Logo
Curious Cheetah

Essays

Good Men Project (Alphabetized)

GMP Author Page -- Sort by date -- Manhood -- Race/BLM -- Ethics -- Education -- Parenting
"Gifted" is a Gift (Apr 9, 2017)
An excellent model for the new manhood. I review the new movie, starring Chris Evans and Mckenna Grace.
5 Life Lessons from the Rubik's Cube (Sep 25, 2016)
In the Cube and in life, we want order. Paul Hartzer offers a glimpse at solutions to both. Five lessons about mathematics and life that are represented by the Rubik's Cube.
97% (Feb 16, 2018)
Entitled white men with broken feelings and handy guns keep killing people. Mass shooters are overwhelmingly men. Why?
A Eulogy for Porn (Dec 4, 2017)
One moment in an alleyway fossilized my perspective for decades. I reflect on my personal history with pornography.
A Picture’s Thousand Words: Whitewashing Our Culture (Feb 5, 2017)
What a mismatched photo of a detained Iranian-American boy reveals about our lingering racism. Our children are vulnerable citizens: If we can't protect them, who can we protect?
A Special Kind of Courage (Jun 25, 2018)
We tell our sons that real men overcome their fears. Is that the right message? Sometime courage is the ability to say, "I can't right now."
A Tale of Two Cities: How Kid Rock Symbolizes Detroit Gentrification (Sep 18, 2017)
It's been fifty years since the riot, but a sports arena's opening act shows how little we've grown. Kid Rock is a symbol for white Detroiters, wanting the tough and gritty appeal but not truly supporting the entire city.
A Tale of Two Statues (Apr 23, 2017)
"Fearless Girl" modifies the message of "Charging Bull"… but how? Both statues miss their intended mark.
Another Unarmed Black Man Murdered by Police… And This One Also Won't Be the Last (Sep 21, 2016)
If we have any hope of fixing this scourge, it's time for the police apologists to drop the defensiveness. Now. We have a policing problem. Terence Crutcher is yet another victim of the shoot-first mentality of modern police.
Assault, Complicity, and the Husband Stitch (Feb 5, 2018)
We men like to talk. But we get silent at the wrong times. The Husband Stitch is one of the most appalling procedures I've ever heard of, particularly because of who's discussing it, and why.
Attacking the Roots of White Male Entitlement (Mar 12, 2018)
What do the Malice Green and Treyvon Martin cases tell us about Parkland? When white men are held accountable for violence, they're more mindful.
Awakening of the Nerd (Nov 13, 2017)
It took months for the dam of cognitive dissonance to break---to even understand that the rape scene in "Revenge of the Nerds" really is rape---but once it broke, the water flowed free. I reflect on a once-favorite movie.
Being a Father, Being a Son (Jun 19, 2017)
Anyone can be a father, but it takes a real man to be a Dad. I reflect on my relationships with my father, my brothers, and my son.
Beyond "It was Just a Joke": Denial of the Obvious as a Distraction Technique (Jul 31, 2016)
The struggle to get certain men to take responsibility for their own inappropriate actions, as demonstrated by Scott Baio. Scott Baio's feigned obliviousness over the offensiveness of the Clinton meme he shared exemplifies a general strategy of dodging responsibility for inappropriate behavior.
Bill Maher: Typical White Male Liberal (Jun 12, 2017)
Maher's apology for his racist gaffe illustrates what's wrong with how we apologize. The problem isn't that Maher is extraordinary. It's that he's ordinary. Bill Maher's subliminal racism isn't extraordinary; indeed, it's far too common.
Boys Do Cry (Jan 8, 2018)
The mountain can be climbed, but we haven’t finished climbing it yet. Boys cry. Men cry. It should not be a weapon against us.
Boys Will Be… Held Accountable for Their Actions (Oct 16, 2017)
"Boys will be boys" is a reckless phrase that excuses inappropriate behavior. Generalized excuses hurt all children. Let’s cut it out.
Breaking the White Programming (May 21, 2018)
Will Smith tells us, "Racism is not getting worse, it's getting filmed." Cell phones are capturing the moments that we used to simply disbelieve.
Bullies Playing the Victim (Feb 19, 2017)
A false equivalence between Betsy DeVos and Ruby Bridges supports a disturbing worldview. My commentary on the Betsy DeVos cartoon that dares to pretend that she has anything all in common with Ruby Bridges.
