The Good Men Project Is Officially Dead

After publishing the following bit of sheer idiocy, The Good Men Project can be declared dead and gone:

My unscientific theory is from a fundamental disconnect between men and women at the micro level. Men know women are different. They think differently, they express emotion differently, they are motivated by different things, they think about sex differently, and they use a very different vocabulary.

To the author: your “theory” is stupid and you are even more stupid than the “theory.” Nothing annoys me more than people who are so intellectually impotent that they attempt to translate their crappy personal lives into some far-reaching theory of gender relations. The only actual “fundamental disconnect” here exists in the brain of the author who is incapable of seeing the world outside of idiotic gender binaries.

32 thoughts on “The Good Men Project Is Officially Dead”

        1. OK, I just read the article you mentioned. Men will decide whether this is offensive to them but, as a woman, I find it egregiously insulting to me. This guy is a jerk of massive proportions who condescends to women and insults us like there is no tomorrow. What the fuck is wrong with him? And how come this guy is so popular??? I’m completely shocked by this vile piece of crap.

          But thank you for telling me about it. I now know that Schwyzer is an enemy of women.

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    1. And on the same website Michael Kimmel wrote a post about why the presumption of male guilt is a myth. That website is so full of crap. Really, their perception and treatment of men is a good example of the contradictory messages that …(is it snowing on this blog?) … men are getting. They’re making it worse, not better. It’s certainly no wonder that more and more men are turning radical given the way they’re caught between a rock and a hard place as far as what’s acceptable is concerned.

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  1. Okay, I read the article. Yeah, sure, the guy’s views are not scientific, as he admits, because they are metaphysical, which is to say they have a religious origin, whether he can realise that or not.

    Also, I’ve always wondered why these males who claim that masculinity is under attack don’t do something about it. I’ve said this many times before, but traditional masculinity used to be associated with the ability to face hardship. That was the old way. That was traditional masculinity. But herein lies the contradiction — these contemporary guys, when they complain that society is attacking the expression of masculinity — seem to be pleading that life be made easier for them; that they should not have to face any challenges within society itself. They also don’t seem to want to explore out further afield and express their masculinity in a Bear Grylls sort of way. So what exactly do they want?

    What do males want?

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    1. It would be much more honest on the part of this guy just to say directly: “Women in my life don’t like me. What am I doing wrong?” Then, people could offer useful advice and he could look for ways of changing this unwelcome state of affairs. When he starts theorizing on the basis of his own personal misery, though, he looks precisely like what you say: a self-contradicting wimp. And this is a quality that men and women possess in equal degree.

      As usual, very good, insightful comments from you, Jennifer Frances.

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      1. Generally the guys who think women don’t like them have never had the courage to be themselves. Perhaps some of them genuinely don’t even know who they are and hence the demand for a masculine and feminine protocol that everyone complies with, to make life seem easier. One guy I used to talk to online had a number of typical algorithms he used to use in order to try to hook me into having an ongoing conversation with him. One was insinuating there was something wrong with me that ought to be improved. I improved in every way. I became much tougher and more resistant to criticism. I adopted all the masculine protocol he was upholding as the standard for the kind of human behaviour that was beyond criticism. At this point, he went kind of nuts, as did a few of the males around me. They didn’t like the fact that I was capable of maintaining the protocol that they were not even upholding for themselves. So I learned that all this talk about “masculinity” was just intended as a form of manipulation to make life easier for certain kinds of men whilst presenting the illusion that it was very difficult for them. In trite terms, this is called having your cake and eating it. I believe this perfectly sums up the agenda of those espousing a contemporary masculinity.

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    2. What do males want?

      As for me I want the freedom to express masculinity in any (reasonable) way I wish free of people constantly trying to police me.

      Personally I see the turmoil over the state of masculinity as a frontier. A vast landscape waiting to be discovered and populated by many different types of men that simply don’t want only the old ways to choose from.

      And also bear in mind that “old way” wasn’t just associated with masculinity but was pretty much a defining requirement. As in “if you haven’t faced any hardships you’re not a real man” (and “hardships” will be defined differently depending on who is making that remark more than likely).

      To me its not about not facing any challenges its about reasonable challenges. A reasonable challenge is having to be the father that is there for their children no matter what. An unreasonable challenge is having to deal with a court that won’t lift a finger when mom casually violates the custody order that was put in place to give a father some amount of time with his children. They aren’t saying it should be just handed to them but they shouldn’t be expected to jump hurdles that are artificial and unfair.

