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May 10, 2010 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

Craig Carey – Welfare Officer

Some people reading this Woman’s issue of Salient will not be women. Some will be men. From time to time, some of these men on campus will question why there is a women’s issue and not a men’s issue. They will question why there is a women’s group and not a men’s group, or why there is a women’s room and not a men’s room.

Cultural theory will provide many explanations about why some men feel uneasy with this situation. The fact is though; there are some valid underlying reasons why some men may feel under-represented within the university and wider society. Most obviously, if you are a university student, statistically you are probably female. And how many people have had major trouble trying to get a flat in Wellington as a group of guys?

I am not trying to belittle feminism, nor am I at all dissatisfied that women have fought for and won the position in society they now hold, or suggesting that there is not still a long way to go before full gender equity is achieved. But clearly, there are questions that some men are asking themselves. The answer to why there is no men’s rep. group is that nobody has bothered to set up or maintain one. There used to be a men’s space in the Student Union Building, it was pretty much never used and converted into something deemed more useful. There is no reason why this should be the case. If people feel that there should be a group devoted to men’s issues, they should set one up. There are issues that could be addressed, such as the disproportionate amount of men studying at university. Not to mention the stigma surrounding violence towards men in society. These are the specific issues that the people I have talked to bring up, there may be more.

If people really do want a formal place to discuss and advance men’s issues at Vic, seriously, set one up. It’s not hard. Get in contact with me and I’ll help facilitate this. Massey Albany Students’ Association has a Men’s Welfare Officer on their executive who does things like this.

On the same note, this goes for any group on campus that feels there should be a formal place to discuss and advance their issues. That’s what VUWSA’s Welfare representation services are all about.


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