INSIDE BASEBALL with Feministe and the Good Men Project

[Ed note: This is, as the title would imply, very Inside Baseball: BLOG FIGHT! edition. Sorry, I do know better, but I couldn't help it].

So here’s the thing about the Good Men Project: I really want them to be good. I do. I was an early promoter of their work, linking to them here and on Twitter. They had some great early writers, and interesting (if male-centric, given their mission) feminist analysis. And my brand of feminism is firmly in the camp of, “breaking down gender stereotypes is good for men too, and I hope more men will do the work amongst themselves to further the goals of gender equality.” And lo, I thought the GMP was doing that.

Then things started to change.

I stopped reading the GMP after their head honcho, Tom Matlack, went after feminist media activist Jenn Pozner, Kate Harding, Amanda Marcotte and other feminist writers who dared question him (really politely and generously, in the beginning) about a gender-essentialist piece he posted on GMP. You can read the full Twitter convo here, which Matlack helpfully characterized as “the wrath of the feminists.”

That wasn’t the first sign that GMP was increasingly becoming hostile to women. It certainly hasn’t been the last.

In the beginning, GMP included work from a variety of feminist writers. But over the past year and a half, all of the feminist writers have all left — every single one. From what I understand, they left either because of the Matlack/feminist-twitter thing, or they left because the comments were so overrun by men’s rights activists that there was no point in continuing to exhaust themselves trying to change the views of active misogynists. They weren’t supported. The misogynist voices were allowed to continue, and eventually they ran out nearly all of the gender-egalitarian and progressive ones, in the comments and in the freelance staff. Pretty soon the misogynist voices were the GMP’s readership. They were who the writers catered to.

MRAs aren’t just feminist boogeymen. They are legitimately hateful, threatening and violent men. I’m not going to get into detail in public about this one, but these are people who have directly threatened me many times over, in many different ways. Many of them have been arrested or convicted on domestic violence complaints, and many of them have shown a propensity to use violence to solve their problems. I get into stupid internet fights all the time. I get called names every day. The MRAs who actively work together to use violence to intimidate, injure and kill women? When my name is on their lips, they are some of the few people who legitimately scare me (and for what it’s worth, the Southern Poverty Law Center agrees).

So yes, it is concerning to me that the GMP has allowed itself to become an MRA-friendly space. That is not a space that I trust or that I think is acting in the interests of women or men. That is not a space that I think is at all safe for any women, even the ones who bend over backwards to try to please men who hate women, or who brand those men “nice guys.”

I did a brief look through GMP’s archives the other day, and I didn’t recognize one name that had any credibility in the feminist blogospere or the lefty-sphere generally. As far as I can tell, they offer close to zero race and class analysis. Anyone who was writing intelligently about gender seems to have fled. What’s left are mostly men with chips on their shoulders, MRAs, and women who write about “women stuff” but have no background at all in feminist work, gender studies academia or the feminist internet. As someone who has been writing on the feminist internet for a lot of years now, that’s odd — almost every other political site that leans even a little left has the occasional feminist writer or two who cut her teeth in Internet Femistan, or is at least familiar because she’s written smart things about women and has built connections and bridges with feminist writers. No, not all feminist-minded writers get along, and no, we don’t always see things the same way, and yes, there are many many women who are amazing writers and thinkers and who do great work but who aren’t well-known or widely recognized.

But that wasn’t what was happening at GMP. When I read what the non-MRA, supposedly feminist-leaning writers were writing, I was taken aback. It wasn’t just that they didn’t use the right language or that we had different views on things. It was that they fundamentally didn’t get it. And not in a “we see things differently” kind of way, but in a “they have no idea what the views even ARE” kind of way.

I’m not opposed to learning out loud. I have learned, in public, many times over. I have written about things that I wasn’t very well-versed in and gotten thoroughly schooled. But as an adult woman and someone who actually does take my credibility and my work seriously, I research what I write before I write it. I look up the relevant statistics. I read the available academic literature. I take a look at what other people are saying, and when it doesn’t fit into my preconceptions or assumptions, I adjust my viewpoint and my arguments accordingly.

That doesn’t mean I’m always right. I am wrong plenty of the time. And on a lot of things I still think I’m right even if much of my audience, or some of my audience, thinks I’m wrong. There is almost nothing I have ever written that I’m proud of that didn’t have a good chunk of detractors — whether those detractors were right-wing misogynists or fellow feminists. That’s part of the game. That’s the entire point of writing about ideas in public space. It’s not just to win followers — it’s to debate and expand and push and, in a social justice movement, to unify behind certain goals and take multi-pronged approaches to achieving them.

I haven’t always handled things perfectly (or even approaching “well”) when I’ve made a mistake. I’ve been writing in this space for almost eight years. I’ve written almost 5,000 pieces here. I am sure if I looked through our archives, there would be hundreds of posts I would take back if I could. But the times I really stepped in shit, I did make an effort to think to myself, “Where is this criticism coming from? People don’t usually get this upset just because they’re bored. What are their objections, and how many of them do I think have merit?” Now, I think there have been myriad times when objections to my posts or arguments are simply differences in worldview, or when I think the objections are entirely groundless. But there have been other times when I’ve been able to take a step back and say, ok, I am feeling really defensive and upset right now, but I also think this criticism is coming from a place of being shocked that I would write something that the reader found incredibly offensive, and does their argument have legs?”

Often it doesn’t. But often it does. Often it’s somewhere in the middle and I’m not really the best judge of that, because there are few arguments or positions that are always 100% right or 100% wrong.

So I try to have a relatively consistent worldview that’s premised on the idea that all human beings deserve rights and respect and integrity, and back up my views with evidence, and move my opinions on how best to achieve that as I learn more. And when I step in shit, I try to clean it up and not do it again.

The Good Men Project has really stepped in some shit here, with the initial “My friend is a rapist but he’s a good guy because the girl he raped was kind of a slut sending him mixed messages” post by Alyssa Royse. They knew they stepped in shit. Instead of trying to clean it up, they rolled around in it. They doubled down with the follow-up anonymous piece by an admitted rapist with no plans of stopping, and the follow-up to that of the GMP justifying its decision to post the rapists’ piece and the ensuing MRA-fest in the comments.

And yes, I am feeding into it. I seriously considered ignoring it until I saw how many pageviews they get (and I suspect, by the way, that their writers and editors are paid by the pageview, incentivizing this kind of bullshit). Some of their writers and editors are currently complaining that I am “bullying” them and trying to take them down and destroy them. If only I had that kind of power! Just for the record, they get like 10 times the traffic Feministe does. We may have more credibility in the feminist blogosphere because they’ve chosen to repeatedly torch theirs, but we are not the Goliath here. They have an audience of men who think that the GMP is a marginally feminist, progressive site. And they’re talking to those men about rape in a way that enables sexual assault and perpetuates rape myths and rape culture. When that’s criticized, it’s a “lynch mob” led by a “troll” (me. aren’t I adorable?).

Can I just point out how stupid this all is?

It doesn’t have to be this way. If the GMP had cracked down on MRAs and supported writers who actually want to break down gender stereotypes for men, there wouldn’t be this existing lack of trust, and there would have been someone on the editorial staff who would have flagged Alyssa’s piece and said, “Uh, wait a minute.” If the feminist writers, academics and researchers who have been doing this work for a long-ass time had their concerns listened to and addressed, this would not be my third post on the GMP in a week.

Most everyone I’ve read has been like, “Yeah, those GMP pieces are messed up.” Instead of addressing those concerns at the beginning, when Alyssa’s rape apologia was published, and being like, “Shoot, you guys, we handled this poorly,” the GMP went ahead and threw gas on the fire by publishing a rapist. And then they tossed a whole propane tank on there and wrote two posts about how they were so correct in publishing a rapist. Now they’re positioning themselves as the victims of the internet hate machine. A handful of GMP writers and supporters circled the wagons, accusing anyone who criticizes them of being “terrorists” who have launched a “lynch mob.” For criticizing Alyssa, Joanna Schroeder and the GMP’s decision to give an active rapist the cover of anonymity, I am a “crazy psycho bitch” and a “bully.”

Now Joanna Schroeder is in the comment section of GMP attempting to discredit the most comprehensive academic study of rape to date, simply because it doesn’t fit into her narrative du jour. Think about that: She is trying to undermine the very study that gives us the most information about why rapists rape and how to stop them. And she’s doing this because she thinks her method of anti-rape activism — publishing anonymous first-hand accounts of rapists and telling women not to send mixed messages to nice guys — is better. And Alyssa Royse is up on social media doing the same thing.

They have energy and attention. They are using it to try to discredit feminist work and promote the voices of rapists. They are using it to essentially say that their half-baked theories about why rapists rape, based on this one guy who Alyssa really likes and is really a decent dude, are probably more accurate than the consensus of decades of scientific and sociological inquiry.

Chew on that one.

To Alyssa, Joanna and the Good Men Project: You have stepped in some shit. The fact that you are choosing to double and triple and quadruple down? That’s not good. I understand you’re upset and feeling defensive. Believe me I have been there, and I am no stranger to digging myself deeper into a big ol’ shit pile. So take it from someone who knows: Take a step back. Take a look around. Who agrees with you here, and who doesn’t? As far as I can tell, the people who agree with you are either (1) your friends, who even then only seem to kinda-sorta agree to a point, and (2) relatively misogynist dudes who want very badly to believe that there’s lots of gray area when it comes to rape and the victim is partially responsible. Read the comments on your website. Read the comments on this one. Who doesn’t agree with you? Basically every single feminist activist who has done anti-rape or gender-equality work for more than fifteen minutes.

Chew on that one.

You’ve made it clear that you think I’m a psycho-bitch lynching-mobbing bully, so take me out of the picture for a moment. Are there any other neutral parties — people whose work you have long admired, who you think are right about most things, but who aren’t friends or colleagues — who are behind you on this? Who agree with you whole-heartedly?

Maybe there are. And look, we clearly have very different worldviews, so I won’t presume to know whose views you take seriously and whose you don’t. But think about it.

And to the Good Men Project: I had such high hopes for you. I do think there is still much value in creating a space for men to break down gender stereotypes and to explore modern masculinity. But why does that have to come at the expense of women? Why does that have to come at the expense of me and my safety? Why is publishing the viewpoint of a rapist — protecting that rapist by hiding his identity — more valuable than looking at the actual evidence on why men commit rape? Why is the response to “Why are you doing this when we have some pretty good evidence in response to your question?” an an attempt to undermine the evidence? Why are you so sure that the rape theories you came up with a few days ago are more legit than the work and body of knowledge and data and scholarship accumulated over the past several decades?

Just… think about it.

To the rest of us: Unless the GMP is willing to show some major change (replace Matlack, ban MRAs, don’t publish pieces by admitted serial rapists), let’s avoid reading them. Let’s avoid reading anyone who cross-promotes with them. Let’s avoid reading their writers on any other websites. If they want to be MRA-ville, more power to ‘em. But they don’t get the cover of feminism or progressivism anymore.

For the record, I do hope they change. I don’t think they will, but I would absolutely love to be surprised.

Author: has written 5267 posts for this blog.

Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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346 Responses

  1. duck-billed placelot
    duck-billed placelot December 12, 2012 at 11:54 pm |

    I have been having the weirdest reaction to these pieces, and I just now figured out that it was because I was confusing Alyssa Royse, rape apologist, with Alyssa Rosenberg, awesome media critic. My apologies, Alyssa Rosenberg!

    But yes, Jill, everything in this column is great. I also share your pessimism on the turnaround of the G(ross)MP, but I guess a monkey went into a Canadian Ikea last week in a shearling coat, so really anything is possible.

    1. samanthab.
      samanthab. December 13, 2012 at 8:14 am |

      Except that the monkey did not go into Ikea with a shearling coat on so much as someone made a deliberate effort to get that monkey there, button up its super freaky coat, and so on. That’s what is going to be needed at GMP- a very deliberate effort to get the monkey dressed and ready.

    2. Andie
      Andie December 13, 2012 at 9:17 am |

      I made the same mistake at first as well. That would have been a shame, as Alyssa Rosenberg is pretty effin’ cool.

  2. Philip Finn
    Philip Finn December 13, 2012 at 12:08 am |

    Referring to a post I made early this evening, I think GMP sounds like a good example of privilege granting rights rather than recognizing them, oppression getting out ahead of a movement and co-opting it.

    1. samanthab.
      samanthab. December 13, 2012 at 8:16 am |

      That is very well said and to the point.

    2. Lauren
      Lauren December 13, 2012 at 8:30 am |

      ^^^

  3. RoryBorealis
    RoryBorealis December 13, 2012 at 12:16 am |

    A handful of GMP writers and supporters circled the wagons, accusing anyone who criticizes them of being “terrorists” who have launched a “lynch mob.” For criticizing Alyssa, Joanna Schroeder and the GMP’s decision to give an active rapist the cover of anonymity, I am a “crazy psycho bitch” and a “bully.”

    Cool story, Joanna Schroeder. Way to totally miss the point of the criticisms of Alyssa Royse’s festering pustule of an article and the subsequent story by the admitted rapist.

  4. Clavis
    Clavis December 13, 2012 at 12:23 am |

    The only part of GMP that I would defend is stuff by Ozy Frantz (who used to post at No Seriously What About Teh Menz but then this got incorporated under the GMP umbrella). Except I just found out that Ozy is leaving when I went to link you all to the direct non-GMP feed so now you should just go read zir directly :) https://ozyfrantz.wordpress.com

    Ozy! If you’re reading this, I had been going to tell you to get out while you had the chance, but clearly you’re psychic so whatever.

    1. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune December 13, 2012 at 12:33 am |

      Yay!

      The only reason I stuck around for even the bit that I did after NSWATM merged with GMP was Ozy, so I’m really pleased she left.

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune December 13, 2012 at 12:38 am |

        Shitfuck. I screwed up on hir pronoun, I thought I’d cancelled that post but it got posted anyway. Sorry about that, anyone reading!

    2. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune December 13, 2012 at 12:35 am |

      Yay!

      Ozy was like the last good thing on GMP (though even zie wasn’t enough to keep me there, tbh). And it’s been long enough since I ran from there that I actually had to reconfirm pronouns. Oi.

      I’m really glad zie left, though.

    3. f.
      f. December 13, 2012 at 10:01 am |

      Yay! Just adding my voice to say I’m so glad Ozy is now writing elsewhere. Zie’s a total badass.

    4. Tincho
      Tincho December 14, 2012 at 8:32 am |

      Ha. I was going to say that I went to Gmp just following Ozy (I’ve never read anything else from the site). It’s good to know that they are leaving in the light of this article.

  5. Steve
    Steve December 13, 2012 at 12:43 am |

    Great post Jill

    I agree. MRAs are a scary hate group that either directly or indirectly encourages hate and violence against women. They are as bad but more tolerated than racist groups because a lot of liberals are way too soft on misogyny which is a serious problem in our society. It’s a shame to see the goodmanproject go down that road.

    I would like to create a website for meninist that truly supports feminists causes and men like myself who support it. I would not let it go down the same road as goodmanproject. I would shut it down before it did.

    1. Colin
      Colin December 13, 2012 at 1:18 am |

      I feel the same way. Perhaps a good place to start is to find existing blogs by men (or by anyone with a particular interest in reaching out to men) that are feminist or at least consistent with a feminist outlook. There must be some out there. Recommendations anyone? I know the yesmeansyes blog has quite a few male writers.

      1. Steve
        Steve December 13, 2012 at 2:03 am |

        That sounds like a good start! Glad you feel the same, brother. We should strife to create brotherly bonds among fellow male feminist and to give support to one another. MRAS are not only hateful to women but also to men who support feminism because we are viewed as traitors and called names like “pussy-whipped” or accused of ulterior motives like “we just want to get laid.” I think any male feminist who has ever attempted to debate with an MRA idiot has heard these attacks before, they aren’t very original. Unfortunately there’s really no place for these men to go to get support from other men and that might be why feminism among men is very weak right now. Well it’s about time that changed. I say let’s not allow these hateful MRAS dictate what being a man is. We need to fight back.

      2. Johnny
        Johnny December 13, 2012 at 12:39 pm |

        Wow I am glad I came across this blog for many reasons.
        I have started a site that supports the great things men do not the garbage on GMP. I would love to have people contribute to our site. Any and all help is appreciated. Our site is about promoting the good things men do for all and especially their children. There are enough ” dinks of the day” out there in our world. I had my son volunteer for a womans event handing out flyers promoting a event in Toronto to show him them women should be treated with respect and dignity just like you want to be or should be.Anyone interested in contributing please feel free to reach me at johnny @ youdaman.ca
        The world needs to change with more positive stories even if its just one at a time.

      3. Noadi
        Noadi December 14, 2012 at 8:21 am |

        More than Men is really good http://morethanmen.org

    2. Anon21
      Anon21 December 13, 2012 at 11:41 am |

      I guess the term “meninist” is in moderately wide circulation in social justice spaces on the Internet, which is kind of too bad considering how close it sounds to “Leninist.” Is there anything wrong with applying the term “feminist” to men who oppose misogyny and work to promote gender equality?

      1. auditorydamage
        auditorydamage December 13, 2012 at 12:58 pm |

        None. That’s how I refer to myself.

        As a poster I once saw reads, “I’ll be post-feminist in the post-patriarchy”.

        1. Siff
          Siff December 13, 2012 at 4:57 pm |

          The one concern I’ve always had with identifying as feminist is I worry that I’d come across as appropriating or butting in. Feminism is a womens’ movement and we should be allies, but it should not be our movement.

          I’ve heard “pro-feminist” and I kind of like that one.

    3. ellael
      ellael December 13, 2012 at 10:43 pm |

      If you are looking for feminist-ally, male-identified people, offbeatfamilies.com might be one place you could check out.

  6. PM
    PM December 13, 2012 at 12:45 am |

    Thanks for this, Jill. The site had so much potential. It’s a shame what happened to it but, more than that, the recent…turn the site has taken is inexcusable. I should have seen this coming since Mr. Matlack and He Who Shall not be Named were the site’s resident (self-described) feminists. I should have seen it coming since Paul Elam of all people had some articles there in the early days. I still think that men can do better, and that we can have a GOOD men’s website that has a readership comparable to GMP. I believe there’s a market for it.

    1. Steve
      Steve December 13, 2012 at 1:07 am |

      Yes, I agree. I would love to see a site with male writers on gender issues that doesn’t make me feel ashamed to be a male and isn’t filled with tons of misogyny because real men aren’t afraid of powerful women and they aren’t afraid of feminists and they don’t belong to hate sites with stuff written mostly by insecure white males like Paul Elam. Why is it so hard guys? Can’t you at least get that rape is bad and that the victim should never be blamed? At least understand that and some of my faith in my own gender not to be sexist idiots.

      1. Philip Finn
        Philip Finn December 14, 2012 at 2:34 am |

        Steve, I have a lot of years in this…it comes down to having a god fashioned in our own image and likeness legitimizing negative, often psychotic characteristics for so many centuries that our culture no longer can differentiate between “male” behavior and simply bad behavior.
        And an unreconciled fear of Death, and our smallness in the Universe.
        And the lack of courageous conviction that we, and the other seven billion people on this planet have an unmitigated right – every one of us – to be here.

        And until we confront and resolve that, nothing else we do or say here or anywhere else will amount to half a rat’s ass…

        1. Valoniel
          Valoniel December 14, 2012 at 2:52 am |

          Phillip? Will you pretend internet marry me?

          Seriously, though, I’m totally down with what you’ve been saying about these things, and I’m really happy to see it. I’m a bit too brain-dead at the moment to actually make sense, but I was too grinny not to say anything at all.

          Terror Management Theory, woo!

  7. DouglasG
    DouglasG December 13, 2012 at 1:02 am |

    That was the Twitter conversation of which I was thinking when I tried to answer Donna L’s question one or two posts ago.

    Much the same reaction to the GMP as a whole. For a while, some of the articles were worth reading, but the comments were grim going, and it was actually useful as a site where one could pop in wanting not to stay more than half an hour feeling quite safe that one wouldn’t get sucked into a Black Hole of Time. A shame it didn’t turn out to be somewhere where the right sort of writers felt it to be worth sticking around.

  8. BBBShrewHarpy
    BBBShrewHarpy December 13, 2012 at 1:13 am |

    Did the site really have potential? Was this not an inevitable turn for this project to take? Can anyone think of an institution that is run by the dominant culture that claims to speak for all but that does not eventually crush the people it claims not to be crushing when it feels threatened by their voices?

    1. Li
      Li December 13, 2012 at 1:31 am |

      The number of feminist or pro-feminist projects I know of that have sought to centre men and which haven’t so far manifested some kind of misogynist dipfuckery I can count on one finger. And I’m keeping a fairly keen side-eye on that one.

      1. Philip Finn
        Philip Finn December 13, 2012 at 1:51 am |

        I believe that illustrates my concept of oppression being so institutionalized into our culture as to be almost organic, so that the privileged of society react collectively to counter human rights bids or movements – whether they themselves consciously realize what their doing. More like a pathological, than political or social, response.
        “Power,” as Frederick Douglass said, “concedes nothing without a struggle. It never has and it never will.”

        1. RoryBorealis
          RoryBorealis December 13, 2012 at 2:09 am |

          I fear you’re correct. Or such an integral part of the structure that removing it is basically a demolition job. As Audre Lord put it, “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.”

          I don’t want to believe that such projects are doomed to failure. Given current power structures, the odds are long. I’d like to think we’re making progress and this is their extinction burst, but that might be 2am over-optimism.

