Uncle Woofie explains why he came to the Good Men Project—and why he’s sticking around.
Now it says right here that Mr. Matlack wishes us to relate why we’re here and what the mission of this Project is, and I’m proud to oblige.
I arrived here from a few mouse clicks away, a path that, while I can’t remember the steps, it seemed to have started from the Huff Post and led here. That was a few weeks ago.
There are two things that have kept me here.
The first reason is the high number of articles that live up to what this site’s “mission statement” is: an exploration of just what kind of creature a good man is, or supposed to be. Many articles mention areas and issues in male life that rarely get to see the light of reason; others get a larger spotlight on issues that have been under explored. The ongoing dialog here on the subject of men and sports is an excellent example of that. I am also delighted by the level of female participation here and all that they contribute.
Only two to three weeks after first coming here, and being impressed with what I read here in by-lined articles, I often availed myself of the comments section (hint: “comments section” is the star of Reason Two). From that launch pad, I have had an exciting series of exchanges this week with GMP’s Lisa Hickey that led to me joining the ranks of contributors. This is important to me since I admire the thoughts and writing here, as well as the obvious thrill (at least for me) of submitting something that was accepted at a joint I was already impressed with and felt was more than worthwhile. It’s inspiring.
Reason Two is gonna be a lot more fun to explain. This should help settle any question as to both the intent of the mission here and any doubt of the high score it deserves: the comments section underneath any article. Part of the intent of this site has been stated as an attempt to sustain a continuing conversation on the “Project” that will carry forth into people’s daily philosophies and benefit us all as a society. My delight with this concept is best illustrated with a comment I left under the “People, Let’s Stop Waging War on One Another” article that Joanna Schroeder wrote:
It’s interesting for me to note how many wonderful, compassionate women have been attracted to write here. I would like for you, as the women who write here, to know how ingratiating it is that so many of you, no matter what you have to say, have one common thread.
That thread is your mutual wish to cheer men on as we all, regardless of gender, pick our way through the mine field modern life has become. The delightful irony of this is that it causes me to generate a fantasy in my own head of a swanky cocktail party filled with warm, intelligent people dressed in designer suits and cocktail dresses that they earned with their compassion & intellect.
Over drinks, we all compare the maps of how we’ve negotiated that mine field; we reach across to the opposite gender with advice & suggestions on avoiding the nasty mines & tiger traps we’ve encountered, many of which our gender opposites may have been blind to for many reasons that can easily be no one’s fault individually.
We also look out a window this oasis of a cocktail lounge has, at a sometimes nasty gender conflict in the public thoroughfares that can look like the intellectual equivalent of a bloody street riot at times, thanks to shrill, extreme voices that have lost the capacity to realize that this is one war that will be won at a negotiating table, not a battlefield. They seem incapable of seeing this. Their scars and bloodied faces due to hurts they’ve endured blind them to seeing what we offer here. We’ll get the REAL battle won in here, and leave all that sound and fury that signifies nothing but hurt, out there.
I honestly believe that thanks to how many women write here as well as men, figuring out the sphinx-level riddle that is becoming a good (or perhaps just a better) man is made easier and more worthwhile by your participation.
Thanks again, good women…and may I say, the cocktail dresses you all earned under the conditions of my little analogy, (compassion & intellect, remember?) look smokin’ hot and I hope the men in YOUR life appreciate that fact.
The “cocktail party” analogy is the way I feel coming in here whether I’m reading or responding to the comments on anything I’ve come across. Yes, sometimes the exchanges get intense, but so is the subject matter at times. Being here to read and write has been a welcome, calming influence on the demons of worry and lack of male self-worth that today’s conditions produce for me and I’m sure many other men.
The Mission is defined and well met, Mr. Matlack … let us all press on …
—Photo The Dana Files/Flickr