Reaching the Summit: Scholars Discuss Masculinity at SNC

SAMMI DYSON | NEWS CORRESPONDENT 

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St. Norbert College was provided with a huge opportunity when the two-day 2016 Masculinity Summit took place right here on campus.  Students, faculty and staff at SNC, as well as community members, were able to gather in conversation with people at the forefront of Masculinity Studies on Wednesday, Nov. 2, and Thursday, Nov. 3. As gender roles and norms are currently a large topic of conversation among many, it is no surprise that people were eager to attend some of the activities the summit provided.

Day One of the summit included the Founders Dialouge, titled “Masculinity Now: Politics, Policing, Parenthood” and hosted in the Walter Theater on Nov. 2. This talk featured Dr. Harry Brod, Dr. Michael Kaufman and Dr. Michael Kimmel, who are considered to be the people who have started the division of Masculinity Studies. They held a respectful conversation with each other and included questions from the audience, giving everyone there a chance to learn something new or look at something in a new way.

Dr. Brod is considered a distinguished visiting scholar at St. Norbert College this semester is teaching a class called “Men and Masculinities” in addition to presenting facts, discussing ideas and sharing his knowledge and beliefs with the school.

Michael Kaufman is an author and teacher who also helped start the White Ribbon Campaign, a group that encourages men to end violence against women and change the negative norms of masculinity.

The third founder, Michael Kimmel, is a sociologist who currently teaches at Stony Brook University in N.Y.. He also started the academic journal “Men and Masculinities.” Each has written a number of books, and all advocate publicly for the equality of women and encouragement of men.

Hosted by the Cassandra Voss Center, this event was just one more opportunity for both the campus and community to come together and talk about social justice, the issues people face and how to handle both. Before the talk began, Dr. Karlyn Crowley, Anna Czarnik-Neimeyer and Amy Mrotek discussed the ideals of the programs hosted by CVC and the importance of this particular event. They then introduced the three guests of the evening and allowed them to begin their discussion.

From the beginning of their discussion, they spoke with clarity and understanding about some of their views on feminism, gender roles and the responsibilities of men in general. In addition to facts and opinions, they also provided personal stories about how they got involved in topics such as gender studies and women’s rights.

Samm Dick ’19, who attended the dialogue and is also a member of the Intro to Women and Gender Studies class, stated, “I appreciated getting a man’s point of view, because […]that never happens, and I appreciated their honesty, and I appreciated that they said it in a way that everybody was mostly able to understand.”

Despite their advanced knowledge of these topics, they used language that helped those who were unfamiliar with the topic, opening a door for those people to talk about their feelings and ideas.

It was made clear through this dialogue that gender studies includes both men and women. The Masculinity Summit is one of the many CVC programs intended to spark conversation and new ideas.

For more information on the programs at or hosted by the Cassandra Voss Center, visit: snc.edu/cvc/programs. Additionally, for anyone who missed out on the event, the Founders Dialogue was filmed and can be found online at the same website.

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