Moving Forward: An Update

An update on where things stand.

I am still very much in the process of listening to many voices about how to respond to the multi-faceted controversy about my past.  Over the past few weeks, issues around my pre-sobriety past as well as my present writing have attracted intense attention and sparked considerable debate.  I have not been able to keep up with the sheer volume of emails, much less follow all of the blog commentary about me, my role in feminism, my personal history, and my work.  But I’ve followed enough to have a good sense of what at least the main criticisms are.

The Issues

There are three main issues: my past, my writing, and my positioning in the feminist movement. In turn, those issues raise three main questions:

1. Should my pre-sobriety history disqualify me from teaching the courses I teach, from speaking about the topics I speak about, and from writing where I write?  Do I need to make further amends or participate more extensively in restorative justice?  My take has always been that the work I do is part and parcel of that amends. But some detect self-aggrandizement rather than atonement.  What’s the way forward?

2.  Are there problems with my writing today?  I’ve got eight years worth of blog archives and thousands of posts on this site; I’ve also written extensively elsewhere.  I’ve written things I regret, and I’ve changed my position on some issues (like pornography, for example) in recent years.    Yes, I am regularly quoted out of context.  But even allowing for the universal but lamentable habit of “cherry-picking”, are there still elements of my work that are deeply problematic?

3.  Does my modest fame/notoriety block or create opportunities for others?  Do the speaking gigs and interviews I get mean that I’m taking what wasn’t mine to take?  Should I  give up teaching women’s history, working in positions of leadership in organizations that focus on women’s rights — not just because of my particular past, but because it’s fundamentally wrong for a man to hold these roles?

I don’t have final answers for myself to any of these questions.  I know many people who do have certainty about what I should do. I hear from them daily. Some want me to step down; some want me to step back up and stay where I am.  I’m on the receiving end of a lot of praise and vitriol.  I’m trying my best to process what I’m hearing, remembering the truth that one is never as bad as one’s detractors suggest, nor as good as one’s admirers insist.   But it’s difficult work, and it will take more time.

Moving Forward 

The fact that I haven’t reached clarity yet about what my future holds doesn’t mean I can’t share certain decisions I’ve made about myself, my work, and my public presence.

As I wrote yesterday, Healthy is the New Skinny/Perfectly Unperfected and I have parted ways.  My presence threatened to become a dangerous distraction to the good work that HNS and PUP are doing.  Resigning was the only viable course of action.

I’ve also resigned from my role as faculty adviser to the Pasadena City College Feminist Club for much the same reason.

As for my writing and speaking, I will for now continue to do both.  The editors at Jezebel, who are aware of this controversy, have asked me to continue to write for the site.  I am pleased to do so.  I will continue to explore writing opportunities outside of explicitly feminist spaces, recognizing that my presence in those spaces is controversial, divisive, and unhelpful.  I will continue to explore speaking opportunities as well, but will be adapting my lectures so that I am focusing primarily on issues around men and masculinity.

I teach a variety of gender-themed courses at Pasadena City College.  The one women’s studies’ course we have at PCC in the Social Sciences Division is History 25B, Women in American Society.  I’ve taught it every semester for nearly two decades.   The syllabus does include the history of feminism.  PCC plans its offering nine months in advance; I’m already booked to teach 25B this spring semester and in the coming autumn term.  But I will be talking with my colleagues on campus and elsewhere about asking for a change in assignment for spring 2013, the earliest term for which a shift can be made.  I haven’t made a final decision yet, but as of now, am leaning towards not returning to women’s history.

I will continue to teach my rotating courses in the Humanities department, including my “Men and Masculinity”course.  But those courses do not include feminist theory or feminist history on their syllabi.

Continuing the Conversation

A conversation about some of these issues began in a moderated space last week.  The Feminism and Religion blog reprinted my “response post” from earlier this month, and invited comments.  A dialogue has begun there, and will continue.

I will continue to listen.  I’m receiving an average of 50-60 emails a day, equally split between detractors and supporters.  I’m trying to read at least some of the web commentary.  The difficult part is separating what is legitimate criticism (and there is legitimate criticism) from unfair personal attacks.  By the same token, I’m trying to separate what is thoughtful and wise encouragement from what is unhelpful, ego-aggrandizing flattery. Given the tremendous volume and speed of all of this input, that’s difficult work and will take a considerable amount of time.   The end result, however, is likely to be my departure from explicitly feminist spaces.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

257 thoughts on “Moving Forward: An Update

  1. “All the world’s a stage,
    And all the men and women merely players:
    They have their exits and their entrances;
    And one man in his time plays many parts,
    His acts being seven ages. ”

    I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to have your life played out on stage. It was your choice, but it has nonetheless been tremendously heartbreaking in its denouement, which unfolds slowly. No effusive praise here, nor vitriol…just support for a herculean endeavor that I know I personally could not have undertaken with the grace you have. My very best to you.

  2. holy shit. i wish there was a reality show for you and your life so i could keep up. Pasadena City College is where i became a feminist. i think you might have been around 5 or 6 years old. i’d already been to bible college, worked as missionary, attended some classes and Fuller and gone through therapy to unwind the tentacles of childhood sexual abuse and domestic violence. it was at PCC that i found a place to start over reworking my identity. and it was the class Women in American History (which i think has evolved into what you’ve been teaching) that helped me understand the roots of how women’s lives have evolved in our country.

    i follow you and your career with interest. born jewish, around for the beginning of women’s march’s in the 60′s, 20 years an evangelical christian, returned to judaism, and an on going journey of life as a woman in america.

    my friend, i’ve not always agreed with your point of view but have always valued your thoughtful delivery. i’ve learned over the years that many people who throw stones live in glass houses in their hearts and minds. it’s easy to sit in judgement of another person who puts himself out for everyone to see and monitor.

    nelle morton, a feminist theologian (i discovered her while at PCC) wrote a book called “The Journey is Home”. while taken out of context, it’s tattooed on the inside of my left arm from crook to wrist. as a 9/11 survivor, it took me 8 years to come to terms with this life. some people find a home here, and some of us it’s the journey that we must call home. finally i tattooed it 9/10/2011 at midnight.

    your life, your journey, your past and your present is something that i celebrate. i hope that you can find “home” in this difficult time of journey.

    Y’hi ratzon milfanekha A-donai E-loheinu ve-lohei avoteinu she-tolikhenu l’shalom v’tatz’idenu l’shalom v’tadrikhenu l’shalom, v’tagi’enu limhoz heftzenu l’hayim ul-simha ul-shalom. V’tatzilenu mi-kaf kol oyev v’orev v’listim v’hayot ra’ot ba-derekh, u-mi-kol minei pur’aniyot ha-mitrag’shot la-vo la-olam. V’tishlah b’rakha b’khol ma’a’se yadeinu v’tit’nenu l’hen ul-hesed ul-rahamim b’einekha uv-einei khol ro’einu. V’tishma kol tahanuneinu ki E-l sho’me’a t’fila v’tahanun ata. Barukh ata A-donai sho’me’a t’fila.

    May it be Your will, LORD, our God and the God of our ancestors, that You lead us toward peace, guide our footsteps toward peace, and make us reach our desired destination for life, gladness, and peace. May You rescue us from the hand of every foe, ambush along the way, and from all manner of punishments that assemble to come to earth. May You send blessing in our handiwork, and grant us grace, kindness, and mercy in Your eyes and in the eyes of all who see us. May You hear the sound of our humble request because You are God Who hears prayer requests. Blessed are You, Adonai, Who hears prayer.

    miller canning

  3. “The end result, however, is likely to be my departure from explicitly feminist spaces.”

    This sounds like a really good idea. Do you realize that your “three issues” narrative completely elides the women to whom your continuing pattern of actions does harm?

    • It’s the *opposite* of a really ‘good idea’–it is tragic and wrong on every level.

      First of all—and this should be obvious—only YOU can make yourself this uncomfortable—only YOU can silence you. Do you understand?
      Mr. Schwyzer can’t possibly have that much power —honestly.
      If you’re feeling ‘harmed’ by someone *writing* than you need to take a deep, long look within.

      • “only YOU can make yourself this uncomfortable—only YOU can silence you.”

        The rationale of an abuser. Or the enabler of an abuser.

      • H, no thats not true, and I doubt Hugo would agree with you either.

        There are legitimate issues that need to be negotiated when people from priveleged groups take roles of leadership in unpriveleged liberation communities.

        The not so entirely clear question is what role this places men who seek to be allies in relation to womens liberation. Clearly we cant just vanish. Not possible or desirable. Likewise correcting abusive behavior is beyond obvious. Men must stop raping and beating women at the very minimum. However in relation to the movement, its a bit more complex. Silence would be the worst option, because I believe the only way men will stop beating and abusing and subjigating women will be for good men to loudly DEMAND that our sisters be protected and spared this terror, and if neccesary by force against the rapists and bashers. At the same time its important to realise that these sorts of things are part of a broader system of systematic control over women rooted in a history of silecing womens voices. Its not enough to simply demand and try an enact an end to gendered violence, if our actions continue the silencing of women. Women must be allowed to be the agents of their OWN liberation. We can not continue to presume to lead them anymore, thats patriachy. We have to stand aside and let women lead women.

        Which is to say, where does this leave men in the equasion? My suggestion is that feminism exists in a constellation of interecting issues around kyriachy and privelege, much of which I would argue is powered by a lack of theorization around identity and power. Men are in a perfect position to theorize *men* because we have an experiental advantage of actually being men. Being theorized in ones own absence is deeply problematic. But this must include a history of our relationship to women which has been explored in far greater detail by women thinkers and activists. If we ignore those voices we end up with the sort of horrible claptrap that the MRA’s spout about how men are being opressed and blah blah blah, and that helps nobody. Opression is a historically situated phenomena born from the interaction of class and caste in society. Thus it is impossible to fully theorize an epistimology of oppression without the voices of women being given privelege. Within this framework then we can start clarifying the roles of men in this struggle. Men need to tell women about the experience of being men. Thats our story to tell. But we also need to listen to women about the experience of being women. Its from THIS vantage that we can start to build a full analysis of the architecture of gender and patriachy.

        And we all stand to become better people in a better community by this, even if ultimately it means us men have to give up some of our ill-gotten privelege. Of course if you truly care and want good things for the women in your world, this sacrifice ought be obvious and essential.

  4. I found your blog quite recently through another person on Facebook and have been struck by the honesty of your writing. I read the response post and believe that being human is what you have been. This movement-feminism, is about change. It’s about acceptance. It’s about making new human connections. I am very confused about how we are supposed to achieve these things if we vilify people who are committed to forward these objectives. It is irrational and naive to think that everyone who comes to this movement are pure and without past indiscretions. I believe that we have to learn to trust and to accept and especially to forgive people. We also have to understand that we are here to plant the trees; future generations will be the ones who get to enjoy the shade. If we continue to take it(the movement) personally, we will never reach any of our objectives.
    You are in the delicate place where the sins of the past war with the good deeds of the present-a reckoning I suppose. I think if we are fortunate we come to this place. It shows we have truly made a change and others are noticing.
    I applaud your courage and honesty. I believe in the work you do and that the voice you bring is an important one. Keep fighting the good fight.

    • WELL SAID!

      BLESS YOU.

      IF ONLY THERE WERE MORE LIKE YOU IN THIS WORLD!

      “No woman is required to build the world by destroying herself.” ~Rabbi Sofer

  5. I think your voice is an important to keep here and on other sites….it takes a lot of courage to admit what you did….I don’t know too many men who would even admit what they did in the past the way you did…I am fascinated by your willingness to hear people out, to weigh it, and to constantly evolve….We need to have this dialogue between men and women, however difficult it may be….I find your writing to be very healing and refreshing and very brave!

    Please keep writing, Hugo….My ex had many of the same issues you struggled with in the past, but we could never talk like this…I knew him for 7 years and I thought we were close, but I only realize now how much was left unsaid….I don’t think he was ever as brutally honest as you have been here….and I think that is a crucial difference…I think only now, after 2 decades after I deleted him from my life, am I starting to understand what was going through his head, but I need other men to explain that to me…your insights are so important and you should not be shushed….We need to form more bridges no matter how painful our past histories….

  6. Amazingly well-written entry above (and I’m not engaging in ego-aggrandizing flattery, I promise :) ). I disagree with the idea that anyone can or can’t teach any social theory based on gender (or race, or religion)–I believe that anyone who evaluates you doing so in its context could only come to that conclusion based on irrational prejudice and/or an unsupportable level of conspiracy paranoia. I respect your attempt at unbiased self-evaluation here more than I am properly expressing here.

    • What exactly is irrational about being prejudiced against an admitted rapist, abuser, and attempted murderer? Does that not maybe indicate to you that his attitudes about gender and behavior might be a little screwed up and maybe, just maybe, he shouldn’t be given a platform to spew them all over impressionable young minds?

      • I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being skeptical towards Hugo. It’s correct to challenge him about his past, whether he’s truly changed, and the arguments he presents in his writing. But driving him away from the discussion sets a frightening precedent, and you can’t confront viewpoints you disagree with if the person expressing them doesn’t have the courage or the forum with which to raise them.

  7. The last month has been turbulent, hasn’t it? If you were one of my local recovery buddies, I’d suggest considering a retreat. A week of silence and meditation can bring a lot of clarity and perspective.

    As for leaving feminist spaces, as a feminist, I see that as our loss. At the risk of offending, I’d like to compare you to trashy young adult novels. Your writing serves as a window into the much-maligned world of feminism.

    Just as YA books with lurid covers help some people become readers for life, feminist men can serve as an introduction to further exploration of feminism. The fact that some people don’t go further, doesn’t mean that either YA lit or male “pop science” feminist writing are useless. Less than 100% success rate does not mean that the effort is wasted, particularly in education.

    Either way, thank you for your contribution so far. I’ve enjoyed it and feel enriched by it.

  8. I’ve just sort of watched this whole sordid drama unfold from the rafters, and it’s left me firmly convinced that feminism has plenty of junior intellects still left in it. I find this evidenced far more prominently from your opposition. I know no other ideology that holds rhetoric to this standard of excruciating exactitude, on pain of exile from any and all adult discourse.

    “Just shut up and go away” is playground thinking. Don’t waste your time in a playground.

    • UM, THAT WAS UH, BRILLIANT. Hoping you go on their page –the hate page on Facebook; you know the one designed to tear someone down rather than move the cause forward?
      Anyway—please go share your wisdom there too—not for nothin’

      “One of the things about equality is not just that you be treated equally to a man, but that you treat yourself equally to the way you treat a man.” ~Marlo Thomas

      • A hate page on Facebook is one that encourages people to throw bricks at sluts. Or encourages young men to rape their girlfriends. A page saying that women disagree with a white man with an abusive past speaking for them is not a hate group. And if you think it is, I think that says something very important about the way you view the world that is worth examining.

        • It’s also traditionally been a page where groups of girls band together and say the most vicious, character assassinating things they can say about a classmate, usually behind names like “Doodles” and “Miss O” and “Anonymous.” In fact, it’s well documented adolescent female pack-attack behaviour.

          In this case, though a hate page is one that calls a man a rapist and a murderer when he is neither of those things and where there is no proof, and never has been proof, that he is either of those things.

          But again, it’s almost invariably something adolescent teenage girls indulge in, not adults.

          • Great, I get it, you like denigrating people and calling yourself superior when you yourself engage in catty, name-calling Twitter rants with us adolescent girls. But Hugo classifies HIMSELF as a rapist in “The Accidental Rapist”, and I have only seen people call him an “attempted murderer”, which he has also called himself.

    • It takes a considerable contortion of the intellect to think a standard which excludes someone who to this day writes in pained terms about women’s share of the blame in rape from a post of authority in feminism requires “excruciating exactitude”.

      • Can you please point to some pieces that do this, I am not very familiar with Hugo’s work, but this is quite a claim and I would like to read this myself.

      • The only ‘considerable contortion’ of any intellect is to marvel at the holier than thou vulgarity of the extremist bigots who started this campaign of hate.

        As someone just said: It’d be nice to see each and every one of your past mistakes parade around for all of us to point, judge, laugh and comment on—and then systematically insist you stop doing everyone you’re doing; just cause it bothers us. (And because we said so!)

        What would that be like?

        How dare you be the judge and jury of this man who’s done nothing but make strides to move forward and help the cause? The hate site is doing more damage to the cause of feminism than any man could ever do to a woman or to the cause.

        If you don’t believe me read and really think about this: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction…The chain reaction of evil — hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars — must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.” MLK ♥

        • Don’t you even start quoting MLK in defense of a man who led the defense of the racist imagery in Amanda Marcotte’s book “It’s A Jungle Out There”, to the considerable detriment of the women of color bloggers who pointed it out.

          You say no one can make one uncomfortable except oneself and no one can silence another. You know what?

          That’s BULLY talk.

          “I’m not doing anything.”

          “Stop hitting yourself!”

          If no one can be made to feel uncomfortable or inferior in the face of any kind of social pressure, then what exactly is the problem with people talking about Hugo? Talk about a double standard.

          You know what? The moment I stand up and start teaching young people about gender relations and feminism and rape, yes, PLEASE. Pick me apart. Scrutinize me. Put me under the microscope. Nobody should be allowed to do that who won’t withstand the scrutiny, because that scrutiny is necessary.

          If I reveal gross crimes in my past and put myself forward as a redeemed figure, you won’t be doing me any favors by nodding and telling me I’m brave for coming forward… if you have any love for me as a fellow human being, you would watch me like a hawk when I think I’m redeemed and would never let me become complacent.

          And if my “past mistakes” and present behaviors are incompatible with what I’m doing… yeah, I should probably stop doing it.

