As Equals and as Friends

Amanda Marcotte responds to Tom Matlack

I wanted to love “Knocked Up”. I really did. It was hilarious and crude, and had lots of Paul Rudd in it. But within seconds of walking out of the theater, my boyfriend had started the process of convincing me that the movie’s view of male/female relations was so retrograde and toxic that it made the film irredeemable. Good comedy should always be rooted in truth, and there is no reality to the notion that men are naturally childlike rascals who have a few short years of enjoying life before vampiric women frog-march them into lives of stifled domesticity. The scene he particularly singled out for abuse was the baffling fight between Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann’s characters over his sneaking off to play fantasy baseball. Audiences were expected to swallow the portrayal of women as nagging harpies who can’t even allow their husbands a single, harmless interest outside of the home, and not only that, but that men simply have to submit to this treatment, because of, I don’t know, some all-seeing matriarchy. In the world of “Knocked Up”, men and women are mortal enemies who are somehow forced to live together, living a Sisyphean existence of mommy-wives endlessly nagging man-children until the will to live has been drummed out of both.

But it did have a lot of hilarious body humor of the sort the 12-year-old in me just loves, so it took me some time and a couple other discussions with my incredibly persuasive boyfriend before I came around to feeling the same annoyance with the movie that he did.

I bring all this up, because according to the picture Tom Matlack painted of relations between men and women in 21st century America in his essay “Being a Dude is a Good Thing”—a picture that has a remarkable resemblance to the one Judd Apatow created in “Knocked Up”—this story couldn’t have happened. In the world that Tom conjures up, my boyfriend would have been cringingly afraid to express an opinion about this movie, and, because of the all-consuming powers of women, if he had ventured that opinion, he would have retreated immediately the second I disagreed. He certainly couldn’t have brought me around to his point of view on this. Of course, in the world Tom conjured in his essay, my boyfriend would have never disliked the view of male/female relations in “Knocked Up” at all, because he would think the nagging wives vs. man-children view was accurate instead of insulting. And yet, I am prepared to testify in court that this is exactly how it all went down (and running this past my dude, he laughed and said, “Yeah, I remember that rant in the car ride home). Perhaps it’s not that our memories of our own lives that are wrong, but Tom’s picture of the world.

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But hey, having read Tom’s essay, I was predisposed to worry that I’m just a screeching harpy who can brook no disagreement from mere men, and that I was unfairly using my singular experience to discount general trends. So I decided to control for this possibility, and sent the essay out to some male friends, and posted it to my Facebook page, venturing no opinion (for fearing that Tom was right, and doing so would make men so fearful of disagreement that they would, in his words, “look at the ground in deference”) and just simply asking for theirs. In accordance with my previous experiences, men had no problem telling me what they thought. Tom will be disappointed to discover that they did not like his essay very much. It’s always possible that these men simply guessed what I thought about it, and were trying to butter me up, of course. But since I’m close to at least a couple of them, I’m going to venture to say that they would find that accusation deeply insulting, so I feel that it’s okay to take them at their word.

Some responses I got from men who had zero problem expressing their opinion to me:

“When I read an essay like this, where the writer ascribes feelings to all men, which I do not feel, and suggests that rational, liberal men like me are self-hating or deluded, I become somewhat annoyed. When you add in bizarre statements about a man-hating American mass media, I become suspicious. Honestly, the whole thing makes me feel hostile.”

“The rest of the piece really has a similar smell to the groups of folks afraid of the war on Christmas — they never seem to get that Christmas is not under any threat in this country.”

“I don’t ever feel like I’m blamed for being a man. When I see ‘men behaving badly’ shows or ‘men as idiot’ shows, there’s always the undercurrent that it’s all okay.”

“This piece is the worst kind of navel gazing because it begins from a tortured premise the author has no interest in examining. He’s simply justifying.

“If anything he is coming dangerously close to longing for an earlier time where men didn’t feel the need to offer anything substantive to a woman.”

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The thing that struck me the most about Tom’s essay was that it was maddeningly vague about the nature of these conflicts between men and women, in which he claims men can’t catch a break. I suspect this lack of substance was purposeful, because giving form to the nature of the conflicts might be a tad too illuminating. We don’t know if the men he’s talked to are complaining because their wives never allow them a night out with the guys, or if the men he’s talking to are complaining because their supposedly nagging wives are exhausted of doing all the housework and begging for a little help. Since there’s a general lack of specifics about the nature of these conflicts, I thought the only fair approach is to quote Tom heavily and argue directly with him. It’s a style that’s common to blogging, but seems like the only fair thing to do in this situation. Tom on Twitter seemed to believe that his feminist critics were being unfair, and I want to be scrupulously fair. Heavy amounts of direct quoting is the only way to ensure that happens.

Why do men get blamed for everything?

This is such a preposterous statement that even Tom tries to walk it back immediately, demanding that we exclude such situations where the only available person to blame is the man who did something terribly wrong, such as rape and sex trafficking. This is intellectually dishonest, because by looking at situations where the man who committed a crime against a woman—situations where it’s only reasonable to put 100% of the blame on the person who assaulted an innocent person—we find that even in these situations, women tend to get blamed. Some times the female victim is the only person that society is interested in blaming, which is why defense attorneys in rape cases have so much success with the “she was drinking, and so she was asking for it” defense. We as a society can’t hold men fully accountable when they do something unquestionably evil to a woman, such as use her drunken state as an excuse to rape her. So why would we presume that men are somehow automatically the only people held accountable for lesser, more ambiguous events?

Here’s my theory, and it’s nothing but a theory. Men and women are different. Quite different in fact. But women would really like men to be more like them.

This is a prime example of how Tom is using vague language to avoid direct criticism. It’s not enough to say “men and women are different”. Really? How? The most obvious examples are that women have uteruses and breasts and vaginas, whereas men have penises and testicles. Is Tom suggesting that women want men to have vaginas? Obviously not. But then what? If you’re going to make a risible argument about how men are so different than women and women are so angry about it, you need to be specific. I don’t like being accused of being hateful towards men for having certain qualities, and then have those qualities concealed from me so that I can’t defend myself from the accusation. I don’t know who would.

In the locker room, in the bathroom, on the walk out of the board room, in my conversations with men of all kinds, that’s what I hear more than anything. The resignation that to be a man is to be unacceptable at some level to the woman in your life.

