Ms. Magazine Talks Shop With Lisa Hickey

Back in June when the Good Men Project Magazine had just launched, Ms. magazine took us under their generous wing, calling the mag “what enlightened masculinity might look like in the 21st century.” Now that we’ve been given some time to grow up, they’ve come back to check in.

CEO Lisa Hickey talked to Kyle Bachan about our growing pains and what we’re hoping for once puberty passes. (Spoiler alert: How does a Good Men Project Broadway show sound?)

Here’s an excerpt, but be sure to check out the whole interview here.

What would you consider to be the defining features of a good men’s magazine?

One that talks about the often provocative subjects that people don’t normally talk about in public, gives insights to the way that decisions are made around moral or ethical issues, and is not afraid of polarizing topics. That’s one thing we have learned as we’ve gone along: We are hated [on] by both feminists and men’s rights groups a lot of times because they don’t think we’re doing enough for either group. We embrace that. We say, “Great. Disagree with us, come join the conversation, write for us, let’s hear your voice,” because we want to understand what the issues are and not judge them.

What have these groups been criticizing in particular?

We’ve been accused of misandry by the men’s rights groups. We’ve been accused of using shameful language around men. We’ve been accused of not understanding the issues that men face in divorce courts and how they are screwed out of getting custody for their children so often. On the other side of the spectrum, we’ve been accused of using language that is pro-male and anti-woman, to have outdated views of feminism, to be part of this patriarchy, to be creating a network around men when it should be a network around humans. So we definitely get very specific things from both sides.

What have you learned then, in the first several months of operation?

That the conversation is even more important than we originally thought, in part because of these polarizing groups and the fact that we are able to bring them together. I like nothing better than when we put an article out there and we get the opposing sides arguing among themselves in the blog comments.

Premium Membership, The Good Men Project

About Lu Fong

Lu Fong was a staff writer and blog editor for the Good Men Project in its formative years. As the requisite woman on staff, her hobbies included cleaning, cooking, knitting, fainting, and childbearing. Follow her on Twitter @lufong.

Comments

  1. I find the “both sides” way of talking about the types of criticism all y’all are getting to be oddly misleading. I suppose that in an overly simple way of looking at things, feminists and anti-feminists are on “opposite sides”–but the anti-feminists are really just continuing to embrace the status quo of patriarchy–they simply expand their target of those “responsible” for the perceived wrongs against them from “women” to “feminists”. So, MRAs don’t mind that they make a buck when a woman doing the same job makes 75 or 85 cents, but they don’t like it when divorce courts don’t rule in their favor. For example.

    But I digress. :) My main point was that these two critical viewpoints are presented in this interview as opposite poles of some sort, with GMP finding some middle ground–this is disingenuous.

    • Women earn more than men if and when they actually do the same job — as in the same amount of work, hours, dedication and commitment. Hell, in the 20-30 age group they even earn more when they do less work (which is the norm.) If I owned a business and could hire women to do the same work for less money I would never hire a man.. ever. Save your patriarchal conspiracies for someone who believes a fairy will give them money for teeth put under their pillow. If men really earn more money why are 80% of all consumer decisions made by women?

    • The status quo is catastrophic for men. Virtually anything would be better than this, and every MRM knows this.

      Industries currently dominated by men include suicide, insanity, loss of children, imprisonment, being murdered, dying of every known disease/malady (except one type of cancer and two genetic conditions), homelessness, separation from family, extreme poverty, unemployment, workplace death, being assaulted, being crippled, impoverishment via court ordered support …. you could go on all day.

      Make a list of the 10 worst things that can happen to any person, and then find out which ones happen more to men, and which ones happen more to women. Then tell me men love the status quo.

  2. That’s hilarious, trying to pretend that TGMP isn’t a feminist site while admitting it’s under the wing of Ms. Magazine.

    “I feel that ‘man-hating’ is an honorable and viable political act, that the oppressed have a right to class-hatred against the class that is oppressing them.”
    -Robin Morgan, Ms. Magazine Editor.

    Tom, do you have your t-shirt yet? I really want to see a photo.

    • Give him time. If you listen to him, you will see that his eyes are open. It just takes time for the light to seep through the darkness of feminist hate.

      Give him time.

  3. Of course the GOOD men PROJECT is a feminist website under the supervision of Ms. magazine, with a female CEO and HUGO as a columnist.

    This is NOT a website serving men, but serving feminism.

  4. Wow we have a leading comment here that equates earning ability with child access. Sounds like hostage taking Jeff. Where’s should we drop off your loot. Wait a minute isn’t that extortion. Thanks for defining the politics.

  5. Lisa Hickey says:

    Of course not. The implication is that most men ARE good, but that in many media outlets men aren’t portrayed that way.

