Men who think consent is overrated are not good men.

Men who think consent is overrated are not good men. October 11, 2012


(thanks to Ryan Stauffer for bringing this to my attention)

Recently, The Good Men Project–who think of themselves as “a glimpse of what enlightened masculinity might look like in the 21st century”–tweeted a story that I blame for the fact that I skipped lunch today. It literally made me lose my appetite.

Screen Shot via. Dianna Anderson

I’ve had problems with The Good Men Project in the past (this post by Amy Mitchell lays out just of few of my reasons why). But the misogynist post I read today went above and beyond the awful things that I’ve seen on the site in the past.

The story they posted, which was quietly deleted (but not before it was shared over 8,000 times on Reddit), can be found on Google cache here.  I don’t suggest reading it unless you don’t believe me, but if you do, let me warn you, it’s awful. Dianna Anderson describes the piece at her blog:

“A lurid, pornographic depiction of a drunk teenager (barely legal!) giving a 26 year old man a blowjob and (forgive the graphic description) gagging and crying while she does so. Only after the rapist ‘finishes’ do the cops show up – they arrest him, but the story makes it clear that they only arrested him to give the appearance of justice. His dad is one of the cops, and says, “That’s how I met ya mother!”

The Good Men Project apologized quietly, after receiving criticism. They have not explained how such a piece was able to be published on the site, nor have they said whether or not the piece’s author will be able to publish future pieces. Also, as Dianna Anderson asks, “And what sort of environment is Good Men Project creating where he would possibly think this is an appropriate thing to post?”

The piece also contains the following line:

Consent is overrated. I feel it’s like society’s way of removing the spontaneity of intimacy. Arguably, the best kind of human interaction… I mean, was Prince Charming ever given consent? You know? Did Sleeping Beauty ever verbally give consent? Of course not. The Prince simply knew what had to be done, and he seized the moment. And that’s the most celebrated part of that story. I know it. You know it. And you can bet your sweet, juicy ass that Walt Disney knew it too.

This Good Men Project writer, or at least the character he wrote (and allowed to get away with rape), believes that consent is overrated.

Is that kind of thinking limited to men who write vile rape porn?

I’m going to guess not.

I will say this. Men who write and read and share stories like this are not Good Men. Men who believe consent is overrated are not Good Men. Men who look at unconscious women and see an opportunity to “seize the moment” without concern for that women’s feelings are not Good Men.

The Good Men Project needs higher standards.

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  • “Did Sleeping Beauty ever verbally give consent?” So now we’re supposed to rely on a 1950’s Disney movie (which I assume is based on a story from much earlier) for our understanding of gender roles? Because THAT makes sense.

    Fine, whatever. I’ll just go hang out in the woods with my raccoon friend and talk to trees and shit.

    • And randomly burst into SONG! (okay, so I actually do that…but yeah…)

  • Good heavens. I don’t understand what the purpose of posting something like that would be in the first place? And uh, yeah, consent removes the spontaneity of intimacy – and until I can be guaranteed that no criminal will spontaneously force his “intimacy” upon me, I’m fine with that.

    • This. I can only hope it was trolling, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it weren’t.

  • What. The. Fuck?????

    I skimmed the article, and what first got me was, “Okay, why are they graphically depicting this? Why can’t they just say, ‘This girl was raped at a party, and this is bad, and men have to be better than this?'” By the time I read the “consent is overrated” part, my head exploded.

    And to think I actually wrote an article about my bisexuality for the GMP!

  • abekoby

    From my very limited experience with GMP, it seems like the site is more about showing that men area already good, not in any need of changing or even refining. But even the most despicable things men do, like in this post, are explained away as outsiders misunderstanding and trying to tell them they’re doing something wrong, but GMP excuses it as something natural and normal for men. In other words, they’re saying all men are good and they don’t have to improve themselves at all, just those damn feminists need to get off our cases. It’s disgusting.

    • abekoby

      But correct me if I’m wrong. I mean, if Travis has written for them, it probably can’t be all bad. I haven’t read much from the site, but most of what I have read there is pretty bad.

      • You’re not wrong. They have some genuinely good men on the site. But like I said, they need higher standards. If they want to call themselves The Good Men Project, there’s NO reason for some of the stuff they post.

      • One of my Facebook friends is an editor at GMP, and one day she messaged me and said, “Hey, we’re looking for some stories from bisexual men. You wanna write for us?” And I said, “Sure!”

    • “it seems like the site is more about showing that men area already good, not in any need of changing or even refining” This. Thank you

      • Abe

        Damn, I wish i could edit my post. It’s embarrassing as a copy editor to commit a typo, but it’s even worse to have it highlighted in a quote. 😛

  • Barf. Someone has a really skewed definition of Good at that site…

  • marie

    What the hell. . . .absolutely sickening!!