The vagueness here is especially awful. Are the men being reasonable in this or not? We can’t know, because there are no qualities that women are supposedly hating on as a group that are named, so we can examine them. It’s possible that the men Tom is speaking have a strong expectation of submission from women, and are angry to get any indication that women see them as less than perfect human beings. Even as recently as the 50s, the “father knows best” mentality was simply a given, so maybe we’re witnessing men who are just angry that they might be treated as less than gods. We can’t know; we’re given no examples from which to judge these complaints.

One close friend jokes, “When speaking to my wife I always make sure to look at the ground in deference. And I make sure not to make any sudden movements.”

I’ll let one of my male correspondents respond to this one, to avoid being accused of being a domineering woman who uses her mighty powers to stomp out any disagreement: “I mean, the number of men who look at the floor in deference compared to the number of women who have to do so in this country?”

But with her he’s decided the only way to survive is to submit. The female view is the right view. The male view just gets you into trouble.

On Twitter, Tom tried to retreat from criticism by pleading with me that we look at people as individuals, as if I were the person not doing so. I would like to quote this sentence to demonstrate that I am not the person in this conflict who is generalizing about men and women. I reject the notion that in a conflict between an individual man and his wife, his view stands in for the generic “male view” and hers for the generic “female view”, much less that because his view comes from some generic male place, he’s automatically considered wrong.  And what is this “in trouble”? Does his wife have the power to ground him? To take away his video games? To take away his allowance?

Again, it would be nice to know the nature of the conflict here, to determine if it’s actually a man vs. woman thing, as well as to determine if she’s actually in the wrong and he’s in the right, but she gets her way because of the almighty nagging bitch powers women possess. That we aren’t permitted to know what the conflicts are suggests that it may not be as cut-and-dry as Tom would have you believe.

Men know women are different. They think differently, they express emotion differently, they are motivated by different things, they think about sex differently, and they use a very different vocabulary.

Well, at least Tom is getting closer to specifics, but if you really think about this, it’s all still very vague. For instance, how do women think about sex “differently”? Is he invoking tedious and disproved stereotypes that women are functionally asexual beings who just use sex to get affection from men? Is he saying “women are horny, but not as horny as men?”, and if so, how does he wish to address women who are in relationships where they have the higher sex drive? Do women really have a different “vocabulary”? If so, then why was a blogger such as Digby perceived as a male writer for years, until she actually came out and confirmed that she is, in fact, female?

Why can’t women accept men for who they really are? Is a good man more like a woman or more truly masculine?

Define “accept”. What qualities are you claiming are unique to men and that women are not accepting. Explain what that acceptance would look like, and if women will be, as they traditionally have been, held to a higher standard of accepting men than vice versa. Define “masculine”. These aren’t facetious questions. My own long term romantic relationship is with a man with many qualities and interests that are traditionally “masculine”. He’s an enormous sports fan. He loves comic books and video games. Like myself, he’s outspoken, self-confident, and competitive—traditionally masculine qualities, though it’s questionable if they’re “masculine” if so many women like myself also share them. I fail to see what more I could do to accept him for who he is. I have no problem with his interests, and in fact support them by doing things like giving gifts related to them. I laugh appreciatively when he’s really on an entertaining rant. I like playing games with him that provoke his competitive side (and mine).

I bring this up not to brag in the slightest, but because my relationship to my man’s “masculinity” (in quotes, because every single so-called masculine quality is shared by plenty of women, if not always by me) is actually mundane and typical of women’s behavior. Sure, if a man’s sports-viewing habits have grown to the point where he hasn’t had a complete conversation with a family member in weeks, women might complain, but men also have reasonable expectations that women in their lives actually show up on occasion. So, there’s clearly another level of “accept” that’s going on, and we’ll need more detail to understand what Tom is talking about.

And god knows as guys we can, at times, live up to the stereotype of knuckle-draggers looking to eat, fuck, drink, and sleep.

This is something that really set me off on Twitter. Tom is circling around specifics, and in doing so, he only ends up presenting an indefensible and frankly bemusing complaint. Is there really reason to believe that women on the whole do not like to “eat, fuck, drink, and sleep”, and that we don’t accept men because they do? Most women I know also wish that we could spend all our time eating, fucking, drinking, and sleeping, but we don’t get to blame nagging wives when we have to take a break to draw income, clean the house, or cook the food for the eating. And frankly, I don’t really know these men that are frustrated “knuckle-draggers”. Mostly they know that it’s more than their wives who will be pissed if they don’t make rent; landlords, after all, have the power to evict you.

We’ve been slow to reveal our inner thoughts and feeling. But again my pet theory is that this comes back to vocabulary. Emotional language has been so dominated by women that to talk about feelings is, at some level, to become female rather than macho.

If you want men to express their feelings more, stop with the “men and women are so different” thing, and start telling a different story, about how men and women are basically the same, and gender norms that say otherwise are stifling our growth as human beings.

But my basic point is that many men, I think, feel blamed for being simply men. That their most basic instincts are twisted around to torture rather than celebrate who they are.

Maddeningly vague! What are these “most basic instincts”? And why should women specifically celebrate them? The only specifics we’ve been presented are this urge to do nothing but “eat, fuck, drink, and sleep”, which is equally shared by women. The non-congratulations you get for wanting to sit around eating all day isn’t the fault of nagging wives, but just a facet of being human and expected to contribute.

It seems that the blame game in the mainstream, whether through the minimization of male life in pop culture or on television or through the continued obsession with men behaving badly, has finally struck a chord with the average guy.

Tom paints a picture of pop culture and television where male voices are rare, and women dominate the conversation. Unfortunately for him, recent research shows that reality is completely inverted from his imaginings. Researchers at USC examined the top grossing films of 2009 and found  women had only 32.8% of speaking roles. Women made up 3.6% of the directors of the top 100 grossing films. They are 13.5% of writers, and 21.6% of producers. The Writer’s Guild of America reports that women are only 28%  of TV writers. “Community” is one of the few—possibly only—shows on TV with parity in the writer’s room, and it’s facing the ax from the network. When you look at the cold, hard numbers, there is only one conclusion: women’s stories and women’s voices are marginalized in pop culture.

I see no evidence that there’s a widespread “men behaving badly” obsession. Of Google’s top searches for 2011, two were men and three were women. One woman is an accused murderer, one a talentless hack, and one is a good singer. Of the men, one died in a drunk driving accident, and the other is Steve Jobs. Of Yahoo’s top ten searches, six were women, and one was a man. The man, Osama bin Laden, is pretty bad. Of the women, you have an accused murderer, a woman who is widely perceived to be an exploitative bimbo, and a drug addict, as well as an actress and two singers who are more beloved for their bodies than their talents. Even though men commit the majority of murders, assaults, and other violent or disruptive crimes in our society, the people looking stuff up online are much more interested in women behaving badly. For a man to compete with female drug addicts, talentless hacks, or accused murders, in terms of national interest, he has to be an international terrorist who has murdered thousands of people.