      I’m sure its the same with women. I’m betting women don’t want to be just given CEO positions, they just want fair shot at earning it? They are willing to put in the hard work to climb the ladder of corporate success, but they shouldn’t be expected to make the climb when rungs are being pulled out from under them artificially and unfairly right?

      We don’t expect other groups to put up with unfairness so why should men be expected to?

      But back to masculinity. I think one thing about “the old way” that people may miss was that it was unquestioned. Again if everything else is fair game to question and change then why not question and change the way men are defined and treated?

      Your comment has prompted me to think about why I take such a basic approach to masculinity and manhood when I talk about it at my blog. Its not about trying free men of any and all burdens and challenges. its about freeing men of unreasonable an unfair challenges and burdens.

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      1. I agree with Danny completely and I’d like to add that translating the shape of one’s genitals into an entire vision of what one is or should be is profoundly unfair and wrong.

        It will be a happy day for me when the words “male” and “female” mean as little in terms of social roles and expectations as the words “red-haired” or “black-eyed.”

        All we need to do is accept the responsibility for our own lives instead of following the routines prescribed to us by meaningless details of physiology.

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    1. Good for Hugo that he resigned. No person with a college degree – or at least half a brain – should hang around a place where people discuss how men and women speak different languages and are from different planets. It’s too tedious to discuss anything with such a bunch of pathetic losers with no personal lives.

      It saddens me that what could have been a good project was undermined by grave psychological issues of this Matlock character.

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  2. Danny :
    What do males want?
    As for me I want the freedom to express masculinity in any (reasonable) way I wish free of people constantly trying to police me.

    Well that’s the thing — and this is emblematic of identity politics as such — people want to stop time and kind of make history over so that everybody has an ideal set of relationships. That’s never going to work. Sure, that life was more predictable in some ways, in the past, made some aspects of life easier, although life as a whole wasn’t easier in the past. The opposite is probably true.

    We all want to express ourselves without others policing us. We have a society more like that today than the one in the past. Believe me, I COME from the past, so I should know. In the past, everybody had their allocated place in society, and this couldn’t change. Everybody knew how to talk to you, because they were addressing the position, not the person.

    Identity politics seems to be appealing to this olden days state of affairs when it demands of others: “You need to address me as a ‘masculine’ entity. Okay, now! Go ahead and do it!”

    Well, we are on modern terms these days, and there is no way I can address you solely in terms of an identity. I’d need to learn more about you, first. What makes you tick? What is it about you that is particularly ‘masculine’ — and in what ways does this necessitate that I respect you?”

    All the questions become a little more nuanced, under the force of individualist psychology. Perhaps this makes relationships harder, for some people. In general, though, life will never be as hard as it used to be when rigid gender roles were enforced. (You only have to look at some of the war movies I’m fond of viewing, to see that ‘masculinity’ was largely impersonal and self-sacrificial, in the past, for the majority of men.)

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    1. Well that’s the thing — and this is emblematic of identity politics as such — people want to stop time and kind of make history over so that everybody has an ideal set of relationships. That’s never going to work. Sure, that life was more predictable in some ways, in the past, made some aspects of life easier, although life as a whole wasn’t easier in the past. The opposite is probably true.
      I don’t think its a matter of freezing time but rather having only their own life time to measure what they call a “hard life”, “easy life”, etc… And (if I understand you) making history over won’t do good because that would only bring back the those things from the past that would actually make life harder.

      We all want to express ourselves without others policing us. We have a society more like that today than the one in the past. Believe me, I COME from the past, so I should know. In the past, everybody had their allocated place in society, and this couldn’t change. Everybody knew how to talk to you, because they were addressing the position, not the person.
      True. Things have gotten better in comparison to how people were as relatively little as 60-70 years ago. And of course that’s a good thing. The problem is those “old ways” are still in effect, namely the damaging ones. If I were to have a son and daughter 10 years from now sure those two would have a much greater chance at being able to exist outside the boy/girl gender binary that my grandparents were stuck under. At the same time there is still a chance that they will still have those expectations floating over their heads.

