What I Learned From Twittergate

We should all tell our stories and listen to others, Tom Matlack writes, as it’s the only way to move forward.

“I value The Good Men Project for many reasons, not least of which is its willingness to try to meet men where they are and encourage us to ask questions and work out the answers provisionally in our lives.”

Richard Hoffman, Chair of PEN New England and author of Half the House, the memoir which which led more victims coming forward and the arrest of the man who molested Hoffman as a child.

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Hugo Schwyzer @hugoschwyzer

@TMatlack @deedennis @amandamarcotte @lisahickey the personal is political, Tom; how we get angry and how we interact is political

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assman says:

December 31, 2011 at 10:10 pm • Edit

“None of this is easy, but it seems more important than ever. If not us, who?”

Only you. You may get criticized a lot but the truth is both you, Tom, Lori and Julie are quite remarkable and you’re really the only ones who can keep this going. I understand the difficulty for you…you get criticized endlessly and never get appreciated. You have to control yourself while others exercise no control and nobody seems to appreciate what you’re doing. Instead everyone gets increasingly angry that you are not taking their side. You can’t win. But you’re not supposed to. The only way to really win is let go of your ego which is really really hard.

Its a mostly thankless job you have. Maybe you think no one notices what you’re doing but some of us do even if we don’t say it. We notice it even when we are arguing with you.

I think you’re doing a great job. I am actually genuinely impressed.

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It’s truly odd to me that all my attempts to write personal narratives, and encourage others to do the same, seem to have fallen well short in popularity to the sport of watching the blood-letting over gender and feminism. It makes me profoundly sad, to be honest, since to me the purest form of discussion is one in which each participant uses the first person in the telling. “This is the truest version of my own story I can muster right here, right now.”  Then others can respond not by passing judgment on that story but attempting to relate, and ultimately by telling their own story.

In this form of communication, one person talking about another’s story explicitly is called “cross-talk” and is out of bounds.

So, when we presented 31 men’s stories in our anthology and 10 in our documentary, none so much as mentions another. Each is a self-contained, first-person story centered on a turning point that defined each storyteller’s manhood.

But our book didn’t sell all that well, and we’ve discovered that purely first-person storytelling is important but can’t carry the goal of becoming a broad and widely discussed platform about manhood. People want to read and talk about more than one life. It turns out my interest in being inspired by normal men doing extraordinary things doesn’t scale the way I wished it would.

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Perhaps the most important thing that I learned in the process of “twittergate,” or my now somewhat infamous exchange with Hugo Schwyzer, Amanda Marcotte, and what felt like a cast of thousands of like-minded feminists both male and female, is the extent to which gender is still an amazingly hot potato in our culture.

I had always known that the relative opportunity set for each gender a crucial issue. As I have written elsewhere, it was drilled into my head at a young age. But I assumed, wrongly, that my own experience of going through a divorce where I got the short end of the stick legally, feeling personally misrepresented by popular culture, and the growing economic and educational power of women vs. men at least leveled the playing field somewhat and turned traditional feminism on it’s head and maybe, just maybe, took a bit of the venom out of the conversation.

I was dead wrong. My bad.

As the Good Men Project moved to more than just personal narrative and tried to grapple with the broad issues that readers seemed to be clamoring for, I naïvely thought I could write a piece that touched on what I had witnessed, first hand among a handful of married men, to ask some broader questions, admitting I don’t have the answers, like “Is a good man more like a woman or more truly masculine?”

The response was, depending on whom you talk to, intense-but-constructive criticism or a fucking shit storm.

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I learned something very important in the response I got.

Don’t get me wrong, it sucked. The stream of men and women who tracked down my personal email address to write me to tell me things like this:

Hi Mr. Matlack,

My immediate reaction after reading your post about why it’s good to be a dude was to send my boyfriend an enraged email, and I admit I’m still feeling pretty roiled up, hence this effort to reach out to you directly. I don’t doubt your good faith, and I don’t doubt you’re the good man you are so interested in defining. Which is why I feel compelled to try and articulate why I, as a feminist and also a human being who cares about other human beings (including men), found the sentiments so hurtful.

But I had assumed that I could articulate my own observations, ask some slightly inflammatory questions, and get a response like the one I had gotten to the zillion other half-baked essays I have written over the years on stuff like pooping to Lady Gaga.

I was wrong. Very wrong.

People took my comments and questions personally to an extent that was beyond anything I could have imagined.

As I told the author of the letter above, and the many others I got either on email or social media, I am sorry if I somehow hurt people with my essay. That was never my intent. I just figured folks could choose to not read my thoughts, or ignore them if they didn’t agree. I never assumed they would be infused with so much power, particularly given my underlying premise in writing what I did.

I don’t regret the words. Even now when I reread the essay, or the many follow up exchanges, my view hasn’t changed. But what has changed is my realization that I walked into a landmine that I literally didn’t know existed. If I had known of the landmine ahead of time, I would have chosen my words a lot more carefully.

But then the exchange wouldn’t have gotten as heated as it did and drawn the level of attention to the topic that is has. Which, overall, I see as a good thing for those of us who care passionately about being good men and being unafraid to talk about any facet of what that might mean.

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In his magnificent memoir The Night of the Gun, David Carr sets out to investigate his own life to try to determine the truth of what happened to him. His point is that memory is partial at best. Often it is flat wrong. And yet we all live our lives based on a worldview determined, consciously or unconsciously, by what we have personally experienced. We compile those experiences into a life story that we carry close to our hearts. I know, at least, that is true of me.

So when we write, think, and talk about difficult topics like gender or race or class or manhood it is very hard to remain objective. When Hugo said to me in the aftermath of twittergate that my hurt feelings were not relevant since “the personal is political,” I think that is what he meant. Your very personal response to a topic causes it to become political, to become not objective but highly subjective. And as Carr points out, that subjective response may in fact be based on a story about your own life that is faulty at best.

For years, I thought I was a heck of a guy because I made tons of money. But it turned out that I was a falling-down drunk. Denial kept me from seeing it for years. When I finally did, my worldview changed completely because my own understanding of my own life story changed.

My life story, and world view, continues to change through events like the powerful exchange with Hugo and others.

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The concept that gender determines the rules of what is “civil discourse” was a fundamental point of the disagreement.

Just about any human being who experienced what I experienced after writing the original article would have reported feeling under attack. The fact that just as many men as women were moved to make clear their displeasure with me in highly personal terms means that I wasn’t calling out women in particular for their reaction. In fact, I wasn’t considering gender at all. When someone calls you names, you really don’t care much else about them other than that they are treating you poorly.

But an important point that was lost in the heat of exchanges that followed, and I now feel are crucial to a constructive conversation, is the idea that not only is there no one “essential” set of gender criterion (a main criticism I received, but is not what I believe as evidenced by my fascination with men who are as different from me as I can find) but there is also not one set of beliefs or one set of personal experiences that determine what it means to be a feminist or an MRA. There are feminists who really want to have a constructive conversation and those that really don’t. There are MRAs who are willing to look at issues without reverting to name calling and anger and those that simply won’t.

Lumping all feminists and all MRAs into two opposing camps like the Israelis and the Palestinians is wrong and just fuels more anger. I did that and I regret it. If you pull back the layers, I am sure each person on either side has a story to tell that informs their positions. And what we aspire to do is provide a safe place for that to happen. My responding to anger with anger didn’t help that cause. In fact, it hurt it quite a bit. And of all the things I did, that’s what I regret the most.

Telling an ardent feminist that he or she sounds like an MRA (because the attack is just as vicious) may be a true statement, but all it does is drive the feminist, and anyone associated with him or her, to become angrier. It also alienates the MRA who might otherwise be willing to engage in a constructive dialogue. The anger gets us all nowhere. It just blocks the chance for real discussion. By lumping people together, I increased the anger rather than defusing it.

I have learned my lesson.

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My 20 year-old niece, who followed quite a bit of the twitter fight with equal parts amusement and shock, handed me a copy of Fast Company today. Read this, she said pointing to the article, “A Case for Girls” and specifically a quote that read:

A 2011 Gallup poll revealed that if American men between the ages of 18 and 49 could have only one child, 54% would want a boy; “no preference,” at 26%, beat out girls, who rated a measly 19%. According to the same poll, women don’t have a preference.

The article points out the historic preference in India and China for male babies, causing infanticide of 160 million baby girls in the past and now an epidemic of early sonograms and abortions of female babies. The author points out that the economic argument that underlies that belief in is flawed.

The treatment of women is highly correlated with the economic success of developing countries. The whole micro-finance industry is based on the ability of dirt-poor women to act as effective capitalists.

To bridge the perception gap the magazine asked leading ad firms to come up with campaign around the value of female babies (see it here) to insure that “for all the little girls to be born around the world, the creation of these ads is an effort to show how imagination can change the conversation around their lives.”

The author brought the preference for male babies back to America. I read and re-read that Gallup poll saying that men wanted male babies. As a father of a daughter and husband of a wife, I just couldn’t wrap my head around that. I don’t love my daughter less than my sons. And I certainly have no idea what I would do on this planet without my wife.

The only thing I could come up with that perhaps the stat is driven by some kind of fear: Fear by men of not being able to take care of a daughter, fear of stretching to cross the gender chasm, fear of the unknown. But that is just a guess on my part and no I am not trying to speak for all men.

I will speak purely for myself here, no one else. There are moments when I find my sons easier. My boys (sample size of two) have tended to be less complex emotionally, which isn’t to say they are not sensitive because they are. But my daughter (sample size of one) has a certain nuance to her moods that are harder for me to understand, to respond to constructively, to predict.

I would say that each of my kids has made me a better man, but especially my daughter. She’s taught me about empathy, about listening, about not reacting, about loving unconditionally when everything else fails, and often just standing back in awe at the talent and charisma that could not possibly be a child of mine.

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I really hope that the challenging conversations that started in twittergate can continue in a way that inspires and informs all of us. I hope we can take the labels off and just talk one person to another about our own experience, our own views, and try not to purposely hurt each other. I hope we can at least agree that part of being a good man, a good woman, a good human being is seeing gender for what it is: an opportunity to grow in respect for the “other” and, in so doing, for ourselves.

That doesn’t mean that I think there is anything wrong with men. Only that most of the guys I know want desperately to be good dads and husbands and men, and are open to talking about the challenges in their lives and listening to how it works in the lives of others, male and female.

—Photo M.Markus / Flickr

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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. Tom, I just saw this flash across Twitter by Hugo. I’m embarrassed to post the first comment–AGAIN–especially since I’m mentioned in Assman’s comment at the top of the article, but I can’t hold myself back, I really can’t. This is BEAUTIFUL. I cry a lot in life, from joy and from pain, so maybe this is no huge compliment, but this made me cry…in the best possible way. I can’t tell you how much I admire what you have written.

    And Assman, as I said to you at the time, your comment was wonderful too.

    Let the healing continue…

  2. Tom I suspect you’ve learned much more than you are admitting.

    Note that the personal is political ONLY when political idealogues engage in stereotyping.

  3. Perhaps your experience with this conflict is more about the rigidity and polemic aspects of feminism (and “masculinism”, if it exists), especially given the institutional nature of feminism in this country.

    Any political movement eventually becomes captive to its maintenance and growth at the expense of its principles, feminism is no exception.

    Only when people look for a common “humanism”, I believe, will these conflicts end.

    Don’t hold your breath, though. There’s still a lot of money to be made by putting divorced men through the wringer and separating them from their families during divorce proceedings, and the cries of “male privilege” and “rape culture” are in part focused in maintaining that very profitable injustice against men and boys.

  4. The personal/political thing has always fascinated me – feminism concerned me as political, sexism as personal, because this is how I imagined interacting with two different scales. But even starting discussion of feminism becomes personal once the first sentence is uttered, and discussions about sexism are just as susceptible to politicization.

    I guess I forget sometimes that Politics is not a separate dimension, but a structure formed of chorusing human voices which is fed by vibrations from the other general movements and turns of society. And when we talk of concepts and groups as though they are solid entities, we reify those groups of voices into solid groups, objects and concepts to be moved around in theoretical discussions.

    The Good Men Project focusses on the individual voices, on those occasions when we treat those voices as part of conceptual blocks they seem to peel off and defy definitions.

    Again and again on this site I feel those safe blocks of knowledge disintegrate into distinct strands. This article was another of those times. You people hate making this easy.

  5. I think both you and Hugo are honorable men and there’s certainly enough room in the gender discourse for the both of you. And as one can’t say – excuse the extremely rudimentary example – that Coca-Cola or Pepsi is a better product, both you and Hugo can both present a similar product of gender in different flavors. This doesn’t cheapen the conversation – it makes it better and more complex, just like the different opinions and methods of feminism. In short – though your recent conversation may have been difficult and personal, it’s still important and relevant. And as I said to Hugo on Twitter – maybe, just maybe, you and Hugo are stronger and more effective apart than together.

  6. Julie Gillis says:

    Tom, this is an amazing piece and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing it.

    One thing that strikes me as true here for you, and feel free to tell me if I”m wrong, goes back to the idea of pedestals I wrote about earlier here on GMP.

    When you take a position in public, as a leader, people respond. True for men, true for women. True for all of us. And that exposure gives you tremendous influence. You were sought out for those emails during and after TwitterGate, Tom, because you were and are visible and you provide a space for this work to occur.

    People look up to you and this site, and your words and actions affected them.

    That’s big time.

    Thing about Pedestals though….. When people are on pedestals they aren’t always allowed to fail/admit vulnerability/make mistakes because people want to look up at them. And then when they do fail, the people below get angry! Failing is for the folks on the ground! But that’s unfair. We all make mistakes and personally, I find great joy in failing (one thing improv has taught me), because failing indicates that I am taking risks and working hard to grow. Growing can be painful.

    Great leaders take those failures and mistakes and growing places for the opportunities they are. To continue leading, to own pieces of themselves, to model that change. This piece exemplifies that.

    I don’t much like pedestals though because not only does one have to deal with the learning from failing, but also the fall from the height that people ascribe to you (without your knowledge!). People you didn’t know felt things due to this “Gate” experience, had arguments, had to think. People had you up on all kinds of pedestals or tearing you off of them and you didn’t even know them!

    I think this comes with the territory, yes? Maybe it doesn’t have to. I always say I don’t want to be on a pedestal but a patio, where I can have conversations eye to eye. Maybe the more visible one gets though, the less possible it it. People loving leaders and Iove looking up to them (and tearing them down). Harder to look at someone and to also be challenged to lead, to be accountable and to connect, maybe.

    All of us fail and learn. All of us are guilty of looking UP to a leader instead of at them. I want to look at you and learn from you. I want to be looked at and talked with. Thank you for taking the time to reflect on everything, the good, bad, and ugly and do it at your own pace (even though the pace of Social Media would have had you process and move forward in a single 48 hour period) and sharing it with us.

  7. Julie Gillis says:

    And thank you, Assman, for that amazing compliment. I feel very honored to be writing and participating here.

  8. Mwhah! (Big kiss to you, Tom!)

    Keep talking about these issues…difficult stuff, yes, but so important!

    I have to talk about difficult things with my son (11yo)…and it is hard explaining to him why it’s wrong to hear his friend’s parents arguing and yelling at each other and at their kids….it’s hard telling him why his Uncle D. doesn’t come around anymore (he was dragging his dad off to be his drinking buddy instead of letting him spend time with his family)….it’s awful telling him the danger of not accepting rides from strangers and how his dad has to drive me to the train station because I get accosted by strange men in my neighborhood even though it’s just several blocks to the station…

    There is still much that I can never tell my son….about my seven year relationship with a man that I felt so sorry for that I silenced my own voice just to keep him company….about how I felt so empathetic to the plight of a struggling man (who already had a wife and 3 kids) that I stayed and listened pour out his secrets while ignoring what was best for me…. I loved this man so much that I was quiet when I should have questioned everything in the relationship….I thought he was supporting me in my academic/career goals until I realized that my climb and impending independence threatened him … I stayed with this desperate, brilliant man until I realized that continuing to listen to only his point of view suffocated my own…and it didn’t help him in the end…he continued to rave and rant (it’s only now that I realize I was not to blame for his anger)…. Why did I feel like I had to be silent in his presence? Why did I think that only his point of view mattered? Why did I feel like what I had to say had no weight? And yet, I was the one in pre-professional school….

    Keep discussing things here….this column brings up so many critical issues….I am different from who I was 3 decades ago…. I wonder if my ex is… I could never discuss issues like you bring up here with him….Why was that so? Great stuff….this is the best column and thought-provoking on the internet!

  9. “This is the truest version of my own story I can muster right here, right now.” Then others can respond not by passing judgment on that story but attempting to relate, and ultimately by telling their own story.

    In this form of communication, one person talking about another’s story explicitly is called “cross-talk” and is out of bounds.

    These requirements effectively places critical analysis out of bounds.
    In all forms of thinking I recognise critical thinking (Socratic method) is the only basis (repeat – the only basis) on which we can ever move on to a greater and better understanding or truth.

    The effect of not examining or analysising or challenging others accounts, beliefs, assumptions and conclusions will serve to only serve to and embed, entrench and fix status quo/received wisdom.
    I find it difficult to imagine that intelligent educated people would believe that by setting such ground rules they are doing anything else.

    It should also be obvious that given most feminists believe they are agents of change and must engage in critical thinking to challenge status quo assumptions that there would be a fundamental friction between this site and those feminists due to basic incompatibilities of outlook and approach.
    Consciously or unconsciously this site is engineered to resist change and many feminists are out to stop at nothing until they get it.

    And Tom, you’re still surprised by the result?! What honest? Straight up?
    I’ll be shocked and astounded if you don’t know how change in thought is brought about and don’t realise how your site sets out to resist it.

    • DavidByron says:

      Laughing at the idea of Socratic method being the only form of critical thinking. Socratic method was Platos way of using a series of terribly leading questions to “prove” that eg uneducated slaves knew logic, right?

      I think our thinking needs to be a little more critical than that. :)

      Well this is not a good article for it but rest assured if you are a feminist and you think you can back up your beliefs with reason and evidence then plenty of people will put that to the test here and do it in a more polite manner than most anywhere else on the internet.

      • David, You slightly misunderstand. I thought it would be clear that I mean thinking in the Socratic tradition of challenging assumptions and seeking to understand each other and work towards concensus through analytic discourse, etc.
        Perhaps I should say Socratic tradition. Would that help?
        Otherwise I would agree. I’m now imagining that we all sit around in togas and wear fake beards to discuss gender. Of course that doesn’t exclude the women and then it all gets a bit Monty Python.

        To you point about beliefs and evidence. The very point of the article I was criticising was that it attempts to exclude discourse but (somehow) mandates that contributions are not ‘cross talked’ but taken at face value. So what you invite is exactly put of out bounds by the article.

        I would note that there are other ways of convincing people to adopt your beliefs than evidence. I think evidence is more applicable to things we consider facts. A great many things people say about gender are heavily laced with political position/value judgment and rhetoric. None of those are necessarily greatly enhanced by evidence.

  10. As to why the debates on gender issue pieces are so bitter, my thinking is this.
    For example, If one person says there is a rape culture. That all men are complicit in rape culture – even those who do not rape women. That they turn a blind eye to the rape of women.

    Then what it means to be a Good Man, if a man is living in a ‘rape culture’ is VERY different to what being a Good Man means if someone says there is no rape culture. And says that only approx 6% of men rape women, that where is there the rule of law that rape is forbidden, that most men find men who rape women to be detestable. Because if there is a rape culture to the extent that some feminists say (and i say there is no rape culture), then we should really be discussing the possible curfews and chaperoning of men.

    So thats why the gender-issue discussions are so bitter. Because they go to the core of what being a Good Man is.
    The battle is over the context, the environment against which the actions of a Good Man are defined.

  11. Tom – good on you.

  12. As I said before you have a large heart Tom – you want the best for everyone.
    How you were treated by the wrathmongers was wicked, unjust and inhumane.

    Ive been thinking about why the standalone personal narrative stories get less replies than gender pieces. I think it is harder to open out a discussion from a personal narrative piece. What people seem to do is share similar examples from their own life in the comments ive seen. Whereas there are so many more jumping off points from which people can start a discussion, if the personal narrative is part of a wider piece, and used to personally highlight a wider social concern that men (and masculine identified women) have
    Eg if the story of a difficult divorce, is part of a piece that has the differing opinions and stats over how men are treated by divorce courts and family law. I suspect the response would be alot greater than if the article was solely about the divorce.

    Tom perhaps the blending of the personal narrative and the gender-issue piece into one could achieve your aim, of shared stories being the catalyst for discussion and change in the world

  13. Andy Schulkind says:

    Hi Tom,

    How we handle feedback is a yardstick by how we measure our growth. We all have moments when we do what we think is meant with the best intent, and we are absolutely shocked to watch it blow up in our face. I’ve done this a few times myself. I empathize.

    How we behave, and what we do and say in response to the blow back has an effect on ourselves and how we are perceived by others. Those perceptions are their REALITY, for they can only see the words on the screen, and not know the man behind the words.

    Well, in this instance, I do know the man behind the words. A less self aware man or woman, would have done so much less than you did to protect personal vanity or play the victim. Not enough people make the effort to try and understand, and learn. You did. I hope your readers perception of you is the same as mine.