In his entire essay detailing men’s complaints about being oppressed by women or prevented from expressing themselves, Tom veered between making claims so light on details that they defied examination and making claims that were specific but demonstrably false. The end result is an unshakeable feeling that Tom and the men he claims to speak for are simply angry that their unquestioned male privileges are being eroded. It’s not that men are being edged out of the conversation at all, but that women are beginning to have a say that appears to be the problem. Watching privilege erode, even slightly, can be disconcerting for the privileged. But the bare minimum of being a “good man” is not conflating the erosion of your privilege with genuine oppression. The good men I know in my own life enjoy the challenge of shedding sexist stereotypes like “nagging wife” and “naughty man-child” to enjoy going forward with women, hand-in-hand, as equals and as friends.

photo by massimo_riserbo / Flickr

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About Amanda Marcotte

Amanda Marcotte hails from Texas, but resides in Brooklyn, New York, according to the laws governing the proper placement of freelance writers and feminist gadflies. She blogs regularly for Pandagon and Double X, and writes and podcasts for RH Reality Check. She's written two books on politics, It's A Jungle Out There and Get Opinionated.

Comments

  1. Bruce McGlory says:

    Matlack definitely does not speak for me. I won’t presume to know what his issue is with women, but his entire piece sounded to me like one gigantic justification for . . . . something. . . . his vagueness, his complete lack of evidence, his childish defensiveness when it was pointed out to him he pulled all of this out of his butt says to me that he doesn’t like women and doesn’t want open dialoge.

    Therefore, I’m glad I discovered Ms. Marcotte. In this piece, with extensive quoting of Matlack’s piece, etc. shows someone actually willing to look at these issues and actually discuss them. A refreshing change from Matlack’s self-pitying piece.

  2. Hmmm.

    Amanda’s critique is a fair one in terms of the lack of specificity.

    If Tom could just give us concrete examples of his generalizations, perhaps I would be less Knee-Jerk.

    As the only female in a rural household of hunting-fishing-sports mad men, I can certainly acknowledge the deference of the BH and sons to standards of hygiene, cooperation and common sense. I suppose it should be noted that the BH and moi were pretty much on the same page about how we wanted our household to run, lest anyone here automatically assume that Mom the Tyrant consistently terrorized her family into submission.

    Quite simply, with 3 boys close in age to raise, deferring to the rambunctious behaviors, as long as they were not egregious, was the path of least resistance. The rule was “do your bleeding in the mud room and clean up after yer damn selves.” From taking the occasional bouts of fisticuffs in stride to yelling my lungs out at their events to the resigned amusement of broken limbs that were the result of utterly bone-headed stunts…to obnoxious maternal pride in the men our sons have become…

    …I’m just not recognizing the “problem” that Tom is writing about.

    So like Amanda…I’m wondering if Tom could be more specific in his complaints.

    • Amanda was hardly specific when she wrote ‘plenty of women do this or that’ either. As she was demanding precision from Tom, perhaps she should have stat’ed up those lines

  3. But plenty of women do “everything,” James. There are greater differences within the genders than between them. This is so established that it is a fundamental premise in any discussion of differences between men and women.

    No need to start at the beginning of the beginning of the beginning. We’re past that discussion.

    • ill post this again to your reply.

      Amanda was hardly specific when she wrote ‘plenty of women do this or that’ either. As she was demanding precision from Tom, perhaps she should have stat’ed up those lines

  4. Sigh…google is your friend, James.

  5. . The end result is an unshakeable feeling that Tom and the men he claims to speak for are simply angry that their unquestioned male privileges are being eroded. It’s not that men are being edged out of the conversation at all, but that women are beginning to have a say that appears to be the problem. Watching privilege erode, even slightly, can be disconcerting for the privileged. But the bare minimum of being a “good man” is not conflating the erosion of your privilege with genuine oppression. The good men I know in my own life enjoy the challenge of shedding sexist stereotypes like “nagging wife” and “naughty man-child” to enjoy going forward with women, hand-in-hand, as equals and as friends.
    Goodness and mercy this again.

    Man speaks up. Feminist disagrees and cries privilege.

    I know plenty of women in my life that enjoy the challenge of shedding stereotypes but that doesn’t mean the crap that a lot of women deal with doesn’t exist. But someone a small portion of the male population is proof that men as a whole are just scared of losing their privileges.

    As for me I agree that there are some privileges associated with being male and I hope to see the day when that is no longer the case. But that is never going to happen as long as we have folks like this that get all hurt in the heart when they see something that goes against the conclusions they’ve already made.

  6. I am so delighted to see this discussion taking place. It confirms my belief that men and women are ready to get real together.
    At one time in my life I described myself as a feminist. Today I am a confirmed humanist. We are living in obsolete stories in the USA circa 2011

    In my view woman as inherently morally superior beings is a really stupid story.

    Flip that coin—if woman is inherently morally superior—and we all accept that at face value, then of course if a man makes a choice that is unconscionable—OH WELL!—it’s the woman’s job to set the standard anyhow. Clever hat trick.

    Face it: Men have a perfectly awful role to play in our social order, always the be the first, the fastest, the best, know the most, compete, vie for the alpha dog status. Be willing to protect and defend laying one’s life on the line should the situation call for such an act.
    Go to war. Go to war every day of their lives in America. Compete, beat, win, score, achieve, succeed at all costs. Be the breadwinner. Be the person responsible to go down into the sewer when there is something that needs fixed. Be the bottom line.
    Oh! And while you are at all the above display a sex drive that is indistinguishable from an every-ready battery. Maintain the manly man’s erection, and face rejection of your sex drive gracefully, with the woman having the last word in this world. Now fit this into the framework that you are supposed to dominate, as you were coached to do all your life to “prove” your manhood, the magnitude of this wack-a-doodle role becomes evident. In their heart of hearts any man worth talking to really wants to know he is loved and respected, and deeply invested in pleasing the woman in his life, who rarely speaks directly about what she really wants…BECAUSE she has been in the “not-out-loud-cloud all her life.

    Women have an equally shitty role, now liberated to be another family breadwinner WHILE; competing to be the fairest of them all, at all times competing with the airbrushed images and professionally trained video hardbodies that are all over the media. Attractive but not TOO sexy in the workaday world.
    (Because as we all know a woman who has authentic sexual desire is a loose cannon. 
One never knows where she will drop that estrogen bomb next).

    Bottom line: subjecting ourselves to these old stories is just nuts!

    We are in the Twenty-first Century outside the man/woman story. We can communicate with people all over the planet at the speed of light. Why then do we choose to communicate within our primary connections from the point of view of a stone-age story?

    My (working) top nine list of obsolete ideas about the sexes;

    1)The Animal Story; When it comes to dating, mating and relating we are just like those other primates.
    OK then it would stand to reason that monkeys should be able to type, paint the Sistine Chapel, and build a spaceship that would take us to the moon. We are not animals, we are divine animals. We do not transcend the flesh we infuse it with the divine.

    2) Sex is about procreation; A women’s hip to waist ratio is the key determinant for mate selection; Would be significant, if the world’s population were not seven billion. Repopulating the planet is not at issue. Give it up! It’s an obsolete story. You can’t text your response and tell me you are incapable of making change. Open your mind and the rest will follow.

    3)Women are inherently morally superior: Women are fifty percent of the world’s population and therefore 50% responsible for every condition on the planet. Any of my sisters who are hiding behind their Goddess skirts using their inside voices in a woman’s circle; it’s time to woman up. Lean to speak up in mixed company. Keep speaking up until you are heard. You will be called “aggressive”. Don’t take it personally. That language is designed to keep you from speaking up again. Ignore it.

    4)Men should form men’s support groups and talk about this with one another and Women should support women’s support groups and talk about this with one another.
    You are either in gender bias or your are in gender balance. Pretending we are unable to have an open discussion between the sexes holds us in our current limbo. In our separate gender circles we can only reinforce our dysfunctional patterns. We have to break out of our own molds.

    5) Men/Women have to do the changing. All men are dwags, irresponsible, grown up boys, all women are bitches, nags, hormonally crazed, gold diggers…etc. This kind of shaming, blaming and name calling supports irrational prejudices. To paraphrase; consciousness-up!

    6)Men are from one planet Women are from another and can’t ever understand the other. Major cop-out! How does this rhetoric build a bridge? People who choose to make a conscious effort will not fail to understand one another. This is a very damaging story as it leaves everyone at an impasse. This is undoubtly the most deblilitating conversation out there, perpetually reinforced by pop culture (an oxymoran at best) We are have yin and yang qualities; collaborate with your partner to expand you balance.

    7)I’m the only one who always does the everything—because I’m the only one who always does the everything just right! If you do it it’s your job. Either don’t do it or don’t play martyr if you choose to do it. Own your choices.

    8)The Sexual Revolution moved us forward. The sexual revolution is over. Everybody lost. (Well not EVERYBODY, Americans now spend $41 billion a year on their pets). The couple dynamic is the foundation of society. Ours is ruptured. Doesn’t matter much to me who is in that couple dynamic as long as both parties are treating one another with love and respect.

    9)Men want sex more than women. Consider that men spent 10 billion on viagra last decade, Women spend 30 billion ANNUALLY to be attractive. Which begs the question whom are they trying to attract for what? Women want sex just as much if not MORE than men they just don’t want Titanic Sex* (Starts as an adventure and ends as monumental disaster disproportionally leaving men dead in the water— no oxytocin is produced in Titanic Sex
    To find out more on how you can Occupy Titanic Sex check out the website with the same name.

    • #9 Exactly how does Viagra use measure the horniness of men under 60? It doesn’t! Ultimately, you know that men like sex way more than women and so you will frame your arguments to make it appear that this is not true, but deep down inside you know the real truth. You also know this truth can be determined by a very simple behavioral test… a test which women like you will make sure is never mentioned.

  7. MorgainePendragon says:

    Thank you, Amanda.

    I find your writing and analyses insightful, to the point, CONCISE (which DOES seem to be such a difficult concept to “master” for so many … erhm, well, won’t specify), and persuasive without being bullying or condescending.

    Your tone–or rather, having now read a number of your pieces, I would call it a clear voice– is humorous enough to take the sting out of some of your sharpest criticisms while also authoritative enough to carry weight.

    I think this is why the MRAs hate you so much. You’re incredibly difficult to argue with. You’re both reasonable and honest without sliding into that apologetic tone of coddling the tantrum-throwers (which I do see from time to time from writers/participants in the GMP).

    So again, thank you. I’m glad to have discovered your voice and I’m SO glad that the GMP continues to support it.

  8. @Amanda

    That was a really well-thought out, well-written article, and it was both a little bewildering and disappointing to see some of the responses it generated right off the bat. Not only does Tom’s piece lack specifics, but it completely ignores the reality of male privilege. I think one of the biggest problems with understanding feminism, especially from a guy’s perspective, is that without a real understanding of privilege, it’s very difficult to accept a lot of feminist theory and argument (I know it was for me, but thankfully it clicked eventually).

    It’s very tempting for people, both men and women, who don’t have a solid understanding of this concept to say “Oh, I’m not a feminist – feminists are crazy. I’m about *equal* rights, not special rights.” Unfortunately, it seems that a lot the audience here hasn’t grasped that “feminism” is only a loaded word because the patriarchy loaded it themselves.

    • “is that without a real understanding of privilege, it’s very difficult to accept a lot of feminist theory and argument (I know it was for me, but thankfully it clicked eventually).”

      There is also the possibility that they understand it but call it bullshit? Thing is you can also create an argument about female privilege. And every time a female feminist disagrees you can start talking about how she just won’t acknowledge her female privilege. If you are basing an arguments validity by requiring an unquantifiable unproven theory as an internal belief system just to be able to understand it perhaps the argument itself is not entirely as solid as you think?

      “Unfortunately, it seems that a lot the audience here hasn’t grasped that “feminism” is only a loaded word because the patriarchy loaded it themselves.”

      Only people who agree with me see the truth. Great argument there. Really convincing.

      Its at this point that it is really hard to differentiate feminist theory and religious dogma. Wasn’t this stuff abandoned after the science wars of the 90s?

      I have seen feminism argued without needing its audience to have the required “facts” or “understandings” needed. The fact that it isn’t argued that way all the time is quite sad.

      • Ieta posted: ::words::

        Case in point.

      • Actually I think most people get caught up in feminism being defined as equalism instead of simply female rights for equality. They expect feminism to just take care on equal rights FOR ALL, then get blasted out of feminist spaces for daring to mention male equality issues and thus get a deep seated hatred for it due to being rejected in such a bad fashion.

