Dudes: silent no more!

This tiny kitten actually has nothing to do with the post.

Did Tom Matlack of the Good Men Project – not to be confused with Ben Matlock, fictional defense lawyer beloved by the elderly – swallow one of those mysterious “red pills” I keep hearing about on Men’s Rights blogs? Whatever he swallowed, it’s apparently causing him to hallucinate.

How else to explain his recent post on the GMP site titled “Being a Dude Is a Good Thing.” Now, as a dude who spends a good deal of time every day being a dude, I’ve got nothing against anyone being a dude, provided that’s what they want to be. It’s just that the piece itself is full of some rather strange generalizations that don’t actually seem to be, you know, true, at least not in what’s commonly known as “the real world.”

Rather than try to rebut his argument, because he doesn’t seem to have much of one, let’s just look at some of his loopier pronouncements:

Why do men get blamed for everything?

Uh, because they don’t? Sure, men get blamed for things, but guess what? Women get blamed for things all the time, too, from witchcraft, to divorce, to getting themselves raped, battered or killed. They’ve been blamed for earthquakes, for “inciting” male lust, for killing chivalry and “killing off real men,” for “taking roles intended by God only for men.” Heck, some inventive sorts have even figured out how to blame women for men who are assholes. And this guy has decided that “Black Women are to blame for the disrespect Black Men show towards Black Women.” For endless additional examples, scroll back through the posts and comments here, visit any of the blogs on my “boob roll,” or simply continue living on planet earth.

Back to Matlack, whose generalizations get more surreal by the sentence:

In the locker room, in the bathroom, on the walk out of the board room, in my conversations with men of all kinds, that’s what I hear more than anything. The resignation that to be a man is to be unacceptable at some level to the woman in your life.

Really? Who on earth are you hanging out with? And what women are they hanging out with? Are men other than Tom Matlack and his possibly apocryphal conversational partners actually having conversations like this on a regular basis? If the “woman in your life” basically hates men, what is she doing with you, and what are you doing with her?

One close friend jokes, “When speaking to my wife I always make sure to look at the ground in deference. And I make sure not to make any sudden movements.”

Um, what?

I’ve watched him. He loves his wife.

He’s a very competent human being. But with her he’s decided the only way to survive is to submit. The female view is the right view. The male view just gets you into trouble.

You see what I meant before about the hallucinations, right?

But Matlack suggests there is hope for the poor demure, never-before-heard-from men of the world. Apparently they are starting to open their mouths at last.

It seems that the blame game in the mainstream, whether through the minimization of male life in pop culture or on television or through the continued obsession with men behaving badly, has finally struck a chord with the average guy.

Let’s just pause a moment to reflect on this whole “minimization of male life in pop culture or on television.” Mr. Matlack, do you actually watch movies or television, or visit libraries or anything like that? Most movies revolve around men as the main characters, with women in many cases serving as little more than a love interest or simply as scenery. Have you ever heard of the Bechdel test? Read up on it, run the test on some of your favorite films, and then get back to us on the “minimization of male life in pop culture.”

Now back to Matlack’s manifesto:

We are no longer willing to be blamed for being men. We are no longer willing to avert our gazes and stay silent about our feelings. We are raising our voices and telling our stories in our own male vocabulary.

Yeah, because men have been so utterly silent about their feelings, their opinons, and pretty much everything, up until now.

To women, I assume the response is, “well, it’s about time.” But just remember when we talk it’s not going to sound like a women in a man’s body. It’s gonna be all dude. And you are just going to have to deal with that.

Ladies, prepare yourselves for a lot more Dudesplaining in the near future.  Dudes will be ignored no longer! Dudes!!! DUUUUUDESSS!!!!!!

EDITED TO ADD: Matlack’s gotten some responses on Twitter to his dudely roar; he’s posted a bunch of them here. Guest appearances by Amanda Marcotte and (seriously) Roseanne Barr.

About David Futrelle

I run the blog We Hunted the Mammoth, which tracks (and mocks) online misogyny. My writing has appeared in a wide variety of places, including Salon, Time.com, the Washington Post, the New York Times Book Review and Money magazine. I like cats.