        2. Philip Finn
          Philip Finn December 13, 2012 at 2:51 am |

          I don’t think they’re doomed to failure, I’m just hoping to reinforce the distinct possibility that we (being no better or worse than our fellows in the Abolitionist movement) won’t see it, it may even get worse in our lifetimes, we may even see things get violent and, like our Abolitionist predecessors (who were no less deserving of the success they never saw than we are) may be called upon to be ostracized, marginalized, and even murdered.
          Yes, the shit gets that real, and there’s nothing to prevent it from getting that way again. Even now, the only thing keeping the acid out of our faces, the IEDs out from under our cars, and joining the ranks of the “dissapeared” is the threat of the public relations nightmare that would ensue. And once religion gets the workaround to that, well…
          We should, I believe, continue to

      2. matlun
        matlun December 13, 2012 at 8:50 am |

        Isn’t this pretty natural?

        If you feel the need to create a feminist site “from a man’s perspective”, then this should mean that you feel that “traditional” feminist sites lack this perspective, perhaps even that they are opposed to it. That is not that far from being an MRA attitude from the beginning.

        Even if the site is originally good, this perspective will naturally attract the existing MRA community.

        I am not saying that it would be impossible for a site like this to be good, but I would not expect that to be a common case. (And there is also Sturgeon’s Law).

        1. Esti
          Esti December 13, 2012 at 11:12 am |

          I don’t think that needs to be the case. Most feminist sites center the experiences of women, which I think is appropriate. A feminist site that centered the experiences of men — recognizing privilege, discussing how best to be allies, etc. — doesn’t have to be “opposed” to traditional feminist sites. If anything, that seems like a respectful and complementary model to me; good allies shouldn’t derail conversations to talk about themselves, but (after listening to the voices of the oppressed class) might well benefit from a forum in which they can then discuss how they fit into the problem and how they can be part of the solution.

          Even if the site is originally good, this perspective will naturally attract the existing MRA community.

          I think this is the crux of the problem, but it’s not an unsolveable one. If the people running the site are firmly committed to actual anti-sexism, and if they listen to and promote voices in the mainstream feminist community, then they won’t let MRAs warp the site’s message. Feministe gets its share of shitty MRA trolls, and Jill either bans them or they get out-argued by the larger number of feminist commenters. An ally site would probably need to be quicker with the ban-hammer to avoid being overrun, but if the site was committed to shutting down that stuff it absolutely could. Even better, it could partner with a feminist site and then would likely pick up enough feminist commenters to make sure the comment sections stayed on track.

        2. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 13, 2012 at 11:33 am |

          If you feel the need to create a feminist site “from a man’s perspective”, then this should mean that you feel that “traditional” feminist sites lack this perspective, perhaps even that they are opposed to it.

          You know, I think there’s a lot of perspectives that feminist sites lack. The quantum physics perspective, for example. Or the yaoi fangirl perspective. Or the mildly blackened banana perspective. Feminism, like…anything, really, is neither required nor able to be everything for everybody. Why not let feminist men take up what feminist women don’t have the time/resources/energy/investment/interest to handle? Or are you expecting feminist women to ALSO talk about men’s issues in as much detail as they deserve, whatever that feminist’s own interests or agendas might be? Talk about caregiver stereotypes.

          And why is it so wrong to let feminist men write from a male perspective? I write from a female perspective. I write from a desi perspective, from a Tamilian’s perspective, from a high-caste perspective, disabled perspective, mentally ill perspective. Are any of these things inherently opposed to feminism?

        3. matlun
          matlun December 13, 2012 at 3:58 pm |

          @mac:
          I would not necessarily say that there is a clear lack of a male perspective within feminism. I am saying that is an opinion that is implied by the decision to run a site with that kind of label.

          I am a man, but even if I thought that I had enormously good insights that should be put out there, why would I push my site as “feminism from a male perspective” (As opposed to something more gender neutral) unless it was a lack I perceived?

          And this belief would fairly naturally get some response and sympathy from the MRAs.

          I might be wrong and that kind of suspicion would perhaps be unfounded in some cases, but that is my argument.

          (Btw. Are you sure that feminism lacks the yaoi fangirl perspective? Going from a couple of feminists I know, I am not convinced…)

        4. Bagelsan
          Bagelsan December 14, 2012 at 12:31 am |

          (Btw. Are you sure that feminism lacks the yaoi fangirl perspective? Going from a couple of feminists I know, I am not convinced…)

          I noticed that part too! I feel that I am well-represented. ;p

        5. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 14, 2012 at 12:49 am |

          I am a man, but even if I thought that I had enormously good insights that should be put out there, why would I push my site as “feminism from a male perspective” (As opposed to something more gender neutral) unless it was a lack I perceived?

          Wait, but…I’m saying the exact opposite. “Male issues from a feminist perspective.” What you’re saying is definitely potentially skeevy.

          Btw. Are you sure that feminism lacks the yaoi fangirl perspective? Going from a couple of feminists I know, I am not convinced…

          I for one think Feministe at least is absolutely reprehensible for not yet having presented yaoi fangirls’ issues in even one article.

          Bagelsan – didn’t know you liked yaoi too! What’s your favourites list? (Wandering totally off-topic)

        6. Bagelsan
          Bagelsan December 14, 2012 at 11:50 am |

          Lately I’ve been all about the show Sherlock. Oh my the chemistry. *fans self*

        7. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 14, 2012 at 11:52 am |

          Sherlock is bloody awesome. I’m just getting caught up on the second season, hah. (Yes, I tend to wind up watching shows roughly a half-year late; that way I avoid getting unpleasantly surprised with hiatuses and cancellations.)

        8. Radiant Sophia
          Radiant Sophia December 14, 2012 at 11:57 am |

          Contributing to the derail…
          …and I’m probably going to get made fun of, but…
          …I’m wearing a Gravitation T-Shirt.

        9. sabrina
          sabrina December 14, 2012 at 12:05 pm |

          I fundamentally disagree with you. The patriarchy hurts men too, and there should be a space for them to talk about that. The issues that we face affect ally men in a different way than they affect us. Those are conversations worth having, but traditional feminist spaces are not the place to have them on a consistent basis. We’re not saying that male allies can’t be a part of our community, or that they don’t belong here and should not feel welcome. We’re saying that they have their own issues to work on and they need a space to do so.

        10. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 14, 2012 at 12:11 pm |

          Contributing to the derail…
          …and I’m probably going to get made fun of, but…
          …I’m wearing a Gravitation T-Shirt.

          *SQUEE* GRAVI

          I am currently drinking coffee from a Kuroshitsuji mug, the walls of our bedroom are literally plastered end to end with Saiyuki and assorted Kaori Yuki posters, and! And!

          >.> We got married in cosplay. *cough*

        11. DouglasG
          DouglasG December 14, 2012 at 7:41 pm |

          […and I’m probably going to get made fun of, but…
          …I’m wearing a Gravitation T-Shirt.]

          I wish I could indulge in yaoi more, but so much of it just makes me feel dirty. Happily, Gravitation was one of the ones that didn’t.

    2. LotusBecca
      LotusBecca December 13, 2012 at 6:04 am |

      I totally agree with you BBBShrewHarpy. I’ve had a bad feeling about the website since I first heard about it. Even the name “Good Men Project” is super creepy to me. I mean, haven’t “good men” for almost all of Western history been the same thing as patriarchal, misogynistic men? To me, a “good man” is a person who is doing what is “supposed” to be the right thing, being what he is supposed to be as a man according to our current gender roles. In a patriarchal culture like ours, that’s bound to be something kinda fucked up. A name like the “Anti-Sexist Alliance of Men” would have inspired a lot more confidence in me.

      But, on a deeper level, I’m skeptical that any group that organizes along lines of shared privilege is going to be truly progressive. I’m just not sure that men need to be in groups focusing on their maleness, and I have a feeling such groups will always tend to be reactionary and reinforce patriarchy. I’m 100% behind men who are oppressed and organize as people of color, or working class people, or queer people, or disabled people, or fat people. But what good can come from them organizing as men? Very little, I think.

      When I was in my initial stages of becoming an anti-racist, I read a lot of stuff by Tim Wise and other white anti-racists. This was because it was palatable to me. . .it allowed me to dip my toes in the pool of anti-racism without truly questioning my white privilege in a radical way. But eventually I realized that the anti-racist struggle is about people of color and what they want and need. It’s not about me at all. My role is just to not oppress people of color and assist them in whatever way they’d like me to in their struggle. If men want to help women overcome patriarchy, they don’t need a Good Men Project, they just need to listen to women and have the humility to do what we ask them to do, basically.

      1. Steve
        Steve December 13, 2012 at 8:06 am |

        Well said and you are so right. Thanks!

      2. PDA
        PDA December 13, 2012 at 8:56 am |

        You touch on a sensitive issue for me as a male anti-sexist, so I’m gonna tread lightly so as to be clear and avoid coloring this with ego crap.

        My fundamental identify as a human in society is as a privileged white male fighting privilege. I’ll own that I fail in this fight, as every day I benefit from my position as a member of the privileged class. What I am working on is awareness of that status and a willingness to help oppressed people in their struggle as they so choose.

        Inside of that awareness, I’m trying to develop a different idea of what it is to be a man, one that doesn’t perpetuate sexist roles and gender identity. And men need to develop this new structure for themselves. It’s not women’s job to do that for us. Women are working on their own liberation, but more to the point, we need to understand what drove the rage and hate of our fathers and our fathers’ fathers in order to extirpate the roots of hate in ourselves.

        There’s not a man I sit in circle with who doesn’t have a story of violence at the hands of his father. Not one. Sometimes it is ‘only’ psychological, but it is universal. Men need healing to be allies against sexism in building a decent world. But we also need it to be complete in ourselves.

        1. Valoniel
          Valoniel December 13, 2012 at 12:24 pm |

          PDA, I think you’re absolutely right.

          One of the best tools that men (and by extension, women, since we can’t help but benefit from the result) have in this fight, is other men who can say to them, “Look, we know what you’re saying, we know where you’re coming from, because we’ve felt and thought that way, we’ve been there. But it’s wrong, and we can show you how. It can be fixed, and we can show you how.”

          Men need the perspective and most of all the support of other men in this change, because the system quite frankly does its best to undermine and emasculate those men who wish to make it.

          And to be perfectly honest, I’ve seen some things around here from women that also do those things, and it sickens me. Some men want some kind of feminist medal for being good people, sure, and that’s bs. But seriously, we can do better than giving them shit for it.

          Anyway, before I go completely off the rails, what I mean is THIS, and I support the creation of spaces for men on this path. Vigilance is needed, and trial and error is a crap system, but it’s the one we’ve got. (It’s not as if there’s never been a feminist site that hasn’t jumped off that cliff, after all) We’ll get there, and I’ll be rooting for the next one, until it works.

        2. PDA
          PDA December 13, 2012 at 1:53 pm |

          Thank you. Genuinely, thank you.

          The idea of a space like that is really important to me, though I have to say that it’s not as important to me as getting my own work done and supporting the men in my life in their work.

          However, I note – not for any particular reason – that bettermenproject.com is available.

          Jussayin.

        3. TomSims
          TomSims December 13, 2012 at 1:53 pm |

          “There’s not a man I sit in circle with who doesn’t have a story of violence at the hands of his father. Not one.”

          I have no such story.

        4. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 13, 2012 at 2:08 pm |

          I have no such story.

          Well here’s your snowflake-shaped cookie.

          However, I note – not for any particular reason – that bettermenproject.com is available.

          Oh, zow, see, now you’re just tempting us. Tempter.

        5. Valoniel
          Valoniel December 13, 2012 at 2:21 pm |

          PDA, I don’t even know what to say to the thanks, because I feel it’s just the rational position, but for what it’s worth, you’re welcome.

          If you’ll come with us, I think we could definitely have some things to talk about. You can reach my lovely wife, Mac, at her dreamwidth account. Go ahead and PM her, if you’d like to talk with us more about this. ^__^

          (FTR, anyone else who wants to have this discussion, also feel free to contact Mac!)

        6. LotusBecca
          LotusBecca December 13, 2012 at 4:03 pm |

          Thanks for your response PDA! I don’t know you so I don’t know what you’ve experienced. But if I could offer you some unsolicited advice (hope you don’t mind! lol). . .it would be to consider the fact that you may be more oppressed than you realize. Being a male (just by itself) in our society is a relative privilege and not a source of oppression. But perhaps you do not conform to society’s expectations for being a man. Perhaps you have a mental illness. Perhaps you are fat. Perhaps you are a radical activist. Perhaps you are part of the working class in the broad, Marxist sense (you have to work for wages). All the things I listed are sources of oppression in our kyriarchal society, and all of them are commonly not recognized as forms of oppression. I hope I’m not sounding patronizing. . .the only reason I mention it is a few of these things apply to me as well and for the longest time I didn’t realize I was being oppressed on the basis of them. I find that people who talk about how much privilege they have often aren’t in touch with their oppressions.

          I’m very sorry to hear about the fact you were abused as a child, as were so many men you know. I don’t really feel like going into the details here, but I was also abused as a child. I know so many women who were abused as children, so many genderqueer and non-binary folks who were abused as children. I’m definitely not going to tell you how to interpret your own childhood, and I know the abuse leveled on boys is often cast by their abusers in a gendered light. They are being abused by their fathers *as boys*. But, I guess, I’m just reiterating what I’m sure you’re already aware of: in an extremely ageist society such as our own which views children as less than fully human, ALL children are extremely vulnerable to abuse at the hands of adults, unfortunately.

          Anyway, I think it’s wonderful that you are processing that childhood abuse and trying to heal. You’re right that virtually all men need healing from one form of oppression or often many. And they don’t need it to be allies to women in our anti-sexist struggle, but because all people deserve healing for their wounds. I also think it’s great that you are reinventing your image of what it means for you to be a man, changing it to something that doesn’t have to involve oppressing people who aren’t men.

          The only thing I strongly disagree with in your post is where you say: “And men need to develop this new structure for themselves. It’s not women’s job. . .” I just don’t agree with that. I and other women have a lot of great ideas as to how men can not oppress us, and we are happy to share them with you, provided you give us evidence you will actually be listening. And. . .I hope you don’t get defensive on reading this. . .but many women who were abused as children could relate to you about your childhood abuse and help you deal with it, too. Our society segregates most social spaces to keep men and women separated. In my opinion, that’s a bad thing, and I don’t think it’s helpful to overcoming oppression to set up even more spaces for men, and I as a woman would personally welcome you into my feminist community as you seem like a thoughtful, compassionate, and politically aware guy.

        7. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 14, 2012 at 12:52 am |

          The only thing I strongly disagree with in your post is where you say: “And men need to develop this new structure for themselves. It’s not women’s job. . .” I just don’t agree with that.

          Becca, fwiw I thought he meant it as “not women’s responsibility”, in the same way I mentioned in my list that it’s not feminism’s job to run around wiping up men’s spills and coddling them into being egalitarian enough; it’s men’s job to fix their own goddamn messes. Sure, women CAN help, but they’re not OBLIGATED.

        8. sabrina
          sabrina December 14, 2012 at 12:10 pm |

          YES TO THIS.

        9. PDA
          PDA December 14, 2012 at 12:52 pm |

          Sure, women CAN help, but they’re not OBLIGATED.

          Yes, that’s exactly what I meant… and “not women’s job” was probably an inelegant way to put it. Absolutely women can help, and that help is powerful and appreciated.

          I just wanted to steer really clear of the HOW CAN I BE A GOOD ALLY YOU HAVE TO TELL ME HOWWWWW bit. Not that I know all there is to know about it, but that the onus is on me to educate myself and do the work.

        10. Philip Finn
          Philip Finn December 15, 2012 at 12:55 am |

          I just wanted to steer really clear of the HOW CAN I BE A GOOD ALLY YOU HAVE TO TELL ME HOWWWWW bit. Not that I know all there is to know about it, but that the onus is on me to educate myself and do the work.

          Exactly. Trying to behave to suit other people is what gets us into this fix in the first place…plus, I think this is prepping to blame the outcome on women, so we’d be right back where we were…

      3. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune December 13, 2012 at 11:55 am |

        Actually, I disagree with extreme prejudice with your entire comment. The cismale/notcismale axis is, in my opinion, radically unlike literally any other axis of oppression in that it is inherently poisonous to both sides of the axis. As a white person, you have no serious disadvantages (other than the stirrings of your consequences) to being cheerfully privileged. As an abled person, you are not remotely bloody hurt by the ableism that poisons every day of my life. As mentally ill people, we both know that neurotypicals have it fucking easy on that axis.

        Unfortunately, being a cis man is no protection against a host of oppressive shit that gets hucked at them. There’s shit that goes on in a cis guy’s life that’s really insidiously poisonous and alienating, a whole lot of conditioning that’s designed to turn them into entitled dickwads. Their privilege comes with a whole lot of disadvantages too, and disadvantages that we as women simply can’t see. And that, frankly, they should be cleaning up themselves, because they started it. How can you in one breath say that white anti-racists gave you a start in anti-racism, and in the next say that male feminists couldn’t give a man a start in feminism? The cognitive dissonance is freakin’ amazing. Nobody’s born a radical activist; we all need halfway homes and more familiar spaces to start out understanding the world.

        Also, re your statement that no good can come of organising along lines of privilege: I present to you the vast majority of the abolition movement. Also “We stand with the 99%”. Also, meet Mohandas Gandhi, I understand he got together with some incredibly rich straight dudes and did a few things for women and low-caste people in India once. How about the Men’s League for Women’s Suffrage? And please don’t tell me they were organising on behalf of the oppressed so it doesn’t count; you didn’t make that distinction in your comment, so I see no need to make it in mine.

        I realise that this comment’s really argumentative, Becca, but I honestly didn’t expect such a blinkered view from you, and it really bothers me.

        1. BBBShrewHarpy
          BBBShrewHarpy December 13, 2012 at 12:46 pm |

          The Civil Rights movement didn’t center the experience of white folks. I think Li names the problem better than I did in my original post: I called it “run by the dominant culture”. Zie rephrased it as “centering men”. My original point was supposed to hint also at the problems with mainstream feminist groups representing the interests of WoC, but I think it is the centering that is the key rather than the organizing and running.

        2. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 13, 2012 at 1:02 pm |

          The Civil Rights movement didn’t center the experience of white folks.

          And the CRM was not ever run by white folks, and the fact that you think that’s an appropriate rebuttal is fascinating.

          I’m honestly…I can’t tell what your point is. I don’t get it.

        3. SophiaBlue
          SophiaBlue December 13, 2012 at 1:11 pm |

          I dunno, Mac. I see what your saying about how men are oppressed in a lot of ways. I did ballet growing up and I saw how this worked, both for myself (identifying as male at the time) and for the young men who danced along with me. It would be good if there was a space that men could talk about that.

          And yet men are still privileged overall. I guess I agree with LotusBecca that a site for men that focuses on the problems of men is, over time, eventually going to lose sight of the privilege they have. That’s kind of the nature of privilege isn’t it?

          So while I’d like a space where men could talk about the real problems they face, I don’t think that space can look like the GMP. I honestly don’t know what the solution is.

        4. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 13, 2012 at 1:18 pm |

          And yet men are still privileged overall. I guess I agree with LotusBecca that a site for men that focuses on the problems of men is, over time, eventually going to lose sight of the privilege they have. That’s kind of the nature of privilege isn’t it?

          Probably. And then it’ll stop, and another will start up and last a little longer until it loses sight, and then the cycle will repeat. I see that trend all the time in feminist spaces too, and in religious spaces. But we don’t say that Jill should never write about kids again until she has kids; we don’t say that Caperton shouldn’t talk about single people until she dumps The Boy; nobody’s ever told me I can’t discuss Indian women’s sexual/marital issues until I lose the white wife, and if they did I would be sharpening my internet knives instantly. I don’t think that expecting such a site to NEVER show its ass is reasonable; I think expecting it to grow past that, or another to take its place and strive to be better, is more realistic.

        5. Lauren
          Lauren December 13, 2012 at 1:24 pm |

          I don’t think that expecting such a site to NEVER show its ass is reasonable; I think expecting it to grow past that, or another to take its place and strive to be better, is more realistic.

          Yes. Do they do what they say? Do they say they mean to be one thing and then strive for that in their deeds? Or do they say they are one thing and do whatever the hell they want and snub their noses at the community that looks to them?

        6. PDA
          PDA December 13, 2012 at 1:24 pm |

          I agree with LotusBecca that a site for men that focuses on the problems of men is, over time, eventually going to lose sight of the privilege they have. That’s kind of the nature of privilege isn’t it?

          That is exactly the nature of privilege. And while I don’t see a supportive community for anti-sexist men as a sure-fire way to avoid that, there’s for sure no way I can see men learning to continually recognize and address privilege without such a community.

          It’s a Gods-damned puzzle inside in an enigma wrapped a mystery deep-fried with bacon, but that’s no reason to give up the struggle.

        7. LotusBecca
          LotusBecca December 13, 2012 at 5:22 pm |

          I guess I just don’t agree, Mac, that being a man is fundamentally different from possessing any other type of identity that’s privileged in our society. Every form of privilege is unique and different, of course, but I see it very much as following similar patterns to axes of race, or disability, or mental health status. And I don’t think being a man is ever a relative disadvantage in our society. All other things being equal, a woman or non-binary person is always going to be worse off.

          And yeah, white anti-racists helped start me down my path of anti-racism, and that worked for me at the time. And I’m fine with male anti-sexists trying to educate people, too. But I didn’t really start progressing in my ability to be an ally to people of color until I really, really realized it was more important for me to be listening to people of color than it was for me to be listening to white anti-racists, even though it was sometimes less comfortable for me. And while I still enjoy reading things by white anti-racists occasionally, I would never, say, go to conference for white anti-racists. I’m no longer comfortable in spaces that center whiteness, even in the context of anti-racism.

          You bring up some interesting historical examples, Mac. Unfortunately, I don’t currently know enough to speak to all of them, but perhaps I should do some studying and learning about them might change my perspective. I have studied the abolitionist movement a bit, though, so I will comment on just that one particular example. To the extent that abolitionists organized along lines of whiteness. . .I actually think that was a bad thing. There were so many wonderful abolitionists of color, and unfortunately, they were too often marginalized in the movement, as many white abolitionists were still deeply racist, even as they were opposed to slavery. Abolitionism had a lot of great successes, of course, but I think it would have been much more successful if people of color were able to take the lead in it, as opposed to white people trying to organize amongst themselves.

