I came across this wonderful response to the phrase ‘man up’ thanks to Wisconsin senator Steve Nass, who is all manner of bent over a course at UW-Madison: “Unpacking Masculinity At UW-Madison” and seeks to address the ways “media, hook up culture, alcohol, violence, pop culture” create expectations of masculinity.
Sen. Nass was terribly alarmed, and fired off an email:
Sen. Steve Nass, a frequent UW System critic, sent an email to his fellow lawmakers on Wednesday entitled “UW-Madison Declares War on Men and their Masculinity — Not a Joke.” The email accuses UW-Madison of being part of a national liberal effort to rid male students of their “toxic masculinity.”
“Our friends at UW-Madison, not happy enough with labeling ‘whiteness’ as a societal problem, now are attacking another social ill …, Men and their masculinity,” the email says.
“The supposedly underfunded and overworked administrators at our flagship campus have scrapped (sic) together enough dollars to offer a six-week program open only to ‘men-identified students,” the email goes on. “In short, the highly paid leaders at UW-Madison now 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.”
The email concludes by encouraging legislators to reform the UW System in the next state budget.
What Sen. Nass misses entirely is that a lot of young men are seeking paths through all the baggage hanging from the concept of masculinity so that they can be themselves, in happiness, in pride, and in security. Why that would be awful, when toxic masculinity is right there, after all, it’s worked for thousands of years, right?
I visited the course site, and it all looks good to me, I wish such courses were all over the place.