Male rep is a stupid idea.
It is 2017 and the number of women on council should be being celebrated not challenged by this notion of a male rep being introduced. The reason there was ‘backlash’ (having a different opinion) when it was last submitted and there will probably continue to be ‘backlash’ (having a different opinion) is because the idea is worthless. There is no point in a male rep and there never will be.
I will now dissect this big idea piece by piece and offer up my reasoning as to why Male rep is stupid.
There are plenty of safe spaces around that you don’t have to make them male specific. You can still have the gender equality conversations without having to make a space purely for men. By that point you’ll be having rooms for men and women and suddenly we’re back in the 1800s and it all gets ridiculous. Every space is a safe space for men. If someone even argues against having equality and that both sexes need safe spaces then you can get lost, as women have fought for centuries to finally have equality while men have had it handed to them since the dawn of time.
Yes, this is a mostly male problem. However, there are several places where you can go for male only help such as Prostate Cancer UK, Movember, Orchid and Cancer Research UK. You can also go to your Doctor and ask for a examination which is private and confidential anyway. You need to mobilise yourselves to campaign for raising awareness around prostate cancer. There was literally a giant boob wandering around campus on freshers from the Coppafeel society raising awareness for breast cancer. Here’s an idea:
Get some balls and campaign.
It’s already been admitted these issues can be solved through campaigning and awareness raising, none of which is a core role for a rep.
Suicide and depression
Yes, there is a problem with young men and suicide and depression. However, there are several other services out there that can help. UCLan has an excellent counselling service and UCLan SU have an award-winning Advice Centre and there are also several charities out there that can help. Simply having a male rep is not going to cure it nor help it. It simply amplifies the stigma that men can only talk to other men about their troubles. It is imperative we change this stigma in order to help men talk more about their problems. Mental Health comes under disability actually and we need to be beating the stigma that it is not a disability and it is something that is serious enough to be considered part of disabled liberation campaigns.
P.S. We have a Disability rep.
Non-Binary and Gendered appearance
Being non-binary is not defined by what you wear. You can be a man wearing a skirt and still not be non binary, that’s not how gender works. You can’t tell someone’s gender by what they are wearing. How would a Men’s rep help those transitioning from male to female? Or reduce stigma around femininity? As women these students would be represented by their Women’s rep and/or the Trans rep.
THERE IS LITERALLY A TRANS REP FOR THIS REASON.
There is also a trans support society, the University also offers a wide range of services such as; providing mental health, disability or counselling support, helping trans students change accommodation to something better suited and creating a personalised staying well plan. Accepting trans men as men is something we should all be doing.
WORK WITH THE TRANS REP TO CAMPAIGN ON THIS.
This is a problem. But not a problem that a men’s rep can help solve. Representatives are not trained to provide support and their core role is not to provide support for students but to raise issues and represent at council. This is a societal problem that needs fixing. Domestic abuse is a horrible thing that shouldn’t happen and it is hard for men to speak up if it happens but again, Advice centre, the police, counselling would all be better places to go to get help than a mens rep.
CAMPAIGN. RAISE AWARENESS.
Work with Men Against Violence, a Preston based organisation.
Women dominated courses
Of course there are women dominated courses, nationally there are slightly more females at university, which again should be celebrated considering the struggle they had to go through to get into higher education. There are also many male dominated courses as well such as engineering and computer science, in fact on the hoardings around the new engineering building there are only 5 women on it compared to the men, which are in the high teens. Also, to use the words “emotional” and “creative” when describing which courses are female dominated is just down right insulting and archaic. As someone who is on a female dominated “emotional” course i would never think ‘this course needs more men’ because some courses just don’t appeal to certain people, simple as. How will the rep help with this? They’ve already chosen their course by the time they get here.
Just stop. Mansplaining is downright degrading and patronisation of the highest form, womansplaining doesn’t even exist. The horribly overused phrase of ‘man up’ exists as a constant reminder of mansplaining and how negative and patriarchal society can be.
Overall, The point of equality is to give everyone a seat at the table, men have had a seat at the table for years. It is a seat that has never been threatened. Don’t confuse liberated representation for a lack of male representation. Having more women than we are used to in positions of power is equality.
Get over yourself
Begin. Join. Operate. Organise. Mobilise.