          Just as an example: I’m personally not capable of safely piloting a motor vehicle for reasons relating to a neuromuscular disorder. Say I caused a terrible accident in the course of discovering this. I didn’t, but say I did. And say I stand up and admit that this happened but it’s in the past and I am redeemed.

          Does this mean I’m now a safe driver?

          No.

          The stuff Hugo rights now is damaging and harmful. You’re imagining that when we say this we’re just being prissy and thin-skinned and hence the bully talk about words never being harmful, but it does harm. It doesn’t “advance the cause”, it teaches men that acquaintance rape (the kind of rape that is most common) is accidental and is the target’s fault as much as the perpetrator’s. Go read the Accidental Rapist, by Hugo Schwyzer. That’s the piece I’m talking about. It was written just this last fall.

          His piece on Jezebel about facials centers male sexuality over female’s, pushes forward the idea that men rather than women are the victims of body-image crushing propaganda in our society.

          Look, it’s not that he did something wrong one time and thus we don’t care that he’s a great feminist speaker and writer and don’t care about all the good things he’s done.

          We’re talking about his whole career, his whole persona, from start to finish. He doesn’t help. He hurts. The things he says that are good and valuable have been said by other people who are ignored in favor of him because the world prizes the voice of the straight white cis male college educated authority figure, and he knows enough about gender relations that he should recognize this and do something about it… but instead he chooses to talk over women, to boost select white women who will boost him in return.

          Understatement of the century, but: these aren’t good things that he does.

          • ‘It teaches men that acquaintance rape is okay’—Really?

            Are you real here?

            It “teaches” them—do me/us a BIG favor okay sweetie? I need you to show me ONE man who says he was TAUGHT that’s it’s ‘okay’ to acquaintance rape from article.

            Can you do that for me?

            Thanks.

            “His piece on Jezebel about facials centers male sexuality over female’s, pushes forward the idea that men rather than women are the victims of body-image crushing propaganda in our society.”

            Another lie.

            Do you and your witch hunt extremists know how to read?
            I read the article as well—and here’s the truth—for anyone who cares—the article did not ‘push forward’ that men–**rather** than women were victims of body image issues—it simply stated it as an independent thought.
            IN other words—I personally had never read such a thing.

            But guess what? I didn’t fly off the handle!
            I managed to carry on with my day! Hooray!
            Although everyone knows the body image issues perpetrated against women, I for one, had not heard this other theory. And I’m not even sure how I feel about it! But you know what else?
            I’m not going to panic.
            I’m not going to fly off the handle and accuse the author of being a misogynist and what not just cause I couldn’t’ handle this article.

            “He doesn’t help. He hurts”

            Oh really?
            So everyone else is wrong and you’re right?
            Oh well if *you* think so…why didn’t you just say so!
            If you’re the Grand Wizard and Arbiter of all Things now–then I guess Hugo and you know, the rest of us, will just defer to you…

          • It’s fascinating to read this shrill and hysterical hate-filled posts from people about a “privileged white cis-gendered classist racist blah, blah, blah” who “talks over women” and “silences” them appearing on his own blog page. By definition, if he wanted to “silence” you, he’d monitor your posts and delete them, shutting down the slander and invective. Instead, he just allows you to rant and rave, to snap, bite, and scratch at his own expense. What a sexist tyrant, huh? What a bully. LOL

          • I can’t believe these responses to this comment. Condescending, name-calling, and gaslighting. “Shrill.” “Hysterical.” “Blah blah blah” in reference to misogyny and racism. Really? These are what I like to call “fauxminists” and many of them are unfortunately found in academia (of all places). I, however, appreciate your thoughtful and methodical response. I think I will read the articles you have mentioned for myself now, with your critiques in mind.

  9. I’m disappointed to hear that the last few weeks’ controversy has caused you to decide to stop advising for the feminist club and leave other positions of leadership (although I understand how stepping down from Skinny may have been a good decision).
    I’ve never been on the receiving end of such an intense dialog. But I question the choice to allow this incident to knock you off your path.

  10. Hugo, in all of this madness and intense self-assessment, please, please, please do not forget to consider what YOU want. As the saying goes, you can’t please everybody…but do ensure you do not outcast yourself from something you so obviously have a passion for. Be strong. Hugs

  11. –This is thoughtful and heart-rending at the same time.

    However, the thought that you would change your course in life (teaching, writing , advising etc.) due to the vitriolic palaver of an immature, uneducated, hateful, backwards, JUVENILE, ignorant, repulsive, unbearable, non-sensical, malicious and PATHETIC tiny vocal minority with literally, nothing better to do than HURT the CAUSE of feminism—is rubbish.

    I hope I’m not being too subtle.

  12. You completely missed what is possibly the most important place: should an affluent white male, especially one with a past that includes violence against women, be a leading voice/make a living as a professional feminist? And I think the answer is no, and that’s part of the reason you’re getting so much backlash.

    • Oh well if *you* think so…why didn’t you just say so!

      If you’re the Grand Wizard and Arbiter of all Things now–then I guess Hugo and you know, the rest of us, will just defer to you…

      “Learn to regard the souls around you as parts of some grand instrument. It is for each of us to know the keys and stops, that we may draw forth the harmonies that

      • “…Learn to regard the souls around you as parts of some grand instrument. It is for each of us to know the keys and stops, that we may draw forth the harmonies that He sleeping in the silent octaves….”
        Anonymous

        • What a shallow, fatuous twit you are, right down to the ~~inspirational quotes~. OK with abusers and racism; not OK with “vulgarity.”

          Clutch dem pearls a little harder!

      • Really Heather? People who disagree with your idol are like Grand Wizards of the KKK? Have you ANY shame whatsoever to help tamp down your righteous indignation?

        • First of all—don’t put words in my mouth—that’s vulgar—and you should know better.

          He’s not my idol—I never claimed that—so please don’t put words in my mouth or continue to lie—are we clear?

          Second, for you—for *you* to talk about ‘righteous indignation’ when you’re involved in the kind of misanthropic WITCH HUNT that would make Salem blush.

          There are no words.

          Those women who burned are looking at you and saying SHAME.

          • Okay, I’ve been nothing but civil in stating my dissent up until this point. But honestly, the lack of awareness of reality that you and the rest of Hugo’s insipid, blind apologists seem to possess as you spew nonsense has become intolerable.

            Did you REALLY just claim that a Facebook group composed of self-proclaimed feminists that says, “We disagree with this man who has a history of abuse against women who continues to write about women in extremely paternal ways getting such a large platform as a professional feminist” to the Salem Witch Trials? Are these the same Salem Witch Trials that were a misogynistic bloodbath? Where actual women died? Our Facebook group would make *that* historical massacre blush?

            It’s this kind of absurd hyperbole in the face of calling everyone who disagrees with your guy a rabid overreact-er that is the very definition of cognitive dissonance. I honestly have no idea what to say to someone who is so truly deluded about both the severity and nature of the situation at hand.

            And for the record, I don’t think a bunch of oppressed women who were murdered by Puritan men would have too much sympathy for a would-be Protestant murderer. Just sayin’.

          • Might want to take an American history refresher course, hon. No one accused of witchcraft was ever burned at the stake in the United States.

            Otherwise, keep on. And bless your heart.

    • Really? “Violence against women?” Anything to offer there? Charges? Police reports? Hospital reports? Prison time? Firing from jobs? Complaints from his “victims?” Public denouncement by his “victims?” Lawsuits?
      ANYTHING?

      Or is it to be just more pseudonymous, slithering wash-line gossip from a pack of entitled, misandist Internet slags? Hmmm?

      • Would the perpetrator’s own confession, lovingly detailed across several self-serving and boastful posts on this blog count as “ANYTHING” in your boat?

        Or is Hugo himself just an entitled internet slag?

        I feel somewhat embarrassed for you having stuck your neck out like this, but the specifics of what he did aren’t controversial or contentious. The man is an admitted “accidental” rapist, an admitted sexual predator of his students, and an admitted attempted murderer by his own words.

        Go argue with him if you think he’s not a credible witness.

        • There’s clearly no point in trying to argue with a witch hunt–there just isn’t.

          Go back to your Hate Site where you’ve banned all reasonable discourse–go back to the vulgarity, go back to the simple-minded pity party–go back to harming feminism.

          Witch hunts never end well. Not that you care; by the time you put down your pitchfork real feminists will be doing the work you were ‘too busy’.

          • Witch hunts never end well. Not that you care; by the time you put down your pitchfork real feminists will be doing the work you were ‘too busy’ for…

        • No: as I said above, if you’re going to accuse him of “violence against women,” please back it up:

          Charges? Police reports? Hospital reports? Prison time? Firing from jobs? Complaints from his “victims?” Public denouncement by his “victims?” Lawsuits?

  13. You completely missed what is possibly the most important place: should an affluent white male, especially one with a past that includes violence against women, be a leading voice/make a living as a professional feminist? And I think the answer is no, and that’s part of the reason you’re getting so much backlash.

    • Um, should anyone who’s ever done anything wrong *ever* be allowed to do anything…?

      Hmmm…a question for the ages.

      “The soul of conversation is sympathy.”
      Thomas Campbell

      • Yeah, H., keep on with your bad, intellectually incisive self. Because all of us have tried to murder an ex, have raped an ex, and have slept with people who have less power than ourselves.

        • Wow, “anonymous.” Again, so brave, ladies. What warriors of truth you are with your pseudonymous, “anonymous” hate campaigns. Awesome. Mrs, Pankhurst would be so proud.

    • This. This is what’s been bothering me.

      I understand that coming to terms with privilege is a lifelong process. I get that. And I expect male feminist allies to screw up sometimes, and I’m willing to give them second chances. But how many have you had, really? It isn’t just a case of male privilege, either; it’s also white privilege (so much white privilege), class privilege, and cis privilege.

      More importantly, you should not be profiting from feminism, especially not when there are so many other feminists, who are women, members of other marginalized groups, or often both, who are silenced. If you want to be a good ally, you should be doing everything in your power to promote their voices, and limiting your own.

      If you insist on being heard, use your power and your privilege to call out other men–or if not call them out, then at least engage them in discussion. Using the feminist sphere as a dump site for your emotional baggage is…well mostly, it’s gross. And unwelcome. And potentially triggering.

      In other words, I’m done with it. :/

      • My God in Heaven.

        Who appointed you…?

        I’d like–we’d all like to know–how you–you somehow got appointed; annointed–when was the ceremony?

        How did we all miss it?

        • I missed the part where this person claimed to speak for everyone that ever lived. Oh right, you’re off on one of your hyperbolic rants again. Well don’t let logic or reason stop you!

      • So…YOU get to decide what people can and cannot do.

        got it.

        And you…get to decide what is and is not okay within the greater feminist movement.

        Would you like to go back? I mean I’m sure E. Cady Stanton did *something* to piss you off…

        why not call her out too…?

        • Why stop with Hugo?

          Honestly.

          Why don’t you go after EVEry SinGle FEminIsT and see if they *bother* YOU in any way, shape or form.

          Then start a witch hunt and feel good about it?

          Who raised you?

          • Dude, I don’t know who appointed you the grand protector of all things Hugo, but you know what? You’re right. Bad me, havin’ thoughts ’bout the feminism and the menz. I’mma go hide under the covers and watch Intervention re-runs.

            See? Two can play at sarcasm. ;)

      • Hugo Schwyzer has constantly promoted feminist women’s voices, and constantly called out other men–often to his detriment. The problem you and the rest of your howling wolf pack have with him isn’t anything he’s DONE, it’s what he IS. So much for “biology isn’t destiny,” though that hardly matters, considering how far you are from the original tenets of feminism.

        Do you have anything else, or was that pretty much it?

        • Aw, I might, if you had actually addressed my points instead of referring to me (and, downthread, many others) with gendered slurs. (“Howling wolf pack”? “Slags”? You stay klassy, dude.) I mean, you’re sort of right, in that my problem with Hugo isn’t exactly what he HAS done; it’s what he continues to do. But everything else? Wrong. Wrongity wrong wrong wrong. Good luck in life, love–you’ll need it. :)

    • Really? “Violence against women?” Anything to offer there? Charges? Police reports? Hospital reports? Prison time? Firing from jobs? Complaints from his “victims?” Public denouncement by his “victims?” Lawsuits?
      ANYTHING?

      Or is it to be just more pseudonymous, slithering wash-line gossip from a pack of entitled, misandist Internet slags? Hmmm?

  14. Will you consider offering an apology to the man you homewrecked and refused to apologize to before? Will you apologize to Susan for threatening his privacy?

  15. Good Lord! The judgmentors are out there, aren’t they? And you know what the funny thing is? I betcha not *one* of them is qualified to throw the first stone at you. There, I said it. You’re allowing yourself to be put in a universal scapegoat position upon which folks allow themselves to project their political and/ or social anxieties. Nicely Freudian. Maybe even nicely Lacanian. But certainly:

    Not. Necessary.

    • I’m not a perfect, but…

      I have never raped a woman.
      I have never tricked another man into raising my child.
      I have never refused to call rape by envelopment rape.
      I have never attempted to murder my girlfriend.
      I have never threatened to breach another blogger’s privacy.

      So yeah, I think I’m qualified to throw the first stone.

    • This kills me.

      This honestly kills me.

      The idea that anyone who is critical of Hugo’s actions must be “holier than thou” or practicing “excruciating exactitude”…

      If I weren’t living this, I’d think I must be watching a bad satire.

      Do I think I’m better than a man who tries to kill a woman for extremely paternalistic reasons? Yes. Do I think I’m better than a professor who sleeps with his students? Yes. Do I think I’m better than a man who “accidentally” rapes a girlfriend and then graciously accepts half of the blame onto himself? Yes. Do I think I’m better than somebody whose idea of accountability is to shape these things into a narrative structure in which he accepts no real consequences and is lauded for his courage? Yes.

      That’s not to say that I’m perfect. I’m just not that bad. And if you think it takes someone who feels pretty high and mighty to make that determination: well, go tell Hugo. He’s the one who sat in judgment over Kyle Payne and said that he’s never done anything as bad as Kyle did, right?

      I’m not a perfect feminist, and I’m certainly not bucking to take his spot or demanding that my superior feminism be recognized as such or anything. One would not have to look hard to find reasons why some strains of feminism wouldn’t have me, either.

      But at the end of the day that’s not what matters.

      It doesn’t matter who’s better or who’s worse.

      It’s about this guy who wrote The Accidental Rapist, and the piece about erections and consent, and the piece about facials… and keeps writing things in those same veins being accepted as a feminist authority, being lauded for his work in teaching young people. It’s also about his past, but we can forget his past and his present still speaks for itself.

      (I’m not linking to those posts because multiple links will probably trigger an automatic screening and I want this comment to be seen, but you can find them easily enough. They’re all relatively recent.)

      I mean, for the sake of argument, let’s say we can forget the murder attempt. We can forget the rape. I mean, we’d have to pretend he doesn’t mention it in that piece, but imagine he’s only talking about “accidental rape” in generalities.

      But let’s leave everything from his “pre-sobriety past” in the past or mark him down as atoned for it or whatever, those pieces are still horrible damaging counter-feminist garbage wrapped up in the right words to make them palatable enough to be accepted as feminist to some.

      Though I suspect that without his redemption tale, the veneer would not be enough… we right now find ourselves in the perverse situation where the things he writes are being questioned less because of his past. His spinning of his story about redemption has surrounded him with a shell of protection from criticism. Once we have decided that he’s redeemed himself for his attempted murder… well, we can’t turn around and condemn him for rape or sexual predation, can we?

      This protection works on two levels. Those who are sympathetic to him are invested in the idea of forgiving him, and thus will continue to forgive him. And when he’s criticized… well, that’s just someone judging him for his past, right? Someone who doesn’t understand how he’s transformed himself.

      I’d say he’s pulled the wool down over your eyes, but the fact is that he’s got you to do it for him.

      • “But let’s leave everything from his ‘pre-sobriety past’ in the past or mark him down as atoned for it or whatever, those pieces are still horrible damaging counter-feminist garbage wrapped up in the right words to make them palatable enough to be accepted as feminist to some.”

        Do you really think people will be so gullible? Until this mess showed up, I got the sense that feminists as a whole were a pretty shrewd bunch with discerning minds. Okay, so you WON’T let Hugo get away with forgetting any of this, and it makes you question his authority and standing in the feminist movement. But how many times are you going to repeat this, exactly? What goal are you looking to achieve by rehashing his past mistakes over and over again?

        • Hey, I said let’s forget about his past mistakes and just focus on his present actions… even just his present actions shouldn’t be supported by feminist sites and circles, either.

          What goal am I looking to achieve? Not having someone who thinks acquaintance rape is half the woman’s fault welcomed as a feminist speaker. Is that a bad goal, in your mind? Is that not something feminists should strive for?

          Seriously. Forget his past! It’s a red herring. It’s confusing everyone. If I watched him kick a puppy and I said, “That man kicked a puppy! He is kicking a puppy right now!”, people would be saying, “He did a lot of bad things decade ago, why can’t you let it go!”

          Let’s just focus on this:

          Some guy went on an MRA-friendly site and wrote an article about how bad he feels that he ignored his girlfriend’s obvious lack of interest in sex and raped her multiple times, but she’s at least half guilty for not telling him.

          This didn’t happen 13 years ago, it happened last September.

          Am I allowed to say, “Hey, this guy who goes on MRA-friendly sites to talk about how he raped his girlfriend by accident and it was half her fault is not engaging in feminist thought.”?

          Is that not a legitimate line of criticism or inquiry?

          Forget we’re talking about Hugo, your friend or the guy whose redemption narrative you’re invested in.

          Is it not legitimate to question why someone who engages in that kind of rape apologism should be invited to speak/post in feminist circles?

