Apparently, the University of Texas was concerned about their male students acting like men and decided something had to be done about it. They turned to the The Counseling and Mental Health Center on campus to create a program that would help male students “take control over their gender identity and develop a healthy sense of masculinity.” As my colleague pointed out, they also conflated masculinity with sexual assault.
The program is clumsily called MasculinUT. Among their project goals and guiding principles are to “Promote an ethic of care for men and masculine-identified individuals who cannot escape expectations of masculinity,” “Encourage a wider range of acceptable emotions expressed by men and masculine-identified student,” “Cultivate healthy sexuality and healthy relationships (respect for women, female-identified students and femininity).” Aren’t care, healthy expression of emotion, and healthy relationships something good for both genders? I guess not.
People complain about the expense of higher education (It costs just over $25,000 per year for an in-state student to attend UT and double that for an out-of-state student) but don’t question universities spend money on things like this. PJ Media reports that the university is currently hiring a Healthy Masculinities Coordinator to assist in this initiative. The job pays a minimum of $3,959 per month and, ironically, one of the requirements is “Masters degree in Women’s and Gender Studies.” The stated purpose of the job is “To lead men’s engagement and healthy masculinities efforts aimed at ending interpersonal violence at UT System schools.”
UT says that they do not see masculinity as a mental health issue, but they clearly see it as an issue that needs to be addressed. By an office in the mental health and counseling center.