      Identity politics seems to be appealing to this olden days state of affairs when it demands of others: “You need to address me as a ‘masculine’ entity. Okay, now! Go ahead and do it!”
      True this does happen but what I’m thinking is more like, “I’m a masculine entity. But don’t presume that there is a standard definition of ‘masculine entity'”. Which brings us to…

      I’d need to learn more about you, first. What makes you tick? What is it about you that is particularly ‘masculine’ — and in what ways does this necessitate that I respect you?”
      For me I’ll admit that masculine is pretty loosely defined for me and is mostly tied to the male body I have. Now as for why that necessitates respect I say it does in the sense that I have my own masculine way and (as per not identifying me solely in terms of identity) the fact that my way may not match your way is not reason enough to disrespect me. (Mind you if I were doing something damaging…)

      Yes individualism is going to play a role in parsing all this stuff.

      I agree that life will not be as hard as in the past when the gender roles were more rigid. But obviously that doesn’t mean we should just not bother trying to loosen them up right?

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  3. Danny:
    I don’t think its a matter of freezing time but rather having only their own life time to measure what they call a “hard life”, “easy life”, etc… And (if I understand you) making history over won’t do good because that would only bring back the those things from the past that would actually make life harder.

    JA–Well do they want a hard life or an easy life? I think that is much of the problem. They don’t know. It’s important to figure that out in one’s mind, otherwise one won’t be able to obtain what one wants. In my case, I’ve always wanted a rite of passage. I couldn’t quite formulate what I wanted for many years, but I finally obtained what I wanted through a process of experimentation and elimination. Now, I’ve effected that transition to the other state of being. I’ve been feeling wonderful for months. It took me many years, but I achieved it.

    Danny:
    True. Things have gotten better in comparison to how people were as relatively little as 60-70 years ago. And of course that’s a good thing. The problem is those “old ways” are still in effect, namely the damaging ones. If I were to have a son and daughter 10 years from now sure those two would have a much greater chance at being able to exist outside the boy/girl gender binary that my grandparents were stuck under. At the same time there is still a chance that they will still have those expectations floating over their heads.

    JA—In some ways, things have become worse. I grew up with a tremendous amount of freedom and very little policing. I used to get around on horseback. I fell off numerous times, got lost quite far from my home, and once my horse fell on me.

    Danny:
    True this does happen but what I’m thinking is more like, “I’m a masculine entity. But don’t presume that there is a standard definition of ‘masculine entity’”. Which brings us to…

    JA—Well then you need to make sure to communicate to whomever you are with what you understand by your own identity. Make it plain. Don’t expect people to mind read.

    Danny:
    For me I’ll admit that masculine is pretty loosely defined for me and is mostly tied to the male body I have. Now as for why that necessitates respect I say it does in the sense that I have my own masculine way and (as per not identifying me solely in terms of identity) the fact that my way may not match your way is not reason enough to disrespect me. (Mind you if I were doing something damaging…)

    JA—but that is all too much in categorical terms to be much use for any kind of human relationship – which was my original point. To illustrate it a bit more, I have a lot of strangers coming up to me on Facebook and addressing me in a way that implies we are already on very familiar terms. These people are relying very heavily on traditional constructs of masculinity and femininity, whereby I’m expected to respond in a generic way, that is “as a female” per se, and not as my self. Obviously, I have no use for these kinds of conversations or relationships. If these same people had tried an approach that took into account my individuality, we might have got somewhere. So — I see very little point in being reliant upon categorical identities. You are biologically male and that is irreducible. Work with it. Don’t try to set a category around it for stabilization. That will fail – mainly because it is impersonal and dehumanizing.

    Danny:
    Yes individualism is going to play a role in parsing all this stuff. I agree that life will not be as hard as in the past when the gender roles were more rigid. But obviously that doesn’t mean we should just not bother trying to loosen them up right?

    JA—”Individualism” isn’t an entity. Humans are individual entities. There’s a world of difference here.

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    1. JA–Well do they want a hard life or an easy life? I think that is much of the problem. They don’t know. It’s important to figure that out in one’s mind, otherwise one won’t be able to obtain what one wants. In my case, I’ve always wanted a rite of passage. I couldn’t quite formulate what I wanted for many years, but I finally obtained what I wanted through a process of experimentation and elimination. Now, I’ve effected that transition to the other state of being. I’ve been feeling wonderful for months. It took me many years, but I achieved it.

      Danny – I can’t speak for the whole lot of us but I would like an easy life however I know that’s unlikely. Therefore I’ve accepted the fact that there will be difficulty however there is a difference between reasonable difficulty (like stepping up to be a responsible father) and unreasonable (having to fight a vindictive mother and complacent court to get time with the children). I understand the desire for a rite of passage and I actually have one last one that I’m holding myself to and will be completing in the next several months.