          • You’re assuming I’m a feminist, which I’m not. You’re also assuming I’m close to Hugo or invested in defending him during this current controversy, neither of which is true. If anything, everything that’s occurred during the past couple weeks has intrigued me and made me curious about this movement called feminism, and not in a good way. So I can’t really say whether this purported brand of apologism of which you speak falls in line with feminist thought or not. Clearly you disagree that it does, although it’s a bit ironic that you say “I’m not a perfect feminist, and I’m certainly not bucking to take his spot or demanding that my superior feminism be recognized as such or anything. One would not have to look hard to find reasons why some strains of feminism wouldn’t have me, either.” So basically, Hugo doesn’t belong in your strain of feminism, then?

        • The goal that has been achieved, in some part, which is discrediting him as someone whose opinion on feminism and women’s sexuality should be published and fawned over more so than the writing of actual feminist women.

          • I’m sure more people would read your blog if it was more interesting and better written. Maybe spend less time obsessing about Hugo Schwyzer and take a writing class or two…?

          • Sorry Michael Rowe, I don’t write erotic, self-aggrandizing fiction about all the times I preyed on my students and tried to murder my exes. So my blog probably isn’t your speed. It’s more about a woman’s perspective on women’s issues, something you’re clearly not that into.

      • Wow—Okay! So you’re better than Hugo and the rest of us! Great job Mommy & Daddy! You’re raised a useless, narcissistic, judgmental, hateful, extremist brat. Bravo!
        Take your hate and peddle it elsewhere. Those of us who are HUMAN, let alone feminists, don’t appreciate it.

        • I didn’t say I’m better than the rest of you. I said I’m better than him. I base this on what he tells me about himself. You, I don’t know.

          And Hugo’s got plenty of hate. He’s got hate for the women of color who didn’t like the racist imagery in Amanda Marcotte’s book, for instance. He’s been stirring up his defenders against his critics using veiled barbs. You just don’t mind his hate because he expresses it using the right words.

          You yourself are full of hate. You can’t look at anyone who doesn’t like Hugo without being overwhelmed by it, and you’ve fooled yourself into thinking that you can sit here and denigrate the humanity of anyone who dares to disagree with Hugo and have it be an act of love.

          Own what you’re doing. Show some of the accountability that Hugo is so famous for. You hate us. You hate what we’re doing. You’re expressing this hate clearly enough, even as you refuse to call it by name.

          Own it.

          • If you’re the Grand Wizard and Arbiter of all Things now–then I guess Hugo and you know, the rest of us, will just defer to you…

          • I’m not the Grand Wizard of anything. I’ll defer to you: what do YOU call it when someone pitches a screaming tantrum about how useless and pathetic everyone else is?

          • Great. I’ll own it. I’ll own that you’ve truly upset and brought out the activist in me.

            And furthermore that defending someone who’s being attacked brings out a lot of passion.

            If you do the following.

            You own THIS: that your hate-based, vitriolic witch-hunt—has done more harm than good, that you have debased and demoralized feminism, and given it the bad name that so many think it already has.

            Thanks for that.

            Thanks for undoing decades of work.

            Out of curiosity–Why does your opinion mean the most? Is there a reason for that?

            You keep hating and using your vulgar misrepresentations; and wonder why we’re not thanking you?

            You cherry pick out of articles and then use hyperbole.

            I don’t know how else to say this—so here it is—We must be brighter and massively more intelligent—because we’re able to actually read the articles; their nuances and *not* fly into a massive blind panic over them. And we certainly don’t mis-represent them in pubic as you and your juvenile cronies have done.

            So the thousands of women who have been helped by Hugo, all the students; and the ones who’ve read his wiring and found their own redemption—not to mention those that simply find it intellectually stimulating and worthy of debate (debate can be a good thing for feminists, see it doesn’t have to be shut down like you people want to do)—why is the collective experience of thousands of women (and feminists) so incredibly unimportant to you?

            Why do we not matter, but you do…?

            Your witch hunt has done Nothing but harm—only harm—no good. Zero good.

            Hugo has done A LOT of good.

            Why is your hate more important than our experiences?

            Why?

            Why do we not matter but only you and your opinions are worthy?

            So—everything you’ve said here is this:

            You disagree with his writing.

            Wow.

            I’d say good luck with that; but you can’t seem to read something you disagree with without flying off the handle.

            Most feminists don’t fly into a blind panic when they read something they disagree with…we really don’t

            So maybe you can work on that. Rather than you know, ruin a man’s life. Thanks.

            Okay–so for feminists who are *able* to read Hugo’s work and discern the nuances; without you know, flying off the handle; is it okay for us to still read his work?

            For those feminists that aren’t that fragile; is it okay if we still read his work and think for ourselves? If we could get your permission that would be lovely.

          • Alexandra, you really need to get some therapy. Seriously. Your posts are getting more and more shrill, more hysterical, more personal, more vitriolic, and mentally sloppier. Get some help, and stop trying to pass off your creepy obsession with this man as “feminism.” It’s not. And it’s starting to sound a bit sociopathic as well. :-(

      • Wow—Okay! So you’re better than Hugo and the rest of us!

        Great job Mommy & Daddy!

        You’re raised a useless, narcissistic, judgmental, hateful, extremist brat. Bravo!
        Take your hate and peddle it elsewhere. Those of us who are HUMAN, let alone feminists, don’t appreciate it.

      • Brilliant and quoting for you–so you can move forward from your blind panic and hate into the future–best of luck:

        Who are the best drug & alcohol counselors? Almost always, it’s those who are ex-users. Do we hold them back from helping others due to their pasts? What is so different here? We all have pasts…let us move forward in awareness, compassion, and love.

        • “Compassion and love”… when you call me useless, when you call me pathetic, when you call me a brat, when you question my HUMANITY…

          Is that compassion, or is that love? I’m confused. Please tell me.

          I’m motivated by compassion for the female rape survivors that he used his leadership role in SlutWalk to get to chant his “Men aren’t weak!” slogan.

          I’m motivated by compassion for the girlfriends of his male students and proteges who learned that sexuality is all about the acceptance of their penis and that they shouldn’t feel too guilty for having sex with someone who doesn’t want it because their partner is to blame for not speaking up.

          I’m motivated by love and compassion for those who are marginalized, oppressed, victimized, and… yes… silenced. If you don’t think it’s possible to effectively silence another human being, you’re not very well-versed in feminist thought. The centering of privileged voices and the, well, marginalization of marginalized voices is a pretty basic level thing. If you’re one of Hugo’s students or proteges and you don’t understand how this works, then that doesn’t speak well of him as an instructor or mentor.

          • –You’re motivated by your grandiose sense of importance that you speak for all feminists.

            Let me clear that up for you.

            You don’t.

            So since the hate page you created is just for the circle jerk for immature feminists who care very little for the movement at large (as evidenced by the fact that you barred actual feminists from your witch hunt slander site)—here’s the question:

            If there are feminists who are *able* to read Hugo’s work without flying into a blind panic, is that okay with you?

  16. To the useless, narcissistic, judgmental, hateful, extremist, bigoted, *non*-feminist brats—the ones who’ve done more to harm feminism with all this hate than Jerry Falwal—the ones who need to get over themselves and see if they can move forward—do you know who you are now?

    No need to be afraid anymore of ONE person’s essays okay buttercup?

    As a woman you make me sick. As a feminist you make me enraged.
    Your pathetic little self-righteous pity party has GOT to stop.

    You’re doing more harm than good—do you understand that now?

    Stop it.

    Just.
    Stop it.

      • Right.

        Except that’s wrong and makes you a liar.

        I didn’t start this—remember?

        You’re the one who started an old fashioned witch hunt. You’re the one who started a virulent hate site and forbade actual feminists from engaging.

        You talk to me and those coming to the defense of someone and *dare* to use the word hate…?

        I’m donating my precious time to DEFEND someone who YOU’RE attacking.

        See the difference?

        Thanks.

        • To your lower reply, I’m really happy that you got a thesaurus for Christmas, but it doesn’t make your argument that disagreeing someone is akin to hanging them or burning them at the stake any less ridiculous.

          • The term “witch-hunt” since the 1930′s has been in use as a metaphor to refer to moral panics in general (frantic persecution of perceived enemies).

          • You and your antagonistic, vulgar cronies are the most definitely in a panic–as has been previously stated.

          • Disagreeing is saying your peace and moving on. What I see here and elsewhere is character assassination . . . petty, cold, ruthless, vindictive, and yes shrill.

            What I also see is this drawing the attention of someone like me who would have otherwise spent his time elsewhere.

            You do realize that with each escalation on your part you actually make Hugo more visible and popular, you painting yourselves as the Westboro Baptist of feminism obsessed with pinning a scarlet “M” on the guy’s chest?

            Or do you think people aren’t actually going to read what he wrote for themselves?

    • So by standing up and saying we don’t want a rapist and attempted murderer speaking for us, we’ve done more to hurt women’s rights than Jerry Falwell. Thanks for setting us stoopid wimminz straight, we’ll just sit down and never voice our dissent again. That’s how we got the vote, right?

      • The lone deciding vote for women’s suffrage ironically, came down to one man—who was still on the fence. It was honestly fascinating, touch & go. The morning of the vote, his mother contacted him and said something so touching & eloquent to him– it changed his mind and well, we got the vote.

        The good news is I guess, you and your cronies weren’t around back then to start a hate page and witch hunt against him (in case he made mistakes in the past or wrote something you didn’t quite like). Phew!

        • I’m sorry…so Hugo’s blog in which he eroticizes everything from preying on his students to trying to kill someone is as equal in importance to you as a Congressman casting a vote for women’s suffrage?

          Really?

          • Um, no one said anyone’s blog was ‘as important’ as anything, let alone suffrage.

            Night, night.

      • First he’d have to be a “rapist” and “attempted murderer.” You must have court documents to share attesting to his rapes? Police reports charging him with attempted rape? Yes? Please share.

        Otherwise we’re stuck with the uneasy suspicion that you’re lying, or, at best, cherry-picking from his essay about the relationship where he wasn’t always sure if his girlfriend wanted to have sex, but went along with it to please him, and are calling that “rape.”

        Or his essay about the night he and his girlfriend were in a drug-fuelled co-dependent relatinshiop, and he was so fucked up that he left the gas on in his oven, but when the cops came to his hospital bed, they refused to charge him with anything but being fucked up on drugs, and his girlfriend and her family didn’t want to pursue any charges?

        Is that the “murder” you were talking about? The “attempted murder” that wasn’t, and the “rape” that he was the only one to even briefly consider a “rape,” which his girlfriend didn’t consider a rape in any sense of the word?

        I hope not, because that would mean that you’re libelling up a storm on the Internet, which (unlike the two things Hugo’s been accused of, but didn’t do) is actually a crime.

        • So, if (hypothetically speaking) somebody goes out and kills a guy, hides the body, and successfully avoids arrest and conviction, then according to you, his deed was not actually a murder. Crimes are not crimes unless an arrest record, court documents, or lawsuits identify them as such. If you don’t get caught, what you did never happened. Hmm. Interesting concept of crime and justice you have there, not to mention right and wrong. Have you considered a career in the Republican party?

        • Oh yes. Those deeds you insist Hugo is “accused of, but didn’t do”? Newsflash, Einstein: HUGO CONFESSED TO DOING THEM. Kind of makes your continued insistence upon the contrary rather indefensibly stupid, you know?

  17. To all the haters; please read:

    “Who are the best drug & alcohol counselors? Almost always, it’s those who are ex-users. Do we hold them back from helping others due to their pasts? What is so different here? We all have pasts…let us move forward in awareness, compassion, and love.”

    Get it now? It’s okay that he has a past.

    Most of us do.

    Even your perfection might possibly be marred by a mistake–what are you doing to make it better?

    Anything?

    • The problem is that he’s not actually doing anything to make it better, just doing all he can to profit from his mistakes. But even ignoring that, his present is as much of a problem as his past.

      Even if the best drug and alcohol counselors are those who have experience with the problems they’re talking about, that doesn’t mean everyone who’s been an addict makes a great counselor. Hugo trades on the idea that having Been There Before gives him authority to speak, but his present writing demonstrates he’s Still There Now.

      He writes compassionately and lovingly of how much blame women should get for their rapes, of how bad women should feel when they don’t want a man to jizz on their faces. He writes compassionately and lovingly about how “certain cultures” make for more jealous men or “quaintly” try to emulate the dominant WASP culture in his eyes. He writes compassionately and lovingly a metric ton of really racist, misogynistic crap that he ties off with a bow labeled “redemption” and calls himself a feminist and it gets eaten up because he’s just so brave.

      Because there isn’t any conspiracy against him… a lot of those of us who criticize him really hold very different philosophical views on a lot of things… I can’t make a deal that everybody else would agree to, but I tell you this: if we all agreed that his past is in the past and completely off limits and irrelevant (I don’t think it is irrelevant, mind, it has a bearing on the present, but I’m willing to entertain the notion that it is)…

      If we forget his past, his present actions are still at issue.

      His whole career at this point is basically a house of cards where he can say any disgusting and damaging (to the cause, to the psyches of young people, to the understanding of sex and responsibility forming in his students’ heads) thing he wants and it’s propped up because the man himself is unassailable.

      I think his “feminist contributions” are a load of dangerous malarkey because they promote rape culture? It must be because I hate him for his past! Well, I’m not a fan of his past, either… but I should forget that because he makes such important contributions! But I don’t think his contributions are that valuable. That’s only because I hate his past!

      See how circular the defense of him is? It gets better. If we cite specific examples in his vast and horrible body of misdeeds, past and present, then the fact that we picked a specific thing out is called “cherry picking” or taking things out of context! And if we don’t cite specifics, then we’re just lobbying around a bunch of vague and unfounded accusations.

      We can’t win. There is literally nothing we can say against Hugo that is accepted as valid. He is beyond criticism. He himself only recognizes a thread where people fall over themselves to say how brave and candid and great and inspirational he is as “thoughtful criticism”.

      • Alexandra, I think you raise some very good points here. Thank you for articulating them in a way I can identify with. So much of what I read about others’ problems with Hugo seemed so steeped in personal dislike and so absent real and/or recent examples that I was having a hard time identifying threads of legitimate criticism, and you have pulled them together nicely. While I don’t necessarily agree with the conclusions, I can at least understand where you are coming from better than the “He’s so creepy! He LIKES how much his female students like him!” narrative that, to me, seems so much personal taste. (As if enjoying your students’ enjoyment of your teaching and subject is not what every teacher hopes for.)

        I consider myself a fan and friend of Hugo but I have been disappointed in some of his writings before — namely, the RaceFail debacle — and I don’t think he’s beyond criticism. And to be fair, I don’t think he is either, which is why he responded to this … explosion … by trying to sort through the legitimate criticism and withdrawing from explicitly feminist spaces. I think the pedestal he has been assigned by many others was not one of his choosing and he is not loathe to give it up.

        I think the reason I would really like there to be a space for Hugo in feminism is because I want there to be a space for men in feminism, because I care about men and I want them to be feminists too. I want there to be a path that men who care about women can follow, because I want to be able to draw the men I care about, the ones who are decent guys, into feminism, since I think it’s so important to this country, to this world. I want there to be a path for men who have screwed up in the past to follow, because the system of women hate and disrespect is so pervasive it’s difficult, if not impossible, for an individual man not to be touched by it, and I want those who have made mistakes and genuinely want to change and fix them as best they can to have a model.

        I realize that my desire to have a place for men in this crucial community cannot override what is ultimately right, should not override our priority, which is the lives of women, and that my desire does not mean that Hugo himself is or should be accepted, or can be. My personal investment in Hugo doesn’t mean that he should be the one to represent that path to others if he doesn’t or can’t do it correctly (if we can even agree on what correctly is, or even what incorrectly is…). Even if his heart is in the right place, which I believe it is, that doesn’t mean his actions have been, are, or will be correct. But it’s hard to separate my personal assessment of his character from that desire, and from an assessment of his actual actions and impact.

        I think that desire is mirrored by many other women who are feminists, and it makes it hard for us to accept legitimate criticism of Hugo.

        I hope that even if Hugo himself is not able to represent that place in the feminist community, that we can make one at some point. I don’t think there’s much of a place for men in feminism, and I think there should be SOME kind of place, though I’d gladly welcome a debate about what kind of place that is and what it involves. As someone who knows a lot of guys, some of which are actually really awesome, I’d like to be able to get them interested in women’s issues, but when they look, they just know there’s no place for them there. Yes, they start out as listeners and students, as do all, but eventually students and listeners and learners seek to progress to contributing their own ideas and thoughts to the debate, and there’s no real process for that graduation for men yet.

        In any case, Hugo, I hope you don’t disappear. Not to say you don’t have some things to work on, as Alexandra has pointed out, but I hope you do work on them. I think your voice, even imperfect, is valuable. I wouldn’t want it to go away forever.

        • Wow, thank you. I came back here after walking away from the computer intending to leave one final comment just to say that I was done here so it didn’t seem like I was ignoring any particular comments when I stopped posting…

          I still feel like I’m basically done here, like I’ve said what I need to say and that any further engagement is just going to be my knee-jerk response to knee-jerk responses, but I do want to address what you’re saying here.

          I think the reason I would really like there to be a space for Hugo in feminism is because I want there to be a space for men in feminism

          Okay, first: some of Hugo’s critics have definite feelings about men in feminism, but like the focus exclusively on his past, that’s a red herring. Because whether you want men in feminism or not, Hugo is not, cannot be, and should not be a referendum on the role of men in feminism and people who defend him on the basis of either accusing his critics of attacking him for being a man or on the basis of “Okay, but we need male allies and how are we going to get them if we treat Hugo like this…”

          Well, all of this is the sort of thing I said sounds like bad satire. I don’t say this to be snarky, but in all seriousness, it seems like something out of a bad sketch comedy when the refrain is “But if Hugo’s not good enough, then what man is?”

