A fabulous “Manly Meal”

A Catholic men’s organization invited Dan Barker to debate a Catholic theologian on the topic “Do The Gospels Give Us The Real Jesus?” and he was publicizing it along with them. But then he spotted something he hadn’t noticed before.

On January 29, as I was updating FFRF’s Events page, I went to the AOTM website for details. (http://www.aotmclub.com) I spotted this note at the bottom of the page announcing my event:

“$12 at the door (The total cost for the night) You will get great appetizers and beverages, hear one of the best inspirational stories you have ever heard about manhood and faith. Do all this while you listen and enjoy a fabulous “Manly Meal”. Men of all creeds and ages are welcome to join in the good humor, food, and fellowship. Priests and seminarians get in free but will not be shown partiality in debate. Fathers are encouraged to bring their minor sons.”

I almost glanced over that paragraph, but the last line caught my eye: “Fathers are encouraged to bring their minor sons.” What?! What about daughters? What about mothers? It was only then that I realized this event was not just organized by men, but it was for men. For men exclusively. (What exactly is a “Manly Meal”?)

So he asked the organizer about it, and the organizer confirmed that it’s men only, and Dan said can you change it for this event and the organizer said no.

So he decided not to do it.

There was no good reason to exclude women from that event. Although I am sure the AOTM club, a private religious organization that meets in a Catholic church, would deny they are causing any harm, it seems clear to me that they are perpetuating the same Old Boys Club mentality espoused by the Pope, their church leaders, and their bible, which demeans women and tells them to “keep silent” in the church that is run by “men only.” I can’t change their minds, but I am sure not going to play along with such bronze-age discrimination.

All that and the Old Boys Club also makes rules that women are (religiously speaking) required to obey, despite having no role in making them.

Good job Dan Barker.


  1. LeftSidePositive says

    I know the “Manly Meal” isn’t the real point here what with all the other overt gender discrimination, but let me just say that as a woman who LOVES bacon, steak, and large slabs of meat cooked outdoors, I just want to say to our culture in general (not just these particular Catholics) that it really fucking sucks that you shame women to hell and back about our bodies, treat us like we’re slovenly and untrustworthy if we have too much weight on our frames, convince us we need to be consumed with guilt for each fucking calorie we eat, and THEN act like you’re more “manly” and tough and worthwhile and earthy because you get to eat food that we are explicitly discouraged from enjoying. So fuck you very much.

  2. Alverant says

    I would image a “manly meal” would have one or more of the following:
    1) Meat that you can eat with your hands and rip off the bone with your teeth like a cave man
    2) Messy foods that either require lots of napkins or another set of clothes
    3) Fried foods
    4) Food that makes you really gassy because women aren’t allowed to fart
    5) Foods with such a high calorie count that they can be mistaken for zip codes
    I’m picturing something where Hagar the Horrible would not look out of place attending.

  3. athyco says

    Perhaps these Catholic men would have a smuggled-in stash of the Virgin Mary crisps to intercede for the products of unimaginable suffering.

  4. yahweh says

    Dan Barker should have read what his intended audience said about themselves. You’ll love this (from their About page):

    “During this time the group was open to all and only two women ever came. We prayed and believed this was God’s providence. God was showing us that men needed a group that allowed them to come, talk about the issues that mattered most and share in a common bond or brotherhood rooted Catholicism. Modern society has tried to kill true manhood and we hoped this was one way to help restore it. Of course once we said it was for men only a lot of women said, “Hey we want to come!” Sorry gals too late. Most women, however, have been very supportive of our group.”

    Intriguingly though, it’s not even a discussion about men, but about Christian apologetics – as if there were a shortage of men in the field 😉

    Sounds to me like they just needed some kind of lads night out (without the strippers unless that’s what the ‘minor sons’ are for). Toe curling.

  5. stewart says

    Would they also have been able to guarantee that no female hands had been involved in preparing the Manly Meal, or is it that too much to ask?

