Trying to host a men’s group on a college campus today is like trying to host a Christian Bible study at your home in Saudi Arabia.
For instance, start a women’s group on a college campus and you’re likely to get government funding for it. Start a men’s group on a college campus and you’re likely to be branded a hate group. But then, these guys are rather subversive – you know, asking for equality and all:
With these accusations put to rest and AVfM working as a sponsor and strong supporter, KSUM presses onward in its goals for male students on campus.
One of their objectives is to change the name of the Women’s Resource and Interpersonal Violence Prevention Center. The group wants ‘Women’s Resource’ taken out of the name.
“They offer services to both men and women at the Interpersonal Violence Prevention Center,” Sage Gerard said. “The problem is that, basically, they have a unisex restroom, but they taped a women’s sign over the unisex sign. So guys don’t even realize that the services are available to men.
The idea is to have a gender neutral name for that center so that men and women both understand that there’s a place for them.”
Shameka Wilson, director of the WRIVPC, disagrees with this viewpoint and does not believe such a change is feasible.
“I do not foresee the name of the WRIVPC changing in the near future,” Wilson said. “Men are more than welcome to take part in events and programs sponsored by the WRIVPC. In addition, the Assistant Dean of Student Success has met with the student officials of the KSU student organization, Kennesaw State University Men, and has informed them that the University is growing and that there may be opportunities in the future to develop a Men’s Resource Center.”
Until such an entity exists, however, KSUM will continue in its efforts to change the center’s name.
Secondly, the group wants to see changes to the Gender and Women’s Studies Program at KSU.
“What we want to do is we want to diversify the literature,” Gerard said. “In essence, there’s coverage for LGBT, black community, and women. But there’s no coverage necessarily for masculinity, at least not in a way that’s really sensitive to the male experience.”
Stacy Keltner, coordinator of the Gender and Women’s Studies Program, points out the many different areas covered. “If you look at our course offerings, you will see that our program is very diverse,” Keltner said. “We have courses on Masculinity Studies, Black Feminisms, Transnational Feminisms, Queer Theory and Sexuality, and we just passed a course on LGBTQ Identities that will launch next fall.”
This has been taken into consideration by KSUM, however, and does not satisfy their concerns.
“I don’t think that the masculinity studies course is approaching men with a good attitude,” Gerard said. “It approaches men with the attitude that they are, in essence, angry, incapable of controlling their emotions, and things of that nature. I don’t think that the masculinity studies course is fully representative of the full male perspective. Again, talking about renaming things, I’d say go ahead and call it Gender Studies. That branding thing doesn’t need to be as centric on one gender.”
Honoring men by acknowledging and respecting how God made them is a big first step in restoring fatherhood and all the social/economic goodness that goes with it. About time our universities started reflecting this. And good on KSUM for acknowledging it.