Afternoon Links: Men’s Studies in the Wild, Armchair Warriors, and Ice Cream Barons

Men’s studies actually exists, but not for the reason you think. I was confused at first when I saw that a college actually had a men’s studies department. The idea of “men’s studies” is usually a trope used to bash the existence of “women’s studies” and is (usually) not a serious proposal. Yet, such a department exists at Stony Brook University, and has for a few years. Except (surprise!), it’s actually feminists studying men. Here’s Bruce Bawer, a Stony Brook alumni, checking in at his old school: “The Men’s Center, in short, is not about understanding men’s psychological and emotional development and their personal and professional lives; it is about encouraging young men to feel guilty about being born male, to check their own natural male impulses and interests, to emulate (as best they can) the manners and mores of women, and to subordinate themselves, in all ways and all circumstances, to their female friends, relatives, and colleagues.” I feel guilty already!

Digital armchair warriors. At Vice, there’s an interesting item about the alt-right and antifa waging digital war against each other. While racists and communists might be battling in the streets, there’s a lot going on in the ones and zeros, Jacob Siegel writes: “We seem to be entering a new phase of bottom-up cyberwar. [Military theorist John] Robb originally described open-source insurgency as “a large collection of small… superempowered groups [working] together to take on much larger foes (usually hierarchies).” What’s going on these days looks even messier than that. Instead of smaller sub-state groups forming strategic alliances to fight the government or private power brokers, affinity groups organized around ideology and ethnic identity are battling one another.” It’s not just memes anymore. It’s actually quite scary how people are rallying large internet mobs in an attempt to identify people in photos, often misidentifying them and causing harm to innocents. Perhaps, sadly, this is the new normal.

Get to ze choppa! Matt Fuller of the Huffington Post has a neat video of a helicopter doing a late night landing at the U.S. Capitol. It was a training exercise, police informed Fuller. Most likely, it was a continuity-in-government exercise, as members of congressional leadership get whisked away to a secret bunker in times of an attack or disaster. If, like me, you are into this sort of thing, then you must read Garrett Graff’s fantastic book: Raven Rock: The…

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