In Defense of Storytelling

Lisa Hickey thinks we need more stories like Hugo Schwyzer’s, not fewer.

TRIGGER WARNING: this post may be triggering to those in recovery or victims of violence. 

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A thought experiment:

Scenario One: You are driving down a road approaching an intersection. You get distracted for a moment, run the stop sign. A policeman pulls you over, gives you a ticket.

Scenario Two: You are driving down a road approaching an intersection. You get distracted for a moment, run the stop sign. You strike and hit another car, killing a passenger. You are immediately arrested and jailed.

In both cases, your actions leading up to the event were the same. You were driving. You were distracted. You ran a stop sign. But what happens next, changes everything.

There is no miracle of science that allows us to undo past events. No matter how they happened. No matter what led up to them. No matter how good our intentions.

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Hugo Schwyzer has written almost 100 posts for The Good Men Project over this past year. He knows how to tell a story. He’s written about his lesbian ex-wife, about rape and sexual violence, about conscious celibacy. He’s been attacked for his stories – everything from “too hard on men,” “too feminist,” to being called the dreaded “mangina”.

But no attack has been as vicious as the uproar and ostracization Hugo has received over a story on his own blog, a story about an event that happened in 1998. Back when he was binge drinking and drugging, Hugo tried to take his own life along with that of his girlfriend. If you read his post about the issue, be sure to read his response of today as well.

 

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If there’s one thing I’ve learned through the almost 5,000 stories I’ve read and discussed since launching The Good Men Project 18 months ago — goodness is not an inherent quality. It is not something you “have.” It is not immutable – like love, it can change and grow. I see goodness as a moment-by-moment series of decisions and actions. Goodness is something you define for yourself every day.

Sometimes you get distracted by driving and run the stop sign. Sometimes you make what seems like an endless series of bad choices. Sometimes you make a horrible, horrific decision and need to repair the damage in whatever ways you can. But the thing you can do best, today, at this moment in time, is to re-visit your intention to be good.

 

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I’ve heard it said that depression is worrying about the past, and anxiety is worrying about the future.

Peace of mind is when the voices inside your head stop squabbling. When the voices of guilt and shame reliving the past over and over for you, and the voices filling you with fear and anxiety about the future finally stop, there is a lovely silence that lets you live in the present.

The people who try to shame us are trying to rob us of peace of mind. They tell us we should worry about a past we cannot change and then continue to worry about the future because there is never hope of redemption.

The shamers apparently prefer to live in a world filled with more depressed and anxiety-ridden people.

But I would prefer to live in a world with more Hugos.

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When I read Hugo’s story months ago, it didn’t change the person I had talked to the day before. It didn’t change Hugo-in-the-present the day after. The only thing it did was open my mind to what Hugo had been through in the past and gave me another point of empathy. He had done something horribly wrong. He admitted it. He had done what he could from that moment on to make things right.

We need more stories like Hugo’s so we can get more people to understand that addiction breaks people. A truism is that if you stay addicted long enough, it is inevitable you will end up in a mental hospital, jail, or dead. In Hugo’s case, he came perilously close to all three in a twenty-four hour stretch.

The problem with addiction is, you can’t admit it when you’re in it, and those around you often can’t imagine that their loved ones will end up behind bars or in a psychiatric ward or in a coffin. It would be great if more people like Hugo could step up and say, this is what could happen. This is what bottom looks like. Hugo, who is alive and well and outspoken and articulate. He’s not homeless and sleeping on a park bench, he’s someone who could be my younger brother. Shaming people like Hugo and others from telling those stories doesn’t do much to solve a single problem.

Shame is what keeps addicts from getting help. Shame is what keeps our mind from being able to move forward in a way that would be most helpful. Shame is what keeps survivors of sexual abuse from coming forward. Abuse plus silence paves a path for more abuse. If we’re ever going to put a stop to abuse of all kinds we have to let people talk about it. We have to let people tell their stories.

Hugo and I have had our differences, but I respect Hugo and all he has done on his path to restorative justice. I hope that others will let him continue that path – openly, honestly, with the grace and compassion he deserves.

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NOTE: After this story was posted, it was pointed out to me that one of the unintended consequences of storytelling is harm you might cause others and who were involved in the same story. This I believe, and I would actually like to point out that fact very strongly. FIRST DO NO HARM TO OTHERS. I will be writing more on that, but if anyone would like to right about that part of it, or any other concerns this post brings up, please email me at lisa at goodmenproject dot com.

photo: jason_burmeister / flickr

About Lisa Hickey

Lisa Hickey is CEO of Good Men Media Inc. and publisher of the Good Men Project. "I like to create things that capture the imagination of the general public and become part of the popular culture for years to come." Connect with her on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Zorro:
    I just don’t like the attitude where someone waives off responsibility because they have been hurt; and frame every (feminist) situation as a shame tactic, therefore in their eyes this group doesn’t deserve their support. Compassion like communication needs to be two-way for it to be effective…we just can’t hold each other back because of wrongs done in our lives.
    I can agree with this. However bear in mind that this “waiving off responsibility” comes from (feminist) situations in which responsilbity basically means = help women. And this is coming from folks who regulary claim to be working for the betterment of all people. I would be fine if everyone was willing to do their part to make the two-way communication and compassion a reality. But its going to be a long road as long as there are people on (all) sides expecting to be able to keep their grudges alive.

    Eagle:
    “You think it’s really productive to tell a male survivor like me that he should feel guilty for the few who above who share his gender? After what he’s been through? ”
    Zorro:
    The problem I see here, is that you’re taking this personally and putting your defenses up because of your past experiences with women or whatnot, so truly this is not productive for you or for others!
    That may be so but I think its a valid question. If nothing else even if you say Eagle is taking this personally its matter of him taking personally because he is part of a specific group, in this case male victims. So how productive is it? If we were talking about a woman who was pushed out of her children’s lives by her exhusband and was then told she should support a cause that uses the tagline, “Women can stop Parental Alienation” I would not blame her at all for taking it personally.

  2. It’s hard to believe that in California, in 1998, after the raised awareness of intimate partner violence following the O.J. Simpson case, that someone, privileged or not, would avoid prosecution in this scenario.

    It’s hard to believe that someone who could have blown up a building was not charged with endangerment of property by the building’s owner or the mortgage holder. It also defies belief that there is no consideration or mention of other people living in the building who could have been killed from an explosion or fire.

    It’s hard to believe that someone could refer to such happenings as an “anecdote,” could dash them off in 20 minutes or so, and include details that border on the sensational and hyper-erotic.

    I don’t think this story is true. I think it’s a good story, but I don’t think it is factual. It sounds allegorical like a scene from GO ASK ALICE.

    And about shame: I think shame gets a bad rap. I don’t think it is inappropriate for someone who has done something terrible to feel shame. I think it is fine to carry the weight of something for your entire life if you have done something to warrant it. I do. Shaming victims and disenfranchised people is wrong; shame is because of what you do, not who you are. Knowing that you’ve done something wrong and feeling ashamed is a sign of moral development, it’s also an assurance to never do that thing again.

    • Lisa Hickey says:

      I am not going to comment on whether the story is true or not — I don’t know, but you bring up some points that I wish Hugo would answer.

      I would like, however, to address your point about shame, because I think it is not only fair and valid, but an “aha” for me.

      I think when shame becomes an overarching theme of one’s life — it grows into a monster that can be both debilitating as an individual and unhelpful to others who might be helped with a shared experience. And that was what I was trying to get at. That said, if there is a way to compartmentalize the shame — feel shameful around what one did but still able to move forward as a productive member of society — YES. That actually would be the ideal. Continue to feel shame around the specific action so that you would never do that or anything like that again. And I think that is a very valid point that is coming up with in the commenters — if Hugo still feels shame, they cannot see it. While from my vantage point, it actually did appear to me that Hugo felt shame for those actions — as people talk about the way they see things — I’ll admit, I could be wrong. But to me — that’s exactly the point about what storytelling does. It lets your beliefs be challenged. And to me, that is more often a good thing than not.

      From my own personal experience, this is how shame worked with me — there were events in my childhood that caused great shame for me as a person. For years I didn’t talk — not only about what happened but about anything. I was so afraid of the “wrong” words slipping out that it seemed safer to not say anything. Drinking helped me deal with the shame — I still felt it, but if I drank enough I could block it out. That sucked as a solution. I became ashamed of my addiction and ashamed of my actions while addicted. And so I talked even less. It was only when I was able to talk, it was only when I saw that the way through the shame was to deal with it, that I was able to function as a human. The only was I was able to gain self-esteem was to go out and do things that were esteemable. But you’re right — taking responsibility for my actions and continuing to feel a very specific type of shame around those actions, is part of what keeps me from going back there — part of what keeps me from going anywhere close.

