All Posts Tagged With: "men"
York professor and Waterloo student deserve a closer look
A men’s issues event I reported on in March at the University of Toronto drew masked protesters who were there to intimidate people, city police there to keep things in order and it was, inevitably, delayed by a fire alarm. What followed was a rather lightweight critique of women’s studies from University of Ottawa professor Janice Fiamengo.
I was pleased that free speech prevailed, as it was by no means assured. A lecture a few months earlier hosted by the same men’s issues group, The Canadian Association for Equality, was almost shut down. Protesters accused professor Warren Farrell of “hate speech” for, among other things, his controversial views on date rape.
CAFE will host another provocative professor, Lionel Tiger, tonight in Toronto. That event will be at a private venue off campus where the group will raise funds for a men’s centre.
Campuses divided on best approach
Up to one in four female students is sexually assaulted during university, according to the University of Alberta Health Centre. While there’s wide support for fighting gender-based violence, campuses are divided over who should provide the support and who should pay for it.
Some university clinicians want help to come from professionals in campus clinics, while some students want universities to also pay for peer-based support networks run by students. Meanwhile, some student unions, funded by mandatory fees, have taken up the prevention and support role at some schools.
The debate is playing out at Concordia University where a group called the 2110 Centre for Gender Advocacy (named after their main location at 2110 de Maisonneuve Blvd.) argues the university should provide funding for a student-run sexual assault centre to complement its health and counseling services. Bianca Mugyenyi, the 2110′s campaign coordinator, says that peer-based support is a model that’s worked well across Canada.
Communist League weighs in
The planned men’s centre at Simon Fraser University has a new critic. The Young Communist League of Canada told Nexus student newspaper at Camosun College that while women need a centre on campus because of “systemic barriers,” men should not have their own space.
Jeff McCann, university relations officer of the Simon Fraser Student Society, disagrees: “That attitude is part of the problem in society. I believe that this place should exist, and that it is nobody’s right to deny men of a service that many experts and students believe to be a valuable idea.”
Seed money for a man-only space was included in the April budget of the SFSS. To read Maclean’s columnist Emma Teitel’s take on the fervent opposition to the funding, click here.
Simon Fraser students debate gender-exclusive spaces
Keenan Midgley played basketball, soccer, baseball and football. But it isn’t his athletic skill that has made him well-known on campus in Burnaby, B.C. It’s the budget he’s written as treasurer of the Simon Fraser Student Society.
The fifth-year accounting student added funding that will carve out a special space on campus for guys. The men’s centre, assuming the budget passes a final vote, will get $30,000 next year. That’s the same amount that the women’s centre, started in 1974, will receive.
The pending creation of the men-only space is the source of much discussion at Simon Fraser University. Since the news broke in April, many students have questioned whether the men deserve funding. Along with that, a debate has emerged over whether women—who make up 55 per cent of undergraduate students at SFU—still need their own women-only space.
You won’t guess who’s upset
McGill University has a new fraternity and it’s facing criticism from a surprising corner.
On Saturday, Delta Lambda Phi (DLP) became the first Greek society in Canada that markets itself to “gay, bisexual, and progressive men.”
But while the members report no homophobia toward them, they told the Toronto Star that they’ve faced criticism from activist group Queer McGill. Elyse Lewis of Queer McGill says that by reserving itself only for “men and those who identify as men,” the fraternity implies that transgender men aren’t real men.
Minister cites recent sexual assaults
The federal government is planning to fund projects to address violence against women on university and college campuses.
Rona Ambrose, Minister for Status of Women, told the Canadian Press that recent attacks on Canadian campuses are a reality check.
“Yes, there are good programs out there being offered by institutions like universities and colleges but we need to do more,” she said.
Women have been targeted by sexual predators at schools across the country this year. On the weekend, there were two incidents of possible sexual predators near the University of Windsor. Earlier this month, female students near Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo, B.C. allege they received the date-rape drug GHB. In the spring, York University experienced two alleged sexual assaults and the murder of Qian Liu, a student from China. In April, four female McGill University students were physically assaulted.
The perils of co-ed washrooms
From the 21st Maclean’s University Rankings. Get your copy today!
