Given the feminist spin on the Good Men Project, it was only a matter of time before the editors ran an article victim blaming men for the abuse they suffer. One could argue they have done it before. They ran plenty of articles written by Hugo Schwyzer and Jamie Utt that tacitly excuse and deny male victimization. However, I cannot recall anything as pernicious as author Talisa’s When Girls Attack.
I will spare readers the extra click and post the entire article here (that way if anyone at GMP grows a conscience and decides to remove the piece they cannot pretend it did not exist):
She may scream, punch, take advantage or just quietly manipulate you.
The stereotype may be used against you by being told to provide or take care of needs; making you feel guilty, ashamed and less of a man—but please don’t feel this way.
It may have nothing to do with you or maybe you did do something to provoke; either way how do you handle the attack?
If the ‘attack’ on you is a once-off behavior there may be something deeper going on resulting in this. In this instance it might be best to leave the situation in the heat of the moment and try coming back at a calmer time to talk it out—this conversation can be started by simply asking how everything is going.
However, if an inappropriate behavior is continually received you have to handle it. We are adults and whilst we don’t always act our best, mature conversations when things are not quite right is the outcome we need to strive for, whether it is in the workplace, home or a social setting.
Manipulative or snide comment behavior needs to be confronted with a calm approach. Find an appropriate setting, maybe invite the other out for a coffee or the like, and simply bring up the behavior, how it isn’t acceptable and ask ‘how can ‘we’ work this out?’ This approach, whilst often difficult is one of the best deflators.
Unfortunately sometimes the other party isn’t willing to move towards a mature attitude. In that instance it is best to remove yourself from this association as much as possible when you have made reasonable attempts to work it out. If someone doesn’t have your best interest at heart than it isn’t healthy to continue to let him or her be an influence in your life, as we are all influenced by those around us.
And this is hard, walking away always is because there were good reasons you walked into it. But that is part of being a good man, knowing when to walk away at a mature time, not letting it get to a point that grinds you down, as this is when regrettable behaviors come out.
Remain calm, take moments to keep you together and mentally prepare yourself for these hard talks. As even when the mud is slung, you need to be prepared to be the one to show compassions, care and maturity.
Often bad behavior can gain momentum with others and you need to be able to hold strong to your mature approach even when it is not visible to others, especially then, keep strong.
But in your humanness, if you do falter in this you need to acknowledge it. Apologies are in order no matter hard you may find them. You need to acknowledge when your behavior isn’t at its best, confirm you know this and are working on it, and try to explore the trigger so both parties can better understand and prevent this next time.
There is such strength in acknowledgment and acceptance, this paves the way for growth; it almost always ensures it.
Don’t starve the world of your growth and the gentleman inside you—don’t run or fight back from situations where possible. We don’t need any more immaturity, we need wisdom, and a gentle touch, and if need be, we need to move on from things that may no longer serve us.
It does not matter what type of fair reading one tries, there is no other way to read the above article as anything more than excusing abuse and blaming the victim. It is disgusting and offensive to call men’s attempt to defend themselves or run away from an abusive situation “immaturity.” It is beyond the pale to to suggest that abuse victims should apologize to their abusers when their “behavior isn’t at its best.”
Do I even need to ask whether GMP’s editors would have run this article had the sexes been reversed? Would they have even entertained it?
There are a few things the editors revealed by running this article:
- They have no compassion for male survivors of abuse. No one who cares even one iota about abused men would run such an article.
- The feminist spin on the site has gotten out of hand. This is the sort of article one would expect to see on Slate, Salon, Feministing, Jezebel, or the Raw Story.
- The editors must be desperate for traffic. Make no mistake, while it is likely that the editors who chose to run the article do think very little of male survivors, it is also likely that they knew the heat the article would receive.
None of that makes the article any less reprehensible. It is still an embarrassment. To anyone who supports GMP, keep in mind that above is what you are supporting.