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

Toni Airaksinen
New York Campus Correspondent

  • The Duke University “Men’s Project” recently issued an invitation for "masculine-of-center" students to join its nine-week program to help “destabilize masculine privilege” and combat “toxic” masculinity on campus.
  • The group's past events have included a discussion of how "#AllMen" contribute to rape culture, and another blaming "aggrieved white manhood" for mass shootings in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre.
  • 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.”

    "Though individual men may not be perpetrators of gender violence themselves, men's everyday behaviors produce rape culture within society."   

    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.

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen





    Toni Airaksinen

    Toni Airaksinen

    New York Campus Correspondent
    Toni Airaksinen is a New York Campus Correspondent, where she reports on free speech issues and social justice research. She is a senior at Barnard College, majoring in Urban Studies and Environmental Science. She is also a columnist for PJ Media, and formerly held a post with USA TODAY College, The Columbia Spectator, and Quillette.
    More By Toni Airaksinen

    Latest 20 Articles