Good Men Project (Sorted by Date)
We rush to defend our intent. Why that's misguided. Impact is always greater than intent.
What we should---and shouldn't---say. If you can't have a baby, you try to restrict abortion… but there are things you can say.
The way we are raising boys is creating killers and martyrs. It's (beyond) time to change. We are failing another generation of boys by refusing to address toxic masculinity head on.
What if gender is no more inherently integral to our identities than race, physical characteristics, ability, or culture? Do we overcome toxic masculinity by rebuilding manhood or by dismantling it entirely?
The Myth of Meritocracy doesn't just lie to us about successes, it also lies about why people fail. Bernie Sanders thinks all citizens should have the right to vote. Why don't they?
This is a product of a racist system. I reflect on how my race influences how I see the police, and how that's changing over time.
Whiteness is more than just low melanin. I am a white American.
Microaggressions don't need to be sexual to reinforce rape culture. Biden may not have been "hitting on" women, but his actions were still sexist.
I am who I am: Let this be my starting point. The essays I most enjoy writing are the ones about my own place in the world.
We tend to forget signposts after we’ve passed them. "Instead of excuses, we need to make change." - Gillette
As long as we argue the wetness of water, we won’t progress. The Fatigue Strategy: Make people explain the obvious so repeatedly that they give up and can’t address any deeper issues.
Being advanced in one lane of progressiveness doesn’t guarantee being advanced in another. Terry Crews has progressive attitudes about manhood, but is behind the times on LGBT issues.
What do we do when our cultural icons are problematic? The Cat in the Hat is based on a blackface minstrel. So what to do?
Perhaps we focus on too much on getting out of our boxes. A reflection upon the passing of Peter Tork (1942-2019).
... by not having anything to do with race. White people can write stories that have nothing to do with race.
Knitted Rudolph with a pompom nose isn't going to end the world, but is it utterly harmless? Religious displays in public schools are problematic. Where are the lines?
... and how I'll find it again. I am a white American man. That reality shapes my experiences, and it shapes how people interact with me.
As a cultural artifact, the vision of masculinity in “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” is aligned with the 1960s white American man. As we re-examine our cultural artifacts, another Christmas icon is coming under fire: The TV movie “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”
A beloved Christmas song has competing interpretations. It’s the Christmas season again, which means it’s time for the annual debate.
For Native Americans, it's the National Day of Mourning. Why? During Thanksgiving, we white-wash white colonization.
Before we can find common ground, we need to listen to each other. Do we talk to each other, or do we talk to our projections of ourselves?
I am a white man in America. With my gender I inherit a complex identity.
There is a fine line between finding common ground and finding ourselves underground. It's easy to insist on politesse when your life isn't literally on the line.
Are you worried that your sons will be falsely accused? Raise boys to respect women (and everyone), and false accusations won't be credible.
In the criminal justice system, the people are betrayed by two separate yet equally important groups. Two high-profile stories reinforce: If you're a judge or a police officer, you don't get the same treatment as everyone else.
How did "Animal House" shape the sexual perspectives of a generation of men? The movie set off a series of clones perpetuating casual attitudes towards rape and sexual assault.
Drown out this poison; it is the only way to rid our society of it. Ford was credible; Kavanaugh wasn't. So why, yet again, are men rallying around him?
It's time for "Talk Like a Pirate Day." Is this a good thing? Pirates are criminals, not fun-loving rogues.
A high school teacher reflects on the issues behind bathroom passes. Draconian policies against hall passes sacrifice student dignity for school convenience.
Learn better. Know better. Men's bad past behavior is often given a pass, even though contemporaries knew better.
There is no "maybe" here. Two men at Aretha Franklin's funeral reinforce sexism.
White people: Do you know where the word comes from? The word "Caucasian" is rooted in White Supremacy.
What rights do public and charter school students have? How should teachers respond? The Supreme Court ruled that students don't need to observe the Pledge. At all.
Donald Trump wants us to believe he's never said that word. I don't believe it. Trump's entire generation used the word casually. It's not plausible that he never has.
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.
Proper representation of people of color is important to everyone. It's been 50 years since Schultz introduced Franklin to the Peanuts strip.
My father liked to travel. He took us with him. I converted decades-old slides to digital, and it encouraged a reflection.
One of our most beloved stories of war is Washington refusing to give a break to his enemy. Civility in politics is enforced when it's convenient for the uncivil.
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.
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."
I’m passing along the baton my father gave to me. In life, it can be the little things that count.
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.
Our World War II military died to protect a nation in which children could refuse to say the Pledge. Protest is patriotism.
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.
The name of the company is so very apropos. We as a culture continue to waffle on racial issues.
The Simpsons, representation, and white liberalism. We give Matt Groening a pass on racism because he's so liberal… and we shouldn't.
Why Melissa Wolf is right and Matt Groening is wrong. Making fun of the powerful: Fine. Making fun of minorities: Not fine.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jaelynn Willey and Courtlin Arrington both deserve our mourning. Why does the mainstream media continue to ignore black victims of violence?
Avoid it, even as a "joke." In isolation, it's fine; in rebuttal, it's a derailment.
And that's not what the phrase "toxic masculinity" implies. There is non-toxic masculinity, which is the reason for the adjective.
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.
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.
Why is this even a serious discussion? Don't arm teachers. Don't arm teachers. Don't. Arm. Teachers.
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.
Entitled white men with broken feelings and handy guns keep killing people. Mass shooters are overwhelmingly men. Why?
How does anxiety color our memories? A middle school encounter shapes my identity, and fears.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
From toys to clothing to #MeToo, men continue to center ourselves. When commercialism is focused on men, it minimizes the influence of women.
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.
One moment in an alleyway fossilized my perspective for decades. I reflect on my personal history with pornography.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Let’s review the narrative we’re giving our youth about bullying. Bullying is wrong. Every time. Every age. Every situation.
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.
"Boys will be boys" is a reckless phrase that excuses inappropriate behavior. Generalized excuses hurt all children. Let’s cut it out.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Some advice: Spend less time trying to be an expert, and more time learning and listening. "Well, actually…".
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.
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.
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.
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.
When we live in echo chambers, only our outrage leaks out. Your "justified umbrage" is someone else's "oversensitive whining."
We’re placing too much value on memory, and not enough on keeping notes. What happened to jotting down notes?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
Men did not collectively create toxic masculinity, but it’s our problem to fix. Men are harmed by continuing pressure to be "real" men.
"Fearless Girl" modifies the message of "Charging Bull"… but how? Both statues miss their intended mark.
How an ignored feminist artifact is reappearing for the genderqueer I reflect on further removing sexist reference in our language.
An excellent model for the new manhood. I review the new movie, starring Chris Evans and Mckenna Grace.
Overcoming our internal biases to help others learn. Much of what we see and hear is filled in by our knowledge of the world.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
Lies, errors, communal fictions, and other falsehoods We are not "post-truth": We must defend truth against those who try to convnce us otherwise.
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.
Mental health challenges carry a stigma, particularly among men. Paul Hartzer shares his experiences. Personal reflections on social anxiety disorder.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our prisons are skewed against black men. Let's find solutions. Discussions of the racially imbalanced justice system often rely on a false dichotomy.
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.
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?
Nothing new from TV land. Yet another sitcom that perpetuates standard gender role stereotypes.
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.
“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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.