          In terms of your tone and it being argumentative, it’s fine, Mac. It didn’t bother me at all–I like a spirited discussion, in fact! Still, I’m sorry my views of this are a significant disappointment to you. I’m also aware my explanations in this post probably won’t sound any better to you than my initial argument did. I guess I may just need to accept the fact that my honest opinion on this is going to be seen by you as blinkered. And hey–maybe it is blinkered! But it seems accurate to me, in any event.

        8. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 13, 2012 at 7:25 pm |

          Becca, I think I see where our disconnect is! Again! Haha. *sheepish*

          Okay, so: it sounds like you think I’m talking about a space that’s “ONLY by men ONLY for men ONLY about men”. I am most certainly not. If Jill and Caperton and Zuzu (to take three random Feministe contributors) were to launch an offshoot site and reblog Feministe articles dedicated specifically to discussing men’s issues there, I would consider that to be a masculinist (okay, maybe not that since it seems to give people the hives) or male-centred space.

          While I agree that a space consisting only of men would have a high chance of going south on express speeds, I don’t think that a gender-balanced group would be half as vulnerable to it.

          And there’s another thing. Speaking as a person with significant caste privilege, I think I have an understanding of the way the caste system works that’s distinctly different from a low-caste person. The…apex predator view, if you will. It lends a significant understanding of mechanics and subtleties that are very different from the mechanics and subtleties that lower-caste people have noted and remarked upon. While top-down dismantling of systems has its downfalls – fuck me does it ever! – it also has its advantages when done a) in tandem, b) with deference to and c) while fostering conscious acceptance of the greater need of bottom-up efforts.

          I hope that clears up the misunderstanding, because aside from that I really don’t see how we could possibly be disagreeing! :P Unless you think that even talking about men gives feminists man-cooties or something, lol.

        9. LotusBecca
          LotusBecca December 17, 2012 at 6:40 pm |

          Yeah, I see what you’re saying better now Mac! A discussion about how men can be better anti-sexist allies to women, if such discussion centered women’s concerns and included a significant amount of female participation, could be really productive. And I could see spaces being formed that focused on this and it being a good thing–although really, I think they would be better as “sub-spaces” within bigger feminist spaces that were more women-focused. You know. . .like how a mainstream publication might have a “women’s issues” subsection. . .a feminist forum could have a “men’s issues” subsection. This would reinforce the awareness that patriarchy chiefly harms women and that the role of anti-sexist men should be to help women in undermining patriarchy.

        10. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 17, 2012 at 8:08 pm |

          You know. . .like how a mainstream publication might have a “women’s issues” subsection. . .a feminist forum could have a “men’s issues” subsection.

          Seems fair enough to me, and if we were writing a newspaper here I’d be totally down wiht that. As it stands, though, I’m not sure how your idea transfers to the web… an affiliate site, perhaps?

          (Also, when Valoniel and I were talking about how such an affiliate would look, we were considering a more 101-shaped space – “we deal with the noobz so other feminists don’t have to!” kind of thing. So maybe that’s influencing my thoughts on this. But you know, I’d rather deflect/educate men on a separate 101ish site than have them come here and JAQ off at us, even if in perfectly good faith. There’s been a few guys here that have upped their understanding like that, but the strain of educating shouldn’t have to be part of every. damn. conversation here, IMO.)

        11. LotusBecca
          LotusBecca December 17, 2012 at 8:31 pm |

          Yeah. . .an affiliate site would work! And I agree. . .I’d prefer that men don’t come here and sidetrack discussions by asking a ton of basic questions. My idea of including men within feminism isn’t to better “educate” them, but rather, since gender essentialism isn’t true, there are already men who are fairly educated and can enrich feminism with their skills and thoughts. But in my opinion, the point of feminism is to benefit women, so if a particular man is taking more than he is giving, he shouldn’t be part of feminism. All the same, I suppose you’re right that if there are feminists who are interested in running the sites, more 101 sites to provide discussions for men with good intentions but limited understanding could be really helpful.

        12. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 17, 2012 at 8:46 pm |

          My idea of including men within feminism isn’t to better “educate” them, but rather, since gender essentialism isn’t true, there are already men who are fairly educated and can enrich feminism with their skills and thoughts.

          Well, yes, there are, and I don’t think they’d have any issues just walking into a conversation here and NOT being asshats. There’s a good dozen men on this site who aren’t asshats (in greater frequency than any of us women anyway :P). But for every guy who can walk into a feminist space and apply, like, basic logic/history/decency, there’s ten who are probably perfectly happy with feminist ideals, but don’t know the language, etc, and hurt people unthinkingly. I mean, look at Tomek, who I’m now forced to acknowledge isn’t trolling, just very ESL and with some specific bizarre ideas.

          Hell, to take a female example, when Val was considering starting to post here, she was primarily concerned that she was going to fuck up on words, not ideas, and there were several times when she had a perfectly good argument but just didn’t have the “dialect” of feminist spaces down pat (using “transgendered” until you pointed out it was “transgender”, etc). And I went through the exact same thing when I started to post. I guess I just empathise with those of us coming to feminism more or less exclusively Via Internets.

      4. Radiant Sophia
        Radiant Sophia December 13, 2012 at 12:14 pm |

        @ LotusBecca

        Basically, the “men do not belong in a feminist discussion”.
        This has been said here before, many times. Mostly by self-identified radfems. As mac pointed out, it is not a feminist site’s job to post pieces by or centering on men. You are pointing out how it is not appropriate for men to have their own spaces discussing how they do/should interact with us. I’m not sure I disagree with either of you, but while the onus shouldn’t be on us to have to educate men, without their own spaces, they have nowhere to discuss these things. I have NEVER met someone whose ideas and ideology changed without discussion.

        1. LotusBecca
          LotusBecca December 13, 2012 at 4:28 pm |

          Basically, the “men do not belong in a feminist discussion”.
          This has been said here before, many times. Mostly by self-identified radfems.

          Actually, if I’m reading you correctly. . .that’s not what I think, at all. I’m very far from being a separatist of any kind. I welcome anti-sexist men into the feminist movement and think that while they may not have the firsthand experience of being oppressed as women, they can bring all sorts of skills and insights to the struggle. Provided, of course, they truly are anti-sexist and aren’t constantly trying to oppress women or run the show. And most men are actively committed to sexism, unfortunately. But some aren’t, and I’m perfectly capable of looking at men as individuals.

          I think men can educate themselves by reading books and online articles and talking to a variety of other people about sexism, including both men and women (provided they aren’t view it as our responsibility to educate them). I don’t think they need their own male-centered spaces to do that. In fact, I believe our society already has too many male-centered spaces; that is part of the problem, and it doesn’t need any more.

        2. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 13, 2012 at 7:40 pm |

          In fact, I believe our society already has too many male-centered spaces; that is part of the problem, and it doesn’t need any more.

          Becca, if you honestly think a feminist space that contains a large number of men and women and that deals with men’s issues as a corollary to women’s is exactly the same as the Playboy Mansion or a country club or UFC just because it’s male-centred, then I really don’t know what to say.

        3. Radiant Sophia
          Radiant Sophia December 14, 2012 at 12:47 am |

          LotusBecca,
          First: I, in no way, intended to imply you were a separatist. I am VERY sorry if you felt I did, and I apologize.

          Second: I am looking for clarification on your viewpoint (which you are, obviously, under no compulsion to provide).

          Where should men discuss how they are affected, in ways that we generally are not, by the systems currently in place? I realize it’s possible to believe that men can’t be affected negatively by the patriarchy, or to believe that men can’t be affected in a way that women generally are not.

          But let us, for example, assume you do not believe either of those things. Where then do men have a space to discuss? Most feminist channels would object to such matters being discussed, and you would object to men having their own spaces to discuss such things.

          (If I can get permission from him, I’d like to share my roommate’s p.o.v., which is more specific)

        4. Radiant Sophia
          Radiant Sophia December 14, 2012 at 1:43 am |

          p.s. I do believe that male-centered spaces trend toward unexamined privilege, but I also know that men I know have been hurt by the patriarchy in ways that I have not. In this case all I can do is be supportive and try to empathize. I think that if he could discuss this with others he might understand why this happens. It is possible that this discussion shouldn’t happen. No matter how supportive he is of me, he can’t feel what it’s like to be afraid to leave the apartment, but discussing that with others who understand, who have experienced it, has helped me. I am wondering why the same could not be said of his experience. As a feminist it is very easy to say a man should be an ally, but that the discussion shouldn’t be about him, because it shouldn’t. But as a human being I understand I am hurting him by telling him his experience with patriarchy is not something that needs to be discussed.

        5. Philip Finn
          Philip Finn December 14, 2012 at 5:41 am |

          Men are “hurt by the patriarchy” for the same reason there has always been a impoverished white agrarian strata in Southern culture, and they have not been helped, in fact are even MORE disenfranchised in the wake of the Emancipation Proclamation, Civil Rights Movement, and a non-white in the White House.

          The whole point of oppression is to secure privilege, and most of the Western institutions have developed around this concept, religion being perhaps the most egregious . However, this – like a lot of institutions being reevaluated – is unsustainable. There is only so much privilege to go around, and no more. And people don’t become privileged, they don’t become CEOs, Bishops, Popes, Generals, or lifetime Politicians by learning how to share.

          What men really need is to spend less time and energy on narcissism (unless they want to be CEOs, Bishops, you get the point) and worrying what it means to them to be a man, or where they’re allowed to stick their dicks. Men need to realize that before they’re allowed to relate to their mothers, wives, sisters, or any other woman, they have to get paid, married by, ordered around, or robbed by – can anybody answer? altogether, class – the CEO, the Clergy, the Politicians, the Investors, the Brokers…men’s biggest challenge to their own well-being, their happiness, is Privileged Men, and THAT is where they need to take the fight.
          For everybody’s sake.

        6. Philip Finn
          Philip Finn December 14, 2012 at 4:46 am |

          I learn the most from people who disagree with me…

        7. LotusBecca
          LotusBecca December 14, 2012 at 7:16 am |

          These questions are hard for me to answer Sophia. . .because I just don’t know what all these ways that men get harmed on account of being men are. Perhaps I’m just ignorant as to the male experience. But looking back, more than 95% of the time I listened to guys complaining about how it was hard to be a guy, there seemed to be a sexist subtext involved (sometimes it wasn’t even a subtext, it was a main point). The guys I’ve trusted and who have seemed anti-sexist have been the ones who haven’t thought it was particularly hard being a guy in our society. They may have had a hard life for other reasons, but they recognized being a man was a privilege to them and not a detriment. But this has just been my personal experience. Perhaps it’s possible to have an anti-sexist critique of society that focuses on the experiences of men. But I never recall hearing one before, so I’m ignorant as to what it would sound like. Again, I just don’t see male privilege as that fundamentally different from other types of privilege. I wouldn’t feel very trusting, either, of a white person who liked to spend a lot of time talking about how white supremacy harmed white people, too, or a straight person who felt it highly important to examine the ways in which homophobia harms straight people. It would seem sketchy to me.

          (I hope you won’t take any of this to be an attack on your roommate. I don’t know him at all, and I’m guessing he’s a lovely person. This is just my interpretation based off my limited experience and the people I remember encountering in my life).

        8. Radiant Sophia
          Radiant Sophia December 14, 2012 at 9:07 am |

          (I’m not sure if this is going to post, I seem to have been put on moderation)
          LotusBecca,
          I am trying to figure out how to write this. Here goes.

          I don’t necessarily disagree with any of your points, but When a man abuses, both physically and verbally, another male because of his (first man’s) rigid ideas about gender roles, does he do so because of sexism? Take as assumption that the abuse happened repeatedly, and is a fairly widespread occurrence.

        9. Radiant Sophia
          Radiant Sophia December 14, 2012 at 9:58 am |

          LotusBecca,
          O.k., I went back and was re-reading some of your posts, and I’m pretty sure that you would probably think that this falls under other axes.
          So my question becomes this: Do you see any value in a group composed of men who had (very bad thing) happen to them because (different man) was misogynistic and raised to believe “That’s just what you do”?

        10. LotusBecca
          LotusBecca December 17, 2012 at 5:22 pm |

          Sophia. . .I see some value in groups that focus on the experience of gender non-conforming men, or men who are survivors of childhood abuse, or men who are rape survivors. I would probably still have some misgivings, though, just because I’m always sensitive to organizations that explicitly or implicitly exclude more marginalized people. And the fact is, there are tons of women who are also oppressed for being gender non-conforming, for being survivors of childhood abuse, for being rape survivors. And there’s not enough groups and resources to help these women as is. And while many of these women might not want to be in groups with guys, for the ones who might, I’d hate to see them forced to play second fiddle in organizations that provide community to gender non-conforming people, or survivors of childhood abuse, or rape survivors, because the organizations were also explicitly or implicitly *for men* and not women. I’m kinda thinking as I type. . .but I guess that’s my biggest problem of organizing along lines of privilege. It often serves to further marginalize those people who lack a particular privilege. As an analogy, I’m thinking of the ways historically in which middle-class, college-educated, white cis women organized around their shared oppression but also their privilege and in the process marginalized poor women, women of color, and trans women from the feminist movement.

      5. Valoniel
        Valoniel December 13, 2012 at 1:41 pm |

        But eventually I realized that the anti-racist struggle is about people of color and what they want and need. It’s not about me at all.

        Becca, I disagree. I think that gender equality is about everyone in a way that racism necessarily can’t be. There are a whole lot of races (and things that seem to pass close enough to race for racists to play with) that a person can not be, but there are only three basic gender systems (female, male, and ‘not in that binary, thanks’), and only two of those are, in actual practice, dealt with by the world at large. As such, there are no humans, anywhere, who are not adversely affected by patriarchy. This makes it a men’s issue, too. I don’t think that telling them to just shut up and do as they’re told is a good way to get where we want to be. I think it’s silencing and essentialist, and frankly, just kind of rude.

        After all, we wouldn’t know how it feels to be told that, now would we?

        What I see as a problem, here, is that feminists have, thus far, been shown that we can’t trust the forums of men. Okay, fair enough, so far we’ve been let down. But look at us, shutting that down like a boss, hm? And we should continue to smack the noses of those who let the message get away from them, and letting the next wave of Decent Guys try again. That’s how it works, and that’s the only way to fettle down what doesn’t work until we have something that does.

        I don’t see how telling men that it’s wrong not to work with each other parallel to working with us does anyone any good. It certainly won’t give them any support in the dismantling of the bullshit patriarchal system they’ve been fed, and I think that that’s something that needs doing. No one can unbind a person, like someone who already got free and knows the knots that were used. I honestly think that forums for men, by feminist men are not only helpful to our cause, but necessary.

        I’m bothered by the idea that we spend so much time telling men that they can’t possibly understand what it’s like to be a woman struggling against the system, but women totes know what it’s like to be men struggling against a system that’s geared almost entirely differently for them. It makes my head tilt in a most unpleasant way.

        1. Bagelsan
          Bagelsan December 13, 2012 at 3:50 pm |

          I’m not arguing against your main point, but this bit:

          I’m bothered by the idea that we spend so much time telling men that they can’t possibly understand what it’s like to be a woman struggling against the system, but women totes know what it’s like to be men struggling against a system that’s geared almost entirely differently for them.

          sounds off-base to me. In my formative years I read nearly nothing but male characters written by male authors. My English classes were nothing but angsty dudes doing dude stuff with other dudes. I absolutely do know more about the struggles of men than they know about the struggles of women.

        2. LotusBecca
          LotusBecca December 13, 2012 at 4:48 pm |

          I don’t think that telling them to just shut up and do as they’re told is a good way to get where we want to be. I think it’s silencing and essentialist, and frankly, just kind of rude.

          Omg!!! I wasn’t telling men to shut up and do as they’re told! I said “If men want to help women overcome patriarchy” they should carefully listen to women and help us in a supporting kind of role. If men don’t want to help women overcome patriarchy. . .fine, that’s their choice, and I won’t presume to tell them how to live their lives. But I think for men to be most helpful (in my own personal opinion), yes, that involves listening to and supporting women, rather than focusing on “men’s issues.”

          Anyway, I object to your analogy of “no one can unbind a person, like someone who already got free and knows the knots that were used.” Men, on the whole, are not going to dismantle the bullshit patriarchal system, because (on the whole) they weren’t just fed it: they embraced it enthusiastically and continue to (relatively) benefit from it. They are not oppressed by patriarchy, and they are not bound by it in any way even approaching the way women are. They are privileged by patriarchy. If men truly want to undermine patriarchy, they have to acknowledge the fact that they are privileged and not oppressed by patriarchy. That’s square one actually.

          I would rather see men participating in the feminist movement in a supporting role than seeing them creating their own parallel spaces to focus on “men’s issues.” I think the fact that so many of these projects have gone off course speaks to the fact that such projects are a fundamentally misguided idea.

        3. SophiaBlue
          SophiaBlue December 13, 2012 at 7:07 pm |

          I have to agree with Bagelsan. In the two years prior to my coming out to myself as trans, I had to go out of my way to find media that wasn’t from a male perspective that was increasingly alien and alienating to me. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like society is already over-saturated with male viewpoints discussing male problems.

        4. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 13, 2012 at 7:36 pm |

          In my formative years I read nearly nothing but male characters written by male authors.

          Eh, I dunno, Bagelsan. How many of them were non-heteronormative feminist men trying consciously and actively to dismantle the patriarchy in their heads and lives? I totally understand the (whole three syllables of) thoughts of Conan the Barbarian, or Ye Olde Straight Cis Abled Rich White Patriarchal Dude, but I wouldn’t pretend to know all about all the troubles that, say, a young trans boy faces, or a gay man of colour, or a severely disabled white man, or a Christian man in Saudi Arabia, or fuck, even a Muslim man in Mumbai. How many of those perspectives did you read about in those formative years of yours? Or were they an endless succession of young white straight abled cis men?

          Men, on the whole, are not going to dismantle the bullshit patriarchal system, because (on the whole) they weren’t just fed it: they embraced it enthusiastically and continue to (relatively) benefit from it. They are not oppressed by patriarchy

          ….you have this idea that you can embrace something all your life without being fed it; that men have a magical opt-out-of-patriarchy option offered at birth, and then they’re never ever exposed to any conditioning until adulthood, when they equally magically opt-in to patriarchy and become The Oppressor. Speaking as someone who’s emerged from some hideous religiosity and misogyny and milder ableism, this is simply not true. It’s an almost childishly simple belief, actually. 99% of the time, nobody believes something with that both violent and organic fervour that most patriarchal men believe in patriarchy unless they’ve been systematically indoctrinated into it.

        5. LotusBecca
          LotusBecca December 14, 2012 at 6:39 am |

          ….you have this idea that you can embrace something all your life without being fed it; that men have a magical opt-out-of-patriarchy option offered at birth, and then they’re never ever exposed to any conditioning until adulthood, when they equally magically opt-in to patriarchy and become The Oppressor.

          I. . .don’t think that’s what I think? I wasn’t denying that most men get conditioned to have pro-patriarchy beliefs (most women get conditioned to have pro-patriarchy beliefs, too, after all). I was just pointing out, that from what I can observe, while most boys may have been fed these views, they also tend to accept them quite readily and happily because they perceive them as making them superior. And in a society in which boys are viewed as superior and girls are viewed as inferior. . .I think, yes, most boys are happy to get the chance to be considered as belonging to the superior category in this area.

          But I think nearly all people have a natural tendency to have compassion for their fellow human beings and that this tendency is almost impossible to squelch. That’s why I think men become anti-sexist to the extent that they have the opportunity to listen to women and feel compassion for us. If they mainly focus on their own experience with patriarchy, however, I think they will tend to focus on the benefits of patriarchy, and therefore not be motivated to resist patriarchy.

      6. Davey
        Davey December 13, 2012 at 5:20 pm |

        I think you raise good points, LotusBecca, about the nature of privilege to eventually center itself on its privilege no matter where it starts.

        But I think there is room for male-to-male spaces and discussions in a feminist/pro-feminist space. I think there has to be.

        I have only started to become aware of how I have unknowingly, unwittingly, but unmistakably and severely hurt women in my life via ignorance of my privilege, a privilege which empowers negligence and insensitivity. It’s a nauseating realization, all the more so because I realize that no matter how bad I feel the people I’ve hurt surely feel exponentially worse. And in the process of reading more and more on feminism and privilege and rape culture I’ve tried (and failed) to find discussions on how to be a better man after being a harmful one. I hoped GMP would be a place like that, but… well, as we see here, apparently not.

        I don’t know, I’m torn. On the one hand, you’re right that any discussion about privilege by we privileged is always going to be inherently biased no matter how much we try otherwise (such is the nature of privilege). But I don’t think it’s fair to expect women to lead these discussions, either. Why should a woman have to teach a man about healthy masculinity? Shouldn’t that be our job to figure out? Shouldn’t those be conversations we need to have?

        I want to have those conversations. I want to work out how to take responsibility for one’s past fuckups and be a better man. I want to talk to other men like me and say, I’ve been there, I know how you feel, but this is not a road you want to travel down. And I don’t want women to feel like they need to lead us by the hand through these conversations! We shouldn’t expect them to have to do that.

        I don’t know, it’s complicated. I would like to think it’s possible for an anti-sexist/pro-feminist mens space to exist and not become corrupted by privilege/appropriated by MRAs over time. But I don’t know if it can.

        1. LotusBecca
          LotusBecca December 17, 2012 at 6:14 pm |

          Thanks for your comments Davey. Basically, I think if you want to be a better man it’s already within your power if you follow your conscience and your intuition. Other than that, I think the thing that will help you the most is listening to women. This doesn’t mean placing an obligation on us to help you. It just means reading our books, reading our blogs, and having respectful conversations with those women who actively want to have conversations with you. Honestly, I don’t think you will have nearly as much success becoming less sexist by talking to other men.

