Recently, I came across a post written by Bridget Crawford of Feminist Law Professors entitled “Poor, Silenced Social Males,” which left a considerably bad taste in my mouth.
Crawford’s post was in response to MUSED’s first issue for the month of March, in honor of Women’s History Month. The features for that week touched on women’s reproductive rights, sexuality and the racial undertones women face in music. We encouraged leading media outlets, writers and bloggers to share our content with their readers and continue the discussion, as we believed both of our communities could benefit from the dialogue. However, Crawford’s enthusiasm for her particular cause seemingly blinded her to the greater cause we were promoting. Her response to our outreach took on a debasing tone to convey her point – of which, I’m still not sure warranted a 320-word post.
I clicked on the website’s “About” description [and there was] nothing about a commitment to women’s rights or gender equality. How come? Maybe that was the hook to get me to visit the site or blog about it. Fair enough. (It worked!) But would an explicit commitment to equality make the magazine less appealing to the “social male”? And what is a “social male,” anyway? He who is the opposite of anti-social? He who is socially conscious? And what about the claim that the male voice really been “silenced…inside and outside of our communities”? The male voice talking about gender equality may be silenced, but MUSED perpetuates, rather than than breaks, that silence.
As an online magazine, we have a mission and values that extend beyond promoting our own agenda. In order to establish ourselves as a progressive site for young black gay men, we engage in conversations that help move us toward that direction. As a freelance writer and consumer of all things online, I had a hard time finding an online resource that we could relate to, so I created this platform to fill that void, and hopefully provide a platform for other groups are being marginalized daily. Yet somehow, Crawford in her rant appears to believe that her issues are the only important ones.
No one is up in arms about websites committed to three-legged female dogs doing back flips or even sites capturing the latest ‘diva cups’ on the black market; however, Crawford tried – erroneously – to degrade our purpose. I am not apologetic at all for the content we produce here on MUSED. Articles and blog posts featured on MUSED are reflections and experiences from our editorial staff, all of whom come from different walks of life.
I hope that Crawford realizes the contradiction in her own logic and recognizes that MUSED does not take the position she prescribes. I also hope that she realizes there are other diverse groups besides feminist law professors who share dialogue within their community. This really speaks to a larger context. Please excuse us “poor, silenced social males” for having an opinion we’d like to share. Crawford’s notion, in her own words, “perpetuates rather than breaks” the divide and objectifies that if people are not talking about your issues, you’re not relevant.