          People are taking this as an opportunity to talk about the role of men in feminism in general, yes. That is happening. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing. But even if you see someone saying “Men have no part in feminism.” and you disagree… that doesn’t answer the question of this man and his role, and framing it as such creates another one of those perverse situations because now we’ve created a framework where men get a free pass, where a man’s standing as a feminist is beyond question because of course men can be feminists.

          The question of whether or not a person can change is a separate question from the question of whether or not Hugo has changed, and how he’s changed.

          The question of whether or not somebody with ” past mistakes” can ever be in a position of authority and responsibility in a field relating to those mistakes is a separate question from whether or not Hugo should be in a position of authority and responsibility in feminism.

          And questions of whether or not men are a necessary part of discussions in the feminist sphere and what part they would best play is separate from questions of whether or not Hugo should be a part.

          The problem with using his “imperfect voice” as an inspiration to other men is that it positions the presence of men as being more important than the content of what they’re saying. And if the next generation of pro-feminist men are inspired by a man who centers his idea of feminism around their feelings, their sexuality, their experiences… yeah, that’s going to be more appealing to them than “traditional” feminism, but it’s not what we need.

          One male voice who does not speak over women, does not erase women, does not center himself over women is better than ten men who do those things.

          Heck, for that matter, one man who does speak over women is better than ten men who speak over women.

          I’m getting far afield of the more neutral point that you should be judging the question of “Hugo in feminism” separately from your feelings of “men in feminism”, but let me put it this way:

          If Hugo is a problem, “But wait, if we don’t tolerate his presence, where will the next Hugos come from?” isn’t an effective argument in his favor.

          ……………….

          Seriously, though, I’m out of this conversation. I’ve kept coming back because the misrepresentation and oversimplification and dismissals of the issues irked me. I don’t see myself as a feminist authority or champion of any kind. I honestly don’t have much involvement with feminism these days, for various reasons. Some of them are issues I have with the feminist community, some are issues I have with me. None of them are relevant, and none of them actually disqualify me from looking at Hugo and making a judgment call and saying, “What this man is doing is not good for women. What he’s saying is not helpful for dismantling rape culture.”

          Or from having an opinion on his past. I mean, I’ve said let’s forget his past and focus on his present because I think his confessions about his past are in a perverse way being used to shield his behavior today, but… yeah, his past matters.

          He himself said in his posts on the subject that he understands that no one has to forgive him or accept him or welcome him into their circles.

          I don’t personally think he was sincere. I think he was saying the words he thought he needed to say to make anybody who didn’t welcome him look like a bad guy… and look how well that’s working! Seriously. Everybody who’s tearing down his critics, look what you’re doing.

          If you think he’s sincerely reformed, then he must have been sincere when he said he understands that what he did might be impossible to forget or forgive. By demonizing and villifying those who don’t recognize his “redemption”, you’re making a liar out of him.

          Because when it comes to his past, that’s what it comes down to. I don’t think he’s reformed, and I judge this on the criteria he himself laid out, in his confessional posts and his open letter to Kyle Payne.

          These are some of his words:

          “I know I’m not the man I was when I was drinking and using. But I also know I have no right to demand that others accept my transformation. I have no right to insist on being trusted. I have no right to expect forgiveness. There are places I may never be welcome as a result of my past, and I accept that. I don’t get to dictate the terms on which I’m received into any community.”

          A lot of people look at that and go, “Wow, he’s really serious.” But you know what? He said those words, he hasn’t been living them.

          • “The problem with using his “imperfect voice” as an inspiration to other men is that it positions the presence of men as being more important than the content of what they’re saying. And if the next generation of pro-feminist men are inspired by a man who centers his idea of feminism around their feelings, their sexuality, their experiences… yeah, that’s going to be more appealing to them than “traditional” feminism, but it’s not what we need.”

            Yes. This. Feminists are divided on where men fit into the movement, but can’t we all agree that having men in the movement isn’t so important that we’ll take absolutely any man, or that we can’t call problematic men out on their bullshit for fear of creating a hostile environment in feminism for men? Because having zero standards for men in feminism results in a pretty hostile environment for women, and please, please, please tell me that we’re not divided on whether women are our first priority.

            Thanks, Alexandra, for all your posts on this rather frightening thread. I appreciate the time and care you took to put those together.

          • “If you think he’s sincerely reformed, then he must have been sincere when he said he understands that what he did might be impossible to forget or forgive. By demonizing and villifying those who don’t recognize his ‘redemption’, you’re making a liar out of him.”

            I must applaud you for laying out your criticisms of Hugo very eloquently. (No, really, I’m being serious.) I suppose this sums up your argument very well, but yeah, I think he’s been sincere thus far. However, thank you for being clear in your explanation!

          • Your posts here are the longest and most obsessive, Alexandra. You keep saying “I’m done,” then there’s another insane, diarrhetic spray of words. Seriously…are you done obsessing yet?

            Once again, it’s to Hugo’s inestimable credit that he allows this shit on his blog and doesn’t delete it, which he could. Lucky for us, too, because it provides an objective example of who the authentic bullies are. He fares rather well by comparison.

      • The thing is …for some reason, you’re not able to read this one man’s work—without flying off the handle and entering into a blind panic—where you rile up any sophomore juveniles who can’t form a sentence without vulgarity, reason with others or—manage a page on Facebook with any kind of inclusive dialogue.

        You start, engage and persist in a witch-hunt. (Not even *getting* the irony, that witch hunts—especially to feminists…are BAD.)

        If you’re so sadly troubled and vexed by this one man’s writing—so be it. For those of us who are able to discern nuances, look into ourselves for our own prejudices, examine and engage in real dialogue—maybe (maybe) you can leave us alone?

        Maybe it’s not up to you what all feminists do?

        Not of all of us are so fragile.

        Let us be.

        • I like that you choose to make your “feminist” points about how the rest of us are bad feminists by:
          1. Calling us crazy (gaslight, much?)
          2. Telling us we’re overreacting
          3. Telling us we’re oversensitive
          4. Using the tone argument
          With feminists like you, who needs MRAs!

          • Magdelyn, you’re claiming I’m too privileged and educated to have an opinion on this subject. Your fellow Hugo apologists are claiming I’m not intelligent enough. I hate to have to be the one to point this out, but you can’t have it both ways.

        • H: Alexandra Erin’s posts in this thread have been exceptionally intelligent, thoughtful, aware of the complexities of the issue, and scrupuous about making meaningful distinctions and avoiding emotionalism and hyperbole.

          Yours, on the other hand, have been the precise opposite. Your bleating about a “witch hunt” hardly puts you in a position to lecture pompously about nuance. And your shrill and histrionic name-calling is projection in its simplest form.

          I can only imagine how embarrassing it must be to Hugo to have someone like you as his lead defense counsel.

      • “The problem is that he’s not actually doing anything to make it better…”

        Right. Got it.

        So, in other words; you’re in the mind of every single woman who has read his work and benefitted enormously from it…? You’re in touch with every single student of his? That’s great!
        So they’ve told you—each & every one of them—that he’s done ‘nothing’…?

        Okay, hold on I’m writing this all down….

        So all the former and current students that are coming forward with heartfelt stories of how much he’s helped them in a million different ways—some stories so profound they rip your heart out—they’re just no-good, dirty liars?

        Wow…that’s uh, too bad.

        You know, just when I was starting to believe there was good in the world again.

        Oh wait, someone just mentioned that that actually makes *you* the liar.

        Ah.

        Now *that* makes sense.

  18. I have always thought of your “controversial” past as your most inspiring feature. You have lived many lives, cultivating yourself and your perspectives to reach the nuanced and thought-provoking wisdom you offer today. Your energy may be re-directed, but never snuffed out. Please stay strong for those who look to you for plentiful offerings of soul and intellect.

    No pressure or anything :)

  19. Unless we can believe that people have the capacity for change, then social justice movements are doomed. Mistakes that we make in life can serve as tools for changing ourselves into better people once we subject them to thoughtful scrutiny. I believe you have, and are continuing to, scrutinize yourself and your past. That is very important for your growth as a human being.

    I would hope that the current backlash does not stop you from being a male feminist voice. There are too few thoughtful ones. I believe that your past can inform men about how to look at and analyse their own pasts, and perhaps even help provide a blueprint for change.

    Your path from now on will be infinitely harder, but I hope you have the courage and conviction to see it through.

  20. Great. I’ll own it. I’ll own that you’ve truly upset and brought out the activist in me. And furthermore that defending someone who’s being attacked brings out a lot of passion.

    If you do the following.

    You own THIS: that your hate-based, vitriolic witch-hunt—has done more harm than good, that you have debased and demoralized feminism, and given it the bad name that so many think it already has.

    Thanks for that. Thanks for undoing decades of work.

    Out of curiosity–Why does your opinion mean the most? Is there a reason for that?

    You keep hating and using your vulgar misrepresentations; and wonder why we’re not thanking you?

    You cherry pick out of articles and then use hyperbole.

    I don’t know how else to say this—so here it is—We must be brighter and massively more intelligent—because we’re able to actually read the articles; their nuances and *not* fly into a massive blind panic over them.

    And we certainly don’t mis-represent them in pubic as you and your juvenile cronies have done.

    So the thousands of women who have been helped by Hugo, all the students; and the ones who’ve read his wiring and found their own redemption—not to mention those that simply find it intellectually stimulating and worthy of debate (debate can be a good thing for feminists, see it doesn’t have to be shut down like you people want to do)—why is the collective experience of thousands of women (and feminists) so incredibly unimportant to you?

    Why do we not matter, but you do…?

    Your witch hunt has done Nothing but harm—only harm—no good. Zero good.

    Hugo has done A LOT of good.

    Why is your hate more important than our experiences?

    Why?

    Why do we not matter but only you and your opinions are worthy?

    So—everything you’ve said here is this:

    You disagree with his writing.

    Wow.

    I’d say good luck with that; but you can’t seem to read something you disagree with without flying off the handle.

    Most feminists don’t fly into a blind panic when they read something they disagree with…we really don’t

    So maybe you can work on that. Rather than you know, ruin a man’s life.

    Thanks.

    Okay–so for feminists who are *able* to read Hugo’s work and discern the nuances; without you know, flying off the handle; is it okay for us to still read his work?

    For those feminists that aren’t that fragile; is it okay if we still read his work and think for ourselves? If we could get your permission that would be lovely.

    • “Blind panic”
      “Witch hunt”
      “Buttercup” “Sweetheart”
      “Grand Wizard”
      “OHH Why didn’t you say that before”
      “We’ll defer to you”
      “Juvenile”
      “Brats”
      “Your parents did a GREAAAAT job”
      “*non*-feminist”
      “ACTUAL feminists”
      “We’re not as fragile as you”
      “hate” “vitriol”
      “You’ve undone decades of work”

      We get it. We. get. it. Please stop leaving the same (hypocritical and problematic-in-so-many-ways-if-you’re-a-feminist) comment over and over!

    • H, I’m getting a very naive vibe from you and I feel it’s not too optimistic of me to guess that the day is going to come when you’re going to look back at your behavior here and you will feel so embarrassed for having accused others of “flying off the handle”, “hating”, or “engaging in a witch hunt.”

      I’d say that at this point you’re just screaming, but that’s all you’ve been doing since you got here. I don’t actually have unlimited time to devote myself to engaging with you here, and while other people further up the thread have made some intelligent responses, I don’t feel I’m going to accomplish anything by staying here except to give you more things to feel bad about when you’ve gained a little more perspective.

      For the record, the Facebook group isn’t mine and I’m not a mod there so I haven’t banned anyone. People who came in all disruptive and screaming the way you did got banned, sure, but that’s what happens when you troll a group.

      By the way, someone… I’m not saying it’s you, but someone who is a supporter of Hugo… has been using a third party site to call our page’s members “wh*res” and claim that they’re only against Hugo because he “turned them down”. You’re so proud to be a feminist that I’m sure you would never engage in such misogynistic reasoning and gendered slurs, but if you happen to be friends with the person who did that, perhaps you could use some of your activist energy to explain to them why that is not cool, since I won’t be here taking up your time.

      • Every word I’ve said is true.

        Look back–and look at the witch hunt hate site.

        Look again.

        Just because some of us are capable of reading someone’s work and don’t run around like chicken little–doesn’t mean you need to discount what we’re saying.

        Some of us are ‘okay’ without you pushing the panic button. Get it?

        We’re okay.

        And I’m sorry; did I miss the part where we’re all spose to bow down, fawn over you and just say thank you? My Goodness, you’re like the white man coming to the New World expecting the natives to treat you like gods.

        • Kind of the impression I’m getting. I typically avoid Feminist threads based on my experience with radical feminists during my college years. They pretty much told me I’m unqualified because I have the wrong equipment. I disagreed and made it a point to move on, though I felt their characterization of me was pretty much unfounded.

          The hatchet job I see here would not have come from the feminists I knew then. They were much stronger than that, more self assured. Feminism, IMO, is just the excuse for these people, which is why I decided to speak up.

          The solution for their complaint is simple: don’t follow the guy! Don’t read his stuff. Don’t attend his classes. Don’t participate. But instead I see a behavior which transcends feminism or any other “ism”, the sheer will to take it upon oneself to gather and form a mob with the sole intent of exacting vigilante justice.

          Its gone way past the why.

          It has reached the much broader level of human nature itself. Regardless of the reason, the mob is never the answer.

      • ~Prose from glorious Grand Goddess/Wizard of all that is and ever will be feminism:
        “…you’re going to look back at your behavior here and you will feel so embarrassed for having accused others of “flying off the handle”, “hating”, or “engaging in a witch hunt.”

        My behavior is that I’ve stood up to a bully.

        Just –like—MY MOTHER taught me.

        Stating the truth is never wrong—it is only wrong to those that know they’ve done wrong.

        ALL you and your juvenile, thoughtless chums have done is fly off the handle and engage in a witch hunt.

        If you somehow see it differently; it’s because often when you’re engaged in the crime of bullying, you don’t see clearly how it’s affecting others.

        That’s okay—I can forgive you—because one day, perhaps, you’ll see it and apologize.
        ✩✫✬✭✮✯

      • “People who came in all disruptive and screaming the way you did got banned, sure, but that’s what happens when you troll a group.”

        I in no way, shape or form came in and acted ‘disruptive’—I made ONE calm, cool point and was attacked viciously multiple times like a goddamn gang bang. I was assailed with vulgarity to the point where I politely asked the bully to stop—she replied with further vulgarity and hate.

        The word troll is on you.

      • Jesus Christ, she’s still at it. I was right. Too funny! Every time she says she’s “done” or she “won’t be here taking up your time” another hyperbolic, melodramatic essay comes out.

        Your comments about your Facebook hate page are interesting. “People who came in all disruptive and screaming the way you did got banned, sure, but that’s what happens when you troll a group.”

        And you’re doing what here, exactly?

        Fortunately for you, in spite of your own trolling, you and the rest of your dog pack haven’t been banned by Hugo from this blog. Pretty generous on his part, to be sure, especially considering your increasingly-creepy, hystericall obsession with him.

        And further for the record, H is entirely correct: you people have been, on this page, engaging in the textbook definition of “flying off the handle”, “hating”, and “engaging in a witch hunt.”

        The only way not to excuse not seeing it would be that you’re mired in your delusion.

  21. It’s freakin’ hilarious watching feminists chew each other up. I think Hugo has learned an incredibly valuable lesson…actually, two lessons; (1) stop basing your writing on an embellished fiction of your own life. It comes off as narcassistic and has not become fodder for those wanting to tear you down, and (2) feminists engage in habitualized cannibalism of each other. Matlacky learned that just recently, and now you must suffer the slings and arrows of self-pitying, self-riteous indignation from the man-hating set of the feminist movement. My condolences.

  22. One more comment, and I’m addressing this one to Hugo.

    The poster H. is your staunchest defender here.

    Look at what she’s doing.

    Look at what she’s saying.

    Look at how she’s conducting themselves.

    Mr. Schwyzer, I give you… your legacy.

    I hope you and it will be very happy together.

    • In both these replies your patriarchal condensation has been noted.

      Only an MRA would say ‘hope you’re happy together.’

      For you to trivialize a feminist input like that–as sentimental? Wow.

      It is you who will be chagrined one day. I think you know that.

    • Here’s the *legacy*–let’s make this clear for you.

      The legacy Hugo can be proud of is that a woman stood up for herself.

      *I’ve stood up against your bullying.*

      Get it?

      Understand?

      How could he or anyone not be proud of the fact that instead of laying down prostate at your feet, thanking you for all your glorious wisdom and insights—instead of that—I’ve stood my ground, stood on my own two feet and had my own thoughts about all of this.

      Is that okay with you?

      The legacy is that someone came to the defense of a fellow human being and was able to stand her ground.

      A woman didn’t let someone else dictate *her thoughts*!

      That is brilliant; and more than enough to be proud of and thankful for—to be sure.

      For you to be dismissive like that—of a woman holding her own thoughts; is not just misogynistic—but cruel.

    • You give him his legacy?????

      He earned his legacy and his following. All you gave him was a broader audience demonstrating why his voice is so necessary.

      You “gave” him his legacy. Now I’ve heard it all.

