Last night, Washington D.C political consultant John Brougher made an announcement on Twitter:
Honored to serve as the new Digital Director of @WendyDavisTexas. There’s a lot of work to do, and couldn’t be happier to be on #TeamWendy!
— John Brougher (@johnbrougher) December 3, 2013
Congrats @johnbrougher on your new job w/ @WendyDavisTexas! Every time I get an email from her, it'll be like getting a high five from you!
— Aubrey Montgomery (@aubreymonty) December 3, 2013
If Wendy Davis is the Khaleesi of Texas, does that make @johnbrougher her dragons? #GameOfTexas
— Malinda Frevert (@MalindaFrevert) December 3, 2013
Thrilled for @johnbrougher on his new position as @WendyDavisTexas' Digital Director. DC misses you, but it's a good excuse.
— Mikey Franklin (@mikeyfranklin) December 3, 2013
Yay, Internet celebrations! :) @johnbrougher! #TeamWendy #gameon #drivinglessons
— Sabrina Hersi Issa (@beingbrina) December 3, 2013
ICYMI, so jazzed to be @wendydavistexas's new Digital Director. Still pinching myself. #TeamWendySo who, pray tell, is John Brougher?!?
— John Brougher (@johnbrougher) December 4, 2013
First things first, he's an alum of Brown University. In 2005, a national controversy erupted when a number of Ivy League schools refused to allow military recruiters on campus. You guessed it:
As the debate over the Reserve Officer Training Corps rages over campuses across the nation, I ponder the answer to that question. Will I answer the call? Like columnist Jack Sweeney-Taylor, I have reservations about a law like “No Child Left Behind” that undercuts education while simultaneously attempting to recruit more lower-class, undereducated Americans to serve in the armed forces. Like Sweeney-Taylor, I don’t think ROTC programs belong on campus.
But embracing the closed-minded conservative policy of the ROTC would not solve Brown’s problems with creating a genuinely liberal atmosphere. According to the program’s regulations, those “who formalize their conviction in homosexual activity after enrollment into the Advanced Course or the ROTC Scholarship Program will apply for disenrollment from ROTC and will be considered for discharge from USAR (the US Army).” ROTC rules prohibit homosexual activity, implying its abomination or inherent wrongness. Can you imagine what would happen if we allowed such broad and sweeping generalizations to exist at a university without argument? The allowance of such a program on campus would be a tacit endorsement of such a policy, and at a truly liberal institution, such assumptions cannot be allowed. Whether or not homosexuality is “wrong” should, at the very least, be the subject of debate on a campus, not an accepted higher truth from the military. If we endeavor to avoid simplistic opinions like “America is bad” or “the war in Iraq is good,” then the University should not encourage, however subtly, the approval of a belief that is tantamount to military dogma.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying that ROTC’s presence would suddenly sweep through the campus and cause a fundamental shift in the way people think at Brown or the way the community thinks of Brown. Over-emphasizing ROTC’s importance would be silly, but its presence here would be a symbol of Brown’s acceptance of ROTC and its policies, and symbols are important. Legislation and rules may change legal statuses, but symbols change minds and change viewpoints – in many ways, symbols are just as powerful. If symbols weren’t important, people wouldn’t be fighting over the placement of the Ten Commandments on state property and there wouldn’t be a controversy over the recent sale of a flag that flew over the Pentagon on Sept. 11.
I also understand that denying ROTC to any Brown student disproportionately affects lower-class students who would benefit more from the scholarship money that ROTC offers. And although I consider class diversity a major problem at Brown, I think what Brown gains by continuing to deny ROTC hosting is more substantial than what Brown loses in financial aid. Hosting ROTC runs completely contrary to Brown’s steadfast dedication to a liberal education, and there are other ways to increase class diversity without undermining Brown’s liberal atmosphere.He also runs the website Male Feminists; which he explains to CNN:
The basic sexism undergirding our world is so pervasive that I (and others) have grown up with it and see it at every stage of our lives.
From the much-discussed pay gap to constant street harassment to denying of basic rights to women and girls, we see it everywhere.
I'll never forget the meeting I was in a few years ago because the visitors to our office never made eye contact with my female manager.
As E.J. Graff, writing for "The American Prospect," describes, for a lot of folks, sexism isn't a "deadly cancer [anymore]; rather, it's a steady low-grade fever that wears you down by degrees."
It's the hostile work environment that makes you feel unwelcome, it's the strange sports metaphors that don't resonate with everyone equally, it's the deferral to men as "authoritative" while women must still walk the line to avoid both being viewed as "passive" while not crossing over into "bossy" territory.
And even though sexism doesn't always cry out at the shrill pitch it once did, even though attacks on women can be increasingly subtle, men still have a crucial role to play.
Not only do we help create the inequality, gender norms, and messages that hurt and objectify women, but critically, we suffer from its barbs as well.We preferred the first incarnation of the "masculine feminist":
Go Team Barbie!!!