      JA—In some ways, things have become worse. I grew up with a tremendous amount of freedom and very little policing. I used to get around on horseback. I fell off numerous times, got lost quite far from my home, and once my horse fell on me.

      Danny – I take your example to mean that worse to you is no longer being able to get around on horseback right? True somethings have gotten worse so I guess I should have said, “many things have gotten better”. Such 200 years ago you wouldn’t have been able to vote (if you lived in the States, not sure what country you live in) and I’d have been a slave.

      JA—Well then you need to make sure to communicate to whomever you are with what you understand by your own identity. Make it plain. Don’t expect people to mind read.

      Danny – Agreed. And this is why I can be forgiving of confusion over my identity. However its not always confusion but rather intentional dismissal/disregard. I have little patience much less forgiveness for that.

      JA—but that is all too much in categorical terms to be much use for any kind of human relationship – which was my original point. To illustrate it a bit more, I have a lot of strangers coming up to me on Facebook and addressing me in a way that implies we are already on very familiar terms. These people are relying very heavily on traditional constructs of masculinity and femininity, whereby I’m expected to respond in a generic way, that is “as a female” per se, and not as my self. Obviously, I have no use for these kinds of conversations or relationships. If these same people had tried an approach that took into account my individuality, we might have got somewhere. So — I see very little point in being reliant upon categorical identities. You are biologically male and that is irreducible. Work with it. Don’t try to set a category around it for stabilization. That will fail – mainly because it is impersonal and dehumanizing.

      Danny – While I agree they aren’t the tell all about a person categorical identities seem to be used as a starting point. Now as for something more specific about my own sense of masculinity along with the male body there would also be my laid back attitude, my willingness to take chance (with some things), and being able to carry on when I probably should have given up. Now while those things are pretty traditional as I said they are starting points that one may use for the same of having something that is “universally understood” if you will. At the same time there are ways in which I branch out from the “universal understanding” such as (apparently) keeping my nails in better shape than a lot of women do, not being competent at things that are supposedly essential parts of the masculine identity (like I can’t change a tire or tie a tie to save my soul), and that whole sexuality thing.

      As you say in your example depending on traditional constructs can be quite useless but at the same time they can be useful. Similar to how your Facebook conversations didn’t go well because they were looking for a “female response” I’ve been in situations where the expectation of “male response” was enough to get the conversation going, an ice breaker if you will. And I think that’s a part of why people hold to the traditional constructs. A sense of familiarity. Yes if they started conversation looking for a response from you rather than a response from a female it may have been more successful but that is going outside a comfort zone they may not be ready for (if for no other reason than they don’t think it will work or maybe even they have tried it and know by experience it didn’t work). But like you say its not a magic bullet.

      JA—”Individualism” isn’t an entity. Humans are individual entities. There’s a world of difference here.

      Danny – I know. I was trying to agree with your point there. I believe one of your points is that people are going to have to show their individual merits right?

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  4. Danny – I can’t speak for the whole lot of us but I would like an easy life however I know that’s unlikely. Therefore I’ve accepted the fact that there will be difficulty however there is a difference between reasonable difficulty (like stepping up to be a responsible father) and unreasonable (having to fight a vindictive mother and complacent court to get time with the children). I understand the desire for a rite of passage and I actually have one last one that I’m holding myself to and will be completing in the next several months.

    JA: Okay. Is that your situation? Obviously we would all like things to be materially easier and that is only logical and right. But sometimes ease is not sufficient food for the soul, which is why some people hanker for the kind of “masculinity” that is more adventurous and pursues difficulties for their own sake. It’s not only men who crave these kinds of experiences, naturally.

    Danny – I take your example to mean that worse to you is no longer being able to get around on horseback right? True somethings have gotten worse so I guess I should have said, “many things have gotten better”. Such 200 years ago you wouldn’t have been able to vote (if you lived in the States, not sure what country you live in) and I’d have been a slave.

    JA: My point wasn’t intended to be trivial but was intended to indicate the level of independence I had, even as a young child. This speaks to your concern about policing others’ behaviour.

    Danny – Agreed. And this is why I can be forgiving of confusion over my identity. However its not always confusion but rather intentional dismissal/disregard. I have little patience much less forgiveness for that.

