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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Why we need a Men’s Studies Department

    Everyone knows that our university is facing financial issues. We also know that it will only be a partial solution to bring in more out-of-state students who will be aching to go bankrupt to enroll in this bastion of academic excellence, regardless of how much easier the university makes it to graduate with some majors in more than four years.

    However, there is the additional dilemma of how to keep all of our crucial departments alive. Let us agree that all of our departments are indeed vital. Retail and consumer sciences classes, as difficult as they may be, are as necessary to college success as a Safeway card or, for those truly aspiring students, a BevMo card. Still other scholarly routes, such as communications courses, have proven themselves to be fundamental to the ability of our athletes to focus on athletics rather than trivial intellectual pursuits.

    The key here is to avoid conventional wisdom. We do not need to cut departments but create more of them, specifically, one department in particular that I have found to be greatly lacking in this fine university: men’s studies. The reality is that, as trendy as gender studies are, we clearly don’t have all our bases covered on the subject. That Y chromosome simply has not been given the attention it deserves.

    Truly, men face many issues in our society, from paternal rights to identity. It is the duty of the university to offer students a strong foundation in masculinist thought and action through a sequence of courses that offer multi- and interdisciplinary approaches to analysis of the historical, ongoing and pervasive gender-based oppression of males despite, at times, their apparent yet deceiving total domination of land and sea.

    Just think of the possibilities. “”MS 115 – Introduction to Masculinism”” could give a basic overview of the concepts and practices of such an academic discipline. Directly addressing one of the many aspects of gender inequality, “”MS 195 – Men in Reading: Challenges and Solutions”” could focus on the experiences of men in education who tend to underachieve when it comes to reading. Precise organization of the department, while important, will be saved for a future time in lieu of course content.

    One imperative class would include ideas such as the monumental influence of stoicism and a glance at one of its manly inspirations, the great Marcus Aurelius. We can call the class “”MS 300 – Tonight We Dine in Hell.”” Knock “”traditional gender roles”” all you want – Marc was, if you don’t mind me saying so, a badass. Even a woman in Aurelius’ role would have put her boot to many a rear. I wish I was more like him, and you should too.

    Cross-listed with the religion and history departments could be a “”Topics in Weaponry”” course section discussing the alternate theory to intelligent design and how John Moses Browning, who invented every gun of the 20th century, also invented the world. “”MS 396B – Adventures and Explosions”” would be a necessity. Just as well, we would surely require a class concerning a modern history of sexualities and the likes of Clint Eastwood. Postmodern masculinist literature from “”The Way of the Warrior”” to Batman comics would similarly play their parts in teaching students how theoretical issues connect to their own lives.

    The new department could offer a current events-related lecture on our new president, and how, through knowing him, we have realized that he is not some messiah but, more realistically, merely a manifestation of the finest qualities of Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Martin Luther King Jr. combined. A cross-listed archaeology course would be central in discussing the proper methods of ancient trap evasion, bullwhip implementation, snake avoidance and hat maintenance. Moreover, it would drive students not only to defeat Nazis, but to develop knowledge of masculinist actions, theories and methodologies; a greater understanding of the diversity of human experience; an understanding of and ability to use interdisciplinary perspectives; and academic skills for lifelong intellectual growth. ÿ

    Although we may in short time have but a few colleges, let us add more departments so that the studies of our university shall flourish and achieve new heights. I, for one, hope that the men’s studies department’s day will soon come.

    – Daniel Greenberg is a political science junior. He can be reached at letters@email.arizona.edu.

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