      In some ways with this story, I feel like Tom. What I mean by that is I think it is helpful to articulate your POV on something — and allow people to add their POV’s which may be different than your own. The ability to do that in this day and age — something I didn’t have the luxury of growing up — has been life-changing for me. It has been so amazingly life-changing for me that I want to share that experience with other people. It is very possible that there might be a better way of doing things, or better words I could use, or if I kept thinking about things all by myself, researching and studying, I could reach better, more thoughtful conclusions before I got out there and spoke. But my point is, when I tried that route, I didn’t speak. It’s hard to be a fully-functioning human if you are afraid of talking to people. So that’s where I am at this moment in time.

      • “Between shame and shamelessness lies the axis upon which we turn; meteorological conditions at both these poles are of the most extreme, ferocious type. Shamelessness, shame: the roots of violence.”
        ― Salman Rushdie, Shame

  3. Zorro: “No I think Hugo is too smart to think that ALL men are like him and neither would he want all men to be like him. But where the problem lies is that people, particularly men, have issue with his pieces because these often project guilt upon men – and men are too macho to be guilty for anyone else’s sins, especially gender crimes, wars, and other injustices with a male face, right? Is there a choice though when you’re covering controversial topics and the perpetrator(s) of these crimes are men? Perhaps we should rewrite history and blame women….”

    No, men are not too macho to be guilty for anyone else’s sins. It’s because they are sick and tired of being made to feel guilty by others due to the select few men in power at the top because they share the same gender.

    Last time I checked, Zorror, gender crimes, wars, and other injustices take more than the face of a gender to put a reasoning behind them right? More than what’s dangling between the antagonist’s legs?

    • “Last time I checked, Zorror, gender crimes, wars, and other injustices take more than the face of a gender to put a reasoning behind them right? More than what’s dangling between the antagonist’s legs?”

      I can’t see why both sexes can’t take responsibility/guilt for all the wrongs in society. Don’t you understand that is what I’m getting at? (If we don’t ALL feel guilty/responsible at some point – nothing will get solved! Things will remain status quo because we’re too narcissistic to think about anyone else’s suffering besides our own problems), Last time I checked my reality meter, rape goes both ways, crime goes both ways, but my reality meter also tells me these events are disproportionate between the sexes (British Crime Survey: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/science-research/research-statistics/crime/crime-statistics/british-crime-survey/).

      I believe the people who’ve really been burned by women whether from failed marriages, rape or sexual assault etc are too jaded to see beyond their own pain and anger. It is easy to recognize the ones on here who carry grudges and ill-will towards the opposite sex because of some horrible (likely isolated) experience they’ve had. That is tragic. This is tragic for mankind.

      “It’s because they are sick and tired of being made to feel guilty by others due to the select few men in power at the top because they share the same gender.”

      I feel that is an excuse to carry on hating women which keeps humanity and society from moving forward. Crime knows no bounds, rich or poor, male or female, nor race — we all bare witness to this.

      It is a new year, many of us have a lot of reconciling with our pasts to do.

      • “I believe the people who’ve really been burned by women whether from failed marriages, rape or sexual assault etc are too jaded to see beyond their own pain and anger. It is easy to recognize the ones on here who carry grudges and ill-will towards the opposite sex because of some horrible (likely isolated) experience they’ve had. That is tragic. This is tragic for mankind. ”
        I see the reverse in many women, I can sense their pain but I also feel bad for them that they are jaded. I once was jaded against women too until I met some amazing women of all ages who taught me an extremely important lesson – We are individuals and vary so much.

        I’ve met good and bad men, women, jaded, bitter, you name it both have had it. I’ve known feminists who were so caught up in stats and jaded that they cried butwomengetitworse, to the point the men’s pain didn’t matter at all (and seen some mra’s do the same in reverse).

        Woman hating, Man hating, all this hate. There’s no good men, no good women, all men cheat, all women cheat, men are rapists, women are rapists, these generalizations I hear so much from people really have annoyed me and I try to understand what they see that makes them believe this. I think truly that most have had a very impacting experience, a rape or being cheated on that the bad guy/girl starts to become that gender as a whole, they probably tunnel vision by a thought growing in their mind seeing a gender as bad and they will actively take notice of this and ONLY see the bad men, or the bad women.

        Mediahound could probably tell me what this is in psychology, I did the same for quite a while in seeing only the negative in the world and ignoring the positive. For me it was based on age, women over 40 were always nice to me but girls my age during highschool and a while after…well many were quite evil and they stuck in my memory, it wasn’t until I met some awesome women around my age who broke 2 assumptions I had, women my age were evil, and beautiful women were bitchs (due to the popular girls in school being such). I knew some totally beautiful women who were absolutely sweet, nice, loving caring women (which made them a whole new level of beauty) that I realized it wasn’t something superficial like age or beauty that makes someone mean, it’s far more complex and it’s impossible to look at someone and judge them as good hearted, bad hearted.

        These jaded people need to see the people they fear, they need to understand that the really special person in your life isn’t representative of all of their gender, race, etc, and it’s silly to assume they do. If you feel this, take the time to truly look around, ask your friends, relatives, talk to them and find out what they are like. Don’t be like me and ignore the good people, I didn’t take much notice of the not so popular girls who some were very nice, I didn’t even notice the nice girls in the popular group because I had already made up my mind based on a few experiences. Open your eyes and I guarantee you will find good in what you think is the “enemy”, I really wish feminists and mra’s would do this!

        • Joanna Schroeder says:

          Archy – amazingness happening here.

          I think it’s so true that all this hate is based upon fear. I wish we could get to the root of what we’re afraid of?

          I have made a few Oprah jokes on here and in conversations lately, but seriously, Oprah’s onto something with getting to the root of all this fear business. That sort of hippie-skippy thing of saying that all behaviors are based upon only two things: either fear or love. You can buy that or not, but it’s an interesting thought experiment.

          I find it’s so true in my life. I used to be afraid of some of the MRAs, afraid that they were going to hurt me. That they were going to say something that would hurt my feelings or uproot my feminism.

          Now I’m not afraid of that. If my feminism gets legitimately uprooted, well then I should be. Do it. Uproot it. I’m not afraid of that anymore. And no longer am I afraid to read the comments of the extremists on either side (MRA, feminists) because even if something hurts my feelings a little bit, that’s okay, I’m not so fragile that I can’t handle it. I get over it fast.

          And yes, there is good in the “enemy” — almost ALL of the time!

          • Amen to that Joanna, I wonder if the biggest fear is they’re more alike than they think. 😛
            I’ve read so much hurtful stuff that not much bothers me anymore, I am lucky in a sense that I was my own worst enemy and my own inner voice criticized me the most, and in combating that I am much more calm and can take criticism. I am desensitized to most of the stuff trolls say, the horrible jokes and insults bore me to death more than anything (online gaming can expose you to some real class acts…). I find it quite interesting though to read through their words and figure out why they’re so angry or bitter, I wonder what would have caused them to act like such assholes?

            I realized a super duper important thing of life. Everyone has their own opinion, it doesn’t have to match mine. I’ve been called an MRA because I dare mentioned male suffering, saw the belittling whataboutthemenz insults but you know what? Those individuals showed everyone else who read their comments their bigotry and stupidity. I don’t want to take sides, if only men were given awareness on the tough issues (in general society) I’d be whataboutthewomenz so everyone has a chance. I prefer to focus on the valid criticisms, I’ve learned so much from valid criticisms of what I’ve said. I am no expert but I’m willing to listen, to learn, to change my behaviour if it’s wrong.

            I believe 100% firmly in that both genders need to have safety, good role models, a fair chance, support each other for this world to be great. This is a core belief, you can’t beat this out of me I’ll take it to the damn grave and spread it amongst the plants when I fertilize them. So what if some radfem calls me a MRA as an insult, or radmra? calls me something, I’m over being in fear of what others judge me as because I know I have people that love me for who I am, I am not changing to suit some miserable people who wanna fight.

            What people have to say could totally shake up my view of the world, I might read something super terrible tomorrow and it’ll call into question my actions. It’s already happened after I read about bullies, I learned how bullies are often abused in the home and the anger I felt for mine turned immediately into sadness for them. As much as I wanted to break bones, I wondered what good would that do when they’ve probably been beaten just as bad at home. It doesn’t excuse their actions but it did help make me realize how bad the cycle of abuse becomes, because I had remembered I too had bullied a bit in school and never knew why. Luckily I seemed to grow out of that quick and feel absolutely terrible for it, you reach an age of understanding your actions and feel like an asshole for what you have done but I guess that’s a part of growing up, I’m just glad I didn’t do it to the excesses others did to me.