    For the record, we are not affiliated with Ms. Magazine in any way. The wrote an article about us. But so has The New York Observer, The Chicago Tribune, The Toronto Globe and Mail and the Boston Globe.

    A Voice for Men and the Spearhead have also written about us. And a dozens of other blogs and media outlets that are very adamantly “Pro Men” have mentioned what we are doing and that it is of value.

    We’re starting the conversation around “good” because we’ve found that the moment when people are confronted with a choice, the majority of the time they want to do what’s “good”. Having men tell those stories, share the way they’ve made the difficult decisions, solved the hard problems in their lives is helpful. And letting men tell those stories in their own ways, in a the way that men talk, is actually the thing that’s most important to us.

    Will everyone agree with everything we say? Of course not. But that’s why the conversation is important. Thanks for continuing the discussion.

    • I like how the Ms. editor operates under the delusion that she’s caught in the middle between “pro-men” groups and feminists when the reality is that they’re situated somewhere between feminism and anti-male bigots. This is the publication, after all, that recently depicted all stay-at-home fathers as abusive, opportunistic slackers.

    • Lisa,

      Please tell me what “pro-man” (I assume MRA) website writes positively about you? I read a piece about GMP on the Spearhead recently and it was negative. I read a piece about you on another type site and it was negative too. In fact, the only time I have read something positive about GMP was this Ms. Magazine thing. Please elaborate, if you can? Otherwise, I will have to assume you are making this up.

      Best,
      The Dude

    • “For the record, we are not affiliated with Ms. Magazine in any way.”

      The graphic at the top of this page shows TGMP in brackets asfter MS.Magazine.This is a mathematical expression that shows TGMP is a SUBSET of Ms. Magazine.

      I would like to hear your side of it Lisa,but so many times what is said and what is done are two different things.
      I really gotta ask, are you mocking those smart enough to pass 7th grade algebra?
      Really the graphic said it better than anyone else could!
      I do believe the editors here are acting in the best faith possible,but in light of all the info that’s been presented,the blinders have slipped a bit?

      There is a time when those engaged in process have a hint that they are not just taking inventory of a problem,they are actively contributing to said problem.

      I will take my metaphorical “Star of David,”now,thank you kind officer.
      Does the train Really Go to the work camps?

      • Lisa Hickey says:

        Hi freebird,

        ok, you’ve got me on the graphic. That “bracket symbol” was used as a design symbol for us when we first launched the magazine. I can see how the meaning can be construed to lead one to believe we have a different kind of relationship than we do. But honestly, the only relationship we have with Ms. Magazine is that they interviewed me and we have sometimes shared content. We have exactly the same relationship with them that we have had with The Spearhead or A Voice for Men, quite frankly — that sometimes we share content. Or the same kind of relationship that we have with CNN, or The New York Observer or The Toronto Globe and Mail — that sometimes they interview us.

        None of those places supply us with money or other resources. We write about the issues of men, and sometimes the issues of men involve women and sometimes they do not. That’s really it. We continue to build relationships with a variety of other media companies.

        Also for the record, we are not Anti-feminist. And maybe that’s where your deeper issue is. We are, however, going to take the lead in a conversation around an “Egalitarian Movement” (or Equality Movement or Equity Movement, whatever it ends up being called) — which will be designed to truly create a world with equality for both genders while recognizing that the current issues for men and the current issues for women may sometimes be different.

        Hope that helps.

  6. If there were such a thing as an egalitarian feminist, she would have everything in common with MRMs.

    Men’s rights advocates want nothing more than equality before the law.

    If a man and a woman stand before the law, the law hardly has a doubt. The man is guilty. The woman will get whatever she wants.

    In some cases, it is explicit. When police encounter a domestic disturbance, the man goes to jail, every time, automatically. It is called the “dominant aggressor” policy. Legally, the wording in California is that the officer must decide based on “The comparative sizes and vulnerability of the parties involved.” In most other states, it is the same. In practice, it means the man goes to jail.

  7. You get “hated by both sides”!

    Yeah right, that’s why Ms. Magazine is supporting you, because you’re anti-woman or anti-feminist. Puhleese!

    It’s so obvious that this is a left-leaning and feminist “men’s” magazine. Your writers are mostly feminist tools like Hugo, and those who mostly criticize you are men and women who see your biases and call you out for who you are.

    You’re like the wolf in sheep’s clothing. Here’s the thing, most men aren’t so dumb that they can’t see through your B.S.

    The “Good Men” Project is feminist propaganda, pure and simple. The majority of your articles deal with how men need to be better and more supportive of feminist and liberal goals.

    Sorry, I check-in every so often for the same reason I check in to Feministing or other such sites . . . to see what sort of crazy stuff you come up with next.

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