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Male “Feminist” Hugo Schwyzer

I have always been suspicious of self-described “male feminists”. I wrote this on the subject over three years ago when I was guest-blogging at Feministe:

[W]hat the fuck is up with men calling themselves feminists?

I don’t call myself a feminist, because it’s not my call whether I am or not. It’s women’s call. I try not to be a fucking misogynist asshole and do what I can to reduce gender inequity in my professional and personal life, which includes trying to call out myself and other men on misogynist shit.

Making a big melodramatic display of tagging oneself with the “feminist” label seems like transparent male cookie-seeking at best, and cover for some seriously nefarious wackaloon shit at worst[.]

While I didn’t write that about Hugo Schwyzer, I have been skeeved out by that motherfucker for years. He is a self-described “male feminist”, and actually has built his entire professional life around preaching and teaching feminism to women, as you can glean from his blogge’s “welcome” page:

Hugo Schwyzer is an American author, speaker and professor of history and gender studies at Pasadena City College. He presents workshops on body image, sexual harassment, rape prevention, and the “myth of male weakness.” He is also a frequent guest on nationally syndicated radio programs and has appeared on CNN and CTV (Canada) as an expert on body image, sexuality and gender justice.

For information on booking Hugo, please click here.

Now I find out for the first time (also see the comments) (although this is not newly public information, just new to me) that over a decade ago the motherfucker sexually preyed on his students and attempted to murder his ex-girlfriend, as described graphically on his blogge:

I walked into the little kitchen only steps from where my ex lay. I blew out the pilot lights on our gas oven and on the burners, and turned the dials on everything up to maximum. I pulled the oven away from the wall, leaving the gas line intact, positioning it so that the gas was blowing directly at the passed-out young woman on the floor.

Schwyzer claims to be a “male feminist” and to have focused his life on feminism out of remorse and to make amends for his past grotesque history of woman-hating and violence, including both having sex with his female students and attempting to murder his ex-girlfriend. This opportunistic motherfucker is full of shitte.

If he really felt remorse for his past he wouldn’t be shoving his supposed feminism at women in gender studies classes, just like he used to do with his dicke. He continuing to surround himself with women and make himself the center of attention is for exactly the same motivation now that the subject is feminism as it was when the subject was him trying to stick his dicke in them.

And note that this has nothing to do with whether it is possible for someone to overcome a terrible past, feel great remorse, and make amends for past misdeeds. But it does mean that the reformed miscreant does not get to unilaterally define the terms by which genuine remorse is expressed and by which genuine amends are made.

If this lying sacke of shitte really felt remorse and wanted to make amends for his unimaginably grotesque past violent behavior towards women, the way he’d do it would be to stay as far the fucke away from any women as humanly possible. Schwyzer making amends for his woman-hating violent past by teaching feminsm to classrooms filled with young women is like a child molester making amends for his child-molesting past by teaching classrooms filled with little children how to protect their bodily integrity.

Comments

  1. Martyn Hughes says

    A badly written article.

    Your use of the term ‘Motherfucker’ no less than Three times show the lack of skill needed in ‘bloggsville’.

    You ask: What the fuck is up with men calling themselves feminists?

    While many men are sympathetic to the pro-equality cause, some of us consider the term pro-equality a loose term. Yes [equality] is important, but there are other aspects that come into play when discussing ‘feminism’.

    There’s the belief that the sexes are somehow ‘hardwired’ differently, therefore determining how males and females should behave. This needs to be contested.

    There is the issue of sexuality too, and so on and so forth.

    The act of labelling oneself as (just) pro-equality and as someone who ‘tries not to be a fucking misogynist asshole and do what I can to reduce gender inequity in my professional and personal life’ is nothing more than mere semantics in the world of ‘gender politics’.

    I am a self confesssed male-feminist. I make no apologies for it. Neither should others – regardless of your distaste.

  2. F says

    Dude should be deprogrammed by feminists before he attempts to speak for them or to them. What he should be is the example guy who feminist groups or other relevant groups call on to give an I-used-to-be-this-violent-asshole, run-from-men-like-me speech.

    Regardless as to how “converted” he is now.

    It would be merely a convenient shorthand to refer to myself as a feminist. Doing so depends on whether this is acceptable to any feminists I happen to be relating to at the time. I can certainly say I’m anti-sexism, and really, anti-patriarchy, as I was that first and from an early age. I won’t claim anything else, as I may be ignorant of my own ignorance.

  3. crissakentavr says

    One could say that merely not eating babies does not make you a good person. You have to actively work toward positive goals, and do positive things. Elsewise you’re merely not evil.

    So I’m all for feminist men.

  4. meg says

    You’ve summarized very well what a lot of people have struggled to put into words about why they are so uncomfortable with Schwyzer.

  5. kraut says

    “He continuing to surround himself with women and make himself the center of attention is for exactly the same motivation now that the subject is feminism as it was when the subject was him trying to stick his dicke in them.”

    Ok – one question – why do women surround him. Why don’t they stick a nice sharp knife into an asshole like that or just cut his dick off? What is it with women that apparently the biggest arsehole gets surounded by them?
    I have no dice in that game, I am married for almost 40 years, but my experience has been just that – be a dick and the girls come a flocking.

    As to feminists of the male persuasion: I agree with that arsehole who just thinks because Hitchens was not a shiny knight, without flaw and a hero beyond reproach but a human with all the idiosyncrasies he can piss all over the poor dead bugger.

  6. gingerest says

    Meh, I think you can call yourself a feminist even if you’re a guy – as long as you are clear that feminism is a philosophical framework, not an occupational field. (That is, saying “I’m a feminist” doesn’t get you anything if you don’t do anything about it.) Feminism does not excuse one from scrutiny, nor does it convey authority, even in matters regarding the kyriarchy.

    Schwyzer is gross and scary and not nearly remorseful enough for someone who tried on murder-suicide to see how it fit.

  7. 24fps says

    Professional male feminists usually make me suspicious. I mean, really? You need to dominate this field, too?

    My guy is pretty much a feminist for all intents and purposes, but doesn’t describe himself as one. Most of the men who I think would qualify on general behavior and merit are the same. The ones who are craving the label are a whole other critter – there really is the “lookameeeee!” element to it.

    But Hugo there seems like all that an more. Dig around a bit and you find that he is a recovering alcoholic. Now, that’s not incriminating in itself, but there is a certain subset of alcoholic who retains the megalomania of his (or her) drinking days. That ties right in with the “lookameeeeee!” of the label seeking male feminist. And then there’s the approval seeking of the testimonial there, a big part of the AA philosophy.

    Purely speculative, of course. I could be completely wrong.

  8. sunnydale75 says

    Personally, I don’t tend to think of blogs as “articles”. I read articles in the newspaper or in TIME. While those articles can be opinionated, they don’t have to be (nor are they always). When I read a blog, I fully expect to read the opinions of the blogger. I wouldn’t expect to read an article on FTB. The longer I’m here, the more I tend to agree with the mentality that utilizing curse words doesn’t mean what I used to (and what many still do) think: a lack of intelligence or communication skills. If you don’t like profanity, that betrays your person preference. I see nothing wrong with the use of “motherfucker” in this post. An argument could be made that in a published article (or maybe a peer reviewed work) profanity should be left out. In one’s blog? Fuck it. Cuss away if you want.

    Tony

    A badly written article.

    Your use of the term ‘Motherfucker’ no less than Three times show the lack of skill needed in ‘bloggsville’.

  9. Michael Swanson) says

    Never heard of Schwyzer, but —

    Making a big melodramatic display of tagging oneself with the “feminist” label…

    Jesus, really? I call myself a feminist because I hold to feminist ideals: women and men are fundamentally equal, and should be treated as such legally and socially. Our differences are not qualitative. I say I’m a feminist as simply as I say that I’m a vegan or a liberal. It’s pretty straightforward.

  10. tinfoil hattie says

    Well, Michael Swanson, you may smugly call yourself a feminist, but your mansplainy definition of feminism is wrong.

    As for you, kraut, google “nice guy TM” and also “patriarchy,” and then come back and whine about women who just love guys who are dicks.

  11. says

    We respectfully disagree with tinfoil Hattie. We’re fine with Michael Swanson calling himself a feminist with his definition of feminism. His definition makes him a liberal feminist. We’re down with that.

