Planning for Masculinity Discussions Underway

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Do you have uncertainties about your, or another’s, manhood? Want to get cojones-deep in questions on the male essence? Take note. Next semester, the Intercultural Center will host a series of masculinity discussions, questioning the construction of male identity. Involving a collection of student groups, the discussions hope to heighten campus awareness on problems related to modern society and its influences on men.

The idea for a masculinity forum was initially proposed by a small group of QSA students concerned that the male community did not have adequate opportunities to discuss race and gender issues. Ariel Horowitz, who currently leads preparations, was also concerned: “There is a community of women here who talk about identity politics, but as for the larger male student body, there have been few gatherings on the topic.”

Discussions, then, will feature a large array of inquiry, mostly centered on what it means to be a man, both personally and socially. In addition, the series will include open and closed forums. This format will allow both sexes the chance to talk with each other separately on the issues, as well as provide the means for broader discussion.

While QSA has played a large role in facilitating planning on the forum—using previous women’s gender conversations as models—Horowitz emphasizes that the discussions are intended for the entire student body. “We want it to be the campus’ masculinity discussions, not just QSA’s.” In this light, the planning committee has made an effort to reach out to the larger campus community. Rafael Zapata, dean of the IC, will lead special discussions; contact with male student groups—like DU, Phi-Psi, and ABLE—has been a significant priority.

Scheduling for the discussions is still underway; look for more information after Winter Break. If you would like to get involved in planning process of the discussion, contact Ariel Horowitz at ahorowi1.


  1. Aaaaah, I really don’t lead the planning. It’s a group effort, really really truly! And yeah, specs are welcome at almost any discussion on campus, as far as I know.

  2. ie, “allowed”, “permitted”, “would not be forcibly removed from the premises if said spec were to come to the discussion”.


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