Woke West Point Curriculum Denounces ‘Toxic Masculinity’

Cadets at the May 25 graduation ceremonies at the US Military Academy at West Point, New York
David Dee Delgado/Getty

West Point cadets attended mandatory events — framed by the military academy as educational curriculum — on “inclusion,” “diversity,” and “gender norms,” Breitbart News has learned. The programming included discussion groups led by upper-class cadets, labeled “facilitators,” making references to “toxic masculinity,” leading one cadet to comment, “I’m being taught how not to be a man.”

This was the military academy’s third “Honorably Living Day” hosted by West Point Superintendent Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams,” reported the Military Times, describing West Post’s characterization of “honorable living” as including “diversity, inclusion and acceptance of people from differing backgrounds, races and genders.”

Williams described the event as relevant to the development of combat “readiness.”

Cadets were obligated to view Miss Representation and The Mask You Live In, two documentary films produced by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, first lady of California and wife of Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA).  

Miss Representation features commentary from assorted left-wing and partisan Democrat figures, including Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA), Katie Couric, Rosario Dawson, Jane Fonda, Rachel Maddow, Rosie O’Donnell, and Gloria Steinem. 

Debuted by the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), Miss Representation frames American society as broadly pathologized by anti-woman sexism.

If people knew that Cuba, China, Iraq, and Afghanistan have more women in government than the United States of America, that would get some people upset,” said Newsom. He added, “One of the first things I did when I became mayor of San Francisco is that I appointed a female police chief, and then a female fire chief. … People thought I was trying to make some grand statement, when in fact I was actually just hiring the most qualified two candidates.”

“Without more women in politics, we just don’t really have democratic legitimacy,” alleged Jennifer Lawless, director of the Women & Politics Institute at American University. “Something looks fundamentally wrong with our political institutions.”

Barbara J. Berg, author of Sexism in Americaclaimed, “Patriarchy, really, is America’s default setting where men hold the positions of privilege and power, and where women, very often, are treated as second-class citizens.”

The Mask You Live In derides “hypermasculinity,” and masculinity more broadly, as stultifying boys’ and men’s emotional development. Its features commentary critiques what its speakers characterize as arbitrarily socialized “gender roles” associated with manhood.

“Be a man,’ that’s one of the most destructive phrases in this culture, I believe,” stated Joe Ehrmann, former NFL defensive lineman.

“We’ve constructed an idea of masculinity in the United States that doesn’t give young boys a way to feel secure in their masculinity, some make them go prove it all the time,” opined Michael Kimmel, a professor of sociology at Stony Brook University.

“Masculinity is not organic,” claimed Caroline Heldman, a professor of politics at Occidental University. “It’s reactive. It’s not something that just develops. It’s a rejection of everything that is feminine … through our popular culture, through our parenting styles, through our educational style, and through assumptions of natural manhood and maleness.”

“Throughout most of history, there’s been this belief that men and women are fundamentally different creatures, and it probably begins with the Bible,” said Lise Eliot, a professor of neuroscience at Rosalind Franklin University. “Sex is a biological term. It refers to which chromosomes you have. … gender is a social construct.”

After viewing the above-mentioned films, cadets attended workshops in which they were questioned about the films’ content.

In 2017, Jennifer Siebel Newsom derided Breitbart News as a “hate speech website,” calling on Amazon to withdraw its digital advertising from this news media outlet’s website. She disparaged Breitbart News as a publisher of “sexist, racist, xenophobic, and bigoted rhetoric.”

Bruce Stewart, a self-described “leading thought leader in the field of inclusive diversity”, was also hosted by West Point as a featured speaker. He lectures on “the New IQ,” which he claims is “a new way of thinking about and measuring inclusive diversity [and] a new kind of intelligence.”

Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, superintendent of West Point, described the curriculum as conducive to improving combat readiness:

Below is the text of a schedule issued to cadets for Tuesday’s “stand down” of standard curriculum:

Session 1 (gender-based Discussion):

  • Cadets will bring a 3×5 card identifying 3 things that make them feel included/valued and 3 things that make feel excluded/no valued
  • Cadets will discuss their gender socialization and how that socialization affects behavior and relationships (facilitator questions provided)

Live Honorably Lunch:

  • Facilitators will invite cadets to share their thoughts from the morning discussion and examine how society/culture/West point, etc. shapes their gender norms and expectations

Session 2 (Role Play Scenario Development)

  • Cadets will select from 8 topics per company and create role play scenarios

  • Settings or topics for role play scenarios: Sexism, Racism, Cyber bullying, Alcohol, Mental Health, Sexual harassment or Sexual assault, Discrimination based no Sexual orientation, Cadet choice (other topic)

  • Theater Arts Guild Club will further refine one or two scenarios and will create a video example of a role play

  • Top 25 scenarios will be further refined for future Honorable Living Events or Exercises

Breitbart News received comments from several West Point cadets on condition of anonymity. Cadets are prohibited from speaking with the press without the school’s authorization under threat of disciplinary action.

“I’m being taught how not to be a man,” said one cadet.

“I’m going to quit West Point. It’s no longer teaching me to be a leader of men. It’s teaching me how to be a victim,” said another cadet.

“The real bias we need to talk about [is] why it’s scandalous to be conservative in a professional environment by ‘brave’ to follow the crowd and be liberal,” a third cadet wrote.

A fourth cadet said, “The guest speaker had us all make a black power sign a yell, ‘Fight the power!'”.

Breitbart News asked West Point for comment about its “stand down” departure standard curriculum. No immediate comment was provided by the time of this article’s publication. Asked about cadets being encouraged to render a “black power” salute, West Point said it was unaware of anyone being encouraged or asked to do so.

In 2017, Second Lieutenant Spencer Rapone was discharged from the U.S. Army following his display of the message “Communism Will Win” while wearing his West point uniform. He also expressed support for Colin Kaepernick’s political activities.

Rasheed Hosein, a professor of Middle East history, was placed on administrative leave by West Point following revelations of Rapone’s political behavior. He was in charge of Rapone’s development at the school.

Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter.

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