Feminist prof slams ‘toxic masculinity’ out of ‘love for men’
- Kutztown University professor Colleen Clemens fired off a series of tweets Monday blaming toxic masculinity for the church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
- She cites gender theorists who, she says, "have shown that there is very little difference" between male and female brains, and that "people act differently" because of "rigid societal norms created around femininity and masculinity."
A feminist professor at Kutztown University recently defended her attacks on “toxic masculinity,” arguing that she does so “out of love for the men in all our lives.”
Colleen Clemens, who teaches literature at Kutztown, recently fired off a series of tweets arguing that “toxic masculinity” is the motivating factor behind both the recent Texas church shooting and terrorist attacks.
“Toxic masculinity is killing everyone. REPEAT,” Clemens tweeted earlier this week, later doubling down with another tweet simply saying: “Toxic masculinity is killing everyone. REPEAT. Toxic masculinity is killing everyone. REPEAT. Toxic masculinity is killing everyone. REPEAT.”
In an interview with Campus Reform, Clemens defended her attacks on masculinity, explaining that she believes that “that if we are talking about ‘toxic masculinity,’ we are doing so out of love for the men in all of our lives.”
While evolutionary psychologists find that male violence is a product of evolutionary roots, Clemens contends this is not the case, arguing that “after decades of study, I deeply believe that men are not naturally violent,” but rather, that they live in a society that only “allows men access to one brand of power, i.e., physical power.”
“Most gender theorists have shown that there is very little difference between the brains of men and women, and that in fact the reason people act differently is not because of brains or other biological characteristics, but instead because of rigid societal norms created around femininity and masculinity,” she argued.
There are many men who feel a lack of agency, and who have been cultured to take out their anger in the form of violence, Clemens said.
“Some men will feel like they fail at being a man and end up taking out that lack of agency on those around them—often the women in their households or the children in their care, as we see in the most recent shooter in [Texas] who followed the similar pattern,” she added.
Instead of gun violence or terrorism causing murders, Clemens argues that the root cause is actually men’s desire for “personal agency solely [that is] paved with a value put on violence,” adding that when “men have felt a lack of agency, there has been a vacuum created in their lives, a vacuum that can be filled by ISIS or gun violence.”
In addition to teaching literature at Kutztown University, Clemens also has taught Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies, Women Writers Around the World, and a class on Women and Violence in Contemporary Literature and Film.
Her main research interest, stemming from her Ph.D. is on “representations of Islamic veiling in literature and popular culture,” according to her faculty biography.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen