The Feminist I Used to Know

 

The Good Men Project started with the goal of empathy. Empathy for other men. Tom Matlack hopes that today’s feminists can understand that.

 



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So if you happened onto my blog, twitter stream, or anywhere near my person over the last few days you will know I experienced a lot of “Feminists Responding With Reasonable Arguments and Insights.” That’s what Amanda Marcotte so helpfully described the cascade of criticism I took for objecting to Hugo’s piece about women being justified in seeing all men as rapists, until proven otherwise, and my blog about how being a dude is a good thing.

Truly, I haven’t felt this popular since criticizing Esquire for objectifying women in their Women We Love Section — a post (“Cleavage or Soul?”) which for a time won me the honor of being the “Mangina of the Month” among Men’s Rights Activists (MRA for the un-initiated, who wrote about me here). That time, I took my clothes off and put a picture up of myself with make-up (“Have You Seen My Mangina?”) to admit to my obvious deficiencies.

Having experienced the pain of attack from both the most active men’s and now women’s groups, I have to admit to seeing both sides of this gender divide as fundamentally wrong in their view of manhood in all it’s many shapes and colors.

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My original goal in founding The Good Men Project with my business partner James Houghton was to give voice to first-person stories by men about their attempt to be good fathers, husbands, sons, workers and men. And we did just that — publishing stories from men inside Sing Sing to men on the battlegrounds of the war in Iraq, stories that range from a dad who lost his child to men going through sex change, men dealing with divorce and men dealing with unemployment.

I, personally, have been moved and inspired.

We’ve also tried to “spark a national conversation about what it means to be a good man.”  That’s worked really well in the boys’ schools I’ve visited, in the inner city and on leafy campuses in the suburbs. It’s worked in prisons. It’s worked in churches and synagogues. It’s even worked in open readings where we had as many women as men, if not more.

But somehow my attempt to look at how manhood has played out in those people and places I know–particularly as related to our relationship to women–has caused those who call themselves modern feminists great discomfort as they see my points as somehow trying to identify a binary or “essential” gender structure. That’s not what I believe or aspire to. Quite the opposite. The variety of first person stories on our site shows, if nothing else, that I value the unique experience that every man has in negotiating his own maleness. And when asked to pin down what it means to be a “good” man I have said over and over again that it is not an abstract concept. It has to be lived and self-defined. Our only goal has been to provide a platform to tell stories of men grappling with that aspiration and to allow open discussion about what it means to be a man.

So I come back to this basic disconnect that is filling my inbox and causing random men and women identifying themselves as “feminists” to contact me just to let me know:



 


To me, a key question in unpacking how and why this has happened goes to the meaning of the word “feminism.”

 

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I was raised in a family where social justice was (and continues to be) the highest and most important calling in life. My parents were in Mississippi the summer of 1964, they marched for Civil Rights, my dad was imprisoned for protesting the Vietnam War on many occasions. When I was eight, I went to prison with him.

From the first grade on, I grew up in what my parents prefer I call a “communal living situation,” as opposed to an all-out commune. I was in first grade in 1970. My parent’s focus had shifted — from Civil Rights and the Anti-War Movement, to women’s liberation. My mom went back to school to get her PhD. Our communal living situation included a lot of graduate students, many of whom happened to be lesbians.

My grade school dinner table was a place where we talked about women’s rights, about the ERA, about what feminism meant.

I say all this not to somehow set myself up as an expert or morally pure. I am neither. I am capable of racism, war mongering, and sexism. No doubt. But I am not uneducated on what the feminist movement of the 60s, 70s and 80s was all about when many women in this country changed the 1950s stereotype of being a “good wife” into something profoundly different and better for women, and for men.

I recall my mom defending her dissertation and starting to work. And the profound pride she felt and shared with me at being able to pay back her school loans and, when my dad experienced a professional setback, her ability to be the primary earner in our household.

No, I say this because the feminists I am interacting with today seem to have so little in common with the feminists with whom I sat at the dining room table as a kid.