  23. I found out about all of this through a feminist on another website and was actually pretty angry by some of the responses. Ok, you did horrible things..but as you say yourself you were in a pretty terrible place.
    Feminists love to ignore the issue of mental health which plays a role in some very disgusting behaviours against women. Mental health and drug addiction can be discriminated against too. It’s something we need to not forget.
    People can and do change. I don’t like to make judgements either way because I know that people who do horrible things or are horrible…one day the law or karma will catch them up. I don’t need to do anything except listen and read.
    I haven’t called myself a feminist for some time because I see so much hatred and vitriol within some aspects of the community. Things aren’t so black and white as they think.

  24. I found out about all of this through a feminist on another website and was actually pretty angry by some of the responses. Ok, you did horrible things..but as you say yourself you were in a pretty terrible place.
    Feminists love to ignore the issue of mental health which plays a role in some very disgusting behaviours against women. Mental health and drug addiction can be discriminated against too. It’s something we need to not forget.
    People can and do change. I don’t like to make judgements either way because I know that people who do horrible things or are horrible…one day the law or karma will catch them up. I don’t need to do anything except listen and read.
    I haven’t called myself a feminist for some time because I see so much hatred and vitriol within some aspects of the community. Things aren’t so black and white as they think.

  25. To: Comradde PhysioProffe and let’s not forget ‘Doodles’ , Miss O, Anna, My Spicy girl ‘Paprika’, Gud Enuf, and to my most worthy adversary—to the point where I think I’m crushing on you–Alexandra Erin! 
    ~
    Maybe you just need to *take a second* and tell me what you want from me—I mean, *how can I make you happy*…?

    What can I do to make you feel better?

    Honestly.

    Should I stop with all my critical thinking skills and just lay down before you…prostate, groveling….hoping that some of your kindness and wisdom will rub off on me?

    Is that what you want? Do you need me to submit to you?

    If I was more submissive would that make it better?

    How can I assuage the hate site? What can I possibly do?

    If you need me to just lay aside my education, life experiences and critical thought processes, lay down at your feet and simply lavishly thank you for taking the time to share your glorious wisdom and insights—just say so.

    I’m sorry I’ve bothered you with being an independent woman—able to form her own opinions.

    I just wasn’t raised to be meek and fly into a blind panic over an essay or two I find I disagree with…I don’t know what it is; but I’m somehow able to form my very own impressions—and go from there.

    I’m able to move on with my life—and even be happy!:)

    I don’t find myself crippled with hate and the ability to create and monitor hate speech websites that ban all critical thought and discourse.

    Other than bowing down before you and simply thanking you—what else do you need from me…?

    I get that you don’t like me—do you need me to be sad about that?

    If it’s okay with you, I’m going to move forward, keep thinking for myself and if I feel moved to defend a friend—I might just do that again too.

    ╔══════════ ೋღ♥ ღೋ ═════════╗
    ♥ Is that okay with you…? ♥
    ╚══════════ ೋღ♥ ღೋ ═════════╝

    Lemme know; ‘Kay!

    The H

    “…Growth itself contains the germ of happiness…” ★ 。 。★ 。 。*~ Pearl Buck ★ 。 。★ 。 。★ 。 。★ 。 。★

    “Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition.” ~Timothy Leary

    P.S.
    And sorry that Hugo and I happen to have the same 1st initial; but it’s not him—I’m an independent woman and feminist and writer. I’d be happy to meet in person about all this; except I’m a little afraid one of us would just start slapping each other! (of course we could also just have a pillow fight…;)

    W. Churchill: “Difficulties mastered are opportunities won…”

    “Miss a meal if you have to, but don’t miss a book.” ~ Jim Rohn

    “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” ~ W. Churchill

    • Heather, the first thing I want you to do is a small favor for both of us.

      I want you to take a deep breath and then please read this aloud in a calm voice, because you’ve been calling everything I post “flying off the handle” and I think you’re engaging in a little projection there. I think if you read this aloud slowly you might hear the actual intended tone and not the indignation you yourself are feeling.

      Okay? I’m not being snarky or condescending. I would really like you to actually hear my words here and not anger. In some of my responses to you, I did feel a little angry because I was having my words dismissed by someone using misogynistic languages and tactics, but I have tried to keep things on an even keel and I have come back against my better judgment because of my optimism that we can have an actual discussion.

      Clearly you are upset at what you perceive to be a bunch of people ganging up on your friend for the heck of it, but that isn’t what’s going on here.

      I wasn’t going to come back, since it’s hard to have a conversation under these circumstances, but since you asked what I want, I’ll tell you and maybe then we can move into an actual dialogue.

      First, I want you to look at what you’re doing here.

      Heather, we know it’s you who made those memes calling specific women you disagreed with “whores”. Your style is kind of distinctive. Please restrain your impulse to retort that you didn’t start it. Heather, the issues we have with Hugo aren’t our entries into a name-calling contest. They are actual issues, some of which he thought were important enough to address himself in blog posts, and of which he wrote that no one is required to forgive him or overlook them.

      “Whores” is a doubly problematic word, Heather, from a feminist perspective. It’s used to put down all women, and it’s used to put us down by comparing us to sex workers, as if sex workers or sexually active women are uniquely low in comparison to where we should want to be. Think about that from a feminist perspective, please.

      And those words “put down” — you seem to be focused on feelings more than effects here, so let me elaborate. “Put down” doesn’t mean “made to feel bad”. It means pushed down. Held back. Put in their place.

      This is a real thing, the combined social pressure of those kinds of insults, the whole systems of insults and positive and negative pressure that men and women experience… that’s real, that’s what feminism fights. If Hugo was ever your teacher, I hope he did something to help you understand that.

      So, calling women “whores” and using other gendered language to insult people who disagree with you or with Hugo is one thing I would like you to stop.

      Since you asked.

      In this thread, you’ve also compared people disagreeing with you to “gang rape”.

      When we talk about Hugo as having committed rape, that’s because we believe… according to the facts as he has laid them out for us… that he has committed rape. It’s not a hyperbole. We aren’t making things up to make him look bad and we’re not being like twelve year olds on a video game server who just got beaten in the game, “Oh, he raped me.”

      We’re talking about actual, literal rape. We aren’t taking the idea of rape—an actual ordeal that real, living people have suffered—and turning into a rhetorical club to bash someone with like you are.

      That trivializes rape, it normalizes it, and it’s harmful to rape survivors.

      Fighting the normalization of rape culture is more central to what feminism is about than making sure it’s a comfy place for guys you think are cool.

      So, yes. That’s another thing I would like from you. Please do not use “rape” as your metaphor for how badly you feel you’ve been treated.

      You have also compared a man being held accountable for things that he himself admitted to to a “witch trial”, but other people up above have pointed out how odious that is.

      Please stop abusing the Facebook report system to silence anybody who even mentions your name. Talking about you is not bullying, it’s not harassment, it’s not a threat.

      You’ve claimed the title of “real feminist” for yourself while you engage in this disgustingly misogynistic behavior. I’m not going to tell you that you’re not a real feminist. I’m going to ask you to stop waving it around like it’s a badge that should protect everything you say and do from criticism, as you do when you accuse the mods of the page from kicking “real feminists” like yourself out.

      To sum up: since you’re asking what I want from you, it’s for you to engage in this conversation in a way that is not abusive and not misogynistic. If you disagree with someone’s assessment of Hugo’s writing or their feelings about his redemption, you need to learn to express that in a manner that doesn’t involve throwing gendered insults at them and spamming the same semi-relevant (at best) quotes and snippets over and over again.

      Go up and look at some of the other responses to my comments, from people who aren’t Michael Rowe or you. Not all of them agree with me, but they manage to do so in a way that’s productive and respectful. I think you’re both too biased and too protective of your friend to engage in reasonable discourse without dismissing other people using patently misogynistic terms.

      At the end of the day, Heather, feminism is about more than the hurt feelings of women and it’s certainly not about protecting the feelings of Hugo. You want to protect his feelings because he’s your friend, and I’m not going to condemn that, but it’s not a feminist issue and it does nothing to blunt the criticism against him. The fact that his most vocal supporter on his own website is engaging in wholesale misogynistic name-calling is not going to help him.

      If you can respond to this in a fashion that shows that you are critically thinking and not just copying and pasting your favorite quotes and the same snippets of argument with “GOT IT?” underneath, I’ll be happy to talk to you some more.

      But Heather, you have to show that critical thinking. You seem to have the idea that critical thinking is shown any time you don’t automatically agree with others. That’s a start, but it’s not the end. No one else here is arguing with “GOT IT?” and “UNDERSTAND?” because no one else expects what they say to be taken as gospel. We articulate reasons. You can agree or disagree, but to disagree critically, you have to engage with those reasons.

  26. I don’t think there’s much of a place for men in feminism, and I think there should be SOME kind of place, though I’d gladly welcome a debate about what kind of place that is and what it involves. As someone who knows a lot of guys, some of which are actually really awesome, I’d like to be able to get them interested in women’s issues, but when they look, they just know there’s no place for them there. Yes, they start out as listeners and students, as do all, but eventually students and listeners and learners seek to progress to contributing their own ideas and thoughts to the debate, and there’s no real process for that graduation for men yet.

    This is total bullshitte. There is *plenty* of room for men to participate in furthering the goals of feminism, so long as they are truly motivated by furthering those goals, and not by having their egos stroked or their pocketbooks enriched.

    • Right. Academics are so rich, especially women’s studies professors at city colleges. When he’s not teaching, volunteering, mentoring, organizing, or blogging, Count von Schwyzer is in his tower letting the gold he’s made from “enriching” himself at the expense of “womyn” run through his long-taloned fingers, giggling as his counts it and plans the domination of womynkind, especially the lunatic coven of cowardly, anonymous, pseudonymous cultural fascists he’s allowing to slander him on his own page.

      I’ve honestly never seen such naked jealousy by so many miserable, failed writers who think they’re entitled to a platform, based on their sex, in my life. Maybe if a couple of you grew up and took a writing class or two instead of creating Facebook hate pages and trolling people’s blogs (which, come to think of it, is textbook female adolescent bullying behaviour) people might care what you have to say as much as they care what Hugo Schwyzer has to say–which drives you crazy.

      Either that, or find a sympathetic shrink.

      • “…especially the lunatic coven of cowardly, anonymous, pseudonymous cultural fascists he’s allowing to slander him on his own page…”

        Beautiful Mr. Rowe, just beautiful…★❤☆

      • So we’re all just jealous bitches who are also crazy? I notice that you have absolutely no response to any of the substantive issues we’ve brought up, only irrelevant personal attacks. If you think that’s won you some kind of argument, good for you. But the reality of the situation is that it just makes you look like a pathetic, snide bully.

        • His remarks target and describe your BEHAVIOR and they’re spot on.

          If we asked 100 people right now to review your vulgar Hate Site–they would all concur with his description; save for the few who would offer that he’s being too kind.☨ ❤ ❦

        • Not from where I’m sitting. The sheer scope of of your obsession to end this guy, diminishes your cause . . . period.

          Rape should never be glorified . . . you bet! In reading the article in question, Mr. Schwyzer never glorified it. Romance novels, soap operas, movies, pornography does. My God, have you ever seen some of the Anime out there????

          Mr. Schwyzer presented a very real fear men have especially when they care about their significant others as people, not objects. Do you really think a normal caring and loving man doesn’t doubt himself and his motives so desperate to be the perfect gentleman who wishes above all else to please his better half?

          Yeah rape is a harsh word and reality, and most good men fear and loathe that label more so than a woman feels toward “whore”. We just don’t talk about it, but Mr. Schwyzer took the plunge and did. He was not talking about actually exploiting someone, but the primal fear that he WAS. There is the difference. Most men share that fear, even when assured by their sexual partner that it is with full consent. We’re expected to perform, to take the lead. We’re loaded with stories how women “fake it”. We’re told that if we do anything they don’t like, its rape, but they want us to guess what they like. They get mad when we ask!

          You bet “rape” nags at the core of every decent man trying to be the perfect partner, because it represents a death sentence in our perception of ourselves.

          THIS is what Mr. Schwyzer had the guts to demonstrate.

  27. “Fighting the normalization of rape culture is more central to what feminism is about than making sure it’s a comfy place for guys you think are cool.”

    I honestly don’t even know what this means.
    You’ve completely discounted the way I (and others) were treated on the Hate Site. The word I used was exactly the way I felt–please don’t discount my feelings.

    Ignoring my feelings and then trying to paint some broad brush about ‘normalization of rape culture ‘ is radically disingenuous.

    But the worst of the worst is: ‘…a comfy place for guys you think are cool.”

    I am trembling with anger at that.

    You’re trying to say what here? You’re extrapolating a comment I made and saying that the reason I made a comment in one place was so I would seem ‘cool’ to ‘guys’–is that what you’re saying…?!?

    Not only is that unforgivably insulting, but it also makes no sense.

    • I’m not extrapolating anything of the sort, Heather, and I said nothing about you trying to seem cool. You have to rearrange my words completely to get that.

      There seems to be a serious comprehension barrier here. If you don’t know what rape culture is or what it means to normalize it, then I’m afraid it isn’t surprising that you don’t understand why the things that Hugo writes and does are so deeply problematic.

      If you honestly think that the way you feel when people disagree with you is exactly like gang rape, then all I can say is congratulations because you have had a wonderful life so far. I’m not trivializing your feelings – I’m simply not putting them on the same level as the survivor of a brutal sexual assault.

      And the comment that made you “tremble with anger” is about your failure to recognize how key this sort of thing is to feminist discourse. The reason you think nothing of making an off-hand comparison to how you feel when people don’t agree with you to “gang rape” is because the world we live in treats rape as a joke, as a trivial thing, as a go-to threat and a handy metaphor for all of life’s petty grievances.

      When we treat rape like it’s nothing, we internalize the idea that it’s nothing. To differing degrees, of course. Some people literally end up feeling like they can get away with rape, and the way the criminal justice system works, most of them do. Most rapists not only never get convicted, they never get charged.

      And women are not the only targets of rape in this world, but we are the disproportionately vast majority of them.

      So this rape culture hurts women, it keeps women in our place.

      And that’s what the issue with Hugo’s “Accidental Rapist” post is. Just to preface this: you call what happens next “taking things out of context”, but I call it “analysis”. The critical thinking that you’re so proud of depends on a willingness to pick things apart like this.

      In The Accidental Rapist, Hugo identifies a time in his life when he had sex multiple times with a woman who didn’t want it, and then… dismisses it. I mean, he talks about how guilty he felt, but then he assigns half the blame to his partner and proceeds to act like it’s not a big deal. He effectively accuses himself of rape and exonerates himself in the same column, and offers the same absolution to every man reading it.

      It’s okay. It’s her fault, too. She conspired with you to make it happen. Not raping is something you need to work on together..

      See, it’s not that someone is talking about these things is the problem. It’s how he talks about them, and it’s not this one piece or a single time, it’s a consistent pattern with him.

      Fighting this promotion of rape culture is an feminist goal. Making things comfortable for Hugo because he’s your friend isn’t. That’s what the part that made you so angry with rage meant.

      You can care about your friends and be a feminist, but being a feminist and caring about your friend doesn’t mean that everything they do is feminist or that the act of defending them is a feminist act.

      Now, Heather, you chose to ignore almost everything I said about your behavior except for a few lines. I’d like to think this means that you read the rest of it and are thinking about it and won’t be engaging in casual misogyny (except for maybe the rape comparison, since you chose to argue that) in the future, but I’d appreciate some more specific feedback on that point.

      Right now I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt, but if you want me to keep discussing this with you I need to know that you heard me.

      • Oh dear.
        I didn’t say I didn’t know what rape culture means….or ‘normalization’–I said I didn’t know what your COMMENT meant.

        But talk about a comprehension problem!

        You then saw fit to go on and on with ‘discussing’ it as if we needed to–we don’t.

        As far as your problem with Hugo and the article–what would you like me to do about it?

        Do I need to start my own Hate Site to make you happy?

        • No one has asked you to do anything about the actions of Hugo Schwyzer, you have inserted yourself into this discussion and been nothing but hostile to everyone who has tried to engage with you in a civil manner. Schwzyer, to his credit, has taken a step back and begun to reevaluate his role in feminism, and I think that is both appropriate and on some level admirable. You, on the other hand, have heaped insult after insult on everyone who has tried to have a discussion with you, all the while dismissing, ignoring, and just plain talking over what anyone else has to say. Then, when we ask you to consider our points instead of just repeating your own, you lash out and claim we are personally attacking you and asking you to take full responsibility for Hugo Schwyzer.

          Please know that none of that is the case. What I personally wanted was for Schwyzer to seriously reflect on what his role in feminism should be, since I think he has gotten so much praise and fawning that he has lost sight of the ways in which some of his statements and his role at large are problematic. That’s all. Why is that so horrendously offensive to you and Michael Rowe?

          • That’s rich you using the term ‘hostile’—We didn’t start the hostile Witch Hunt remember…?

            You and your antagonistic cronies have been the *aggressors*– to call his friends coming to his aid ‘hostile’ is the very victim blaming that you cry and wring your hands over on the Hate Site.

            It’s as if you’ve just called a woman the ‘aggressor’ for fighting off an attacker! By DEFINITION you’re the aggressor—understand…?

            If we’re not bowing and scraping enough for you—that’s a separate issue.

            Yes we don’t get how fearful and fragile all of you insist on being just because of the *existence* of Hugo.

            Additionally the *Entire Site* can be summed up in one phrase: PITY PARTY. And that’s pathetic and unnecessary.

            That’s all you’re doing is having a pity party and a Hate Campaign, littered with vulgarity and slanderous words.

            Who I ask you has time for that?

            Real women, with real lives and jobs and relationships, simply would not have the time for all the vitriolic palaver on that site.

