I am trying to post at least one blog post a day, partially to keep up with it, because I am notorious for starting things, and then getting distracted, and then I’ll go months not posting anything, and then find a blog I started 4 years ago, that I didn’t keep up with, as I am starting a new one (yes, that happened, evidently I had a BDSM community blog back when I was partnered.) I am finding writing quite cathartic actually.
I caught a bit of flack from a friend about the article I wrote in response to Kevin Williamson, not based on its content, but based on the fact I let The Good Men Project reprint it.
Now to be honest, it was my best friend from childhood that recommended I write it, he is the Executive Director of MaleSurvivor and someone I admire very much. A survivor of rape/sexual abuse himself (as am I), he has turned his heartache and pain into a positive and is helping others. He is an ally and a hero in every sense of the word, and I try to be an ally to him.
I was personally upset to see generally, when we discuss the Misogyny in the world, we don’t discuss the Toxic Masculinity that causes more damage to Male Survivors especially, but men in general. Toxic Masculinity and Misogyny in my mind go hand in hand. So when I looked at TGMP’s site, saw them not only addressing some trans* issues, but also Toxic Masculinity and Misogyny, I was on board.
I mentioned this to said friend, who pointed out this piece at Feministe, which essentially said that TGMP were MRA allies… because they posted something written by a self-confessed rapist.
I read the article again, and having been part of party culture in the past, I got a completely different message. They weren’t lending an excuse for this person’s screw up (though he definitely was, while simultaneously taking responsibility? I am so confused by that in and of itself), but pointing out that when drugs and alcohol get involved, things can get fucked up. Period. If you don’t know how to be responsible with your drugs, you probably shouldn’t be doing them.
For people who want the drug and are willing to sacrifice their moral compass for them, there is no absolution “because you were drunk, or high”. I wouldn’t go all out to say all drug users are fucked up. I know better than that, and know many people who can indeed be responsible.
I think personally, they pointed out something very fucked up. The fact that there are actually people who think of themselves and try to be good people, where because of another issue, severely fuck up. This doesn’t absolve them, but it does point out that this man, who obviously has some strong feelings about rape, seems to throw that out the window when it comes to drugs (and men aren’t the only offenders here). I just see the idea of “drugs are more important than my morals, and if I have to become a rapist for drugs, then so be it” to be REALLY fucked up, and I am glad they called attention to it.
By the same token, I can see where people would be upset at anyone giving an outlet to these words. It’s easy for feelings to run high, especially among people like me, self-confessed misandrists (but I am trying to change that, I really am, and my best friend would probably think I have made some extreme strides in this over the past few years) who are willing to be angry at every perceived slight in regards to misogyny, even misunderstood, just because I disagree with an aspect of what they might be saying.
But I do think, in a world where I have stopped socializing at parties friends are at because of behavior like mentioned in the article, after I spent more time policing the venues than having fun, so things like this didn’t happen, maybe it *is* something we need to talk about. Toxic attitudes take all shapes and forms, and not talking about another attitude that leads to more victims is at the least wishful thinking, at best, just as bad as people who refuse to see the misogyny inherent in the system.