January 5 2017
Jillian Kay Melchior
A Republican lawmaker wants to slash UW-Madison’s funding over a new program on so-called “toxic masculinity.”
State Sen. Steve Nass has also been a vehement critic of the university’s “Problem of Whiteness” class. Joined by other Wisconsin Republicans, Nass has pushed for legislature to use its power of the purse to penalize UW-Madison for the controversial classes.
“Our friends at UW-Madison not happy enough with labeling ‘whiteness’ as a societal problem, now are attacking another societal ill…, Men and their masculinity,” Nass said in an email to his GOP colleagues Wednesday.
“The supposedly underfunded and overworked administrators at our flagship campus have scrapped together enough dollars to offer a six-week program open only to ‘men-identified students,’” Nass continued. “UW-Madison has become part of a national liberal effort to rid male students of their ‘toxic masculinity.'”
UW-Madison’s non-credit, six-week program on masculinity is “open only to men-identified students,” the university said. Students will discuss masculinity as it pertains to religion, sexual orientation, race, violence, substance abuse, and other topics.
About 30 students are participating this semester, attending six talks, as well as a retreat, the university has said.
UW-Madison created the program in part because men are underrepresented in on-campus leadership roles—but “overrepresented in acts of violence and in use of drugs and alcohol,” said Sam Johnson, a violence-prevention specialist for one of the university offices involved in the so-called “Men’s Project.”
UW-Madison is far from the only university offering such a program. Over the past two years, the University of Arizona, Duke, Washington University in St. Louis, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and others have also sponsored their own “Men’s Project” programs.
— Jillian Kay Melchior writes for Heat Street and is a fellow for the Steamboat Institute and the Independent Women’s Forum.