Posted in Gender

I’ve Given up On Good Men Project

I’ve been concerned for some time that Good Men Project had devolved into little more than click-bait. Too much content is worryingly pro-feminist too. What articles that appear on the site do post from that angle are usually pounced on by a small and vocal group of women determined to derail the subjects to talk about women and women’s issues.

It is not “Having The Conversation That Nobody Else Is Having” any more, if it ever was. I am happy to read about gay rights, black rights and transgender rights… so long as they pertain to men and men’s issues. Yet so much content is aimed at women – dating advice for women, how to cut toxic men out of your life, women’s issues, women’s history. If it is not gender neutral, it’s aimed solely at women.

When it is about men’s issues, so many are critical of male behaviour and attitudes. It pushes an agenda for men to act and be a certain way that only differs in philosophy from the damaging “Real Man” attitude. Expecting a man to fit inside a box is unhelpful whether it’s the traditional box or an ultra-modern box where he explores his feminine side and sheds the limited expectations of how a man should act. If we’re to forge a new masculinity, it should not be deferring to women, and certainly not to feminists in making those decisions for us. Many writers at GMP fail to grasp the simple premise.

While there is still a lot of content that I value, such as articles on men’s rights to remain child-free, articles on Man The Success Object, mental health, societies expectations and so on, it is few and far between. There are too many articles that implore men to treat women as “goddesses” put them on pedestals while in the same article, treating women as special, delicate snowflakes who must never be criticised or challenged. “Mansplaining” is now merely disagreeing with a woman, and not as it once was, being a condescending chauvinist towards her.

GMP is reinforcing a problem that it pretends to challenge – the idea that masculinity is largely negative and threatening. Every day it reinforces that stereotype while simultaneously promoting the idea that women are generally blameless and we may excuse all of their bad behaviour. I can no longer engage with that. As somebody who was cheated on, I resent the continued implication that women only cheat for good reason. As a man who wishes to remain child-free, I resent the implication that should my partner desire children, I should simply put my needs and desires second in order to prove myself a “Good Man”. I resent the implication that going for what I want in life makes me selfish. I resent the implication that bad behaviour in women should not be met with treating her like and adult.

So I am looking for more resources and other sites to read on the gender debate that isn’t heavily weighted in favour of feminism, but all I find is MRA sites like AVfM. I find their right wing agenda irrelevant to gender discussions and their tone often unhelpful. I am not right wing, nor am I a traditionalist, yet most of their content is just that. They seem to promote the nuclear family and I really do not care about that one iota. I am not interested in PUA pseudopsychology, nor in the often bitter tone of MGTOW sites even though I have some sympathy with the latter, the problem is often the execution.

I recently discovered InsideMAN and am finding it very enlightening. It’s a British site featuring writers from across the political spectrum. Nowhere else would you get a writer for The Telegraph and The Guardian agreeing methinks! If anybody has any suggestions similar to the content on this, I would be grateful.

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Author:

I go by the name of Frank Speaking. My blog "In the Mind of Men" (former name Chin Up, Chest High) started out as a chronicle of my mental health recovery. Now it is a forum where I discuss issues related to male mental health.

10 thoughts on “I’ve Given up On Good Men Project

  1. I understand your concerns. I also think too many of GMP’s articles are of the self-help genre, which I think is trite and generally lacking insight. But I don’t think their often pro-feminist articles are a problem, so long as feminism isn’t put on a criticism free pedestal (and GMP does run articles that don’t conform to the feminist mould).

    It’s interesting to visit alexa.com and look up GMP’s stats. Their ranking (based on traffic) appears to have decreased significantly in the past year. Scrolling to the bottom of alexa’s stats page we see that GMP’s readership is overwhelming female – so the point you made is spot on.

    Finally, insideMAN is a great website. I only wish they ran articles more frequently.

    1. so long as feminism isn’t put on a criticism free pedestal (and GMP does run articles that don’t conform to the feminist mould).

      I don’t have a problem with feminist content per se, as we can’t really forge an understanding between genders without it that it seems to have become the dominant viewpoint on a site that is supposed to be about men’s issues.

      Indeed it does post articles that are critical or sceptical of feminism, but I think the volume of that type of content has dropped considerably and is a lot less critical now than it was even two years ago. I think back to articles like these:

      http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/what-women-get-wrong-about-men-ojh/
      http://goodmenproject.com/ethics-values/what-about-teh-womenz-mens-rights-gender/
      And I see what GMP was trying to be and could and should have been.