Some call it “the can,” others, the final frontier of gender equality: It’s the public washroom and it’s gone co-ed. Even though single-sex facilities are still the norm on the majority of Canadian university campuses, you’d be hard-pressed to find a school that doesn’t have at least one co-ed washroom—and it usually includes shower stalls. McGill, York University, the University of Toronto, Dalhousie, Mount Allison and the University of British Columbia are just a few of the “progressive” (or backwards, depending on your lavatorial leanings) co-ed washroom providers, earning the approval of campus feminists who view mixed facilities as a positive step towards full gender equality. Others, however, are not convinced. One 18-year-old Queen’s University psychology major says she was relieved to live in an all-girls dormitory solely because of the same- sex bathroom factor. Co-ed washrooms struck her as “grosser because boys used them,” says Jessica, now in her second year and living off-campus with a washroom of her own. “The girls’ ones were generally very clean.” Jessica would regularly make the five-minute walk back to her all-girls dorm from the co-ed dorm where many of her girlfriends lived, simply to avoid using the washrooms there. “It just smelled so much worse,” she says, before conceding, “maybe I just have bathroom phobia.”
Anti-Movember editorial is offensive and just plain wrong
I rarely have trouble distinguishing seriousness from mirth when it comes to a piece of writing, but I had to read this post by Alex Manley more than once. Despite multiple, brow-furrowing reads, I’m still hesitant to say I think the Concordia student journalist is being genuine. But, no he can’t be! Surely he just forgot to write “PSYCH!” at the end.
If only. In his column entitled “No to Movember,” Manley lambastes all you dirty bigots who donated your money and mustaches to prostate cancer. The Movember campaign to which he refers sees men from all over the world grow their mustaches during the month of November to raise money for prostate cancer research.
Lack of female leaders continues
Gender equality in Canadian varsity sports is improving, but there are still problems to tackle, shows new research from the University of Toronto’s Centre for Sport Policy Studies.
The good news, according to the report, is that there were almost as many varsity women’s teams (425) as there were varsity men’s teams (431) in 2010-11. The bad news is that there were only 7,815 team roster positions for female athletes—44 per cent of the total—despite the fact they make up 56 per cent of university students.
The truly “disturbing” news, according to the study’s authors, is that women make up less than one-fifth of the senior leadership. Women hold only 19 per cent of head coach jobs and only 17 per cent of athletic directorships.
Nursing Guys Club created at University of Calgary
The University of Calgary has attracted so many male nurses that third-year student Tyler Hume felt compelled to start a Nursing Guys Club, reports the Calgary Herald. The school is roughly 13 per cent male. It may seem like a low figure, but it’s up from roughly nine per cent the previous year.
It’s also much higher than the 6.2 per cent national average for the profession, according to a 2010 study by the Canadian Nurses Association.
Adults of legal age have a right to be served: expert
Young adults, especially men, are being barred from entering drinking establishments in Canada based solely on their age — and these are men who are have reached the provincially-mandated minimum age for drinking. Many clubs are restricting entry to those over the age of 21. Women often get a free pass if they’re of legal age.
But the practice may be a Human Rights Code violation, Raj Anand, former commissioner of Ontario’s Human Rights Commission told The Globe and Mail. “There are certain circumstances in which the stereotype of irresponsibility that attaches to young, unmarried men is sanctioned by law –– see their car insurance rates –– but visiting a bar or nightclub is not one of them. In my view, exclusion of an adult of drinking age is a violation of the Human Rights Code.”
Club owners and event planners defend the practice, suggesting that younger men are more likely to arrive drunk and spend less money.
But the rules are the rules. So young men, the next time a bouncer looks at your ID and tells you scram, just point out that it’s a human rights code violation. That ought to get you in, right?
Men are attracted to obstetrics, so why not midwifery?
When Otis Kryzanauskas was four years old, he didn’t want to be an astronaut, a police officer or a firefighter.
After witnessing his younger brother’s birth at home — and cutting the cord — he decided he would one day be a midwife.
Next spring, he’ll be the first male graduate of the Bachelor of Midwifery program at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont.
Kryzanauskas, who has participated in almost 100 births already, believes that he may be the first male midwife to graduate anywhere in Canada — ever.
Why are there so few men in this fast-growing field?
Midwives provide primary care to women and their babies during pregnancy, labour, birth and the postpartum period. According to the Canadian Women’s Health Network, midwives spend an average of 20 to 30 minutes more per appointment with their patients than other medical professionals do. That could explain why demand for midwifery services is increasing. Rare two decades ago, over the course of 2010, there were 14,000 midwife-attended births in Canada.
Gender imbalance persists and social science continues to dominate, says Stats Can.
Students graduating from Canadian universities increased by 43 per cent between 1992 and 2007, according to a Statistics Canada report released today. The study revealed few demographic shifts among Canadian students and what they studied. There were a few notable changes in the gender distribution and in the share of international students graduating from Canadian institutions.
The proportion of graduates aged 22 to 24 has held steady at 44 per cent. Graduates between 25 and 29 increased slightly from 22 to 25 per cent, while graduates over 30 decreased slightly from 25 per cent to 23 per cent.