Posted on December 16, 2011, in beta males, manginas, misogyny, MRA, nice guys, oppressed men, rape, rapey, reactionary bullshit, victimhood. Bookmark the permalink. 400 Comments.

  1. Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant

    In my personal creation story, woman came first, but God is a dude. So God jacked off over the clouds, and then woman arose from his spunk, after which she gave birth to man. So, we’re all interconnected in the circle of life.

  2. In my personal creation story, sexless cells came first. Sex roles emerged in animals based on which one was required to make the greatest reproductive investment (note that in fish, where the female can release her eggs and scram before they’re even fertilized, the male is more likely to be caregiver) but serve no further purpose in humans, which are able to make conscious reproductive and childcare choices.

    See, there’s also jizz in my creation story (even if it is fish jizz), but it’s a lot more nuanced.

  3. Nothing wrong with fish jizz. It’s a delicacy.

  4. I’m not a narrow-minded person, but ewwwwwwww.

    (Although I’ve eaten fish eggs happily, and I can’t really justify why that’s different.)

  5. Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant

    Occam’s razor, Holly.

  6. Then again, I eat chicken eggs but I wouldn’t eat chicken jizz.

  7. Creation Story: when I was about 4 or 5, I was sitting in Sunday School in the basement of the church, reading the Little Golden Book of the Genesis story. My takeaway: Eve ate the apple and therefore history happened. Go Eve!

    Twentyish years later I started reading feminist essays, and a huge number of them started off with an introduction by the author referencing the pain she had felt her whole life, being punished for Eve’s sin. I was baffled, because I’d never looked further into the Genesis story than my 4 or 5 year old interpretation in which Eve was the hero of the story. What sin? What punishment?

  8. Hugo’s resignation post is my second favorite thing he’s written, after his essay about the trouble men have feeling desired (which was the first thing of his I read). Of course, it’s exactly the kind of thing I’d do in that situation, so I identify.

    I’m an atheist and I dig the hell out of Christmas. I like the melancholy feel of the season; it’s the time to drink too much mulled wine and listen to sad winter music. Also, I love giving gifts.

  9. Hugo’s resignation post is my second favorite thing he’s written, after his essay about the trouble men have feeling desired (which was the first thing of his I read). Of course, it’s exactly the kind of thing I’d do in that situation, so I identify.

    Seconding this.
    I also gotta admit that I’m not exactly a fan of Hugo Schwyzer, for the same reasons many have already mentioned, but the resignation post was really spot on. I used to like GMP, but not anymore. I think NSWATM is the better choice when it comes to men’s issues.

  10. There are all kinds of things that are delicacies that I won’t eat. I’m adding fish jizz to the list.

    Fish eggs/tobiko on the other hand is awesome. It’s sort of crunchy? I like it as a garnish.

  11. Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant

    In his resignation post, he essentially says that my voice is less valid because I am a white male. I already have low self-esteem, so that cockhead can go fuck himself.

  12. Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant

    Strong words, perhaps hastily chosen. I should say he doesn’t make me feel good, and I already struggle with feeling good.

  13. MRAL, even though I’m really glad you notice when you went to far, maybe you should really step back from this. I know the feeling you describe,and I don’t think arguing here will make you feel any better (quite the opposite, actually).
    So let’s think about awesome things instead! Like all the yummy christmas food!

  14. Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant

    Yeah, I’m not sure I’m really arguing anyway, most people here seem to be not big fans of Hugo. But, either way, I just have a problem with the logical implications of his arguement, even if I think that he’s mostly just thinking about shutting Matlack down.

  15. Yessssss, my minions. Everyone read NSWATM! Soon, soon my mind-control beams will…

    Uh. I mean. Christmas lights. Jolly good.

  16. I, for one, welcome our new christmas lit, ozytastic overlords😀

  17. When it comes to religion I’m most defiantly a hardcore agnostic I would dearly love to believe in a benevolent god who loves us all equally but scientific discovery’s are making that concept more and more far fetched (if there is a god he’s closer to MRAL’s interpretation)

    Our whole concept of god in western society has shaped how we see gender, sexuality and race and has led us into the cluster fuck we’re living in now. We gave our religious leaders to much power over us and now we pay the price.