        Also the lack of calling out the batshit insane all sex is rape feminists by other feminists leaves a lot to be desired, we can see muslims calling out and denouncing extremists but I haven’t seen many feminists speak up about radfems. Of course this may be out there, would love some links if there are blogs etc on it but as of yet I haven’t seen any. I think both masculism and feminism need to denounce the extremists so they don’t get confused with being the same as those extremists.

        PS, MRAssholes and WRAssholes, quit the misogyny and misandry, it doesn’t help equality at all.

        • Julie Gillis says:

          Like. I”m going to personally look into the “denouncing extremists” links thing. Curious.

        • See, this is why a fundamental understanding of patriarchy and privilege is so important to a productive discussion of feminism; having that, it’s obvious there can’t be such a thing as “female privilege.”

          We’re dealing with an unjust social system that’s oppressive to women. More often than not, society is constructed to benefit males over females, and it’s a perpetuating system. It’s why we have a heterosexual, usually white, scope of the world that creates a condition where everyone outside of that band are tossed in an “other” category, and those people need to make concessions in order to get by in that society. It’s a shitty thing for men too – it encourages men to behave in emotionally stunted, aggressive, ways, and women to behave in emotional, shallow ways. Thing is, it does this to most of us without our even realizing it.

          From this perspective, the idea of men’s rights or equal rights is unproductive and just plain inane because men already have the privilege in society. If you don’t understand this, it makes everything else a hell of a lot harder for you to grasp. The fact that 1 out of 6 American women have been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime should be a clue.

          The concept that feminists believe that “all sex is rape” is ridiculous. Feminism has been around for centuries in various forms. More than centuries. For anyone who actually cares, this is an interesting read: http://radgeek.com/gt/2006/02/19/misquotation_in/

          • “We’re dealing with an unjust social system that’s oppressive to women. More often than not, society is constructed to benefit males over females, and it’s a perpetuating system. ”

            People are allowed to disagree.

            “From this perspective, the idea of men’s rights or equal rights is unproductive and just plain inane because men already have the privilege in society.”
            And women have lots of privileges in society etc etc i could name a few and we could debate it but clearly thats not your strong suite. This simplistic idea you have about society and your unquestioning belief in it worries me. I could be wrong though. But you have gone no where near close to convincing me.

          • “The fact that 1 out of 6 American women have been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime should be a clue.”

            I can’t leave that alone. Stating bad stuff happens to one gender without actually measuring it for the other always results in misunderstanding. http://1in6.org/ or try reading http://toysoldier.wordpress.com/
            The world is far more complex and interesting than you believe. Putting women on a pedestal as always the victim doesn’t help women or men and it certainly isn’t treating women as equals.

            • I’m starting to notice selective stats usage to portray one’s gender as worse, both feminists and masculists seem to do it (some not all). Trying to prove women get it worse with that stat whilst there are other stats showing men get it worse for some areas is silly.

            • Oh I agree – trying to prove some areas are worse than others is silly. By and large women have it far more challenging than men – it isn’t even a contest.

            • Challenging in what respect, equal rights? death, injury and illness? violence? overall life? SO many variables and each area isn’t comparable to the next, Comparing how much we suffer with rape vs physical assault for instance is silly. Saying how bad it is that women earn less whilst at the same time men also die and are injured far far more in the workplace than women, how do you compare who get’s it worse? Atm I believe in The US more men are unemployed than women, more men were laid off in the recession. So who get’s it worse now?
              By and large you can select stats to prove either can be worse off, but how is it proven?

            • No one is arguing that bad things don’t happen to men – but I think there’s a real misunderstanding here. You seem like a smart guy, but more than that you seem to be talking about this in good faith which I appreciate.

              I take it you’re not disputing any of the economic issues; so, granted, women get screwed on that end of it. But sure, more men get injured on the workplace (because they’re encouraged to take dangerous jobs while women aren’t), I wouldn’t deny that. But aside from men being victims of the patriarchy by being encouraged to take those kinds of jobs over women, that’s neither here nor there in the discussion.

              This isn’t an oppression competition here – it’s just stating facts. Besides, economic factors are only a slice of the issue.

              She dresses in a short skirt or is wearing makeup? She wanted me to catcall her. She only looks pretty because she wants me to see nice things.

              She’s pretty? Obviously I have the right to walk up to her when she’s busy and demand her attention, and if she turns me down, she’s a bitch.

              She gets drunk and can’t fight me off? Then I have the right to rub up against her breasts. If she didn’t like it, she shouldn’t have stopped being able to protect herself against me.

              She’s pregnant? The fetus has a right to gestate inside her for nine months.

              And we’re not even touching on rape culture here, which is a whole other can of worms.

              Can you honestly tell me that men have it harder or just as hard as women? Seriously? Honestly? In good faith?

            • AnEntitledMan says:

              “Can you honestly tell me that men have it harder or just as hard as women? Seriously? Honestly? In good faith?”

              Its tough all around. But admitting that women have challenges they face more often than men doesn’t negate the fact that many of these things are unquantifiable.
              Its hard to sell a story about women having it rougher, when men die earlier, more often, and suffer more violence. We should be looking to make the world more just for everyone, not just saying that if we can make it better for women it will fix everything, since that is simply.not.true.

            • In good faith from what I have seen and witnessed in my life, it’s a mix to be honest. I was raised being told women had it far far worse but in the last month alone new stats I’ve read and info I have found has me questioning who has it worse. I don’t think men have it worse, but I’m not sure they have it better. I’m not sure that women have it worse either.

              The economic issues rely on bread winner and child carer, so either the woman takes care of the child and suffers financially or the guy takes it and suffers financially, problem has a lot to do with cost of living for single parents. In a world where we put the child into woman’s arms more, women will be most economically disadvantaged without a breadwinner. We also have child support payments and child custody issues that affect the men, haven’t seen the stats on poverty for them but I have seen more males as homeless and many suffer mental illness. Recent events had more men sent to unemployment than women in the US so the economic issues are harming both genders atm.

              I grew up hearing how bad as an adult I had time to reflect and start to understand the other things I heard about. It didn’t sink in until adulthood that I had heard stories of my extended family being crazy, how much violence went on, it was told in a funny way but it was actually extremely bad (I guess laughter was to hide the pain maybe?). Both the boys and girls copped hellish abuse, maybe more so the boys because they could “take it”. This abuse was in cycles, passed down from father to son (possibly the girls too but not much was said, I know they’ve been violent to others too).