  6. erinmcc says

    according to the meal listed on the site, a “Manly Meal” is:

    Louisiana Hot Wings with celery and blue cheese dressing
    White Cake with strawberry filling and vanilla frosting

    i was expecting something that included nails or was served with power tools. but blue cheese dressing? and strawberry filling?

    apparently i am WAY off in what i consider manly foods.

  7. beccamauch says

    People ask me why I am so bitterly against god and his religion when he doesn’t do me any harm. Here are but two responses:

    First, religion most certainly harms me if it harms my wife and daughter. Dan Barker’s correspondence with god’s people is a very good illustration of that. Only with religion can good people find justification to advocate gender inequality.

    Secondly, Religion has promised me that after death their just and loving god has for me a one way ticket to an eternity of unspeakable torture. Thank goodness I know their god doesn’t exist.

  8. says

    Manly Meal PFFFFFFT, My ex-wife can plow through a blood rare 16 ounce prime rib like a lion on a baby gazelle. I stick to chicken.

  9. skepticallydenpa says

    Yahweh @ 8, So, they noticed a lack of women’s presence at their meetings, and then decided that rather than acknowledging the problem, they should exclude women and call it a feature?… I don’t even know how to respond to that.

  10. Acolyte of Sagan says

    Never mind the ‘manly’ meal, what’s fascinating me is the purpose of the debate in the first place. Unless some major new discovery has passed me by, the very existence itself of Jesus is still very much in question, never mind whether his PR people have represented him faithfully (sic) in his unofficial biogr the Bible..

  11. glodson says

    @ 11 But I don’t like the Jambalaya. Do they have a less manly meal? But strawberries are totz manly.

  12. qwerty says

    The aotm website has a video from the odious Micheal Voris.

    You may remember him as the person who said all America needs is a good Catholic king. (Did he skip his ninth grade civics?) He applauds the group but still gets one thing wrong at the gathering in St. Paul when he calls it a Minneapolis group. (As a person who has lived in both cities, St. Paul always gets dissed.)

    Anyhow, Voris derides the influence of feminism and homosexuality on the church to the cheers of this manly group who heartily applaud.

    Manly men who are so hidebound that they can’t allow a few women to attend one of their meetings. Pathetic.

  13. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    completely off topic:

    SC’s comment at #5 of the Manly Meal thread just made me realize, with quite a jolt, why Vegans irritate me so much. Its because they’re fucking right. At least about the “unimaginable suffering” that befalls that which ends up on my plate.

  14. Danon says

    “Fathers are encouraged to bring their minor sons.”

    Man, I took this to mean something completely different.

  15. lostintime says

    Ugh, yeah that’s horrible but it’s what I’d expect from the Catholic Church. One of my favourite books about the inferences that people make between manliness and way we eat is ‘The Sexual Politics of Meat’ by Carol J. Adams. The idea that meat eating is an essential part of manhood is an assuredly creepy idea that’s both sexist and homophobic, and yet it’s happily endorsed all the time in ad comapigns like this

  16. Crip Dyke, MQ, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    What do you serve at these events, as manly and exclusive as they are?

    “White cake”

    Of course you do.

  17. Gordon Willis says

    Don’t actually know what “manly” means. It’s a word I’ve heard often, but I’ve never heard a coherent definition, and the occasional hints or implications that I have noted suggest something rather inhuman. I suspect it’s what I think of as an “awe” word, like “soul” or something: lots of feeling, but no substance.

  18. LeftSidePositive says

    Re beccamauch, #14:

    Only with religion can good people find justification to advocate gender inequality.

    Could it be there’s still someone out here who has never heard of the lofty and noble “science” known as Evolutionary Psychology?!

  19. carlie says

    Wow. So when Ophelia does it, it’s anti-semitic and requires an immediate apology and groveling, but when Shermer does it, when Orac eventually gets around to saying something he just calls it “mind-numbingly silly and gratuitous”. Yeah.


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