Gender equity scholar to speak April 10

April 8, 2014 | Athletics, Events, UToday, — Languages, Literature and Social Sciences
By Leisha Lininger

The final installment of the Catharine S. Eberly Center for Women’s Lecture and Film Series will feature Dr. Michael Kimmel, author, researcher, editor and supporter of gender equality.



His lecture, “Mars, Venus or Planet Earth? Women and Men on Campus in a New Millennium,” will take place in Savage Arena Thursday, April 10, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

“We chose Dr. Kimmel because he brings a unique spin,” said Jeff Witt, program manager for the Office of Equity, Diversity and Community Engagement. “He talks about why gender inequality is bad for everyone, and how gender equality is good not just for women, but also for men.”

Some books or theories may claim that men are from Mars and women from Venus, but Kimmel’s lecture disproves the disparity and suggests that women and men are more alike than not. Through humor, he reveals the increasing gender equality present on campus, and how it inherently does benefit men.

“I do believe that gender inequality still exists,” said Drake Fletcher, a senior in communications with a focus in public relations and outside linebacker for the UT football team. “America has grown over the last couple decades, but I do think it exists in corporate America and in athletics.”

Audience members can engage with Kimmel during the presentation and following the lecture with a question-and-answer session.

Kimmel will spend the day on campus and visit a Women’s and Gender Studies Department class to discuss gender inequality.

“In the wake of Title IX, we want to be sensitive to issues like gender inequality and bring up a healthy discussion as it relates to sports with our student-athletes,” Witt said.

Title IX is a federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program, which goes a long way to protect and ensure gender equality, yet disparities still can exist today.

All student-athletes are required to attend and will discuss the lecture Friday morning.

“I think that the fact they are making student-athletes come to the event is important,” Fletcher said. “Some of the biggest sexist stereotypes are held within athletics, especially in collegiate athletics.”

Kimmel serves as Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at Stony Brook University in New York, as well as executive director at the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities.

He has been involved in writing or editing more than 20 volumes, and has received critical acclaim for Manhood in America: A Cultural History (1996). Known as a leading researcher on masculinity, his works feature a rewriting of the cultural understanding of masculinity to encompass a wide range of characteristics.

“I believe that this lecture will be very interesting and beneficial,” Fletcher said. “In today’s society, gender roles have changed dramatically, and hopefully he can bring some understanding to where males and females fit in today’s society.”

This event is hosted by the Eberly Center in conjunction with UT Athletics and the UT Student Government Diversity Week (April 7-11) Committee, with support from the Women’s and Gender Studies Department, the Sexual Assault Prevention Month Planning Committee and the President’s Lecture Series on Diversity.

Free parking will be available in Lots 3 and 5.

For more information on the free, public lecture, call the Eberly Center 419.530.8570.

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