The Anti mStud

Ergo, the idea of having a “male studies” program in college is inane. It doesn’t solve the problem, but instead is simply a side-show that distracts from the main issues. It’s a means to profit off of the naive feelings and emotions of kids who lack the intellectual rigor to study a real discipline in college, but enough of their parents money they can afford not to (just like women’s studies, or any hyphenated American studies). It does nothing to help its participants. from Captain Capitalism: Why You Should Be Against Male Studies

I’ve heard this argument about gender-based studies before, and frankly I think it’s boring (and untrue.) When I took classes such as Womens Studies and LGBT Studies and African-American Studies in college, I did it to both understand myself and those that would be an “other” for me. I am a straight, white woman but in order to try and expand my view, get my head around things that I couldn’t inherently, and also make myself a more understanding, compassionate person, I took these classes. They made me better.

On my first day in womens studies, my professor made the point that the reason womens studies exists, in part, is because women are not equal to men. The day that black women (the most subjugated of all minorities) are no longer oppressed, the work of womens studies will be complete and its programs in college can be discontinued. Do I see that ever happening? To be honest, no, but I fight for that anyway. In what I am beginning to believe, the way men are socialized now is in response to the power women have gained since the Sexual Revolution and the second and third waves of feminism. Something is there to be explored.

Men’s Studies is not a discipline to reaffirm the patriarchy, or over-teach the presence of men, specifically white men, in history. It is a place where socialization, behavior, and hierarchies can be explored in the same way they are within a women’s studies discipline. By turning a critical and curious lens on themselves, I have no doubt men would be liberated by what they would find.

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