The gender imbalance on Canadian campuses has persisted, as the share of women graduating increased to 61 per cent from 56 per cent. Data on international students prior to 2000 was inconsistent across the provinces, but between 2001 and 2006, international students graduating from Canadian schools increased to 7.4 per cent from 4.7 per cent.
There has been virtually no change in the fields that Canadians study, with the social and behaviourial sciences and law accounting for a little more than a fifth of all graduates. Additionally, the top three fields including business and public administration and education, as well as the social sciences account for more than half of all graduates.
Health related fields are almost exclusively female, with 82 per cent of all graduates in 2007 being women. In fact, women dominate in all fields except for three: architecture and engineering, math and computer science, and protective and transportation services. However, the only category that saw a decrease in the share of women is math and computer science, which has been accompanied by a similar decline among Canadian males pursuing those fields. It is a trend that has been offset by a greater proportion of international students, mostly male, studying math and computer science.
Statistics Canada says data for 2008 will be released next year.
What is going to happen to all these men, without post-secondary educations, in the oil and gas, mining, and construction industries when the boom slows down?
Paris Meilleur, executive director of the Alliance of Nova Scotia Student Associations, posted a spirited response to my recent article “The New Minority: Why some universities are talking about affirmative action — for men” on her blog. She is (justifiably in my opinion) irked at the phrase “the new, disadvantaged minority” in relation to men at university.
It’s common knowledge among university types that women are the majority on university campuses (60:40 nationally). But what there is much disagreement about is whether that is a problem. My article discusses how some schools in the U.S. apparently believe that men are “disadvantaged” enough to justify affirmative action policies. But the question remains: just what barriers are preventing men from going to university? Do these barriers constitute some kind of discrimination against men? And (shh… I know I’m not supposed to ask this) does it really matter if there are more women than men on campus?
I suggest in my article that as long as men are still making more money in the work force, it makes sense that women are choosing to go to university in droves. They need that competitive edge.
On the other hand, there are a number of reasons why we should be concerned about the “pink ghetto” on campus. Despite her outrage that we are even talking about affirmative action for men, Meilleur brings up an important point. What is going to happen to all these men in the oil and gas, mining, and construction industries, who have chosen not to pursue higher education, when the boom slows down? This is a particularly important question in these “interesting times” (ahem… the New Yorker taught me today that the first rule of a recession is not to talk about the recession).
Meilleur’ main point is that talking (and writing, I assume) about affirmative action programs is not useful. Rather, we should be talking about the other implications of this less than popular discussion. She writes: “Let’s talk about the broader social implications of a generation of young and middle-aged men leaving their communities and families to make money. … What the heck is happening in P-12 education? Let’s talk about that. Let’s talk about supporting boys in elementary and high school without making the girls feel guilty for their success.”
She’s right. In Canada, we’ve been slower than our southern neighbours in discussing the female university student phenomenon and we’ve resisted the temptation to make it into a crisis that it’s not. But it’s time to bring the dialogue to the next level, decide if and how the system is falling short for men, and propose some changes.
Last year, StatsCan put out its projections for enrolment at Canadian universities. The numbers were sobering: due to a demographic downturn expected to hit nationally in 2012 and that is already affecting some provinces, universities are soon going to have problems filling their seats. StatsCan put forward three possible scenarios for the future: participation rates stay the same and enrolment follows demographic trends (the gloomiest of the projections), participation rates continue to grow at a similar rate, and participation rates of men reach that of women (the most positive projection). I spoke to the StatsCan researcher who explained why they chose to include a projection dependant on upping the participation rate of men. He said that the male/female divide was becoming a common topic of discussion among university policy types and he thought the information would be helpful.
My source over at the Millennium Scholarship Foundation had an enlightening perspective on the possibility of focusing on men to alleviate the enrolment bust, as implied by Stats Can. He thought it wiser to target the groups that are truly disadvantaged and underrepresented at universities and hoped that men (especially men in those groups) would follow. These groups include Aboriginal Canadians, first generation students (young people whose parents did not attend university), and low-income students. Meilleur also mentions these themes.
The issue is a difficult and unpopular one. Gender issues in general are topics I tend to feel uncomfortable writing about. But although Meilleur seems equally uncomfortable labeling this topic as a “feminist” issue, she chooses to end her post with a quote about feminism anyways. And so will I.
“It’s important to remember that feminism is no longer a group of organizations or leaders. It’s the expectations that parents have for their daughters, and their sons, too. It’s the way we talk about and treat one another. It’s who makes the money and who makes the compromises and who makes the dinner. It’s a state of mind. It’s the way we live now.” ~Anna Quindlen