Why Are We Losing Men’s Voices on The Huffington Post? Why It’s A Big Issue.

I tried asking questions first. For a month. And got no reply from any of the Blog Team or directly from Arianna. Dear Huffington Post, WTF Is Going On with You? So, I guess I need to dig a bit deeper to see if I can understand what’s going on with the conversation about Parenting, Relationships, and Divorce at the Huffington Post.

Women *and* men get divorced, our children are along for the ride, we both make the difference in how their lives and future relationships will be managed.

I am not claiming that men’s voices have been completely shut out of the Family & Relationships sections of The Huffington Post. But I do see that the Divorce, Parenting, and Dating posts are 95% by women for women. Something bigger is going on here. Something that creates a complete imbalance in the viewpoints discussed, something that misses the fact that in traditional parenting one woman AND one man are required.

I was a Huffpost blogger with great success in the Parenting, Dating, and Divorce sections. I’m not saying I made the Front Page, but I often made the front page of these sections. And my posts are still live on The Huffington Post, gathering traffic for them, and a few click-throughs for me. And I’m very interested in keeping men in the conversation about these very important topics. I’m a contributing editor to The Good Men Project, who regularly shares content with The Huffington Post. Even last week, one of our editors, and good friend, Mark Greene was interviewed by Huffington Post about his transformative ideas about divorce and parenting. BRAVO!

But why are there no men editors in the entire staff of Family & Relationships? If you look at The Good Men project, a site that shouts, “The Conversation That No One Else is Having,” you’ll see a pretty even balance between men and women. It’s important, even in a powerful site about men that women and women’s voices are represented fairly. So why is the Huffington Post so down on men? Or is it just me?

Here’s the staff section from Family & Relationships section of The Huffington Post.

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 5.57.43 PM

Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 8.22.05 AMAnd while it’s not a bad thing to have mostly women, and mostly women in their twenties and thirties running such a critical portion of The Huffington Post, can you see how their perspectives might be a bit skewed? And when the Senior Editor on Divorce is also the Senior Editor on Weddings… And is, just getting married… You can imagine that “divorce” might not be one of her points of interests. And I’m guessing not part of her history, either.

I’m not sure how I would compartmentalize my enthusiasm for this major beginning in my young life, while espousing the views and pains of so many older women, and yes, men. And it’s sorry what’s happened to the sections over all. The conversation is not so much a conversation any more, it’s a blast of celebrity reporting (marriages and divorces) alongside some well-known authorities on dating and divorce. And mostly… eh hem… women.

And I have to respect the business model here. The Huffington Post is in this business to make money. And if their demographic is 90% young upwardly-mobile women, well, then I guess they’ve nailed it. But I’m pretty sure the intension that Erma Bombeck had when she convinced Arianna to start the divorce section was something more inclusive. After all, divorce usually involves two people, and 50% of those people happen to be men.

The story that Arianna tells is that she was approached about adding a Divorce section and she asked Erma why. Erma responded, “Marriages come and go, but divorce is forever.” It’s on the Divorce Masthead, though no longer attributed to her. The light went on for Arianna and the section was born and has thrived ever since.

I’ve chosen to live my life and to survive my divorce by finding the good in everything that comes my way.

I met Arianna at a trade show in 2013 where she spoke about her newest passion, The Third Metric. In that meeting of high-level communicators, she gave out her email address asking the audience to send her their ideas. And true to form, she responded to my email within a few hours of that trade show. I imagined her zooming to the airport in her limo and cleaning out her inbox with a fury and efficiency.

At that moment, she caught my voice in the post that I sent her. Here’s her emailed response to me that same day. It was a HUGE win for me.

uber-arianna-thankyou

And 8-months later I really hit the post sums up the bulk of my writing on Divorce.

uber-returntowhole-huff
click to read article on Huff Po
Getting men’s real and honest stories in the mix of the conversation about Parenting, Dating, and Divorce is critical for all of us.

What you see there is a picture of a dad’s hand and the hand of my two young children. I have pledged to say 100% positive about my divorce, and in all of my dealings with my co-parent and ex-wife. That’s my message. There are Good Men who get divorced. There are good father’s who try to stay connected as often as they are allowed, even when the system is stacked against them. I write The Whole Parent as a voice for men who are doing parenting right, before, during, and after divorce.

