Excerpted From The Telegraph: A university in the United States has begun offering classes in “constructive male allyship,” providing a space where male students are able to “question and deconstruct toxic masculinities.”
Duke University, based in the city of Durham, North Carolina, held its first Learning Community session last week. The women’s centre has organised a nine-week series of seminars, as part of the Duke Men’s Project.
And, with sexual harassment and sexism remaining hot topics on American university campuses, the university has created the seminar series under the banner of the Men’s Project.
“Our purpose is twofold: to foster constructive male allyship, and to question and deconstruct toxic masculinities,” the Men’s Project says on its website.
“We also understand how masculinity in its normative form alienates most – if not all – men, and recognise the part normative masculinity plays in alienating men and reproducing violence.
“We want to deconstruct toxic masculinities to reconstruct healthier, more inclusive notions of masculinity.”
The nine-week course aims to promote “unlearning violence.”
The organisers say: “We want to explore, dissect, and construct an intersectional understanding of masculinity and maleness, as well as to create destabilized spaces for those with privilege.”
Duke’s women centre opened the men’s project in the spring, and since then has held talks by sociologists on “sex, power and violence” and screened films about pornography.
“Duke is an environment where some are rarely made uncomfortable while others are made to bear the weight of their identities on a daily basis – we aim to flip that paradigm,” the organisers say.
The project has been backed by the student newspaper’s editorial board. They insisted it was “not a re-education camp being administered by an oppressed group, in the service of the feminisation of American society.” Keep reading