Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Toxic Progressivism Champions Toxic Masculinity

Many progressives support the symbolic castration of American males, promulgated as "toxic masculinity."

Seven states — California, Florida, Louisiana, Georgia, Montana, Oregon and Wisconsin — have laws in place requiring the chemical castration of men convicted of violent sex crimes. Oklahoma is attempting to become the eighth state to enact a similar measure. Time magazine characterizes these laws as “controversial” and Oklahoma’s ACLU chapter spokeswoman Allie Shinn insists such laws may violate the Eighth Amendment prohibition of “cruel and unusual” punishment. No doubt most progressives would heartily agree. Yet many of those same progressives support the symbolic castration of American males, promulgated as “toxic masculinity.”

Unsurprisingly, college campuses are leading the charge. “Duke University is famous for its science and engineering programs, as well as its dominance in college basketball,” Fox News reported in 2016. “Now, it may also become known as a great place for men to gather and contemplate why they’re such horrible people.”

The Campus Women’s Center launched the project, targeting “male identified” students and subjecting them to discussions about “male privilege, patriarchy, ‘the language of dominance,’ rape culture, pornography, machismo and other topics,” Fox adds.

The term “male identified” is a window into this poisonous mindset, one that first denies biological and chromosomal reality and then presumes that the default position for any man or boy who refuses to abide progressive assertions of gender “fluidity” is toxic.

And like every leftist effort to promote their odious agenda, a full-scale, coordinated propaganda campaign is an essential part of the mix. “The term ‘toxic masculinity’ has crept into the lexicon in the past 12 months, having appeared in mainstream news articles, popular feminist blogs and, as of November, the crowd-sourced online repository of slang words, Urban Dictionary,” columnist Hayley Gleeson explained in 2017. “Generally used to denote how some aspects of masculinity — such as entitlement, homophobia and sexual aggressiveness — can harm women and families and cripple men’s own health, toxic masculinity, at its most extreme edges, has been linked with acts of violence like mass shootings and university campus sexual assault.”

Cue the tie to the Parkland shooting. “As I read about [the assailant’s] passion for guns, I was not surprised,” declares columnist Ziad Ahmed. “As an American teenage boy, the gross glorification of violence, weapons, and arms in our culture is not the least bit surprising. In fact, it’s deeply entrenched into the idea of American masculinity, beginning as early as in elementary school.”

Really? American masculinity per se is at best entitled, homophobic and aggressive, and at worst homicidal? Such pernicious garbage can only be asserted by one almost wholly ignorant of American history. Boys were once allowed to embrace their natural rambunctiousness, but that now constitutes “abnormal” behavior requiring life-altering drugs such as Ritalin and Adderall to treat the nearly one in five children between the ages of four and 17 — overwhelmingly boys — who have been diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

As for guns, Spokane Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich said it best: “When I was in high school, every one of those rigs in the high-school parking lot had a gun in the gun rack. Why? We went hunting on the way home. None of those guns ever walked into a school, none of those guns ever shot anybody. … Did the gun change or did you as a society change?”

Society has certainly cultivated an unprecedented level of hypocrisy. How many of the same celebrities who attended last weekend’s anti-gun fest have starred in movies or written songs that glorify violence — and have armed security protecting them?

And while those very same purveyors of the pop culture glorify guns and violence, they also seek to undermine masculinity by producing entertainment containing “endless variations on the omega male, who ranks even below the beta in the wolf pack,” as columnist Hanna Rosin puts it.

Ironically, it’s most likely that the least hysterical progressive assertion about toxic masculinity is the one that is the most deleterious, as in the oft-stated feminist assertion that men are unnecessary. In their book, The Flipside of Feminism, authors Suzanne Venker and Phyllis Schlafly assert, “In the space of just a few decades American women have managed to demote men from respected providers and protectors to being unnecessary, irrelevant, and expendable.”

Unfortunately, more and more men are buying into that assertion. In 2016, NPR revealed more American men between the ages of 18 and 34 live with their parents than a spouse or partner, while the numbers for women are exactly reversed. In 2017, The Atlantic revealed that the 58%-42% ratio of men versus women attending college in the 1970s “has now almost exactly reversed.” A couple of weeks ago, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson illuminated an even deeper crisis, noting that men are dying younger, are fatter, kill themselves more often, and are imprisoned at far higher rates than women.