    We also think of CPP as a feminist, though he’s more of a post-modern feminist. We’re happy with that too.

    We wish more men would strive towards the ideals of liberal feminism and post-modern feminism. Since people actually *listen* to men when they repeat what women say, having men with actual feminist ideals makes the world a better place. (Ideally people would listen to women directly, but as it is, we’re not there yet.)

    Hugo Schwyzer sounds pretty sketchy, but we don’t think men can’t be feminists in general. In fact, we tend to think of our partners, who shoulder their burden of housework and treat us as equals, and demonstrate many other concrete pragmatic displays of feminist philosophy etc. as feminists. We wouldn’t be with them otherwise.

    An major point is that actions are what is important, not labels. Doing housework is more of a feminist statement than lecturing to women on feminism.

  12. mikelaing says

    I have always been suspicious of self-described “male feminists”.

    Me, too, FFS. Pro feminist is just fine, and I like what Nicoleandmaggie say:

    An major point is that actions are what is important, not labels. Doing housework is more of a feminist statement than lecturing to women on feminism.

    How the fucke can men know what it is like to be treated 2nd class because of gender, or to feel physically threatened and objectified, constantly, and in general, is beyond me. Let alone, operate from the experiences of the individual females psyches.

    White people don’t know what it’s like to be treated as a racial minority, you can’t possibly understand the completely enveloping experience and surreptitious attitudes prevalent in every facet of societal interaction.

    Oppression is insidious and deeply integrated in western and, indeed, almost all cultures universally for women. How can you understand what it is like to grow up being treated as property, fundamentally guilty of evil and/or its introduction to mankind, consciously aware of the gender bias in our language every time it is used, etc ad infinitum.

    No man can speak for a woman, let alone all women, just as blacks acting for white supremacy or whites joining the black panthers can integrate seamlessly with the ideology of their oppressors.

    I see self proclaimed male feminists as disingenuous and sycophantic, like when children(and Republicans, lol) loudly proclaim innocence to hide their guilt.

    You men can step outside anytime you want, motherfuckers, you don’t know what it is to be trapped by sexist, or racial, prejudice from when you were born. The root word of feminist is female, so you don’t belong, you aren’t one of the group that rallies with others “Daring To Be Themselves.”

    I’ve got to much therapeutic experience of underlying agendas in male portrayals of themselves, individual men’s claims to be ‘angels’ and innocent, in word and actions, when it is plain to other men what is really going on.

    Call yourself part of the feminist movement, feminist sympathizer, pro feminist, what the fuck ever, but even if you are gay or castrated or transgendered you don’t know what it is to be a woman, nor do you have the integrity of the female voice.

  13. Timid Atheist says

    What is it with women that apparently the biggest arsehole gets surounded by them?

    Nice to know you think all women are exactly the same and do exactly the same things and behave exactly the same way.

    As tinfoil hattie said:

    As for you, kraut, google “nice guy TM” and also “patriarchy,” and then come back and whine about women who just love guys who are dicks.

    This is like a woman saying why do men only date hot women?

    It’s not true and simply leads to people be treated, on a whole, like crap because you make assumptions that are rarely correct.

  14. Nathair says

    How the fucke can men know what it is like to be treated 2nd class because of gender, or to feel physically threatened and objectified, constantly, and in general, is beyond me.

    And what the fucke does that have to do with being a feminist? Feminism is a movement (well, a group of movements) and an ideology, suggesting that membership in that movement or the honest embrace of that ideology requires a vagina is deeply confused. You don’t have to personally be oppressed in exactly the same way that someone else is in order to recognize and oppose that oppression. Shall we next start grading women in their feminism by the exact degree to which they have personally been affected? Are “successful” women inferior in their feminism? Foolishness. What you believe and what you do about it, that is what matters.

    All this does is invite dissension and alienate allies over semantic quibbling.

  15. Happiestsadist says

    Awesome fucking post. Hugo Schwyzer always set off my danger-alarms, and I only learned of his repeated sexually predatory behaviour and ATTEMPTED MURDER this morning. He sounds like every fundie televangelist caught molesting parishioners. He makes a big wailing show about how HE’s suffered in all of this, learns some shiny new words to pretend he’s learned from it, and works in how he’s been through oh so much in his future sermons to very young people.

    And I don’t think there is any place for “male feminists”. No. Allies, yes. Supporters, yes. But that means sitting the fuck down and listening, and helping, instead of delicious professional activism and the book deals that ensue. It means not explaining feminism and women’s lived experiences to women (making extra sure to ignore WOC) and periodically winking about all the pussy you got before you Found Feminist Jesus. I hear “male feminist”, and I know it’s going to be some douchebag talking over women.

  16. lactosefermenter says

    I agree with Nathair. You don’t have to be oppressed to recognize oppression and do something about it. One didn’t have to be a slave or a former slave to recognize that slavery was wrong and join the abolitionist movement. And the more people of privilege (in this case, men) who can be recruited to work towards ending inequality, the better.

  17. Happiestsadist says

    Lactosefermenter: there is a place for men in the feminist movement, but it’s not talking over women. Because what you’re still teaching is that men should be listened to over women even when the topic is the experiences of women and gender-nonconforming people. That it’s only something worth listening to if it’s from some d00d. Who is lifting all his talking points from women.

  18. Happiestsadist says

    And really, if we’re “alienating possible allies” for saying “maybe it’s inappropriate for men to talk over this movement”, I say to those who are offended by the idea that they don’t get a cookie and a leadership role just because they called a commercial sexist once, GTFO and don’t let the door hit you. We need whiny, selfish allies like we need a hole in the head.

  19. Bruce Gorton says

    I am a male feminist.

    It is about adding what little weight I have to public pressure against anti-feminist bullshit in modern society, particularly on the marketing side.

    An individual guy not acting in a sexist manner is all very well and good – but it doesn’t bring pressure on the guys who do act in a sexist manner to reform.

    It does not work out to being a great limiter on marketers who want to sell stuff in much the same cheap, sleazy and sexist way they always have.

    There is a lot of outright hate for women in advertising, and it gets a bit up my nose that those advertisers think it is something I will identify with.

    By self identifying was a male feminist, I identify as someone who most certainly doesn’t identify with that sort of “guy culture”.

    When I say I am a male feminist it is to tell purveyors of such culture to fuck off, it is not to gain “browny points”.

  20. julian says

    When I say I am a male feminist it is to tell purveyors of such culture to fuck off, it is not to gain “browny points”.

    Ditto.

    I expect to be laughed at and told ‘she ain’t never gonna want your dick!’ by the idiots I work with. I was not expecting the same from here.

    But, I’d be hard pressed not to see Comrade’s point. The last thing I want is to fall into a martyr complex or talk over anyone. Especially the ones who need the podium. Not to mention viewing this sort of activism as a means of absolution hits pretty close to home for me despite my expressed disdain for concepts like penance.

  21. LadyDreamgirl says

    Call yourself part of the feminist movement, feminist sympathizer, pro feminist, what the fuck ever, but even if you are gay or castrated or transgendered you don’t know what it is to be a woman, nor do you have the integrity of the female voice.

    Isn’t it a bit cissexist to say that mtf transgendered individuals lack “the integrity of the female voice”? As a cis individual myself I don’t presume to claim that trans women have the same experience of womanhood/femaleness as I do, but every woman has a different experience of womanhood/femaleness as each woman is an individual.

    Note: Emphasis in the quote is mine.

  22. Happiestsadist says

    It’s really, really cissexist to say that trans women aren’t women, LadyDreamgirl, and I don’t know how I missed that. That shit is seriously uncool.

  23. julian says

    I expect to be laughed at and told ‘she ain’t never gonna want your dick!’ by the idiots I work with. I was not expecting the same from here.

    Let me take that bit back. It stemmed more from my own bs than anything I read here.

  24. says

    All these “stand up and bear witness” shenanigans come from a toxic brew of navel-drowning narcissism, aided by the evangelical tradition and the various “recovery” recipes. In particular, they require that women remain part of the furniture — flunkies and groupies at best.

    Hitchens, Schwyzer and their ilk are best put out with the curbside trash. That they pass (worse, are lionized) as intellectuals and/or enlightened makes me want to board the next starship for Kepler 22.

  25. LadyDreamgirl says

    It’s really, really cissexist to say that trans women aren’t women, LadyDreamgirl, and I don’t know how I missed that. That shit is seriously uncool.

