Last Spring Meeting Today

Hey folks. Today is the last KSUM meeting for the Spring 2014 semester. We had an excellent start, and by continuing to speak out about issues affecting men and boys on campus, things can only go up. The summer semester will feature more tabling events and more aggressive promotion to prime the student body for our November 1st conference.

The meeting schedule for the Summer semester will be uploaded once it is completed. In the meantime, please join our organization if you haven’t already. To do so, just follow these steps (You must be a KSU student):

  1. Go to https://owllife.kennesaw.edu/organization/ksum
  2. Click “Join Organization”
  3. Enter your NetID and password

 

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Renaming the Women’s Resource Center

Both male and female victims of domestic violence not only deserve help, but deserve knowing full well that help is available.

Shameka Wilson, Director of the KSU Women’s Resource and Interpersonal Violence Prevention Center, has told me during the recent Love Your Body Week that renaming the center to something gender neutral was “one of her battles.” The gender studies coordinator Laura Davis and the Interdisciplinary studies chair Robbie Lieberman were aware of Wilson’s position toward the name when I approached them about the GWST program’s reading materials.

Male victims should not be led to believe that no services are available to them due to “Women” being in the name of the center. What good is offering support if half of the student population does not know you offer it?

Male victimization is by no means a negligible problem. In fact, on the top floor of the Social Science building, a directed study report on the often unreported IPV victimization of males can be found in the hall to the right of the elevators. I emailed the contact and got some references on male victimization for your review.

IPV study in Kennesaw State University Social Science building
IPV study in KSU Social Science building

Some may wonder: Should KSU Men’s name change under those same standards? No. KSUM specializes in men, and we allow other organizations that specialize in women to do what they wish to support women. But the WRC is a state-funded center with obligations to the public, not just to women.

Back on March 10th, I emailed Mrs. Wilson to follow up on what it would take to rename the center. She did not reply for two weeks, so I tried sending the email again on March 25th. The email read as follows:

Shameka,

This is Sage. I am the redhead you met at Southern Smash last Wednesday. We spoke briefly about a unisex name for the WRC, and you told me that it was “one of your fights.”
As someone who knows male victims that struggled (and sometimes still struggle) to find help as victims of IPV or rape, I know it is vitally important for these men to know help is available.
I am connected with a large network of human rights activists concerned about the issues facing men and boys, and I am sure we can help you rename the Women’s Resource & Interpersonal Violence Prevention Center to something gender neutral so that both men and women can have a place to go in their time of need.
Would you kindly tell me what exactly needs to be done to rename the center?
Regards,
Sage
On March 26th, Mrs. Wilson replied:

Hi Sage,

I don’t think the fight is renaming the Women’s Resource and Interpersonal Violence Prevention Center but creating a safe space for men to receive the resources and support they need to move from victims of interpersonal violence to survivors. The Women’s Resource Center at KSU aims to serve women in a holistic way by providing life skills, academic, and personal support in other areas other than interpersonal violence, so I think it’s safe to say the name won’t go anywhere.

However, you have made some very valid points as I too know males who have been victims of interpersonal violence. Let the men you come across know they get up to 10 free sessions at the Counseling Center here on campus and they are certainly welcome to set-up an appointment with me as well. Please let me know if there is something I can do to assist these students.

Best,
Shameka

Mrs. Wilson’s response, while well-meaning, does not solve the problem of male displacement. The WRC’s current name would be appropriate if Title IX was not being enforced and the center was truly specialized in women, but the name makes it harder for male victims to find help because they get a clear impression that the center is for women alone.

The failure to reach out to men is a failing of KSU. It is not our job to seek out individual men one by one and do free marketing for KSU, it is to see to it that symmetrical services and promotion are offered so that KSU does not have an excuse to ignore men.

Davis and Lieberman are unaware of who is capable of renaming the center, but Wilson has not responded to my last inquiry to find that decision maker:

Hi Mrs. Wilson,

While I would be happy to point victimized men your way, I still find a name change to be vitally important to creating a more informed and engaged student body.
I understand changing the name of a center can be a complicated process that involves lots of printing and publishing news stories, but the investment would be worth giving all victims the help they need.
There is no rush, of course, and my organization would be willing to help KSU see this through. Do you know who I can contact to petition changing the name of the center?
Thanks,
Sage

That email was sent on March 27th. It is now April 12th, and there is still no reply.

Shameka Wilson said that changing the name of the center was a “battle.”

Who is she fighting, and why would they fight her?

The Effect of Single Mothers on Boys in Education

A recent paper published in the American Economic Journal titled The Trouble with Boys: Social Influences and the Gender Gap in Disruptive Behavior (AEJ: Applied Economics, 2013, 5(1), pp. 32-64) has not been getting the attention it deserves.

