Hey Urbanagora! My name is Rosie Powers, I’m a sophomore at U of I, and an aspiring journalist. I’m currently on staff with the Daily Illini, and I was linked into Urbanagora thanks to the deep intellectual insight of Billy Joe and Josh.
University of Chicago student starts “Men in Power” advocacy group
According to a recent Chicago Tribune story, University of Chicago student Steve Saltarelli recently founded a male advocacy group entitled “Men in Power”. The group was founded to celebrate male achievement while promoting entrance into the competitive workforce. The article also mentions how many members of the group see it as a necessity as a result of the job market shrinkage with the advent of more women reaching higher career positions. Saltarelli proposed the idea in a satirical column, but started the group after he received an overwhelmingly positive response. In this column, Saltarelli wrote, “Anyone with an interest in both studying and learning from men in powerful positions, as well as issues involved with reverse sexism, may become a member of MiP.”
While I believe that this group has the same right as any other gender or cultural group to assemble, its premise seems a bit blurry. It is true that in many male-dominated professions, women are now being offered more jobs in an effort to diversity the workplace, putting some men out of jobs. But “reverse sexism”? Really?
I am not at all advocating against merit. I don’t believe a woman should be hired instead a man merely because of her gender, paying no attention to his or her qualifications. But I find this group’s viewpoint a bit skewed. For example, Corporate America continues to be a male-dominated career field. According to CNN, only 15 of the current Fortune 500 company CEO’s are women. Certain fields, yes, are dominated by women. But similarly, many professions continue to be associated with men.
I support this group in that there are already many other advocacy groups which focus specifically on women or certain minority groups. Consequentially, yes, males have this same right to celebrate their role in society. However, I sometimes think that the presence of these groups (regardless of what race, ethnicity or gender that they focus on) can promote a feeling of segregation and isolation in society. American society has often been described as a sort of “melting pot” of cultures, in that various cultural backgrounds and beliefs coexist to mix together, culminating into a sort of multicultural national stew. Do we always have group ourselves with people exactly like ourselves? From the same socioeconomic backgrounds, with the same ideals, political leanings, ect.? Joining groups like this that promote these ideals can be positive and proactive. But I can’t help but be concerned as to how groups like this, especially with a name like “Men in power”, will promote single-mindedness.