    Since there is little ability to express tone on the internet I would like to mention that my question was meant to be read with heavy sarcasm, particularly on the “a bit” part.

  26. Ms. Daisy Cutter says

    You men can step outside anytime you want, motherfuckers, you don’t know what it is to be trapped by sexist, or racial, prejudice from when you were born….but even if you are gay or castrated or transgendered you don’t know what it is to be a woman

    Uncool. I appreciate this post generally, but wtf is this shit.

    Kraut: Fuck off with your Nice Guy™ bullshit. Also, if there’s anything I loathe more than a man mansplaining women to me, it’s a Baby Boomer man mansplaining women to me. IDGAF if this is “ageism.” I’ve had my fill for a lifetime of it. Y’all collectively aren’t as progressive as you think you are.

    “Timid” Atheist: “This is like a woman saying why do men only date hot women?” Yeaaaaahhhhhh, except there’s that little matter of male privilege that makes for an asymmetrical equation.

    Totally agree with Happiestsadist that, while pro-feminist men and male supporters of feminism are always welcome, the d00dz who conspicuously label themselves “male feminists,” or even “allies,” ping my radar as ones who are looking, at the very least, for cookies. I might cut someone like Julian some slack because I’ve seen him long enough on Pharyngula to know he’s cool, but, in general, it’s one of those “if you have to say it…” kind of things. Don’t tell me what a fab ally you are; show me.

    And if you’re going to bawwww and take your ball and go home, go right ahead, because someone who’s only my “ally” if I kiss his ass and suck his prong… really isn’t.

    Athena Andreadis: Nail, hit, head. Another liberal xtian d00d on that Feministe thread was blathering about how important “forgiveness” is to Schwyzer’s shtik. Sure it is… forgiveness for him, after he’s publicly abased himself in a manner calculated to win him points as a poor li’l woobie. It’s a classic abuser’s tactic, as well as yet another piss-poor aspect of xtian dogma (i.e., confession in some public form rather than genuine change “wiping your slate clean”).

  27. Happiestsadist says

    LadyDreamgirl: I was agreeing with you. Curse the lack of proper inflection and nuance via typing!

  28. LadyDreamgirl says

    Happiestsadist: I was pretty sure you were agreeing with me, I just thought it was worthwhile to both repeat what you had said about the uncoolness and provide a bit of inflection for my prior comment.

    also: INTERNETS!11!!1 [said in the manner of an individual shouting: BARROWMAN! and shaking ones fist at the sky]

  29. julian says

    The last thing I want is to fall into a martyr complex or talk over anyone. Especially the ones who need the podium. -me

    And this would be one of those times.

  30. Bruce Gorton says

    Ms. Daisy Cutter

    The nice guy thing always confused me.

    I mean, isn’t niceness something that we expect as a basic social minimum – like brushing your teeth? Shouldn’t a guy who wants to impress someone, I don’t know, take that next step into being interesting?

  31. jamessweet says

    Haven’t read this whole post yet, but I wanted to say: I deal with this quandary by saying, “I like to consider myself a feminist.” I recognize there are problems with a man proclaiming that he is a feminist, but I also think there are problems with proclaiming that a man never can be a feminist. Hence the aforementioned statement: I proclaim that I aspire to feminist ideals, while exercising humility in my right (or lack thereof) to claim the title.

  32. says

    You men can step outside anytime you want, motherfuckers, you don’t know what it is to be trapped by sexist, or RACIAL

    WTF? Turn in your anti-racist card.

  33. ftltachyon says

    Bruce Gorton:

    There’s a world of difference between actually being a good person and being a Nice Guy (TM). The latter refers to the many men out there who believe that acting superficially nice and acting friendly entitles them to sex. The sort of person who would pretend to be a friend to a woman when the sex is what they’re looking for, and the friendship and niceness is just a tool to get it.

    Click on the link in Ms. Daisy Cutter’s post or Google Nice Guy TM.

  34. highdudgeonaz says

    THIS:

    “I don’t call myself a feminist, because it’s not my call whether I am or not. It’s women’s call. I try not to be a fucking misogynist asshole and do what I can to reduce gender inequity in my professional and personal life, which includes trying to call out myself and other men on misogynist shit.”

    But might I add: … and also doing as much or more of the housework as my spouse, and asking for her input on important decisions affecting both of us, and taking her opinion seriously even when I “know” she’s wrong (because that usually means she isn’t and I’ve seriously misunderstood something about her argument).

  35. says

    “I especially like how many men call themselves “male feminists” over the repeated objections of women. You tell them, d00ds!”

    Not all women object.

    Feminism has several definitions.

    http://nicoleandmaggie.wordpress.com/2011/04/19/on-definitions/

    If you believe men and women should be treated equally, then by definition, you are a liberal feminist. Men and women can both be liberal feminists.

    If you believe that women have special unique qualities that make them different, you are a cultural feminist. This makes a lot of whacked out nutjobs (IMHO) cultural feminists.

    If you believe that women are just another oppressed class, then you are a marxist feminist.

    If you believe that only women can be feminists, then you are a radical feminist. Apparently only women can be radical feminists.

    If you believe that the problem is with the structure of society and culture and frequently blame the patriarchy for things, then you are most likely a post-modern feminist.

    These definitions are not the only definitions or the only types of feminism that there are, but I do think it is helpful to have a framework to think about these kinds of semantic issues. This typology is cribbed from Half the Human Experience: The Psychology of Women, by Janet Shibley Hyde, 7th edition, 2007. New York: Houghton Mifflin.

    As a liberal feminist (with post-modern leanings), I see absolutely no reason to restrict the tent to what radical feminists want (a very small female-only tent). Everybody should be working towards a better more equal society. It upsets me, as a breasted double X chromosomed capable of reproduction female when people tell men that they’re not allowed to be feminists. I want men saying, “Listen to her and treat her as well as you treat me” not “I’m alienated by the movement.” Even more than that, I want men working towards equal relationships in their daily lives. I LOVE having a feminist department chair– he is always questioning the little feathers of racism and sexism when they come up with the other male full professors and making sure that everybody gets a voice. He doesn’t necessarily call himself a feminist (though I am sure he would if he were asked point blank, “Are you a feminist” Of course!) but he acts like one and the world would be a better place if there were more men like him in the world.

  36. tinfoil hattie says

    nicoleandmaggie, I don’t give a damn about whether or not men feel included in feminism. It’s not about men. They don’t get to define it, they don’t get to say what is or isn’t feminist, and they sure as shit don’t get to keep on keeping on about how great feminist men are over the repeated objections of women.

    Women who concern themselves with whether or not men are good feminists are losing sight of what feminism is. I disagree that there are “several definitions” or feminism. Feminism is the radical notion that women are people. We’re not even there yet. I know all about sex-positive feminism and choice feminism and empowerful feminism and man-feminism. We’re still not considered people. We’re the other. Men are the default, women the afterthought. Else why would two self-described feminists such as yourselves be so worried about what dudes think?

  37. Ms. Daisy Cutter says

    Nicoleandmaggie. thanks so much for the condescending aca-feminist lecture on what is and isn’t feminism. It’s so quaint when ivory-tower types lecture older, working-class women who have been feminists for decades about how we should totally be nicer to teh menz because otherwise it upsets your delicate little feelings.

    As for treating men and women “equally,” that removes a shit-ton of social context, doesn’t it? Men and women are nowhere near equal in social status in this world, and it’s disingenuous as hell to act as though they are.

    Go bake your fucking department head some feminist cookies. Maybe you can put on a cute li’l frilly apron while you’re doing that, too.

  38. Ms. Daisy Cutter says

    Bruce – I apologize. I misread what you were saying. Still fuming over Li’l Ms. Aca-Fem up there lecturing us poor slobs on what feminism’s all about.

  39. Saurs says

    Is “post-modern” supposed to be an insult now? I’ve seen it bandied around a lot lately by vaguely anti-feminist folk, or self professed male feminists, or sometimes self-professed “sex positive” feminists, as if it has a pejorative meaning.

  40. Bruce Gorton says

    ftltachyon

    The article is what actually got me thinking along those lines – specifically this bit at the end.

    Ask some women about this issue. Seeing as how we’d know. Take the hint. If you quit being a misogynistic jerk, maybe she’ll go for you.