            It is so clear that it’s fraudulent. If it were actual feminists they would be able to:
            • Debate others
            • Speak with authority on feminist issues
            • Write without resorting to vulgarity
            • And not get mired in non-productive self-pity

            • From your site: “Hating men is pretty legit when apparently the best they have to offer is Hugo Schwyzer…”

            • *Doesn’t that say it all?*

            Don’t have the temerity to talk to us about being “hostile” when you’re site is bloodied with hate, smears and lies.

            Hating men is actually *not* ‘legit’ and if you can’t see how harmful that is to feminism—please go back to school. Really–there are women’s studies classes that would be of enourmous benefit for you and the more importantly the greater good. Thank you.

    • Wait. I thought no one could make you “tremble with anger” without your consent? That no one could make you feel anything? Those were your words, that you used to say we were ridiculous when we talked about how Hugo’s discourse can be paternalistic and silencing, and you characterized our response as “shaking with fear.” But now you’re “trembling with anger” because someone else made you feel that way?

      Hmm.

        • The difference my young friend, is how you channel it….How You CHANNEL it.

          Do you devolve into a bully, create an anonymous Hate Site on the internet and start a vicious smear campaign? Do you reduce to level of scum where you keep screaming obscenities and ignoring every single moderate voice that tries to step in? Is that what you do?

          Well, yes, evidently; it is.

          Look at the Hate Site where you’ll find such gems as:
          “Can I ask the stupid question? Who the fuck is this guy?”

          “He’s such a fucking creep.”

          And

          “Fuck the redemption narrative, I am sick of it.”

          Placental Mammal

          –Well THAT’S productive.

          • Please see also:

             The thing is …for some reason, you’re not able to read this one man’s work—without flying off the handle and entering into a blind panic—where you rile up any sophomore juveniles who can’t form a sentence without vulgarity, reason with others or—manage a page on Facebook with any kind of inclusive dialogue.

            You start, engage and persist in a witch-hunt. (Not even *getting* the irony, that witch hunts—especially to feminists…are BAD.)

            If you’re so sadly troubled and vexed by this one man’s writing—so be it. For those of us who are able to discern nuances, look into ourselves for our own prejudices, examine and engage in real dialogue—maybe (maybe) you can let us decide for ourselves?

            Maybe it’s not up to you what all feminists do?

            Not of all of us are so fragile.

  28. Pingback: Rant: Concerning the money shot « The Writings of Leda Harlowe

  29. “…I have come back against my better judgment…”

    You realize how patriarchal and condescending that is right…?

    Again, just not sure how we all missed the ceremony appointing you Grand Arbiter of All Things—

    You’re not here to teach me anything—do you understand that?

    You’ve said your points about why we should all be as upset and up in arms as you and your buddies.

    And I’ve said, if it’s *okay* with you—some of us are going to think for *ourselves*.

    We’re not obligated to buy anyone’s else’s palaver. We’re just not.
    Okay?

  30. In regards to whatever this memes business is? That’s rich—to be honest I don’t even know what you’re referring to—but to be really honest—I DON’T CARE. Sorry. I just don’t.
    So everything that you talked about after that—is completely unnecessary and irrelevant.
    I will tell you from a law background that slander and libel are going to be real issues for you guys—and naturally all the name calling and slander completely belies your supposed ‘point’ of ‘helping’ women.

    The vicious and completely unnecessary slander and threats against Mr. Schwyzer indicate a level of childishness that insures your cause won’t and can’t be taken seriously.

    If anything that you said were true, the page would be a critical dialogue. Well it’s not is it?

    You lose any and all moral high ground with your own behavior.

    • I apologize, I hadn’t realized you split your response up in multiple parts when I replied. If I had, I wouldn’t have given you the benefit of the doubt because it’s clear you’re not actually going to engage with anything anybody says in good face.

      I mean, your contention is it was some other PETA activist/Hugo booster with an act to grind against the women on the protest page who made images calling the women there “whores” and accusing them of torturing and killing animals? None of the other people who were booted off the page have made as big a stink of it as you have, Heather.

      As for slander and libel being a problem: if you have a background in law then you understand that the defense against a defamation charge is that one is telling the truth.

      Hugo’s not going to be pressing charges or suing anyone. That will just get his own blog posts entered in as evidence, and in the process he’ll give himself even more bad publicity.

      That, and even trying it would utterly devastate the story he’s built about he’s redeemed. “No one can be forced to accept him,” he says, and then he goes and tries to get the courts to do just that? No, not going to happen.

      Unless you mean you’ll be suing for libel or slander. Well, first you’d have to figure out which is which. Hint: slander is transitory, libel is fixed. Since we’re talking in electronic print, it would be libel.

      If it weren’t true.

      Of course you could stand up in court and perjure yourself, but if you really would go so far I’d obtain IP addresses from quickmeme and Facebook (or maybe I’d subpoena Hugo for your IP address, why bother Facebook) to prove myself… but that would be awfully far to go, considering that to bring a defamation tort you have to be able to show damages. Some woman on the internet saying you probably made a picture with a caption insulting another woman isn’t the sort of situation the courts were made for.

      At this point my optimism that you had the capacity for growth and would one day look back on this red-faced at how you behaved is pretty much evaporated, as is my good will. My points have been made to the satisfaction of those who will read what I’m saying, even if they don’t agree. There is nothing further to be gained from engaging with you.

      • The phrase is “axe to grind” not “act to grind,” Alexandra. Perhaps it’s time for a couple of Tylenol and and a nice cup of Ovaltine for you, if you can tear yourself away from your misandrist obsession with Hugo Schwyzer for a wee bit. Hmmm

  31. None of this has been or should be –about you trying to talk to me or anyone else about behavior. You talking to me about MY behavior is rich.

    I’m not the one engaging in Hate Speech and running Hate Websites.

    My ‘behavior’ has been coming to the aid of a friend.

    The only part of my ‘behavior’ that has been problematic evidently is that I’ve not gotten on my knees and asked how I can serve.

    Your holier than thou tirade just now–does you no favors.

  32. As Mr. Rowe said:

    “..a lunatic coven of cowardly, anonymous, pseudonymous cultural fascists he’s allowing to slander him on his own page….”

    “Maybe if a couple of you grew up and took a writing class or two instead of creating Facebook hate pages and trolling people’s blogs (which, come to think of it, is textbook female adolescent bullying behaviour) people might care what you have to say as much as they care what Hugo Schwyzer has to say–which drives you crazy.”

    Perhaps it is *you*, who needs to look at your behavior, n’est pas?

  33. *I* get to ‘look back’ with pride and honor that I devoted my precious time to helping a friend.

    What do you get to look back on with pride? Spewing hate? Running Hate Speech Lunatic websites?
    Being grossly condescending about ‘slander’, ‘libel’ etc?

    Is that what you’re proud of…?

    Are you proud of being so condescending and patriarchal?

    It is you–you know, the one who *started* this–who will look back with deep regrets.

    The damage you and yours have done to feminism with all this is unforgivable.

    And I think you know your *behavior* is to blame.

  34. If a woman standing up for herself and against injustice is for you–’bad behavior’–well, I think that tells us everything we need to know about your feminist credentials–now doesn’t it?

  35. It’s easy enough, Hugo.

    Turn yourself in at the police station and say “I attempted a murder back in 19XX.” Let them work the process from there. They may end up letting you go; they may press charges. If they press charges, get a lawyer and instruct him that he is to attempt to get you the lowest possible sentence, but that you are pleading guilty. Because you did it, and when you do something criminal, taking responsibility means admitting it and facing the consequences.

    • Robert, did you not read the response from January 4? The sheriff’s department already knew. The psychiatrist told them that I had tried to kill both my ex and myself. A sheriff’s deputy came to the hospital when I was still on a hold, and I spoke with him then. My ex and her family were the ones who were adamant no charges should be filed, and the sheriff’s department having no evidence other than my confession and faced with the staunch refusal of my ex’s family to go forward, chose not to pursue a case.

      I have admitted it. Should I call them up and say guys, I think y’all made a mistake back in 1998? Have another go? And by the way, track down my ex and her family and see if they’d like to rethink their decision to oppose prosecution?

  36. Amazing. And somewhat humorous except that comes at the expense of someone whose writings I have come to respect and have enjoyed over the years. But the ways in which Hugo’s detractors can sit there hidden behind the keyboard, and distort the stories Hugo himself has written, and which they have read over and over and over, and then go on to present those distortions as fact as if nobody else is able to read and interpret those stories on their own is pretty amazing.

    Example: The story told by his detractors is that Hugo took advantage of and raped his ex, right after she had just been previously y raped when he picked her up, is not that story that Hugo tells. Then according to his detractors he tries to deliberately murder her. The rest of the details, which don’t support this account are conveniently left out.

    Hugo story, the only “facts” that they have to go by , tells me a different story. Both of them are in deep addiction to just about any drug they could get their hands on. In and out of Rehab, Hugo was picking up his ex (also out of rehab) after she had gone to her dealer to trade sex for drugs. She was not raped or coerced. He picks her up afterwards, and she wants to go back to his place for sex and to do more drugs. At this point neither one of them are in any position to make any decisions, being trashed on alcohol and benzos ( and probably anything else handy that they can get off on). After the sex, and munching more drugs she is completely out of it and although conscious, he is completely zoned out. Like many that abuse anti-anxiety drugs, he’s depressed and zoned out, and attempts suicide for the both of them. He’s not making anything close to rational decisions and indeed, at this point probably couldn’t. I’m just surprised that he remembers any of it.
    If course, people looking for ammo to use against Hugo completely rewrite this to be that he raped her and tried to murder her. The cops didn’t think so. The cops, rightly so, saw them as incompetent to make decisions and put them in the nut hatch to dry out. Hugo and his ex were poster children for the mentally ill and should have been institutionalized. The story I get out of it, is one of coming out of a low point in one’s life and of change, by the grace of God and with the help of a lot of friends and family. And while it is terrible story of despair and lack of hope, it is not an example of what Hugo is today, which is that he has been a good teacher and mentor to his students, and a man that has maintained boundaries and kept his life transparent in the face of these stories. There is no evidence, as presented by his past and present students that he has been anything but above board. No amount of making up shit is going to change that. No matter how many times you try to present lies and half-truths as fact, no matter how many web sites you go thru to do it, will change the fact, that it’s made up bullshit.

    An now the humorous part. Years ago after Hugo did the Glen Sacks show, Hugo was bombarded with personal attacks from the MRA contingent. There were *many* personal attacks just like the ones presented here the last couple of weeks. They too went through his stories just like “Miss O” or “Alexandra Erin” or “GoodEnuf” (and some others with too much time on their hands) and cherry picked lines out of it to create false images of Hugo to smear him. They would do and say anything no matter how dishonest. The end justifying the means. They took stories, deliberately distorted them and spread and repeated them as fact, creating more converts and spreading even more stories. They hated him and wanted to do everything in their power to silence him. MRA’s had Facebook sites, and other websites related to “Hate Hugo”. They knew this was an effective tool as well and brought hoards of misogynists to this site to silence Hugo. But Hugo was patient. And eventually MRA’s more or less lost interest, but many more looked at feminism and gender equality in a new light. Some began to see the fallacies in the MRA platform and for what it was, hateful, vindictive. Some abandoned it all together and became interested in women’s issues and wanted to contribute. And Hugo made this happen. RadFems and “racialized feminists” (what a term!) pretty much shot them down but that’s another sad pathetic story.

    So it isn’t his first Rodeo. And I doubt it will be his last. Men and women will continue to read his articles. He will continue to garner speaking engagements. He will continue to receive requests for interviews. And you won’t. Why? Because he’s honest. Interesting to read. Inclusive. And his reading, speaking and class lectures are interesting and fun. And yours never will be. You will always be bitter and divisive, and nobody will pay to read your rhetoric. So live with it. Embrace it. It’s who you are. Its who you want to be. Go back to your little web blogs where you can lord it up over the other girls. Go back where you can be somebody and talk shit to people and get them to lap it up. Its great entertainment for the rest of us!

    • Really appreciate you taking the time to write that. I’ve been fighting the good fight here, and getting demoralized more than I wanted to admit. Your time and attention to detail has hopefully (hopefully) made a difference. Thank you. -H✽✾❃❇❈

    • attempts suicide for the both of them

      um, suicide is “killing oneself”. You can’t “suicide for another person” – trying to kill someone else is murder. if hugo schwyzer stabbed his ex-partner, would you say “he attempted suicide for her”? What planet are you from?

      I have no stake in this argument except that to say someone “suicided for someone else” is patently ridiculous.

  37. Amongst the various criticisms that I’ve heard, I’d like to suggest several things, most of which I’ve written to you in the past privately about (and been told by you that my perspective was largely either “wrong” or similar) – totally excluding the direct issues of your past behavior and similar. I’m not sure it’s worth repeating these things, because it seems that they aren’t really relevant to how You see things but:

    1. As a man – concerned about Feminist Issues – which you obviously are, a Significant amount of your focus should in my estimation be upon – working Primarily with Men in two related ways:
    a. Working on your Own Issues – in Private with Other Men – in a similar way to how you I believe have worked on your Sobriety Issues with others – who are in recovery – though our men’s issues for most of us will continue for the rest of our lives (as recovery may be),
    b. Working as a “helper” – with Men – or at a minimum Largely with Men – Not – leaving the(work to reach men to largely be an adjunct portion of your focus ) – focusing your work upon Men – not Women,

    2. Work Related to Women – oft times belongs amongst Women – While you can certainly teach women – as you do – being an Ally of Women – particularly related to 1. above – oft times belongs in my estimation on the sidelines. Slut Walks, for example- gave you an opportunity – to reach out to Male Allies of The Women – in a way similar to how other men in the past have used Take Back the Night Marches as a chance to gather Men to work both in support of the Women and to deal with their Own Men’s Issues. Instead – You seem to Have a HUGE need to become “The Leader” – such as THE Voice of the Slut Walk in LA.

    3. Related to 2. above – Getting Attention – is NOT the value – though oft times it seems a large value for you. It isn’t important that you get recognized and in the spotlight. It is important that you do Good Work – and feel good about your work because of What you have done, not because of the focus upon you it brings.

    4. (I can’t speak significantly to this area, but) There are substantive criticisms of both your general feminist approach including significant things related to Women of Color. Hearing such criticisms and figuring out how to best make yourself at least “better” in those areas seems important.

    It is, of course, far, far easier to – live as you have receiving continuing accolades from young women – who you may well be helping, rather than doing the tough, but critically important job of working primarily with men – who strangely enough – really need a lot of work on the issues. Working with men and working on your own issues in a really, really serious way won’t get similar publicity. It’s your choice! (I, as a man, have made my own similar choices in these areas.) Good Luck!

  38. I think if you focused a lot more closely on #2, you might get some answers to #1 and #3. Because I can count dozens of pieces you’ve published and blog comments you’ve made that made me wince, including the now infamous “confession.” And frankly, what bothers me about that piece in this context isn’t the idea that OMG it was soooo long ago, but the way you found it appropriate to write NOW: the framing it in comparison to someone losing a dog, the downplaying of rape but lavish description of YOUR sexual encounter, the lack of admission as to what it means for a woman, particularly, to have her medical records list a suicide attempt, your need to make sure we know you aren’t liable now, and that’s without forcing myself to reread it. And I don’t really care what you meant, or what YOU thought was important–I don’t read for writers’ intentions, I read for what they communicate. I could name others, again, without revisiting your archives, that are dripping with privilege, self-centeredness, and self-importance, particularly in your long history with WOC writers who have dared to question your chosen few. Your patronizing descriptions of your students, in particular, have often made me cringe. And I felt that way long before I knew about your personal behavior, and particularly, I’ve seen the same cringe-worthy remarks made over and over again with little to no change or growth.

    I don’t care much about you as a person, to be frank; I don’t really care if you are learning or making amends or really trying SO hard or if you have friends who think you’re a super-cool guy. I care about what you communicate, especially in the professorial, instructional, expert role you proclaim. And your writing, more than your personal life, is what makes you someone I actively steer people away from to other alternatives. We have enough false friends.

  39. Mr. Schwyzer-

    I agree with equal rights as a philosophy and have learned a lot about what actual equality is from feminism, but have serious disagreements with feminism as a political movement. I seek out blogs that differ from me on policy issues because I learn from them (five years ago I would have just said “pro equal rights anti feminism” with no understanding of how privilege affects equal rights), but I’m not interested in political strategizing or hearing what an idiot people who disagree with the writer are. This has left you and a few feminism + motherhood blogs as the only feminist blogs I read regularly. I mention this because I don’t feel qualified to talk about what your place in the feminism movement should be.

    What I do feel qualified to talk about is how you’ve helped me personally. Mostly by writing about your own behavior, you’ve given me tremendous insight into my and my friends’ boyfriends and husbands. Sometimes it’s a specific post (emotional submarining, 7s marry 7s, waiting to be struck by certainty), sometimes it’s spread across many (I hope it will not offend you to say that I got over an ex when I realized that his behavior towards me was driven by the same addiction to attention and admiration you once had, and the only thing it had to do with my virtues was that they made me an especially valuable supplier). I disagree with a fair subset of what you write, but even when I do, you write with such clarity that I still learn from it. Selfishly, I’ve been a little miffed as you moved your writing from your blog to edited articles, because they always felt overpolished by comparison.

    This is why I’m dismayed at the fallout from your article on your murder-suicide attempt. If it had come out from investigate reporting, I might feel differently. But to use your own words as the only evidence for an attack discourages the honesty and vulnerability displayed by writing them, and that’s not only unfair, but counterproductive. You’ve also been a shining example of change and growth. There’s no one post to point to for this, but it’s so rare that we get to see someone articulate their position well, get new information, and articulate that position equally well, without malice or anger.