Cognitive Dissonance: Why Political Discussions Turn Nasty (Aug 28, 2016)
There’s a reason there are rules about not talking politics and religion in mixed gatherings. Cognitive Dissonance and the two-party system create a dangerous psychological cocktail.
Creating a Non-Toxic Masculinity (Jan 1, 2017)
We continue to see the damaging effects of toxic masculinity. What does non-toxic masculinity look like? Some New Year's thoughts on how to construct positive images of masculinity: Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Defending Truth: Winning the War on Fact (Jan 29, 2017)
Lies, errors, communal fictions, and other falsehoods We are not "post-truth": We must defend truth against those who try to convnce us otherwise.
Dismantling the ‘Manhood’ Myth: Why It’s Damaging to Define Men in Terms of ‘Size’ (Aug 20, 2016)
The naked statue of Donald Trump invites discussion about how our society measures masculinity. The nude statues of Donald Trump reflect a toxic cultural relationship relating the value of a man to the size of his member.
Don't Expect Roses: How to be a Proper Ally (Dec 11, 2016)
White men can help fight white supremacy. Being an ally for civil rights is a great goal. But don't be surprised if your efforts are seen with skepticism or even hostility.
Enough is Enough: The Hoarding of the Ultrarich (Jul 17, 2017)
Whether it's taro roots or cold hard cash, the patriarchs cling to pointless amounts of wealth. I examine the demographics of the country's billionaires.
Fat Jokes about People We Dislike are Still Fat Jokes (Jul 10, 2017)
Sizeist and other ableist humor reinforce our cultural values. Are these values we want? Chris Christie's weight is irrelevant to his abuses of power.
Fixing Our Broken Justice System (Nov 20, 2016)
Our prisons are skewed against black men. Let's find solutions. Discussions of the racially imbalanced justice system often rely on a false dichotomy.
Four Pieces of Advice for Students and Others (Sep 4, 2017)
As we start another school year, here are some thoughts for how to navigate the world. I reflect on some standard advice I give my students.
Four Reasons Why LaVar Ball Isn't Giving Thanks (Nov 23, 2017)
We should be spending less time trying to get LaVar Ball to say “thank you” and much more time trying to figure out why he won’t. LaVar Ball would rather troll Trump than say two words. Good for him.
Franklin Turns 50: Why It Matters (Jul 31, 2018)
Proper representation of people of color is important to everyone. It's been 50 years since Schultz introduced Franklin to the Peanuts strip.
Getting into the Mx (Apr 16, 2017)
How an ignored feminist artifact is reappearing for the genderqueer I reflect on further removing sexist reference in our language.
Gilligan’s Bromance (Nov 13, 2016)
How one classic TV show portrayed a sensitive male, and broke the 'guy friend' mold. Gilligan is a rarity in TV sitcoms, a sensitive male who shows his feelings. Even rarer, the Skipper accepts it.
Growing Beyond the White Savior (Feb 12, 2017)
Paul Hartzer reflects on hand gestures, respect, and authentically bridging racial gaps. If you want to help people, meet them where they are, not where you think they should be.
Halloween Candy and Socialism (Nov 6, 2017)
It took seeing the world from the other side to realize how selfish I was being in my generosity. Before criticizing kids for being in the wrong neighborhood, think about why you're giving out candy in the first place.
Hats, Hoodies, and Cultural Nuance (Jan 15, 2018)
Schools obsess over what students wear on their heads. Is it really that important? Every rule is an opportunity for unequal enforcement. Choose them wisely.
How I Overcame the Christmas Blues (Dec 25, 2017)
While I still struggle with my moods during this time of year, the depression and resentment aren’t as deep as they used to be. I'm not a fan of "it gets better"; instead, I'll say: It got better for me.
How Police Can Regain the Trust of Their Communities (Jul 21, 2016)
The best-practices for behavior management in parenting and education applied to law enforcement. The onus is on police and teachers to rebuild damaged community relationships by adopting a consistently authoritative (not authoritarian) approach.
How To Be An Ally: Don’t Be An ‘Ally’ (Jun 11, 2018)
If your goal is to proudly wear the badge of allyship, you're doing it wrong. It's not about cookies or trophies, it's about doing the right thing.
How to Be Respectful of a Trans Person (Apr 2, 2018)
You don’t need to understand what it’s like to be transgender to be respectful of a person’s identity. You just need to be respectful of a person.
If You Give a Man a Tackle Box… (Sep 11, 2017)
If someone already knows how to fish, give them a rod and reel and a spot on the riverbank, and then get out of their way. Too much reform seems to involve outsiders telling people with struggles how to fix problems, instead of giving us tools to fix things ourselves.
