Rise of male student support groups sparks row at British universities


After decades of feminism, equal rights and “women-only” support networks, a lower, deeper voice is attempting to make itself heard at some of Britain’s leading universities.

Male students are “manning-up”, setting up men’s groups to celebrate and explore the concept of masculinity amid accusations of sexism and gender stereotyping.

Manchester University has created the first official MENS Society – Masculinity Exploring Networking and Support – despite outrage from critics who claim the existence of such a group undermines women’s ability to speak out for equality.

Meanwhile, at Oxford University the formation of Man Collective – Oxford (MC-O), launched “as a response to the current state of masculinity” has been branded “reactionary and ridiculous”.

Detractors allege they are just a front for macho activities and beer-drinking marathons, but supporters insist they are essential as young men struggle to cope with the pressures of being a man in the modern world.

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