UConn to help men stop ‘mansplaining,’ ‘interrupting others’

The University of Connecticut is recruiting 20 male students for an 11-week program to help them stop “mansplaining” and “interrupting others.”

The Men’s Project is hosted by the school’s Women’s Center and vows to train men to “positively influence their peers by challenging social norms that promote gender based violence.”

But while the program frames itself as a way to promote bystander intervention, the Men’s Project has a broader agenda, as weekly meetings will feature discussions on “topics related to gender socialization, masculinities, social justice and gender-based violence.”

The application, which went live last week, is open to all “male-identified students.”

“In your experience, what are some things you would like to work on, or what are some things you have been told men need to work on? (Ex: Mansplaining, Relationships & Gender Norms, Interrupting Others, etc),” the application asks, adding that participants may be asked to prepare for the weekly meetings by “reading or journaling.”

The application also asks men to rank how familiar they are with various social justice issues, including “heterosexism,” “consent,” “cissexism,” and “healthy relationships.” It also warns that they may get kicked out if they miss more than two sessions.

The program will be facilitated by Rhys Hall, a graduate student who  focuses on how “Black Masculinity has been developed [and] how it can oppress Black Femininity and Non-Heteronormative identities,” and Craig Alejos, a graduate student who studies “fatherhood education and empowerment.”  

While the program is open enrollment, it appears to target more popular students, explaining that it seeks to “identify and train individuals who may be seen as having influence with their peers.” Additionally, the program hopes to find “students who relate well to other men.”

Applications for the program close December 1, and the program will start in January.

Campus Reform reached out to the University of Connecticut for comment on whether taxpayer funds support the program, but did not receive a response. The program’s facilitators, Rhys Hall and Craig Alejos, declined to comment.

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