About the Project
About The Bad Men Project
"The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons." — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
I'm building this site for a couple of reasons. First, because I've felt a feminist analysis of gender offers the best solutions to problems men face in the world. Second because at the moment a site called the Good Men Project is catching a lot of flack for offering what amounts to rape apologies, and while years ago I was invited to participate I didn't feel very enthusiastic about the concept and never got around to it.
But mainly? I'm building this site based on my response to an interesting post on the shark-jumping of the Good Men Project from Amanda Marcotte called Why Progressive “Men’s Movements” Are Bound to Fail" (It's on the Pandagon thread at Raw Story.)
While I don't agree with everything Amanda says I usually do. And while I have some quibbles with this post, a brief with another commenter named Ginmar helped me crystalze a notion I've been percolating for years. It went roughly like this:
Men shouldn't have to be "good" to participate in feminism. Instead, once they start to see the full impact of gender expectations on men and women I would expect even very self-serving men to be as invested in feminist outcomes as the "goodest" man.
Oh, and one final thing about that "good" men business? One of the biggest gender constructions on the planet is the "good" man as Sir Galahad: the strong, virtuous arm lent in support of "the little ladies" who've been so oppressed by those other men. Who therefore aren't as "approval-worthy."
Hmm... I may start a new website just for this.
So that's what I've done.
There's still a ton more stuff to do with this site. Add Disqus (because, seriously, my server doesn't have the capacity for managing commercial comment spam.) Decide if I want to have departments or categories. Decide what I want to talk about here vs. at my main blog, Real Adult Sex. And find the time to do anything with it: with my children now able to feed themselves and get to school on their own I'm no longer their stay-at-home dad.
For the moment, though, I just want to say the whole Sir Galahad construction of male gender -- progressive or otherwise -- is very bad for both women and men.
I'm a man. I've actually referred to myself as a Nice Guy (though not for a long time.) I've come to the conclusion first that while I've had my ups and downs I'm not at all a nice guy, and second that anyone who thinks of himself in those terms probably needs to ask himself why he needs the self-reassurance. (E.g. most people don't have to remind themselves "I'm an air breather, I'm a plumber, I'm a parent, I'm a high-school or college graduate, I work 9-5, etc. if they actually are those things.)
I started a sex blog I started in 2004 called Real Adult Sex. In 2006 I was voted best male sex blogger, which seemed like a big deal at the time (and maybe it was) but I'm pretty sure I'm the only person who remembers or brings it up. See "nice guy" self-reassurance remarks, above. I still blog there but at nothing like the pace I used to. For the last several years I've seemed to post way more about the depredations of gender on people's abilities to have fulfilling relationships and sex than about actual relationships and sex. So... in that regard I'm way overdue starting this blog. (Hey, maybe I can start blogging about, you know, sex and relationships over there again!)
Warts and all, however, I'm 100% committed to the proposition that all human beings are created equal and that feminism offers the best solutions to the obstacles to recognizing that proposition. I'm committed to the idea that feminism offers the best way out of a number of the traps society has established for men, and to the idea that 40 years "men's rights" theory have served only to reinforce rather than challenge alienating social constructions of male (and female) gender.
Did I mention that I'm a man? I shouldn't have to but it's surprising how many people (often cranky, impulsive, confused-about-feminism ones) overlook this. Since I don't want to hassle installing RTA Label metatags for this blog I'll refrain from posting photos of my penis the way I sometimes did at RealAdultSex. Note: penis photos are surprisingly good at stopping trolls, thread hijackers, and other antics. But I digress...