          Of course, it’s also very helpful for us if you talk to other men and help them become less sexist, because you obviously know a lot about feminism and have a commitment to social change and therefore could make an significant impact. But I don’t think you need a special space to do this. You can do that anywhere you encounter other men. In fact, if you help turn men’s spaces that are normally hostile to women in a more anti-sexist direction that’s truly a valuable and unique contribution you can make. Since you are less harmed by sexism than women are, you probably are more likely to be able to withstand a sexist environment that would be too psychologically damaging for a woman to engage with. Turning sexist men’s spaces in an anti-sexist direction is a unique contribution that feminist and pro-feminist men can make that would be much more difficult for women to do on our own. It’s using your privilege in a responsible, anti-sexist way.

  9. Ari
    Ari December 13, 2012 at 1:19 am |

    Jill, I just really appreciate this post for articulating some of the hopes I too once had for the GMP concept when it was new and how uncomfortable it’s been over the past year and a half to watch it implode on itself instead… to the point of, like, me personally feeling awkward as a feminist for having liked the project to begin with. That kind of rapid decay is a sad, sad thing.

    1. Philip Finn
      Philip Finn December 14, 2012 at 2:26 am |

      OK, let me try this again…perhaps it is that most of the people on this page are simply too young. Back in the 1970′s, the FBI (as I recall it) asked the University of California, Berkeley, to work on a system for profiling criminals. A few years later, Berkeley released its research.
      The big headliner was the revelation that a woman had more to fear from her male family members than a total stranger, regardless of what Hollywood and folklore had told us for generations.
      Less publicized, but even more important, was the discovery that the aberrant personality spent months, a year, sometimes many years to put themselves in a position of security and trust the better to commit their aberration – even in the open – with impunity. Joining the priesthood, getting a veterinary degree, marrying a woman to get her pregnant so her children would eventually be available to sexually abuse – these were but a few of the examples.

      Short form: if I was a rapist, the first thing I’d do would be to join – hell, no, I’d START the group named “Good Men”, wear the T-shirt, see? Science, and suggestions and observations all the way back to John Ruskin in the mid-1800′s tell us this is how it works…

  10. Melissa
    Melissa December 13, 2012 at 2:32 am |

    For whatever reason, I hadn’t heard of the Good Men Project until they posted this gem earlier this year, and it made the rounds on Twitter:

    http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/the-good-life-delivered-from-abortion-healing-a-forgotten-memory/

    I’m surprised to know anything that even had tangential claims to being a progressive site could publish something so… um… awful.

    1. Chataya
      Chataya December 13, 2012 at 11:26 am |

      What. The. Shit.

    2. Esti
      Esti December 13, 2012 at 11:45 am |

      What the fuck. Totally separate from the abortion stuff, this is BATHING in misogyny. First, he imagines his mother’s doubt as being 100% male-centered:

      Uneasily, she hesitated and looked out a frost-covered kitchen window. “What if this is the son my husband wants?” she thought.

      And although she ultimately decides not to abort, his “vision” totally strips her of agency by having a male god-figure swoop in to stop her:

      Amazed, I watched as he then turned to me. “You don’t owe your life to your mother,” he declared. “It was I who stayed her hand. You belong to me.”

      And the real kicker for me:

      I remembered my recurrent nightmare of swimming frantically underwater and, strangely, breathing while submerged—an amniotic, prenatal “memory”? Once, I told a psychiatrist how I felt “trapped” and panicky in close relationships with women.

      Yes, your inability to have positive relationships with women is because of an embryonic memory of that time a male-gendered spirit thing had to save you from your evil mother’s attempt to murder you despite the fact that you might be male and her husband might want you. Definitely that is the reason, not that you are so filled with contempt for women that it spills out of you at every turn.

      1. Esti
        Esti December 13, 2012 at 11:53 am |

        Holy crap. I stopped reading before I got to the part where he compared himself to Holocaust survivors. I can’t even.

        1. Philip Finn
          Philip Finn December 14, 2012 at 3:46 am |

          Donna L., any thoughts?

      2. Philip Finn
        Philip Finn December 14, 2012 at 3:45 am |

        If Donna L. is reading this, I’d love her take on it…

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 14, 2012 at 3:50 am |

          I know you’re hoping for her take on it, Philip, but I for one sincerely hope she isn’t and doesn’t read this. She doesn’t deserve to have this shit ground into her eyeball. I feel sickened and I wasn’t even directly affected by the Holocaust, for fuck’s sake.

        2. Philip Finn
          Philip Finn December 14, 2012 at 5:00 am |

          I had no idea, although I suspected she was at least culturally Jewish…
          That having been said, it bolsters my point that supporting religion, participating in crude indulgences like the writing and circulating of the story in question, regardless of how much satisfaction and gratification it brings to the members of the religion, it is bought and paid for by other people’s pain.
          It is an act of criminal insanity, and needs to be dealt with as such throughout the entire culture.
          I’m genuinely sorry to hear about Donna L., I began my human rights advocacy years ago as part of a team locating and reuniting Holocaust survivors.

        3. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 14, 2012 at 3:51 am |

          (Also, I don’t know if you know, but Donna lost family in the Holocaust, so while I see why you want her input given the other thread you two are on, it’s really insensitive to be asking her for it.)

    3. Lolagirl
      Lolagirl December 13, 2012 at 12:04 pm |

      What the actual fuck?

      That has to be one of the most singularly offensive pieces of writing I have ever encountered in my life. From the mother blaming to the Holocuast appropriation, I need some serious brain bleaching to ever be free of it.

      Apparently in addition to giving a voice to sexist MRA types they are also providing a platform for religious anti-choicers over there. Which only provide yet another reason to hate on the GMP.

      1. Donna L
        Donna L December 13, 2012 at 2:33 pm |

        It really is one of the most despicable things I’ve ever read. How dare he call himself a “survivor” and appropriate Holocaust imagery? All based on an imaginary scene in which Jesus stays his mother’s hand and makes her throw out the non-existent “abortion pills” that hadn’t even been invented back when he was born? So that every child who’s ever been born because their mother thought about an abortion but didn’t have one is just like a Holocaust survivor? Yes, those poor people, what terrible suffering they’ve experienced. What a disgusting creep.

        I have nothing but contempt for any website that would publish garbage like that, even apart from everything else.

        1. Bagelsan
          Bagelsan December 13, 2012 at 3:44 pm |

          My mom had a miscarriage before me, and technically could have aborted me, so really I’m like a Holocaust survivor squared.

    4. Computer Soldier Porygon
      Computer Soldier Porygon December 13, 2012 at 12:28 pm |

      Oh, hell no. It’s too early in the day for this shit.

    5. konkonsn
      konkonsn December 13, 2012 at 4:18 pm |

      Amazed, I watched as he then turned to me. “You don’t owe your life to your mother,” he declared. “It was I who stayed her hand. You belong to me.”

      AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh. My. God. HAHAHAHAHAHA!

      (I laugh to keep from crying.)

  11. Mike L
    Mike L December 13, 2012 at 3:42 am |

    I find the criticism of the GMP here to be really disappointing.

    Jill is absolutely correct, MRAs are real, they’re horrible, and they should never be encouraged.

    But they’re also NOT the GMP. Seriously, take a minute, go look at an actual MRAS site like The Spearhead, and then compare it to the GMP. It’s literally like night and day.

    Jill talks about breaking down gender stereotypes, and the GMP does that every single day. Recently they’ve had some great series on Stay at Home dads and on how men actually feel about marriage (spoiler alert, contrary to stereotypes most men actually want commitment). These are the kinds of conversations that men are currently lacking, and just don’t happen on most feminist sites.

    Jill writes that MRAs are not a “boogeyman” invented by feminists, and that’s definitely true. But the major reason people come to believe that it’s a boogeyman is because internet feminists are often too quick to shout “You’re all MRAs!” when they find something they disagree with.

    Again, I’m begging you, go look at The Spearhead, then look at The Good Men Project. There are MRAs in this world, but not where Jill is claiming they are.

    1. catfood
      catfood December 13, 2012 at 10:28 am |

      The good, sweet, puppies-and-rainbows things you’re citing aren’t incompatible with an MRA point of view. Veneer of politeness and all that.

      1. Mike L
        Mike L December 13, 2012 at 10:34 am |

        I’m sorry, but it seems like you’re making up your mind by denying any evidence contrary to your point of view. That’s hardly a good way to make a decision.

        1. zuzu
          zuzu December 13, 2012 at 2:39 pm | *

          Sorry, son, but that’s bullshit.

          The rape apology is plenty to taint the whole enterprise.

        2. Kristjan Wager
          Kristjan Wager December 13, 2012 at 3:36 pm |

          And it seems to me that you’re denying the evidence that’s right there.

          Jill is far from the only one who has reached this conclusion, and in this very comment section there are links to horribly misogynist posts at GMP, demonstrating how Jill is right.

        3. Mike L
          Mike L December 13, 2012 at 6:36 pm |

          So, even though Jill stated up front that across hundreds of posts there are some she would probably want to take back, she’s the only one that gets that privilege?

          Reading zuzu here it really sounds like 1 article that feminists disagree with and it’s forever “tainted.” I suspect that this is hardly the way to actually go about listening to people.

        4. Mike L
          Mike L December 13, 2012 at 6:50 pm |

          Jill,

          It’s clear from this last comment of yours that you are not interested in discussion, only in dictating to others “how it is.”

          Thank you for your time and best of luck in your other pursuits.

          For what it’s worth, I personally believe in second chances and the ability of people to change. I believe anyone who doesn’t give Feministe a second look (or a third or fourth, for that matter) is being unfair. Not just to you, but to themselves.

        5. Lolagirl
          Lolagirl December 13, 2012 at 7:03 pm |

          Ooh, is that Mike L flouncing away from the thread, or is it just an empty threat of potential for flouncing?

          Also? I especially love the faux concern for Jill’s “other pursuits.” Does that extend only her writing and public speaking, or is it intended to include all of her pursuits, like getting her groceries and picking up her dry cleaning?

        6. PDA
          PDA December 13, 2012 at 7:30 pm |

          I have screwed up many times over, and a few of those times acted like a gigantic asshole.

          It’s clear from this last comment of yours that you are not interested in discussion, only in dictating to others “how it is.”

          Word. Because if there’s one thing that’s pretty much the totes giveaway for dictators, it’s when they talk about how they were wrong and take responsibility for their mistakes.

        7. zuzu
          zuzu December 13, 2012 at 8:10 pm | *

          Again with the bullshit!

          Sweetie, it’s not just one post. Hell, on this issue alone, it’s at least three in as many days.

          As I said elsewhere, Hitler loved dogs.

    2. Computer Soldier Porygon
      Computer Soldier Porygon December 13, 2012 at 12:31 pm |

      I have read The Spearhead, and can’t say that I agree that it’s like ‘night and day.’ More like ‘night and dusk.’

      1. Esti
        Esti December 13, 2012 at 12:53 pm |

        Perfect analogy.

      2. zuzu
        zuzu December 13, 2012 at 1:15 pm | *

        A difference of degree, not kind.

    3. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune December 13, 2012 at 1:45 pm |

      But they’re also NOT the GMP. Seriously, take a minute, go look at an actual MRAS site like The Spearhead, and then compare it to the GMP. It’s literally like night and day.

      Ooo, ooo, I want to play the “Which is worse game”!

      Ten cups of sewage is healthier than one cup of cyanide!

      1. Mike L
        Mike L December 13, 2012 at 6:39 pm |

        Pretending differences of degree do not matter is a clear logical fallacy. Right now it’s commonly employed by the Tea Party when they argue that European style socialism is only a “matter of degree” different from Soviet Communism.

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 13, 2012 at 7:43 pm |

          - __ – Yes, Mike. I’m exactly like the Tea Party in pointing out that not being AS BAD a misogynist is still not the same as NOT BEING A MISOGYNIST.

          I also hate America and love communists. Oh, and I ate a bald eagle the other day.

        2. PDA
          PDA December 13, 2012 at 7:52 pm |

          Computer Soldier Porygon
          12.13.2012 at 12:31 pm
          I have read The Spearhead, and can’t say that I agree that it’s like ‘night and day.’ More like ‘night and dusk.’

          Esti
          12.13.2012 at 12:53 pm
          Perfect analogy.

          zuzu
          12.13.2012 at 1:15 pm
          A difference of degree, not kind.

          Mike L
          12.13.2012 at 6:39 pm
          Pretending differences of degree do not matter is a clear logical fallacy.

          Argue gooder.

        3. Ismone
          Ismone December 13, 2012 at 8:11 pm |

          I’m not Valerie Solanas, neither is anyone here. Where’s my cookie?

          And why aren’t you responding *at all* to Jill’s substantive points, that the problem isn’t the fact that the material is presented at all, it is that they are so *defensive* of the *goodness* of these two men who are, by their own admission, rapists, that they are namecalling and undermining legitimate research.

          What is your reply to that?

          Or are you happier just to quibble round the edges rather than address the true central controversy.

  12. Lauren
    Lauren December 13, 2012 at 8:28 am |

    Full disclosure: I’ve never read GMP until yesterday. But yesterday, I read the two pieces in question and for some reason dived directly into the Twitter argument black hole. What I saw? GMP’s feminists and feminisms: Hugo Schwyzer trying to play his own inside baseball, one the one hand praising feminist writers by name and then talking about how they always “make things personal” (lordy, I could spend a few thousand words on that statement alone). One writer at the site who doesn’t understand feminism, is kind of proud that she isn’t interested in the concepts, and still claims the name feminist anyway, writing essays about how feminists put IPV on scales of horribleness, with rape being the much vaunted and sacred assault of all, which feminists secretly kind of like because it’s our bread and butter (ORLY?), and then another essay about how we shouldn’t call rapists rapists because it’s too monstrous to rapists. Another feminist writer for the site, possibly the Alyzza Royse named in the OP, spent a lot of time congratulating herself for having the cojones to ask why rapists rape, since feminists are so disinterested in the mechanics, by her reckoning. She couldn’t accept that the “I don’t care if I rape people because getting loaded at parties is so magical” piece and her own “I knew this guy personally so even though I have verified that he in fact raped my friend he can’t be a ‘real’ rapist” were written with large chunks of fact and empathy dissected right out of the premise before the things were even written. And also, that the question, “Why do rapists rape?” has a long history of research behind it with many takeaway points, none of which are “because nice guys get mixed signals, the poor dears.”

    The project is a nice idea. I agree that cis men, especially cis white men, need to bear responsibility for gender justice, and that some of this needs to happen in their own space. I’m agnostic on the conversation above and whether all these projects will all inevitably go wrong — it’s too cynical for me. But these people are narcissistic and dull; nothing good is coming from this circle jerk.

    1. Lauren
      Lauren December 13, 2012 at 8:37 am |

      Oh, there was also some stuff about how the term “rape culture” is misandrist, and how talking about men who rape is misandrist, and how they honestly believe that men who rape are misled by cultural narratives that it’s okay (trigger warning!) to penetrate unwilling and unconscious women because X, Y, Z. Ultimately the argument is that many men are rapists, they’re just too sad and desperate to know it. And! That part of the reason they don’t know it is that feminists are doing it wrong?

      It’s a half-baked theory clusterfuck.

      1. Au Contraire
        Au Contraire December 13, 2012 at 12:12 pm |

        Truth.

        “What about the rapists?! Won’t somebody PLEASE THINK OF THE RAPISTS?!?”

        But fuck the victims. They were sluts anyway.

        1. Bagelsan
          Bagelsan December 14, 2012 at 12:40 am |

          “If it walks like a fuck and talks like a fuck…”

    2. Philip Finn
      Philip Finn December 14, 2012 at 1:28 am |

      …spent a lot of time congratulating herself for having the cojones to ask why rapists rape, since feminists are so disinterested in the mechanics, by her reckoning.

      Like I posted before, if we are going have that epidemiology conversation, we’re better off taking a clue from Pasteur and the discover of pathogens – he asked why some sheep survived anthrax, not why so many died. Ask why most men do NOT rape, concentrate our resources on the survival of the victims, and get used to the idea that rapists may simply have to be culled from the herd…

  13. PDA
    PDA December 13, 2012 at 8:38 am |

    I do think there is still much value in creating a space for men to break down gender stereotypes and to explore modern masculinity. But why does that have to come at the expense of women?

    Yeah, this. This is why I went fucking suborbital about GMP.

    I think feminism is an important core value for men, but it doesn’t tell me all I need to know to be a man in a sexist world. My identity as a male anti-sexist informs my relationship with women, but less so with other men. And that’s why I was hopeful that GMP might be a quasi-mainstream platform where conversations could happen about male gender identity, power dynamics, integrity between and among men.

    Tom Matlack never impressed me as much of an anti-sexist ally, but, you know, you go to war with the allies you have, etc. Well, that worked out real fuckin’ well.

    I mean, the least of this is that there is one less opportunity for a non-’masculinist,’ non-MRA-infested, anti-sexist outlet for men. What’s on top for me right now is finding ways to help heal the open wounds caused by this toxic spill of raw rape apologia, firewall myself and my community from what’s essentially a hate site, and reach out to other men to fight the mainstreaming of the MRM.

    But I’m not gonna lie: I’m fuckin pissed that ‘Good Men’ is now an epithet for misogyny. I take that one personally.

    1. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune December 13, 2012 at 11:00 am |

      I think feminism is an important core value for men, but it doesn’t tell me all I need to know to be a man in a sexist world. My identity as a male anti-sexist informs my relationship with women, but less so with other men. And that’s why I was hopeful that GMP might be a quasi-mainstream platform where conversations could happen about male gender identity, power dynamics, integrity between and among men.

      This. Well, I’m not a man, but this anyway.

      1. PDA
        PDA December 13, 2012 at 12:40 pm |

        Thank you.

        And please be aware that I don’t think of those conversations as only taking place among men… it’s just more wanting very much for them not to be in the form of “whaddabouttehmenz” coatracking on every discussion of men and sexism.

        1. Valoniel
          Valoniel December 13, 2012 at 1:54 pm |

          And please be aware that I don’t think of those conversations as only taking place among men

          I don’t think it reads that way at all. I heard you saying that it’s important for men to have these discussions among men too, and that there has to be a way to do that without making it a bunch of apologist navel-gazing.

      2. Lolagirl
        Lolagirl December 13, 2012 at 2:34 pm |

        I would like to cosign all of this.

        There doesn’t really seem to be a lot of discourse going on about men and sexism that isn’t an offshoot of discussions being had among feminists wrt to sexism. Which means that discussions that are largely centered on women will get side tracked into what about the poor menfolks. Not to get all squishy about it, but yeah, I think that there should be a whole lot more conversations had that are centered on the experiences of men and sexism that are enlightened from a feminist perspective. Because it remains a rare thing, and although ostensibly this was the intention behind the GMP, they went and let it get overrun by MRAs and rape apologists.

      3. Philip Finn
        Philip Finn December 14, 2012 at 2:01 am |

        I agree, but add that it’s humanism that should be the core value, and that we’re sharing the planet with seven billion other people…we’re still arguing (or more to the point, re-arguing) race while Caucasians are the fastest-shrinking group, gender while violence against women escalates globally, and economics while in just a few years, more people in China went from Communist to Middle-Class than make up the entire population of the United States.
        We’re out of time, folks. The rapists and their enablers, the racists, the Luddites, Neo-Confederates, the Religions, they have forfeited their place in the present, much less the future (which is already here) and we need to quit debating them and decide among ourselves how best to leave them behind.

    2. Valoniel
      Valoniel December 13, 2012 at 11:48 am |

      Also not a man, but I’m with Mac. This, anyway.

    3. Philip Finn
      Philip Finn December 14, 2012 at 1:36 am |

      My years have taught me to beware of any group that awards itself its own title…”promisekeepers” springs to mind, as do the “oathkeepers” and even the fact that “Catholic” translates as “Universal” is not a little suspicious…or that “Libertarians” are by definition actually “Nihilists” et cetera…
      The notion that “Good Men” needed a gathering spot so they would recognize each other and be recognized, well, that had the seeds of its own destruction…

  14. Archy
    Archy December 13, 2012 at 9:42 am |

    As a long time reader of the GMP and active commenter I have found the majority of the MRA’s there actually have very similar views to many of the feminists there, both appear to have egalitarian views but are simply focused more on their own group. I’ve seen a few mra’s comment which have bothered me a lot and are misogynistic, but also seen similar numbers of feminists comment with misandry. But I think most people there don’t actually identify either way, the majority appear to be egalitarian in nature (I myself only identify as egalitarian). The most disturbing comments though with sexism I’ve seen have come from those who don’t identify under either the MRA of feminist branch.

    I don’t neccessarily agree with some of hte posts, I think the ones one rape could have been handled much better like for instance the question should be why the rapist interpreted previous flirting as a sign it was ok to rape her whilst she was asleep vs anything to imply she is at fault. I do love the fact though that feminists, mra’s, and non-identifiers all get together and quite often have very important and informative discussions. I’ve learned soo much from the comment sections alone, and many of the articles are quite good such as raising awareness of male victimization, support for health, I even wrote an article on my own troubles with anxiety and bullying which helped me quite a bit. I’ve never seen another site quite like it, never seen even a totally feminist or totally mra site feel like it has the same level of interaction between sides.

    I wouldn’t call them MRA or feminist, I think they’re more just a site for mostly male issues but also some female issues where anyone, feminist, mra, random person can debate. I do believe they still have some feminist writers but that website is pretty open to who can be a writer, mra, feminist, non-identifier can all submit an article. Part of what I like is that very very different views are put across, anti porn vs pro porn, anti abortion vs pro abortion (both male n female versions), how abuse affects both genders, etc.

    Is there another site that is more just egalitarian based where everyone’s issues are discussed? male, female, racial, body image, abuse, etc? A site where sexism against men and women is not dismissed, but discussed and people can work out better ways to handle stuff? I continue to hold faith the site has a lot of good in it as there are issues discussed there that I rarely see discussed elsewhere, and haven’t found anything remotely as open between “sides” as it is.

