Saturday, January 25, 2014

My Response to the Editors at Good Men Project

Dear Good Men Project,
I've always been a fan of your site. For one, it's eye-pleasing, and two, the content has always been above grade. And let's face it, with a name like "Good Men Project," and a lofty goal like "enlightened masculinity," how could women everywhere not love it, or at least condone it? You want to show your readers what it means to be a "good man." You want to lead by example.

So here's my question for you: What the fuck happened?

I'm talking specifically about this article. You know, the one written by the guy who admits raping a woman while drunk, then tries to explain it away, just so that he can justify his need to party.
Drunk. And raping.

Let's take on a few interesting points from the article you put up as your featured fucking content, shall we?

With what I’ve learned as an adult, I’m pretty sure I’m technically a rapist. Technically nothing. One woman told me herself. Our encounter was years before—I’d been in a drinking contest and she’d been drinking and flirting with me (yes, actually flirting) all evening. As blurry and fucked-up as I was, I read her kiss of congratulation to me as a stronger signal than it was, and with friends hooting and cheering us on, I pressed her up against a wall and… well. Call it rape or call it a particularly harsh third base, I walked away with the impression that it had been consensual, if not really sensible. (She had a boyfriend at the time, but their boundaries were fuzzy.)
Years later, she was in a recovery program—not for alcohol, ironically—and she got in touch with me during the part where she made peace with her past. She wanted to clarify that what had happened between us was without her consent, that it hurt her physically and emotionally, that it was, yes, rape.

Even as he's telling this story, the author has to explain that it seemed ok to rape at the time.
The woman been flirting with him. Yes, actual flirting!
He was too blurry and fucked-up to realize a kiss is not an invitation for rape.
His friends were cheering him on. He had to please the crowd, damn it!
Her boundaries with her boyfriend were fuzzy...and everyone knows, no protective boyfriend=fair game for rape.
But here's the real kicker: he can't even bring himself to call it rape. No, it was a "particularly harsh third base."
It hurt her, physically and emotionally. He violated her body. But it wasn't real rape.

Which I guess is one of the reasons why he feels justified to "run the risk" of doing it again?

The author later goes on to say how it's even possible he was raped. He's not sure, of course. But it's possible! He might be a victim here, too! But he's willing to take that chance, and keep drinking and partying.

I've accepted a certain amount of rape as the cost of doing business, and so have most of the people I know.

And if he's willing to take the chance of getting raped, then by God, all the women he parties with should be willing to take the chance of getting raped by him. Because partying is what's most important.

I'm not surprised there are men like this author in the world. I'm not naive; I know plenty of men think rape is no big deal--did I say rape? I meant a particularly harsh third base--and women should just accept that if they're going to party, they have to accept responsibility for their actions. Actions that might get themselves raped. If rapists can take responsibility for their drunken misconduct--kinda--then the raped women should too, right?
This is the rape apologists' attitude, anyway.

But why is the Good Men Project defending it? For god's sake, why?

Oh, you put a disclaimer above the article, yes.
Do you really think this disclaimer absolves you? Let's take another look at it, shall we?

Editor’s note: This is a difficult article to read, and to publish.

Do you think it being "difficult to publish" exonerates you from doing so? You published a rape apologist article. You made that choice. You could have published an article like "Why I stopped drinking: because I raped" or "Why men need to stop blaming their actions on alcohol" or "I will never make up for raping while drunk." Or how about publishing an article from a woman's point of view? "I was raped by a drunk man at a party. Here's what happened."
But no, you guys chose to publish an article written by a rapist who admits he raped a woman, knows he might do it again, and doesn't fucking care, not enough to take whatever steps necessary to not rape again. Because it feels too fucking good. 

We at the Good Men Project do not endorse or support the author’s worldview

You don't endorse his worldview. But you published it as featured content. So what would you call it, if not endorsement? I guess if we can play around with words like "rape" and "boundaries," we can fudge the definition of "endorsement," too.

but it does speak to a very common experience that is often taken for granted 

Yeah, it's a common experience. One that has to stop. That's not what this article is about.

We thank the author for being willing to speak openly about it, and share his struggle with his own experiences

I guess if you get a writer who's articulate and can write about a difficult topic poignantly, it doesn't really matter what his viewpoint is, does it? You'll publish the article. Because he's sharing his struggle with his own experiences. wasn't just his experience, it was also the woman who got raped. Remember her? And I really don't think he's struggling as much as she is. But hey! He's open and honest about what he did! He deserves a cookie!

we want to make very clear that we do not agree with his conclusions.

I'm so glad you don't agree with his conclusions. Seems kind of weird, though, you published the article anyway.

And that's the kicker, isn't it? You guys didn't agree with the "conclusions" of the article, and you felt the need to tack up a disclaimer...but you posted it anyway. Why? Because it's sensationalist writing? Because you knew people would be talking about it? Because you needed the publicity?

Well, mission accomplished, Good Men Project. I'm devoting a whole post to you guys. I'm letting everyone know how disgusting, abhorrent, and chauvinistic your featured content is. Your name is forever tainted with your readers. You are not the "Good Men" project anymore. You are the website that posted an article defending drunken rape, and sent a clear message to your readers that if you're a guy who rapes, but you feel kinda bad about it, and you can write well, then you'll have a platform waiting for you.

Is that the message you wanted to send? Good job.
But if not, then you guys got some thinking to do.
My advice: pull the article while you think, and offer your readers a damn big apology, because dudes, you fucked up.

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