    But god help me, I still see merit in theology, Christianity to me at least still means having a private relationship with the almighty trusting in him to help you grow as a person, sitting in quiet contemplation trying to find serenity away from the sound and fury of the 21st century fundy nonsense.

  18. I envision God as the largest possible scale of the fractal consciousness of the universe; if atoms have their own life and cells have their own life and I have my own life, well, God is a few levels above my life. And just as I don’t care much if I lose a few atoms I don’t think God cares much if I live or die or win a football game. I take comfort from believing that I (and everyone and everything else in my life) am a tiny part of God, not that I have a personal relationship with a humanlike God.

    This is similar to my own beliefs, which I guess you could call “pantheism”? For me, religion is more about my responding to the universe and its beauty than about a set of factual descriptions about events. I was really into Joseph Campbell in undergrad, and one of the things I took away from that experience was the idea that religious practice is about orienting your own mind to the cosmos and your life through ritual and symbolism.

  19. BlackBloc:

    I think Christian teachings are immoral (and I mean New Testament AND Old, not just that Old Testament teachings are immoral but were improved on by Christ). My main objection being to the idea that Jesus died for our sins. The sacrificial lamb theology is a monstrosity.

    Can you say more? This sounds pretty interesting.

  20. I tend to have a BlackBloc-ish view of Christianity so I can say what I personally find immoral and strange about the whole Jesus story. I thought I’d answer because I don’t know when he’ll come back. I do want to see what BlackBloc would say though.

    This is pretty strongly worded, so I am going to warn any Christians here that if you don’t want to hear that sort of stuff directed at your religion, or are triggered by it or anything like that, you can keep scrolling down the page. I don’t think I’ve insulted believers or anything like that, but I do say some harsh things about Christian concepts and religious figures.

    1. I don’t find the Christ story to make very much sense, period. God sends his son down to earth, who is actually God himself, to scoot around as a really strange preacher guy for a couple of decades and then get tortured and die, but not really die because he comes back, in order to fix a situation that God created (humanity’s capability for sin and a lack of opportunity for redemption for it) in the first place. WTF??? I honestly can’t find any of this coherent at all. In fact, hearing the story laid out like that was one of the final nails in my deconversion coffin. It just seems like a bizarre and unnecessary runaround on God’s part and an excuse for a torture show.

    2. The story has also always struck me as sort of “slumming it” on Jesus’s part, like some rich white kid going on a 2-week voluntourism trip to Nicaragua or something and then coming back and being like I LEARNED SOOOO MUCH! (Jesus celebrating the poor so much has also hit me in the same way, but that’s a different conversation.) I don’t think Jesus made much of a sacrifice at all– what’s 30-some years living on Earth and then a day or two of pain when you’re God? We’re supposed to think that Jesus’ death was some big huge redemptive thing when there were I-don’t-know-how-many-other-people getting crucified at the same time, who weren’t divine prophets, who weren’t going to get resurrected, who didn’t have the comfort of knowing what exactly would happen to them, and who were probably (if you assume there is an afterlife) going to go to hell. For a human being, giving up your life in heroism or for an ideal is meaningful precisely because you don’t get it back, and there is possibly no reward for what you have done. How could an all-powerful divine being (one who knows exactly what’s going to happen, and knows a reward is coming) possibly make any sort of meaningful sacrifice?

    3. The idea that “sacrifice” in the religious sense is possible is sort of morally disgusting. Nobody except you can shoulder the responsibility for your “sins” or moral failings. It’s a drastic abdication of responsibility to put that burden on somebody else. And taking up that burden yourself (i.e. Jesus) for another person is useless at best and disturbing at worst. How does becoming a scapegoat for everyone solve anything? The world had the exact same moral quandaries before Jesus’ death and afterwards. A human (or animal, i.e. in the OT) death can’t possibly “redeem” anyone else, or absolve them of anything, or cleanse them of anything. Absolving yourself is something you do, it is hard work that you have to go out and accomplish in order to make up for causing harm. Nobody else can do this for you, and certainly not by getting tortured to death.

