Is ‘toxic masculinity’ dangerous in the academy?

In 2018 The American Psychological Association (APA) declared masculinity to be harmful and subsequently published guidelines for dealing with men and boys. Male students are now treated as inherently problematic and even dangerous to themselves and female students. They are considered to be potential sexual molesters and rapists in need of mandatory ‘consent classes’

Are these positive developments in the age of #metoo or are they a result of the feminisation of universities and a rejection of men and anything masculine?

Is the feminisation of the university to blame for worries about men?

Our Speaker is Elizabeth Hobson, communications director of the political party Justice For Men and Boys (J4MB), who will discuss these developments in relation to her campaigning experience and what she sees as a new diminished sense of what it means to be a man today. Responding to her talk will be Dr Nicholas Joseph, a parent of two girls and a lecturer at the Universities of Derby and Keele. Chairing will be Dr Vanessa Pupavac (University of Nottingham).

This is a Battle of Ideas Satellite event hosted by the East Midlands Salon and sponsored by the campaign group Academics For Academic Freedom (AFAF).  It is the second in a series  of  three on The Silencing of Speech.

Date, Time and Venue: Thursday 14 December at 7 PM in the Brunswick Inn, Derby. Booking is essential, tickets (£3) are available on Eventbrite.

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Groupthink: do East Midlands universities put conforming before criticism?

Speakers from several East Midlands universities will discuss the claim that ‘Groupthink’ is rife in universities at our second Battle of Ideas Satelleite event. Speakers include Dr Vanessa Pupavac (Nottingham); Dr Glynne Williams (Leicester); Dr Ruth Mieschbuehler (Derby) Dr Nikos Sotirakopoulos (Loughborough) and others academics from East Midlands universities. Come along and share your thoughts but places are strictly limited – so book early!

“A recent report by the Adam Smith Institute claims that a ‘groupthink’ mentality is rife within academia. According to the report, 75 per cent of British academics are left-liberals.

There are concerns that excessive ideological homogeneity creates the risk of bias in scholarship, with certain research areas deemed politically unpalatable and consequently ignored or even demonised. Studies from the US reveal that conservative academics are discriminated against in grant reviews and in hiring decisions, and more than 80 per cent of conservative academics feel there is a hostile climate towards their beliefs at work. In many disciplines, certain approaches are informally excluded when it comes to the appointment of staff. For example, anyone committed to knowledge-based education would stand little chance of getting a job in a university teacher-education department. Is this ‘groupthink’ or is it a reasoned rejection of out-dated approaches and the promotion of new and better ones? Continue reading

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