Universities hiring specialists to combat violent masculinity

The University of Wisconsin-Madison hopes to hire a “Violence Prevention Specialist” who will work on “engaging men” in sexual assault prevention.

The Violence Prevention Specialist will primarily work to create programming on “reduction of sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking,” and a recent job posting notes that “engaging men” will be an integral aspect of this work.

To that extent, the successful hire must have experience working “with college men in healthy masculinity or social justice work,” and have a demonstrated understanding of “best practices” related to “engaging men.”

[RELATED: UNC: Masculinity contributes to ‘perpetration of violence’]

Meredith McGlone, a university spokesperson, defended the job in a statement to Campus Reform, saying that “although sexual violence is often considered a ‘women's issue,’ we know that it affects people of all genders and that it's important to engage men as well as women in preventing and responding to sexual violence.”

UW-Madison also offers a six-week “Men’s Project” for male students to explore the “problems” related to masculinity, which ultimately seeks to “prevent future violence” by training students using a “transformative model of social justice allyship,” but UW is hardly the only school targeting men as potential perpetrators of violence.

[RELATED: UW program explores dangers of masculinity]

Northwestern University is also hiring a “Director of Prevention and Men’s Engagement” with the goal of a “reduction of sexual violence, relationship violence, and stalking and promoting healthy sexuality.”

Northwestern recognizes that men can also be victims of sexual violence, and the new director will have a “focus on male-identified survivors of sexual violence and any students seeking information on supporting a friend.”

Princeton University, meanwhile, announced in July that it was looking to hire an “Interpersonal Violence Clinician and Men’s Engagement Manager” to combat “gender stereotypes” and oversee a “violence prevention program” that frequently complains about “toxic masculinity” on social media, according to The College Fix.

[RELATED: Duke recruits men for program to fight ‘toxic’ masculinity]

Facing widespread media backlash, the school changed the name of the position to “Prevention Programs Manager” and hired Jean Semelfort, a professional counselor whose previous work has focused on “engaging men in anti-violence and healthy masculinity.”

Campus Reform also reached out to Northwestern University for comment, but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen