Finally: You have to ask????????????
That was how Richard Aubery ended his comment on a recent Good Men Project article titled Shame: Is GMP Part of the Problem?
The author, Scott Heydt, stated:
This is not a rhetorical question.
Neither is Richard’s question, so I will repeat it: you have to ask?
The Good Men Project runs dozens of articles a month. As the commenter who spawned Heydt’s response noted:
GMP publishes more articles that shame and blame men than most of the websites on the internet. Some are written by men, some by women. They purport to tell men, in one way or another, what they’re saying, doing and thinking that is wrong, and how they should think, talk and behave instead.
At this point, a lot of men, and a number of women, are hip to the game – and routinely take remedial action in the comments section.
But – really and truly – GMP is a part of the problem, not a part of the solution.
I advise young men, in particular, to read the material here with a great deal of skepticism, because a lot of it is toxic social engineering – attempting to shame and blame them into being something that someone else wants you to be, rather than being who you you want to be.
I noticed a trend among the published articles on GMP. For every pro-male article published, GMP will publish three or four articles deriding or criticizing it. If someone writes something positive about fathers, three or four articles about mothers being fathers, “non-traditional” fathers, or something tearing down fatherhood will pop up. If someone writes positively about male bonding, three or four articles about frat boys, bros, or whatever negative euphemism will pop up. If someone writes about male survivors of sexual or domestic violence, three or four or more articles about sexual violence against women, street harassment, and “rape culture” will pop up.
Should there be a crime that garners national or international attentions, things become more unbalanced. For example, GMP ran far more articles about the need to remove men from positions of power and replace them with women than articles about male survivors following the Jerry Sandusky case. GMP ran twice as many articles about the Steubenville case than the Sandusky trial, many of them letters to existing and future sons about how not to be rapists. The same thing occurred following the Santa Barbara killing spree and the Boko Haram kidnappings.
The commenter rightly points out that this imbalance is noticeable to readers, some of whom express that opinion in the comments. Heydt does not deny this:
Candidly, the editors and contributors DO consciously run some posts that are seen as shaming men. For example, we talk about racism, sexism, homophobia, domestic violence, and sexual assault/abuse.
But let me tell you why homophobic, racist, sexist, and abusive belief systems are misandric, or showing a hatred toward boys/men.
Homophobia is misandric because it does not allow men to love as they choose.
Racism is misandric because it marginalizes a group of men for financial gain.
Sexism is misandric because it doesn’t allow the belief that men can be 100% great human beings while still allowing women to be so also.
Abuse is misandric because a huge amount of violence is against other men — and the violence against other men is because they are policing other men to get them to stay in the man box.
Issues of rape and consent are misandric because they imply that men can’t have open, consenting relationships where they can get as much sex as they want just by being true to themselves.
That is a dishonest portrayal of the articles. Few, if any, of the articles argue that these acts as misandrous. Most of the articles argue that the bias is actually misogyny stemming from “The Patriarchy,” male entitlement, and male privilege. To that point, Heydt cannot even maintain the subterfuge for long:
Here’s an example. Sex is healthy. Rape is unacceptable. So at some place in that spectrum we have to draw a line that says, “Even though sex is good, sex without consent is bad. Sex without consent is rape.” For some this makes sex “less fun” because of the added “chore” of asking for consent. Some interpret this as shaming men who don’t believe that the line drawn is where the line should be drawn. And that gets overly simplified into “you’re shaming men for wanting sex.”
No, the objection is to the notion that men do not already know this and do not already abide by this. If I told Heydt that as a man he needed to learn that it was not okay for men to have sex with children because a child cannot give consent, I doubt he would respond with, “I didn’t know that. Thank you for explaining where the line is drawn on the spectrum of human sexuality.” I highly doubt he would respond that way if I brought up the topic when he mentioned he wanted to volunteer at a youth camp.
Men already know it is wrong to have sex with someone without their consent. That is why the vast majority of men do not have sex with someone without the person’s consent. Telling someone not to do something they have no intention of doing is pointless. Telling it to a person solely because he is male is sexist. Copping an attitude when he complains about the obvious implication is pure idiocy.
Heydt ended with:
On the other hand, if we at GMP are shaming men for topics other than racism, sexism, homophobia, domestic violence, and sexual assault/abuse, provide specific examples. The editors at GMP are always open to better ways of talking about difficult and provocative topics. If we are not approaching these topics appropriately, point out the places where it’s problematic, and give us ways that you think it would be better to talk about those topics.
Why? That is not a rhetorical question. Why should anyone help GMP’s editors run their site? If their goal is to help men by encouraging men to their stories, why does anyone need to explain to GMP’s editors how to do that?
There is little point in feigning ignorance. The Good Men Project has been around for years. It began with a clear feminist slant that turned into a slope iced with the biting commentary of people who seem to hold men in contempt. If GMP’s editors had any interest in “a conversation [that] is never one-sided” and is “open to […] feedback” they would ask people from all political spectrums to contribute to their site. They would ask people to write articles responding to previous feminist and progressive-leaning articles. They would allow an open forum for discussion and stop playing to a particular political audience.
That is how one prevents a one-sided conversation. That is also what GMP’s editors appear least inclined to do.
The true shame comes when we stop having the conversation.
No, the true shame comes from never having the conversation to begin with.