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What’s really strange to me is that female authors are proclaiming the End of Men (meaning in terms of careers, not ironically in terms of their capacity to be good fathers and husbands) at the very same time when the most ardent feminist voices are attacking me, and others men, for our inability to see the continued patriarchy. I don’t agree with either, but you can see my confusion.

I realize that there are issues that impact women much more heavily than men. Issues like sex trafficking, porn, and the glass ceiling, I am 100% on board with speaking up and taking actions to create change. I am fully in support of working hard to prevent rape and pedophilia.

What I don’t understand is the rage directed at me when I try to talk about one man’s perspective, albeit partial and deeply flawed for sure, of male emotion. Even the idea that women, or some women, would prefer men to be more like them than more manly sends the twitter-sphere into orbit. The idea that it’s not okay to treat all men as rapists, despite the preponderance of rape committed by individual men, is wrong. And, when I say that I believe treating every black man as a criminal just because there are one million of them behind bars is just as abhorrent as treating all men as rapists — it brings strangers to my door to call me not only a sexist but racist and deeply offensive.

This isn’t the feminism that I used to know. The feminism around our kitchen table was about equal rights. I agree whole-heartily with men and women having equal access to everything. I don’t agree that men and women are the same. Far from it. And maybe that is the sticking point here.

In my work life I have worked for lots of women. And I have hired lots of women in a field, venture capital, where there are less than they should be. One of my partners was a woman. The person who I work most closely with—who I frankly trust in business now more than anyone else, having started over 30 companies together—is a woman. The CEO of The Good Men Project is a woman.

I wish we had a woman for President (see Germany). I tend to think Hilary would have done a better job than Obama has, though I am still going to vote for him over whatever the Republican circus produces.

My point is that men and women are different, thankfully. And the world would be a better place, in my view, if women had more power rather than less.

That doesn’t mean that I believe in a binary/essential view of gender. I understand that there are as many different kinds of men (and women) as there are men (and women). I am only speaking about my own experience. But I don’t think it’s helpful in a gender discussion to blow up the concept of gender altogether or see it simply as a matter of sexual attraction (whatever your orientation) without being able to at least talk about the emotions, reactions, thought processes that are tied to gender, whatever that means to you.

Maybe I’m the only one who takes this view, that a discussion of manhood is a worthy topic despite its many nuances and my vastly limited view. I could be totally wrong to even bring it up. But does that view deserve the “wrath of the feminists” as I said on twitter? Even then, I was quickly attacked for using such sexist language (they were pretty darn mad at me and they did say they were feminists).

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At the core of the idea that became The Good Men Project was the goal of empathy. It had saved my life to hear other men’s stories and develop empathy for them, to be inspired by them, to love them fully. It’s how I came back from a horrific bottom and slowly rebuilt a life that had been blown to bits.

James and I believed at the start that we, as men, don’t have enough empathy for each other, for our kids and for the women in our lives. We don’t share our stories as readily as we might. And so we thought that the male sharing of experience could be a powerful force for change and good in the world.

We also believed that our very differences as men are what can be the most powerful in this context. We set out to find men who were as different as possible from the two middle-aged white straight finance guys we were. And in our original book and film, that turned out to be the case. It was in our differences as men that the common elements came through the most profoundly. When we saw ourselves not in skin color or wealth or sexual orientation but in heart and soul that we knew we had hit the jackpot.

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I consider myself a feminist. Perhaps it’s a club that doesn’t really want me at this point but the fact remains. One comment on twitter noted that “feminism isn’t static, it’s constantly changing.” Which I suppose is a good thing. And perhaps it’s like “God” in that it is a concept both so broad and so personal that it almost escape a single definition. But I’d like to believe that at the core of feminism is a commitment to empathy—to empathy for women and for human beings in general.

I can understand being angry. Angry about the lack of women in positions of power, angry about women who have been raped, angry about sex trafficking. I’m angry about those things too. But I don’t understand being angry at men at-large, or to criticize those of us who are trying to get really honest in hopes of building a stronger foundation for intimacy and relationships and goodness in the realm of fatherhood and husbandhood.

