Publishers Note: This post described one of our Weekly Calls with the Publisher that took place on April 1, 2017.
Let’s look at 3 different news events this week which probably seem totally unrelated to you. But we are the good men project after all! We understand the connections between seemingly unrelated events—how they relate to the changing roles of men in the 21st century, societal norms, and how morality and goodness function in our cultural.
Event 1: Colin Kaepernick
Michael Kasdan had posted on Facebook:
“According to NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco, teams are concerned about free agent Colin Kaepernick’s vegan diet and his commitment to football.”
And Michael had added: Oh. Yeah. I’m sure that’s it.
Colin Kaepernick is a black man who silently protests racism by kneeling at the National Anthem. He is now a free agent.
There was a book written in 1982 called “Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche“. It bills itself as a “guidebook to all things masculine”, and was written tongue and cheek but highlights some of the stereotypes still firmly in place today. The book might as well have added: “Real men aren’t vegan. Real men are truly committed to football. Real men are team players. Real men might go off to war to be killed in the name of our country, but they sure as heck don’t sit on the sideline and take a knee during the national anthem in order to protest something like racism — because racism is a key economic driver for our country and helps the 1% (you know, the real real men) get richer.”
Event 2: Mike Pence’s Comments about Women
We’ll look at what two people had to say—one a man and one a woman—about the US Vice-President Mike Pence and his comments about women.
So Mike Pence says he refuses to be around any women alone except for his wife and he won’t attend any events with alcohol unless his wife is there.
1) It’s such a shining example of male privilege that you can become VP without being around women. Kind of shows what a boys club politics can be.
2) This is an appalling view of women. Does Pence seriously think women are just sex objects and he can’t possibly have a reasonable discussion with them that will not lead to sex?
3) This is also an appalling view of men. Does Pence seriously believe that men cannot control their sexual urges and will assault any woman they find?
What an embarrassing thing to say from the Vice President of the United States. My country continues to embarrass me more and more each day.
From a woman:
You guys are misunderstanding the intent of Pence’s rule that he won’t ever be alone with a woman. I have spent much time around men with this rule. It’s not about temptation. You think that Pence doesn’t trust himself alone with a woman, or maybe opposite sex people should never be trusted to spend unsupervised time together. But, it is about how he views women. He believes women are such liars and so greedy for the profits of a sexual harassment lawsuit that they will make things up about men. This is what men do when they think of women as sneaky, conniving c-words that are are always looking for a way to ruin a good man’s life.
Event 3: Notes from The Senate Intelligence Committee Hearing
This is a difficult list to get through, but it is important to understand the potential depth and scope of Russian interference in our election. This was testimony by Clinton Watts, a former FBI agent.
It’s important to understand this so that we understand how the world is changing, and how we evaluate information and then make decisions about that information.
So that was the framework. We then opened the call up for all members to speak up. And speak up people did. About a dozen people on the call talked about facts, science, getting at truth, education, male/female friendships,
“The Library of Congress had to change its rules to say that the President of the United States is no longer a verifiable source of information.”
“We need to talk to our kids more about what motivates them to sex. Sex ed can just consist of porn videos and admonition to wear a condom.”
“If men and women can’t share a space without it being a threat, then women will not get access to information that only men have.”
“For some people, their beliefs exceed their ability to reason.”
“How do we get more people to believe in facts.”
“One of the good things about where we are in politics now is that we are seeing more people mobilize and understand what is going on.”
Join us next week! We talk by phone every Friday. It’s sure to be spirited, provocative, insightful, and compelling.
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