With all the assholery that I’ve been writing about lately, I wanted to highlight something that wasn’t assholish. That is, in fact, anti-assholish. And that’s comedian Jen Kirkman’s new tumblr blog: “MA’AM” – MEN AGAINST ASSHOLES & MISOGYNY, which she describes as “a place for men – not afraid to call themselves feminists – to write from their heart to help educate men who may still hold some sexist attitudes towards women.”
Kirkman started it a bit over a week ago after going on a sort of Twitter strike, frustrated by all the misogynistic assholes that kept popping up on her timeline.
Here’s how she explains it:
Sometimes I would get sad when I was batting away dozens of hate-filled things while in my timeline my male comedian friends were just joking along having fun – as we all should be. And I felt like I was alone on the playground and I wanted them to speak up for me. Not “beat up” the specific people attacking me … but I wanted my male comedian friends to write, in public, about things they have expressed to me in private about how much they feel for the women in their life who are still spoken to this way.
So far she’s gotten a lot of followers — she picked up a thousand in the first 48 hours — and a ton of submissions, some from fellow comedians (Greg Proops, Michael Ian Black), some from regular dudes, one from her dad.
The submissions are, I suppose I should say, a mixed bag. Some of the essays are great. Some are a bit mansplainy, or White Knighty, or otherwise a bit problematic.
But that’s kind of inherent to the project. Jen is challenging guys who don’t spend all day every day thinking about feminism, but whose hearts are basically in the right place, to stand up against the asshole misogynists of the world. And a lot of guys are responding to her challenge.
Oh, BTW, while we’re on the topic: Jen is also pretty fucking hilarious.
Here’s some of her standup:
And here she is narrating some Drunk History. (She really was drunk.)