I am reminded of a particular story that showed up in our film by James’s brother-in-law Kent George. I love what he was willing to share with us, and with our viewers, because it says in a few short minutes more than I ever could about the fact that sometimes being a man is about surviving. And even a white man deserves our profound empathy no matter what our gender, orientation or color.

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About Tom Matlack

Tom Matlack is the co-founder of The Good Men Project. He has a 18-year-old daughter and 16- and 7-year-old sons. His wife, Elena, is the love of his life. Follow him on Twitter @TMatlack.

Comments

  1. This might be the ugliest series of comments I’ve seen on a “legitimate” website (as opposed to an anonymous message board).

    Mr. Matlack, this lengthy and martyr-esque rationalization of your hateful remarks during the Twitter brawl rings hollow. I don’t understand how anyone could consider this an apology. If that was your intention, you might have saved time and posted something much shorter and, well, apologetic. Something like, “The Twitter argument became contentious and I made some ill-advised remarks in the heat of the moment. I remain committed to the GMP and hope this aberration won’t derail our goals.”

    Instead, you chose to continue playing the victim in this piece, and felt it necessary to defend the entire history of the GMP. I don’t understand why it’s so impossible to simply admit you behave badly, and that it had little to do with the history of anything.

  2. Nick Simmonds says:

    I only ever came to this site because Hugo Schywzer’s participation gave it a credibility that other attempts to create a new masculinity lacked. My previous experience had led me to believe that it was virtually always a veiled flailing against the perceived loss of power that a feminist society implies. Now, after having watched this site for a while, I think I can drop the “virtually” from that assessment.

    • Nick , you and Hugo should get together, sounds like your are made for each other.

      Hugo give “credibility that other attempts to create a new masculinity lacked ” Bullshit, each man defines his own masculinity and those at the extreme of wanting to as much like women as possible ( yourself and Hugo) have little in common with and nothing to offer the ordinary male majority.

      I avoided this site for exactly that reason, extremist feminist ideologues like Hugo.

      “veiled flailing against the perceived loss of power that a feminist society implies”

      It’s not anything to do with power, the male majority had never had any power, just duties and responsibilities, dictated to them by the elites. Women have always been part of the controlling elites, and feminism is defined and operated by white elite female who increasingly enforce their ideology by feminist governance on the powerless majority of men and women to the detriment of both.

      Perhaps one day you may ( and its increasingly likely) find yourself bitten by the feminist beast, perhaps then you will see things differently.

    • “I only ever came to this site because Hugo Schywzer’s participation gave it a credibility that other attempts to create a new masculinity lacked. My previous experience had led me to believe that it was virtually always a veiled flailing against the perceived loss of power that a feminist society implies. Now, after having watched this site for a while, I think I can drop the “virtually” from that assessment.”

      The idea Hugo Schywzer adds credibility or authority is a bit much. The idea that Tom Matlack created this site to attack feminism about his percieved loss that feminist society implies is over the top . Disagreeing with someone shouldn’t be perceived as attacking unless you are denied a chance to respond. I am a sceptic and the suggestion that i should accept Hugo Schywzers version of feminism or else im flailing against a percieved loss from feminism is absurd.

  3. Ahh , girls , escape when its just getting interesting? How dare men criticise feminism and disrupt the self flagellating consensus on “new masculinity” (= emasculation)? Surely debate is what its all about?

  4. The missing language is the missing link. F%@#$% feminism. Humanism is the deal if we are to move forward.
    Men have a shitty deal. The male roles sucks eggs. Always be the first, fastest, biggest, strongest, know the most, do the most, provide and set aside your inculturation; the propensity to dominate in your primary relationship, defer to the woman. Please her. Protect her. Name that dirty job—it’s probably yours. I get it.
    And Women have a shitty deal as well. Mirror mirror on the F^%$%^& wall who is the singing underwear belly button dancer dujour I am supposed to look like this week, while I mange my job, my household and manage everyone’s emotions.
    The real point for everyone is we are operating in power. Give up power, and competition. Step back from domination. Women don’t have any interest in competing with men for anything.
    We are designed to share the healing effects of oxytocin with you. Mend and tend.
    Women are not inherently morally superior. We are 51% of every F^%&#%&# thing taking place on the planet right this minute.
    Step up and off of power as the bottom line.
    How do you know you are operating in power?
    The body doesn’t matter. More later.

