We are coming to the end of the first calendar year here at A Voice for Male Students, and it has been just as successful as it has been interesting. I’ll hit on a few of the high notes before showing you what lies in store for 2015.
This year I have created some powerful tools for men’s advocacy, the crown jewel of which is the queryable, user-sortable database of lawsuits filed against schools for violating the civil rights of male students in administrative hearings on sexual assault. Young men who are wrongly expelled from their universities can not only look at this database and see that they are not alone, they can also use it to view and download an extensive array of legal documents to help them chart out an effective battle-map for pursuing redress for themselves.
I’ve also researched and developed more charts and graphs (examples here and here) and added them to the key resource page on educational attainment. These are resources anyone can use to help raise awareness of men’s and boys’ education issues. I’ve also charted out an extensive list of school reforms, programs, and policies for improving educational achievement – a veritable gallery of options administrators and teachers can browse when considering how to make a positive change.
Let’s not forget the first-ever men’s human rights conference on a university campus at Kennesaw State University, where yours truly delivered the keynote presentation laying the groundwork on educational equity for men and boys. This was the second highly notable conference of the year, following the First International Conference on Men’s Issues in Detroit, Michigan – a wildly successful event despite the death threats which necessitated a venue change.
This website underwent an incredible technical upgrade in March – take a look at what it used to look like. This change enabled the presentation of a much larger amount of content in a seamless, better-integrated fashion. It also laid the necessary technological foundations for later additions, like the lawsuits database. I do all website upgrades myself.
In addition to providing regular news and commentary, this website was also a contributing factor in Goshen College taking down its horribly anti-male webpage which declared (no joke) that college men who stare at women are the equivalent of rapists.
The number of media outlets citing this website is growing almost too big to count. Many people were surprised that The New York Times, of all publications, favorably cited this website and its lawsuits database. A smashing radio interview soon followed. Late in the year, this site was honored to receive the 2014 Award of Excellence in the Advancement of Men’s Issues from the National Coalition for Men, a veteran men’s rights organization.
I’m incredibly thankful for the people who contribute written articles to the site. They are not only producers of thought-provoking and unique content, they are also a lifeline that frees me up to do other work. They are not just random bloggers; they are students, parents, academics, lawyers, and other experts. I’ve set up a writers’ page just for them, and made a host of changes to make contributing guest articles easier and more rewarding.
I’m also thankful for everyone who contributes behind the scenes, whether it is a kind word, research, a donation, or by connecting me with others.
Much more has happened this year, of course, but these are some of the high notes. Not bad for the first year!
All that being said, what are we looking at for 2015?
Whenever I set out a plan, I usually accomplish many things other than what I at first intended, and most of what I had originally planned. This list is not set in stone, but from my perch on December 31st 2014 this is what I am sketching down for a tentative agenda.
The ghosts of men’s and boys’ advocacy groups past
Believe it or not, there have been several robust groups advocating for men and boys in academia over the past ten years. Not just pro-male student groups, but also groups of academics, researchers, teachers, journalists, and so forth. But they no longer exist. Most of them started up abruptly, but then mysteriously vanished just as abruptly as they began, and with barely a trail to follow.
I have refrained from reporting on these groups, wanting to connect with and investigate them further. I am going to be doing a bit of archaeology in 2015. Perhaps some of these “ghosts” can be resurrected, in one form or another. If we do enough digging, and do it right, who knows where it will lead?
Delegation of powers, expansion of staff
The time has come to expand the staff here at A Voice for Male Students. If you have expertise in men’s activism, law, research, teaching, or if you’re just an incredibly determined person who agrees with the basic mission and values of this website, this project can greatly benefit from your help. Let me know if you are interested via the contact form.
Increased integration with existing men’s organizations
I enjoy quite a few privileged relationships that are of incredible help to this project. Most of this site’s operations in 2014, however, were independent. This project can benefit from coordinating more with other organizations – those that have existed for a while, and those that are relatively new.
I have a list of organizations I am looking at for 2015. They can use my help, I can use theirs, and male students as a group can benefit from our collaboration.
Dating, relationships, MGTOW, and male hobbies
Much of the content produced here has been geared toward activism purposes. Less of it, however, has been devoted to the actual day-to-day lives of male students. Things like dating and relationships (including MGTOW philosophy) have not been discussed here in great detail, but are incredibly relevant to college and high school men. The same goes with sports, video games, and other hobbies that men and boys tend to like.
This website will not, of course, become a duplication of TYT University (if you’re familiar with that), but it could benefit from connecting with students in other areas. AVFMS readers are used to seeing huge resource pages dedicated to education advocacy; do not be surprised to see that same thorough and extensive approach applied to these issues.
Holy technology, Batman!
- THE MAP: I am currently looking into creating a map that will allow site users to click on a country, state, and so forth to pull up all AVFMS content for their region. This is going to be a fun technological project for me. If I can get it to work how I want it to, it’s going to be awesome.
- Forum: as discussed earlier, I am considering implementing a forum on this website. This will likely be an end-of-the-year project for 2015.
- Website redesign: if the forum is introduced in 2015, a remake of this website will accompany it. Some of it is already being mapped out.
Return to YouTube
I first started speaking out about men’s issues on my YouTube channel, and had a lot of success there. In 2014, however, things have made it very difficult for me to regularly create and post new videos. Most of those barriers should be out of the way by February of 2015.
Onward to 2015!
Of course, news and commentary will still be featured here, along with the creation of more resources based on my own independent research, as well as others’. There is more in the works, but I can only speak of so much at present. I hope you like the work being done here, and hope you’ll join me again in the New Year.