      Interesting that their readership has dropped off and not surprised that the overwhelming majority of readers are now women. It has become the author of its own demise and if it carries on with Buzzfeed style click bait and holding feminism in uncritical regard, it will simply disappear.

  2. The good men project is a terible site that tricks men into thinking it’s a site for men, but it isn’t. That’s why i listed it as a site for men to avoid since 2014.

    1. I’ve just left this message on their call for submissions page:

      The fact that your sites stats are dropping and that some 80% of the readers are women suggests you are heading in the wrong direction.

      – Too much GMP content is gynocentric and not aimed at men, written by men or for men
      – Too much of the content is uncritically pro-feminism
      – Too little content asks women to think about their role in men’s difficulties (I mean articles like these: http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/what-women-get-wrong-about-men-ojh/; http://goodmenproject.com/ethics-values/what-about-teh-womenz-mens-rights-gender/)
      – Too much of the content does not hold women to the same standards it demands of men
      – Too much content demands only compliance from men
      – Too often, you reinforce the gender stereotypes you claim to stand against (men should pay for stuff, men should open doors for women)
      – Too much content infantilises women, treating them as delicate snowflakes who need our protection
      – Too much content puts women on pedestals (recent articles refer to women as “goddesses”)

      This is my parting gift to you, do with it as you please. If you want a site that is about men and for men, you need to rethink your approach or simply become an echo chamber for your core female readership – particularly those feminists who want to be put on pedestals and shielded from anything resembling criticism.

      http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/hey-writers-lets-break-taboo-call-submissions-jrmk/

  3. I am not familiar with this site. I am very familiar with the PUA and MRA sites and I agree with you on that, some of their ideas are good, but their execution makes me not respect them. They are bullies & opportunists because they think that is what makes them masculine.
    And I think the idea of treating women like a special snowflake who is never wrong is actually insulting to WOMEN.
    Equal means equal. Ugh, I’m so sick of this discussion. Magazines keep asking starlets about feminism now and… don’t even get me started.

    1. GMP was supposed to be a new and positive way of presenting masculinity. At the start, it was equally critical of MRA, PUA and feminism but the new CEO who took over in 2011/2 is a feminist and a woman. Not that that means she couldn’t do the job of course, but what people feared would happen did happen – it became a place for feminists and increasingly hostile to those even mildly critical of feminism. Now, some 80% of its readership are single white women; that is the core audience to which it appeals and has become little more than an echo chamber for telling that demographic what they want to hear.

      I would say GMP has failed in its mission to “have the conversation that nobody else is having” (it’s mission statement and tagline).

      After all, if a site for black issues had largely white people talking about pushing black people to act a certain way, we could say that site had failed. If it was a gay issues site with largely straight people thinking they own the debate on gay issues, we could say that site has failed.

      And I think the idea of treating women like a special snowflake who is never wrong is actually insulting to WOMEN.

      Of course it is – it treats grown, adult women as children incapable of making their own decisions, discouraging them from owning up to their mistakes. You will see lots of man-blame on GMP, particular and especially (and insultingly) regarding men, like me, who were cheated on by a woman. There is very little sense that women who cheat are responsible for what they did – there is always an underlying assumption that she left due to his actions – he pushed her away, he treated her badly etc.

      Magazines keep asking starlets about feminism now and… don’t even get me started.

      I think because so many have become so vocal about it. The problem is that any woman who says “actually, I don’t consider myself a feminist” is usually subject to abuse and trolling.

    1. GMP is a tool of the regressive left. MRAs are the regressive right. We need something in the middle 🙂 I hope to provide something along those lines.

      Thanks for your comments and welcome!

  4. GMP is a collection of essays that promote a negative stereotype of men that was popular in the past. Sorry to see that there are men who chose to participate in the denigration of men. I have too often seen men who believe in an equitable society get shredded by the angry women in their lives. No harm if it is just one or two men but their sons and daughters who are exposed to the cognitive dissonance will grow up hopelessly confused.

    1. What bugs me the most is how they rail against the narrow masculinity but in turn, promote another equally narrow masculinity. They seem quite happy to keep the bits of “The Man Box” that benefit women as in him paying for a date, acting the gentleman and putting her on a pedestal rather than treat her as an equal. It’s a pointless waste of time for any man interested in the genuine challenges facing men today to use GMP as a resource. It’s not for men – it’s a place of validation for single 30-something women.

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