It's Time to Retire the "Good Guy" Narrative (Mar 5, 2018)
We can't truly tell a good guy from a bad guy until they fire their gun. The world is more complex than tired cliches.
It’s Way Too Late to Non-Apologize, Donald (Oct 9, 2016)
Mr. Trump consistently represents the antithesis of what The Good Men Project represents. Even if Mr. Trump loses, we need to keep the larger conversation going: Where are we as a culture that such a toxic male stands as the preferred representative of a significant population of our country?
James and the Giant Screed (Aug 14, 2017)
Damore's Google Manifesto had the appearance of emotionless logic. This was by design. We men are programmed to believe our logic makes us superior. The programming is flawed.
Keeping an Eye out for Ableism (Jul 24, 2017)
Our limitations can affect us less than how others judge us for those limitations. I struggle more with social acceptance of my eye than with my eye itself.
NEW! LeBron James and I Promise: What Does it Promise? (Aug 6, 2018)
My colleagues see this as the watershed moment where the American populace realizes the time is now to turn the tide. LeBron James is helping to open a new school in Akron.
Liberal Men and Blurred Lines (Mar 5, 2017)
Outrage over a sex crime shouldn’t vary along partisan lines. We tend to be more generous when judging people we like. But is that proper?
Losing the Sense of Decency (Aug 7, 2016)
Welch’s attack on McCarthy and its modern relevance. Welch's confrontation of McCarthy changed the inertia during a dark time in the United States, and is similar to the altercation between Khan and Trump.
Lucy’s Football ‘Joke’ and the Problem of Bullying (Oct 30, 2017)
Let’s review the narrative we’re giving our youth about bullying. Bullying is wrong. Every time. Every age. Every situation.
Make Americans Great Again (Dec 18, 2016)
Stop looking for heroes to save us: We need to save ourselves. Our American activism has a cycle tied to elections. Be focused all the time, not just every two years.
Man Caves and Toxic Masculinity (Mar 26, 2018)
Toxicity isn’t about how you spend your leisure time, it's about how you treat people. It's about being authentic to yourself without suppressing or oppressing others.
Man with a Plan (Review) (Oct 30, 2016)
Nothing new from TV land. Yet another sitcom that perpetuates standard gender role stereotypes.
Melting the Icebergs of the White Patriarchs (Dec 11, 2017)
The thing about icebergs is, if they lose enough support, they collapse. White Nationalism is the tip of the iceberg: Most of us contribute to the problem, unwittingly.
Moving from Shock to Resolve (Jun 5, 2017)
We can't change the system if we're stuck in being shocked at the system. The system has been broken for a long time. Let's stop being shocked and focus on fixing it.
My Father's Games (Jun 17, 2018)
I’m passing along the baton my father gave to me. In life, it can be the little things that count.
No More Bully for You: Refocusing the Conversation on Behaviors, not Labels (Oct 2, 2016)
What happens when we discuss a person's words and actions instead of whether that person fits a label? Too many conversations get tied up in "I'm not a bully" or "That wasn't racist". If we want behaviors to change, let's focus on behaviors, not labels.
North American Traveler (Jul 16, 2018)
My father liked to travel. He took us with him. I converted decades-old slides to digital, and it encouraged a reflection.
Not All Masculinity is Toxic (Mar 12, 2018)
And that's not what the phrase "toxic masculinity" implies. There is non-toxic masculinity, which is the reason for the adjective.
Not Ready to Make Nice (Nov 27, 2016)
We must stand firm. This does not mean meeting hate with hate: It means meeting callousness with confidence and strength of spirit. Unifying and "going high" should not mean exposing ourselves for yet more abuse.
Overcoming My Inner Mean Man (Oct 23, 2016)
Verbal strutting is the intellectual man’s version of beating our chests. The male drive to dominate and display presents in ways other than simple, superficial aggression.
Overcoming Our Racist Upbringing (Dec 4, 2016)
Society has raised us to be this way. Paul Hartzer asserts it is our responsibility to change. Like many whites, I was raised to be distrustful of POC. It's high time was ended the cycle.
Police Racism: A White Man's Experiences (May 29, 2017)
It's not a few lone wolves, the system is filled with racist officers. Denial gains us nothing. As a white person, I've only experienced the tip of the iceberg. If this is the tip, how big is the iceberg?
Punching Up, Punching Down (May 2, 2018)
Why Melissa Wolf is right and Matt Groening is wrong. Making fun of the powerful: Fine. Making fun of minorities: Not fine.
