesday in an email to Republican legislators.
“Our friends at UW-Madison not happy enough with labeling ‘whiteness’ as a societal problem, now are attacking another societal ill…, Men and their masculinity,” Nass said in the email.
“The supposedly underfunded and overworked administrators at our flagship campus have scrapped together enough dollars to offer a six-week program open only to ‘men-identified students.’ UW-Madison has become part of a national liberal effort to rid male students of their ‘toxic masculinity.'”
The offering of such a program reveals how the highly paid leaders at UW-Madison “believe that Wisconsin mothers and fathers have done a poor job of raising their boys by trying to instill in them the values and characteristics necessary in becoming a Man,” Nass wrote.
“Will we have the courage to reform the UW System in the 2017-19 biennial budget?” he concluded.
The term “toxic masculinity” was sounded in a post a day earlier by The College Fix, which noted that UW-Madison is among many colleges with offerings that “seek to purge male students of their so-called toxic masculinity.”
As UW-Madison spokeswoman Meredith McGlone put it, the Men’s Project tries to address the negative way in which typical understandings of masculinity can affect male students.
“These expectations influence the decisions men make about friendships; spending time outside of class; careers or academic majors; and sexual and romantic relationships. Men are socialized to believe they need to act a certain way to be accepted as ‘masculine’ or have what it takes to be a man,” she told The College Fix.
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Source: The Cap Times, Madison, Wisconsin