    • I have no issue with women and men having equal power, just remember the responsibility and negatives that come with such a highly competitive thing as power. The rate of female death and injury will increase, women will be expected to fight frontline and toe to toe with the enemy. I don’t think humans will ever give up power and domination though, even with unlimited resources someone will always want more and try to fight for it.

      Competing for limited resources though atm is a big battle so we probably need a major drive in science to get the technology to try ensure every person has access to food, shelter, water, and adequate entertainment. We’d have to also change our perception of wealth, focus on being happy with the self and not with the new Porsche, we’d have to learn to share.

      The fight for power has 1 victor and many losers, for everyone at the top there are a lot at the bottom. The common man and woman are pawns on the chess boards of those in power.

  5. The Bad Man says:

    Great pic doode. I love this talk about empathy, especially when I find the occasional sentence among a long list of women’s issues. Have you ever wondered why this site is far more popular with women rather than men? It’s so hard to find writers who have any empathy for men, except in the context of their service to women. http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/35jnmf/

  6. Finally someone says it. Feminism has gone from a movement that wanted equal rights to a movement that wants to let women do anything without consequence. Casual sex? You were coerced by a man. Father’s rights? Haha, like men know anything about children. Rape accusation? The man might as well put his head between his legs and kiss his ass goodbye because if a women accuses him, he must be guilty.

    Basically, the main idea is this: Women’s problems are caused by men. However, men’s problems are not caused by women, rather they are also caused by men. Therefore men are to blame for everything. This has become the dirty secret of modern feminism.

  7. I just read Hugo Schwyzer’s resignation letter:

    http://www.hugoschwyzer.net/2011/12/21/why-i-resigned-from-the-good-men-project/

    Even just from that, it was pretty obvious you are in the right here. Bullying is an endemic problem in the “feminist blogosphere”, both in intra-feminist blogosphere and toward those deemed to be “enemies” of feminism. And Amanda Marcotte and Hugo Schwyzer are definitely a nasty little politically-connected clique that has gotten to be way too powerful. You’re going to get a lot of flack for standing up to them, but do the right thing and stick to your guns on this issue. Just because they have large numbers of followers does not make them *right*.

    • “The painful thing about all this, of course, is that no man is in any real physical danger on the internet— or even in real life — from feminists.”
      Andy Warhol beg’s to differ. Man-bashing though doesn’t mean they’re out bashing men physically, they’re doing it figuratively. For someone who is an academic, it’s a bit of a failure. He then adds this gem “Women are regularly beaten and raped — even on college campuses — but I know of no instance where a man found himself a victim of violence for making a sexist remark in a feminist setting! ” Why mention the beatings and rapes? How about I do this magic trick, in 2004 men died 4x more than women did from violence, probably even on college campuses!, but I do know of an instance where a feminist attempted to kill a man. I don’t know if it was from him being sexist or not, but it’s irrelevant just like dropping the whole women raped n abused line into the sentence. Considering how much he disapproves of Tom using man-bashing as an exaggeration he sure knows how to attempt to invoke emotion for the plight of women, Question is WHY mention it?

      “Here’s the basic axiom: power conceals itself from those who possess it” By the nature of this statement one could argue feminists do not understand their power, so the MRA’s that say feminism is a power grab aren’t as crazy as once thought? Or more likely, the statement is a big stretch.

      The most damage I’ve seen happen to the rep of GMP was the incident with inviting the MRA’s and then blasting them, and the misandry articles (quite a few by Hugh) and justifications for prejudice.