Rebuilding the Village (May 7, 2017)
Making student discipline positive is a good but single step for a complex problem. Student misbehavior continues to be a frustrating, elusive problem for teachers and administrators.
Shut Up and Dance (Sep 4, 2016)
The silencing of black celebrities by the white status quo. This week's Good Men Project article discusses how the Colin Kaepernick flap is part of a larger pattern of using the anecdotal success of POC to claim that racism is dead, while telling those same successful POC to shut up and dance.
Social Anxiety and the Highly Sensitive Person: A Reflection (Jan 8, 2017)
Mental health challenges carry a stigma, particularly among men. Paul Hartzer shares his experiences. Personal reflections on social anxiety disorder.
Suicide is Pointless (May 14, 2017)
Let's skip the palliative clichés. Depression sucks bigtime. Try to survive. I don't want to diminish the sincere efforts of caring people, but depression is a complicated beast that often resists simple answers.
Take a Knee, America (May 28, 2018)
Our World War II military died to protect a nation in which children could refuse to say the Pledge. Protest is patriotism.
Talking Politics with Students (May 22, 2017)
It’s challenging to address hot-button topics with young adults. But it’s also important. Can, or should, teachers discuss politics with their students?
Ten of the Reasons I Believe You (Oct 23, 2017)
I am not a monster, I am a man who, like other men, has done monstrous things. I recount some stories from my life which showed me how prevalent sexual harassment and assault are.
The Abuse of Lorena Bobbitt and the Twisting of a Narrative (Apr 9, 2018)
Our first pass at the story was a shameful exercise in putting our identities as men first. Let’s get it right this time. Men took a domestic abuse story and made it a punchline.
The Assault in Chicago and BLM’s Clear and Proper Response (Jan 15, 2017)
The Black Lives Matter movement is not about special treatment, it’s about equal treatment. In the wake of a violent act committed by black people, the black activist community is clear: Violence is violence.
The Color of Strawberries and the Curse of Knowledge (Mar 12, 2017)
Overcoming our internal biases to help others learn. Much of what we see and hear is filled in by our knowledge of the world.
The Evolution of Fear in Boys and Men (Sep 11, 2016)
From plush monsters and Halloween ghouls to public speaking and failure, we can defeat our fears. A reflection on how kid fears (cue Indigo Girls) reflect and become more nuanced and complex adult fears.
The Fault in Our Genes (Apr 30, 2017)
Men did not collectively create toxic masculinity, but it’s our problem to fix. Men are harmed by continuing pressure to be "real" men.
The Girl in the Pink Fuzzy Sweater (Apr 30, 2018)
How does anxiety color our memories? It was a relationship that never was, but that continues to haunt me.
The Girl in the Pink Fuzzy Sweater (Feb 12, 2018)
How does anxiety color our memories? A middle school encounter shapes my identity, and fears.
The Good and Bad of School Dress Codes (Jul 31, 2017)
Like any other tool in a school system, a school's dressing policy needs to teach the correct lessons, not the incorrect ones. The concept of school dress codes can be divisive. But not all motivations are bad.
The Manhood Behind the Curtain (Oct 9, 2017)
In the wake of mass shootings, we rush to blame gun control and mental health support, but what about the deepest issue of all? Men are consistently much more violent than women. How does culture contribute?
The Only Way Out is Through (Jan 1, 2018)
Keep working at it. Climb the mountains. There are no cheap paths out. I reflect on my goal for the new year: Stop looking for shortcuts.
The Privilege of Not Discussing Privilege: How the Hypersensitive Invoke an Oppressive Past to Justify Themselves (Aug 13, 2016)
In a fair world, the right to offend others comes with the obligation to suffer offense. The "anti-PC" crowd want the right to offend others with impunity, but are very thin-skinned themselves.
The Statues are More Than Just Statues (Aug 28, 2017)
If it's this hard to remove some statues, what does that say about the larger issue? It's been half a century since the peak of the Civil Rights Movement, and we can't even take down a few statues.
The Vicious Cycle of Unequal Treatment (Sep 18, 2016)
It’s not enough to just starting out handing out hugs and ice cream and forgetting about the past. In this article, I discuss part of why people who are treated unfairly respond with violence.
This Happened at Waffle House (May 12, 2018)
The name of the company is so very apropos. We as a culture continue to waffle on racial issues.
Three Ways Male Entitlement Erases Women (Dec 18, 2017)
From toys to clothing to #MeToo, men continue to center ourselves. When commercialism is focused on men, it minimizes the influence of women.