    And any attempt to do that kind of thing you should be extremely frightening. That’s abusive and a classic example of guilt tripping somebody over a situation the abuser is ultimately responsible for. “See, look what I did for you! I got myself killed for you! Why don’t you appreciate me? Don’t you see I’m helping you here by saving you from being tortured eternally? Well then, if you don’t love me back you know what the consequences are!” That’s not eternal love. That is 100% unequivocally abuse.

    Also, I just plain find celebrating any sort of human sacrifice to be repugnant. Although I discounted Jesus’ suffering up there because he was part divine, it’s still suffering, pain, and death nonetheless. Suffering can’t cleanse anyone of anything. Suffering and death are terrible, gruesome, and humiliating things, and the idea that they bring any sort of moral credit with them (i.e. to get you out of the red in your Sin Account) is a mere justification for inflicting further suffering and death on others in the name of moral fortitude or vague religious rewards. Having someone publicly shamed, tortured, and killed in the name of other people’s wrongs is grotesque for any reason; there is no possible justification for it, even religious ones.

  21. Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant

    Getting stoned and crucified to death builds character, as Calvin’s dad would say.

  22. @Kladle

    I’m not religious, but I also think that Christianity places way too much emphasis on the suffering and death of Jesus, and not enough on his teachings.

    I think there is something to the “slumming it” notion, however. The way I interpret it, God is all-knowing, but he’s not all-understanding. He knows about suffering but he doesn’t understand it, so he comes to Earth, probably just to show everyone how awesome he is, but then he realizes that it’s not so easy being human, and that’s why a lot of the stricter rules are removed.

  23. I have the same issues with the Jesus story. I don’t see suffering as being something that can cleanse or heal, and the whole underlying idea makes no sense to me because if sin exists, it’s individual and personal. No one else should be able to atone for something that I do, because I’m the one responsible for it. It feels like a morality get out of jail free card. Also, people kept right on sinning afterwards, so what did the whole suffering, death, and rebirth thing accomplish? It didn’t change anything in terms of humanity’s overall behavior.

  24. I’m an agnostic, but I’m sort of in awe of the fact that the universe spontaneously generated organisms that developed consciousness and figured out that the universe spontaneously generated organisms that developed consciousness. I mean, far freakin out.

    I’m also amazed that we can figure out the math that explains how the universe works (roughly) and that dudes with slide rules were able to figure out to get spaceships to the moon and back.

    I’m thinking that the next step in evolution will involve sort of cyborgy computer-organic creatures that are designed to learn and evolve and which will eventually supplant human beings while absorbing all that we know and all that we are.

    And that these new ever-more-perfect cyborgy creatures will look like kitties. But with thumbs.

    (Maybe not the bit about kitties.)

  25. Men's Rights Activist Lieutenant

    I’m still interested in hearing why people like his resignation post… it’s whiny, and he is saying that certain people, including me, matter less.

  26. CassandraSays, and kladle… well, the substitutionary atonement theory, or satisfaction theory if you willl isn’t the only way to see the christian redemption.

    At various times and places, it hasn’t even been the dominant one. It really starts picking up steam in early medieval christianity, and gets REALLY bloody and dark after, well, the black plague (Hey, let’s think about this. If your society got hit with something like the Black Plague, your religion would get a LOT darker, and that’s basically what happened.)

    Now, it really goes off and becomes a central part of Protestantism after that, so it’s definitely something that’s dwelt on in a lot of the Western understanding. Not that Catholicism doesn’t have it, just that Catholicism did have some other options around. (And Catholicism has even actually scrubbed the darker interpretations of such from it’s catechisms in recent times)

    (And even more so the Orthodox and others)

    So not all understandings of the crucifixion are about literally paying an angry god with blood. And not all understandings of the fall are about original sin. There’s many others. When it gets trotted out by christian or critic of christianity as being “THE CHRISTIAN CORE BELIEF…” well, I understand where that impression came from, but there’s been too much Christianity without it for that to be the case.

