Teaching Men to Be Emotionally Honest by Andrew Reiner
The New York Times, April 4, 2016
Citing research from a host of universities, Andrew Reiner, a cultural studies professor at Towson University, offers us a glimpse into what's happening on college campuses across the country on the subject of "men and masculinities." He explores aspects of male identity, normative masculinity and "whether these norms encourage a healthy, sustainable identity," considering for example that female enrollment in college has significantly surpassed male enrollment and that boys often underperform in school. Reiner explains that men's studies is growing as a discipline in its own right (not simply as a subset of women's studies), citing among other things boys' need for "the very thing they fear" in our culture: deeper emotional honesty. On college campuses, while many young women have friends, family and partners with whom they can be emotionally intimate, many young men's "romantic partners are their primary sources of intimacy." Reiner raises some compelling questions about male identity today (whether linked to the "perceived threat" of an "erosion of male privilege" or not), ultimately advocating for emotional honesty as integral to boys' education.