I have not read anything on the Good Men Project since Joanna Schroeder informed me that I am banned because of my critiques the site’s treatment of male survivors and specifically because I am a non-feminist male survivor. That was of little consequence as I only read articles from the site when they appeared in a Google alert, and even then I kept my participation on the site to a limit.
The reason I rarely participated there was because, like many feminist spaces, the Good Men Project suffers from stilted discussions. While some people running the site may want to have open discussions, many of them do not. Rather than exchange ideas, these people prefer conformity to feminist ideas and theories. Any critique of feminism prompts an increasingly hostile response that typically ends with one or more feminists declaring the discussion “impossible” and the comments critical of feminism suddenly disappearing.
In my opinion, that is not how one fosters a discussion. Exchanging ideas can be difficult. People do not always agree, and some disagreements can become testy. However, as long as the anger remains directs at ideas and not people, one should allow those testy discussions because they are the nature of the debate. Blocking such comments only prevents an honest debate from happening.
Sometimes, as is typical at the Good Men Project and other feminist sites, that is the intention. Many ideologues cannot handle any criticism. The more personal their connection to the ideas, the more the ideology forms the core of their identity, and the more likely the ideologues will dislike the comments. Blocking the comments and banning certain people is a way of “controlling” the criticism. It does not actually work, of course. There is nothing stopping people from criticizing those ideas in other spaces. However, it does effectively prevent that kind of discussion from occurring in their spaces.
Such is the case with David Perry’s article The Straight Married White American Male Feminist Manifesto. Continue reading