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Curious Cheetah

Essays

Good Men Project (Sorted by Date)

GMP Author Page -- Alphabetize -- Manhood -- Race/BLM -- Ethics -- Education -- Parenting
NEW! 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.
NEW! 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…".
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.
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.
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.
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 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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
A Tale of Two Statues (Apr 23, 2017)
"Fearless Girl" modifies the message of "Charging Bull"… but how? Both statues miss their intended mark.
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.
"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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Man with a Plan (Review) (Oct 30, 2016)
Nothing new from TV land. Yet another sitcom that perpetuates standard gender role stereotypes.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.