- The Washington Times - Monday, April 30, 2018

An ongoing mental health campaign at the University of Texas at Austin teaches young men that “masculinity” is “imposed” upon them in a way that unjustly rejects dresses, makeup and manicures.

The University of Texas at Austin’s Counseling and Mental Health Center has created a collection of posters that question traditional understandings of masculinity. One of the end goals is to “expand perceptions regarding what masculinity can look like on the UT campus and in society.”

Some of the posters say:

  • “I don’t identify as masculine, it’s just imposed on my body. One way I embrace my femininity is by wearing make-up and doing my nails.”
  • “Even though I’m masculine, I can wear makeup, and if I feel like wearing a dress, I can do that too and it’s totally fine.”
  • “We recognize there is no singular masculinity.”

Other posters address LGBT issues and offer a generalized call to reject violence.

“Although preventing violence is a just cause, the campaign clearly promotes an LGBT agenda at a time when Christians are being punished for leading school students in prayer or for wearing a t-shirt with the words ‘just pray,’ ” Glenn Beck’s conservative website The Blaze responded Sunday.

“Some of the posters in this campaign have drawn recent criticism, with people questioning their effectiveness at engaging a broad audience in discussions of masculinity,” UT’s Counseling and Mental Health Center responded on its website, regarding the backlash. “We are reviewing the posters but keeping them on the website during that process.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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