Government has aided and abetted the notion of expendability as well, and nothing did it better than Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society” initiative. Before the Great Society, the Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program was reserved for widows, as a means of funding once-married women who had lost the primary male supporter of the family. Johnson and Congress changed the qualifications, making any household where there was no male family head present eligible for taxpayer subsidies.

The resulting tsunami of men failing to take responsibility for their own children has become irrefutable. In 1965, 24% of black children and 3.1% of white children were born out of wedlock. By 2013, those numbers had skyrocketed to 72% and 29%, respectively.

“Males in particular have been neutered by the Entitlement Society and the Welfare State,” Forbes Magazine asserted in 2015. “Groups which have the most contact with the welfare state, especially through various public assistance policies … have seen the greatest amount of male neutering,” the article adds.

One might conclude such neutering is a bug in the system. That conclusion is naïve. Toxic masculinity, beta male-worship and the wholesale destruction of the nuclear family engendered by “unnecessary” men is a feature of the progressive project that is all about the acquisition and maintenance of government power by any means necessary, even if it includes tossing self-reliant men — a trait now deemed to be “associated with negative mental health outcomes” by the American Psychological Association — on the ash heap of history.

Tucker Carlson spoke to the “elemental biology” of men and women needing each other. Progressives speak to the necessity of completely eliminating the terms “men” and “women” in pursuit of a utopian society that is really about “tearing away the old in search of the new, evidence be damned,” as columnist Ben Shapiro asserts.

Not evidence, Mr. Shapiro. Liberty.


Brown University Offers ‘Tuition-Free’ Master’s Degree to DACA Recipients

Brown University plans to offer “tuition-free” master’s degree programs to beneficiaries of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals if the federal government ends the Obama administration protections.

DACA, an executive action implemented by then-President Barack Obama, authorized renewable two-year deferrals of deportation along with eligibility for work permits for illegal immigrants brought to this country as children.

President Donald Trump sought to phase out the program and asked Congress to decide by law what to do about the roughly 800,000 DACA recipients and others like them.

“Should DACA be eliminated, we will create in-school and postgraduate opportunities for students unable to work legally to engage in stipend-supported research and education that is not citizenship-dependent,” Richard Locke, Brown University’s provost, said in a statement published on Today@Brown.

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In the same post, Locke announced that the private Ivy League university in Providence, Rhode Island, will offer tuition-free, fifth-year master’s programs for eligible 2018 graduates.

“Admitted students would receive a stipend and health insurance,” he said.

Brown also offers to cover the $495 DACA renewal fee, “if renewal is an option,” as well as legal services for DACA recipients.

“I do think it’s problematic that the program is being offered exclusively to DACA students and not available to actual U.S. citizens, who may also be in need of support during a fifth year,” Brown freshman Jake Ruggiero said in a phone interview with The Daily Signal.

“I don’t see a problem with helping DACA students,” he said. “But this should occur in tandem with helping other Brown students who are in need and are already citizens.”

Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, said Brown’s program is both a legal and moral issue.

“Brown University is trying to obstruct and nullify federal law, which puts it in the same boat as segregationists in the old South,” von Spakovsky told The Daily Signal. “It is immoral to discriminate against American citizens in favor of aliens who are here illegally and have shown their contempt for the rule of law.”

Along with creating on-campus resources for DACA recipients, Brown’s president, Christina Paxson, wrote a letter to Trump urging the administration and Congress to preserve DACA.

According to the letter, staff said ending DACA would violate Brown University’s core values of service to the campus community and of providing opportunity in a  fair, courteous, responsive, and efficient way.

A Brown spokesman declined to comment further.

University staff also made clear in a statement that Brown does not share information with law enforcement regarding the immigration status of undocumented students, and would not do so unless presented with a subpoena.

Brown is not the only school to implement such programs. Willamette University in Oregon and the University of California at Berkeley both offer resource pages for DACA recipients.

According to the Naples (Florida) Daily News, the University of Miami will expand its financial aid program for immigrant students with DACA status to all high schools and transfer applicants from Florida beginning next fall.


For small, private colleges, fewer students means more worries

Brookline: Joseph Chillo has a luxurious office in a beautiful building with a view of a leafy neighborhood in this wealthy town. But while his perch may look idyllic, his job is not.

As the leader of Newbury College, a small, struggling, liberal arts college where enrollment has declined 86 percent over the past 20 years, he has a lot of sleepless nights.