    I am afraid that the recent fallout will take away your honesty and clarity. It would be easy to retreat to writing about safe topics and politics, or at least stop writing about yourself, and I wouldn’t blame you for it. But for my sake and my friends’, I hope you will continue with the really brutal self-reflection you have given us so far.

  40. Hugo, only one group of people have come forward to saw you behaved badly to them: bfp and other racialized women bloggers. If you want the restorative justice process that Clarisse Thorn has called for on your behalf, you might start by posting an apology and indicating a willingness to work out some sort of process with them.

    • Sure – lets forget accusations of murder and rape. We all need to center bpf here, since, after all, she’s proudly preserved her stigmata over that blog posting Hugo did 4 years ago.

      Please Hugo – take up John’s advice! I love a good blogdrama, and we haven’t witnessed a spectacular bfp “goodbye cruel white feminist world” flounce for so long! If you’re looking for traffic and buzz, offering yourself up for a bfp-led restorative beatdown will get you far more page views than jizzing all over Jezebel.

      I’ve got my popcorn ready, and I’ve drawn up a seat. You need to get in early for these productions because you just don’t have much time to enjoy them. Once the pummeling process starts in earnest, it’s sure to end quickly because bfp will find some inattentive, insufficiently groveling audience member who she can use as the justification one of her deliciously racialized, stage-left exits.

      • Excuse me, “Sweating through fog”, I already know you don’t like bfp. And I get that you think you can predict her behaviour in every detail. With such a remarkable talent for precognition and telepathy, you might want to take some time off this discussion to win the lottery and can clean out the Texas hold ‘em tables at Las Vegas.

        If bfp doesn’t want to engage in any process of reconciliation with Hugo after the way he behaved toward her, well, she has that right. But if he tries to reconcile with her and other racialized feminist bloggers, then he will have at least made an attempt to address specific people who say he harmed them in a specific way, rather than generally by writing something they didn’t like. I don’t know if that will do this discussion any good at this point, but it seems to me worth a try.

        By the way, congratualtions on overcoming your mental block against the word “racialized”.

        • No John its actually you I dislike. Not you personally, of course, but rather your “Buzz Ally” presentation here, and the discordant note it introduces into what might otherwise be a very satisfying Hugasm.

          I have some respect for bfp. She inspires me to someday get an ally of my very own. Someone who – weeks after I enter a thread purely to mess with some white feminist heads – will remind everyone that I did indeed make an apparition, and that they’d better not miss out on the next Pentecost. I can use my ally to catalog all my hassles, so that when an opportunity presents itself, he can pick up the dispute even years later. Even if I’ve forgotten it.

          Or I can give my ally an even more important mission: Angry at my people’s suffering and mistreatment on this vale of tears, I can suggest to my ally that I’d feel a whole lot better if I could just hear people using the word “racialized” a bit more.

  41. Yes, that is what you should do. The fact that your privilege, and the emotionally distressed status of your victim, combined to make “let’s just forget about” the go-to position of law enforcement at the time, doesn’t negate the issue. Call the DA directly if the cops continue to prefer to stay out of it. See what the prosecutor for the county thinks you should do. “Gee, all we have is this guy’s confession” isn’t exactly a weak case, and the victim does not need to press charges for a case to be brought on a felony murder rap. The state can do it just fine.

    • If you think justice will come out of the prison industrial complex; more specifically, if you think a highly educated, elite and privileged individual will have anything like the same experience of imprisonment as an oppressed, badly educate racialized person, then I suspect you have never done prison work.

      And by the way, unless the woman who survived Hugo’s murder-suicide attempt has spoken to you about it, you don’t know why she declined to press charges.

      • Glad you pointed that out, John. In related news, unless she’s spoken to YOU, the only reason you know anything about any of this–including whether it even happened– is because Hugo wrote about it.

    • And by the way Robert, you do know the legal system costs a lot of money, right? I assume you have heard that imprisonment costs a lot of money as well. And you also know the state of California has a major budget crisis, right? So all the substantial costs for this purely self indulgent act of atonement by Hugo (which the woman survivor of his murder suicide attempt indicated she didn’t want then, and has given no sign of wanting now) will come at the direct expense of other state programs, the most vulnerable of which actually serve vulnerable populations, such as racialized communities and women and children who have actually asked for help and who need it right now. If you and Comradde Physioproffe ever want to work on your privileges, you might consider addressing this business of making pronouncements on stuff you have minimal knowledge about, and which you have in any case not thought through.

      • Very well said!

        Hopefully ‘robert’ will read it thoroughly and comprehend it. His knowledge of the law seems to be pitifully lacking—let alone his idea of what’s right & wrong in this situation.
        In any case, well said Sir—thank you.

      • Of course, John. This “attempted murderer” wasn’t charged with a capital crime because it was too expensive. Seriously, are you writing this nonsense on your own, or is some fuzzy mullet on his hate blog dictating this to you like the good familiar you are? Hilarious!

  42. Geo and Mimi must be angels here on earth…

    “It isn’t important that you get recognized and in the spotlight. It is important that you do Good Work – and feel good about your work because of What you have done, not because of the focus upon you it brings.”

    This could be someone counseling Mother Theresa–and it’s a tall order. Many activists all over the world work really hard at achieving this–are we to assume that you Geo, already achieve this every day? Are you doing in fact, ‘Good Work’ and doing it flawlessly?

    And Mimi is noticing that there has been ‘ little to no change or growth.’ with Hugo over the years.

    Wow, that’s quite a statement/indictment.

    I’m assuming that you’re an intensely good person who no one ever needs to be steered away from…

    “And I don’t really care what you meant, or what YOU thought was important–I don’t read for writers’ intentions, I read for what they communicate…”

    Please look up the difference between ‘imply’ and ‘infer’–what a writer ‘communicates’ is rather simplistic as you’re not the one and only arbiter; readers infer work differently. It’s an important distinction.

  43. @Robert:

    “,,,and the victim does not need to press charges for a case to be brought on a felony murder rap. The state can do it just fine.”

    Are you saying he should do that WITHOUT HER PERMISSION? The state cannot ‘do it just fine’–if he went forward as you’re so casually suggesting then she would be brought into it EXPRESSLY *against* her and HER FAMILY’S wishes.

  44. “The state cannot ‘do it just fine’ …”

    Sure it can, H. Domestic violence cases, as an example, are routinely pushed through against the wishes of the victim.

    The state has an interest in serving justice that goes beyond individual parties.

    Don’t make comments about law if you have no idea what you are saying. Please. Stick to your hero worship, Hugo. I mean “H”.

    • Did you happen to miss the substantial part of the 1000+ post discussion on Feministe that dealt with the inadequacy of the legal system? Quick summary from my own experience: North American prison and legal systems have a massive bias in favour of educated, culturally middle class individuals identified as “white”. The system won’t deal with Hugo “just fine”.

      Why does a theoretical appeal to the state legal system deserve more attention than dealing with the people who have stood up at Feministe and elsewhere and said that Hugo did them harm?

      • Did you miss the part in Hugo’s essay where neither his girlfriend or their family wanted to press charges, and where the police concurred that since he hadn’t committed any crime, and there was no evidence that he had, he wasn’t charged, and therefore never committed “attempted murder” in any sense?

        • Actually, Hugo has characterized his actions as an attempted murder-suicide in several posts now, and he has also said he considers what he did profoundly reprehensible.

          If you want to defend him you won’t do him or anyone else any good by defending even acts he himself admits are indefensible.

    • Firstly for those of us who do know, and what’s more appreciate the Law—your casual nature towards it is not appreciated.

      My father is an attorney and I have judges in my family—and your casual, immature attitude toward the law is disingenuous.

      It’s not about “Sure it can” like we’re talking about a surfboard waxing; or “It’s routine” like it’s nothing.

      The state’s interest is not quite as pure and noble as you state so eloquently about ‘serving justice’—it turns out in the *real world* Robert; you also need resources, witnesses, evidence, cooperation and time.

      Telling us to not make comments on the law when yours to *begin with* are ignorant palaver—is rich.

      Also, I in no way shape or form ‘worship’ Hugo or any other man for that matter—so please refrain from snarky and useless commentary.

      Back to the point—what you’re suggesting is absurd because you’re not taking into account the WOMAN in the situation. What you’re suggesting is that she gets dragged back into this—AGAINST her will; kicking & screaming. That makes you a monster for even *suggesting* it. Understand now?

      Get it?

      It’s not some causal picnic and ‘Oh SURE it can’ “No problem man!” ‘Easy breezy!’ I mean if you’re trying to make it clear you know zero about the Law–mission accomplished buddy!

      Listen Robert—things do not happen in a VACUUM—understand?

      There is no going forward—all casual and sauntering into it—without going against the express wishes of the woman and her family.

      Your suggestion was wrong on every level—including the legal one—so perhaps it is you who should stop with your self-serving ‘suggestions’

      Okay?

      Thanks!

  45. Schwyzer obviously loves being at the center of attention of groups of young women and in a position of power and privilege over them. He used to love to exploit that power and privilege to actually sticke his dicke in them. Now he loves to exploit that power and privilege to sticke his rhetorical dicke–the torrents of words he endlessly spews all over the fucken place–in them.

    He is no different than an alcoholic who has given up bottles of vodka for cases of beer.

    If his narrative of recovery and accountability is not a complete sham, then he will remove himself permanently from being at the center of attention of groups of young women and in a position of power and privilege over them. His plan–if it eventuates–to “depart[] from explicitly feminist spaces” is a good start.

    • I have no doubt that all these helpless women needed you to enlighten them as to the proper response to Hugo. Obviously they just have no hope of critically assessing the writings of Hugo without a wise person such as yourself making sure they get it right. Comradde PhysioProffe seems like a modest moniker for someone with these essential talents. You might want to consider changing your handle to Sirrah Galahadd.

      • Well said John!
         …for some reason, they’re just not able to read this one man’s work—without flying off the handle and entering into a blind panic—where they run off to rile up any sophomore juveniles who can’t form a sentence without vulgarity, reason with others or—manage a page on Facebook with any kind of inclusive dialogue.

         In fact their idea of feminism seems to be re-tweeting feminist messages and liking feminist posts on Facebook, and starting pages of hate speech.

         As a feminist who is able to read differing opinions from my own *without* going into sheer panic mode—I appreciate your post.

         Thank you for your time and attention here.

    • You people are sounding crazier and crazier every day. What’s wrong….? The fact that your Facebook hate page and your campaign against him is getting no further traction as more and more people are taking a look at your lies, slander, and distortion on this topic and finding you wanting getting you down? I’m starting to read this blog for comedy purposes now.

  46. Pingback: In Defense of Hugo | rosiesaysblog

  47. I think its safe to say that if the police had thought they could make a case against Hugo for the attempted Suicide in his apartment, they would have done so. The police don’t have a problem arresting young white guys doing scads of illegal narcotics. Nor do they have a problem arresting young women who go out and purchase controlled substances from non-pharmacists friends. Start dragging the cops back in to this situation and quite possibly you’d be raising two bail money funds. You’ll harass and embarrass Hugo’s ex’s life and perhaps destroy her family as well as his. Is it worth it to prosecute someone that was clearly unable to make rational decisions at the time, that by most definitions, was mentally ill and unstable? The police thought not. Had they wanted to make a case for prosecution of Hugo, the evidence, more than his confession, was there.

    I know you hate this guy. I know you are jealous that people don’t listen to your voice as they listen to his. But is it worth all that? Is it worth the pain you’d cause beyond Hugo’s life? Really? Would you actually use Hugo’s ex and her family to exact revenge on Hugo. You and your pals are morally bankrupt (as well as having a real need to go back to high school and learn to spelle).

    As for how Hugo treated racialized feminists, what would you have him do? Shouldn’t he be honest in his beliefs concerning the issues around the Marcotte/BFP issue. Or do you give a teflon overcoat to all the WOC feminists out there? Do WOC feminist get to walk rough shod over other feminist and their supporters, merely because of their color? (Well I guess the answer is yes at Feministe and quite a few other feminist blogs). Hugo wrote of his opinion on the matter, and held racialized (theres that word again, if it is even a proper word) feminist accountable just like we do everyone else that isn’t a WOC. It was measured, thoughtful and listed the facts, which is probably his biggest fault since his detractors don’t seem interested in actual, you know, facts.

    Look, you guys are dragging out an incident that happened 14 years ago in a time when Hugo’s life had spun out of control. Yes, he had made a lot of poor decisions to get there, and when you’re at the bottom looking up out of the well, it’s hard to tell what is right or wrong or even what yourself worth is. It’s even harder when drug induced mental illness takes a grip on you and you try so desperately to escape it. I’m guessing more than a few of his readers, like maybe one or two of you, have been there as well.

    But again, that’s 14 years ago, probably more than half the lifetime of some of the women trying to dogpile on The Doc right now. To condemn him, and say that change is impossible is to condemn a large swath of the population that has been at some point in their life, in the same impossible place, fighting to get a foothold and improve their lives. Fighting to prove that they can reform and become a productive member of society. Struggling for self worth. Your condemnation and the hubris to judge him are pathetic. I can only hope that one day someone you care about writes you off because of a mistake you made in your youth. I hope they condemn you and write you off as impossible to change. I hope they shun you and think you a pariah because of some mistakes you made when your life wasn’t so ordered and perfect. And I hope they do it publicy to humiliate you and that we can watch and add to your humilation.

    You know I’ve heard of “ray” guns. But I wonder if the government has a “Racializer Gun”.. ? People could get “Racialized” by accident.

    “Son! What happened to you? Your all brown!

    I dunno Mom! I was walking down the street and somebody racialized me!

    You look so cute Son!

    • “Your condemnation and the hubris to judge him are pathetic. I can only hope that one day someone you care about writes you off because of a mistake you made in your youth. I hope they condemn you and write you off as impossible to change. I hope they shun you and think you a pariah because of some mistakes you made when your life wasn’t so ordered and perfect. And I hope they do it publicy to humiliate you and that we can watch and add to your humilation.”

      Absolutely brilliant.

      Am hoping every single member of the witch hunt, lays down their pitchfork for one glorious moment to read those words and let them sink in.

      Thank you for your contribution and for the character it takes to stand up for a fellow human being and feminist.✮✯☆❂☆✭✮✯

    • The authorities appear to have concluded that prosecuting Hugo will serve no public purpose. I have already said that based on my experiences with the legal system and the prison industrial complex, I agree. I have nothing else to say about that.

      Hugo never had an obligation to agree with racialized women bloggers. His post on the subject, as I observed at the time, contained a veiled threat (“you better prove it”) and the snarl of “white” privilege. That post, whether Hugo intended it or not, suggested that Amanda and her lawyers could make life difficult for bfp. As someone who tries to do anti-oppression work well, I have to make an effort to avoid invoking privilege in this way. When I fail (and we all do), then I accept the obligation to make an effort to reconcile with the people I have offended.

      Hugo can choose to do this or not. But it appears to me that at this point, he has to choose between making a deliberate attempt to deal with the people who have come forward and identified themselves as having suffered direct harm from his behaviour, or else hoping his opponents will get tired, the facebook page and the blog dedicated to trashing him will just die out. I do not intend to tell him what to do.

      As for your question about racialized: first, you do understand that what we call “race” has no real biological basis, right? That in many cases we accord “white” privilege to people who actually a less severe melanin deficiency that some people we deny it to? In other words, our society sorts people quite arbitrarily into privileged and not privileged, and some of us use the term “racialized” to denote those on the short end of that stick, those who have had that process imposed on them. And by the way, if you have an ethnically ambiguous appearance, it can indeed happen to you literally walking down the street; someone can indeed slot you into an arbitrary category.

      • “We take our shape, it is true, within and against that cage of reality bequeathed to us at our birth, and yet it is precisely through our dependence on this reality that we are most endlessly betrayed.”
        James Baldwin.

  48. Pingback: Hugo Schwyzer lands in a major blogosphere explosion, thrown out of feminism

  49. I came into thing situation thinking that people tend to see what they want to, and my view hasn’t changed. There’s a problem about trying to judge a person’s character via text. There are nonverbal cues. One psychologist noted that we might mirror and end up reacting to things that are internal — projecting things that might not be there. (I suppose this can go both ways.) Maybe not all of the time. Some of the criticism is legitimate. But I’m a little disturbed by anyone being 100% certain of anything, of not allowing any measure of doubt or reversals. (Been reading Kathryn Schulz’s book, “Being Wrong,” which was an interesting examination of the state of being wrong.)

    Idols.

    Monsters.

    Maybe in the end we’re all just human and we should treat each other as such.

    • There are nonverbal cues… Grr… meaning there are nonverbal cues we miss.

      And sorry for rambling. Working with a cold here. :P

  50. So I don’t get it I guess. Discussing the repercussions of a serious accusation that BFP made against a colleague was invoking “white” privilege? Was BFP so delicate that simply discussing the situation with her as you would anyone else too offensive to her? Doesn’t that seem a little patronizing?

    And calling BFP out about this 4 years ago is the basis for the accusation that Schwyzer is overtly racist?

    Being “racialized” is not a free ticket to treat others poorly. (Well except maybe on Feministe). Would letting BFP keep on making (arguably) baseless accusations of this nature the politically correct thing to do? Personally, I wouldn’t have even responded to the accusation, but I suppose that would somehow be racist too as I would be giving insufficient weight to her accusation.

    Please, I’m genuinely interested in your opinion on this. From a non-racialized perspective, what would have been the correct course for Hugo to take?

    • By saying “you better prove it” (which inevitably raised the spectre of rich and privileged people using lawyers to stifle a critic), Hugo invoked unjust privilege.

      If he wants, Hugo can reach out to his critics on this issue. He may or may not get a response. He may or may not have a hope of reconciliation. But he can try. Whether or not he does remains entirely up to him.

