David French of the National Review offers his critique of the new “men’s project” at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. The program aims to “create a sense of security in vulnerability.” French argues that teaching men to be vulnerable is no solution to the problem of male aggression. His essay is entitled, “Dear Feminists, Male ‘Vulnerability Isn’t a Virtue.”
There are good reasons why generations of fathers have taught their sons to “man up,” and it’s not because young boys are blank canvases on which the patriarchy can paint its oppression. It’s because men in general have essential natures that are different from women. We tend to be more aggressive, more energetic, and less nurturing than women, and the fundamental challenge of raising most boys is in channeling that nature in productive ways, not in denying or trying to eradicate its existence. In other words, we need to make men more purposeful, not more vulnerable.