    Personally I think part of the problem is you get some guys who seem to think the basic minimums to being a decent human being entitle them to sex, yet in real terms they are basic minimums.

    Not being a misogynistic jerk doesn’t make somebody good, it is just part of being adequate.

  41. julian says

    @Bruce Gorton

    I think for some men a big issue is a sort of indignation at realizing some women respond positively to those who aren’t. It’s sorta like realizing all those guys who stole from the company or were lousy employees are getting promoted over you.

    It isn’t fair. (often said in a low plaintive whine) You are, afterall, playing by the rules while they’re laughing at them.

    Where it goes way of course is when it bumps into our inability to distinguish between people and we extrapolate this to the rest of the population. And because we are already indignant we refuse to back down.

    The whole thing seems bundled up in some lousy expectations for what a relationship (physical and otherwise) should be and what traits others should be looking for too.

    Anyway *relurking*

  42. lactosefermenter says

    Happiestsadist wrote:

    “Lactosefermenter: there is a place for men in the feminist movement, but it’s not talking over women. Because what you’re still teaching is that men should be listened to over women even when the topic is the experiences of women and gender-nonconforming people…”

    I’m not proposing that men talk over women, just that they add their voices to the cause. The more voices the better, right? Women certainly should be out in front of this movement. I’ve never suggested anything to the contrary.

  43. says

    Who is doing the oppression now?

    So men aren’t allowed to talk about how to oppress women because they have Y chromosomes and now I’m not allowed to talk because I have a PhD? How dare you people with the privilege of having the internet lecture anybody about feminism.

    If you start decreasing the tent like this, really the only person allowed to talk about feminism is the most abused woman in the Congo (or similar war-torn state). Everybody else has too much privilege. And when the tent doesn’t include anybody with privilege, no change can be made. It’s like you WANT the patriarchy to win. We reject that. We don’t think the patriarchy should win just because of infighting among people who are against it.

    If feminism means actively oppressing people then I don’t want to be considered one. Nor should any feminist other than, apparently, a radical feminist. Fortunately it doesn’t, except for this small subset of feminists who believe that only their voices are allowed to be heard. I’ll shut up on this point now because I know there’s no reason to argue once people start telling me I have a PhD and have no right to talk. Who am I convincing. So I guess you win this round. I am silenced just like you wanted and you can call people with Y chromosomes all the names you want.

    But I don’t want men or women with PhDs to reject the more general cause of feminism just because they’ve made something of their lives or their childhoods weren’t oppressed enough. The patriarchy affects us all and we should all try to make this world a better and more egalitarian place.

    And if you don’t like reading academics, then maybe you should stop hanging out on academic blogs. Seriously, that’s a choice you can make.

    And no, post-modern feminism is not a bad term.

  44. julian says

    unlurking/

    @niccoleandmaggie

    that may not be the kindest interpretation of what someone’s written.

    /re-lurking

  45. tinfoil hattie says

    Who is doing the oppression now?

    I do not think that word means what you think it means.

    /paraphrase

  46. Helen Huntingdon says

    niccoleandmaggie,

    You’re being told to stuff it because your reasoning is flawed and inadequate, not because you have a PhD. The rest of us with PhDs feel sorry for you.

  47. Samia says

    This guy is a sexist, paternalistic, condescending, smug, racist classist piece of shit and he has been for years. He subscribes to a distorted and utterly creeptastic white knight view of feminism. I read some of his statements regarding his work with Slutwalk Los Angeles…narcissistic grandstanding BS. His constant use of the word “we” just sickened me. Supporting women is very different from coopting their oppression in order to bolster your image. I didn’t know until recently about his sexual predation or abusive tendencies. Now I’m just shocked. I knew Feministe is a cesspool, but this is…a new level. I can’t believe they would side with him over their longtime readers (who are feminist WOMEN).

  48. Ms. Daisy Cutter says

    Nicoleandmaggie wrote…. a whole field of strawmen! And “they’re” soooo wrought and petulant that they’ve dropped the royal/tapeworm “we”!

    Who is doing the oppression now?

    LOL WUT.

    So men aren’t allowed to talk about how to oppress women because they have Y chromosomes

    Because “talking” = “giving yourself a dubious label that makes many feminists uncomfortable with you.” Also, not all men have Y chromosomes. You’re in academia and you aca-splain copiously about feminism, but you have no idea about cissexism? Really?

    and now I’m not allowed to talk because I have a PhD?

    Yes, “talking” = “aca-splaining to other feminists things you have no idea whether they know or not, which were not deductible from their previous comments.”

    How dare you people with the privilege of having the internet lecture anybody about feminism.

    Too stupid to respond to.

    If you start decreasing the tent like this…

    Wow, I am genuinely surprised that this site doesn’t have a section on, “If you don’t fellate privileged people just for taking interest in your cause, you’re going to drive all your allies away!!”

    Everybody else has too much privilege.

    Um, there are different types of privilege. Both I and your strawwoman in the Congo have much more of a right to talk about feminism than a man does, because both of us are affected by misogyny. He isn’t. However, if the subject were racism, I’d shut my mouth and listen to her. If he were black, I’d defer to him on the subject of racism as well.

    It’s like you WANT the patriarchy to win.

    No, cupcake, I examine so-called “support” with a more skeptical eye than you seem to be capable of. Do you honestly think someone like Schwyzer helps feminism? When in fact he gives MRAs and other misogynists ammunition for their view of “male feminists” as no more than “players” telling women what they want to hear?

    If feminism means actively oppressing people then I don’t want to be considered one.

    I don’t have the ability to oppress men, sweetie. They have more social power than I do.

    Fortunately it doesn’t, except for this small subset of feminists who believe that only their voices are allowed to be heard.

    Yes, it’s rather depressing that most feminists are as willing as their putative “allies” are in the Democratic Party to sell out women’s rights just to gain “allies.” And that taking critical stances on certain issues makes one “radical.”

    I really hope for a radicalized Fourth Wave; there are some promising signs out there, but we’ll have to wait and see.

    I’ll shut up on this point now

    And yet you continue for another two paragraphs.

    because I know there’s no reason to argue once people start telling me I have a PhD and have no right to talk.

    So, by your own admission, you’re incapable of communicating with non-academics without being a condescending prat, eh?

    I am silenced just like you wanted

    How’s the air up there on that cross?

    and you can call people with Y chromosomes all the names you want.

    Again with the cissexism. Which, btw, was addressed in previous comments w/r/t the OP. I’m growing decreasingly impressed with the quality of education you’re receiving at whereever you study.

    And if you don’t like reading academics, then maybe you should stop hanging out on academic blogs.

    I don’t have a problem with reading academics. I have friends in academia. I spend a lot of time on Pharyngula. I do, however, have a problem with snot-assed academics who treat anyone they perceive as a non-academic with condescension.

  49. michaelswanson says

    @ tinfoil hattie

    Well, Michael Swanson, you may smugly call yourself a feminist, but your mansplainy definition of feminism is wrong.

    Then I welcome a correction. I honestly do.

  50. says

    I think that men should exercise caution when identifying as feminists, but that painting feminist men with too broad a brush misses out on individual stories and the reasons men come to feel solidarity with women and are repulsed by the battle against female power and the feminine.
    That said, it is absolutely, absolutely inappropriate for a cis-male to lecture women or try to recruit them into feminist thought. The road to paternalism and patriarchy are paved with good intentions.

  51. tinfoil hattie says

    BTW, Physio, awesome post. Can’t believe I was so rude as to not say that straightaway.

  52. Argh says

    Let’s all self-describe as perfect feminists while desperately claiming not to self-describe as feminists. GO!

    Oh wait, you all already did that.

  53. DrugMonkey says

    treat anyone they perceive as a non-academic with condescension.

    Ahhaahaha. You were the one who brought it up dumbass. Nobody knows who is and is not “academic” unless they self identify. You are being an asshole to nicoleandmaggie and they are returning fire. Fun, fun…but not the most productive approach in the world. I give you props for walking into a bunch of academic folks and bleating tired and inaccurate stereotypes but courage doesn’t make you right on this.

  54. Ms. Daisy Cutter says

    You are being an asshole to nicoleandmaggie and they are returning fire.