    @PDA, I realize you want to fight against the MRM but do you know of a place which would be the egalitarianism I seek? An area with sections for male issues, female issues, a general area for both male and female issues for crossover topics? I’ve heard feminism is meant to be where I am to find such material but I have mostly found feminist sites that are focused mainly on females (which is fine of course). I only know of the GMP and NSWATM that tackles male issues + female issues.

    1. Bagelsan
      Bagelsan December 13, 2012 at 11:59 am |

      Part of what I like is that very very different views are put across, anti porn vs pro porn, anti abortion vs pro abortion (both male n female versions), how abuse affects both genders, etc.

      It’s all well and good to call this stuff “egalitarian” when it doesn’t affect you, but views that are anti-abortion (ie. anti-choice) are inherently misogynistic. There is no “feminist” way to discuss that viewpoint except in terms of dismissing it. Also, no one is “pro-abortion” they’re “pro-choice” — you can’t have learned that much from the GMP if such basic terminology is wrong.

      1. Archy
        Archy December 13, 2012 at 12:44 pm |

        Sorry, should have clarified as such. I like that people often tear apart those who are anti-choice. I find it interesting to hear of what they have to say they as I like to learn about a wide variety of people. On the site there are egalitarians and also those who aren’t so you can often see very broad views and quite a few debates going.

    2. PDA
      PDA December 13, 2012 at 1:04 pm |

      Archy, I’m gonna own, up front, my judgment that “The Men’s Rights Movement™” is nothing but a stalking horse for hateful sexists. That’s not in any way to say that I know for a fact that every man who adopts the label is straight-up misogynist. I believe (again, this is my judgment) that there are men behind the more visible MRA outposts on the Internet who are as virulently anti-women as can be, and that they use the “egalitarianist” line as a ruse to draw in men who would be uncomfortable with the more overt misogynistic shit.

      This is just to let you know where I am coming from at the outset. I’m not asking or expecting for you to change your views, or even necessarily to debate me on mine (though I’d be open to that, just not in this particular place).

      But given that, I hope you might be able to see why I’d look askance at a space “where anyone, feminist, mra, random person can debate.” It sounds great on paper, but I see the idea that we live in a sexist society, and that privilege permeates effectively every relationship and interaction inside it, as absolutely fundamental. This doesn’t mean there’s no possibility I can communicate with people that don’t see that, but it’s not something I have a lot of hope around. It’s kind of like arguing with people who deny the Holocaust, or evolution, or anthropogenic climate change. It might start off sounding reasonable, but past a given point someone goes to the Elders of Zion or UN black helicopters or Al Gore’s fat ass and it all goes off the rails. Lather, rinse, repeat.

      It’s not at all that I think it’s OK that we live in a society where people disagree so fundamentally that they are pretty much not inhabiting the same reality. But I don’t have any clever ideas on how to bridge that gap. I’m pretty sure, though, that arguing about who’s wrong on the internet ain’t it.

      1. Archy
        Archy December 13, 2012 at 1:54 pm |

        See it’s interesting because I see people as you describe in both the mra and feminist camps, I’ve seen quite a lot of bad behaviour in some feminists and mra’s so each has to individually earn my trust as the labels themselves used online at least seem to be loaded quite often. Hell there are plenty I’ve seen who deny misandry exists, who’ll flat out say there is no such thing as sexism to men and makes me wonder wtf?

        Most of the MRA’s I’ve talked to (on the GMP) pretty much have the same views as most feminists I’ve talked to except they both tend to focus more on their gender. Many you could apply both labels to actually based off their views. From my understanding though the MRM is in its infancy and extremely unorganized, I think there are plenty of members that would do well to team up with egalitarian feminists for instance to work on male n female issues. But maybe I am an optimist in that respect. I avoid the more extreme radfems or extremist mra’s though but I do realize there are quite a lot of both out there that cause some massive amounts of fighting. I think though there are far more people who are male focused egalitarian but don’t want to use the label MRA or feminist. I myself focus a bit more on the male side of the fence since I don’t see much awareness of male issues, but I like to read both male n female issues to balance things out and keep in mind that both genders have issues to deal with hence why I like the combination sites like GMP.

        1. PDA
          PDA December 13, 2012 at 3:01 pm |

          Yeah. This is exactly the discussion that I was saying I didn’t want to have at this place.

          Maybe we can discuss whether misandry is a thing – or whether prejudice against men is equivalent to sexism, going over the whole “prejudice plus power” teaching piece for the googolplexteenth time – elsewhere.

          Or, you know, maybe not. I’m pretty ambivalent, I don’t mind saying.

      2. TomSims
        TomSims December 13, 2012 at 2:46 pm |

        “It’s not at all that I think it’s OK that we live in a society where people disagree so fundamentally that they are pretty much not inhabiting the same reality. But I don’t have any clever ideas on how to bridge that gap. I’m pretty sure, though, that arguing about who’s wrong on the internet ain’t it.”

        I agree.

  15. archie
    archie December 13, 2012 at 10:02 am |

    To the point: I’m going to continue to comment and participate here and take my lumps rather than patronize a clearly misogynist site that aims to protect the worst of us. Thanks Jill.

  16. Lauren
    Lauren December 13, 2012 at 10:07 am |

    I don’t have the words to express how dead on this is, so I’m just going to say thank you. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.

  17. A4
    A4 December 13, 2012 at 10:18 am |

    I have a question for those who do not identify as men. What topics would you support being addressed by anti-sexist men. The anti-sexism part makes me feel that a project organized around male identity should be driven by current feminist thought and experience, a sort of feminism sub-commission that takes questions that women centered gender discussion groups do not believe is an appropriate focus and dedicates some male-identified anti-sexist energy towards discussing.

    Basically, the only legitimate reason I see for a group of people to band together under an identity of privilege is an attempt to explore topics that are supportive but not central to feminism. It cannot be the “male perspective” on rape as we have seen so grossly engaged on the GMP, or a pity party discussing how The Patriarchy Hurts Men Too.

    My initial thoughts are on identifying what systemic sexism looks like from a male perspective. Using the self-reported experiences of oppression written by members of oppressed groups as a foundation and attempting to identify what this looks like from the “male perspective”. I feel that there would be much to be gained by trying to place these very important reports of oppression into the conscious world of the male-identified.

    Please Please feel free to point out any places here that you have issues with. Please let me know if you think my premises are flawed, or my reasoning sloppy and exclusionary. If a group of men is ever to be anti-oppressive, it must always be based on listening with open minds to the stories of the oppressed.

    1. A4
      A4 December 13, 2012 at 10:23 am |

      Also feel free to let me know if any parts of this give you a slimy feeling even if you are not completely sure why. I think that part of the work done by anti-oppressive men is understanding the effects of their own behavior and speech and not requiring all reactions to be perfectly justified before being willing to engage with them as authentic and important.

    2. EG
      EG December 13, 2012 at 10:24 am |

      Actually, I would support a group of feminist, anti-sexist men getting together to figure out what it means to them to be men, how they want to do masculinity, if they want to do it, in an egalitarian context. I kind of feel that, as a woman, that’s not my problem, but it’s certainly something that needs to be addressed for many men. They could also talk about how to make interventions with other men regarding things like rape jokes, sexual harassment, etc.

      1. LC
        LC December 13, 2012 at 10:45 am |

        EG, that site? I’d be interested in reading (and maybe writing for) that site.

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 13, 2012 at 11:02 am |

          Ditto.

      2. PDA
        PDA December 13, 2012 at 12:34 pm |

        Tritto.

      3. Valoniel
        Valoniel December 13, 2012 at 12:42 pm |

        Yeah, I’d be all over that, too. That might be the kind of thing that could get me to move beyond my ‘comments’ system and into actually writing.

      4. Archy
        Archy December 13, 2012 at 12:51 pm |

        “They could also talk about how to make interventions with other men regarding things like rape jokes, sexual harassment, etc.”
        I have to ask this, do women make interventions with other women regarding sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic abuse, etc? As in female perpetration? I see this type of action called for a lot (men can stop rape, white ribbon campaign), yet I haven’t seen anything of the reverse which happens to a significant level.

        As a man I tell people of both genders to quit their abuse n call it out where I see it.

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 13, 2012 at 1:13 pm |

          I have to ask this, do women make interventions with other women regarding sexual harassment, sexual assault, domestic abuse, etc?

          In approximately the same ratio as men intervene with abusive men, yes. :D

          (For the record, I see both trends as problematic; I just don’t appreciate your JAQing off.)

        2. Briznecko
          Briznecko December 13, 2012 at 1:35 pm |

          Please go back to GMP if your goal is to make this about teh menz and those evil womminz.

        3. Archy
          Archy December 13, 2012 at 1:35 pm |

          Genuine question, do you have any links to awareness campaigns of women telling other women to not rape men, commit dv, etc, the reverse of the white ribbon and men can stop rape campaigns? I’ve been looking for some for a while and haven’t found any. I ask as I am trying to compile a list of support campaigns to watch out for to keep a good balance of awareness for myself.

        4. Archy
          Archy December 13, 2012 at 1:41 pm |

          “Please go back to GMP if your goal is to make this about teh menz and those evil womminz.”
          My goal was to understand the OP better, but that’s for the condescending thoughts. I see a suggesting for a men’s group which should be addressing men’s abuse of women, and I have genuine curiosity as to if this occurs inside women’s groups. Being that I have not been inside a women’s group nor have I seen it online yet, I am wondering if it happens, if the suggestion for the men’s group is based upon a similar model of the women’s group.

        5. PDA
          PDA December 13, 2012 at 1:47 pm |

          Archy, coming into a conversation about men’s issues by “just asking questions” and drawing comparisons to women’s issues has been done before, unto death, by men trying to derail the discussion and tu quoque feminists. Don’t discredit yourself, and by extension all men trying to speak with integrity about these matters. I don’t know you, I can’t read minds, and I’m not your therapist.

          Just don’t do it.

          At the very least, don’t do it here.

        6. Briznecko
          Briznecko December 13, 2012 at 2:22 pm |

          +1 PDA

          Archie, it’s not the feminists job to create that space or to teach you the ins and outs of feminism and whether or not we’re man-hating she-beasts. Start your own blog, google and see if you can find an existing one that meets your interests in this area, read (not comment!) feminist blogs, learn.

          Coming into a feminist space and demanding we hold your hand, give you the links, prove to you we’re still nice despite being feminists, is not cool and not original.

    3. megara
      megara December 13, 2012 at 10:55 am |

      I agree with what other people have said above I am also personally fine with men advocating for changing gender roles in ways that would benefit men and improve certain things the patriarchy inhibits for men. A great example would be advocating for paternity leave, or criticizing cultural norms that take away from the idea of men as caregivers and/or emotional and able to engage in close intimacy. That said, such efforts need to happen from a “rigid gender norms is bad for both of the genders” perspective, not a women are actually the oppressors now and men need to take back their rights.” A bad example would be advocating for reinstating unfair privileges that were once accorded to men and are no longer available because of the advancement of women (e.g., fair pay issues, the fact that men used to make all the decisions because women didn’t vote/govern/work outside hte home, etc.).

      1. Kristjan Wager
        Kristjan Wager December 13, 2012 at 3:47 pm |

        I totally agree on what the perspective of such an effort, and what’s more, I think it is also important that the people involved in the effort work hard to police it, so it isn’t coopted by the “what about the menz” crowd, as so often has happened before.

    4. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune December 13, 2012 at 11:22 am |

      Okay, I’m going to go ahead and, having reread your comment, say that yes, it gives me a slimy feeling.

      It cannot be the “male perspective” on rape as we have seen so grossly engaged on the GMP, or a pity party discussing how The Patriarchy Hurts Men Too.

      This thing does, to be specific. The patriarchy does hurt men. And what the actual fuck? Just because someone’s privileged in one place, they should never talk about how that privilege can be a bad thing? Ooh, ooh, can I play? I’m a brown bi/pansexual woman, who’s a parent, in a same-sex relationship, outside the country of my origin. Oh, and I’m not Christian, and I’m disabled, fat and mentally ill. I GUESS YOU CAN ALL GO HOME NOW AND I’LL TAKE OVER ALL THE BLOGGING ON ALL THE INTERNETS.

      I just find it really problematic when people say “sure, sure, we’ll discuss men’s issues, but it has to be related to women’s issues! Otherwise it’s irrelevant and probably woman-hating.” It sounds a little too much like the other side’s statement, just conveniently genderbent to suit all your feminist needs.

      There are issues men face that women simply don’t. There are things they struggle with that women don’t have to. Just because we’ve got the heavier load doesn’t mean we get to pretend they have a smaller version of exactly the same load and so we don’t have to adapt our solutions by gender at all. That’s so ridiculous I’m not even sure how to properly address it.

      And there’s another thing. The idea that men dealing with men’s issues through a feminist lens STILL have to make the site all about women is one that, according to me, will inevitably contribute to growing misogyny in any space where that’s the approach, simply because if you’re still only addressing how men relate to women, you’re a) likelier to slip up and show your misogynist ass, b) going to attract angry borderline-MRAs rather than a serious audience, and c) going to focus on heterosexual sexual/potentially sexual relationships to an uncomfortable degree, thus winding up with another succession of posts that can be distilled to WHAT ABOUT THE PENISES. It just…all over strikes me as a bad, bad idea.

      1. A4
        A4 December 13, 2012 at 12:04 pm |

        I hear you Mac. Thanks for you response.

        I would have to say that when I read this:

        a) likelier to slip up and show your misogynist ass

        I thought that would be a good thing. I wouldn’t want an environment that was geared towards hiding misogynist attitudes and thought patterns.

        i feel like this:

        b) going to attract angry borderline-MRAs rather than a serious audience

        would happen either way, and would need to be addressed with strict and swift moderation.

        But I think this:

        c) going to focus on heterosexual sexual/potentially sexual relationships to an uncomfortable degree, thus winding up with another succession of posts that can be distilled to WHAT ABOUT THE PENISES.

        is very very astute, and I think it did not occur to me because I’m gay. At the end of any discussion by straight men about women’s issues, it is going to become about “which ones can I feel good about sleeping with though”, and that is indeed a gross and slimy question.

        EG, thank you for your input as well:

        a group of feminist, anti-sexist men getting together to figure out what it means to them to be men, how they want to do masculinity, if they want to do it, in an egalitarian context. [...] They could also talk about how to make interventions with other men regarding things like rape jokes, sexual harassment, etc.

        Megara, thank you for your perspective:

        men advocating for changing gender roles in ways that would benefit men and improve certain things the patriarchy inhibits for men [...] That said, such efforts need to happen from a “rigid gender norms is bad for both of the genders” perspective, not a women are actually the oppressors now and men need to take back their rights.

        I am quoting portions of your comments because I view these statements as a tiny mini proto charter, a way to start the creation of a male centered environment in a space that is a widely recognized safe space for feminist thought and dialogue. Normally asking these questions would be a derail, which I very much respect, but I wanted to jump on the opportunity to receive input from a community I respect more than any other while that community is willing to discuss these issues. I want to try to use the energy people are expending to analyze the failures of the GMP to find ways that a similar future project could be different so as not to fail so spectacularly.

        Many thanks to you all. I am off to lunch (It’s like an anti-flounce!)

        1. XtinaS
          XtinaS December 13, 2012 at 12:33 pm |

          I’d be interested in this site, as well. If you end up starting this, could you send me the link? My email can be found in my website link there.

        2. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 13, 2012 at 12:55 pm |

          Okay, so if that’s your aim, then…to make my thoughts more concrete, I imagine a masculinist/male-run feminist space would ideally believe these things:

          1) The spectrum of genders are all equal.
          1a) Some are more privileged than others; this is not a good thing.
          1b) The stated agenda is to break down these interlocking privileges and oppressions.
          2) Men* are in fact harmed by the patriarchy.
          2a) This is not feminism’s problem to fix; it is men’s struggle to take on and work with.
          2b) This does not require rights to be taken away from women.
          3) Current definitions of masculinity, male heterosexual relations, and male relationships in general are fucked up and need to change.
          4) Men who want to be accepted are restricted to a tight range of behaviours, expressed emotions, preferences and characteristics, and this is not acceptable.
          5) The differences between abuse/sexual violence/harassment/victim-blaming/silencing as experienced by men and women need to be explored in a way that does not make any group a monolith, demonise them or dismiss those violations when it occurs to them.
          6) Issues of mental health/disability as experienced by men need to be explored with compassion and understanding, without discounting or ignoring the disproportionate tendency of men to commit violence.
          7) Male-perpetrated sexual assault needs to be talked about and handled in an egalitarian, objective way that never, ever tips into victim-blaming or slut-shaming of any kind.
          8) The intersections of race, class, sexuality etc will be explored, and attention given to a diversity of issues.
          9) Everyone involved in writing posts knows that cavemen and the 1950s are not the only way in which humans work.

          *I use “men” as a term that covers cis men, perceived men who are actually genderqueer or possess other fluid gender identities but are still subject to oppressions as experienced by men, and also trans men. However, I know there are major differences in all these experiences and would ideally explore them all in greater depth and as separate entities as they face distinctly different issues.

        3. PDA
          PDA December 13, 2012 at 1:11 pm |

          mac at 12:55 (I get bollixed by the nested comments, not sure where this is gonna end up, so I want to let you know what I am replying to):

          I get hives around the term ‘masculinist,’ but so long as people don’t see it as some kind of MRA-lite, I’m on board with all of that.

          andandand I want us to agree to use Commonwealth orthography! ’cause “realise” and “humour” make me happy.

        4. DSJ
          DSJ December 13, 2012 at 1:40 pm |

          Wonderful discussion, all of this. I would be interested in such a site as well.

        5. LC
          LC December 13, 2012 at 2:26 pm |

          These nested comments confuse me as well. Bullet points because at work.

          “masculinist” gives me hives as well.

          I like the list a lot, mac. Good stuff to chew on.

          I also support commonwealth spelling. :)

      2. Aydan
        Aydan December 13, 2012 at 1:05 pm |

        Thanks for saying this. I had a similar reaction to the comment.

      3. DouglasG
        DouglasG December 14, 2012 at 10:57 am |

        [Just because someone’s privileged in one place, they should never talk about how that privilege can be a bad thing? Ooh, ooh, can I play? I’m a brown bi/pansexual woman, who’s a parent, in a same-sex relationship, outside the country of my origin. Oh, and I’m not Christian, and I’m disabled, fat and mentally ill.]

        Maybe your spiritual home might be in a part of South London that will vote Labour in perpetuity – you sound like Red Ron Probert’s ideal target voter.

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 14, 2012 at 11:05 am |

          I have no idea who that even is, lol, but the name alone makes me like him.

          …I’m pretty sure my spiritual home is a Spaceship, Headed Away, but south London sounds a decent alternative!

        2. DouglasG
          DouglasG December 14, 2012 at 8:55 pm |

          Liz Probert, one of my favourite fictional characters, is a major character and the voice of political correctness in the Rumpole series. Her father, Red Ron, is the Labour leader of some unspecified area in South London, and so nicknamed for his hard left politics. Favourably impressed by a demonstration of Liz’ legal knowledge, Rumpole wangles the support of his conservative Christian Head of Chambers for approving taking on Liz as a pupil by implying that her father is really the Canon Probert who writes for the Church Times. Even after they meet, Soapy Sam Ballard still takes Red Ron for an Anglican divine. We don’t see Red Ron again, though about nine stories further into the series Liz uses a similar tactic to get her boyfriend Dave Inchcape into Chambers by making the lecherous Claude Erskine Brown think she’d like him better if he proved he didn’t support anti-gay discrimination such as not accepting a gay applicant just before Claude interviews Dave; once again the misunderstanding not only survives but spreads.

    5. A4
      A4 December 13, 2012 at 1:44 pm |

      After much thought, and rereading of the comments in this thread, I am very confident that any community based on a “man focused” perspective through a feminist lens will be unavoidable gender essentialist and inherently set up in opposition to feminism. This idea was highlighted for me in MacavityKitsune’s 2nd rule (THANK YOU for that list Mac):

      Men* are in fact harmed by the patriarchy.
      2a) This is not feminism’s problem to fix; it is men’s struggle to take on and work with.

      Why is feminism not inclusive of men? Why the distinction between what “feminism” works on and what “men” work on? I think these destinctions, while real, are harmful, and should not be encouraged by establishing a special Men’s Club. Enough with the men’s clubs.

      I think the approach is unnecessary and symbolic of men’s failure to participate in feminism in a real way. I believe that if men participated authentically and energetically in a feminist engagement with the world then feminism would expand to include perspectives on how Patriarchy hurts the male-identified in an organic way (like this! right here)

      My feminism is a theory of social interaction that can provide a perspective of truth for anyone, regardless of identity. The idea of constructing a specific environment for men’s issues does not appeal to me as a feminist. I just care a lot more about how my friend in law school has to deal with her classmate’s veiled rape threats and discussions of his love for his concealed carry license without anyone doing anything to protect her from his predations than I do about… I can’t actually think of a real way in which being a man has been inconvenient today. All i can think of is how I have always been able to take my finals without worrying about the crazy man who thinks I’m a “feminist whore” and is probably carrying a gun in my classroom right now.

      Thank you all for your engagement with me on this. I appreciate all of your thoughts.

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune December 13, 2012 at 2:02 pm |

        Why is feminism not inclusive of men?

        Pardon me? Is there a lack of male feminists? Is there a lack of male feminists even on this thread?

        I’m not interested in establishing a Men’s Club. I imagine that, just as men post intelligently and compassionately on women’s issues here – oh, hai, Thomas Millar, shout-out to you! – a site dealing with men’s issues would have women who post intelligently and compassionately on men’s issues. Hm?

