Male students at Brandon University in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada are a bit put out this week after the curious reception given a simple proposal for a Men’s Collective, a group to mirror the Women’s Collective. The proposal by Will Breen was allegedly met with scorn from both students and faculty alike, including such dismissals of any such club as little more than a “pornography and cigar club.”
The discussion of students at the university say that Breen started the idea as more of a “tongue-in-cheek proposal” but later became serious about it. Whatever the motivation, the rejection of even the idea of a male club is inconsistent with the treatment of female clubs. His motion at the Brandon University Students’ Union (BUSU) annual meeting last month was dismissed with little debate and any local media reports that, at another forum, a female professor insisted that “men do not have need of representation, that we have historically been the oppressors, that we have no position of disadvantage.”
I was not aware that student organizations were only allowed for certifiably oppressed groups. I am eager to hear about the long struggle of the Chess Club in fighting for its right to engage in the Queen’s Gambit without abuse.
The fact is that there are many issues relating to male students that are worthy of such a club from the rights of fathers in custody disputes to male health issues to the fact that at least one faculty member at the university sees males as only semi-reformed oppressors.
Women now make up more than 50 per cent of students at most universities in the United States and Canada.
While the university finally forked over $400, BUSU president Stephen Montague also added that “personally, as a male on campus, I’m not a member nor will I be. It comes down to the historical inequality that still exists.” Now, there’s a statement of neutrality. What would have been the reaction if a female university president said that she would allow a women’s organization but would never be a member? What does historical inequality have to do with university students forming a club to explore issues related to their gender?
The simple solution is to let students organize such a group and say that University Presidents support all groups and belong to none. Instead, Montague appears to be believe that the first rule of men’s club is you don’t talk about men’s club.
For the full story, click here.