    No, dumbass, I am reacting to an immensely condescending post, and then to a whiny-ass titty baby response to being told that I didn’t appreciate their condescension. I don’t owe condescending shitheels any “politeness.”

    Are “they” a friend of yours? Because, really, “their” second comment is downright embarrassing for someone with a Ph.D. How the hell did they defend their dissertation? “OMG UR TRYIN 2 SILENCE MEEEE!!!!”?

  55. ladydreamgirl says

    Maybe this is a naive position (and I do honestly want opinions on this) but it seems to me that there are roughly 3 ways that various group tags get distributed: you are born with certain qualities or they are otherwise intrinsic (race, to a limited extent gender), you identify or otherwise self select membership in the group (some social clubs, arguably religion or political party affiliation), and those which are imposed upon group members either from the outside (the difference between activists and dissidents being that powerful opposition forces label dissidents) or as a matter of the group extending recognition to those it deems worthy (I unfortunately cannot call to mind a particularly illustrative example and the parentheticals are already getting away from me).

    If this is an accurate picture of how group identification works, isn’t the basic matter at stake which form of group identification is most appropriate for feminism?

  56. says

    Wow that guy screams “cluster b personality disorder” with his every action. He is going to get caught doing some shit again eventually. People like that do not change.

  57. says

    Then I welcome a correction. I honestly do.

    Feminism is the struggle to end patriarchal oppression of women.

    That is the one most often circulated around my corner of the net. I agree with it completely.

  58. says

    Dude should be deprogrammed by feminists before he attempts to speak for them or to them.

    His approach has a certain sociopathic logic to it- if he makes a big deal out of his remorse then regular people would feel like assholes grilling him about it. I am sure he never really encounters that in his lecturing. Someone that dishonest would just go for pity rather than show any genuine reflection about what was wrong with attempted murder/sexual coercion. He got caught and found a new way to dominate women for fun. The contours of such a psyche are foreign to most people, and the very last conclusion people draw is that someone has no morality or connection to other people, but it is pretty fucking apparent from what I have seen from this dude.

    For one thing he lets readers know how he made sure he won’t go to prison for attempted murder. He talked to attorneys and there is no legal risk in sharing the story, probably because no one can prove anything. It seems unlikely to me that he would be unable to turn himself in if he just told the story honestly, you know like a person who actually wants to atone for crimes against society. He talked to attorneys about it, to watch out for himself, instead of people who are really affected by it. There isn’t a trigger warning on anything either.

    Could you imagine being the woman he almost killed and perhaps stumbling upon that story? I almost hope she finds it just so she can write about what really fucking happened. By having a victim so traumatized he has made it so he essentially controls the story, all we ever hear is from him. Every piece of the story attempts to make you feel sorry for him. A calculated move like calling for someone to pick him up after turning on the gas was “a part of himself wanting to live”, that he “doesn’t even remember”. That is the fucking opposite of taking responsibility, it is a creative way to make the calculated actions of a sociopath seem like a pitiable mistake somehow. I am sure it was only included because whoever picked him up could have exposed his story for what it was.

    I fucking hate these people. I wish we could stick them all on an island together so they could fling all their stupid bullshit at each other instead of the rest of us.

  59. DrugMonkey says

    I don’t owe condescending shitheels any “politeness.”

    No one said you owed anyone anything. Just pointing out your paranoid oversensitivity has led you to strike out mindlessly at their category, that of “academic”, which is shared by many around these parts. Perhaps this was your intent, I don’t know, but if not it was rather a stupid thing to do,wot?

    Are “they” a friend of yours? Because, really, “their” second comment is downright embarrassing for someone with a Ph.D. How the hell did they defend their dissertation?

    I fail to see where any comment made in a discussion such as this would have any bearing on respective talent in a wide, wide swath of academic disciplines.

  60. Phledge says

    Comrade, an excellent takedown of an ugly situation.

    Nicoleandmaggie blah blah blah list of feminist types

    My, my…turns out I’m ALL THE FEMINISTS! We can all go home now, patriarchy over.

    Look, nobody’s beating anyone up for being educated or being feminist or being all for equality. You will, however, be smacked down for telling women how they should and should not assess the legitimacy of someone’s assertion that they are feminist, especially when that someone is a man. Women’s spaces and voices have been dominated for so long by men that maybe it’s hard for some of the dissenters here to imagine a body of thought that does not involve some element of dudely imposition. It also bears observing that the privileged will be the most likely to implement change on behalf of the oppressed, so it’s a positive development that more men want to engage in feminist discourse. But, just like a rich person who wants to elevate poor people can’t call hirself “also a poor person,” men cannot identify as the oppressed. CPP is one of the most reliably and vocally supportive-of-feminism people I know on the interwebs, but he readily acknowledges that he is an ally to feminists and not a feminist himself.

    Besides, if it’s more important for men to be able to call themselves feminists than it is for women to be able to tell them they can’t be, doesn’t that sound a lot like, hmm, sexism? The men who respect women’s right to grant or refuse the title of “feminist” are more feminist than the ones who say, “Fuck you, I’m a feminist and you can’t take that away from me, bitch.” Right? Right.

  61. says

    Nicoleandmaggie said: I want men saying, “Listen to her and treat her as well as you treat me” not “I’m alienated by the movement.”

    As a PhD who has been doing basic research in academia for more than three decades and a lifelong feminist who was literally stoned for being one (long story), I have to say that all the problems discussed in this thread are distilled in that sentence: men get to speak and define what’s acceptable — to other men; women are the receptacles of these decisions.

    As for the distinctions of feminism, they remind me of the discussions about how many angels can dance on the top of a pin.

  62. becca says

    Schwyzer seems like a bit of a wanker, sure. But for someone who actually wrote a “handy dandy guide for d00dly commenters”, the observation that somebody else has a look-at-me-feminist white knight complex is a bit rich.

    You just want cookies for being abusive to random people, the “feminism supporter but wouldn’t presume to determine if I’m worthy of the tittle” schtick is just an excuse. It’s a very silly waste of effort. Just be a dick because you like being a dick, it works out must better for everyone then if you exploit women, and feminism as a cause, in order to be a dick to people.

  63. Argh says

    Can somebody make a list of specifically which women decide whether various males are feminists or not? Is it every female in the world, and in that case, have all women voted on any males so far? Also, do transgendered women count, or are they too male to get a vote? How about people who self-identify as women, but are anatomically male? Do they get to vote, or do women first need to vote on whether or not such a person could be identified as a woman, since they he/she clearly wouldn’t have any right to self-identify as such (that would be misogynist!)?

    So many questions, and I suspect the answers will all be anxious gibberish.

  64. julian says

    Just be a dick because you like being a dick, it works out must better for everyone then if you exploit women, and feminism as a cause, in order to be a dick to people. -becca

    Comradde is a Yankees fan. As a New Yorker I can assure he needs no particular excuse to be ‘a dick.’ He would, likely, just as easily flip you off for insisting you have the right of way as he would blow a raspberry every time a Mets pitcher winds up for a pitch.

    That and that several women have piped in to thank him for the post seems to run counter to your assertion that he’s trying to exploit women and feminism as a cause simply to be obnoxious to someone he doesn’t like.

    You yourself admit that this guy looks like ‘a wanker’ and, as skeptifem, outlined he’s behavior is very questionable. He’s sincerity is questionable so there is enough reason to complain about his insistence that he is a ‘male feminist.’

    @Argh

    It would probably be more productive to be upfront with your complaints. Especially since most of those questions have already been addressed in this thread.

  65. Michael Swanson) says

    Feminism is the struggle to end patriarchal oppression of women.

    Something I not only support, but, in my own small way, actively engage in.

    And tinfoil hattie, thank you for the link. I’ll read it.

  66. Argh says

    @julian

    I was upfront about my criticism, as evidenced by the fact that you clearly understood enough of it to take offense. Now, wouldn’t it be better if YOU were upfront about YOUR criticism? Just saying that the questions have been answered, doesn’t make it so. They haven’t, and they won’t.

    Having said that, I’m sorry that your friend is taking some heat for writing stupid things in his blog.

  67. becca says

    “That and that several women have piped in to thank him for the post seems to run counter to your assertion that he’s trying to exploit women and feminism as a cause simply to be obnoxious to someone he doesn’t like.”
    It’s *his* blog, of course he’s got support here. This proves exactly as much as “well I asked my wife and she thought my womanspace article was fabulous and hilarious” did from the poor sap in Nature.

