UA could benefit from having a Men’s Studies program

By Mike J Wiles

As a returning student to The University of Akron who graduated high school in 1983, I’m old enough to remember a time before there was AIDS. I’m not old enough to remember a time when supposedly relationships were more “free.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, approximately 700,000 Americans have died of AIDS. As opposed to other diseases, the CDC includes in this number anyone who has died for any reason while having AIDS.

At a certain time in the chronology of the disease, government and health care workers began to differentiate between those who were HIV positive and those who have a white blood cell count below 200 and have AIDS. If your white blood cell count is above 200 you could perhaps in good conscience say that you do not have AIDS. It would be difficult to imagine a worse diagnosis.

When the story broke, much of the coverage was about the demographics of the disease and “projected” cases of AIDS. Then much of the focus became “new infection rates,” and that has been the focal point of news coverage since.

But of the 700,000 Americans who have died of AIDS, would you like to know, by chance, how many of those were white? Or how many of the 700,000 were men?

Would you still like to know?

The CDC has never released this information, but who still might want to know?

Perhaps a Men’s Studies program at The University of Akron would want to know. Maybe they would also want to know why men die, of nearly every cause, sooner than women. Or why there are nearly 2 million American men in prison right now.

Perhaps they would be interested to know that most of the approximately 1 million Americans who have died in combat in the last 100 years, and most of the similar number who have died because of murder or suicide during that same time period, have been men. Might this have had a “disparate” impact on men who have not even made up this number?

Why is it that of the university population today nationwide, the number of male students is declining to close to 30 percent? When was the last time the university population was 70 percent male, if ever? How many more foreign students will be needed to fill this “gap” and provide us the high-tech master and Ph.D. graduates we need?

If there must be a Women’s Studies program at The University of Akron, in order that we be “tolerant” or have respect for “diversity,” why isn’t there a Men’s Studies program at The University of Akron as well?

Wouldn’t a Men’s Studies program and a Women’s Studies program bring diversity? Is diversity sometimes just too much work? It’s not for me, and I’d like to see a Men’s Studies program at The University of Akron.