            So much of my growth comes from listening to peoples stories, I am addicted to the comment threads because they tell as much or even more than the main article does, reading others experiences makes me feel less alone.

            Yes, I do believe much hate is from fear. Racism, directly fear of the unknown, I grew up seeing that and even had the bit of racism in me until I actually got to know some of those people. I had followed everyone else it seems, I live in an area racism is popular and when you’re a kid you tend to follow the lead of others without knowing WHY. I ended up being good mates with an aboriginal boy and thought to myself, wtf, he’s nothing like what people say. Goodbye racism, hello open mind. I don’t think many of those racists actually met many aboriginals, it seems like they just parrot the same hate their parents did, grandparents, and I doubt any of them have a clue as to why they hate them really. Throughout highschool I had white friends, black friends, asian friends, I remember one black friend probably made me laugh the most of anyone there, how the hell could anyone hate him simply because he is from a different ethnicity?

            I guess the first time blacks and whites met, they’d both be absolutely mindboggled at the different colour skin and this probably was fear of the unknown. If we ever meet aliens, I guarantee that fear will popup bigtime. You can see it plain as day after 9/11 with the anti-muslim sentiment, people didn’t known much of islam except what they heard and what they heard was probably quite bad. If you only hear bad, and have a significant event to cement it into your mind you’ll breed hate and vengeance in that case very easy. And guess what makes the news? Sensational BAD news, good luck trying to find good news. The news has so much fear in it that I can barely stand watching it, I swear the news anchors jump at their own shadows. We live in cultures of fear when we should be living in cultures that celebrate a more positive emotion. My life was consumed by fear because of a hyperactive fight or flight response based on previous trauma, too much fear is toxic so we need to drop that fear and start listening to each other. It’s helped me tremendously, the more I listen the less I fear, I’ve realized others are just as scared as me whether they want to admit it or not.

            Maybe we need a story on hate and fear? I’ll write comments for it but I don’t think I’m ready to make an article just yet. I find it quite hard to get things into a good order and have a nice flow for an article.

            TALK to the people you fear and you’ll probably find that fear disappears quite a bit.

          • DavidByron says:

            “Now I’m not afraid of that. If my feminism gets legitimately uprooted, well then I should be. Do it. Uproot it. I’m not afraid of that anymore”

            Are you sure? Because I had pretty much decided to give you civilian status. And why were you afraid of changing your mind? That’s a wonderful thing to have happen.

            • Julie Gillis says:

              It can be a wonderful thing to change one’s mind. Are you being coy though? I feel pretty certain you understand that changing a deep structure world view isn’t as easy as all that. It means really restructuring things, giving up “old friends” in terms of values and often it means giving up, or being left by real people. Cognitive dissonance and all that.
              Still, I don’t think Joanna (or me for that matter) ever came on this board with a “my way or the highway” position. Part of why she’s here (and why I’m here) is to learn. Learning means being willing to change if you believe the change is necessary.

              • David Byron says:

                That’s probably true for many feminists but you guys seem to be hanging out here where frankly you are already on the fringe of the movement and I don’t think you’d suffer some sort of abandonment by your social circle which absolutely would happen if you were lets say a regular at Feministe or something. That sort of in group thinking – which I think is often even worse with women because their social ties are more important – think of feminism as like a big girls clique – really makes it hard to go against the mainstream feminist views which say that eg. people like Eagle33 have to be attacked and humiliated and NOBODY better say otherwise.

                It’s always striking because — and I know you’ll believe this where Joanna perhaps might not — I really like feminist “girls” for just about everything EXCEPT their being feminists. They are usually smart and opinionated and don’t take any shit from people. Other than the feminist stuff they are often reliably left wing with apparently sincere interest in social justice issues. And beautiful of course! They are not meek little sheep. But then you get the topic on feminism and only about 10% will be willing to face down their peers on a point of principle.

                One of the things I hate feminism for is what it has done to all these otherwise wonderful minds. See? Even I can’t avoid the desire to protect women!

                Uh… I guess the male feminists too but they just don’t do it for me 🙂 I always think it is funny when people just assume that if you criticise feminism it must mean you hate women. Anyway….

                So I don’t think you and Joanna have a social group to lose, but I also don’t see either of you as too intellectually married to the feminist ideology. I don’t think you even know what most of it is. But then I guess most of it is to do with how to relate to other feminists in a group in some sense…. I guess that ought to make you both easy pickings from a sociological point of view— like a religious person who doesn’t regularly attend a church of some sort.

                Which makes the question of why hang on to the label of feminist all the more interesting maybe. Especially in Joanna’s case.

                • Joanna Schroeder says:

                  Okay first.

                  DavidByron, you and I would be the greatest pair to have at a party together. I swear. People would be like, “Oh my God, I love them, they’re so completely insane!” But they would see that we like each other. Or at least I like you. I’m not sure you fully like me yet. I’m not going to try to win you over, but I think you will eventually enter the darkside of being pro-me.

                  Aside from that. Yeah, I’m not a big label-wearer. I’m not even a liberal, I don’t think. Okay, well I am liberal, but I’m confused about a lot of issues that if I mention them here I will be eviscerated, so I’ll just shut it. I don’t like labels. I even have trouble being called a “wife”… It bugs me. I feel labels are very confining and uncomfortable.

                  On the other hand, I’ve been a feminist since I was 10. No one told me to be, I just was. I had this boy who was one of my BEST friends (and is still dear to me) and he would sing dirty songs and put my name in them. He wasn’t harassing me, he was being a 10 year-old. But I felt a lot of shame over this. Another boy stood up for me and said, “She doesn’t like that. Don’t do that.” (10 year old White Knight – the beginning of all my relationship problems, haha.)

                  I went home and told my mom the story and she said, “Wow, that nice boy just taught you about women’s-lib.” Then Cyndi Lauper had that song Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, which I know doesn’t seem like a feminist manifesto, but has this lyric, “Some boys take a beautiful girl and hide her away from the worst in the world. I wanna be the one to walk in the sun.” and I was like 12 when those words sunk in and I realized what it meant to be a feminist.

                  I just want to be in the sun. I want to slay my own dragons, I want to have someone think of me to do something that requires brains and finesse and skill. Beyond that, I want women to be respected academically, professionally, legally… in all ways. Alongside men.

                  And I want to look at the world through the lens of gender. I like reading Austen and seeing why domesticity was important to women in that time, what it meant, the social hierarchies and how Austen was staging teeny rebellions with her characters. That’s what my Women’s Studies degree was in, by the way, women and literature. I’m a writer, not a theorist, can you tell?

                  But I am a feminist because I want equality. That’s what women wanted in the history of this movement. I’m not going to shy away from the term because Amanda Marcotte pisses off a lot of people—Or, even worse, the emotionally-unstable commenters at Feministe (which I like but don’t read comments on) who don’t care about men at all.

                  • Joanna Schroeder says:

                    PS I’ve never been so overly-involved in a message board discussion. What have you people done to me?! Geeze. 😉

                  • I’ve noticed a lot of feminists are also masculists, and vice versa, seeing as they are 2 halves to gender equality, the definition of equality kinda mandates feminists and masculists are actually both. I guess if you only speak of female issues you’ll be a feminist, only speak of male issues you’ll be a masculist but so many speak of issues of men, women, blacks, whites, etc so the labels are kinda wierd to be honest.

                • Julie Gillis says:

                  Why especially in Joanna’s case? I do, actually, have a social group to lose, though it isn’t a tight social bond and I’m liked/needed for other reasons, so losing it here in Austin would be less likely. I’m not a regular at other online mags, that’s true. I myself have had a huge issue with the pile on/shut down I see on Shakes and Pandagon. I understand the behavior though. It’s group stuff, less than feminist stuff (though I think you are right about how women deal with social bonds). Women can be exceptionally violent, though in different ways. Shunning is painful.

                  The deeper structure is harder to undo. If you believe for years the earth is flat, it means changing a lot of thought structure to get to “round” in all the ways you think of things. Which doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

                  Do we know what most of it is? If I took a Gender Studies final exam, I’d probably make a D or C grade based on not knowing theorists and historical markers. I stand by my basics of rights, but see the purpose and benefit of being “humanist”

                  I’m not much of an ideologue. That’s a part of my personality and education I should look to. Anyway, I”m still formulating what this next career/activist phase will be.