Chillo worries about a lot of things: Will next fall’s crop of students materialize, will there be enough financial aid, which majors should be cut, how much will the school get for a building it is selling, and will that be enough to close a 10 percent budget deficit.

They are all facets of the same nagging question: How can schools like Newbury survive?

“This stuff keeps you up all hours,” Chillo said in an interview in his office recently. “It’s a 24-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week job. . . . You are constantly worrying about the institution.”

Chillo is among a growing number of presidents of imperiled small colleges fighting every way they know how to stay open. A Globe review of undergraduate enrollment trends across New England over the past 20 years shows that 20 percent of the 118 four-year, private colleges in the region have seen their enrollment drop by at least 10 percent.

Newbury College saw the biggest drop, except for two schools that merged with others so they now have no students at all. Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire lost 40 percent of its enrollment over the 20 years but still has 1,800 students. Other colleges survive on microscopic enrollments, like Boston Baptist College, which saw a lesser decline but has only 77 students, according to data from the US Department of Education data analyzed by the Globe.

The main reason these schools struggle is demographic. The number of high school graduates has been shrinking — and will continue to. Experts predict a major drop in the number of high school graduates overall after the year 2025 — especially in New England — because people have had fewer children since the 2008 economic recession.

The other thing these schools have in common: They are small and have relatively high tuitions, an increasingly hard sell as middle-class families struggle financially and think twice about debt.

“The demand for higher education is not rising like it was,” said Richard Vedder, a retired economics professor at Ohio University who studies trends in higher education.

Vedder predicts that 500 US colleges will close in the next decade. This will cause a rift in the industry, with titans such as Harvard untouched and much of the rest of the private college landscape decimated, he said. More families are looking toward large, public schools because they are more affordable.

Decades ago, when four-year degrees were less common, such a credential made a big difference in job and salary potential, so schools could charge more, Vedder said. But these days, data show the value of a degree from a relatively unknown college is much less.

“The benefits are sort of stagnant,” he said. “The costs are continuing to rise, and this is squeezing the schools that are less well endowed.”

Newbury has a $2 million endowment, tiny even for a school its size. Regis College, which just signed an academic partnership with Newbury, has a $34 million endowment. On the other end of the spectrum, Smith College has an endowment of $1.6 billion; Boston University, $1.96 billion; and Harvard, $38 billion. Tuition plus room and board at Newbury is around $47,000.

As they fight to survive, many struggling schools have employed several common tactics to try to resurrect their enrollments. They deploy social media marketing, expand financial aid if they can, and offer more practical majors that students believe will get them jobs.

Colleges have begun using aggressive recruiting techniques to lure students away from other schools. Some admissions officers visit the homes of admitted students with gifts and certificates, said Lawrence Jensen, president of the College of St. Joseph in Rutland, Vt. (His school does not do that, he said, but competitors do.) “It’s a much more concentrated, organized, deliberate attempt to stay in touch with the students,” Jensen said.

Springfield College saw a 26 percent drop in enrollment over the past two decades, from 2,844 to 2,114, but recently managed to stabilize its numbers and even saw an increase this year, to 2,228 according to Stuart Jones, the school’s vice president for enrollment management. Among other tactics, the school used targeted digital marketing to recruit a subset of students it believed was likely to attend, he said.

“The higher education industry is as competitive as any other industry in the country. It has become that way because revenue is paramount,” he said.

For most students, accepting a college’s offer boils down to how much financial aid a school offers them.

At the College of St. Joseph, enrollment dropped 32 percent over 20 years, from 336 students to 230, according to federal data. To help counter this trend, the school lowered tuition for students entering this fall, from $23,000 to $17,500. It will also give students a laptop and help pay for books.

Instead of lowering the sticker price, however, many schools deeply discount their tuition on a student-by-student basis. For example, tuition at Newbury is $33,000 per year, plus about $15,000 for room and board. The average discount at Newbury is 52 percent, Chillo said, meaning the college collects only about half the revenue that it could per student.

As a result, small schools nationwide saw lower growth in net tuition revenue than larger colleges in 2016, and that pattern is likely to continue, said Dennis M. Gephardt, a vice president-senior credit officer at Moody’s rating agency who specializes in higher education.

Gephardt said there will likely be more college closures and mergers to come, but not all at once or even quickly. There are ways for these schools to survive, or even thrive, with lower enrollment, he said, but it will be more difficult. For small schools with small endowments, the difference of a few students can be significant.


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