I’m not sure I’ll ever get new posts up on The Huffington Post. And I’m not sure that’s important to me any more. But getting men’s real and honest stories in the mix of the conversation about Parenting, Dating, and Divorce is critical for all of us. Sure, professionals who write about the subject and offer platitudes and brief sounds bites of men’s stories, to illustrate their points, are fine, but they are professionals, and therapists, and lawyers. Even if they’ve been through a divorce of their own, they are now making it their business to tell us what to do.

farahWhen The Huffington Post lost Farrah Miller as an editor (she was the person Arianna cc’d on the email above) we lost an experienced editor with a broader vision.

I don’t know what to do. I only know that I’ve chosen to live my life and to survive my divorce by finding the good in everything that comes my way. Have I lost a lot in the process, yes. But I have also gained a new voice, a resonant voice that comes from deep within me, and sings out MY STORY, and ultimately, MY POSITIVE STORY OF DIVORCE.

I think men need to be in the conversation, and I would like Arianna Huffington to address this lopsided conversation with the same vision she had when she started the section with her dear friend. Women and men get divorced, our children are along for the ride, both partners have a huge impact on our kids lives and future relationships will be managed. If only a small percentage of the posts are by men, and 90% of those men are relationship professionals (lawyers, coaches, and therapists) rather than fathers, then the conversation on the Huffington Post is written by women and to women. That is not a not a holistic or healthy conversation at all.

John McElhenney
@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

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    5 thoughts on “Why Are We Losing Men’s Voices on The Huffington Post? Why It’s A Big Issue.

    1. Great post, John, about seeking balance in what HuffPost is publishing. Not trying to defend Adrianna, but my thought is that 90% of people querying them are women bloggers. I’m one of them (though not for the Divorce section). No luck yet on my end either, by the way. I’m sure it’s because HuffPost is where EVERYONE wants to be.

      Keep up your great work. I love your positive focus — so very important where divorce is concerned. Actually, where everything is concerned! 😉

      I’m betting you’ll be back on HuffPost very soon….

    2. Thanks Sheila, I still have a byline there, so I’m hopeful. And these weren’t queries, I had a publishing stream that was about 95% post to live. Now ZERO. There’s an issue somewhere, but no one is talking to me.

    3. Here I am many months later and I have found that with the Huffingfton post you will not win if you lean to the right in your conversation.

      This is a leftist organization that favors gays, minorities and woman REGARDLESS of bad behavior they get a pass.

      I am a single father of 4 and my ex wife left me to tend to them alone and refuses to pay her judge ordered child support.
      She agreed at first then said why should she when it’s the man who is supposed to pay.

      I brought my story to Huffington and it was ignored.
      Come to find a ways back I had a heated conversation where I brought facts and citations and was complained about by a bunch of Indian bloggers and was locked out of Facebook where I had to give my telephone number despite being with them since 2010.

      Long story short I can POST to Huffington yet there are zero responses as well as spell check is off.
      As if, we aren’t going to argue with you and let you post but you are muted so no one can hear you.
      Giving the illusion that you are being heard.

      I have found that this is how the left operates when they can’t win an argument especially when facts are brought up.

      You get silenced, bullied, called names or just thrown out by collective voice.
      This isn’t democracy or information by any means. This is pure socialism agenda driven by the desire to change this country regardless of what the people want.

      My professors did this in college, disagree with them politically and you get a C or worse.

      Ridiculous, simply ridiculous.

    4. Great read. Having never experienced divorce myself, I have done, I am and hope to continue experiencing life especially parenting, and being a man! I like anything to do with getting my male, fatherly , husband-y voice heard 🙂

    5. I have been having the same exact problem as you and no response… Problem is many are having this problem so I believe it is a tech issue, yet no one responds because it seems everything is working correctly on their end so they are just figuring we are doing something wrong with log-in… no phone numbers, no tickets, no way to submit a problem and get a person to answer.. very, very, very frustrating

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