              I grew up in a culture that told men to toughen up, harden up, eat cement, any grievance was met with that. Any violence they suffered, toughen up and knock them out. Get hit by a woman? toughen up, don’t hit women. There was a fight at school and the girl had hit a guy, he hit her back and the students were hateful of HIM only. There is an expectation that when a woman hits a man, it’s warranted. Good ol victim blaming. When a woman rapes a man, he wanted it. With stats showing equal levels in the last 12 months, is rape culture worse for women than men? or is it reaching parity?

              I know we have much more awareness of how bad women get it, and I 100% believe this is biasing people into thinking women have it worse. Reading the articles on that cdc stat report, I don’t think any actually saw that last 12 months part. And even the article itself had bias in their definition of rape which allowed them to show women had it worse to the point they made it look like men got very little compared to women. This is something I REALLLY HATE.

              I’ve heard that we find crimes when we look for it but there really hasn’t been all that much searching for male victims, even the US DOJ refused to fund male victims of domestic violence surveys. So when people tell me women get it worse, I wonder if it’s true or if it’s simply a case of many studies are biased into believing it’s true and this ends up tainting the stats. Eg, stating women suffer violence and showing only the stats for women dying in violence you could make a population assume violence against women is really bad, worse than the men, except if you read the “GBD 2004: DALYs by age, sex and cause for the year 2004″ report you’ll see VERY CLEARLY male are 4x more likely to die. Imagine reporting that on the news, I’ve never ever ever seen a stat showing male violence victimization like that in any newspaper, tv or mainstream web article that I can remember. Why is that?

              “It’s common knowledge that human traffickers seek out the most vulnerable members of society, and women and children often fit into this mold. However, women and children are not the only ones who fall into the trap of vulnerability. An alarming statistic produced by the State Department reports that between 2006 and 2008, the percentage of adult male victims of human trafficking jumped from 6% to 45%. And according to the Trafficking in Persons: Global Patterns report, “it is men especially who might be expected to be trafficked for forced labor purposes.” – ht tp://meetjustice.org/2011/05/why-human-trafficking-is-a-mens-issue/ – It’s also said males are more likely to underreport but why would there be a MASSIVE increase in trafficking in 2 years? Is this a case of people assuming trafficking was only a female issue? This is the danger of assuming women get it worse, if people think women are always treated worse that bias can show up.

              To be honest I don’t think we can ever say who gets it worse in society, but Yes men have it as hard as women, and women as hard as men. I don’t think either really stand out overall in the grand scale. Are people clinging onto the belief that women get it worse so much that they want it to be a reality or is it really the truth? And with bias in statistics, does anyone really know who gets it worse? Better yet what benefit is there to get people to admit women or men get it worse? All I’m sensing is people want to assume women get it worse and if men get it bad, women ALWAYS have to have it worse. It’s like society wants women to be victims…Is it that some people assume men have ALL the power and that they’re never victims, because when they do talk about such vulnerability it seems like it’s constantly less severe than what women suffer.

          • The privilege theory that I’ve seen doesn’t take into account responsibility and sacrifice that goes along with privilege, gender roles also surpass laws. Even in our law we don’t identify male rape as rape. You can talk war roles implying women are weaker and thus men were stronger and had to fight but I can easily suggest the fact men were selected to sacrifice their lives to protect others also implies men’s lives were worth less and are disposable compared to a woman’s.

            “The fact that 1 out of 6 American women have been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime should be a clue.”
            and 40% of rapists in the last 12 months according to a recent study were women, or how about men are 2.2-2.5x more likely to be victims of violence as a whole.

            Thank-you for the link on the all sex is rape, I’ll not mention it as it’s false now. Do you have any on the SCUM manifesto because from what I’ve seen said of it, it’s a nasty piece of work?

            What I see happening is a belief that because the sum of all greivances of women is higher than mens, women are worse off, which is probably true however what happens is we focus on who get’s it worse and ignore the other side so the other side can grow in ignorance and we end up with things like female abuser, male rape skyrocketing, boys doing worse in schools whilst girls do better, violence against men is double that of women’s violence yet rarely mentioned or campaigned against.

            Individual issues are important, I’ve never said women are more privileged in society, but I do believe in certain areas they do have more privilege than a male. I also believe most likely if we add up the privileges men have they will probably be higher too. Being privileged still can mean you can be on the wrong side of privilege in some parts. And speaking on privilege without addressing the responsibility faced to “earn” that privilege is also problematic.

            One quote on privilege – “”the myth that the male is culturally favoured …is clung to, despite the fact that every critical statistic in the area of longevity, disease, suicide, crime, accidents, childhood emotional disorders, alcoholism, and drug addiction shows a disproportionately higher male rate.” by Men’s rights activist Herb Goldberg (Off the male privilege wiki page), has a very good point. I’m curious on the rebuttal to that, because with the good also comes a lot of bad that I don’t see mentioned much in privilege articles. The culture of violence men are subject too isn’t a privilege, women have the privilege of being less harmed by it but picking and choosing parts of society to present male privilege without taking into account every single part and then assuming men or women are more privileged is a bit dishonest don’t you think?

            • @Archy

              I’d would be genuinely interested in reading this study you’re alluding to. Please fire me a link.

              Here’s just a brief look at the economic factors of male privilege – I know this might be veering into tl;dr territory, but if you’re serious about this topic it’s worth wading through.
              These are just economic factors, and don’t even touch on sexual aspects of being in a patriarchy.

              Poverty rates are higher for women than men. In 2007,13.8 percent of females were poor compared to 11.1 percent of men.

              Women are poorer than men in all racial and ethnic groups. Recent data shows that 26.5 percent of African American women are poor compared to 22.3 percent of African American men; 23.6 percent of Hispanic women are poor compared to 19.6 percent of Hispanic men; 10.7 percent of Asian women are poor compared to 9.7 percent of Asian men; and 11.6 percent of white women are poor compared to 9.4 percent of white men.

              Black and Latina women face particularly high rates of poverty. Over a quarter of black women and nearly a quarter of Latina women are poor. Black and Latina women are at least twice as likely as white women to be living in poverty.

              Only a quarter of all adult women (age 18 and older) with incomes below the poverty line are single mothers. Over half of all poor adult women—54 percent—are single with no dependent children.

              Women are paid less than men, even when they have the same qualifications and work the same hours. Women who work full time earn only 77 percent of what men make—a 22 percent gap in average annual wages. Discrimination, not lack of training or education, is largely the cause of the wage gap. Even with the same qualifications, women earn less than men. In 2007, full time, year round female workers aged 25 to 32 with a bachelor’s degree were paid 14 percent less than men.

