Letter to the Editor

Editorials featured in the Forum section are solely the opinions of their individual authors.

This letter is a response to Jackie Brook’s March 27 editorial, “Gender studies should include men.” As a male student involved in several gender issues initiatives, I feel Ms. Brook is misinformed about the programs available to students.

It seems that Ms. Brook does not have a clear understanding of the difference between gender studies and gender issues at Carnegie Mellon. Gender studies, an interdisciplinary minor in H&SS, is composed of a number of courses that focus on both men and women, all of which are open to both genders. Gender Issues, on the other hand, is a part of Student Affairs and includes programming focusing on issues faced by both genders.

Ms. Brook’s editorial focuses on just one program run by the Gender Issues staff: the Women’s Leadership Program. While this program is limited to women, there is an array of other opportunities available to men.
MOSAIC, Carnegie Mellon’s annual conference on gender issues, had many sessions that focused on both genders, including sessions on dating culture, gender roles in families across cultures, and historical government propaganda focusing on masculinity. Several men were on the conference planning committee, and some of the speakers at the conference were men.

The Gender Issues staff also runs the Sexual Assault Advisor program, an intensive training program that educates participants on the prevention of sexual assault and how to support assault victims. The program is open to men and women, and includes information about helping men who are survivors of sexual assault.

These are two of the many programs that Gender Issues provides. Throughout the year, there are lectures, discussions, book talks (the main character in this month’s book talk is male, by the way), and other programs that are not only open to men, but focus on both women and men.

Ms. Brook claims “there are no avenues on this campus for men to participate in gender studies.” I strongly disagree with this statement and encourage all the women and men of Carnegie Mellon to attend a Gender Issues event. I’m sure you’ll see that the programming is inclusive of all people.

Vijay Jesrani