      • By saying “you better prove it” (which inevitably raised the spectre of rich and privileged people using lawyers to stifle a critic), Hugo invoked unjust privilege.

        Out of curiousity, I found the blog entry.

        http://www.hugoschwyzer.net/2008/04/09/if-its-stealing-youd-better-prove-it-on-amanda-marcotte-bfp-and-alternet/

        I found BFP’s blog entry on the matter interesting.

        http://bfpfinal.wordpress.com/2008/04/16/3/

        The situation’s a complex one. On one end, you have race issues and appropriation. Turn it on the side, and you get plagiarism and the ownership of ideas. Everyone focused in the area they were the most comfortable handling and two parallel arguments ran. Instead of talking to each other, people seemed to talk around one another — as though they didn’t believe that they could reason with the other side. Or worse, because they saw the other side as abstractions — white privileged, or the irrational mob. And this isn’t atypical. It’s difficult to debate complex matters on the internet. Instead of enlightenment, we seem to harden our own positions.

        • John, several years ago I was asked by BFP not to contact her, comment on her blog, or even mention her in public spaces. I see no reason to believe that she has changed her mind about that.

          I stand by my position that Amanda Marcotte was treated unfairly and was the subject of false and unfair accusations.

          For the record, I am not Amanda’s friend, we have met in person exactly once and have worked together on a few projects. We are not protecting each other. The idea that I’m white knighting for an exclusive cabal of well-connected white feminists is patently silly.

          • Hugo, the issue here has nothing to do with the behaviour of bfp and her sisters to Amanda. It has to do with whether by reaching out to reconcile with racialized feminist bloggers your behaviour has offended you could change this debate.

        • Since you’re dragging up this history, I just want to say in my own defense: BFP was vastly misrepresenting the argument I was actually making (yes, I am the labyrus she was referring to, and I was a teenager at the time that this happened), and in retrospect, reading it over again, I think I was being nicer about it than the situation really demanded. What BFP was doing was dishonest. Maybe she was just really upset and all the comments here ran together, but that doesn’t make lying about what I actually said okay. Attributing something that someone didn’t say to them is, at the very least, just as bad as failing to attribute something to somebody.

          I’m not sure that I was really right in taking the position I was, but I do feel like I was treated really shabbily by BFP, and the experience really turned me off of being involved in any of this blog stuff.

          • labyrus, Hugo’s history with bfp and other racialized women bloggers doesn’t make what bfp said about you right or wrong.

            How and whether you come to terms with you has nothing to do with the question of whether or not Hugo can do so or try to. An apology from Hugo for asserting his privilege would not suggest wrong-doing on your part.

  51. I could care less about Hugo Schwyzer – like 90% of men on earth, he is not worth my time & energy. But H, I am concerned about your over-investment in this situation. You are either a stunningly devoted troll or someone who needs professional help. Please go outside & get some sunshine – Vitamin D deficiency can be a serious problem – and reconsider your priorities. Hugo is doing it – you can too!!!!!!

    • If you cannot read or understand what I’ve written–that’s one thing.

      The fact that you’ve come in and *defined* the word ‘troll’ is another.

      Thank you for making me smile!
      :)

  52. @SeekCouncelling
    Let’s see, you and your troopers have spent the better parts of the day and night over the last couple of weeks obsessing over Hugo. Reading his posts for something you can take out of contest and use against him. Then you trolled so many sites that I’ve lost count, spreading lies and half truths about him and trying any unscrupulous way to silence him. You’ve created web pages, facebook pages, twitter accounts, and 1000+ comment posts at feministe specifically about Hugo. No telling how many hours you spent on facebook patting yourselves on the back for your courage in the face of Teh Menz!

    You whine about Hugo’s sexism all the while harping that he can’t possibly be a feminist or even an ally because he’s a man. You gone on and on about how you and your chickie friends are more qualified to talk, teach, discuss feminism just because you are women even though most of you arent qualifed to make a cheeseburger at McDonalds.

    You whine about him silencing your voices, of him speaking over women’s voices, all the while you pull every dirty trick in the book to shut down his voice, his teaching career, and his blog writings.

    And on the sites I frequent, I see the same names posting the same shit all during the day, the evening and into the early morning hours. All I can figure is none of you have jobs or a life and this is how you entertain yourselves, but I think its pretty crazy myself. As in Cat Lady Crazy.

    And you really think it’s H that needs professional help? I think the whole bunch of you haters need to throw a serious booze and prozac party. Maybe some nice lithium deserts. Maybe you’ll gain a little perspective, shed some of the hippocracy, and get away from your iphone for a while. It would be good for you. Really!.

  53. >seekcounseling on January 19, 2012 at 11:46 am said:
    >I could care less about Hugo Schwyzer – like 90% of men on earth, he >is not worth my time & energy. But H, I am concerned about your
    >over-investment in this situation.

    Hahaha.. yeah right. I can see your lack of interest in Schwyzer. I’m just guessing here, but I can bet that 90% of men on earth are not all that interested in you as well. I doubt that Hugo is either. Unless you count pity.

    Guys just don’t find obsessive behavior sexy.

      • Sorry Cara..
        I’m married. You and Gin have been going at it pretty steady though. Take a break. Go out and get a drink with your friends. See a good live band. Grab a bite to eat. It won’t hurt your mission to step away from the keyboard for an evening. The drama will still be here when you get back. That much is certain.

  54. This comment thread is priceless. There’s nary a misogynist insult or derailing technique left that wouldn’t already have been employed by either H, Michael Rowe or one of Hugo’s other supporters.

    “Witch hunt!”
    “You’re hysterical!”
    “You’re shrill!”
    “You’re all just jealous!”
    “No man wants you anyway!”
    “You need therapy!”
    “You’re obsessed!”

    Your work really speaks for itself, Hugo! You must be a proud little bunny (and apparently you are, since you’ve obviously been reading this thread, but haven’t addressed any of the deeply problematic comments spewed by your sycophantic followers).

  55. Coming from ‘Pinocchio’–that’s adorable.

    You’re not even *pretending* to appear truthful; it’s okay with you if we know you’re a liar like the rest… That’s good. That’s a step forward.

    • I’m a liar because of my username? Meanwhile, you were just banned from Feministe after engaging in a self-congratulatory monologue in the Hugo Schwyzer thread under six different user names. I hope for the sake of what’s left of your integrity that you won’t attempt to deny it was you, considering how many of the phrases and quotes in those posts have been delivered by you here. Your style is unmistakeable.

      I’m not interested in any discourse with you. Not only are you completely divorced from reality, you’re also obviously incapable of honest discussion.

  56. I’m sorry, is Hugo on a timetable to address the ‘deeply problematic comments’ that we’re not aware of yet? Is there a timetable you’d like to share?

    And by ‘deeply problematic’ do you mean just the ones you disagree with?

    And by ‘deeply problematic’ do you actually mean the ones that defend him against the lynch mob? Do those make you uncomfortable?

    That’s too bad.

  57. Jan 20

    Addressing cowards and liars is arduous work. There’s no doubt about it unfortunately.

    When the cowards and liars call doing the right thing ‘deeply problematic’ that’s when you know society has lost hope.

    The disservice done to feminism with the cyber lynching will never be recovered from; and the damage is unjustifiable. The behavior of those engaged in the hysteria has been reprehensible—and beyond ‘deeply problematic’.

    “Great occasions do not make heroes or cowards; they simply unveil them to the eyes of (wo)men. Silently and imperceptibly, as we wake or sleep, we grow strong or weak; and at last some crisis shows what we have become.”
    ~Brooke Foss Westcott

  58. It’s incredibly frustrating to see so little nuance in the discussion of Hugo and his work and his past. All I read are either venomous attacks from people who want him to fuck off and die, or worshipful pedestalizing from fans who claim he’s changed their life. There’s a “Fuck No Hugo Schwyzer” tumblr and a “Team Hugo” Facebook page. There’s hardly anyone out there taking a middle-ground approach and that’s sad, because that’s what needed here.

    Hugo Schwyzer did some really awful things for which he may or may not have entirely made amends. I think in some way with the loss of all of these speaking opportunities and platforms (like Scarleteen and Perfectly Imperfected) he is paying a price he didn’t pay back in 1998. There’s a karmic debt being discharged, and we’re not the ones who decide when that process is completed.

    I think Hugo says some very valuable things. I also sometimes wince at the way he says them. He is far from perfect. But he is also far from being useless, and it simply isn’t true that none of his ideas are original. He does valuable stuff. At the same time, he is also divisive and sanctimonious.

    I think it’s a great idea for him to take a step back from organized feminism. Jezebel is not organized feminism, neither is Role/Reboot. It’s good for feminist blogs not to link to his work for a while, and see who else (David Futrelle or Yashar Ali) can step into Hugo’s shoes. Hugo can continue to do important work elsewhere.

  59. Thank you for that nuance very much. The middle ground does get lost; thank you.

    “The superior (wo)man understands what is right; the inferior (wo)man understands what will sell.”
    ~Confucius

  60. Nobody is saying Hugo hasn’t made some whopping mistakes, including Hugo himself. But only the victim has the moral right to expect him to make amends.

    Not self selected Feminist leader wannabees. Not Hugo haters. Not women and WOCs that have an ax to grind with his remarks or that are sexist or racist in their hatred that he even has a voice.

    What I despise in this situation is not that Hugo made mistakes 10 years ago, its that people that have always despised him and wanted him silenced have taken advantage of the circumstances surrounding his victim and used it to silence him. And not just silence him in their own feminist circles, but censor the rest of us from reading his views. Not only tried and are succeeding, but are still bullying others that don’t toe the line with their views and goals. Heck, its still going on right here, but also on many other gender issue sites that I frequent.
    It’s all about silencing his voice and appropriating it for their own personal egos. If you don’t want to read or support him, it is your right. When you silence his voice so everyone regardless of opinion lose that point of view, it’s censorship. And its dishonest.
    I am encouraged however. Many have fought against this, not because they worship Hugo, or are particularly enthralled with his writing, but because of the way his haters went about it. People just see it for what it is.

    • Well said! Its why I’m here. This has gone so far beyond some feminist debate into a realm seen across the board when a small group goes above and beyond to the point of obsession.

      Children express themselves through obsessing. Adults supposedly have learned the harm in this and have chosen more productive means.

      What I see from these self proclaimed bastions of feminism are the “in crowd” isolating and terrorizing “the fat kid” making sure he remembers forever the hell he gets put through for no other reason than they decided he doesn’t merit anything more.

  61. “…but are still bullying others that don’t toe the line with their views and goals.”

    INDEED. It’s the bullying that has had me fighting the good fight here–I will not tolerate bullying–and that was one of the things for me personally anyway, that has gotten me involved. The bullying must end. Period. There’s just no excuse for it.

  62. “If you don’t want to read or support him, it is your right. When you silence his voice so everyone regardless of opinion lose that point of view, it’s censorship. And its dishonest.
    I am encouraged however. Many have fought against this, not because they worship Hugo, or are particularly enthralled with his writing, but because of the way his haters went about it. People just see it for what it is.”

    Exactly.

    EXACTLY.

    I don’t know you, but you are a welcome voice of reason and intellect and I respect your contribution; thank you. (You also don’t know me, so who knows what my praise is worth—but I thank you nonetheless)

    That above has been my point; it is and would be up to each of us as INDIVIDUALS whether we read or support Hugo or not.

    I in no way ‘worship’ Hugo—I also am not ‘enthralled’ with anything he’s written! There are some pieces I find really interesting, and some I take issue with; there are some that make me laugh—but I have not found the need for anyone to take me by the hand and lead me away from his writing in case my dedicate sensibilities are affected in some manner.

    I’m not so terribly fragile that I need a mob of radicalized comrades on the internet to protect me!

    I am not so delicate and frail that I need to be protected from this one, individual writer. And the way they’ve gone about it with such venom is insulting—to me personally and to all women as a whole.

    If their desire was pure and just to ‘alert us’—it would have been over when it started. The creation of 24 hour Hate Cites and endless cyber-lynching belies their intentions and purpose(s).

    I have not appreciated being called names simply because I disagree with their antagonistic and often vile methods.

    Thank you again for your voice of reason—we all deserve a moment of calm.

    ~ “No one can be reasonable and angry at the same time”

  63. Hugo and his sycophants disgust me. There is no middle ground. Hugo is a sociopath, a darkly manipulative charlatan who has pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes. Believe me, something will come out about him soon that will make an attempted murder seem mild by comparison. This is a man who is fundamentally without empathy. To give him any feminist credibility is a monstrosity.

    Honestly, someone should do something outside the law to get rid of him.

  64. I haven’t been moderating comments on either “side” except in a few instances, but I think that’s going to need to change.

    I don’t need my supporters and friends to fight a proxy war for me, as much as I appreciate their concern for my well-being and their legitimate anger at some of the unjust criticisms thrown my way. At the same time, some of the criticisms are just. I want civility on both sides, please.

    For the record, I’m not planning on suing anybody. I’m still planning to revisit my courses in the spring and look at giving up women’s history. I’m withdrawing from explicitly feminist spaces, but I’m not giving up writing about those issues about which I am most passionate.

    I really recommend this post by Fannie:

    http://www.amptoons.com/blog/2012/01/20/feminism-men-and-redemption/

    • Who in heaven’s name would you sue? And for what? For libel? Slander? People are responding with perfectly reasonable dismay at your personal, public accounts of your own behavior. Your outrage and self-pity are entirely unjustified.

      While I’m aware that responding to you is only feeding the emotional vampire, it would be worse to ignore you. You win, either way, because any attention is good attention for you. Still, constant drops of water can wear away a rock.

  65. Wow.. I got quoted over at Feministe.

    No, I did not post it, and no, I did not respond. I mean, what would be the point. Any opinion not congruent with the group think would be shouted down anyway and certainly not responded too in any way that would be meaningful or even relevant. They don’t seem to be particularly interested in anything that doesn’t support their version of events that they have been spreading as fact on site after site. Even if I think its dishonest, it’s their echo chamber.

    But the post got the usual response from the usual players anyway. In a nutshell, “We can’t be doing any of the things you say because we are womyn and all of us are victims. But even if we were doing those things, we are entitled to do them because he’s a white guy and we hate him. Oh yeah, did I mention? I’m a victim (of DV, Rape, Abuse, Patriarchy, Kyriarchy, Misogyny), and he gives me the vapors. Anything we say is true whether there is any evidence for it or not. So STFU. ”

    More of the “Don’t do like we do, do like we say ” bit. And if you don’t agree with us you’re a bad person, a MRA, or (Gasp!) an “upper middle class white cis dude”. I’m none of those things nor am I “H” or a “vociferous Schwyzer supports[sic] “ as was also postulated. I don’t even totally disagree with some of the critiques of his writings. I vehemently disagree with their methods and their bullying of people that disagree and the loose way they interpret and relay the facts to others. Its dishonest and disgraceful for a group supposedly interested in social justice or any kind of justice for that matter.

    Can’t say I’m surprised by their responses. I do feel somewhat soiled however. Whoever did it, please don’t quote me over there.

  66. My apologies Hugo. I posted before reading your last comment about moderating some of these posts, both in support of you or not. But you should realized, that many, at least many of my comments are not as much a blanket support of your writings or your past in as much as they are directed at what I see as a harmful tactics that your critics are taking. Many are just hateful and dishonest and it’s just wrong on so many levels. But in retrospect, your blog is not the place to voice my opinions on those methods. I will refrain from doing so in the future.

    Best regards as always..

  67. Dude. The so-called personal attacks on you ARE fair criticism.

    Have you re-read your old post to Kyle Payne yet? The one that talks about not using one’s nominally feminist acts to offset the grievous harm one’s currently doing (or has done) to women?

  68. Cara–Read above; educate yourself; and be done with it. Thanks.

    P.S. Personal attacks are the *opposite* of ‘fair criticism’. Thanks for dropping by with obfuscation.

  69. Holy crap what a mess!

    Mr. Schwyzer. You impress me. I would have come out swinging by now. To demonstrate such restraint in the face of unabashed crucifixion is not a character trait that can be faked. While I’m not an avid follower of your writing, nor do I even venture into those circles as a rule, I can recognize and relate to the behavior exhibited here. I see it elsewhere all the time.

    The cause may differ, but the MOB is always the same.

    Good luck and Godspeed in your future endeavors. I do think you have a voice that needs to be heard. Consider their outrage a marker of how much it truly does!

  70. Pingback: Hugo Schwyzer | sinxpi

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  73. Well, as someone who’s been somewhat skeptical of you, I think this is an honest post and that you’re moving in an honest and sincere direction. I think one of the areas your considerable writing/speaking talents could be put to good use is definitely the area of men’s issues and masculinity theory so it’s good to know you’ll be teaching on those topics. Best wishes.

  74. Pingback: On Hugo Schwyzer: Accountability, not silencing dissent | Are Women Human?

  75. I just started following your blog,
    so I can’t say that I know a great deal about your writing,
    but what I *have* read impressed me with its thoughtfulness,
    depth, and attention to issues that are often swept aside.

    That said,
    thank you for demonstrating wisdom and stepping down from those positions–I cannot imagine that was easy for you,
    but I think it shows how much you truly care about the feminist community and women as a whole.

    I believe in grace, and I believe in redemption.
    I believe a man who used former students and abused alcohol can turn his life around and teach classes about gender studies in a respectful way.

    I believe you have done that.

    There is valid criticism about your writing and place in the feminist sphere, to be sure, but it is *vital* to let people change and grow and redeem themselves. I hope and pray that you will be able to continue demonstrating that growth and change.

    God’s grace be with you, Mr. Schwyzer.

  76. Pingback: Interview: Hugo Schwyzer | Featured | Lip Magazine

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