What does it mean to be a Princeton man? Regardless of how you might answer that question today, it will be drastically changing in the near future if Princeton University has anything to say about it.
Princeton is the latest university to provide specific programming to try to change men on campus, and is currently looking to hire an “Interpersonal Violence Clinician and Men’s Engagement Manager.” In addition to providing clinical support for the men at Princeton, “[t]he Manager will develop and implement men’s programming initiatives geared toward enhancing awareness and challenging gender stereotypes…”
This position will be housed in the Sexual Harassment/Assault Advising, Resources & Education office. While of course it is important for universities to foster an environment of mutual respect between the sexes and not tolerate violence on campus, this position reeks of a larger concerted effort to reject any form of masculinity and label men as inherently toxic.
Here’s one responsibility Princeton’s new hire will have:
Leads and expands a violence prevention initiative, Men’s Allied Voices for a Respectful and Inclusive Community (MAVRIC), promoting an environment for healthy male social development by challenging belief systems and social constructs that contribute to violence and offering alternative options.
All responsible parents try to teach their sons and daughters how to grow up to be respectful adults, and make sure that respecting others is part of their “belief system” and committing violence against women isn’t. Yet Princeton administrators seem to assume that this isn’t the norm and that the cause of sexual violence on campus is that American men as a whole are raised to be violent toward women. In fact, culturally, there are many social constructs (ones that ironically liberal feminists often try to breakdown), like the idea of chivalry, that encourage men to treat women with even more respect. Somehow, I doubt this concept will receive much attention during this violence prevention initiative.
These male-focused positions popping up on campus are just the latest in the Left’s ongoing effort to use college campuses to inculcate social change and advance their political agenda. In fact, Princeton makes it pretty explicit that candidates for this position need to be rooted in progressivism. Two of the “essential qualifications” include, “Masters or doctorate in social work, psychology, women’s and gender studies, public health, or related graduate degree,” and “Able to balance strong commitment to social justice with a capacity to navigate complex organizational systems.”
Women’s studies departments emerged out of the women’s movement of the 1960s and 1970s and have established themselves as one of the most dependable tools of the Left on campus. And the term “social justice” has been taken over by the Left to mean supporting liberal causes and ideas. In other words,
the job description itself signals an unmistakable political agenda.
Princeton is hardly alone in its drive to take action against “toxic masculinity.”
Last year, the Duke Women’s Center launched the Duke Men’s Project, which a leader of the program described as, “[The goal of the initiative is to] critique and analyze their own masculinity and toxic masculinities to then create healthier ones.” The Project includes a nine-week course to “create a space of brotherhood fellowship dedicated to interrogating male privilege and patriarchy.” Similarly, the UNC Men’s Project “works to promote healthier masculinities on campus and to shift the culture of masculinity toward more non-violent norms.”
And Brown has a webpage dedicated to “Unlearning Toxic Masculinity” in part to create, “safe spaces for men to unpack all of the things they have learned about masculinity and what it means to be a man. The goal is to help those socialized as men to unlearn some of the notions that have led to such profound harm being enacted toward others and toward themselves.”
There is nothing wrong with studying what it means to be a man and encouraging a healthier culture to help men flourish. Yet we should be weary of new college positions and programs that seem to have a political agenda—one that seeks to demonize men and masculinity and to push our country further Left.