    What’s right or wrong is something I no longer have much of a stake in, but I do think that it’s important to realize that a great deal of Christianity hasn’t followed that particular script.

    Some very good catholic thoughts:



    Escape from the Cannibal God is a good title, heh.

    Some protestant universalist thoughts:

    The thing is, Christianity has always been… Well, extremely VARIED, and that’s probably what let me comfortably fade into a philosopher’s god/no god at all understanding of these matters. There was no moment of grand deconversion for me, no slip from theism to atheism, so much as a change of perspective. But I do admit that the fact that there’s just so dang MANY christianities is probably a better argument for throwing in with one of them than any problems with theology. I still love collecting the various strains though. Ahh, variety.

  27. But I do admit that the fact that there’s just so dang MANY christianities is probably a better argument for throwing in with one of them than any problems with theology. I

    Argument for NOT throwing in with them.

  28. Sorry, have to use my feminized non-STEM medieval studies learnings for something.

  29. And noting that I certainly believe the sacrificial lamb theology has had many negative effects and is a deep central bug in the Western psyche. I just don’t think that when one speaks of Christianity qua Christianity, love it or hate it, one should assume it’s definitely a non-negotiable core of that spectrum of religion, or that it’s always been the way things were seen even in the West.

  30. You can all buy my book on the various notions of christian redemptions and their effects on history when I write it, I’m gonna stuff it now😄

    As very often, I personally find myself agreeing, for the MOST part with Roderick Long in my own view, which is basically that the logical structure of reality itself is something that can meaningfully be called god, if one leans that way, or not god, if one leans in that direction. I certainly find it personally satisfying.



  31. you know that none of what you said or your expertise will matter since NWO or Meller will just show up, claim some sort of STEMness and therefore their expertise in EVERYTHING and then you will be pwned as a woman should be >_>

  32. Well, this is true. Even the fact that I, well, basically just deified logic won’t help me when it’s just me and my silly girly brain and fluffy emotions. WHERE’S MY GOD NOW!

  33. In the old days, when MEN did history, I wouldn’t even have been able to lift the heavy books, either.

  34. The idea of heaven & hell are, for me, no different than The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Fantasy revenge.
    “Hey, things are shitty for you, but don’t worry JUSTICE will prevail. (After you’re dead. {You can’t prove me wrong because no one has come back from being dead and even if they do we’ll ret-con their story to mesh with what we believe})
    Oh! AND!!! All the people who are shitty to you will TOTALLY be punished! Fur REALZ this tiem!”

  35. as zhinxy says, there are a lot of Christianities; which doesn’t even address the Jewish aspects of the idea of sacrifice for atonement. As to “slumming it” there are Christianities which see it that way,and others which don’t.

    The question (and where the differences lie) is awareness. If Jesus was man, and divorced of awareness of his divinity; with all the free will of any other person, then it’s not slumming.

    If he was aware of his actual divinity, then he was.

    In my opinion the only way the doctrine of sacrifice works, is if it’s the former. But Christianity comes of a stew of lots of religions, and what it has (in all it’s forms, Arian, Nestorian, Manichaen, Orhthodox (in all it’s flavors), Catholic (in all it’s flavors), Protestantism, in all it’s flavors, Catharism, etc. are at least as varied as any other family of religions. It’s hard to make sweeping statements about what “Christians” believe.

  36. Ah, David Futrelle.
    Y’ know, not one single thing you said here was wrong, or off the mark, or even, I would argue, below the belt. No foul: all points to you.
    But.. you’re always so unsufferably obnoxious, sarcastic, so casually and petulantly dismissive of other peoples’ experiences when they don’t reflect your own, it doesn’t even matter any more that you’re right. You’re the noise drowning out your own message – which is unfortunate, because the message (‘misogyny is bad’) is an important one. Since you already know you’re right anyway, would really be so bad then to be right with just a little more empathy and magnanimity?

