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Once again, Heart at Women’s Space, The Margins, has posted something very provocative. Called The Truth About Men, she explains:

In early September, a Seattle man, Jason Fortuny, began a Craig’s List experiment. His goal was to find out how many responses he could get in 24 hours to an ad purported to have been posted by a submissive woman looking for an aggressive dom. Fortuny lifted the text and photo he used for the ad from a sexually explicit part of Craig’s List (which features a warning notice) and posted it to the”Seattle Casual Encounters”section.

At the end of the 24-hour experiment, Fortuny posted the ad and all of the responses, e-mail links, phone numbers and photos to a website. (NOTE: Violent content, pornography and pornographic imagery, could trigger.) He also posted this information to his myspace site (which no longer exists).

The 178 men who eagerly responded were not at all pleased. They responded immediately demanding that Fortuny remove their e-mails and photos and close down his site, threatening him in all sorts of ways, including with lawsuits.

I think the results of the experiment are interesting, and I think Fortuny : even though, based on the research I’ve done, he is no pro-feminist : has done something that is valuable to feminists. If you look through the responses, you find that the men who responded were just regular guys, of the type we all encounter every day. Some of them appear to be squeaky-clean, posed smiling with their dogs, fishing up in the mountains, rock climbing, big smiles on their faces. They describe their jobs, where they live. And then they write along the lines of those quotes I posted there, and worse, much worse.

But something did surprise me and that is this. Of the publications which have so far reported this news, none faults the men– for anything. The men are not faulted for e-mailing their woman-hating writings together with e-mail addresses and photos to someone they did not know. The men are not faulted for their woman-hating writings at all. The men are not faulted for getting off on descriptions of violence and abuse of women. Nobody faults the woman who actually did place the ad in any way, shape or form. Universally, in the BBC, Wired,   UK Metro, and other publications reporting this news, Fortuny was damned for invading these men’s”privacy.” Even Robert Jamieson, a black progressive editorialist for the Seattle P-I, whose writings I usually appreciate, slammed Fortuny for”publicly humiliating”the men and for Fortuny’s lack of”moral decency.” Writers for Wired called Fortuny”despicable,”a”sociopath”and the BCC editorialist said he had doubtless”ruined lives”. All the writers agreed Fortuny should be sued. …

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