So Is a ‘Good Man’ Hard To… (De)fine?
Click here for the latest episode of David Alpern‘s “For Your Ears Only,” which aired nationwide on the radio this past weekend. I was excited to co-host this particular episode because I was given the assignment to write a segment about an online magazine called, “The Good Men Project.”
To hear that segment, click here.
The Good Men Project is a media alternative to traditional perceptions of what constitutes and defines a man [think anti-GQ/Details/Esquire, or even Sports Illustrated]. This movement offers up a glimpse into the world of the “enlightened masculinity.” There’s also an associated book published under The Good Men Foundation, a nonprofit that donates book proceeds to the Boys and Girls Clubs and other charities.
I had never heard of this project before. But after reading a few posts, I was impressed with some of its content.
I mean — check out some of the post titles: “All I See Are White Men:” Confronting Racism in Silicon Valley,” “Non-Monogamy,” and two of my personal favorite posts: “Mostly Straight, Most of the Time,” and “The New Macho.” The last two posts address a topic similar to a post I had written on my personal blog last year which featured the rugby legend, Gareth Thomas: “The Courage of a Real Man: Defy StereoTypes.”
As I continued to read through several posts on “The Good Men Project,” I couldn’t help but remember an incident that happened to me about three years ago. Back in 2008, I went with a group of (gay male) friends to see the film, “Sex and The City.” Immediately after the movie ended, I almost wanted to throw up! I began thinking to myself — “Eddie, you’re gay, aren’t you supposed to love this movie and go completely bizarre over the story lines and fashions of Carrie and Samantha and all the rest of those characters who I seriously couldn’t attempt to name right now!?” Low and behold, I walked away from the theater incredibly depressed and actually kind of disgusted.
Afterwards, we all went out for dinner and I remember exclaiming at the table, “Why can’t there be a film FOR men — I mean, real men? Why can’t men feel good about themselves?” And the 3 of them looked at me like, “Hmmm, Eddie, that’s a thought… but that’s why we have therapy — anyway, pass the guacamole.”
Well, fast-forward to present-day, it feels amazingly refreshing to read stories and comments from The Good Men Project about the complexities of men. The site discusses issues related to race, family, gender, and sexuality — subject matter I think about mentally but perhaps I try to avoid talking about openly.
Matlack recently made a comment in one of his interviews stating, “Men are not Bud Light commercials.” Although Bud Light [Lime] is actually the only beer I’ll drink, I get where he’s coming from. Men are as complicated, if not more complicated, than women. But Tom’s statement impacts advertisers. For instance, there are whiskey ads on “The Good Men Project,” but no beer — so I’m curious as to how other advertisers have reacted to his project’s perspective, ‘Good Men’s’ level of growth, and how they’ve been able to measure their success.
Unfortunately, the length of the FYEO segment only allowed us to talk very briefly about the Occupy VC story and the origins of the project.
I’m sure we’ll continue to hear more about The Good Men Project as well as its provocative ideology known as the new ‘Manhood Movement’ in the very near future!
Thanks again to David Alpern for bringing this project to my attention. I’ll be co-hosting FYEO with him throughout the remainder of the month, so stay tuned.