                  I”m a woman not a girl, though I get the dig, FYI 🙂

                  • I think he’s saying that I have less to lose than you, as you’re more the obvious feminist.

                    So, like, if I have so little to lose why wouldn’t I shed a label that, in his mind, doesn’t really fit me and has me being viewed through a really unkind lens at times.

                    But I’d say the same thing about “MRA” … That label is shit in the world, people who know the term who are outside the movement roll their eyes and think of privileged white guys who are afraid of losing their scholarships. You and I know very well how wrong this assumption is, but most don’t. So why not shed that label that causes so much vitriol, if you aren’t a member of the most extreme factions of the movement?

                    • Problem with labels and identity is that it’ll just have a new one later on and still carry that same vitriol. Feminist, grrlpowerist, you’ll still be seen as someone advocating for women’s rights. The only term that could be neutral is equalist and many of the people i’ve seen comment here are feminist or masculist + equalist anyway. The terms aren’t a lockin of what people believe….

            • Joanna Schroeder says:

              Hmm.

              I think what’s happening here (I said that? Sounds like me but I don’t remember writing it) is that I’m saying, “If you can legitimately uproot what I’m saying, if you can convince me I’m wrong, then I SHOULD convert, I SHOULD give it up.”

              I say that because it would take a lot. But I’m not so attached to any label that I wouldn’t be willing to give it up if I thought it was wrong, or if I believed what I was doing was hurting rather than helping.

              You can try to uproot my beliefs with respectful critique and appeals. And I will hear them and give them the respect and attention they deserve.

              So in that way, DB, we agree. I’m not at all afraid of changing my mind.

              PS what was I about to be promoted to “civilian” from?? 😉

      • Empathy would actually be preferred over guilt. But some of us lack this basic human characteristic, so perhaps working in a little guilt can accomplish the same thing or bring about some signs of empathy and behavioral changes.

        If you think about it, most public service announcements/advertising and also citizen demonstrations/protests…have messages that project guilt onto you; guilt is used as a marketing tool by many to effect change (some are intended to offend). And since the beginning of time, even GOD (and most scriptures in the bible project guilt) and most religions use guilt to keep people in line and be good neighbours to each other (ie. if you’re good and believe in God, you’ll go to heaven; if you’re bad, you’ll go to hell).

        **** The problem I see with male-guilt is that some on here take it FAR too personally. Like I said in my above post, nobody expects you to be PERSONALLY responsible for another’s suffering – we can all acknowledge and understand this. (We are not the direct cause for someone’s pain mentioned in an article or on the tube). But I also think, that doesn’t exempt ANYONE from behaving responsibly towards each other or when the situation calls for it – I think as the most intelligent animals on this planet, we should be able to set aside our differences and collectively work together to achieve common goals.

        Below are examples of how guilt is used in ad campaigns. Now for me looking at these ads, or if one to hit me in the face, this is how i would rationalize them: I can understand they are not intended to shame me as an INDIVIDUAL, I know that I don’t suffer the sins below or guilty of them, but it is obvious that these problems do exist and I’m willing to ACKNOWLEDGE this fact. These are serious societal problems (abortion – depends on your stand) and I understand that i have a duty, as a law-abiding, morally conscious, empathetic human being – to SPEAK UP against these injustices or wrongful actions. ie. I will take away the keys of someone who’s intoxicated. I will call 911 if I know someone who abuses animals. etc.

        Here are some anti-smoking ads, throwing guilt in your face:
        http://pik-a-boo.blogspot.com/2008/11/creative-anti-smoking-ads.html

        Here is an anti-abortion demonstration: http://classicruby.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/anti-abortion-crazy.jpg

        Anti-animal cruelty ad: http://www.advertolog.com/persecution-education-trust-cc/print-outdoor/dogstar-770905/

        Don’t drink and drive ads: http://www.toxel.com/inspiration/2008/09/02/dont-drink-and-drive-ads-collection/

        • It’s hard not to take it personally sometimes, it truly does feel like we’re pushing soo much for male guilt on these matters whilst ignoring the female guilt. It can feel like men’s suffering isn’t important, we don’t acknowledge it much and push the guilt so it’s a slap in the face for some who’ve suffered by women especially. I think it requires balance to work effectively, I don’t recall ever hearing people being bothered by human guilt but if you make it about gender, or religion, it can get people cranky. Like blaming catholics for the child abuse scandals for instance, it’ll just piss off a bunch of catholics who’ve never harmed a child.

          Empathy, a recent emotion I’ve fallen in love with but as a man one that has been suppressed so badly, hell even recently I feel like there’s been a push to be selfish in life for both genders. Empathy needs to be encouraged in everyone, it’s the source of sooo much good!

          • I understand where you’re coming from. I can empathize the need for “balance” as the ideal ie. I wish crimes were equally balanced too between the sexes, so we equally suffer in the same numbers. But more ideally, there shouldn’t be any pain or suffering for anyone.

            We are all sensitive to profiling, and yes it would be nice not to be lumped together with guilty groups – but if you ask security officials/law enforcement, some of them will tell you the fastest way to address the issue is to address the group that’s responsible. So say, if you want to address child abuse scandals within the church, you will do this at Catholic churches because this is where it’s happened – you’re not going to be effective going to Christian, Buddhist, Scientology churches – you go to the source of the problem to deal with it. There could be strategy to also speak generally against child abuses, so the general public hears the message too.

            • But where do you draw the line? That’s what I’m asking.

              You think it’s really productive to tell a male survivor like me that he should feel guilty for the few who above who share his gender? After what he’s been through?

              It’s like everytime before I open my mouth, I’m being made to raise my right hand and say “I do” to the request “Do you solemnly swear to atone for male sins, all male sins, and NOTHING BUT male sins”. Too many times I’ve felt it to the point where I’m seriously afraid to speak out every now and then. That’s even worse.

              Being made to believe you are guilty until proven innocent in rape culture, that your priveledge negates any suffering you’ve been through, that you’re an anomoly as women have it worse, you really think this is going to bring out empathy from them?

              Zorror: “So say, if you want to address child abuse scandals within the church, you will do this at Catholic churches because this is where it’s happened – you’re not going to be effective going to Christian, Buddhist, Scientology churches – you go to the source of the problem to deal with it.”

              Yet, you believe ALL men are responsible for suffering. So you basically threw every single catholic under the bus, not the churches, the people who actually were responsible for the scandals and the people who excuse them. If you’re going to use that analogy. That’s not a way to deal with the problem.

              • “You think it’s really productive to tell a male survivor like me that he should feel guilty for the few who above who share his gender? After what he’s been through? ”

                The problem I see here, is that you’re taking this personally and putting your defenses up because of your past experiences with women or whatnot, so truly this is not productive for you or for others!

                If I were to call you or write a letter personally addressed to you and blame you for rape culture for example – yeah you would have every right to be offended and angry and feel that you’re being shamed; because you are being specifically targeted. But the reality is: ad campaigns, writers, protesters…don’t spend thousands of dollars, or hours and hours of writing/protesting to SINGLE you out. Sorry you are not that special! Neither do they do a background check on you to see if YOU qualify for their ad campaign; how would they know you’ve been burned by women or abducted by aliens?

                A regular Joe would not feel indignant or shamed, because he understands that an article or advertisement is not speaking to him on a personal level. A lot of guys know how to use the TV remote control, so on-line with any article or banner ad/pop-up ad – you are in control; if you don’t like what you see – skip it! See a Viagra ad? Haha…you know that doesn’t speak to you! You have no issue in this area and are not bothered by the ad. You could look at it this way too: the product would be beneficial to other dudes and you’re glad that finally somebody’s invented something to address this issue. Or you could be completely OFFENDED by the Viagra ad, and protest that the ad is shaming men so there must be some feminist agenda behind it; well if that is the reaction, then in that case you can just mouse over to the X mark to close the pop-up ad and look at something else that interests you.

                • Joanna Schroeder says:

                  Well, some people are offended by advertising, even things like Viagra or Levis or whatever else.

                  Because despite it not being aimed at Eagle or whichever individual, advertising only works when it affects people on an individual basis.

                  What advertising does is create an “atmosphere” and a “tone”… The tone here is that men are responsible for stopping rape. Fact is, I actually even believe in rape culture, but I believe we ALL are responsible for it.

                  As I said, why not “YOU are responsible for rape”?

                  Creating an environment where men are solely responsible for something that is systemic is actually minimizing the power women have in our society. Yes, go ahead and argue that women DON’T have power in our society, but we do. We are 50% of consumers, we go to movies, we buy magazines, we view porn… What we find acceptable from others in our social circles matters, too, and while it may be hard to imagine, there are MANY women who buy into Slut Shaming.

