Men's Rights Activist Says Anti-Date Rape Seminars Isolate College Males

09/27/2013 01:20 pm ET
Shutterstock

Fewer and fewer males are enrolling in college institutions, and one men's rights activist argues that it's because men "don't feel that welcome on campus." He says he thinks college orientation seminars about date rape are partially to blame.

Miles Groth, an educator and activist in the men's rights movement, made the arguably controversial remarks in a recent interview with Metro News Canada ahead of his Sept. 27 speech for a student group at the University of Toronto.

Groth's speech was nearly canceled when students couldn't afford a campus-imposed high-security fee of $964 to pay for campus police, in anticipation of student protests. However, outside donors eventually covered the fee.

One claim protestors could take to task? Groth's argument that college date-rape orientations set men up to feel "potentially dangerous, and potentially harmful, particularly to women on campus.”

During his interview with Metro News Canada, he pondered whether these seminars are “overkill” and “whether in fact it might not be wiser to talk about this in a broader way, let’s say for example, courtesy between boys and girls on campus, regardless of who’s behaving, males or females.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, some of Groth's arguments seem difficult to support. The claim of "overkill" in college sexual assault education, for example, is countered by findings that college rape prevention programs can "cause an immediate shift in perspective about rape myths," make students more likely to offer effective "bystander support," and even cause long-term behavioral changes, according to a 2011 meta-study.

These educational efforts are vital in combating lingering misconceptions among college students: A 2012 study found that 41 percent of students believe that if a female is raped when she is drunk, it is her fault. These misconceptions are harrowing when you consider that about 20 percent of women will experience rape during their college career.

As Huffington Post Canada described in a recent piece, the men's rights movement is comprised mainly of millennial males who are "questioning their place in society and whether their rights are being violated. While their views on feminism and the extent of male oppression vary, all agree that we need to talk more openly about issues that affect boys and men."

However, some gender theorists view men's activism differently. For instance, Michael Kimmel, a sociology professor and author of Angry White Men, thinks the movement is fueled by entitlement. "Men feel besieged and attacked by women’s advancement,” he said during a 2010 lecture, according to Feministing. In a CNN editorial last year, he wrote "Equality sucks when you've been on top -- and men have been on top for so long that we think it's a level playing field."

What do you think of Miles Groth's remarks? Tell us in the comments section below.

YOU MAY LIKE

CONVERSATIONS