              Women are segregated into low paying occupations, and occupations dominated by women are low paid. Women are tracked into “pink-collar” jobs such as teaching, child care, nursing, cleaning, and waitressing, which typically pay less than jobs in industries that are male-dominated. In 2007, nearly half—43 percent—of the 29.6 million employed women in the United States were clustered in just 20 occupational categories, of which the average annual median earnings were $27,383.

              Women spend more time providing unpaid caregiving than men. Women are more likely than men to care for children and elderly or disabled family members. One study found that 69 percent of unpaid caregivers to older adults in the home are women. Because combining unpaid caregiving with paid work can be challenging, women are more likely to work part time or take time out of the workforce to care for family. Twenty-three percent of mothers are out of the workforce compared to just 1 percent of fathers.

              Domestic and sexual violence can push women into a cycle of poverty. Experiencing domestic or sexual violence can lead to job loss, poor health, and homelessness. It is estimated that victims of intimate partner violence collectively lose almost 8 million days of paid work each year because of the violence perpetrated against them by current or former husbands, boyfriends, or dates. Half of the cities surveyed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors identified domestic violence as a primary cause of homelessness.

              *moving on*
              The SCUM manifesto isn’t even relevant – you’re discussing a 40+ year old document that many regard as satire. It has no place in serious feminist discussion.

              As to the sacrifice you mention of, say, men in military/combat roles, you and I are arguing two ends of the same stick here – it’s because of patriarchy that men are encouraged into these roles and women are active discouraged. It’s just another example of how men are negatively affected by patriarchy as well.

            • AnEntitledMan says:

              “Women are paid less than men, even when they have the same qualifications and work the same hours. Women who work full time earn only 77 percent of what men make—a 22 percent gap in average annual wages. Discrimination, not lack of training or education, is largely the cause of the wage gap. Even with the same qualifications, women earn less than men. In 2007, full time, year round female workers aged 25 to 32 with a bachelor’s degree were paid 14 percent less than men.”

              You can’t just compare people who have a bachelor’s degree. A degree in engineering or computer science commands a higher income than say, english lit. Comparisons of this type must be apples to apples or they mean nothing.

              “Women spend more time providing unpaid caregiving than men. Women are more likely than men to care for children and elderly or disabled family members. One study found that 69 percent of unpaid caregivers to older adults in the home are women. Because combining unpaid caregiving with paid work can be challenging, women are more likely to work part time or take time out of the workforce to care for family. Twenty-three percent of mothers are out of the workforce compared to just 1 percent of fathers.”

              One word: Choices. Also which is it, do women get paid the less for the SAME amount of work, or do they work less? You have listed both as reasons for a wage gap. Please try harder.

            • AnEntitledMan says:

              Also: “Twenty-three percent of mothers are out of the workforce compared to just 1 percent of fathers.” This would indicate a choice to spend valuable and fufilling time with their children say over working to pay the bills. Many men would switch this in a heartbeat and be “oppressed” to spend irreplaceable time with their children.

            • You’re ignoring the fact that women are actively discouraged from pursuing certain fields like engineering (boys club type of work) and mathematics. This determines what kinds of degrees they earn.

              I don’t have to try harder, you just need to listen.

            • AnEntitledMan says:

              Strange that they have managed to make such headway into medicine then. Also prevented doesn’t mean excluded. Minorities were once in the same predicament, but a few brave souls braved the challenges and proved that it could be done. Isn’t it far more likely that women don’t want to be engineers and computer science majors despite the current value of that work? Again this is a CHOICE. It is very unreasonable to expect to do whatever you want for a living, and to demand that it pays a high way (ever heard of supply and DEMAND?)
              BTW some female-dominated professions are very well compensated, such as Nursing (incidentally in high demand by the market)
              Also, where is your rebuttal of the mother/father divide in employment?

            • AnEntitledMan says:

              Damn typos. High way is high wage.

            • @Archy
              I’ve enjoyed our discussion; I think you and I have a lot more in common than you may realize.

              @AnEntitledMan
              I can already tell there’s no point in continuing with you.

              @Amanda
              Again, great article. Looking forward to reading more of your work.

            • ht tp://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/nisvs/index.html Look under “forced to penetrate” which most people I know consider that to be rape. Biased titles already but still important to read.

              ht tp://www.oneinthree.com.au/misinformation/ – has quite a bit on the various misinformation of domestic violence portrayal.

              ht tp://www.who.int/entity/healthinfo/global_burden_disease/DALY6%202004.xls – Male victims of violence, 17.8million, female victims of violence 3.8million. Victims of war, 6.3million men, 1.06 million females. This is for the year 2004 ALONE.

              “You’re ignoring the fact that women are actively discouraged from pursuing certain fields like engineering (boys club type of work) and mathematics. This determines what kinds of degrees they earn. ” And men are actively discouraged from child-caring roles and expected to be the breadwinner in many cases, so of course men are going to have dominance and power in the workplace and women have dominance and power in the child-caring and home roles.

              Males die the most, suffer the most violence, have the most workplace injuries and deaths. But of course, women suffer more yes they really do mhm I totally agree. BOTH suffer, in different ways but how do you compare which is worse?

              By the way, the most likely person to be homeless is male in Australia, and I believe also in the US. Does the 23% of mothers out of the workplace include those who are on social security? Or how many of those fathers are not fulltime carers who are paying child support? There’s clear evidence for both men and women that they suffer. I really cannot see an overall winner…one gets to be the child carer more of the time and finds it harder to work, the other gets to work and gets injured and dies more. One is protected and kept out of conflict whilst being implied as weak whilst the other is expected to sacrifice themselves to protect others whilst being implied as disposable.

              Do you understand what I am getting at here? I’ve listened and seen how bad it is for women, but not many seem to listen and understand how bad it is for men. The men at the top in power aren’t the same as most men, there are women at the top who have far more power than the average man. Intersectionality I believe it’s called, I understand more of the ones in power are men and can see there is the perception of power there but I also understand that with that power comes burden of power struggles (war, failed businesses, etc). I also understand women are seen in society as the powerful and most knowledgeable in anything relating to children, that is a lot of power and collectively one I consider on par with the power of CEO’s. To care for and raise the next generation, be dominant in numbers of teachers and have the most face time gives a lot of power in how you raise them.

              It’s gender roles at play forcing both genders into roles that are beneficial and harmful. There are social privileges on both sides and privileges in law too that seem to have both male and female benefits. Sexism against both. As they say the patriarchy harms everyone, but it also affords men and women privilege but in different areas.

              Thanks for the debate, I’ve learned a bit. Hope the links help.