                  YOU Can Stop Rape would send the same message — especially if you could target the advertising to different groups. IE groups of college students, fraternity/sorority members, a group of teens, adults in a workplace, childcare situtations, teachers in front of a classroom…

                  And then you aren’t creating anti-man messages, either.

                  • Advertisements/Marketing/Protest demonstrations pretty much play on EMOTIONS for them to be effective, in that sense it can be felt on an individual level. Some people who have done wrong and are conscious of it, may feel guilt and see that the message resonates with them on a personal level, otherwise just take the message for what it is worth – glean the best from it and do your part. “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”

                    “What advertising does is create an “atmosphere” and a “tone”… The tone here is that men are responsible for stopping rape. Fact is, I actually even believe in rape culture, but I believe we ALL are responsible for it. ”

                    I agree with the above statement. If we could all set aside our differences, then I think we would have room for responsible action and compassion for each other.

                    I just don’t like the attitude where someone waives off responsibility because they have been hurt; and frame every (feminist) situation as a shame tactic, therefore in their eyes this group doesn’t deserve their support. Compassion like communication needs to be two-way for it to be effective…we just can’t hold each other back because of wrongs done in our lives.

                    I have heard them speak…I know there are some men who are seeking validation from people on here (feminists) for their pain/anger, for what they are going through or been through. To me, this seems very personal! I really don’t think coming on here getting defensive and putting down feminism will give them the closure they desperately appear to need. I sincerely think professional counseling would help a great deal to resolve past issues and give some sense of closure.

                  • ht tp://www.catalyst.org/publication/256/buying-power
                    ” 75.1% of women identified themselves as the primary shoppers for their households, according to MRI’s Survey of the American Consumer in 2009, down from 85.5% in 1989.13
                    According to a study from the Boston Consulting Group, women “control $12 trillion of the overall $18.4 trillion in global consumer spending.”14 When probed further, the survey actually asked whether women “controlled or influenced” purchases, which is a broader distinction.15

                    Seems like women have most of the buying power these days so advertising should be pandering to them, I think women have far far far far more power than they realize. I believe in the US at least there are 8million more women who vote as well, now whilst males are the majority in the power positions, women do hold more power in ability to vote them in. That is a HELL of a lot of power quite frankly so anyone that assumes problems like rapeculture are solely on men make me question if they’ve bothered to actually look at society.

                    Women have quite a lot of power, men have quite a lot of power, both are responsible for the good AND bad of society. To assume only men (in western societies that equality has made large progress in) have power and are responsible for the evils of the world is quite frankly misandrist, it may have been true in earlier years or in other cultures. Rape is a human problem, not male problem.

        • **** The problem I see with male-guilt is that some on here take it FAR too personally. Like I said in my above post, nobody expects you to be PERSONALLY responsible for another’s suffering – we can all acknowledge and understand this. (We are not the direct cause for someone’s pain mentioned in an article or on the tube). But I also think, that doesn’t exempt ANYONE from behaving responsibly towards each other or when the situation calls for it – I think as the most intelligent animals on this planet, we should be able to set aside our differences and collectively work together to achieve common goals.
          I think the reason guys take male guilt too personally is because frankly there are times when its held above our heads as the barrier of entry into the conversation. This leaves men feeling like they are being expected to do their part to do something about the suffering of women while their own suffering is simply not acknowledged (and think this happens on a count of people trying to avoid female guilt).

          I agree that everyone should do their part to end suffering but how is that going to happen when you have people who deny the suffering of men while at the same time expecting men to work on the suffering of women?

        • Just saw the new “My Strength” campaign, “Men can stop rape”. To be honest it’s quite frustrating without a similar one for females in the light of those CDC stats, is 40% of rapists in the last 12 months not shocking enough for these campaigns to put a simple poster in for HIM saying no and for the guilt and responsibility to be put onto HER? I feel like these campaigns don’t inspire me at all, I feel like we’re addressing half of the situation. I can definitely see where the anti-feminists get their ammo from, it really does look like men are ignored.

          As Danny says, “how is that going to happen when you have people who deny the suffering of men while at the same time expecting men to work on the suffering of women?”. Should men ignore their own safety whilst advocating for the safety of women? Are we simply continuing a perception that rape is caused by men, against women? I am totally at wits end to try understand why anti-rape campaigns so frequently portray it as male rapist, female victim even in the light of new stats showing female rapist, male victim is extremely common? Is it about ending rape, or ending rape FOR WOMEN ONLY?

  4. A lot of the talk that is defensive or forgiving of Hugo is somewhat dependent on a good faith assumption that Hugo is just trying to do good. Honestly I don’t think he deserves that. Its one thing to differ in opinion but he ignores facts that go against his beliefs. Its the crime of omission that removes any assumption of good faith i could have for him. Until he deals with the arguments that are well made well reasoned and backed up with evidence his status as some kind of authority or an intellectual with high academic standards isn’t justifiable.

    • “Until he deals with the arguments that are well made well reasoned and backed up with evidence his status as some kind of authority or an intellectual with high academic standards isn’t justifiable.”

      Leta you have committed the ultimate blasphemy.
      1) Asking a feminist to deal with reasonable arguments backed with evidence.
      2) Demanding a high academic standard from gender studies instructor. If gender study qualifies as an academic discipline, then alchemy, astrology and witchcraft should also qualify as disciplines of science.

      • Joanna Schroeder says:

        Rapses,

        I understand very profoundly how much you dislike feminists. I really do. And I have been reading your comments and comments of others who feel the same way as you do and I’m trying very hard to understand. I think both David Bryson and Archy (among others) can attest to the fact that I am trying my best and that I want to hear you.

        But I have a really big problem with the way you spread your hatred of feminists to all feminists. I’ve tried to sit back and watch and wait and see if maybe someone like myself could wiggle my way into your heart or your subconscious and make you question whether or not there are legitimately good, well-intended feminists.

        I’m not asking you to agree with me, not even on a *single* thing. You can disagree with every word I say. If I say “the sky is blue”, please feel free to say, “Sorry, it’s grey.”

        What I hope is that you start to see the heart and the human behind me, and behind some of the feminists who are here on this site like Erin or Nikki B or me. I’m not asking you to send a FB friend request to Amanda Marcotte, I’m just asking you to soften just a little bit. Just enough to let me be an individual, unique human being to you.

        I know your points are strong, and they are valid. Because of that, letting yourself soften to *some* feminists shouldn’t hurt you. You clearly feel you’re standing on solid rock with your position, so why not let me on it too? It won’t crumble.

        I know it would be easier for me to denounce myself as a feminist, to say, “No, I’m not a feminist, I’m an equalist” — well, I am an equalist, and equality is the foundation of MY feminism. I don’t want to step on you, I don’t want to remove rights from you, I don’t want to diminish the abuse of boys or men. I don’t want women to go around feeling fine about saying all men are dicks or that they don’t trust men.

        That’s not MY feminism.

        I could denounce my alliances with Hugo Schwyzer, but that wouldn’t be true to who I am and what I believe. I’ve been very honest about the aspects of Hugo’s career and writings that I disagree with, I’ve been honest with him about it and with all of you. I’m not a zealot or a fanatic for Hugo (or anyone or anything), I am merely a friend and a supporter.

        To be frank, not only does what you wrote above actually hurt my feelings a little bit, it makes me disregard the important things you may have to say. Because it’s actually really mean. And it’s snarky and feels very dirty.

        I could very easily argue against point #2 but I’m sure I couldn’t convince you. You have every right to feel that way, and given how you feel you’ve seen Feminism sweep abuse of males under the rug, I can understand your frustration. But point #1 is simply just s***-talk.

        I will hear your side. I will see your evidence. I will listen. But be kind.

        Will you take a moment and hear me, Rapses?

        • I agree with Joanna, we can’t judge an entire group based on the actions of a few. I agree there are some black clouds over the usage of statistics but I don’t think it’s ALWAYS purposely done, but more a result of stereotypes biasing views before the stats were done which do come out during the report. What the CDC did still had bias but it’s a massive step towards the future, they actually addressed a wide variety of sexual abuse and domestic abuse towards men, by women even! It’s a recent stat so it’ll take time to trickle through the various organizations but I’ll be surprised if we don’t see more people taking male abuse seriously from it, I’ve already seen Joanna take notice and a few other feminists.

