Friday, March 28, 2014

Michael Kimmel to speak at Randolph April 2

Randolph College will host one of the nation’s leading scholars on men and masculinity for a discussion of the role gender plays on a college campus and how gender equality is a good thing for men.

Michael Kimmel will present “Mars, Venus, or Planet Earth: Men and Women on Campus in a New Millennium” on Wednesday, April 2, at 7:30 p.m. in Wimberly Recital Hall.

The presentation will survey the landscape of current controversies about gender and discuss ways in which men and women are much more similar than some imagine. Kimmel also will focus on ways men benefit from feminism and gender equality.

These are frequent topics addressed in his books, articles, and public appearances. “If the past few decades have made anything clear, it's been that we are neither Martians nor Venusians. And what's good for Earthlings—male and female—is good for all of us,” Kimmel wrote in a recent article for the Huffington Post. “If we want to help women achieve greater equality, we have to engage men.

Kimmel served as a consultant for the College when Randolph-Macon Woman’s College transitioned to coeducation and became Randolph College. Sociology professor Danielle Currier said Kimmel is interested in how the College has developed since then, and she believes the College community is interested in what he has to say. “His major topics of research and writing are gender, masculinity, and how women and men interact in social situations—particularly colleges,” Currier said. As a coed institution, “we need to have continuing conversations about how young women and men interact in a college setting.

“We are all affected by gender in all of our relationships and all our social interactions,” she said, adding that she hopes the talk helps people “think more critically and positively about how women and men can get along and have positive friendships and intimate relationships.”