        I am very confident that any community based on a “man focused” perspective through a feminist lens will be unavoidable gender essentialist and inherently set up in opposition to feminism.

        o_O I’m really baffled how this thread – and how my list in particular – led you to believe that men’s issues and women’s issues aren’t complementary. That feminist analysis of men (by men or women) is going to lead to anti-feminist understandings. What the actual wait what? I meant that point you highlighted, by the way, in the sense that feminisM (the movement) is not OBLIGATED to deal with men’s issues; this is not to say that feminisTS (of any gender) are incapable, uninterested or unwilling to do so.

        1. A4
          A4 December 13, 2012 at 2:29 pm |

          Hi Mac, thanks again for your reply. I’m bummed that I am not expressing myself more clearly, so i will try again.

          led you to believe that men’s issues and women’s issues aren’t complementary

          I don’t see them as complementary because that constructs a binaristic set of issues, “men’s issues” and “women’s issues”, when my focus is rather “people’s issues”, and central to that is not only the global oppression of people identified as women and privileging of people identified as men, but that the fact of this oppression is ignored, denied, and attacked by the vast majority and the mainstream.

          If I want to deconstruct Patriarchy and it’s oppression, i will do it where I personally see the worst oppressions happening, and right now the effects of Patriarchy on English speaking men, who, given the demographics of the internet, would probably be vastly white, cis, and American, is not even on my radar.

      2. Archy
        Archy December 13, 2012 at 2:06 pm |

        “I think the approach is unnecessary and symbolic of men’s failure to participate in feminism in a real way. I believe that if men participated authentically and energetically in a feminist engagement with the world then feminism would expand to include perspectives on how Patriarchy hurts the male-identified in an organic way (like this! right here)”

        Well that’s the thing, I’ve tried and have felt very very unwelcome in some feminist spaces. I’ve seen some feminists pretty much chase men out whilst saying feminism is the movement to address male issues? It really looks like there is an egalitarian feminist movement, and a gynocentric one but neither are clearly labeled and some guys will hear the egalitarian version, talk about an issue and get blasted out because they were in a gynocentric area. I’ve seen a lot of bitterness n confusion over this part alone in quite a few men being told on one hand that feminism is where they should be discussing male issues and then being chased out by some gynocentrics.

        Any idea where men can actually go online to discuss male issues in a feminist setting? Only two places I’ve seen come close are the GMP which has some feminists who write articles n comment, and NSWATM which is now shutting down. If you know of a website like that I’d love to hear it but I haven’t found any others. The only other place I know of that discusses male issues in depth is the online MRM sites. I’ve found those to be topsy turvy, some parts good, some parts bad.

        1. A4
          A4 December 13, 2012 at 2:42 pm |

          “gynocentric” I can’t stop giggling at this word. It strikes me as super silly.

        2. Esti
          Esti December 13, 2012 at 3:01 pm |

          Archy, “men” are not chased out of feminist spaces. On Feministe, for example, there are a number of men who comment regularly, who many other commenters agree with, and who don’t seem to have any problem interacting with feminists. The men AND women who get a negative reaction to their comments (as you did above) are those who come into established communities and start commenting before they understand the what is expected of participants.

          There are some places on the web that are explicitly geared toward introducing people to feminist thought. Then there are places — like Feministe — that are not. Those spaces expect people to have familiarity with certain terms, or to understand common ways of “derailing” discussions and avoid using them, or that want to start from the premise that somethings are just true and don’t need to be “challenged” over and over again. Intro to feminism serves a very important, valuable purpose, but there need to be spaces for more advanced conversations, too.

          So if you want to have a place to discuss feminism on the web, I’d suggest seeking out a site that’s geared toward introducing people to feminist concepts and thought. But the other thing you can do — that I’d encourage you to do — is to listen in places like Feministe, where a lot of “male” issues ARE discussed. They’re just discussed with the expectation that the people talking know something about feminism. Reading those discussions can be a *great* way to learn. But jumping into those discussions without understanding why, for example, using the word “gynocentric” is going to make people angry is not going to be a productive learning experience.

        3. Sam
          Sam December 13, 2012 at 3:06 pm |

          Archy,

          while I agree with the egalitarian/gynocentric problem, it should also be noted that, of course, like in any online debate, the less reasonable people tend to scream the loudest. And while I believe that a lot more guys come to feminist websites with an honest intent to discuss and are then attacked, resulting in their becoming defensive and aggressive before they leave after having been labeled trolls, which is reinforcing stereotypes for everyone involved, it should also be noted that there are, indeed, a lot of guys in feminist spaces who aren’t even attempting to argue in good faith and for whom it would be overly generous to give the benefit of the doubt. And that, of course, also creates a problem for base assumptions of feminist commenters. What guys say online usually isn’t that clearly labeled either.

        4. zuzu
          zuzu December 13, 2012 at 3:13 pm | *

          Well that’s the thing, I’ve tried and have felt very very unwelcome in some feminist spaces.

          I can’t imagine why.

        5. Archy
          Archy December 13, 2012 at 9:10 pm |

          @Esti, sometimes they are. I haven’t been here much but if I didn’t make it clear enough this doesn’t happen everywhere of course but in SOME feminist spaces which does cause an issue.

          @Sam, thanks for the response. I find that issue in both the feminist n mra sites, trolling is a huge problem and nothing good is accomplished. I’m not here to troll actually but I thank those who are taking the time to reply. Too much fighting goes on and there’s no real point to it, it’s pretty depressing to see.

          Are there many feminist sites for men in particular for male issues akin to NSWATM anymore?

      3. zuzu
        zuzu December 13, 2012 at 2:55 pm | *

        You’re just fucking with us, aren’t you?

        1. A4
          A4 December 13, 2012 at 2:56 pm |

          No. I am not. I am engaging in good faith, and I am wondering what I wrote that elicited this response.

        2. zuzu
          zuzu December 13, 2012 at 3:19 pm | *

          Why is feminism not inclusive of men?

          That’s just for starters. Either you know that’s complete shit, and you’re just fucking with us, or you think it’s not shit, and you’re trolling as much as Archy there.

        3. Kristjan Wager
          Kristjan Wager December 13, 2012 at 3:55 pm |

          Yeah. I agree with Zuzu.

          Feminism is inclusive of men. In fact, I’d say that to me, feminism is much more inclusive of men than the toxic anti-feminism of the MRAs.

        4. A4
          A4 December 13, 2012 at 4:15 pm |

          Ah I understand now zuzu

          Either you know that’s complete shit, and you’re just fucking with us, or you think it’s not shit, and you’re trolling as much as Archy there.

          I was very unclear in my wording, so I understand your and Kristjan Wager’s responses. Obviously it sounds like I am trying to claim that feminism is not inclusive of men, so let that be a lesson to me on choosing my words more carefully.

          I was responding to this:

          Men* are in fact harmed by the patriarchy.
          2a) This is not feminism’s problem to fix; it is men’s struggle to take on and work with.

          This sounds like Feminism is not equipped to fix the harm caused to men by Patriarchy, but as a man under Patriarchy I find feminism to be the best theory AND the best movement for understanding these effects. Feministe often discusses issue that face men, including sexual assault, imprisonment, intimate partner violence, and parenting, and I always find cogent arguments that are inclusive of men and their experience. These discussions are women focused because many of these issues disproportionately affect women and are disproportionately perpetrated by men.

          So when I said “Why is feminism not inclusive of men?” I should have said something more like “How is feminism not inclusive of men”.

          My apologies for the haphazard commenting.

        5. DSJ
          DSJ December 13, 2012 at 5:17 pm |

          “Feminism inclusive of men”

          I think there’s some confusion here. Yes, feminism is inclusive of men in that men are allowed to participate. No, feminism is not inclusive of men in that it’s not meant to address issues that men have because we are men, which still need to be discussed.

          So, yes. Separate space is needed.

          Feminism’s biggest problem as it is is that women have such difference experiences sometimes it seems that they have nothing in common except— except lack of privilege for being women. Even within ‘feminism’ there’s all sorts of different spaces. Not all of whom even identify as feminist explicitly. Women only have this one thing in common and sometimes it seems like thin gruel, based on what I’ve read here and elsewhere.

          Men don’t even have that. The only thing men have in common is that they’re privileged by being men. There’s no point in forming a group around a shared identity of privilege. Except– except for one thing, and one thing only, in my mind– which is that men are hurt by the Patriarchy in unique ways different from how women are hurt, and men can build a shared space around this.

          So yes, I do think men do need our own space, but I worry that could end up being very thin gruel, because of the above. But I do think it’s needed.

        6. zuzu
          zuzu December 13, 2012 at 10:23 pm | *

          This ["This is not feminism’s problem to fix; it is men’s struggle to take on and work with."] sounds like Feminism is not equipped to fix the harm caused to men by Patriarchy, but as a man under Patriarchy I find feminism to be the best theory AND the best movement for understanding these effects.

          You need some lessons in reading comprehension.

          When someone says that X is not Y’s problem to fix and that Z (who are affected by X) must take charge of fixing X, it does not mean that Y is not equipped to fix X. It means that Y does not have to take on the burden of fixing X for Z people affected by X who are perfectly capable and equipped to deal with it on their own.

          Particularly when Z has historically expected Y to fix Z’s problems for Z instead of Z taking ownership of them.

          IOW, fix your own issues instead of expecting feminists to fix them for you.

        7. A4
          A4 December 14, 2012 at 5:49 am |

          IOW, fix your own issues instead of expecting feminists to fix them for you.

          It occurs to me that a distinction should be made between Feminism and feminists. I find many theories of Feminism to be multi-faceted, inclusive, both vast and specific in breadth, and very truthful.

          Some feminists, however, display none of these qualities. I would never expect them to solve my problems.

      4. Andie
        Andie December 13, 2012 at 3:01 pm |

        Men* are in fact harmed by the patriarchy.
        2a) This is not feminism’s problem to fix; it is men’s struggle to take on and work with.

        When I read this, I tend to think she means that the way a whole lot of MRA types blame their problems on feminism when the problems stem from the way patriarchy deals men as well as women a shit hand.

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 13, 2012 at 7:13 pm |

          Yes. Yes, I do. Of course, no amount of stating this seems to drive it into A4′s trollish skull.

        2. A4
          A4 December 14, 2012 at 5:45 am |

          no amount of stating this seems to drive it into A4′s trollish skull.

          Thanks Mac. I really appreciate your thoughts on my skull.

        3. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune December 14, 2012 at 1:07 pm |

          Thanks Mac. I really appreciate your thoughts on my skull.

          A4, I was under the impression that you were deliberately fucking with me/the others on the thread by giving opposite interpretations, and was pissed off. Now that you clarified upthread, I get what you were trying to say, and sorry I called you a troll.

        4. A4
          A4 December 14, 2012 at 8:17 pm |

          No worries! And I have suitably tripped all over myself enough for now, and y’all were kind enough to watch and bear with me and occasionally yell out “HEY DUMBASS, IT LOOKS LIKE YOUR ABOUT TO SLAM INTO A WALL”, so to speak, and I super appreciate that.

          There certainly are many new dudely commenters screwing around on this thread with words like “gynocentric” and inanities like “have women tried telling other women to not be sexist?” that I can’t blame you for your initial impression.

          Take care, and build that spaceship or something this weekend.

  18. Roro
    Roro December 13, 2012 at 10:37 am |

    I am an prodigious blog reader. My Google Reader feed covers everybody from Kevin Drum to HotAir, from this site to PUA blogs, and muliple news sites. I estimate that I probably read between 100 to 150 blogs and news sites a day. I guess, given this wide variety of media sources, I have noticed a lack of pro-feminist views from male writers. Even the usual lefty bloggers such as Ta-nasi Coates and Kevin Drum rarely address feminism except for occasionally from a analytic data driven point of view. On the other hand, I have found several sites that could be called anti-feminist, written by women. I have read GMP occasionally through the last year (mainly in relation to some controversy pointed out by a feminists website), but all in all, I find the GMP to be too hit or miss to bother reading on a regular basis…

    I guess my question is, who should I be reading? (And please don’t say that Hugo dude, everything I have read about him or by him suggests he is a complete douche).

    1. LC
      LC December 13, 2012 at 10:46 am |

      And please don’t say that Hugo dude, everything I have read about him or by him suggests he is a complete douche

      That is… an understatement.

      1. Kristjan Wager
        Kristjan Wager December 13, 2012 at 3:59 pm |

        That is… an understatement.

        To put it mildly.

    2. Bagelsan
      Bagelsan December 13, 2012 at 12:03 pm |

      This doesn’t exactly address your needs, but Manboobs is a pro-feminist site written by a man, and basically snarks on MRAs and points out their various stupidities. It’s a bit wild west in the comments, but it’s the closest I’ve found to a male-run feminist site recently. It doesn’t generally address things seriously, however.

    3. Kristjan Wager
      Kristjan Wager December 13, 2012 at 3:58 pm |

      PZ Myers at Pharyngula regularly addresses feminist issues and especially sexism in the skeptic/atheist sphere. Be warned that the comment section has a certain reputation for being rather rough, especially if you’re a MRA.

  19. megara
    megara December 13, 2012 at 10:45 am |

    Well written Jill.

    A bit of a tangent but can I just say that I am extremely tired of the he did [insert terrible thing like rape her], but he’s really a nice guy. I do NOT understand people who privilege the fact that a person that generally tends to be interpersonally pleasant toward them over the fact that they did something horrible to another human being.

    I have heard this from liberal family and friends about a father who left his children and never had any contact with them again, and a guy that abused his wife. It wasn’t, “I was shocked that he did that because he seemed like a nice guy” but “He did this, but really I am defending him to you in spite of that.”

    Rapists and batters are by definition not nice guys. If your friend belongs to one of those categories, sorry. Deal with it. If the person was really nice, they would be sure to check whether or not you actually had consent.

    1. Roro
      Roro December 13, 2012 at 11:21 am |

      I hate the whole “nice guy” argument even remotely associated with the subject of rape.

      In my experience “nice guy” usually equals nothing more than charisma or superficial acts.

      I’m an asshole… seriously. I like to make antagonizing statements to annoy people, I never ever give money to homeless people. I have many personal views that the majority of you would strongly disagree with. Yet, even I can understand the simple premise of consent and who is capable of giving consent and why people should always have consent before engaging in sexual activity.

      Nothing drives me crazier than a “but he is such a nice guy” argument about anything.

      1. Bagelsan
        Bagelsan December 13, 2012 at 12:06 pm |

        It’s like the people who say “he always seemed so nice and polite!” when the cops find a dozen corpses in some guy’s fridge. Except that, in cases of rape, people still try say he’s so nice!

        1. Kristen J.
          Kristen J. December 13, 2012 at 12:49 pm |

          Srsly, Bagelsan? Diet soda came out my nose. I demand a warning before you make cracks like that.

        2. zuzu
          zuzu December 13, 2012 at 3:23 pm | *

          Hitler loved dogs. Such a nice guy!

    2. DSJ
      DSJ December 13, 2012 at 12:43 pm |

      I didn’t like the whole “nice guy rapist” label, because not intending to rape by itself (which was dubious assertion to begin with in the case of Royse’s article) doesn’t make you nice. What are some positive, objective things that show a person is nice, besides being personal friends with a writer?

      However, it’s quite possible that some guys out there see themselves as nice guys or good guys, who because of mis-communication or ignorance unintentionally raped someone. By labeling these perpetrators “nice” perhaps they thought it allow these guys to self-identify in a psychologically safe way, for the purpose of engaging in self-criticism. I did see a couple of examples of that over there, and at least one example of that in the earlier threads here.

      The GMP didn’t do it right here, and there’s no evidence that this idea works, there’s a danger of it feeding into rape culture, and the post linked above from Yes Means Yes on sexual communication casts doubt on this whole theory. So I’m happy to dismiss this strategy, but I guess I just see that theoretically, you could come up why the GMP writers didn’t think they were deliberately apologizing for rapists by doing this.

    3. Grace
      Grace December 13, 2012 at 8:04 pm |

      For real. I think it comes down to people thinking of rapists as people they don’t know, as caricatures, not as people they know and interact with and like(d). It’s easier to think, “Rapists are bad evil people/I know no bad evil people/Therefore I know no rapists” than it is to realize, “Someone I thought was a good person raped someone/Therefore my idea of what a rapist looks like is inaccurate, and people I perceive as good can be bad.”

  20. MFenn
    MFenn December 13, 2012 at 10:50 am |

    I’m another one who hadn’t heard of GMP until this week. So you can be a rapist and still be a “good man”? That makes sense in what universe? Thanks, Jill, for calling them on their bullshit.

  21. Ashley
    Ashley December 13, 2012 at 12:15 pm |

    For me, the most unethical thing about this is the protection of the identity of two admitted rapists. We know rapists usually rape repeatedly. One of these rapists actually declared his INTENT to rape again. Anyone who knows that someone is intending to commit rape and does not pass that information along is complicit.

    GMP won’t face successful legal action by these guys because the guys themselves have admitted to rape. Their names should be everywhere. Everywhere.

    1. Esti
      Esti December 13, 2012 at 12:50 pm |

      I don’t agree with this with respect to the first piece (Alyssa’s rapist friend). With all of the identifying details in that story, exposing his name would likely expose the victim’s name as well. If she decided not to press charges or to tell her story publicly, then I don’t think a third party should override that decision.

      Of course, I also don’t think a third party should have put the details of her rape on the internet. And even if I were, for the sake of argument, to give Alyssa the benefit of the doubt about her intentions in posting that piece, I can’t get past the total contempt she showed for the woman in question. Not only are the details of her rape now being talked about by hundreds or thousands of people on the internet (as well as some of her behavior prior to the rape, in a particularly shame-y and disgusting way), but it’s probably possible for a number of her friends to identify the victim based on the story alone.

      1. Ashley
        Ashley December 13, 2012 at 7:08 pm |

        That’s true. If they were to publicize the name of that guy, they would have to do it in a way that didn’t make the link. They could still do it though–they just would have to wait a while and do it in a way that didn’t connect the initial article to him. The second case, on the other hand, would be as simple as listing his name on the words he wrote.

  22. AMM
    AMM December 13, 2012 at 12:49 pm |

    I discovered the GMP a while before the Tom Matlack dustup, and even at that time, my impression was that the unspoken agenda was about giving the appearance of being non-sexist while defending and promoting male privilege. I am continually surprised by the number of (female) feminists who were taken in by GMP and by other pseudo-feminist men (such as HS) and groups. The only theory I’ve been able to come up with is that women aren’t trained to recognize the dog-whistles.

    I’m not surprised that there are so few (I’d say no) websites or organizations for men that don’t end up being at least sexist and defenders of male privilege. I’ve been trying out real life men’s groups and on-line groups, and I have yet to find one whose group dynamic doesn’t, when push comes to shove, fall back on some form of misogyny as a basis for “bonding.” It is for this reason that I’ve never stayed for very long in any of them. I’ve observed: get men together in an all-male environment, especially an intentionally all-male environment, and you’ll get misogyny. Every time.

    I think it’s because there really isn’t anything that men have in common with men in general that they don’t also have with many women — except for male privilege, so exclusively male groups have always fallen back on “we’re not women” as a basis. What’s more, every definition of what it means to be a man as opposed to a woman, other than biology, ends up being based in misogyny and male privilege. Take away everything that is built on misogyny, and most men don’t know what they are.

    1. Radiant Sophia
      Radiant Sophia December 13, 2012 at 1:07 pm |

      There very much is something men have in common: aggression. Women are taught to be demure and deferential. Men are taught aggression and violence. The root cause is the same, but the results are obviously not. Being raised to be violent, not necessarily in a violent household, but to use aggression and violence as a means to solving a problem needs to be talked about if change is to occur.

      1. AMM
        AMM December 14, 2012 at 9:03 am |

        There very much is something men have in common: aggression. … Men are taught aggression and violence.

        Aggression against whom? Ultimately, against women.

        Aggression is by nature a response to a threat (real or perceived.) If you want a bunch of people to be constantly ready to aggress, you have to have something that will constantly make them feel threatened.

        So Teh Patriarchy trains boys/men to see women and anything associated with them as threats. Then you take a bunch of traits that almost everyone has to some degree and convince those boys/men that having any of those traits makes them somehow womenish. Now those boys/men will carry their own threat around with them, even in all-male groups, and be ready to aggress at the drop of a hat.

        1. Radiant Sophia
          Radiant Sophia December 14, 2012 at 10:09 am |

          Sorry, crossed wires.
          I now realize I was referring to all-male groups that have a lot more in common than “we are men”. I didn’t mean to waste your time.

    2. auditorydamage
      auditorydamage December 13, 2012 at 1:41 pm |

      I’ve never been able to get into “male feminist” sites either. They always come across to me as forced and uncomfortable. Frankly, I’ve found PZ Myers’ site to be a better source of unrepentant feminist commentary by a male than the others that keep popping up – and the Horde regularly rips MRAs to shreds in the comments.

      What does being a “man” mean to me? It means I have a male-type reproductive system and general body layout. Everything else is socialization, much of which didn’t “take” for various reasons I don’t have the attention span to elucidate at this moment. I play video games, watch football (international and American), gripe about human fallibility with my partner, drink screwdrivers, cider, and Long Island Iced Teas, and watch Sex and the City with her (SatC movies? Those don’t exist). None of those are essential to any gender definition of any kind, despite the strenuous efforts of pundits and gender-essentialists to assert otherwise. I had Transformers as a kid… and had them cooperate. I like heavy metal and Tori Amos. I try to treat and consider everyone else as I’d like to be treated and considered – and, recognizing the undeserved, unfair privileges I was born into as a cisgender male of European descent, I try to subvert that shit and speak in solidarity with my fellow humans who struggle to live and thrive every day, toward a common goal of ending privilege and hierarchy.

      I try not to be a shit. Sometimes I fail. I appreciate when others criticize my errors. No one likes to be on the receiving end of criticism, but that makes listening to it, analyzing it, and integrating it into the running model of reality in the back of my head all the more important.

      I don’t care what being a “man” entails. I care about being a helpful person, and that my effect on the world around me is a positive one. In conclusion, fuck MRAs, they don’t speak for me and never will.