          Just to be clear I don’t hate anyone really atm (except abusers with no remorse, who don’t try to change, and certain people in power that mess up other countries:P), I dislike anyone who funnybuggers the stats for political points, or tries to push the womengetitworse or mengetitworse without accepting the other side EVER. Feminism has great parts to it, that needs to be praised and built upon, even borrow that goodness to masculism and both work together. I would absolutely love to see both sides join together to make an abuse and rape support network, taking care of EVERYONE, if they actually worked together, helped people together they’d all find they’re far more similar than people realize.

          Joanna, what I notice is many seem to be quite hurt by some feminists and they lose hope for the rest. If you’ve ever heard of the “Agent Orange Files”, radfemhub, and the SCUM manifesto it’ll be obvious why some men take great offense but they need to realize this is a small group of very outthere people who spread such hate. It’s hypocritical to spread outright hate if you’re against it, call out the bad they do but remember to not judge the whole by the few. Hating a group that has caused many good outcomes for women will NOT get you support, if you want to point out certain groups that misuse feminism then go ahead but do so intelligently or you will cause Joanna, and other feminists, hell even equalists like me to disregard what you say.

          I’ve already called out some feminists I knew on bigotry towards the MRA’s and disregarded what they say because they think MRA’s are misogynists and only see the trolls, I’m calling you out to drop the bigotry of the entire group. Feminism is a idea, anyone can self-identify as a feminist, it can be hijacked by others just like many other groups. So unless you can prove the outright majority are bad, learn to focus your criticisms properly.

          And drop the snarkyness, sarcasm, it doesn’t help and it’s just as bad as the “whataboutthemenz” insults I heard from bigoted radfems.

          • Joanna Schroeder says:

            Archy – I assume you’ve heard this, but LIsa just told us about this:

            http://www.cnn.com/2012/01/06/justice/rape-definition-revised/?hpt=ju_c2

            A little progress!

            • DavidByron says:

              A VERY little progress. A woman forcing a man to have sex doesn’t count as being raped here. It’s similar to the NVAWS definition.

              However this is just the UCR definition they are talking about. It’s not a legal definition. It is just for collecting statistics. Makes it easier for feminists to pretend men never get raped with this sort of definition but the law itself is clear that women forcing men to have sex are committing a crime often called first degree sexual assault or rape.

              • Julie Gillis says:

                The new definition means that a woman forcing oral or anal penetration on the man is rape yes? I don’t understand why the envelopment aspect is being left off. Is it because of difficulty in proof or because of stereotypes about erection, male arousal and more. And I am also thinking hard about the political aspect David ie feminists.

                Clarifying question if you don’t mind answering; Is this new UCR definition part of current law or not? If a woman can be proven to have raped a man by envelopment is that current american law (=rape)? I wasn’t sure exactly what the last part of your paragraph meant.

                • Joanna Schroeder says:

                  It is not a federal crime to commit rape, so this government declaration does NOT affect law. But it will influence how things are prosecuted, though there are no guarantees of that.

                  You have to remember what are federal crimes, they aren’t usually person-on-person crimes, so it’s not shocking that this isn’t a law.

                  But, David, it IS progress and all these steps forward get the issues of men’s rights moved into the limelight. This is something to grateful for, and I’m not sure why it has to turn into something that makes it “easeir for feminists to pretend men never get raped”…

                  Yes, it should do more, I agree, but it is forward progress.

                  WIll you clarify for me, based upon this wording, why a female forcing penetration (even if she’s being penetrated) isn’t included in this definition? I’ve heard it both ways.

                  And, with all the respect I have for you my friend, please stop saying feminists are doing these things!!! Geeze!! Do I need to start calling all misogynists MRAs? I wouldn’t, I can make the distinction that the men oppressing women who are MRAs are not representing all MRAs. Do the same for me, too, please?

                  • Julie Gillis says:

                    I think politically (depending on the leverage used to get the stats changed) it is a chink in an armor that will see more progress. Much like civil unions were a step in the inevitable progress towards legalizing gay marriage.
                    That’s my feeling and I was happy to see the report today, for men and women both.

                  • Definitely good to see progress, envelopment is what I would also add of course. I think a lot of people can’t get their head around the fact a person can be forced to penetrate someone else, penetration is usually seen as a willing act. It can be done under coersion, threat of force, I believe someone on here was told that SHE would claim rape if he didn’t go along with it, some might use the threat of crying rape or claiming they will take the kids (things men commonly feel they have no defense against).

                    Humans are interesting creatures, we might assume a rape victim would fight them off but the fight or flight responses and other survival mechanisms can work in different ways, 1 way is to fight, another is to flee but there’s also the play-dead or go along with it aspect. People might lie there, take it in the hopes the attacker won’t hurt them even more.

                    Regardless of what people think, erections do not indicate arousal 100% and the body can be aroused whilst the mind hates every second of it and doesn’t want to do anything. A bladder being full can cause an erection, dreams during sleep, I believe even the higher testosterone levels in the morning play a role so a man can be enveloped during sleep or after he’s just woken up, can be manually stimulated into an erection and so on (getting wood in front of the doctor for instance is one of those random erections).

                    Education, lots and lots of it is needed to combat rape and abuse, female abuse of males has only recently been acknowledge I believe and we still have a long way to go in educating people that even men can say no.

                  • David Byron says:

                    Oh hell yes it’s illegal under federal law.
                    http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/uscode/18/I/109A/2241
                    18 U.S.C. § 2241 : US Code – Section 2241: Aggravated sexual abuse

                    Whoever… knowingly causes another person to engage in a sexual act –
                    (1) by using force against that other person; or
                    (2) by threatening or placing that other person in fear that
                    any person will be subjected to death, serious bodily injury, or
                    kidnapping;
                    or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned
                    for any term of years or life, or both.

                    And then it has a section covering drugging people and sex with minors similarly worded. So the feds can write gender neutral rape laws just fine when they want to. I don’t know how old that text is but I’d guess something like 50 years because a bunch of the old rape definitions got updated to use sexual assault language way back then.

                    • Joanna Schroeder says:

                      One thing I am really bad at is law — I should’ve given that caveat.

                      But see, here’s where I’m confused. Isn’t the issue that this is called aggravated sexual abuse, and not rape? I mean, that definition seems gender-neutral to me. What am I missing here?

                      Why are we saying that “rape” doesn’t include rape against men, then? Just for research purposes? Sorry if I seem dense, I’ve had a long day.

          • DavidByron says:

            “they need to realize this is a small group of very outthere people who spread such hate”

            Unless of course you’re wrong about that.

        • @Joanna
          I have been reading articles on GMP sites for about 2 months, but I have started commenting only about 3 weeks ago. I am really surprised that I have caught attention of feminist editors though I never used f-, p- or b- words. I am really glad that you have not called me sexist or misogynist as some other feminists do when men disagree with them. Yes I totally dislike feminism because it is completely based on the idea that men as a group are oppressing women, which is completely lie. I have questioned many feminists as to what is this feminism? I also ask you this question. One definition I read somewhere was “feminism is the radical belief that women are people too.” To know that I don’t need any prophet, messiah or thousand-page research report. I know instinctively that women are people. It includes my mother, cousins, grandmother and aunts. I like to put my honest opinions without trying to please or offend anybody. May be sometimes I use too much sarcasm. Following are two points among many that appear regularly in articles and comments which I trigger my anger.
          1) Patriarchy is an evil thing which oppresses women and it oppresses men too.
          I have several times pointed the commenters to define patriarchy and explain how it leads to oppression of women and men too. Till date nobody has been able to establish any connection between patriarchy and any kind of oppression. I have discussed it with Julie Gillis as well. Still this meme continues to be repeated again and again. Patriarchy literally means rule of father.
          Suppose, I say that
          Group A do some bad things X. Everybody would start accusing me of being sexist, racist, xenophobic, or homophobic, according to the context.
          Now a certain meme goes like that
          Patriarchy (fathers) is oppressing women (wives, daughters)
          It is challenged by anybody.
          Do you think rich, influential man would oppress his daughter to favour unrelated male. That is absurd.
          2) White male has several privileges.
          I wish to state that I am not American citizen or white, though I have lived in the U.S. and studied for M.S. and PhD, and worked there for some time. I have never seen any White feudal lords with lot of privileges in the U.S. As far as I have seen White American men are really hard working with few exceptions. By saying that they are privileged you are demeaning their efforts and poking fun at White working class.
          There are several other issues as well which I would like to discuss later. You can be friends with Hugo Schwyzer or anybody you like that is none of my business.
          I am really sorry to have your feelings and advice you that feelings have no place in heated discussion. The only thing that matters is reason, argument and evidence. Since you have gone through all my comments, you must have also seen that I am not a troll who hits and runs. I have presented reason, arguments and have never left any questions directed at me unanswered. I like to be brutally honest, it is my default state and if you want me to become goodie-goodie boy, then you would be seriously disappointed. BTW whether you can sky “blue” or “grey”, it does not matter sky is what it is. If you wear the uniform of feminism, you would be fired at by its opponents, you cannot complain that they should not fire because you are in logistics and not infantry, they are firing at their enemy unit not at any individual. In certain conditions, individuals don’t matter, group do.
          Best regards.

