Questioning a “Safe Space” for Men


The College Fix reports on what appears to be an implicitly self contradictory (which is to say, dishonest) attack on masculinity at Brown University:

A program at the Ivy League institution provides “safe spaces for men to unpack all of the things they have learned about masculinity and what it means to be a man,” according to its website.

“Rigid definitions of masculinity are toxic to men’s health,” campus officials state online under the heading: “Unlearning Toxic Masculinity.”

“Men will often resort to violence to resolve conflict because anger is the only emotion that they have been socialized to express,” the website states. “Unfortunately, the way that young men are conditioned to view sex and their need to be dominant and have power over others also contribute to instances of sexual assault and other forms of interpersonal violence on college campuses.”

It’s been a while since I was part of a campus community, so maybe I’m missing the nuances of “safe spaces,” but I’m not sure how the term could cover a space in which one is explicitly identified as “toxic.”  Are the safe spaces provided to other identity groups similarly characterized by the safety to talk about what’s wrong with members of the group?  That seems more like a “hostile space.”

Indeed, spend some time clicking through the texts and videos associated with this program, and you’ll be hard pressed to find anybody who exhibits a sense of safety in acknowledging something like, “I’m strong and competitive, and all of these other guys talking about how masculinity means being cold, calculating, and distant just aren’t describing a reality that matches the society that I’ve experienced.”  Even a video of a young woman (who appears to present as a young man) tells the story of her toxic masculinity when she hit her brother for telling her she looked pretty.

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In other words, it’s all play acting and virtue signaling, and there’s nothing really new, here.  The lesson that is pushed ad nauseam is basically:  People shouldn’t be jerks, and “jerk” and “masculine man” are basically synonyms.

By that definition, the most masculine people in the world would have to be the authorities pushing this nonsense on young impressionable men and women, and that clearly isn’t correct.

  • Mike678

    Safe spaces are simply bubbles / echo-chambers where the weak-minded and intolerant can’t have their views or opinions challenged.

    • Merle The Monster

      Sounds like you are describing Fox News and the Current Anchor. I think there could be many more examples across the entire political spectrum of an entrenchment of like minded expression. We are a divided country. The Russian hackers know this and are using it to keep us at each other’s throats. So just keep being a rupe and the manipulators will have us right where they want. Angry, ignorant, and ready to be led. Thanks Comrade

      • Mike678

        All this fact free blather from a person to ignorant to understand what the word ignore means. So blind, so ignorant….

        • Merle The Monster

          What are you writing about? I know this is a trying time for the President’s fans but this is ridiculous. Katz and Fox News uses the same shop worn device to distract people by resorting to writing this crap. Dividing us with these cultural issues designed to divide and inflame passions. The Kremlin is loving it. You don’t have to participate

          • Justin Katz

            Says the progressive: “Don’t talk about the ways in which we’re undermining our society to increase our own power. Talk about a real threat, like Russian bogeymen.”

          • Merle The Monster

            Increase power? With the White House in Republican hands, the US Senate and the US House of Representatives held by Republican majorities, 33 states with Republican Governors, 32 state legislatures in the hands of Republicans, and the Supreme Court about to retain a 5 to 4 Conservative majority how can you seriously suggest Progressives are ” undermining our society”? Maybe I should not have included you with Fox News who seems to delight in highlighting cultural clashes particularly when their President embarrasses himself, clearly to distract their easily distracted audience. You on the other hand possibly think that this kind of garbage is important; a way to degrade and insult perceived enemies. But what comes through when you write pieces like this one is your intolerance and basic unkindness.