By Sasha - 11 Jan 2012

Microaggression, or Did You Know I’m Not Perfect?

Photo: Mindaugas Danys

Like many people I was raised in a milieu with more than the usual amount of sexism and racism. I often say “I got better”, but the truth is, I’m getting better. I strive to learn more every day. To be empathic and listen to the experiences of people who are different with me. I work to be a better, more accepting and less horrible person. I’m an able-bodied, cisgendered, straight, white man. I may be poor and fat, but I have a lot of privilege. I have the privilege given to me by society to be blind to the casual racism, sexism, ableism, and homophobia all around us.

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By SomeCndnSkeptic - 10 Jan 2012

Steve Thoms: The Diversity Division

Steve Thoms

‘Diversity’ is one of those words that people can get tired of hearing very quickly: it makes them feel guilty and insensitive, and it almost always raises acrimonious discussion until it fizzles out, leaving bitter emotions in its wake.  A quick perusal of comment threads (such as here, here, and here) might lead one to think that there is a small number of privileged minorities who have nothing better to do then to complain, insult, and derail conversations towards their pet project: complaining about a problem that was solved years ago.

After all, equal rights legislation is on the books, and science is a process that requires equality of voices.  So what do these people mean by ‘diversity,’ and why do they keep insisting we all use skeptical channels to talk about it so much?

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By eddystrickson - 09 Jan 2012

Edward Strickson: A Diversity Impasse

[Sasha here. One of the main points of More Than Men is to get regular guys talking about why diversity matters to them. Here’s our first guest post making that happen.]

Edward Strickson

In the recent past our society has been making incremental steps towards the universal acceptance of diversity and the equality of all flavours of humanity, whether it be gender, race, sexuality, blood type or the amount of hair on your knees.

However, it would seem that for some people we have now reached an impasse, a point where we have moved on enough. Intertwined perhaps with a fear that further acceptance of diversity will cause some sort of societal degradation, a fear that has no basis in fact or logic, and one that when applied can have dangerous consequences. When in our most comfortable of habitats it’s easy to forget that there are still bigots of all colours, shapes and sizes out there, and that the problems of discrimination some would like us to believe have completely disappeared are still around today, and are still a problem.

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By Sasha - 06 Jan 2012

Weekend Link Party – January 6, 2012

If you’re like me you’re ready to be drunk. While you’re trying to erase the pain of the first week of our last year on Earth, have a look at these.

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By Sasha - 06 Jan 2012

What’s This All About?

Even this dude thinks diversity is awesome.

It’s come to our attention that there are some people who are a little confused by what the More Than Men project is all about. Perhaps because our original About was not as clear as it should have been, perhaps because a group of white guys gathering together for something that’s not horrible is such a novel concept, but somehow there are people who either have the wrong idea about us or who are skeptical about what we will actually be doing. So let me break it down.

  • We’re a group of men (at present straight, white, and able-bodied men) who want the world to be a better place.
  • We believe that the world will be a better place when everyone can participate regardless of their gender identity, race, sexual orientation, or ability.
  • We recognize that we have social privilege that makes it easier for us to ignore or not notice injustices in the world and that people who have different experiences in the world almost always know more about what their life is like than we do.
  • We want to learn how to be better, more empathic people and we want to learn how to include everyone in our communities.
  • We want to talk to other men so that they can see the benefit in joining us, so that they can value diversity, and so that they can have the tools to make a difference in their world.

Here are a few things we aren’t:

  • We are not aiming to “mansplain” what sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, or ableism are really all about to victims of those things.
  • While all of us have friends in our communities, we are not dedicated to being a faction for any particular clique, faction, or person.
  • We are not jerks.

Hopefully that makes things a little more clear, and hopefully it’s inspired you to follow along and join us. It’s nice to be on the right side of history.

– Sasha Pixlee

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By Sasha - 05 Jan 2012

Not a misogynist, maybe just sexist?

Somehow not racist, according to dude-logic.

Greta Christina has written about the “Yes, but…” problem many of my fellow dudes have when listening to women talk about sexism and misogyny. I want to talk about a specific “Yes, but…” here: “Yes, but that’s not sexist because he/I/they don’t hate all women, just that one!” The argument is that since the person slinging gendered slurs doesn’t hate women as a class, they aren’t a misogynist, therefore they’re just a jerk and we we can shut up about this problem and go talk about how dumb Christians are again.

There are a few problems with this approach:

  1. Being a jerk is still a problem.
  2. People don’t know you don’t hate all women.
  3. Even if you really aren’t technically a misogynist, you’re definitely still a sexist.

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By Sasha - 02 Jan 2012

Welcome to More Than Men

I’m a straight, white man and the subcultures I am a part of are dominated by straight, white men. I’m a gaming and science fiction nerd. I am an atheist, and I am a skeptic. Any time you attend gatherings of those groups you see a lot of white faces, a lot of male bodies, and those dudes – like me – prefer women for sex partners. Despite the fact that I should fit right in to these groups I often feel uncomfortable in them because of their homogeneity.

We live in a diverse world and I think we can all agree that any time a group’s makeup is less diverse than the world at large there are reasons for it. Here in the United States we have more diversity than most places, but when attending nerd events, atheist events, and skeptic events I keep finding myself in the majority. Why is that? I believe it is because something about those groups is making women and racial and sexual minorities feel like the group is Not For Them or are experiencing things that make them feel uncomfortable and unwelcome. I would like to change that.

I was raised with conservative and backward views about gender, sexuality, and race. I rejected those in my teenage years but it took a lot of work to actually realize and overcome the default “common sense” assumptions I had internalized. Taking a cold, hard, skeptical look at what I thought about those issues was often uncomfortable, frequently embarrassing, and humbling. It was work, but I did it because I didn’t like the life and the community that those beliefs had allowed me to have. I still work every day to overcome the privilege to not think about differences that society has given me because I am white, male, straight, cisgendered, and able-bodied. I think there are a lot of men like me who would be a lot happier in life if they did the same, and I know that that sort of empathy and kindness is the truly humanistic thing to do.

So, welcome to the More Than Men Project. This is a forum for People with privilege to talk about diversity, why it matters, and how we can make it happen. I don’t want to get all “White Man’s Burden” on you, but it’s a little ridiculous that the only people consistently talking about (for example) sexism are women. These issues matter to every one of us because we need more than men to make a community.

We will be blogging regularly and are developing a podcast and a video campaign. Please take a moment to learn about the guys who are making this happen and please read about how to contribute. We need your help.

– Sasha Pixlee

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