The final nail has been driven into any imagined legitimacy that the Good Men Project ever had, or any possible remaining notion that the publication has anything to do with men, Good or otherwise.
According to an announcement posted hours ago by “editors,” Tom Matlack, the sites founder, has ended his affiliation with the site as a board member, columnist and adviser.
In the short, unceremonious announcement the possible reason for Matlack’s departure was stated pretty clearly, in this writer’s opinion. Matlack’s original vision for the website was given mention, in part from Tom’s own words:
The original goal of The Good Men Project was to allow a place to tell men’s stories — stories that speak to the male experience and “change the teller and change the listener”.
And of course the reason for his departure was also given a mention:
The vision has extended the storytelling of men, by men, for men, into a cultural conversation that is lively, dynamic, multi-media and cross-platform, and with a diversity of voices.
It is not as though the translation is hard to see. Tom Matlack really did have a vision of a publication by, about and for men. He chose the wrong bedfellows to get it started and ended up with a publication by, about and for feminists – and no one else.
As harsh as I have been on him on the pages of this website, I actually feel for Tom right now. For whatever it is worth, I think his inherent goodness was the source of his undoing. He assumed that he would be free to speak his own truth, honestly and plainly, and allow others to do the same; that the ideas themselves would sink or swim in the arena of unabridged public discourse.
When he actually followed through on that, his feminist masters, whom he had trusted with belief in their “Good” intentions, ran a shiv directly into his back and twisted it. Sociopaths Hugo Schwyzer and Amanda Marcotte left in a huff. Many other elements in the feminist community viciously turned on him, and on GMP, and let it be known that the publication would remain under fire as long as it did not toe a strictly feminist line.
Having subjected Matlack to a virtual castration, GMP CEO Lisa Hickey (or whoever pulls her strings) went on to “salvage” the publication with a scorched earth policy, removing any trace of dissent from feminism from the site. The works of Dr. Elly Tams, Girl Writes What and of course Yours Truly, were scrubbed from the database.
Noah Brand, the men’s human rights mocking founder of the now defunct, “No, Seriously, What About Teh Menz?” was hired as Editor-in-Chief, with the supposed claim that he would “…work on strengthening the Good Men Project brand through the core values of a male perspective, pure storytelling, and provocative yet thoughtful debate.”
Moderators have since gone to work to ensure that any comments critical of feminism or supportive of men’s human rights are scrapped and their authors banned before their targeted, predominately female audience can read them.
Whatever my misgivings about Matlack have ever been, I don’t think this is the publication he wanted, and I think (though I have not a shred of proof) that is why he has been thrown under the bus for the final time, or why he simply left in disgust.
There was not a word from Matlack in the announcement of his departure; no farewell wishes, no reflection on his time there, just the clear promise of what the publication was going to be with him out of the way.
I expect it won’t be long before Marcotte and Schwyzer return, now that the environment has been cleared of any dissent, free speech and Tom Matlack.
Personally, I want to wish Tom well. I butted heads with him several times. I think he made a lot of mistakes, the worst of which was, likely for the sake of his investment, coddling the sharks he was swimming with. At times I thought he was a bit of a jerk, but given who I am I can’t judge that one too harshly.
I never, though, really thought he was as much insincere as misguided. What I think he really was, in retrospect, was trapped. A man who really cares anything about other men was never going to last there. Not even the man who started it all.
I do think Tom is a good man who loves his wife and children, and who really wanted to bring something of substance to the community of men. He just didn’t understand the big picture very well.
Of course, all this is guessing. It is just my speculation after a few years watching events over there, reading Tom’s articles and exchanging a few emails with him in the early going. I watched with some respect, and some bemusement, as he went up against feminists on many occasions, even as his publication depended on their approval for its survival.
Whatever he was, though, whether innocent dupe of sexual politics he did not fully grok, or just a stubborn guy, more conviction than strategy, I am convinced he was the last shred of anything genuine about GMP.
So, I am glad he is gone. If Matlack is the man I think he is, even if I intensely disagree with his take on manhood, he is too good a man to be in a place like that.
Good luck, Tom.