  37. Nobody needs to tolerate bigotry Most. He’s addressing a group that mocks rape and lies about domestic violence. They didn’t hit the Southern Poverty Law Center’s radar for nothing.

    Also David hurts people’s feelings? Bawww. He’s mild. You’re being controlling.

  38. This is a new, weird little game.

    Post on old topics that you agree with the blogger but that they should be nicer to the bigots (who aren’t going to show everyone the same).

    petulantly dismissive of other peoples’ experiences when they don’t reflect your own

    If that was true, this place would be full of straight, cis, white dudes, rather than the diverse place that it is.

  39. @Most

    In my opinion, hateful people get way TOO much empathy from society. Nobody is forced into being hateful. I have known refugees who have gone through horrors I can’t even imagine and come out of it as loving decent people. And they still have to constantly struggle to get real empathy from society.

    So when middle class Western people DECIDE to hate another group, whether it’s women or people of color of lgbtq people, and then someone demands THEY are so misunderstood and deserve SO much empathy because it’s so HARD to be both privileged and full of hatred, I give that person a serious side-eye.

    Do you also go on MRA forums to ask them to have more empathy for rape victims? Have you asked your government to have more empathy for nonviolent offenders by doing more to prevent prison rape? Have you campaigned for donations to the West African food crisis, asking for more empathy for starving children?

    Why is it that hateful bigots are at the top of your “IT”S SO IMPORTANT THAT PEOPLE FEEL EMPATHY” list?

  40. It’s actually an old game. Several times drive-by trolls have hit old threads, as if it’s dropping some kind of truth bomb stealthily, hiding it where nobody will see it so that years later it’ll look like they got the last word and nobody was able to refute them.

    Ignoring that the date-stamps on the posts will make it wildly obvious what they did.

    Ignoring that there’s a ‘view recent comments’ option that assures his fallacious bullshit will be called out.

    Ignoring that tone arguments are a vital part of any sexist argument.

    Etc., etc.

  41. Howard Bannister: Yeah, that’s true.

    I guess it’s the combo of “post on a really old topic” plus “I agree, but why aren’t you being nicer to the bigots?”, both of which i’ve seen before separately, that i’ve never seen together before.

    It’s like there’s a list of Troll Techniques ™ and they pick two out at random to be their Troll Theme ™.

  42. howardbann1ster

    It’s like a game of twister. You spin the needle once… ah, you got ARGLE BARGLE. That’s nice. Spin again… wait, you got ARGLE BARGLE twice? We’ll respin. Owly already has that schtick….

  43. And now i’m trying to think of Troll Technique ™ combos that would be hilarious.

    “Haha, you spend all your time on here posting, losers” plus “excessive posting and multiple failed flounces” is always good. Steele is getting close to that one, too.

  44. I’m a big fan of the advancing block technique “All women are horrible and all men are naturally violent” + “I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY YOU’RE BEING SO MEAN TO ME I NEVER SAID ANYTHING MEAN ABOUT YOU.”

  45. I feel Most’s technique could be called the “Stealth MRA-but-not-actually-but-actually-am SUPER SYMPATHY WHINE.”

  46. howardbann1ster

    Or the Joe method; ‘such and such a culture and religion (of brown people) are inferior and violent.’ ‘HOW DARE YOU CALL ME RACIST THAT MAKES YOU A RACIST AGAINST WHITE PPL!!!!!’

  47. Nothing Joe says will ever beat the “Joe WTF,” where he doubles down on a stupid argument by stating an unbelievably more stupid argument.

    A few weeks ago, when he was arguing that the Frankfurt School was bad because Marxism, but George Orwell was good, and I called him out on the fact that Orwell was even more influenced by Marxism, he dropped “But what you don’t understand is that the Frankfurt School was actually a KGB plot to cause a Soviet invasion.” LOL!

  48. Or when I called him out for thinking that most Iranians speak Arabic, and he doubled down with “But ALL Muslims speak Arabic, just like how all Portuguese people speak Spanish.” It was pretty glorious.

  49. just like how all Portuguese people speak Spanish – Ugh

    *Insert obligatory Spanish/Russian alphabet joke here*

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