Duke 'Men's Project' recruits 'masculine-of-center' students

The Duke University “Men’s Project” recently welcomed students back to campus with an invitation to help “destabilize masculine privilege” and combat “toxic” masculinity.

In a recent call for applications to join the nine-week program, the Duke Men’s Project touted itself as a “great way for men and masculine-of-center people on campus to engage with issues of gender equity on campus and beyond.”

Now in its third year, the project has hosted numerous events dedicated to helping men “begin the work of unlearning violence.” Last semester alone, the project hosted six public events on campus, including one arguing that “all men” promote rape culture.

[RELATED: Duke recruits men for program to fight ‘toxic’ masculinity]

The event, “HashtagAllMen: A Reflection on Men’s Complicity in Rape Culture,” claimed in the wake of the #MeToo movement that “it is important to reflect on how #AllMen create an environment in which rape culture is possible.”

“Though individual men may not be perpetrators of gender violence themselves, men's everyday behaviors produce rape culture within society,” the event description explained.

Just a week later, in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre that killed 58 people and wounded nearly 500, the Duke Men’s Project hosted another event arguing that “aggrieved white manhood” causes mass-violence.

Entitled “You Mad, Bro? White Men, Aggrieved Entitlement, and Violence,” the event was facilitated by Matthew Ezzell, a James Madison University professor whose research focuses on “healthy masculinity,” interpersonal violence, and the sociology of gender.

Previously, during “Meme-o-logy,” students discussed “how ~power~ and ~privilege~ play out in internet spaces” and how “the same structures of oppression that happen IRL (in real life) are paralleled in online platform,” according to the event description.

[RELATED: Prof blames mass shootings on ‘hegemonic masculinity’]

All workshops were facilitated by leaders from the Duke University Women’s Center.

Each semester, the school recruits roughly 15 students. This semester, programming will begin the week of January 29. The application, which is still open, warns that the program is a commitment to be taken very “seriously.”

“Grappling with these issues and being vulnerable will be challenging, and we want to make sure that we are all committed to doing this work together,” the application notes.

Duke University is one of a handful of schools that offer programming dedicated to fighting masculinity; other schools with currently active programs include Northwestern University, the University of Connecticut, Missouri State University, and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Campus Reform reached out to Duke University for comment, but did not receive a response in time for publication.

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