Earlier this month, the Women Thinking Free launched a new diversity project for the skeptical community. This new project is a little different from the campaigns we’ve seen in the past… usually we see women asking for more women, people of color asking for more people of color, yetis asking for more mythical creatures.
Instead of that usual model, the men of the WTF — a group of straight white men, some with beards — have chosen instead to take responsibility for making a more diverse community and create the More Than Men project.
MTM was inspired by a Good.is article last year titled Why White Men Should Refuse to Be on Panels of All White Men. We wondered why there aren’t more men leading the way to a more diverse skeptical community. We knew men were interested, passionate even, but rather than cheering on the underrepresented groups, why aren’t they jumping in and fighting just as hard as the rest of us?
[Wired magazine’s Spencer] Ackerman said it makes sense. “It’s within our power and it’s up to us to say, ‘Why don’t you include my colleague who works on something similar, who has possibly more to say because they’re not listened to as frequently,’” he says. “And if we don’t do it, there’s no incentive for people organizing these things to think more critically about why it is they’re not including these diverse voices.”
So they’re speaking up.
More Than Men is a social media project for men to stand up together to take an active role in diversity advocacy, educating people about what diversity outreach is and is not, and dispelling myths about what it means to actively pursue a more inclusive community. This is a chance for men to have a conversation about why diversity matters to them, and how they can benefit, and what they can do to help.
More Than Men is not about apologizing for being male but it is also not about claiming we know better than people what their experiences in the world are like. It is about admitting and embracing who you are, and using that to help build a better community.
And the best part is, that you don’t have to sit, read, comment in the comments and give them feedback. You can contribute. In fact, I’m asking you to contribute. And the guys are asking you to contribute. We’re asking you to take responsibility for creating a welcoming community for all people. Because everyone will benefit from it.
We’ve even made it easy for you to get involved. Are you a good writer? Write a guest post for us. Are you a terrible writer, but handsome as all get-out? Make a video for us… you can make a video even if you’re not handsome, in fact, making a video will automatically make you handsome. Are you still unsure about your handsomeness and you don’t like to write? You can create an audio segment for our podcast. If you have something to say and your thoughts can be conveyed in some way on the internet, we want to hear from you! Just email Sasha Pixlee, our head white dude, at sasha[at]womenthinkingfree[dotties]org. (Just be all “Hey Sasha! I’m a white guy! I have something to say!”)
In fact, even if you don’t fit the balding, bearded and bespectacled prerequisites* for being an MTM contributor, but have something to say about the project and want to contribute, you need to contact Sasha as well! (Just be all “Hey Sasha! I’m not a white guy! I have something to say!”) (*not really prerequisites)
So… are you ready for a better Skepticism?
Disclaimer: And, I know, I’m a lady and I run the women’s organization behind MTM, so how man-run is it? Full disclosure: not 100%… because I’m a lady and I run the women’s organization behind MTM, and the project was my idea. But I’ve put together a staff of men that I trust, and it’s their project. I stand behind it. I help lift heavy things and fix technical glitches… I squish the bugs and tell them all how nice they look every day. The guys are cool with having a woman boss, because they’re cool like that. But really, I’m pretty hands off on this one.