    • I hope you understand attacking men under the guise of attacking patriarchy doesn’t make it ok. Feminism needs to be held accountable like any other ideology and we can’t have a discussion on equality solely from the female perspective. Feminist have created a one sided discussion and that’s why it’s toxic. Silencing men to empower women is not a path to equality.

  9. AnEntitledMan says:

    @Alex Stevens:

    I guess not, since I am not in the market for religion right now.

  10. http://pandagon.net/index.php/site/comments/the_good_men_project_i_used_to_know
    It’s a real shame to see that a steady campaign of misogynist blather from so-called “men’s rights activists” in the comments at Good Men Project has poisoned founder Tom Matlack’s mind. Personally, I’m a big fan of just banning MRAs. They have nothing of value to add to a conversation, and exist online solely to disrupt any conversation they fear might lead others towards reaching the conclusion that women are people. (Amanda Marcotte)

    —————————————————————

    I have no idea, what Amanda Marcotte really wants to say with that.

    As far as I know, she is not banned on the GMP, she can comment in any thread, she can submit anytime articles to be published. – Same is true with Hugo and other feminist-minded people.

    So, what is the problem?

    To call for an entire ban for everybody, who is posting any kind of MRA-related stuff is ridiculous as GMP is supposed to be an information platform for men and their issues since it was founded.

    As MRA since many years, I do not mind at all, if Marcotte or Hugo are posting their opinion on the GMP or not – it is not my website, but it is not their website either, and it is up to the administration/owner of the GMP, if they are willing to accept both sides of the story or not.

    I am sure, MRAs will continue, if allowed by the GMP administration to comment here, and Marcotte or Hugo do not disturb us at all as we are not into deleting and banning of people, who do not agree with us.

    • Lisa Hickey says:

      Yohan, you are right. Noting we are doing is indicative of a blanket ban on anyone. When people do get banned (and it is very rare), it is because of a long history of violating our commenting policy, notably: 1) direct attacks on others, particularly the authors who are posting here. 2) Repeated direct attacks on Good Men Project itself and 3) Not commenting on the post itself but instead repeatedly using our platform to promote one’s own agenda.

      We welcome people who do not share our point of view (posting this article is, in fact, a prime example).

      We are continuing to look at our commenting section and make changes that create discussion that is thoughtful, respectful and civil. But we think challenging what is being said, talking about issues that create positive change, and continuing to address polarizing topics is all good. We will soon be adding a forum section so that people can have the longer discussions about topics where there is so much debate and disagreement that the comments have gotten away from the original thread.

  11. I never read a Marcotte’s post before. I’ve just read some heated twitters between her and Tom; I didn’t like her tone and attitude, but I knew I hadn’t enough data for a judgment.
    Now I do.

    So, thanks for posting this article. Though I found it pretty boring, I now can confirm my gut reaction: Marcotte seems totally one-sided, deaf to different opinions and not a good writer altogether.
    She accused Tom of being vague, but I found her pretty vague as well. And repetitive, too. I confess I wasn’t able to read her post till the end: I was bored to death. ;)
    And I didn’t get anything useful from her post (even if I read most of it).

    I’m missing Hugo Schwyzer: he is an ardent feminist, yes, but at least he’s engaging, informative and his writings are lifelike. I can disagree with him and still find his words interesting and worth a reading. He makes me think.
    Not so with Marcotte’s. If you aren’t already a “believer” of her views, it’s hard to read her and resist a nap. ;)

    Oh, and her frequent references to her male “supporters”, they were so unanimously agrreing to her view, they sounded like a claque. :D
    Or, maybe, in Marcotte’s world there’s no space at all for anybody “thinking different”. ;)

    • You saying she’s “vague” without elaboration is so vague that it’s meaningless – where, in her point-by-point breakdown of Matlack’s article, was she imprecise or unfocused? This is much more helpful than saying she’s “boring,” “vague,” and “not a good writer.” Where? How? What would you have preferred she elaborate on? Care to give a counter-argument?

      Generally, something that drives me nuts about the situations written about by both Matlack and Marcotte is the way both men and women can fall back on stereotypes when they don’t want to put effort into doing the right thing. It’s sometimes hard to control your anger and use your words instead of being violent, but it’s something everyone, male and female, should strive to do. Don’t fall back on “boys being boys” just because you’re too lazy to get your emotions under control. It’s tough to be honest about your motives and straightforwardly ask for what you want, but this is another thing that everyone should try to work on. It’s inexcusable to fall back on being passive aggressive and manipulative simply because you’re female. I guess what I’m saying is, why can’t we all agree that there are some generally good and generally bad personality traits and try to hold everyone to the same standards on these?

      And if someone (male or female) wants to do nothing but eat, drink, fuck, and sleep, do it – but don’t agree to enter a relationship where being monogamous, holding down a job, etc, are required. Don’t commit to things you have no interest in doing. If you don’t want to be monogamous, stay single, or find someone who wants an open relationship. So on. If everyone were more honest about what they want and expect from a relationship, instead of agreeing to things that are in conflict with very important aspects of their existence, I think a lot of these problems would be lessened.

    • Marcotte was truly heroic in writing such a substantial, point-by-point rebuttal of Tom Matlack’s (extremely parochial, utterly white) views on gender roles. Tom, do yourself a favour and travel to other countries … try India for instance … you’ll find that even very traditional men do not behave in ways identical to the North American white male. Marcotte *shredded* Matlack’s views. You, on the other hand, have done nothing of the sort to anything she said except a bunch of empty hand-waving.

      I used to recommend the Good Men Project to people; now I’m pretty sure I won’t bother.

      • poester99 says:

        Utterly white?
        Trying and failing to pump up your authoritative virtue by associating it with racial justice.

  12. Having “my anonymous friends” to testify in my case, may be the weakest defense of all time. A real low.

  13. “The most obvious examples are that women have uteruses and breasts and vaginas, whereas men have penises and testicles. Is Tom suggesting that women want men to have vaginas? Obviously not.”

    watch your gender essentialist language. i agree with most of your post, but using cissexist terms and concepts that completely isolate and offend trans folks (and not to mention regurgitating some of the same prejudiced beliefs you’re trying to argue against) isn’t going to win you much support.

  14. Phil Henderson says:

    Yeah, yeah, we get it, Amanda. Your boyfriend is a better man than Tom Matlack. Huzzah.

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  3. [...] Marcotte @ The Good Man Project | As Equals and as Friends. Marcotte challenges GMP founder and editor Tom Matlack to re-examine his assumptions about [...]

  4. [...] GMP founder Tom Matlack and a number of well-known feminist writers. (For more, see here, and here, and [...]

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