    Also, I went to Schwyzer’s website and he’s hardly insisting that he’s a “male feminist”. Identifying as an “expert on gender justice” is a different thing (though far more ironic). I can’t find any place Schwyzer actually refers to himself as a male feminist, and he did explicitly ask Clarisse Thorn what she thought about him teaching feminism* in his blog. It’s not like Schwyzer is any *less* aware of how fraught his position as an expert compared to CPP lecturing others on feminism. CPP thinks since he is nominally addressing men, for an audience of women, it’s ok. In contrast, Schwyzer is at least honest that he’s addressing women and talking as the authority, and has enough decency to encourage people to examine that (though not enough decency to resign his tenured position so that a woman can have the job).

    *For the record, I think Thorn got it right- she said something that I read as her being cool with men identifying as “feminist” but thinking that identifying as a “feminism expert” is inherently ethically dubious

    It’s cool to be “skeeved out” by Schwyzer- if CPP had just written about his personal feelings on Schwyzer, I wouldn’t have said anything.
    However it’s weird to wave your male privilege around by presenting yourself as prosecution lawyer, judge, and jury (i.e. an authority) on somebody else who is waving their male privilege around to get their jollys. Weird, and skeevy.

  68. julian says

    @Argh

    um… what?

    I don’t know Comradde PhysioProffe, and I did not take offense at what you wrote (anymore than I would with any post that missed half the conversation) I also didn’t say the questions were answered. Just that they were addressed upthread.

    If what you’re looking for are solid concrete lines of demarcation then I’m sorry. I don’t know if they exist here or not.

  69. julian says

    It’s *his* blog, of course he’s got support here.

    But he didn’t ask anyone. He pointed out an issue he has with someone and people cut from a similar cloth. He seems to have reason to be suspicious as you yourself agree.

    However it’s weird to wave your male privilege around by presenting yourself as prosecution lawyer, judge, and jury (i.e. an authority) on somebody else who is waving their male privilege around to get their jollys. Weird, and skeevy.

    I don’t know about skeevy but yeah, I think I’d agree. That”s what originally grated me about the post. But it’s something I needed to hear before I ended up falling into the same trap Mr. Schwyzer has, so I guess I’m a little more forgiving because of that.

  70. tinfoil hattie says

    I don’t think physio’s critique of Schwyzer’s calling himself a feminist is at all weird or that physio is waving his “privilege” around. Physio doesn’t consider himself a “male feminist,” after all.

    Where men can do the most good for feminism: calling out other dudes on their sexist b.s.

    That’s so radical! I’m practically a co-author of the S.C.U.M. manifesto!

  71. becca says

    “I don’t think physio’s critique of Schwyzer’s calling himself a feminist is at all weird or that physio is waving his “privilege” around. “
    Really? And you think that the exact post CPP wrote would be as likely to have been written by a woman? And that she wouldn’t have gotten called a stupid bitch or given death threats if she had done so?
    CPP is critiquing someone in a way men are allowed to do but women generally are not.

    Saying we need men to support feminism by smacking down the dudes for us is basically asking for idiots with white knight complexes to expend ridiculous amounts of energy one-upping each other to try to impress us (which is exactly the dynamic about this whole post that I find off-putting). Don’t you think every feminist figures out how to fight off idiot dudes whether or not CPP ever shows up?

    Hell, I’d argue that gratuitous venting of spleen at asshole dudes is the fun part of feminism. What I need help with is writing to congress critters about Plan B and practical shit like that. Ranting on teh internets in a way designed to be so repellent as to have very low chance of actually convincing Schwyzer to change? Not impressive. Particularly coming from someone who revels in other sorts of privilege.

  72. tinfoil hattie says

    I didn’t say we need men to do our fighting for us, but that was some great knee-jerk snark!

    It is what men can do to fight sexism. Instead of, y’know, remaining silent or joining in.

  73. Geo says

    I don’t think that my preference: “Pro-Feminist” vs. “Feminist” vs. other such labels matters that much.

    I try through A Men’s Project – to share URL’s of websites for Men on Men’s Issues.

    I support men who support women and feminism. It’s great to donate money and otherwise help feminist groups. It seems most important to me for Men to focus significant efforts upon working with other Men and Boys. It seems rather backward to me for Men to try to focus primarily upon working with Women. Often such men seem to end up seeking Positive Strokes from these Women, rather than doing serious work on the issues.

    It seems particularly important for men to look at the (2010) CDC’s National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey – http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/pdf/NISVS_Report2010-a.pdf and related sites.

    Men’s Violence Against Women’s issues are important. Also important are issues related to Male Victimization which are addressed in the Survey above. The latter issues should Not detract from Male Violence against both Women/Girls and Men/Boys.

    It really would be nice if some of us men – whether “feminist” or “pro-feminist” would network with and support each other and help create more dialog amongst ourselves.

    It’s sad to me how much energy we men spend in putting each other down and in trying to get the support of women (which can be important also of course) while ignoring each other or getting into pissing matches with each other.

    The Penn State scandal and the CDC Survey have both created a lot of excellent opportunities for us as men. Thanks! I’d welcome (non-abusive, positive) email at: “info” AT the website I mentioned above.

  74. Ing: I SPEAK FOR THE HIVEMIND GROUPTHINK says

    A male feminist is just a feminist who is male. Putting the gender lable on it seems odd.

  75. madscientist says

    “… teaching feminsm to classrooms filled with young women is like a child molester making amends for his child-molesting past by teaching classrooms filled with little children how to protect their bodily integrity.”

    That’s funny – that’s exactly the catholic church’s scheme for addressing the child rape in its churches.

  76. marthur says

    First of all: I’m a man who self-identifies as feminist. I’m still developing my position on this issue, but so far I think this:

    I agree with Geo. I think that we should judge men (including fuckheads like Schwyzer) on their actions. I think lecturing women on feminism is wack, to say nothing of having sex with your students and attempting to murder your ex. I’m sure books could be written about the myriad problems there and clearly Schwyzer is a paternalistic piece of shit.

    But I don’t think that the act of a man labeling himself feminist is anti-feminist. I think it is an act that should be undertaken with great caution and checking of privilege. Such action would necessitate CONSTANT self-scrutiny and discussion with other feminists. It’s not something that should be done lightly and it remains the height of folly to assume that such a label magically exempts men from male privilege.

    To me, my self-identification is a statement of my commitment to women’s issues and is an indicator to others on what ideology I ascribe to. Isn’t feminism just that-an ideology? Or perhaps a movement with an ideology behind it? I don’t think it’s possible to claim that only some people can identify with a certain ideology.

    Of course, we aren’t just talking about feminism as an ideology. We’re talking about a movement and male involvement in feminist spaces, etc. I am all for restricting certain spaces to women-identified people if need be. And I agree that men cannot fully understand the lived-experiences of women and the oppression therein. But I don’t think it’s a good thing for women to say: “You can support feminism and you can work against sexism and violence against women- but you can’t be a feminist.”

    I know that there are men who try to invade feminist spaces and speak over women, all while claiming to be feminist and hiding behind their intentions. But I don’t think that we should generalize such behavior to all men who self-identify as feminist. Are all men subject to male privilege? Yes. Does that mean they can never be feminist or “struggle to end patriarchal oppression of women”? No.

  77. says

    I knew Hugo Schwyzer was an asshole – but I didn’t know he was this big of an asshole!

    Instead of putting himself forward as a paragon of enlightened feminist masculinity, he needs to go somewhere and do quiet penance (emphasis on the QUIET part)!

  78. lysistrata says

    Well this was enlightening. Not in a good way, but still enlightening. I thought the women who believed that no men can be feminists were few and far between.

    I’m not sure how we’re supposed to work against the kyriarchy when a good number of us seem so dedicated to infighting over personal issues. I’m a dark-skinned half-breed woman who has been the victim of numerous sexual assaults starting at an early age, and I don’t have a problem with an obviously flawed human as Hugo identifying as feminist.

    At some point we have to treat other like humans and stop being so nasty to each other and living with giant chips on our shoulders. That goes for everyone.

  79. says

    Hugo Schwyzer isn’t a “flawed human being”.

    He’s a sociopath and an unindicted domestic violence offender.