      The comments on the reaction to criticism make me laugh, and the talk about silencing really takes the cake. Silencing and marginalization plague quite a few feminist areas, just like they plague quite a few MRA areas. A group of people who believe one thing won’t always accept criticism or a different view, there are many tactics used to try get rid of the differing views. Eg, banning, accusations of privilege and being blind to that privilege (a feminism favourite), arguments of who gets it worse/oppression olympics, linking biased stats in one way attempts, etc.

      Sadly I must say I am glad Hugh is leaving, his biased stats and studies that have been debunked, inability to read stats, misandry and self-flaggration grow tiring. The goodmenproject has a lot of male victims of abuse and Hugh has marginilized them in some of his articles, anything about abuse pretty much. Just take a look at the article on the new cdc stats and he says “Despite recent claims about a proliferation of female rapists, the CDC found that “male rape victims and male victims of non-contact unwanted sexual experiences reported predominantly male perpetrators.” yet glosses over stats for the last 12 months, 1.1% of men were forced to penetrate and 1.1% of women were victim of rape or attempted rape with 79.2% of male victims saying their abuser was female. This is a groundbreaking stat, it’s a massive change to the perception of abuse yet instead his article is worded to act as if female rapists/abusers isn’t significant compared to the amount of men that do it? If 40% of rapists being female isn’t significant then I don’t know what is.

      Hate to be so critical of the man but I really find it hard to stomach some of the trash he speaks, if you want to discuss how bad women get it then go ahead but don’t trash men in the process and treat male suffering like it’s non-existant.

      • Peter Houlihan says:

        Thats very well said. I really feel sorry for that kid in his class who tried to point out how aggressive they were being.

        • Obviously Hugo didn’t want to listen to it, their anger was justified because the men had oppressed them! Criticism doesn’t seem to be well taken at all, even if there is a genuine concern and then to have it proven by his own bias just takes the cake really. Luckily I’ve known feminists who don’t automatically assume man = bad, and they can even see where men get treated bad.

          Only way to move forward is to help each other, and by help each other I don’t mean having many feminist articles telling men to do more to help whilst not bothering to help the men for their issues, a selfish Ideal I’ve seen way too common in some areas…Can’t fix the world if you only look at half the problems, can’t stop abuse for example if you only focus on half of it allowing the other to suffer like crazy and end up with the cycle continuing. I am absolutely shocked that not many people seem to understand this link, it’s so easy to see?

  8. All good things must come to end

  9. Anyhow.

    I look forward to a real and positive conversation about men and masculinity developing here. I’m relieved that we will no longer have the steady stream of pedalstalising the female perspective and trashing men from a certain individual.

  10. I’ll be honest – I am torn. While I grew within the feminist movement during college, I’ve found myself drifting farther and farther away from it to the point where I no longer consider myself a feminist. It seems the movement is more interested in having fun and patting each other on the back in agreement than to actually get things accomplished. What’s more, anyone who disagrees with it is written off as sexist, misogynist, mansplaining or other terms that, rather than helping the discussion, serve as the very silencing mechanisms that its members claim their critics of using. While I don’t doubt feminists have good intentions, their wide-eye innocence as well as inability to think critically has left me with no choice but to leave it.

    The post below is my critique of Hugo’s fight with the GMP, what’s taking place within the pro-feminist movement, and how the movement has shortchanged itself. Irony of it all – I first posted this post about dissent and silencing fellow feminists on Feministing and it was taken down after about 30 minutes.

    They can keep their feminism. I’ll fight for gender equality instead.

    http://profeministmale.wordpress.com/2011/12/22/on-feminism-pro-feminist-men-and-group-think/

  11. “At the core of the idea that became The Good Men Project was the goal of empathy. ”

    This is great. Having more empathy for each other is a good idea. However, when you talk about men being pushed to be more like women at work it sounds like you are pushing back against the idea that being empathetic is good. (At least that’s what I thought you meant. Being more specific in future blog posts could help skip the side arguments.)

    • Scott Mclelland says:

      smhill, i took it as meaning as he said men and women are different , thats not a bad thing and feeling empathy as a man can happen in a different way and thats not a bad thing a man can embrace the good in emotion and still be a man , its about a balance.