          • Julie Gillis says:

            I realize this post is to Joanna, but I wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading it.
            I’ll let her respond and then I might also add my view back in if you’d have it, Rapses.

            • @Julie
              I would be glad to have your views and please bring as many feminists as you can for the conversation.

          • Julie Gillis says:

            Rapses- my comments (in italics) will be in the body of this post responding to you.

            1) Patriarchy is an evil thing which oppresses women and it oppresses men too.
            I have several times pointed the commenters to define patriarchy and explain how it leads to oppression of women and men too. Till date nobody has been able to establish any connection between patriarchy and any kind of oppression. I have discussed it with Julie Gillis as well. Still this meme continues to be repeated again and again. Patriarchy literally means rule of father.

            Yes, and many of us do not feel that there should be a ruler in a family period. Male or female, but should work towards a more collaborative structure.

            You cite one definition-but there are two at dictionary.com
            1)A system of society or government in which the father or eldest male is head of the family and descent is traced through the male line.
            2) A system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it.


            There are also more “little p” patriarchy definitions where in terms of how life runs, the default is male. Mankind instead of womankind etc. Man was created and Eve from his rib etc. Woman as afterthought, helpmate, a little less than. Not sayng you believe that, but those are frames within which I’ve heard of patriarchy.

            Suppose, I say that
            Group A do some bad things X. Everybody would start accusing me of being sexist, racist, xenophobic, or homophobic, according to the context.
            Now a certain meme goes like that
            Patriarchy (fathers) is oppressing women (wives, daughters)
            It is challenged by anybody.
            Do you think rich, influential man would oppress his daughter to favour unrelated male. That is absurd.

            Have men not married off daughters to the suitors the fathers felt were most suitable for money, land and etc? Daughters were not favored by kings in European cultures, as the next in line should be male. Daughters were utilized for political currency. That seems oppressive to me currently. Don’t know if the women felt so at the time. Also, if the father is the ruler of the house, and say a daughter wanted a lifestyle the father disagreed with, does she get a vote? Does she do what she wants or should she defer to his ruling? If she should defer, against her own life’s path, I’d say that was a bit oppressive. No good example from me there, just asking.

            2) White male has several privileges.
            I wish to state that I am not American citizen or white, though I have lived in the U.S. and studied for M.S. and PhD, and worked there for some time. I have never seen any White feudal lords with lot of privileges in the U.S. As far as I have seen White American men are really hard working with few exceptions. By saying that they are privileged you are demeaning their efforts and poking fun at White working class.

            The white feudal lords you speak of are part of Fortune 500. It’s not a feudal system, but a corporatocracy. There are very very wealthy men in power in America. Not all of them are white, but many of them are. Surely you’ve been reading about Occupy? I’d say they have privileges we can only dream of. I don’t poke fun at the white working class. I do think many of the white working class have been sold a bill of goods though that says if it weren’t for the “gays, women and people of color” their lives would be better. That “things were better in the 1950’s when women stayed at home and men were men.” When in actuality, a lot of women worked in the 50’s. It was a time, in America at least, of great social upheaval though.

            I’ll leave you with that for now.

            • YES, Julie. But this is a tar baby. Good for you for trying, though.

            • Joanna Schroeder says:

              I don’t think this is a tar baby.

              I think Rapses is coming to us saying, “Please address this! No one is talking to me openly.” I am grateful Julie is doing it. I just typed a whole response that got eaten by refresh (luckily I know now to copy my text every few minutes if I’m going long!) but I don’t even need to post most of it because in that time, Julie covered my points! Phew!

              I want to make something very clear, here. Men are NOT the Patriarchy. There are men IN the Patriarchy, and both men and women benefit differently from Patriarchy.

              White Knighting is one example of this. I was out to lunch with my best girlfriend and her male roommate yesterday. We were standing there and a guy was acting odd. I used this as an example of how White Knighting could be damaging. I said, “I can see that Neil is instinctively becoming protective of Angela and me, which is honorable and good. But the fact is, Neil shouldn’t HAVE TO protect us any more than we should protect him, except in a situation in which his physical strength is needed (Ang and I are both very small, thin women and he is a muscular man over six feet tall). In fact, I have a particular history and skill at talking to unstable people and helping to comfort them and disarm their anger. So in that way, I’m most fit for addressing the issue of this particular man.

              When I said this, a certain smile came across Neil’s face. Sweetly, he said, “I don’t mind being you ladies’ protector, but I am sort of relieved to know that there are women who see the burden in that.”

              Also, that White Knight thing is bad for us females, because we become weaker when we believe we cannot handle a situation. If I’d instantly assumed the crazy guy was Neil’s responsibility and not mine, I wouldn’t be able to rely upon my own intelligence and skills. I become stronger when I am supported by Neil (and Angela) but not “protected”.

              As far as defining Feminism… You can Google that.

              But for my definition, it is the quest to equalize the imbalance of power between the sexes, particularly for women. Now, my feminism doesn’t want any of the power that I gain authentically to REMOVE power from you men. A mother having a voice in the family doesn’t detract from the voice of the father. They join together, they become a unit, they become stronger together.

              My feminism worked to make laws against beating your wife. My feminism made birth control legal. My feminism allowed young women to play sports in high schools. My feminism protects me from being sexually harassed at work.

              My feminism, however, doesn’t want men to NOT be protected from these things. My feminism wants us to be protected equally.

              I hope that allows you some insight into what we’re saying and I hope that you’ve finally gotten some answers from some feminists, straight-up and respectful answers.

              Thanks for your thoughtful response, by the way.

              Oh, and by the way, just because we “should” be able to leave our feelings outside in heated debates, we are humans. We all deserve respect, and the snarky sarcasm isn’t respectful. I want to use it ALL the time, I start writing sarcastic things to people I disagree with, but I try to remember that all of us are humans with hearts. We can’t just leave those hearts behind. We can’t deny them, in fact we should utilize them.

              Archy appeals to my heart all the time with his stats on female on male rape. That’s how I learned about it. Through his open heart to mine.

              Sounds very touchy-feely, but we’re making progress. Please join us.

              • DavidByron says:

                “I just typed a whole response that got eaten by refresh”

                Look this is important because this is a VERY serious bug. At the same time when it happens to me I’ve ever lost any text. What browser are you using? Are you sure the text didn’t just move to the bottom of the page? There was one odd time when I thought I’d lost text but weirdly the refresh thing seem to have had the effect of just making me go “back” a page, so I just hit “forward” and got it back again.

                • Julie Gillis says:

                  I don’t lose text when it happens to me either. Usually. But I’m more used to typing in replies in wordpress while I’m modding. It is a huge annoyance.

                • Joanna Schroeder says:

                  I scrolled to the bottom and the reply window was empty… Was I doing something wrong?

                  I’m using Safari.

                  Also, DB, know that when I said “will you please…” up above, I’m not trying to be inflammatory. If we were in the same room I would say that, laughing. But I do mean it. I wish you’d stop lumping me in. 😉

                • Lisa Hickey says:

                  We are working on it. Our tech folks got behind over the holidays, but we are looking to make sure the text stays in place everytime. Sorry for the hiccups.

              • The biggest thing I want to know on patriarchy is…Does it take male responsibility into account? There are hugeee burdens based out of patriarchy, as far as I know (and I may be wrong) the privileges came with the burden of war, a man had to step up and fight to the death which to me makes me wonder if it really is a privilege at all.

                I totally understand genderroles are harmful, I just hope people realize that whilst men had the privilege of working they also had the expectation of working, if the funds became tight they usually copped the flack and had to work themselves to death to feed the family, often in highly unsafe jobs at times. Not only that but they were first to die, sacrifice your life for your family, a massive burden as you say on having to protect women and children and whilst this treats women in a sexist manner, it also treats the men in a sexist manner as it says their life is worth less than that of a woman.

