Sunday, May 17, 2009

Gotta Be A Macho Macho Man

Want to get in touch with your inner macho man? If you live in Israel, you're in luck. Bar Ilan University has created a new program of graduate studies that will "cover various aspects of masculine expression, ranging from its significance in everyday society to how it plays out in politics and consumer culture." According to Dr. Danny Kaplan, the professor who is spearheading the program, this is the only one in the world "that focuses solely on masculinity... with... interdisciplinary study, including psychological and sociological components. It's certainly one of the only programs of its kind."
Well, do you know WHY it's the only program of it's kind? Because it's a stupid idea. Who on earth is going to spend two years of their young life (and thousands of shekels) to study
"how men have come to care more about grooming themselves and how they look" ? What kind of job would this degree help anyone get?
Moreover, you don't need professors lecturing you about masculinity in Israel. Israeli men are the toughest guys in the world. They embody masculinity, and they do so effortlessly. (Which of course is what makes them so hot...but that's a topic for another day.) You want to study masculinity? Just walk down the street and look around.
If I was a donor of Bar Ilan University, boy, would I be ticked off about the stupid way that they're misusing their funds.


Lion of Zion said...

no dumber than all those feminist studies programs in american universities

SuperRaizy said...

Surprisingly, I agree with you (I'm a pretty strong feminist.)I think that when Women's Studies programs first came out in the 60s and 70s, they were a useful tool for advancing the (very necessary) feminist agenda. Today, however, female college students enjoy (mostly) the same opportunities and advantages that their male counterparts do, and I don't think there's a real need anymore for a whole course of study that focuses specifically on women's achievements and needs. Issues of equal opportunity can and should be addressed by the sociology, psychology, and law departments.

Child אִישׁ Behavior said...

They finally took my idea seriously and created the male institute for chauvinist studies. I find that hilarious.

RivkA with a capital A said...

"WHY it's the only program of it's kind? Because it's a stupid idea." LOL!

SuperRaizy said...

Child Ish-
That's a very funny post! You really should e-mail the link to Dr. Danny Kaplan at Bar Ilan. I'd love to know how he would respond to you.
I'm so glad that I was able to make you laugh.

Modern Girl said...

Here's an activity. Look in the mirror and state what you see.

When researchers got people to do this, they got basically three response:
1. I see a black woman
2. I see a woman
3. I see a person

The people who stated #2 were Caucasian women, their race was invisible to them.

The people who stated #3 were men, (Caucasian and African American). Just as race has become invisible to white women, gender has become invisible to men.

I went to a feminist university and had many feminist friends who tried to prove to me that Canadian women are still at a disadvantage. In my senior year, I took "Men & Masculinity" a seminar on how men are treated based on their gender. It was really eye opening, and after I was able to argue back that men actually have it hard sometimes, especially because they're told to NOT consider their gender, which means they're not embrassing their entire selves.

I think gender roles is something that has a lot of force in society. It's the same as socio-economic status, race, religion, and sexual orientation. It creats a lot of power and dyanmics in society. In order to really understand how society has worked, we need to understand how gender has played a role in that.

SuperRaizy said...

Modern Girl-
I absolutely agree with you that gender roles and perceptions have important sociological ramifications. I am not saying that these issues are not worth studying. I'm simply saying that focusing an entire graduate program on the study of masculinity is unnecessary and impractical. As I stated in my response to LOZ above, this "can and should be addressed by the sociology, psychology, and law departments."
Thank you for weighing in!