  12. I bite my tongue long enough.
    Tom, I love the (what looks like) velvet jacket and your pendant.
    Looks cool

  13. Femme Fatale says:

    i’m sorry Tom, this is disappointing. i’m not going to join the ranks and agree/disagree, i’m just going to say that although you have some valid critique, it got lost in a predictable trajectory (the list of comments proof my poin) you see, that’s what i like about TGMP, it always pleasantly surprised me in terms of approach regardless of whether or not i agreed with the content, critique or analysis…it was the approach that was refreshing and unique. an approach that one rarely sees from men responding to patriarchy. this is a hard hole to get out of.

  14. Yep

  15. My Mom was a feminist. She worked really hard, raised two boys by herself and put herself through college. The thing is, she was a doer. The person she was…I have no doubt whether she was born in 1955, 1905 or 1855…she would have been a doer.

    Someone who makes their living today, writing inflammatory, 1-dimensional, link bait…Good for them. But they are nothing like my mother was.

  16. “Feminism has gone from a movement that wanted equal rights to a movement that wants to let women do anything without consequence. Casual sex? You were coerced by a man.”

    Absolutely not. Modern feminists are all about taking control of your sex life and being able to have sex for pleasure if you chose to (and not if you don’t). Casual sex is no one’s ‘fault.’ It’s a consensual give and take between two people that is sometimes great, sometimes ends in heartbreak, and is sometimes altogether forgettable. I take offense at the idea that women must be manipulated in order to have sex. Many women simply want to have sex–because they want to have sex, not because they’re weak minded lambs manipulated by men. There is nothing wrong with that.

    • Why do people say “modern feminists are all about x” and yet some people get very angry when others say feminism is about control, this, that, n other negative generalizations? Are good generalizations totally fine to cast on most or all feminists whilst negative ones can’t be right? The more I hear “feminism isn’t a monolith”, the more I am baffled at how many feminists speak of it as such.

      Did you mean SOME modern feminists? Is it the majority/all that believe this or just a common belief amongst many?

      • You know what, you’re right. I can’t speak for all feminists. But the original comment was way off base from what I hear and see on feminist websites and from feminists. The comment also tried to talk about all of feminism being like this. My experiences with it have been the opposite, but I can’t speak for everyone.

        • I usually find many feminists to be quite open about sex, though some seem quite jaded over the idea of sex, especially if it involves penetration. Like all groups, there are good n bad in feminism and masculism, etc.

  17. Tom, I can see that you are trying to be sincere in dealing with this whole debacle. I offer my sincere best wishes to you in gaining some perspective on this.

    That said, a couple of things: if you want to talk about sex differences, I strongly urge you to check out the empirical literature of the social sciences and the neurosciences from credible peer-reviewed sources (I recommend: Cordelia Fine, Rebecca Jordan-Young [her book is a spectacular critique of the science of sex differences that has been extremely well-received in some of the most prestigious scientific journals — you absolutely must read it to understand how complicated this topic is], Donald W. Pfaff, and others). Once you start dipping into this literature you’ll find out that in modern societies, it is really difficult to make clear-cut statements about male and female behavior. Moreover, even in areas where sex differences are more well-established, it is difficult to conclude from those sex differences that men and women are automatically destined for entirely different life outcomes. There’s a way to talk about all these topics with nuance and complexity and without being simplistic.

  18. I was unsure about your site when I first stumbled across it. But after reading this and a couple of other posts, I’m starting to think you get it. Guys no longer want everything to be framed by feminine entitlement. We want to be liberated the way that women were liberated, to have more fulfilling lives. We want to be more connected to other men. And we’re not going to get there by having to filter our thoughts through a feminine perspective.

    We need our own perspective, our own thoughts, and we need to start living the way we think is best not the way our outdated gender roles tell us, and certainly not the way feminists would like us to live.

    I think feminists are threatened by men talking on their own and figuring things out on their own. They have their own sort of entitlement, and the thought of losing that frame on masculinity makes them feel insecure. But you’re doing the right thing, and for what it’s worth I support you at least on these issues.