    His mind doesn’t work like yours or mine – a guy who would curry favor from feminists with a self serving narrative of his attempt to murder a woman (and how male, White and class privilege intersected to keep him out of jail for that crime), delivered just after the statute of limitations had expired, is a very warped individual.

    Guys like him use the sympathy of neurotypicals as a weapon against us, a tool to manipulate and get over.

    He’s not sorry for that crime, or any other bad deed he’s ever done – his mind can’t even form that emotion the way you and I can.

  80. thebewilderness says

    You can call yourself a feminist if you like, so long as you don’t expect anyone to believe you.
    Hugo is an admitted sexual predator, attempted murderer, and narcissist. He targets women.
    Always has, still does. That makes him a lot of things, but a feminist is not one of them.
    We either walk our talk or we are posturing phoneys. In his case a posturing phoney for fun and profit.

  81. says

    As my name should make clear, I am a man. I don’t claim the title of “feminist”. And I did write something positive about Hugo’s decision to resign from the Good Men Project, which I thought (and think) an absurdly presumptuous title for any web log.

    I want to mention one thing Comrade PhysioProf did on Feministe, in light of his argument against men claiming the title of “feminist”. When he commented, on the original article by Clarisse, he did not indicate that his concern for Hugo’s woman students, past and present, comes out of a male perspective.

    In this discussion, a great many people have had a lot to say about survivors of various forms of violence. In one post on this thread, this has extended to speculating about what the actual victim of Hugo’s attempted murder/suicide might say. In a discussion such as this, we will hear a great deal from people with different stories. It bothers me that as I read these comments, I often cannot tell from the writing whether their perspectives come from lived experience or not.

    I respect the argument that the word “feminist” belongs to women and that men cannot award it to ourselves. From that same perspective, I suggest that the lived experience of survivors belongs to survivors, and those who speak to questions of survival and ethics have some responsibility to identify where our perspectives come from.

    (For the record, I have survived some violent incidents, including one a bit like the one Hugo relates, in which a person who shortly afterward attempted suicide behaved very irresponsibly and in a way that seriously endangered my life and several other people’s.)

  82. tinfoil hattie says

    “I suggest that the lived experience of survivors belongs to survivors, and those who speak to questions of survival and ethics have some responsibility to identify where our perspectives come from.”

    No. On a feminist blog, especially, women are not required to give their “victim” bonafides to the reading audience.

    Besides, most women have been subjected to assault, rape, harassment, abuse, and/or trauma at the hands of men.

    So kindly stop dictating how women should behave. Mansplaining jackass.

  83. Claire K. says

    About the idea that women should determine whether men get to call themselves feminists or not: obviously women disagree on this, but I like CPP’s position because it errs on the side of respecting women. That is, the whole symbolic point of asking male supporters of the feminist movement to call themselves “pro-feminist” or “feminist ally” rather than “male feminist” or simply “feminist” is to draw a distinction between men who participate in feminist work (something men are certainly welcome –and maybe even have a moral duty– to do), and the people who really should be at the center of the feminist movement and directing its progress: women. The idea that men *should* call themselves feminists because some women want them to still depends on women being the leaders of the movement, something the difference between “feminist” and “feminist ally” handily symbolizes. At least, the symbolism of the terms is really intuitive for me. YMMV, but I think it is at least useful as a way to shut down men who try to speak over women using the old “But I’m a feminist too!” justification.

  84. BBBShrewHarpy says

    I think John Spragge raised a good point, though. Was it a bit patriarchal and infantilizing of CPP to express concern for Hugo’s female students?

  85. says

    Based on many references in his own writing, Hugo tends to have an unhealthily oversexualized view of his students. He not only manifests this towards young women, but also to other categories of students, like the 11 year old boys he took care of in a summer camp.

    I’d be concerned about Schwyzer being allowed to teach ANYBODY, since he seems to have a pathological obsession with projecting his sexual urges on the people he teaches.

    Actually, I think it might be a good idea to start an email campaign to pressure Pasadena College to revoke his tenure and fire him – he has no business in any classroom, from pre K to grad school, teaching students of any age or gender.

  86. Michael Biggs says

    When I first started looking at “gender” blogs (radical feminism and men’s rights) I was horrified at the hostility and hatred, and the certainty of their ideological positions. They reminded me of race hatred sites, with so many people splitting parts of our species into “the other”.

    Since then I’ve found many comments in the more moderate feminist sites that are kind and sensible (less so in the men’s sites, so far). But when I see abuse, references to “bitches”, “patriarchy”, “sluts”, “mansplaining”, I know I have stumbled into the land of haters who are waging some internalised unwinnable war, and becoming nasty in the process. And when I see people anxiously seeking approval from these judgemental haters (such as poor Michael Swanson, above) I feel sad that they’ve been bullied around by such uninhibited agression.

    And as for all these people who are so keen to attack this “Hugo” character – its hard to imagine that he can deserve such personal attacks, and I think it reflects badly on those who are so vicious. Is this what you want the web to be? Is this the kind of person you want to be?

  87. julia says

    Good article.
    I call men who are allies pro-feminist.

    My one critique?
    ‘M-fucker’.
    Fuck the fathers, not the mothers.
    I know this word has a lot of zing, and sometimes I catch myself saying it, but the root goes straight
    to male supremacy.
    And rape.

  88. Rich says

    @kraut – Women are not attracted to dicks per se. Except in a literal sense. They are attracted to confidence and power, though. And power tends to corrupt. So there is probably a a correlation between what women are attracted to and being a dick.

  89. says

    @ Rich – Unfortunately, I suspect that many women confuse “confidence” with “arrogance”. Also, sociopaths do a very good job of presenting themselves in a way that many people, men and women alike, mistake for confidence.

  90. says

    I read a number of the posts you made at Feministe accusing Hugo Schwyzer of sexually predatory behaviour. As I have already said, your not making your own perspective clear left me uneasy. In the same thread, at least one racialized woman whom Hugo has behaved disrespectfully toward spoke up. In the thousand plus posts denouncing Hugo’s character right down to his family dinner parties, I did not read any account of what he did or said to racialized women beyond what he posted on his own blog. So it seems to me that for all of the emphasis properly placed on centering survivors of abuse or oppression, I saw few if any comment writers ask bfp what the group could do to affirm and support her. Perhaps you can link to a comment I missed.

    Most recently, I observe you posted a specific accusation to Hugo’s web log. You accused him of misrepresenting his university rank in his publicity materials. So as David Koppel used to say when he interviewed people for Nightline, help me out here. Who exactly did you intend to speak for when you accused Hugo of sexually predatory behaviour, and who did you intend to speak for when you accused him of misrepresenting his academic rank? Why did you use an accusation of violating the academic heirarchy, in other words, compromising the interests of one of the most powerful and oppressive (based on what the people left under the thumb of Sally Mae have to say about them) groups in contemporary society? Racialized women present in the discussion you participated in accused Hugo of doing them harm. Have you ever addressed that harm, to Hugo or generally? If not, can you tell me why?

  91. Lee says

    “A male feminist is just a feminist who is male. Putting the gender label on it seems odd.”

    Really? But it’s FEMINism.

    If egalitarianism is the goal, then shouldn’t one identify as such? The disparaging remarks made toward male sympathizers & self-proclaimed feminists here is reminiscent of the treatment women get on MRA sites when they’re trying to better understand the plight of the average joe. So tragic. I must wonder if male feminists are treated with such disdain and suspicion because they’re supportive of a movement that isn’t in their self interest. Males (particularly white males) are the enemy, agents of the “patriarchy” or the latest buzzword concocted by truly privileged academics, “kyriarchy”. Many guys believe without question that they are privileged, because some men are..those of the oligarchy. After all, who wants to consider the ways they are NOT privileged, and which of these so-called privileges are actually responsibilities. The “Nice Guys™” are particularly prone to feminist doctrine as they’ve been trained from childhood to defer to women & sacrifice their own needs in order to get positive reinforcement & love.

    Any guy considering involvement with the feminist “movement” should know what they’re in for: http://www.lawsonry.com/891-look-kitten-i-am-too-a-feminist-fauxminism-and-men/ Personally, I have enough to worry about without concerning myself with arbitrary guidelines, seems like a one-way ticket to Neuroses Land. It’s as if they’re the arbiters of humanity, i.e. you must be a feminist to be a decent person. Reminds me of sociology texts on how once a movement is started it will change objectives rather than disassemble…i.e. The March of Dimes after Salk discovered a vaccine for Polio. Most of the old guard male feminists like Dr. Warren Farrell have distanced from it for a reason.

