Kevin Smith is right about online bullies

Published: The Good Men Project (August 16, 2016)

Simply put, cyber bullies deserve to be ridiculed because they are cowards.

I suppose I can exclude the rare troll or hater who actually attaches his or her real name to their verbal bile. There are even a handful of individuals who make their careers out of trolling (Perez Hilton and Milo Yiannapoulos come to mind). That said, the vast majority of people who bully or harass online do so anonymously. The reason is obvious: They don’t want to be held accountable for what they say. Even though the very act of harassing another person presumes a position of superiority, the cyber bullies clearly know that they would be shamed for what they say. The only way they can keep the focus on their target instead of themselves is by cowering behind their keyboards. This makes them pathetic… and the more flamboyantly they attack their targets, the more it becomes clear that the joke is actually on them. read more

There’s a new, refreshing trend in online bullying

Published: The Daily Dot (January 14, 2016)

If there is a single major social problem that best captures the pros and cons of our Internet-driven world, it is the issue of bullying.

On one hand, the Internet has become notorious in recent years as a breeding ground for bullying behavior. According to the Cyberbullying Research Center, about half of young people have experienced some form of bullying through their cell phone or online, with 10 to 20 percent experiencing it regularly. The most common form of cyberbullying involves hurtful comments and spreading rumors, which means–not surprisingly–cyberbullying victims are more likely to have low self-esteem and to consider suicide. read more

Autistic Reflections on Thanksgiving

Published: The Good Men Project (November 26, 2015)

On Thanksgiving Day 2015, I am thankful for the following.

Growing up, it seemed like everyone rejected me as an oddball. If I didn’t correctly read the thoughts and emotions people attempted to communicate through their facial expressions and body language, I was weird and rude. When I talked too much about subjects that the people around me didn’t find interesting, it was because I was “Motormouth Matthew.” Anytime I drew attention to how I was being bullied because of my unorthodox mannerisms and tics, I was admonished for being a “tattle” and told that I should “just ignore” my tormentors. read more

An Asperger’s Bill of Rights

Published: Asperger’s 101 (October 2, 2015)

If you are a High Functioning Autistic (HFA), the odds are troublingly high that you also suffer from some form of depression.

As someone who suffers from depression myself, I’ve spent a great deal of time thinking about how to find happiness when you struggle with the burdens of having an autistic brain. One possibility for the prevalence of depression in autistic brains is that HFAs, for reasons distinct to their neurological condition, are innately more likely to feel depressed. read more

When the smartest man in the room isn’t a man – and isn’t allowed to be in the room

Published: Daily Dot (August 7, 2015)

If the Internet is to be believed, Carly Fiorina was a smashing success in yesterday’s Republican first round of presidential debates. The former Hewlett-Packard CEO far surpassed her peers in Twitter mentions (according to Google and Topsy.com) and received the most Google searches among participants in the forum. At a watch party sponsored by the American Conservative Union, Townhall.com’s Guy Benson unequivocally declared: “We have a winner and it’s Carly Fiorina.” read more

Hillary Clinton’s Rape Culture Problem

Published: Good Men Project (July 30, 2015)

Hillary Clinton has a rape culture problem… and her supporters need to ask the right questions.

Hillary Clinton has a problematic record when it comes to the issue of rape culture in America. Any politician with a similar background – regardless of party, ideology, or gender – should be expected to answer for them.

Unfortunately, as I learned last week, there is the disturbing possibility that many of Clinton’s supporters will be content to give her a pass.

On Saturday I published an article for The Good Men Project (which was subsequently picked up by The Daily Dot) about the multiple rape allegations that have been made against Clinton’s husband, former president Bill Clinton. Because recent history has shown that public figures with a large number of sexual assault charges are often guilty of at least some of them, I argued that liberals have a moral responsibility to ask the same hard questions of Bill Clinton that they asked of Bill Cosby. In addition, because Hillary Clinton wishes to be America’s first female president, I observed that it particularly behooves her to address the legitimate questions that exist about the possibility that her husband is a serial rapist. read more

It’s never, ever okay to release someone’s personal information

Published: Daily Dot (July 23, 2015)

Donald Trump has played many roles in his life: business mogul, author, reality TV star, and politician. But when he publicly released the private phone number of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), he wasn’t simply engaging in a run-of-the-mill political dirty trick. By violating Graham’s privacy, he assumed a new title common to the Internet era—that of the common, and increasingly dangerous, troll. In so doing, Trump further normalized a behavior that has a history of being incredibly destructive. read more

2 Ways We Need to Redefine ‘Masculinity’ in American Foreign Policy

Published: Good Men Project (July 7, 2015)

American foreign policy has long been governed by ideas of masculinity. Now it’s time to evaluate what that has meant for our nation – and how we should redefine “masculinity” in the future.

 

Why do we equate “masculinity” with “aggressiveness” when conducting our foreign policy?

“In the aftermath of September 11 Bush enacted a highly masculine ideology through his treatment of the press and emphasis upon two masculine themes–strength and dominance–and that this approach facilitated wide circulation of his masculine discourse in the press.”

Even without summarizing the rest of the article, it isn’t hard to remember the tropes of machismo that Bush demonstrated throughout his presidency: The “you’re either with us or against us” rhetoric, the cowboy swagger, the retrospectively ironic aircraft carrier landing in front of a banner proclaiming “Mission Accomplished”… all used in the service of waging two wars to avenge a terrorist attack whose perpetrator remained at large (and quite comfortable) in spite of them. Seven years later, when President Obama was being criticized for not using the military to stop Russian President Vladimir Putin in Ukraine and various Islamic extremists in the Middle East, his manhood was inevitably drawn into the discussion. This choice quote from conservative columnist David Brooks neatly summed up the thinking (which, he noted, he does not entirely share): read more