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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Is there room on college campuses for male advocacy groups?

What started as satirical article in University of Chicago's The Chicago Maroon quickly inspired the first male-student-advocacy group in the country.

Third-year student Steven Saltarelli, author of the article and founded of the club Men in Power, noticed that there were 11 women’s advocacy groups but no men's groups on campus.

Ali Feenstra, a fourth-year student and member of the Feminist Majority club, opposes the idea that men need their own club. Students need "to think about the reason for the creation of female-only spaces, queer-only spaces, an independent reason why people might need to go there to feel safe,” she said. “It can’t just be ‘Because it exists for women, it should exist for men.’”

But why not? Don't feminists argue that because men are presidents of companies, women should be too?

Saltarelli isn't alone on his campus, as 25 other students attended the first meeting, and he's not alone in recognizing that being born male doesn't mean instant success. Studies predict that men will become more and more of minority on college campuses and statistics showing that “men have far higher instances of suicide and drug use than women” to support a group dedicated to raising awareness about men's issues.

Roy F. Baumeister, a social psychology professor at Florida State University, observes that "a few lucky men are at the top of society and enjoy the culture’s best rewards. Others, less fortunate, have their lives chewed up by it," in an article he wrote titled, "Is There Anything Good About Men?"

Men in Power was highlighted recently in a Chicago Tribune article and is on Facebook.