  14. Strong Humanist Female says:

    I’m not a feminist however I appreciate the struggles and the sacrifices made by the movement, so I can today be a strong humanist female. But this is the GMP, not the Good Feminist Project. Not all men are feminist, nor should they be. Militant feminists aren’t going be able to deliver the message and spread the culture that this project is trying create. That would not be authentic to those who don’t embrace feminism. The militant feminists need to stay in the background and lurk (and learn). The conversations going on are separate, different, and progressive in their own right, and are as valid as the voice of the feminists.

  15. The Bad Man says:

    “I would say that each of my kids has made me a better man, but especially my daughter. She’s taught me about empathy, about listening, about not reacting, about loving unconditionally when everything else fails, and often just standing back in awe at the talent and charisma that could not possibly be a child of mine.”

    I don’t have any sons so I can’t compare, but I do have twin girls who are like night and day. Empathy, listening, not reacting and loving unconditionally are some of my primary goals to teach them but it’s a struggle at times. Why are you so hard on yourself bro, they are your children and you should be proud or yourself.

  16. DavidByron says:

    But I assumed, wrongly, that my own experience of going through a divorce where I got the short end of the stick legally, feeling personally misrepresented by popular culture, and the growing economic and educational power of women vs. men at least leveled the playing field somewhat and turned traditional feminism on it’s head and maybe, just maybe, took a bit of the venom out of the conversation.

    My intuition on this stuff is about 180 degrees flat out the opposite of yours. That same data to me says expect things to be MORE bitter not less. I guess I must just have grown cynical over the last twenty odd years of this stuff.

    You are saying that as feminists see that there’s much less to complain about, and that men and women are much closer to each other, then they ought to become less aggressive. To my mind its precisely because feminists have no rational reason for their gender bias that they must become more and more aggressive. And on that note expect things to become worse and worse and worse in the future by the way.

  17. DavidByron says:

    The article points out the historic preference in India and China for male babies, causing infanticide of 160 million baby girls in the past and now an epidemic of early sonograms and abortions of female babies.

    Firstly it’s not infanticide but abortion that the 160 million stat comes from (check your source article) so unless you are pro-life to the point of agreeing with Mississippi lawmakers that a foetus is a person, there’s no kids dying here. But if you do want to count the sex of abortion “victims” you might want to recall that more “boys” are aborted than “girls” because the sex ratio is not 50-50 to begin with.

    Secondly I think you are wrong about preferences for boys or girls in the US. I’m trying to find the source but I believe in the US girls are favoured over boys when people actually make the choice. Here’s an article on a IVF doctor who gets paid to guarantee the right sex of your baby:
    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/health-news/2010/07/29/
    Here’s a quote from the story:

    The expert helps around 100 Brits a year select the sex of their baby and 70 per cent of the patients he treats are from outside the US.

    He gets about equal requests for boys and girls from couples in the UK but elsewhere the picture is different.

    Dr Steinberg said: “Asian countries clearly favour males. Canada has a bias towards females while the Brits are 50/50. We can usually tell what sex they want before they tell us.

    “If the female makes the appointment they almost always want a girl and if the male makes the appointment they almost always want a boy.”

    • Tom Matlack says:

      Interesting points David. Thank you.

    • Thanks for pointing out the liberal hypocrisy of abortion.

      There are plenty of liberals who argue abortion isn’t murder because a foetus isn’t a person.
      They then go on to label the abortion of a female foetus in an Asian country infanticide.
      It’s classic aggressive liberalism. They’re pro-choice so long as you make the right choice!

      For the record I don’t think the abortion rates for female foetuses in Asia is at all healthy.

      It’s even worse when you notice tha abortion for a reason of career in The West is an economic a labelled a basic human right but abortion for the reason of the economic burden of femalesin Asia is labelled murder!

      • DavidByron says:

        Well I am pro-choice for a lot of stuff including abortion rights but I see that feminist arguments for abortion are often nonsense aimed at attacking men. In fact both sides of that debate have a fetish for trying to prove they are protecting women against vile men.

        I often say that pro-choice folks are right but for the wrong reasons and pro-life people are wrong but for the right reasons in that debate.

  18. DavidByron says:

    Tom, do you remember I said that gender politics discussions at GMP were much nicer than elsewhere? Well, that Twitter conversation was average.

    You did nothing wrong. Nothing! If you were “guilty” of anything it was making the assumption that because people manage to talk about that stuff on GMP, that it would be the same on Twitter.

    I’m sorry you got screwed. And I am sorry people get a guilty pleasure looking at these car crash gender politics fights and watch them more than the good work of telling stories. But I do believe in this project.

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