In 1972, many feminists, including male feminists like myself, sought a gender equality that would benefit both sexes. But from day one women's studies' departments at leading universities skipped right past that--and into Marxist feminism with its paradigm of males-as-oppressor/females-as-oppressed. Over the past thirty years that model expanded from the politically correct gender framework at the leading universities, whose professors are typically more radical, into more vocationally oriented universities such as Ryerson, who in the past were barely affected by Marxist-type feminism.But with the zanies in charge of student affairs, sometimes the presence of other misguided initiatives offers opportunities.
Lakeland Community College in Ohio, and Pierce College in Washington State, found that men's problems could get attention if couched as an issue of retention. James Shelley at Lakeland explained that the new Ohio funding formula is based on success rates, including graduation and retention. And since men are more likely to drop out, the issues putting male students at risk might be more widely considered if it meant more money from the state.There are also intriguing ways to push back under the rubric of Title IX of the 1972 Civil Rights Act.
Similarly, after Pierce College's Bret Burkholder elicited data from colleges throughout Washington State, and discovered male students about four times as likely to be dismissed as women at all of Washington state's colleges, he got no traction when he presented it as a male problem. It too had to be presented as a retention problem.
Learning from this, Burkholder has framed his work less as about men per se, and more, for example, as about veterans, which clears through the patriotism filter; or work with single dads, since the beneficiaries are children.
This approach, while gaining traction, is still slow. As Shelley puts it, "the premise is still, 'Men are the problem" rather than "Men have problems."
I like it. Use the machinery of oppression against the oppressors.