Tina Fey Eats Cake, Starting an Internal War (Aug 17, 2017)
Timing is everything in comedy, and now's not the time. Debating whether Fey's Weekend Edition sketch was brilliant satire or a pathetic mixed message misses the point of whether it was a white person's turn to talk in the first place.
Trump’s Locker Room: Do We Protest Too Much? (Oct 16, 2016)
“Not all men” is a legitimate defense, but let’s not lose sight of the real problem Not all men engage in the sort of leering, callous, objectifying talk that Trump is guilty of, but too many men do.
Twelve Reasons Not to Give Guns to Teachers (Feb 26, 2018)
Why is this even a serious discussion? Don't arm teachers. Don't arm teachers. Don't. Arm. Teachers.
Two Shootings, Two Standards (Mar 24, 2018)
Jaelynn Willey and Courtlin Arrington both deserve our mourning. Why does the mainstream media continue to ignore black victims of violence?
Uniting Against Milo: How to Practice Empathy Across the Political Spectrum (Feb 26, 2017)
It is not about political disagreement. It is about wanting to minimize the amount of hatred deliberately spread in the world. We don't have the same lines, but we all have lines. Let's come together on that realization.
Using Privilege as Opportunity, Recognizing Privilege as Default (Dec 25, 2016)
The concept of 'privilege' is misunderstood as being entirely about wealth. It's more complicated than that. I discuss two main parameters of privilege, other than wealth.
Venomous Snakes and Turd-Filled Candy (Nov 20, 2017)
Comparing the fear faced by women and people of color about white men to white men's fear of terrorists and transgender people is openly dishonest. Ali's Snakes and Trump's Skittles are not the same.
What We Should Really Be Boycotting (Apr 23, 2018)
Be honest: Why are we REALLY upset at Starbucks? It's hard for us to pretend that white liberals are better when they're caught on video being just as bad.
What Would YOU Do? Real Life Edition (Apr 16, 2018)
If you saw racial injustice, would you say something, or would you sit idly by? While two black men were arrested at a Starbucks for "trespassing," white people just watched.
White Gaze, Black Panther, Animal House (Feb 19, 2018)
White people are often confused if they're not front and center. A scene from "Animal House" reflects a nation's subtle and not-so-subtle racism.
White Man Waking (Jul 2, 2018)
When we're deeply asleep, we don't wake up all at once. My path to understanding my color and privilege has been long and winding.
White Men and the Well of Actually (Aug 7, 2017)
Some advice: Spend less time trying to be an expert, and more time learning and listening. "Well, actually…".
White Men are Falling Down (Nov 6, 2016)
All the problems of the world are someone else’s fault. Clinton spoke of two buckets: Deplorables and disaffected. How do we build bridges with the disaffected?
Why "Not All Men" is a Poor Response (Mar 19, 2018)
Avoid it, even as a "joke." In isolation, it's fine; in rebuttal, it's a derailment.
Why I Don’t Spank My Child (and What I Do Instead) (Oct 2, 2017)
Research consistently shows that spanking does more harm than good, and yet parents keep doing it. I offer some ideas on how to guide a child properly, rather than striking them.
Why Privilege is White-Washed Supremacy (Aug 13, 2017)
It's easy to reject White Supremacy as an extreme. But do we accept the depth of our own privilege? Put simply: Privilege is the gentrification of supremacy.
Why There's No 'White History Month' (Jan 29, 2018)
The only people standing in the way of us honestly confronting our wrongs is ourselves. White-washed history texts bury our mistakes, and make it more difficult for us to correct them.
Why We're all Fragile Snowflakes (Jul 3, 2017)
When we live in echo chambers, only our outrage leaks out. Your "justified umbrage" is someone else's "oversensitive whining."
Write for the Good Men Project! (Dec 3, 2017)
If it's about making the world a better place, we'd love to read it. A call to encourage others to write for the site.
Write This Down Now (Jun 26, 2017)
We’re placing too much value on memory, and not enough on keeping notes. What happened to jotting down notes?
Yellow Is the New White (May 7, 2018)
The Simpsons, representation, and white liberalism. We give Matt Groening a pass on racism because he's so liberal… and we shouldn't.
You're Not Color Blind, You're Snow Blind (Sep 25, 2017)
It's not up to people of color to dialogue correctly, it's up to whites to listen and change. Critics of protests like NFL players kneeling claim that's not how to open a dialogue. But POC have been trying for decades; white people refuse to listen.