Monday, January 7, 2013

Good Men Project

I'm just one small voice out here in the dark (or living in your computer, whichever you choose). I'm not a reader of Jezebel and I certainly hope they don't find me and come to skewer me. Those women are serious.
I am, however, a writer. A sexual assault survivor. A wife (x3). A mother. A former prostitute. Female.
I was part of the vanguard of latchkey kids: my parents were the only divorced parents in my 2nd grade class (albeit with good reason: my father was a pedophile). Feminism was never discussed at my house because my mother was too busy trying to survive.
Nothing much was ever discussed.
But I learned me-ism; personal strength; resilience and independence. And I learned that when I had achieved something, anything, the best use of that growth was to turn around and extend a helping hand to the person behind me.
I don't remember how I stumbled upon The Good Men Project. But I fell in love with it immediately. I'm easy like that but loyal as well. I admire the stated mission: "an effort to build and sustain a national discussion about being a good father, son, husband, partner, and worker in America today."
That word, discussion, seems to have been lost in the recent controversy. GMP has come under fire for two specific articles that were published: I'd Rather Risk Rape... & Nice Guys Commit Rape Too.

Since reading the articles, being peripherally aware of the attacks on GMP and on Tom M specifically, a few questions and points keep coming to mind.
  •  a discussion usually has more than one point of view, does it not? GMP uses a lot of different writers and claims to be a place for discussion, not dissemination of one specific viewpoint.
  •  is there no place where we can appreciate Anonymous's honesty: he provides a very clear window into today's rape culture. In fact, for me, his article illuminated rape culture very clearly.
  •  are we each to be judged by our worst actions? if someone is brave enough to hold up their absolute worst moment and say, "Here, this is what I did," in an effort to build conversation, to increase understanding and communication, is s/he guaranteed to be slaughtered in the court of public opinion?
  •  at what point did feminism become about bringing anyone down? if the only way I can help to lift myself and my sisters is by pulling someone else down, I'll pass. Maybe I'm incredibly naive, but I believe that there is room for all of us to be better together, regardless of gender.


  1. I absolutely agree. I found those two articles very interesting and helpful in understanding some issues more deeply. I was surprised by the hard-line backlash. I wonder why so many people are so invested in believing issues of sexual assault are _always_ entirely black-and-white, and why they don't think it's helpful to try to understand a perpetrator's mindset and the light it might be able to shed on potential prevention measures/education. (I too am a sexual assault survivor.)

    1. Christine,
      Thanks for coming by, for reading & commenting. Stay in touch!