Dudes: silent no more!
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.”
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.