      1. Kristjan Wager
        Kristjan Wager December 13, 2012 at 4:11 pm |

        I think it is worth noticing that PZ Myers and the horde has grown into feminism. Well, I expect, or rather know, that PZ and most of the horde have been feminist for quite some time, but the environment has become more feminist over time.

        It’s not that many years ago that I had to fight a rather lonesome fight against gendered insults there. Now, all of the regulars are against them (and other insults that causes, as PZ puts it, splash damage)

        What I am trying to say, is that it is probably possible for any pro-feminist man to create an environment which is much more feminist than places like GMP.

      2. Andie
        Andie December 13, 2012 at 4:53 pm |

        I think the reason PZ Myers and some other male-written-but-still-feminist-friendly sites work is that they’re not specifically trying to be ‘Feminist Guy Sites’ but they are guys who write and just tend to have a feminist outlook. PZ seems to take it for granted that he should be feminist-friendly because why the hell not? From what I’ve read of him (which granted, is not a HUGE amount, but enough to decide that I like what he has to say) he doesn’t demand cookies for being a feminist ally. I’ve read other blogs that, while not perfect, are feminist friendly because the authors don’t see any good reason NOT to be feminist friendly.

    3. Valoniel
      Valoniel December 13, 2012 at 4:19 pm |

      Take away everything that is built on misogyny, and most men don’t know what they are.

      This, to my view, is a huge portion of the problem. Thus far, we’ve seen failure after failure, but there’s still a need for men to figure out what they are, if it’s not all about ‘not being’ something (you cited women, but I think that the human tendency o define by exclusion plays in all over the place).

      This is why there do need to be those spaces, where men can, in fact, talk about the difficulties in being a different kind of man. This is the theme that they all seem to have missed, some by just a hair: it’s not supposed to be about how hard it is to be part of a massively privileged group. It’s supposed to be about sharing the difficulties of breaking away from that massively privileged group, and providing a place where they can reinforce to each other that it’s right, and worth the fight. Because feminist men are not a majority, and the majority penalises them in a thousand tiny ways for betraying the herd. That needs to be acknowledged, understood, and coped with if we ever hope to dismantle this stuff.

      1. PDA
        PDA December 14, 2012 at 10:54 am |

        spaces, where men can, in fact, talk about the difficulties in being a different kind of man.

        Oh, gods and goddesses below, this. This, in excelsis Dea.

    4. PDA
      PDA December 14, 2012 at 10:38 am |

      Take away everything that is built on misogyny, and most men don’t know what they are.

      Yup. This.

      That’s exactly what I was hoping might develop from GMP, and what I am still hoping might come together, whether in a new NSWATM, something different, who knows. I do think that identity is needed, and that it’s men’s responsibility to figure it out for themselves… but not (IMO anyway) in isolation from women. It’s not separatism or retreat I’m talking about, just ownership of our own liberation.

  23. Copyleft
    Copyleft December 13, 2012 at 1:28 pm |

    The Good Men Project is not a feminist site. It was never designed or intended to be one, and it has no particular obligation to promote a feminist viewpoint on things.

    This is not a problem unless you think that all gender-related discussions somehow have a duty to endorse the feminist perspective.

    1. peregrin8
      peregrin8 December 13, 2012 at 2:44 pm |

      The “radical notion that women are people”?

    2. EG
      EG December 13, 2012 at 3:54 pm |

      So, you’re saying that it’s just too much to ask of a project called the “Good Men Project” not to excuse rapists and provide them with a platform from which to spew their self-justifications? That’s just way too radically feminist?

      In that case, fuck ‘em. Twice.

    3. noodleworm
      noodleworm December 13, 2012 at 5:13 pm |

      agreed, IMHO something can be gender egalitarian without being “feminist”

      1. Hamgravy
        Hamgravy December 14, 2012 at 12:42 am |

        I think the equality of the genders is the basis of “feminism.”

        1. noodleworm
          noodleworm December 14, 2012 at 7:34 am |

          feminism is about the equality of women and more recently the LBGTQ gender identities. Egalitarianism across all genders is not required for something to be feminist.

        2. Li
          Li December 14, 2012 at 11:05 am |

          Ok, when you write things like “feminism is about the equality of women”, what do you actually think that means? Because you are using arrangements of words that do not appear to make any kind of sense.

        3. noodleworm
          noodleworm December 15, 2012 at 11:32 am |

          @li ill rephrase for clarity, feminism is the mission to end oppression of people who aren’t straight men. Gender egalitarianism is the mission to end all gender based oppression.

        4. Radiant Sophia
          Radiant Sophia December 15, 2012 at 2:00 pm |

          That is a very narrow definition of feminism. Also, except for a small school of thought, (to which I do not hold), it’s an incorrect definition.

        5. noodleworm
          noodleworm December 16, 2012 at 11:47 pm |

          At no point did I attempt to define your feminism.

          Also that is more or less the dictionary definition of feminism:

          The advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

      2. Cara
        Cara December 14, 2012 at 8:34 pm |

        Wrong-o, dude.

    4. matlun
      matlun December 13, 2012 at 5:29 pm |

      The problem is not simply that they are not feminists.

      No matter what you call yourself – if you are defending rape, you are a part of the problem.

      1. Copyleft
        Copyleft December 17, 2012 at 8:02 am |

        The problem is you’re claiming they’re defending rape, when they’re clearly not. That’s your interpretation of their decision to publish Anonymous’ story, even though they clearly state in the introduction that they disagree with him.

        What you’re left with is an accusation that simply _publishing someone’s story_ (the stated purpose of the site) is equal to endorsing and excusing rape, which simply doesn’t work.

        1. catfood
          catfood December 17, 2012 at 9:35 am |

          Publishing the piece isn’t saying you agree with it, but it is saying you think its point of view is worthy of discussion.

          And… no, the entitled whining of a douchebag rapist is not worthy of discussion. (Yet, here we are.)

        2. matlun
          matlun December 17, 2012 at 9:45 am |

          If you want to defend the articles or the site, that line would be more sensible. But your original argument that they have “no particular obligation to promote a feminist viewpoint” was pretty much a non sequitur. The criticism was never about that.

          This whole flame war was started off by Alyssa Royse’s article, which described a very clear rape situation as excusable and as something done by a “nice guy”. I think “defending rape” is a fair thing to say about that article.

    5. Hamgravy
      Hamgravy December 14, 2012 at 12:40 am |

      You cannot be a good man if you do not believe women are full human beings. That is the feminist perspective.

      1. Philip Finn
        Philip Finn December 14, 2012 at 6:12 am |

        And you can not be a good human being if you do not believe every one of the other seven billion people on the planet are full human beings. That is the humanist perspective.

    6. AMM
      AMM December 14, 2012 at 8:35 am |

      I always thought not approving of rape was a “decent human being” viewpoint, like not approving of cannibalism or of murder, not a particularly feminist one.

      If disapproving of rape is enough to make a person or website “feminist,” then there are a lot more feminists (and male feminists) and feminist websites in this country (USA) than I ever dreamed of.

      Of course, disapproving of rape may impair your status as a male supremacist. Which IMHO is why the Creepy Men Project doesn’t disapprove of it.

      1. Copyleft
        Copyleft December 17, 2012 at 9:45 am |

        Sigh… the GMP has stated repeatedly that they DON’T approve of rape, and yet here we are once again seeing claims that they do–in spite of copious evidence to the contrary.

        Really, what they’re getting is the reflexive “You’re condoning rape!” response that occurs any time someone attempts to discuss the issue in less than absolute agreement with the radical-feminist perspective on the issue (i.e., “all rapists are subhuman monsters and should die, conversation over”). That’s not productive. But then, attempting to silence debate never is.

        1. Thomas MacAulay Millar
          Thomas MacAulay Millar December 18, 2012 at 11:46 am |

          It is ridiculous to say that we have to take people’s word for what they are for and against when the substance of their opinions are not consistent with it.

          Some people will say they’re not racist, and then say obviously racist shit. Some people will say they’re not homophobic and then say obviously homophobic shit.

          Some people say they’re against rape, and then say, in substance, “but she totally asked for it.” And they’re not really against rape. They say they are, because nobody says they are for rape. But they are for the social dynamics that allow it to continue. If you’re saying we have to accept people’s protestations that they are against rape even if their actual opinions and approach are inconsistent with that, then: No.

  24. Sam
    Sam December 13, 2012 at 1:52 pm |

    Jill,

    I’ve been commenting on Clarisse Thorn’s mega manliness and feminism threads, which seem to have at least partly inspired some of the recent interst in the topic – say the blog noseriouslywhataboutzemenz (whose editors were then hired by the GMP). I never really liked or followed the GMP, mostly because I think it implies that becoming good is a project for men, which, to me, is reiterating the problematic narrrative of men/masculinity as at least latently sociopathic. I also believe that Royse’s article was well intentioned, and trying to make the point that rape is not an “us vs. bad men”-thing. Howeverm I understand your criticism, and do agree that the example is particularly bad for the point I believe she attempted to make.

    Something I’ve learned over the last couple of years is that online, for all its benefits, is a horrible place to build trust among the participants of a discussion. And gender is a topic for which trust is even more crucial than for most other topics – it cuts right to people’s identities. Maybe that’s why Clarisse’s discussion went on to be productive for a year while most other discussions about masculinity tend to end in a scream-fest very quickly: we were half a dozen of people who discussed among ourselves, and no one else attempted to enter the discussion, so it was possible to stop reiterating standard narratives and actually get into a debate and understand each other’s positions.

    Something I’m reading into your criticism here is something I’m always wondering about: there seems to be a tacit assumption about feminists that having more men in the gender debate would not imply some challenges to previously unchallenged ideological axioms. And that, I find odd.

    I mean, feminism itself brought about a significant change in the way all things gender were and are discussed, and it did so, to a considerable degree, by prescribing certain axioms that were informed by a female perspective and actively positioning itself against an assumed main-stream male perspective. Feminism was bringing new voices into the discourse, and it did so by challenging accepted rationaly myths.

    As some of feminism’s demands and even some of its axioms became more and more acceptable and accepted in the Western mainstream social narratives, it has become at least one of two dominating discourse about gender, the other one being demographically challenged Conservatism. And it is the informed discourse, by and large.

    However, something that is largely absent in this discourse, is serious and accepted male perspectives. For a number of good reasons. While that may not be a problem for feminism in the classic definition of a political movement, it certainly is a huge problem for a society interested in actual inclusive gender justice.

    And occasionally, it seems to me that feminists don’t understand that they are the de-facto informaed majority discourse on gender. And that it’s very hard for male voices to be heard in this spectrum when they don’t defer to feminist axioms like the assumption of a female epistemic privilege or, when it comes down to it, female opinions.

    It’s a problematic consequence of a discourse structured through standpoint epistemology and an understanding of intersectionality and privilege that is useful for introspection but very problematic as a discourse framing mechanism, particularly in an online environment.

    So, basically, my point is – I think there’s really only two alternatives with respect to male participation in the gender discouse. It can either happen on feminist turf, or not. In both cases, it will require feminists to be more accepting of male perspectives, to not only treat them as an afterthought (PHM*T*) and it will certainly be challenging to feminist orthodoxy. In the latter, it will likely be influenced more by MRAs because they are already in this space, and thus in a very good position to offer something to the increasing number of men looking for advice or debate, or simply to vent, on this matter.

    Feminism, I believe, is in a bit of an odd position in this respect, given its history in particular, but also its dual-headed nature as gender discourse and political movement. For the latter, it’s best to have a clear-cut agenda and a unified voice, for the former, the latter is certainly counterproductive.

    And it will be particularly problematic, when the latter is trying to dominate the former ideologically while the former is (potentially) interested in including additional voices (like those of men). A lot of feminist debates about manliness or men’s problems in the last years strike me as examples of this problem, “the wrath of feminists”, Clarisse Thorn’s “Creep” article, Schroedinger’s rapist, most threads about pickup artists and nice guys ™.

    I believe it would be better to have a more inclusive debate about gender that is based, but not uncritically based, on the more useful concepts of gender that were developed mostly by feminists in last decades. But when that dialogue isn’t happening (and I don’t really think it is happening online – it *is happening privately*, in my opinion, where people are able to build the trust necessary to accept other people’s positions), and more and more men are getting into the gender discourse (as a confirmation of feminism’s success), then they are going to find options to discuss and form their opinions, and that may look like what you describe as a tendency at the Good Man Project.

    1. Valoniel
      Valoniel December 13, 2012 at 3:53 pm |

      Sam, I think the central point of this whole thing, and one that you’re missing, is this: We are sick to death of being told to assume good faith in the face of all evidence to the contrary. Show us something we can get behind, and we’ll be behind it.

      If you truly don’t realise that a huge portion of the community here was actively rooting for NSWATM and GMP to succeed, you’re just not looking very hard. That in the end, we have to abandon them is not our fault or our problem.

      They failed. Period.

      1. Sam
        Sam December 13, 2012 at 4:10 pm |

        They failed. Period.

        look, people here often say “men need to take their gender discourse into their own hands, create their own spaces, this is not a feminist obligation”. But when they do that, it seems to be implicitly expected that the resulting discourse should conform to feminist orthodoxy, despite the fact that men are unexpectedly focussing on different aspects of gender (like, dating and (getting) sex appears a more important aspect of gender discourse for them than for women). I don’t understand where the assumption that male gender discourse would be feminism-compatible is coming from, particularly when feminist spaces aren’t particularly open to discussing their issues with them (for reasons explained, for example, by Jill, above)?

        1. Kristjan Wager
          Kristjan Wager December 13, 2012 at 4:21 pm |

          Sam, you’re trying to defend a site that defended rapists. Rapists!.

          It is not about having a discource that conform to feminist orthodoxy, it’s about having a discource that conform to the absolute bare minimum of human decency. The fact is that they failed at this. Period.

          The fact that you’re tying to make it into not conforming to “feminist orthodoxy” tells me that you’re also a failure when it comes to fulfilling the bare minum one could require of human decency.

        2. Sam
          Sam December 13, 2012 at 4:34 pm |

          Kristjan,

          what on earth are you talking about. I’m not talking about any site in particular and I’m certainly not defending any site in particular. I’m saying that it’s hardly surprising that any male space about gender will have a different discourse, and I’m wondering why that is considered a “failure” of said space, when it’s actually the most plausible development?

        3. librarygoose
          librarygoose December 13, 2012 at 4:37 pm |

          Well. they certainly fail at any challenge of normal gender dynamics if they come to the conclusion, “Rapists can be super nice dudes who were totally lead on.” That I can hear any where.

        4. Kristjan Wager
          Kristjan Wager December 13, 2012 at 4:44 pm |

          what on earth are you talking about. I’m not talking about any site

          You might not be aware of it, but you most certainly are talking about a specific site. You are on a thread about a specific site defending that very sort of site.

        5. PDA
          PDA December 13, 2012 at 4:54 pm |

          I don’t understand where the assumption that male gender discourse would be feminism-compatible is coming from

          I consider “feminism-compatibility” to be more or less the default mode in any discussion of society in general and gender issues in specific. This doesn’t mean necessarily adopting a particular school of feminist critique (“feminist orthodoxy,” whatever that means, or any other) but more an awareness of the reality of privilege and systematic sexism.

          Also? You keep using this word, “discourse.” I do not think it means what you think it means.

        6. PDA
          PDA December 13, 2012 at 4:54 pm |

          Gods below, I fail at blockquoting…

        7. Briznecko
          Briznecko December 13, 2012 at 4:56 pm |

          Dude. You’re coming here (for the nth time) to complain about the lack of male voices, discourse discourse discourse ad infinitum – and in this case doing so when a space originally geared toward creating male “discourse” published awful rape apologism.

          So firstly, saying

          I’m saying that it’s hardly surprising that any male space about gender will have a different discourse, and I’m wondering why that is considered a “failure” of said space, when it’s actually the most plausible development?

          in this context is incredibly fucked up.

          Secondly, in light of the failure of the GMP, you shouldn’t turn to the feminists and point fingers and say we’re doin’ it wrong because we don’t give men cookies every time they grace us with their voices. Read the awesome discussion upthread about creating those spaces. Hell, create your own instead of telling Jill how to run her space.

        8. Sam
          Sam December 13, 2012 at 5:09 pm |

          PDA,

          but more an awareness of the reality of privilege and systematic sexism.

          right, I agree with that.

          I think the problem arises not from awareness, awareness is important, but from using that awareness as a framing mechanism in the discourse (== social meta narrative), assigning epistemic privilege to some groups and thus valuing their expierence over others.

          Privilege a great way of understanding one’s position in society, but it’s a horrible way of attempting to understand someone else’s, particularly when it’s about seeing each other as equals. So, even with awareness, I think there is – this is how I read the “failure” argument – much more of an expectation to defer to feminism with respect to what are *actual* problems, and what are imaginary, or ridiculous ones, as Jill pointed out above.

          For example: among feminists, gendered expectations of masculinity are generally considered a homosocial problem whereas most non feminist people (I can think of) consider gendered expectations of masculinity to be at least as much a consequence of female sexual preferences. Try discussing the latter on a feminist site, just for fun…

        9. Briznecko
          Briznecko December 13, 2012 at 5:34 pm |

          Seriously Sam, stop and have some fucking empathy. This isn’t the thread to shit your nauseating academic jargon.

        10. DSJ
          DSJ December 13, 2012 at 5:47 pm |

          Actually a lot of men consider gendered expectations of masculinity to be a real problem. It’s a humongous problem. But even if you don’t think so, it’s still a bizarre way to throw it back by whining that even though it’s not a problem it’s all the womens’ fault anyway.

        11. Sam
          Sam December 13, 2012 at 5:59 pm |

          DSJ,

          It’s a humongous problem

          I agree. And I don’t think I gave the impression of disagreeing in the previous comment. I merely tried to use this as an example of how the discourse would develop differently, given the different assumption of causation.

        12. Tony
          Tony December 13, 2012 at 10:17 pm |

          Sam, your moving the goalposts. PDA & others answered you on GMP’s failure- it wasn’t because GMP discussed dating, it wasn’t because GMP discussed the difficulties of non gender conforming men, it wasn’t because GMP brought up topics that wouldn’t be appropriate here. GMP published material that perpetuates rape culture and doubled down on it. That’s the “failure”.

          The “gender discourse” on all sides is vanishingly small in the grand scheme of human civilization, and it’s indirect influence does has not been able to stop even a single country from having patriarchy, so even if you are right about the relative balance between feminism, MRA and paleoconservatism in the “discourse” it doesn’t mean anything. Patriarchy doesn’t need a discourse when it’s the status quo. Patriarchys discourse is written into the Bible, Quran, and Torah. Patriarchys discourse is written into thousands of years of programming. If feminists started a new discourse to which you refer it’s because that’s what is needed to get change. I bet MRA discourse is just the status quo protecting itself. Now you want to neutralize the one tool that feminists can use to bring change solely to accommodate you, and if feminists refuse they’re being hegemonic? Get real.

        13. Valoniel
          Valoniel December 14, 2012 at 2:21 am |

          Oh, I see. You’re a moron.

          Sorry, I’m new here, didn’t know. Carry on.

      2. Sam
        Sam December 13, 2012 at 4:48 pm |

        Kristjan,

        well, then thanks for telling me, as apparently, I wasn’t aware of what I tried to say…

        1. zuzu
          zuzu December 13, 2012 at 10:35 pm | *

          Guess you can’t keep your own bullshit and obfuscations straight with all those goalposts you gotta keep on the hoof.

    2. Kristen J.
      Kristen J. December 13, 2012 at 6:04 pm |

      [This comment is primarily from Mr. Kristen, but he has a sick puppy in his lap, so I'm typing/paraphrasing.]

      @Sam,

      My experience with men that argue that mens voices and experiences are not “heard” in feminist discourse is they fall into one of three categories. One, they haven’t sufficiently realized how much their experiences are encapsulated in the framework used to discuss ideas in general. When feminists discuss, for example, rape culture it is often within the frame of what men could or should know. The fear some men have of being falsely (or accurately) accused of rape is the frame from which feminists must argue to be heard. Feminists are aware of the perspectives of men because they have to be.

      The second category is men who aren’t interested in being *part* of the discourse, they want to dominate the discourse. Feminism is not one set of ideas so much as it is a bunch of ideas jockeying for position. No one ideology dominates (that’s one of its best features in my view). Some men become frustrated when their view isn’t accepted, and begin to complain that no one understand them when they don’t Win Feminism. But that’s not how social justice works. You don’t win. You hope to learn a little and be a little less shitty. That’s it.

      The third and final category is the most prevalent around Feministe (in terms of the short-timers). Some men don’t like having their perspective interrogated by women. Women experience all sorts of social contraints which cause them to soften their criticism of men. I’ve seen this repeated in my intro philosophy classes where men will get extremely defensive if a criticism is broached by a female classmate but will not have the same reaction if the same criticism is brought by a male classmate even if it occurs sequentually. Masculinity is contructed as dominant and some men react poorly when that dominance is challenged. But most feminists aren’t going to coddle male egos.

      So no, I don’t think feminists have a problem including male voices in feminism and I don’t think feminist spaces drive men away. Men walk away for their own reasons. If men want to participate they have to check their ego at the door, accept that their perspective isn’t the most valuable, and there is no trophy for winning social justice. None of that requires a guy to agree with feminists (whatever the fuck that means in such an intensely pluralistic community) or to accept feminist axioms (whatever those might be).

      1. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune December 13, 2012 at 10:26 pm |

        Totally OT, but having sick puppies sucks. D: I hope it gets better soon.

        1. Kristen J.
          Kristen J. December 14, 2012 at 11:22 am |

          Thanks, mac. Fortunately, she’s doing better today. She’s out sniffing, barking, and running in the yard as usual!

      2. Li
        Li December 14, 2012 at 3:04 am |

        One, they haven’t sufficiently realized how much their experiences are encapsulated in the framework used to discuss ideas in general.