    I am not against feminism, per se. I think it’s done a lot of good for women, but where men need to draw the line is when feminism starts to try and enforce old gender roles that are holding men back.

    I’ll have to start reading your site more.

  19. Andrew Richards says:

    The problem Mr Matlack has is the same one that feminists and traditionalists have whenever they argue- despite claims to the contrary, both traditionalists and feminists both espouse versions of chauvinistic gender-based values systems.

    Traditionalism has never been about the oppression of women in a conventional sense – by that I mean that it has never been a master/slave dynamic. However what it has perpetuated in terms of women is a culture of perpetual infantalisation -where women have been traditionally sheltered and given the agency of children. The phrase “women and children to the lifeboats” is a glaring instance of this.

    Conversely, men have been treated as being perpetually disposable, divorced from their emotions, socially oppressed by both men and women – men who tell other men to “man up” et al and women who “want a real man” (in fact female sexuality has been a powerful tool used to police the behaviour of men) – and emasculated and ridiculed the moment they deviate from the Alpha ideal.

    Tosh wrote it best when he said that men are solely valued in society for their ability to protect women, ability to provide and sexual prowess. In other words, we traditionally view men as being nothing more than walking ATMs, walking human shields, and penises on legs!

    Feminism, contrary to it’s deceitful propaganda, is nothing more than the hypocritical compounding of chauvinism. It reinforces traditionalist chauvinism through the myth of patriarchy (which claims that homeless men oppress Gina Rinehart when followed to its conclusion) while compounding female infantalisation through perpetuating a climate of perpetual female victimhood and compounding male disposability by blaming men for being the victims of expendability-based chauvinism.

    Further compounding this, are male feminists or “white knights” as they are correctly called

    In this climate, viewing women nothing more as vaginas and a pair off tits on legs is seen as vulgar, but not only is viewing men as nothing more than walking ATMs, walking human shields, and penises on legs completely socially acceptable, but something we blame men for being dehumanised as.

    It’s tempting to say that this is only a trait of modern feminism, but even the suffragettes were proudly at the forefront of the White Feather Campaign – which saw men who had no voting rights, shamed into fighting a war, to be treated as being subhuman and good for nothing except tripping over their intestines or bleeding out after their torsos had been blown off of the rest of their bodies, on the battlefield.

    It’s highly telling the responses to a piece of calculated satire which recently showed up on A Voice for Men – both on the site and on their facebook page. The piece quoted 2 non-existent studies which claimed to have found the majority of women reflected positively on their experiences of being raped with a disclaimer down at the conclusion off the piece that the studies had been faked and that this was a satirical example of “evidence by citation” and other forms of academic fraud which feminists have been guilty of for years in ways which are equally victim blaming towards male victims (http://www.avoiceformen.com/feminism/study-reveals-female-rape-victims-enjoyed-the-experience/).

    Yet whilst people were reacting viscerally to the fake study; the notion that it was satire and that it was an example of what feminists have been doing to male survivors for decades, went completely over their heads.

    Is it any wonder that in at least five US states, children as young as 12 can be raped by pedphiles, only to be forced to pay child support to the pedophile when they become pregnant from the rape and it results in a child (http://www.avoiceformen.com/mens-rights/family-courts/child-abuse-from-the-bench/).

    The fact is that you cannot be a feminist and genuinely interested in the rights and dignity of men – they are simply incompatible. Anyone who claims otherwise is either blatantly lying or severely misguided.