    Danny – While I agree they aren’t the tell all about a person categorical identities seem to be used as a starting point. Now as for something more specific about my own sense of masculinity along with the male body there would also be my laid back attitude, my willingness to take chance (with some things), and being able to carry on when I probably should have given up. Now while those things are pretty traditional as I said they are starting points that one may use for the same of having something that is “universally understood” if you will. At the same time there are ways in which I branch out from the “universal understanding” such as (apparently) keeping my nails in better shape than a lot of women do, not being competent at things that are supposedly essential parts of the masculine identity (like I can’t change a tire or tie a tie to save my soul), and that whole sexuality thing.
    As you say in your example depending on traditional constructs can be quite useless but at the same time they can be useful. Similar to how your Facebook conversations didn’t go well because they were looking for a “female response” I’ve been in situations where the expectation of “male response” was enough to get the conversation going, an ice breaker if you will. And I think that’s a part of why people hold to the traditional constructs. A sense of familiarity. Yes if they started conversation looking for a response from you rather than a response from a female it may have been more successful but that is going outside a comfort zone they may not be ready for (if for no other reason than they don’t think it will work or maybe even they have tried it and know by experience it didn’t work). But like you say its not a magic bullet.

    JA—perhaps a starting point for very young or inexperienced people – but not that useful overall.

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    1. JA: Okay. Is that your situation? Obviously we would all like things to be materially easier and that is only logical and right. But sometimes ease is not sufficient food for the soul, which is why some people hanker for the kind of “masculinity” that is more adventurous and pursues difficulties for their own sake. It’s not only men who crave these kinds of experiences, naturally.

      Danny: Of course this is not exclusive to men (I figured this was being said about men since the conversation started about men). And yes ease is not sufficient for the soul, which is why I said earlier there is a difference between reasonable challenges and unreasonable challenges.

      JA: perhaps a starting point for very young or inexperienced people – but not that useful overall.

      Danny: I’m of the mind that it being a starting point for the young and inexperienced is what makes it very useful. But I do agree its not an absolute way to approach people.

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  5. What I was trying to say before: you don’t need to go looking for a gendered response. If you speak to the person as a human being, you will soon find out if there is any chemistry there. As I said, your biology is irreducible, so there is no need to create a fanfare for a particular gender identity. If you have one, the other person will pick up on that and either react in an encouraging way or in the opposite fashion. Try to look at it this way: even the greetings that I encounter that are highly gender-based and conventional will either resonate with my innate sexuality or they will not. It happens that a gender-oriented greeting is a turn off for me. That doesn’t cause me to question my gender identity. My track record as a libidinous woman has been well established. However, we all communicate information about ourselves in all sorts of ways based on our manner of greeting. If someone greets me with a sub-text that runs: “I’m a man and I think you’re a ‘gal’ and I’m just bouncing around in the universe, seeing what it will deliver to me. Give me your attention because I’m here,” I’m not going to feel very much in the way of attraction.

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    1. I can agree that its not necessary to use that approach and (you yourself as an example) can be counterproductive. I just don’t think is useless.

      “I’m a man and I think you’re a ‘gal’ and I’m just bouncing around in the universe, seeing what it will deliver to me. Give me your attention because I’m here,” I’m not going to feel very much in the way of attraction.
      Fair enough if that doesn’t click with you. To me this is a possible starting point to looking for the possible chemistry.

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      1. Sure. One can demonstrate that one has the capacity to recognise fundamentals & see how far that goes. It’s like if you want to apply for a fancy job. You can write: “hi there! You’re a boss & I’m an employee! My name is Joe. Woohoo!”

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  6. JA – Sure. One can demonstrate that one has the capacity to recognise fundamentals & see how far that goes. It’s like if you want to apply for a fancy job. You can write: “hi there! You’re a boss & I’m an employee! My name is Joe. Woohoo!”

    Danny – And sure enough that approach does actually work sometime. Same reason why there’a guides on how to do resumes and cover letters that are filled with generic fill and they work.

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  7. Danny :
    JA – Sure. One can demonstrate that one has the capacity to recognise fundamentals & see how far that goes. It’s like if you want to apply for a fancy job. You can write: “hi there! You’re a boss & I’m an employee! My name is Joe. Woohoo!”
    Danny – And sure enough that approach does actually work sometime. Same reason why there’a guides on how to do resumes and cover letters that are filled with generic fill and they work.

    Yes, I’m sure that generic fill works a lot — at least to the degree that people’s lives can be scripted for them.

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