        What’s truly bizarre about Sam is that in asserting that gender discourse is divided clearly into The Feminist Hegemony and Men’s Rights Activism he seems not to have noticed that giant swaths of human intellectual endeavor have gone into thinking and arguing about what it means to be a man (albeit often in his guise as the universal subject). If you need some kind of framework other than feminism in which to think about your role in relation to other people, how about, I don’t know, philosophy or sociology?

    3. Ismone
      Ismone December 13, 2012 at 8:34 pm |

      Sam,

      Speaking as a woman who has been repeatedly groped in public and really doesn’t like it, and who is also a huge fan of Gavin de Becker, like many feminists (I do not know if he calls himself a feminist, whatever he calls himself, he is AWESOME), I was deeply offended by Clarisse’s Creep article.

      Look, if someone wants to fuck with my boundaries, my friends’ boundaries, I am going to call them out on it. And telling me not to puts me and my friends at risk. Even if some of the boundary-transgressors are doing it “accidentally” and their feelings are hurt when they are labeled “creepy”–I DON’T CARE. Because my personal safety, and the personal safety of other women matters more. Because boundaries and my ability to set them, your ability to set them, matters more than feelings.

      I could armchair psychologize and come up with a theory as to why Clarisse defends this boundary pushing. I am not going to do it, because although I have my ideas, I honestly don’t care why she is more solicitous of men’s feelings than women’s boundaries.

      It does not matter. Boundaries are sacrosanct. And I say that to women about their treatment of men, and to men about how women treat them, as well.

      That doesn’t mean Clarisse and that article never accomplished anything good for anyone. But it does mean that I see it as a net detractor, and based on that and other pieces, I feel generally that way about her writing.

      But that also doesn’t matter. What does matter is that neither Clarisse nor any man nor any other woman will shame me out of policing my boundaries and protecting the boundaries and very safety of my friends.

      1. Sam
        Sam December 13, 2012 at 10:55 pm |

        Ismone,

        But that also doesn’t matter. What does matter is that neither Clarisse nor any man nor any other woman will shame me out of policing my boundaries and protecting the boundaries and very safety of my friends.

        and that is how it should be. The point of mentioning that article, as well as the others, was to demonstrate not that they could not be criticised, but that there was a dynamic around them that was adversarial and not cooperative. It wasn’t “right, so that’s how you perceive that? Here’s my side. Let’s find a way to understand each other”. It was a scream fest in which neither side seemed to even attempt to understand the other’s position, at all. It’s, I believe, very much similar with pretty much every other popular article about masculinty. As soon as a guy objects, he’s told to check his privilege or that his experience is ridiculous (as Jill suggested above). And I don’t think that’s helpful for gender relations. But, again, that’s just me.

        1. Ismone
          Ismone December 14, 2012 at 9:51 pm |

          Okay. Then understand telling women not to call men creepy puts women in danger because there is already an insanely strong dynamic against women asserting boundaries, which makes it easier for us to be vicitimized.

          I cannot say it any more nicely than that.

      2. Clarisse Thorn
        Clarisse Thorn December 14, 2012 at 12:19 am |

        A lot of people like to bring me up in these conversations for a lot of different reasons. I’m not going to speak to those reasons, except to say that I do sympathize with a lot of sides of the various masculinity debates — and to note that when you say you “could” armchair-psychologize me and then explain how you “could” go about it, that’s exactly what you’re doing (as well as the many many women who have told me that I very accurately represent their mental states).

        But what’s more important is that I hereby state, for the millionth time, that I never intended for the “creep” article to be taken the way it was by MRAs who immediately used it to start shaming people out of expressing boundaries. If I were writing the article today, after a lot more experience in Internet Feminism and the way the lines are drawn, then I would write it differently. I will also note that even when I wrote the original article, I talked about consent a lot, and I ended it with the statement “let’s all discourage sexuality that’s actually predatory or non-consensual.”

        When I wrote the article, the conversation was different. I think the conversation could have gone a different direction, a much more productive one that didn’t include telling women we have no right to set boundaries. Too bad it didn’t.

        1. Ismone
          Ismone December 14, 2012 at 10:09 pm |

          Clarisse,

          Thank you for the response. Really, I mean, thank you. We are all learning here.

          I think the reason your article struck me so hard was because I kind of knew the discourse was going to go in that direction.

          And so I assumed you would too.

          Why did I know it? I suppose because in my experience, people generally do things for reasons. And the deck is pretty well stacked against women being assertive. So when a lot of women do something that is fairly non-threatening (I mean, creep, really?) and it gets a strong reaction, and as women we are so strongly encouraged *not* to rock the boat, and yet we keep on doing it . . . and when we say, among ourselves, “well, creepy how?” and the behavior that gets described is threatening and boundary-pushing, then I think we have the answer.

          I *knew* what creep meant before your article, and I assumed that you did, too. The only explanation I could come up with for the article was that you were concerned about its overuse, but frankly, we cannot be perfect when we are just trying to defend ourselves.

          The total lack of introspection that some men show when being called “creepy” is also striking. I am pretty sure my guy friends would be introspective if they were insulted for how they treated a woman. For women, when men call us negative things, we tend to think about it.
          Discouraging us from saying those things, and encouraging men to believe that inappropriate behavior shouldn’t be called out and named, I think, goes beyond simply creating some MRA talking points on accident. I think it is actually dangerous.

          It is so hard for us to learn that we don’t always have to smooth things over. That it isn’t our responsibility to make nice with someone who is being profoundly insulting.

          And trust me, these personal-space-invaders, these bar gropers, these close-talkers, these elevator-speechifiers, these men who stare too long or ask inappropriate questions–they know exactly what they are doing. I know this because it NEVER happens, not once, when I am standing near one of my (very tall) brothers. Even when he is holding some other woman’s hand. They do not say it then because they are afraid. The same thing goes when I am out with a large group of male friends. No one cat calls me or gropes me then.

          It is because violence talks, and they aren’t afraid of me. But they are afraid of my guy friends.

          So you see, their behavior goes beyond creepy. And your article was used as rhetoric for boundary-pushing, because that is what you were supporting, whether you meant it or not.

          Incidentally, I did not come up with a theory as to why I think you, at least in that article, were more solicitous of men’s feelings than women’s boundaries. I simply stated that conclusion. And I stand by it–the article, as written, is more solicitous of men’s feelings than women’s boundaries. I did not say why I think that was true, because I do not think it matters. So, I am not guilty of the armchair shrinking.

          -Ismone

      3. Philip Finn
        Philip Finn December 14, 2012 at 6:46 am |

        Whatever happened to “Your civil rights end at the tip of my nose”?

        Was that so many years ago we’re having to discuss this again?
        And when did a groper’s right to sexual expression trump our right to space and personal boundaries? When did I miss that?

        1. Clarisse Thorn
          Clarisse Thorn December 15, 2012 at 1:26 am |

          Groper’s rights never trumped anyone’s rights to boundaries. Spare your outrage for the things people are actually saying.

        2. Philip Finn
          Philip Finn December 15, 2012 at 4:10 am |

          I was being sarcastic, to point out that gropers act AS IF someone had said this…but as long as we’re on the subject, back in the day, the “Your rights end at the tip of my nose” saying was actually rather common, and I’m still dismayed that – judging from the posts – things have gotten worse instead of better.

  25. PeteyWheatStraw
    PeteyWheatStraw December 13, 2012 at 3:02 pm |

    In the beginning, GMP included work from a variety of feminist writers. But over the past year and a half, all of the feminist writers have all left — every single one.

    Funny how that almost always happens in any space that’s not a censorious hugbox.

    1. zuzu
      zuzu December 13, 2012 at 3:36 pm | *

      Can a hugbox be censorious? Seems oxymoronic to me. Or perhaps simply moronic.

    2. auditorydamage
      auditorydamage December 13, 2012 at 3:39 pm |

      Because when I think “censorious hugbox”, I think Feministe. Especially when the subject is odd hats.

    3. librarygoose
      librarygoose December 13, 2012 at 4:46 pm |

      A hugbox sounds genuinely terrifying. Like the most claustrophobic thing ever.

    4. Lauren
      Lauren December 13, 2012 at 4:57 pm |

      Re: censorious hugbox

      I’m pretty sure Roald Dahl already thought of this, except it was called “The Chokey” and was implemented by literal spinster aunt Agatha Trunchbull. Subtext much?

    5. Hamgravy
      Hamgravy December 14, 2012 at 12:27 am |

      “Censorious Hugbox” is the name of my next album.

    6. wanttobeanon
      wanttobeanon December 14, 2012 at 9:45 pm |

      I don’t know what I’d call this place, but I sure as fuck wouldn’t ever call it a “hugbox.” It’s a little too hostile on a regular basis for that — and hostile between people who probably agree with each other on 98% of worldview stuff, but rip each other to shreds over semantics anyway.

      Hugbox filled with knives, maybe.

  26. Sam
    Sam December 13, 2012 at 3:38 pm |

    PDA,

    Would you be willing to go into, say, the African American community and ask them why they aren’t willing to accept that they are not as marginalized as they think. After all, they’re not taking into account how society has changed, and is changing constantly!

    it depends on the debate in question. This one is a debate *ABOUT* the debate, as such, I believe it ok to question fundamental aspects of the discourse, because that’s what a meta debate is about. It would also depend a lot about *how* that debate would happen. Nothing in what I’m saying is denying male or white privilege, it’s merely suggesting that privilege is, in fact, not a static thing in society. And that using privilege as a static variable when assigning value to certain opinions is problematic.

    1. Esti
      Esti December 13, 2012 at 3:41 pm |

      If you think that privilege is being used as a static valariable, then you don’t understand the term.

      1. PDA
        PDA December 13, 2012 at 4:58 pm |

        I don’t have the slightest fucking idea what “privilege as a static variable” might mean.

        If we could proceed without the use of what are, in my judgment, pseudo-intellectual buzzwords, I’d consider that a kindness.

        1. Sam
          Sam December 13, 2012 at 5:27 pm |

          PDA,

          I don’t see how it’s possible to discuss anything without these concepts. They’re the core of both the misunderstandings and potential solutions. They are, for the better or worse, framing the debate.

        2. PDA
          PDA December 13, 2012 at 5:42 pm |

          Well, as Derrida said, “society is part of the paradigm of language;” however, according to Werther, it is not so much society that is part of the paradigm of language, but rather the futility of society. Lacan promoted the use of subtextual nationalism to read and deconstruct sexual identity.

          Similarly, Lyotard’s analysis of dialectic presemioticist theory holds that expression comes from the masses, given that the premise of postcapitalist nihilism is valid. Lacan used the term ‘Derridaist reading’ to denote not construction as such, but postconstruction.

          Anyway, the subject is interpolated into a dialectic presemioticist theory that includes consciousness as a totality. Several discourses concerning Foucaultist power relations exist. Bailey claims that we have to choose between dialectic presemioticist theory and precapitalist Marxism. Foucault uses the term ‘postcapitalist nihilism’ to denote a mythopoetical reality.

          http://www.elsewhere.org/pomo/

        3. Sam
          Sam December 13, 2012 at 5:53 pm |

          That’s funny :D (and certainly fair enough ;))

    2. librarygoose
      librarygoose December 13, 2012 at 4:34 pm |

      I swear there was a giant thread where you had this discussion already, Sam. And it did become about saying POC had privilege in discussions of race.

      1. Donna L
        Donna L December 13, 2012 at 5:11 pm |

        It was sounding very familiar to me as well, and every bit as boringly pseudo-academic as the last time.

        1. Computer Soldier Porygon
          Computer Soldier Porygon December 13, 2012 at 5:15 pm |

          Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Epistemological!

        2. Donna L
          Donna L December 13, 2012 at 5:15 pm |

          Yes, it was this thread, back in May:

          http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2012/05/16/privilege-explained-in-gamer-terms/

          See this comment as an example:

          http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2012/05/16/privilege-explained-in-gamer-terms/#comment-458807

          So if we were to talk about our respective opinons about x, or y, or z, and we disagree about something, you could easily tell me that I don’t understand x,y,z because of my privilege. Because your *not* having privilege, interestingly (and you can check this with your preferred encyclopedia for feminist standpoint epistemology) implies your (being a member of the assumed oppressed group) having an *epistemic privilege” (not kidding!) over me, *at least* with respect to everthing related to gender (or any other oppressed dimension).

          So, I have privilege, therefore you have epistemic privilege, and I have to shut up. At which point, at least theoretically, *you’d* have the privilege and *I’d have epistemic privilege* and therefore you’d have to shut up.

          Please spare us!

        3. Jadey
          Jadey December 13, 2012 at 5:28 pm |

          Oh good lord. That is not how privilege works. The thing one has “privilege” in has to be generally socially-valued (not social-subgroup valued, unless you want to end up with endlessly microscoping contexts which render everything moot, which is exactly that that commenter is going for) for it to actually be a privilege. You can’t just say, “Well, you have the experience of being oppressed and I don’t, therefore you are oppression-privileged!!”

          That is the very definition of privilege. >__<

        4. Sam
          Sam December 13, 2012 at 5:41 pm |

          Jadey,

          “generally socially-valued (not social-subgroup valued”

          I think that very much depends on the context in question, deciding about the *allowed* context alone is a privilege, isn’t it? You’re absolutely right, that’s the problem with the concept when used a framing mechanism. The problem doesn’t render *everything* moot, though. It’s still a very useful concept for introspection and understanding social positions in general.

        5. shfree
          shfree December 13, 2012 at 7:00 pm |

          Oh, Lordisa. Sam’s comments take me back to a philosophy class I had where one classmate was DETERMINED to obfuscate any sort of argument he had in the most complex language he could come up with, just to come off as some brilliant philosophic genius. There is nothing wrong with a short, elegant turn of phrase for fuck’s sake. And our kind, gentle philosophy instructor used to calmly shut his arguments down using her simple, straightforward language.

          But really, that is all a derail. The Good Men Project is toxic for men, and flat out dangerous for women, and that is the whole point of the post. And I can’t wait for Sam’s next derail about how because the LGBT folk have a greater voice in that movement, they have greater privilege, so therefore they should give more of a voice to straight cis people within their community. And that will probably happen during some big, visceral event that is particular painful to us, just to make the derail and “What about the straight cis??” sting even more.

          Jackass.

      2. librarygoose
        librarygoose December 13, 2012 at 7:32 pm |

        Sam:

        Seriously, what is your problem with you not getting to be the center of all the discussions? Sometimes you have to cede the floor to people whose experiences and education are of more value than yours. That’s not privilege, it’s learning. You aren’t a special snowflake who gets to have a valued opinion in all contexts. Neither am I. No one is that fucking special.

        Now if you started a space centered on men’s experiences of masculinity (that wasn’t a giant douche fest) I’d be more than happy to listen to your opinion because you know more about being a man in the patriarchy than I do.

        1. Sam
          Sam December 13, 2012 at 8:30 pm |

          Hey Librarygoose,

          I actually did that once, in 2006. Thing died because of lack of interest, and I can only imagine it was because of a lack of adversarial discussion ;) Closest thing would be me commenting in Clarisse Thorn’s long manliness thread.

        2. librarygoose
          librarygoose December 13, 2012 at 8:44 pm |

          Okay, so now can you answer to your insistence on presenting not being considered an expert or equal in all discussions as an oppression?

        3. Sam
          Sam December 13, 2012 at 10:08 pm |

          librarygoose,

          that’s *really* not what I’m saying. Of course I’m not an expert or equal in all discussions. What I am saying has less to do with claiming authority over something on which I do not have authority, but with privileging some perspectives over others when I believe they are both equally subjective and authoritative on a given subject. What I am objecting to is, in fact, the assumption of an epistemic privilege on behalf of some standpoints with respect to an area as broad as gender. What I am objecting to is not “you don’t know what you’re talking about”, what I’m objecting to is “you cannot know what you’re talking about” (because of privilege of being cis-het-straight), particularly when I’m talking about *my* experience. I’m as guilty as most people, I suppose, when in comes to unwarranted overgeneralizations based on my perspective, but pointing that out is different from saying that I cannot speak on *my* perspective with authority, or that I’m less able to better generalize about the experience of men like me, which has happened quite a number of times in discussions on this blog over the last couple of years. At least that is how I have understood it in the respective context.

        4. librarygoose
          librarygoose December 13, 2012 at 10:31 pm |

          when I believe they are both equally subjective and authoritative on a given subject.

          They aren’t. Life is unfair. My experience with LGBT issues has a fuck-ton less authority than someone who is actually LGBT. No matter how many lesbian friends I had in high school and college. Now I can share all I want, but it’s up to me to understand that my opinion may not be valid nor welcomed and that it really isn’t about me.

          saying that I cannot speak on *my* perspective with authority, or that I’m less able to better generalize about the experience of men like me, which has happened quite a number of times in discussions on this blog over the last couple of years.

          This is another thing. Being denied your experiences is terrible and happens to me all the time. Reframing a discussion to be about you and men like you is not cool, but I have no idea what went on so I can’t really say anything about it. But I think shit like this is why men need a good, safe space to discuss masculinity under the patriarchy.

          But coming here and demanding we treat all your thoughts as valid and equal isn’t going cool; your derailing is annoying as fuck.

        5. Sam
          Sam December 13, 2012 at 11:02 pm |

          librarygoose,

          But coming here and demanding we treat all your thoughts as valid and equal isn’t going cool; your derailing is annoying as fuck.

          well, since that’s really not what I said, I don’t really know what to reply.

          But I think shit like this is why men need a good, safe space to discuss masculinity under the patriarchy.

          Yeah, that would be certainly by good. But we don’t need a man’s only space, really.

        6. librarygoose
          librarygoose December 14, 2012 at 12:23 am |

          I agree, not a man’s only space. Just as I believe Feministe shouldn’t be a woman only space. More like a place where men can interrogate their own places in the kierarchy and their interactions with other people who identify as men.

          well, since that’s really not what I said, I don’t really know what to reply.

          Well that’s how it comes off when you insist on saying all the ladies got all their privilege when talking about feminism and dudes are just oppressed in discussions.

        7. zuzu
          zuzu December 14, 2012 at 12:29 am | *

          Shorter Sam: Will no one think of the poor menz?

  27. What We Missed
    What We Missed December 13, 2012 at 5:29 pm |

    [...] Jill Filipovic on the Good Men Project and their recent e-fight. [...]

  28. Jeff Perera
    Jeff Perera December 13, 2012 at 5:36 pm |

    I invite folks to check out our growing site Higher Unlearning (http://higherunlearning.com/) an online space for everyone to explore how ideas of gender, manhood, masculinity and femininity affect us all in everyday situations, interactions and experiences.

    We encourage men and young men to join us as we unlearn, grow and develop new forms of content ( interactive articles and videos).

    Jeff

  29. Dr. Free-Ride
    Dr. Free-Ride December 14, 2012 at 5:42 pm |

    Just catching up on this thread, I need to say:

    Sam, as a professional philosopher who knows a thing or two about epistemology, I beseech you: KNOCK IT OFF! You are displaying the very worst habits that are associated with *my* field, which means that you’re not just hurting yourself here.

    If you have something to contribute to the conversation that was already going on when you joined it, trouble yourself to express it in terms that are meaningful to the people who were already having a conversation, rather than swinging your jargon in a way that excludes them. (And seriously, if you cannot explain at least the gist of what you are trying to say without the jargon, you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.)

    Also, not every productive exchange — nor every productive disagreement — takes the form of a debate. Sometimes dialogue — with actual give and take and LISTENING and reflecting – works better. I know all too well that philosophy instruction sometimes conveys the impression that the world is one’s debate meet, but it really, really isn’t.

    Sorry for the OT. Not everyone infected by philosophy displays Sam’s symptoms.

    1. Alexandra
      Alexandra December 15, 2012 at 5:05 am |

      Hah, thanks for that. Some of the best conversations I’ve had about philosophy – including epistomology (I love me some David Hume) – have essentially been collaborative projects working toward better understanding. Sure, disagreement occurs along the way, but the point wasn’t to prove one’s intellectual chops, but rather to actually gain a better understanding of the text and the subject matter…

      People who treat philosophy – particularly moral philosophy – as a game or an avenue for points-scoring scare the crap out of me. I studied philosophy because I thought it mattered: because I thought the insights I would gain would allow me to live a better, more ethical, and more truthful life… it would always astonish me when I would show up to class on a Monday morning, and sit next to a bunch of intelligent, apparently sincere “nice guys” who’d spent the weekends acting like debauched assholes, and then we’d all start talking about prudence and moderation in the Nichomachean Ethics! How do people live with the cognitive dissonance?

  30. Why the ‘nice guys commit rape too’ conversation is not helpful | Jill Filipovic | Womens Health

    [...] including myself, pushed back on Royse’s narrative. In response, the Good Men Project doubled down (and then tripled and quadrupled down). Good Men Project editor Joanna Schroeder made the decision [...]

  31. Links for Sexy Feminists: The Good Men Project Gone Bad, Feminist Charities Need Your $, More

    [...] feminist blog The Good Men Project has really gone downhill, says Salon. Feministe offers an insightful breakdown of how things went wrong, and it’s everyone’s loss: we [...]

  32. CmE
    CmE December 25, 2012 at 3:40 pm |

    That person running the “Nice Guys of OK Cupid” tumblr should switch their focus to the GMP comments – they’d find a far more fertile hunting ground over there, I’d say. It’s not so much a collection of chips on shoulders, more an entire forest. I never could entirely figure out why.

  33. This Much I Know To Be True — The Good Men Project

    [...] my good intentioned expression of passion. Others get stirred up and, when I am really outspoken, even begin to organize boycotts of GMP as some kind of evil empire. The number of pieces about what GMP is doing wrong taking up space on major media websites [...]

  34. The Kerfuffle, Part II (NoH) | Feminist Critics

    [...] (and Yes Means Yes contributor Thomas Macaulay Millar) posted several responses, here, here, here, and [...]

  35. 2012: A Year of Outrages — The Good Men Project

    [...] Feministe [...]

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