  20. How do I escape from this mess? If I wanted this much vitriol in my life over male/female issues, I could just call up one of my old bad boyfriends. ZZZZZZEEEEEZh not one new idea, perspective or attitude. Save the planet, save the wales, get water to those poor thirsty bastards in Africa but don’t even bother to make a conscious effort to get along with your natural partners in life…the other gender.
    PLEASE, how do I get OUT OF THIS LOOP? I don’t want this stuff blowing up my inbox over Christmas…

  21. Take yourself out of it. It’s not worth it. Save your sanity and your faith in the world. Stop reading the comments here. I’m done, I’m gone. There is so much hate and so much insanity. I found myself in despair reading all of this stuff. Seriously, Maureen, realize you can’t make a difference to a lot of these men. You have two X chromosomes. Unless you spout for them exactly the dogma they unilaterally believe in, they attack you. There is nothing but disgusting gender-bashing here. It used to be a place for intelligent dialogue. It’s been hijacked by the fringe, and everyone else stays out of the fray, leaving a decaying dialogue. Look me up. Email me. Get out of the loop. I just officially did so. They won. They chased me away. There was nothing worth fighting for when all that was left was the fighting. It’s the same boring propaganda. Just take yourself out. You can do it. I was never going to post again, but I will post if I get an email notification of a comment like yours and say, get out. Leave them to slit *each other’s* throats.

  22. Not trying to antagonize here, But I think you’ve just experienced the very thing many men feel when they visit feminist blogs/sites.

    I as a man truly wish they’d not attack feminism as a monolith, I agree there have been some terrible things some feminists have done but most of the failures I’ve seen about feminism have been due to either lack of futuresight or unintended consequences. Eg, with DV and the laws the studies were biased and set out to identify female victims as opposed to all victims, society had believed only women were abused so they had to bring in laws to try prevent this but sadly did it in a genderspecific nature (rape laws are like this too). So either male dv was insignificantly small, or just totally unknown, and being as feminism is for female equal rights and not just broad equalism it wasn’t really setup to cater for both men and women. Not the fault of feminism, but the fault of all of society as a whole.

    The other problem is assuming the radfems = all feminists, it’s the very same thing I see on feminist-spheres where they assume the hateful and angry MRA’s = all masculists. I prefer to be in an equalism-sphere, I want likeminded individuals that can identify the negatives both women AND men face and figure out how best to go forward, I’ve seen a few posters on the GMP that have this view and I’ve seen even the changes some who believed in harmful attitudes towards men or women would try and change for the better. It’s just a pity this article is a major drawcard for everyone that has a hatred for feminism, I can understand the dislike of it after sensing quite a lack of empathy by many feminists but I also remind myself that there are some great and very awesome feminists who I’ve seen do major attempts to wipe out misandry (such as a few people on slutwalk who rallied against the tv show “The Talk” for it’s male mutilation laughter).

    I suggest reading the other articles, ones that aren’t specific about feminism, as this one is a battlefield of people who are angry at each other. It’s tempting to make a battlefield 3 server, Radfems vs MRA’s (feminist-negative version, not the good masculists) so they can duke it out and the rest of us can try debate peacefully.

  23. The problem with not talking feminism on as a monolith is that it is really a monolith.

    Take anything that’s problematic about feminism, you mentioned lying about abuse data, take that as an example, and you will find nearly universal support for it among feminists.

    Another example see Hugo, despite the fact that he is a denier, minimizer and apologist for female abusers, pedophiles and rapists and sees all men as collectively guilty, he is being treated like a hero by feminism over on his blog …

  24. It is kinda scary how many followers he has, and I don’t think I’ve seen many call him out on the bias either.

Trackbacks

  1. […] FAIL by radical feminists the other day. They’ve been feasting at his blog for months, but they didn’t hesitate to devour the hand that feeds them …I imagine that by now Matlack looks like he submerged his arms in a tank […]

  2. […] Tom Matlack replies to commenters on his own post, “The Feminist I Used to Know“ […]

  3. […] with the author of the original piece, Frida. Now I hate scars all over my body from the Christmas massacre which occurred when I got into a twitter fight with Hugo Schwyzer which spilled over to Slate […]

  4. […] but it ran afoul of many feminists late last year after founder Tom Matlack wrote several pieces criticizing contemporary feminism and arguing that men “feel blamed for being simply […]

  5. […] I have had time to reflect on how and why I (and the team who now runs GMP) get myself into these fights with certain feminists, with certain kinds of men’s advocates, with mommy bloggers of a certain ilk, and even just […]

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