The paper was written by Marianne Bertrand and Jessica Pan, two economics professors at the University of Chicago. While this piece is a heavy read, it reports that a major cause of boys’ disruptive behavior is neglectful single-mothers. (To see the published version you need a subscription, but an earlier version of the source is available).

Growing up in a single-parent family is tough for both boys and girls. Quote Mary Parke in her paper Are Married Parents Really Better for Children?:

Children who did not live with both biological parents were roughly twice as likely to be poor, to have a birth outside of marriage, to have behavioral and psychological problems, and to not graduate from high school school. (p. 2)

Moreover, it’s not about lower income associated with single-parent households. Children need two parents, not just two adults.

Children living with two adults (i.e., with cohabiting parents or in a step-family) do not do as well as children living with married, biological parents on a number of variables (p. 6).

It should be stressed that when we are talking about single-parent households, we are often talking about single-mother households. According to the US Census Bureau (See table FG10) in the United States, there are 10 million single mother families with children under 18, as compared to 1.7 million single father families with children under 18.

Was ask what is so special about boys because boys are the ones that tend fail behind, according to Bertrand and Pan.

Let’s investigate schools and homes for more information. When taking into account the greater incidence of school disciplinary and behavioral problems among boys, one can explain a substantial share of the female advantage in college enrollment (Jacob, Brian A. 2002. “Where the Boys Aren’t: Non-cognitive Skills, Returns to School and the Gender Gap in Higher Education.” Economics of Education Review. 21(6):589–98). But else puts boys at a disadvantage? Are schools too restrictive, or does home not feel like home?

Using a multi-year survey starting in 1998, Bertrand and Pan include adequate data for evaluation given their familiarity with school policies. They also know how much time parents spend with their children, what of kind of activities parents partake in with their children, how often parents punish (e. g. spank) their kids, and finally how often kids get into trouble.

It turns out, for instance, that restrictiveness of a kindergarten environment does not matter. Differences in the families background does not matter much, either. It is not the case that boys are disproportionally likely to grow up in disadvantaged, such as single-mother or poor, households. Having a male teacher seems to matter more starting from 8th grade, but this is hard to say for sure given a lack of male teachers. But what matters most in the scope of this study is parental input from mothers and boys’ sensitivity to these inputs. Single mothers appear especially distant from their sons  (p. 52; p. 22 in the earlier version). Single mothers spend more time with daughters relative to sons compared to married mothers. For children under five, single mothers spend between 1.2 and 1.4 hours less per week with their sons than their daughters. Boys in broken families are about 13% more likely to have been spanked in a week as compared to girls.

The evidence suggests that boys’ misbehavior is caused by emotional neglect. From this we can postulate that boys need affection from both a father and a mother. Single mothers do not have as much time for their sons as married mothers. While married mothers too spend less time with their sons than with their daughters they, nonetheless, spend more time with their sons than single mothers (p. 53; p.23 in the earlier version). Boys respond with misbehavior and poor performance in education.

When you consider that many good fathers lose their children in one-sided custody hearings, we have to question how single-parenthood is in the best interests of children. Remember that as of 2012, only 16% of all single fathers were custodial.

Stay tuned, stay shocked.

KSUM Battle and Brews Game-off

ksumgame

Wanna party? KSUM is going to Battle & Brew next Thursday, March 17th at 7:00 PM EST for two-hours of gaming and beer, with more time to sit by and get to know one another. Battle & Brew is a bar and grill with a huge focus on video gaming, and it can be found at 279 Powers Ferry Rd, Marietta, GA, 30067. We reserved a big ass TV docked with consoles on which we can pummel each other, hopefully in a drunken stupor.

Fun, right?

How to RSVP

We have 5 slots open for KSU students. The first three students to RSVP get a FREE beer on us. Both guys and girls are welcome.

To RSVP, email Sage at sgerard2@students.kennesaw.edu with the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your KSU ID#
  • Your KSU student email address

Don’t worry, your information will not be shared. What we will do is invite you to become a member through KSU OwlLife, and you just accept the invite in your email. If you RSVP, you must accept the invite.

Membership perks

  • Priority RSVP opportunities for future events. This means the next chance for free booze is offered to members before the rest of the KSU student body.
  • Free donuts or pizza in meetings.
  • A shot at officer gigs (Résumé filler).
  • Access to news and materials on men’s issues that you won’t find anywhere else on campus.

Note that KSUM is donation-driven, so if you chip in a couple of bucks, we can keep doing this again and again.

All slots are filled!