The University of Texas has launched a new program through the Counseling and Mental Health Center which some people are saying treats masculinity as a mental health issue.
“Dial it back, don’t be so driven, embrace your emotional side” are all things young men could hear upon entering the new program teaching men to “take control over their gender identity and develop a healthy sense of masculinity.”
Male students are instructed that typically accepted notions of men working hard for money, being successful and providing for their families are dangerous to who they are as a person. They should instead maintain a “healthy model of masculinity” where they are told to embrace their emotions and develop their “emotional maturity.”
Here’s more, per PJ Media:
Treating masculinity as if it were a mental health crisis, “MasculinUT” is organized by the school’s counseling staff and most recently organized a poster series encouraging students to develop a “healthy model of masculinity.”
The program is predicated on a critique of so-called “restrictive masculinity.” Men, the program argues, suffer when they are told to “act like a man” or when they are encouraged to fulfill traditional gender roles, such as being “successful” or “the breadwinner.”
Though you might enjoy “taking care of people” or being “active,” MasculinUT warns that many of these attributes are actually dangerous, claiming that “traditional ideas of masculinity place men into rigid (or restrictive) boxes [which]… prevent them from developing their emotional maturity.”
The program is currently without leadership, but not for long. The school is in the process of hiring a “healthy masculinities coordinator” to run the program, and a school official tells PJ Media that some hopeful hirees are interviewing for the position later this week.
While many schools now have similar programs, this appears to be the first run directly out of a Counseling and Mental Health Center. Though the school seems to justify this by claiming that masculinity can cause men to lash out at other people and themselves, the school did not respond to a request for comment to clarify.
There is no evidence that masculinity itself contributes to violence. Universities that run similar programs, such as UNC-Chapel Hill and Northwestern, have admitted that their programming isn’t supported by any evidence.
Check it out:
University of Texas to treat masculinity as a ‘mental health’ issue pic.twitter.com/BtZdfclfMG
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) April 29, 2018
Here’s what some people are saying about the new program:
I’ve asked this question repeatedly & I have never received an even mildly coherent answer. How is advocating collective identity ideas such as “toxic masculinity” & “white privilege,” by definition, not sexist & racist? https://t.co/wJuwBzHi4N
— Dan Bongino (@dbongino) April 29, 2018
So a male that enjoys taking care of people, protecting them and being active has a mental issue, SMH and this is happening in Texas no less #realmenarestrong
— Nancy B Layko (@nanlayko) April 29, 2018
Lord give me STRENGTH! This crap has GOT to STOP!!!
— Michele Bryan (@wyllyf) April 29, 2018
This is crazy talk.
— KellyStrantz.com (@kellystrantz) April 29, 2018
What the hell ?????????
— Brian Embrey (@brian_embrey) April 29, 2018
Liberal universities are responsible for misguided confused individuals unable to cope with life.
No tax dollars should go to schools who indoctrinate people to their political stupudity
— 🇺🇸Trump Strong🇺🇸 (@AmericanAsIs) April 29, 2018
This is just sick
— Sue Delapena (@MySuebell42) April 29, 2018
Following negative feedback over the program, the University of Texas released the following statement:
The MasculinUT program does not treat masculinity as a “mental health issue,” and any such statements are simply not accurate. It was established to bring more men to the table to address interpersonal violence, sexual assault and other issues.
Like other UT programs related to sexual assault and interpersonal violence, MasculinUT is housed administratively in the university’s Counseling and Mental Health Center. Its goals include helping men explore ways to reduce sexual violence, helping students take responsibility for their actions, and fostering healthier relationships on campus and beyond.
Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.
These are important goals that we strongly stand behind. It has become clear that some of the communication and discussion surrounding MasculinUT did not convey this fully or clearly and was not effective at reaching the broad audiences the program envisioned. As a result, we will be reviewing the website and other content to ensure that it serves the program’s goals and will make any appropriate changes as we receive feedback from stakeholders.
Earlier this year, The University of Texas System Board of Regents approved funding for mental health, student safety, and alcohol-related initiatives including efforts to reduce sexual assaults on campus. The new staff position that will oversee this program, and coordinate with other UT System schools, is part of those efforts funded by the Regents.