    I’ll leave it at that. If I had just written ONE sentence, it would still be “mansplaining”. The new identity politics of division will continue unabated. Business as usual.

  92. colinday says

    @ John Spragge
    #102

    Who exactly did you intend to speak for when you accused Hugo of sexually predatory behaviour, and who did you intend to speak for when you accused him of misrepresenting his academic rank?

    Why does CPP have to speak “for” anyone?

  93. James says

    I won’t ever call myself feminist. The moment I give a shit about someone other than a woman ONE PERCENT of my day, I’m a disgusting MRA. So fuck it, I’m not an MRA or a feminist. I care about what I care about. I understand my limits and I don’t undersell myself.

    I just think it would be healthy to ask people “What do you believe.” Instead of “What do you call yourself.”

  94. I Can Read for Myself says

    Christ, what a load of bullshit. Did you even read any stuff he’s written. Schwyzer has a doctorate in history with a minor in women’s studies. Its a field that he’s well versed in and, according to his students, very good at teaching. They line up to take his courses. Read his account of his Suicide attempt. Read all of it. Don’t cherry pick it. The guy is not Charles Manson. Read his account of the students he dated. Not too smart admittedly, but he acknowledges that and has come clean with his students and the collage facilty.

    I’m not that crazy about the guy either, but he is none of the stuff you throw out there as fact. Most of what you write is half truths at best.

    And you know the world isn’t exactly teaming with people that support Feminism. Its not like yall can’t use the support wherever you find it. Do your homework and stop listening to those fuckups at Feministe.

  95. Cara says

    John Spragge, what the hell are you on about?

    You’ve blathered on about Hugo’s “rank” on several blogs now and it still makes no sense. And what does it have to do with Hugo being a narcissistic (though also racist) douche, which is the topic being discussed?

  96. Pat says

    Hi – I’ve noticed a number of men commenting that they are male feminists or somehow identify with feminist ideology. I know this sounds ignorant, but I had no idea there were so many men interested in feminism. I just wanted to say I think it’s great. I interact with a lot of men who are less enlightened about women’s issues. I’m really impressed and happy to see that there are men out there who are interested in feminism. There might be women out there who discredit you as a feminist because you are male, but I’m certainly not one of them! :) Peace.

  97. Pat says

    Edit: I meant: “there may be PEOPLE who discredit you as a feminist because you are male…” sorry. i type faster than i think sometimes.

  98. says

    Why ask me that question, Cara? Why not ask Comradde Physioproffe why he has repeatedly insisted that Hugo must not call himself a professor when his college web site gives his actual “academic rank” as a lowly “instructor”? I don’t know what that has to do with feminism. I’d like to know what Comeradde Physioproffe thinks it has to do with feminism, or why he brings it up at all.

  99. brandy_chai says

    “But understand this: the feminist blogosphere isn’t here to encourage and enable your transformation. The feminist blogosphere is not here to dialogue with you as you process through your issues and your past. You are not welcome in the feminist blogosphere now, and likely never will be again. The next right thing for you to do is delete your blog and, to the best of your ability, your archives online. You’ve forfeited your right to be part of this community.”

    Not about about Hugo Schwyzer. Rather, it is about Kyle Pane… by Hugo Schwyzer.

    http://www.hugoschwyzer.net/2009/03/19/an-open-letter-to-kyle-payne/

  100. marc200 says

    Hugo Schwyzer is a self-righteous, domineering prick of a familiar type. He wants to be the center of attention in a very obvious way, and to gain moral authority to dictate behavior to others. The issue is not being feminist in a personal / private life sense, but the particular public leadership/mentor role he wants to take (and his massive ego will always drive him to take). He’s not a safe guy for young men/women to have as a mentor. He’s basically a dry drunk — the same egotism that led him to dominate and exploit women when he was younger is leading him to take a domineering role with young women now under the rubric of ‘feminism’.

  101. Kittenflowers says

    I agree with the blog, guy’s a creep, and self described ‘male feminists’ tend to be sycophants.. But the holier than thou semantic quibbling is shit. Somebody offers clearly defined terminology, mapping out different schools of thought, you turn it down and mock them. They point out logical flaws in your reasoning, you ignore it.

    The more terms we have, the clearer we can think about topics.

    Your language is the mapping for your thoughts. Cutting it apart, culling entire branches of thought opened up by our terms is like calling for the newspeak dictionary to be written.

    You don’t like liberal feminists? You say it’s not a real school of thinking? That’s like a man saying that he doesn’t like feminism. Saying it’s not a real thing. You are defining the terms of a movement you aren’t a part of, you piece of trash.

    You’re just another idiot supremest on the warpath. I can only hope history culls your insanity.

  102. azima says

    Just wanted to add my voice to comment #98 (Julia). I don’t know enough about the person in question to comment (though I suspect I’d agree with you). I also don’t think I agree with men calling themselves feminists. However, I’m opposed to language that is akin to verbal sexual assault such as M***F*** and F*** Y**.

  103. dingydust says

    i know i am a bit late on this but since he is hitting the news today—&, w/ hope, he is hitting it hard—i’d like to point out that all of his homicide & suicide attempts are just manipulation. he is a creep, okay, but an educated one—& it doesnt take a whole lot of research to know that the gas required for an oven suicide [or, in this case, homicide] was removed decades ago. virtually every suicidal person, especially all educated ones, know this. there would be way way more suicides were this not true.

    everything this guy does is creepy, dramatic, self-aggrandizing & fulla nonsense. i think his fall is gonna come swiftly & hopefully will be e’erlasting. cos there’s gotta be some big thing beneath his bottle o’, again non-lethal klonopin—& he & the hypocrisy in which he is soaking are exhausting. perhaps, finally, he will drown in it.

  104. Holly says

    I totally disagree that men cannot be feminists. Feminism is an ideology, not a gender-exclusive club. But this guy is a self-aggrandizing douchebag who goes out of his way to speak over top of women on a subject that he has no personal experience with.

  105. Wowed says

    There’s a lot of vitriol on this site. I also fail to understand why there’s so much name calling – people are said to “baw” and be “babies”. We’re all adults here, aren’t we?

    I understand that women are conditioned to be ‘nice’ more so than men in society, and that some wish to rebel against this. I don’t see why we should take that to mean we should be uncivil though. I think we all benefit from opebibg our ears a little, and acting belligerent is ridiculous and the real “babyish” behaviour.

    As for feminism having one meaning – it’s a word. Who cares about the precise definition. You all hold different concepts and are fighting for different though similar ideas. Can we get past that already?

  106. Liz says

    It turns out you were 1000% right on the money. Looks like he continued to have sex with his students as recently as this year and he even calls himself a manipulative fraud on his Twitter account. Maybe, he is finally telling the truth about something.

  107. Will says

    Men can BE feminists, but any man who advertises himself as one or bases his entire personality on being a feminists is 100% doing it just to get into gullible liberal girls’ pants. And they do it because it works.

  108. JailRollerHaven says

    but women are not children. they make their own decisions, and when they get involved in sexual relationships, are not automatically being taken advantage of. why is he automatically established as predatory for merely being a dirtbag. is he raping women? or being sleazy?

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Here’s a perfect example of a topsy-turvy phenomenon: the ubiquitous blog ‘Nice Guys of OKC’ (since removed from the web) takes pictures of the dating profiles of men who consider themselves ‘nice guys’ and then posts quotes from elsewhere in their profiles which reveal them to have opinions incompatible with our age. Humiliating men who are already struggling at life for their failed attempts to bargain for sex with their female friends seems rather unpleasant, but then so do they; opinions are divided. What’s amazing to me is that the post up at Jezebel praising the anonymous humiliatrice, with hundreds of approving comments, is written by Hugo Schwyzer, a man who remains inexplicably entitled to comment on matters of morality despite having confessed to attempting to gas an ex-girlfriend to death while she lay unconscious on his kitchen floor [...]

  2. […] the incredibly controversial figure, Hugo Schwzer, and giving him a platform. This is a man who has blogged about nearly killing an ex-girlfriend at the height of a drug addiction, having sexual relationships with his students, capitalised on […]

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