by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Bruce Bawer devotes a Martin Center column to the dubious academic inquiry into men.
In 2013, Stony Brook University (part of the SUNY system) revealed plans for a new “Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities.” Since I’m a Stony Brook grad, I was quite interested in this development. Would the new Center do anything to enhance the school’s reputation for scholarship?
I didn’t think it would, but the announcement of the ten advisory board members erased all doubt. Six were well-known women: feminist icon Gloria Steinem, actress Jane Fonda, author Eve Ensler (author of the play The Vagina Monologues) and leading women’s studies figures Madeleine Kunin, Catharine Stimpson, and Carol Gilligan, whose claims that girls were being denied their “voices” in education led to Christina Hoff Sommers’ book The War Against Boys.
Only four men were included: Martin Duberman, a queer studies historian, and three obscure individuals, psychiatrist James Gilligan (who is married to Carol Gilligan), physician Frank Ochberg, and Chris Howard, president of Hampden-Sydney College.
… Steinem, Ensler, and the female academics had spent their careers preoccupied with women, not men. To put such a crew in charge of a center for men’s studies seemed like a joke—but is perfectly routine in today’s academy, where the few courses on male issues tend to be part of women’s studies and invariably view maleness exclusively through a feminist lens.