Dr. Robert Kenedy is a sociology professor at York University
The second lecture in the Toronto Men’s Issues Awareness Campaign comes to University of Toronto Friday at 7:00 pm. Speaker Dr. Robert Kenedy, sociology professor at York University, challenges the negative stereotypes that have been built around men throughout a feminist-dominated era.
Kenedy told the dailyplanet.com that masculinity is in a state of crisis, as men struggle to find their place within society. While introducing male studies – the study of men, apart from the influence of feminism—Kenedy is asking questions that have been left unasked or sidelined.
“Why do men commit suicide a lot more? After separation and divorce, why are fathers disposable, and not seen as anything more than a wallet?”
Kenedy was quick to note that the event – and indeed, the whole field of study – is neither anti-feminist, nor intended to be “a whine-a-thon.” Rather, he said it’s the development of a movement that began in the 70s, when men began to examine gender issues but were hindered by the political correctness of the 80s and 90s.
There is a pressing need for male studies, Kenedy said. The Toronto District School Board reports that boys are falling far behind girls in their educational success. Kenedy said this carries into adolescence and manhood.
Many of these problems may stem from fatherlessness. Kenedy said there are “a lot of situations where fathers may not have the same contact with children. They’ve been turned into access Disney Dads or they’ve been pushed out altogether. The family court system also doesn’t help.”
Kenedy’s lecture is the second in a series which began with Lionel Tiger of Rutgers University. Barbara Kay of the National Post will follow on Thursday, March 1. Kay explained to thedailyplanet.com how this response to radical feminism has been a long time in coming.
“When [radical feminism] evolved into a kind of campaign against men instead of for women, I think they were taken unawares,” Kay said. “This whole war against men took place without a shot being fired because men were unprepared and ignorant of what was actually happening.”
She spoke of the alarmism and “moral panic” raised by public service ads against domestic violence. Many of the statistics used are widely misinterpreted. For instance, Kay said that one statistic asserting “one in three women will experience sexual violence in their lifetime” is an average – so a woman who has been assaulted a thousand times as a sex slave will greatly skew that number. Kay said some statistics also factor in “cat-calls” or similar expressions as “abuse.”
Not only do men feel their societal group is the only one that can be slandered in a politically-correct way, Kay said the social fallout has been tragic. She keeps a file of letters from men who tell of how they’ve lost their children through family courts. “They tell of how their wives are crazy or abusing the children. But it doesn’t matter –they get custody.” Kay concluded “the system is so skewed, so biased against fathers.”
For more information on Kenedy’s lecture or Kay's lecture on March 1, see http://equalitycanada.com/?p=439