                So these privileges come at a terrible cost, such as male-only conscription, a macho culture that hides male pain, competition of resources and the downsides of those effects (crime, failing to succeed – eg, bankruptcy before welfare was in place). Take a look at society now, we have men in power at the top but a lot of men at the bottom, prisons are full mostly with males so it really does make me wonder about male privilege as a whole. At the moment I believe there are male privileges, but also female privileges. I don’t see life as a simple black and white, women were oppressed and still are ALWAYS, I can see areas where women get treated terribly, and others where men get treated terribly, I see how toxic our culture can be with the push and drive for greeeed and a few succeed and become mega-rich, but many fail and can’t afford to feed themselves. Don’t even get me started with pedophile paranoia, I am shit scared to be around kids when I do photography that it’s just too stressful much of the time to even bother. I feel as a male like I am automatically seen as a MONSTER for being a male and near a child, just yesterday walking in town I slowed down my walk bigtime because kids had started walking just in front of me, I felt I needed to distance myself incase someone thought I was suspicious. Females most definitely have privilege in being seen as safe near children.

                It’s great that the gender roles are being broken down, I think some people might be stuck in the past a bit as I hear quite a few feminists pull out stuff that hasn’t been a big part of society in my country or other western ones for a while. I also wonder if they actually went through and analyzed the Negatives men face, even in certain countries young boys get thrown into the soldiering job, men have to live in very strict ways. I recently read that in Afghanistan, young men going to work had to grow beards and play I-hate-america type music on their phones as ringtones simply so the taliban didn’t go beat the %*$) outa them, they had to blend in going against their beliefs (they don’t hate anyone, except the taliban I’d guess). If we always look for the ways women are treated bad without also doing the same for men, we could really bias our view and think women get it far worse than men. I’m not sure if this is addressed but I hope it’s not common, to compare the genders you need to study both.

                As for who gets it worse? I’m not sure, there are negatives on both sides and after being exposed to feminism, masculism, seeing all the fighting I don’t think we need to start saying who get’s it worse but instead work together to fix the issues of both at the SAME time. It appears to be the only way to get the right support and increasing overall hands to help.

                • David Byron says:

                  Women are definitely better off in the West.

                  Afghanistan under the Taliban is a tough call. The feminists used to called it the worst place in the world to be a woman so I did some research (this was before 9-11) and found that – yeah what a shock – men had a very hard time under the Taliban and probably worse.

                  Men had to grow minimum length beards yes or they are attacked by the religious police. We all heard about how the religious police were anti-woman? In fact they arrested and beat up far more men than women. Just like every other police force on the planet. I think I saw stats saying 5:1 which is actually more equal than most. But back to the beards the thing was that while Pashtun men can grow big beards Hazara men cannot so it came down to a lot of racism targeting the men. There was a bunch of other examples. The Taliban themselves saw themselves as treating women well. They built schools for girls and some higher education women-only facilities but Western media and feminists lied about all that stuff. A lot of it was just made up entirely. Seriously I have seen photos of Taliban girl only schools. The feminists just utterly lied. Truthfully hardly anyone got to attend school in Afghanistan because of all the imperialist wars there for decades destroyed everything, but of what litle they had, they had for boys and for girls (separately of course – like radfems they love the sex segregationism).

                  Partly all this lying by feminists I think it was to help imperialist plans to invade Afghanistan although this was even (like a year or two) before the invasion there’s evidence it had been planned. Whatabouthtewomenz now acts as cover for all US invasions and bombing campaigns. What’s easier than to make up stuff about how evil those nasty middle eastern MEN are to their adorable angelic womenz? People lap up that stuff. Great combination of racism, sexism and nationalism.

              • Just read an amazing comment, apart from the generalizing at ToySoldiers site –
                ht tp://toysoldier.wordpress.com/2012/01/06/youre-not-helping-v6/#more-6395
                nikonian on January 6, 2012 at 1:58 pm said:
                “You cannot have a discussion without “yes but”. Then it is not a discussion (where ideas, concerns, and issues get bounced back and forth) but merely the transfer of information as one perceives it (and often just a rant). Feminists usually describe a discussion by presenting the problem as they see it and then telling you to decide on which solution route is best. This is not a discussion.

                In an argument with once…. The feminist stated that domestic violence is a crime that men do to women (gendered crime). Myself as a victim responded “but…” and was cut off by her saying that “there are no buts it is a crime against women and that’s it! I so sick of men turning a discussion into a…” etc. I wasn’t allowed to argue her statement because it was “fact” and that is that.

                Hugo Schyzer anybody?

                People wonder why men don’t discuss abuse…”
                THIS^^
                I have felt this when I tried to discuss it with SOME feminists, automatically cut off, dismissed, a male privilege grenade lobbed in for good measure, an air strike of dismissive responses. I walked away thinking, wtf, they’re bigots and don’t care about abuse, they just want to care about WOMEN only. A few experiences like this made me close to hating feminism, but I learned what I really hated was just a few bigots abusing the title. You can find quite a few in one of the facebook feminist groups actually, they’re as bad as the trolls.

                They want men to discuss abuse, “men can stop rape”, but if men talk about it some of these “feminists” will quickly shut them down, accuse them of derailing, accuse them of showing privilege. They don’t want to talk about abuse, they just want to talk about women. They don’t seem to understand that you need to end abuse in every form so it doesn’t cycle on, that includes the abuse males suffer. You only have to watch a few crime channel shows on killers to understand there is a link between traumatic experience SOMETIMES, building a hatred for a gender, a people, etc, and the abuse cycle. Most misogyny I hear usually comes from a bad experience with a woman, most misandry I hear usually comes from a bad experience with a man.

                If you aren’t willing to discuss the topic properly, don’t invite men to the table. I have zero interest in only discussing abuse from the women as victim mentality because it’s not helpful to ignore the male side, you don’t end violent behaviour by ignoring it. It’s as bad as setting up anti-violence campaigns for women but not men when the majority of violence in the world is male-male, you have to cover it ALL.

                • David Byron says:

                  The “nice feminists” here don’t appreciate how utterly toxic that label is.

                  • Julie Gillis says:

                    The nice feminists don’t know how toxic the “nice” label is? I think we do. Or is there a different label?

                    • Is a “nice” feminist the same as a “fun” feminist?

                      I’m always wondering the distinction. Are the fun ones fun because you can rile them up, or am I a fun feminist because I’m also a sex writer who publishes pictures of herself on GMP.

                    • Julie Gillis says:

                      I’m not sure if they are the same thing. I know that I am probably considered a “fun” one because I write about sex. Though I haven’t published any pictures on GMP lately. I should though. I’m cute.

                      I think the “nice” thing always hits me like…..pick a side and fight for it, don’t just middle ground it trying to appease people.

                      Is working for peace appeasement? Is there an actual call and need for a new “wave” of feminism (even though the waves are based in generations)? If (and I use the word if not to cast doubt on what the men here are saying, but only that I have not read all the links provided to me and want to be careful with language) their is a political force in place (money, lobbying, theory and discourse) focused on eliminating a segment of the population that can be raped, focusing on a binary of men must stop rape, women don’t have to do that work, then I’d say there does need to be a significant push back from feminist women who don’t buy into that kind of political powermongering.

                      Given that I’m not currently (yet) a major voice in the movement (any movement), I’m not sure who those new wave people are/would be.

                      I’m disturbed though at the thought that due to political expediency someone is getting thrown under the bus. Then again, when in the history of the world hasn’t that happened? Amirite? Shouldn’t be a surprise.

                    • I have no idea what a fun feminist is, care to explain anyone?
                      I Know of gynocentric and egalitarian feminism, I prefer the latter as the former tends to annoy the hell out of me as much as phallocentric masculists.

                      ht tp://www.avoiceformen.com/feminism/feminist-governance-feminism/australia-launches-the-plan-and-the-end-to-civil-rights/
                      Julie, if this link here has any truth to it then that is the kind of stuff the new wave feminists would have to advocate against, bring back gender neutrality into law except for pregnancy, prostate cancer (but not breast cancer since sadly men can get it too), and other clearcut gendered issues. This is one article I truly wish was false, burying of stats is bad, ignoring victims is bad, stereotypes of abuse is bad, and I fear that these people have the power to actually bring in laws like this.

                      In Australia we have violence against women, Australia says no campaigns, white ribbon day, and a bunch of other very gendered anti-violence campaigns that leave male victims and female abusers without help. We don’t need more female violence only laws or associations, they only help to cement the stereotype of the male abuser and female victim and as we all know now the stats show anyone can be a victim and anyone can be an abuser. This is why I will NEVER support these gendered campaigns whilst both genders are affected, I do support the breast cancer movements since they actually help the 1% of cases that are male but the abuse based ones clearly show both sides receive a significant amount each, depending on the stats it’s even close to parity.

                      And to bury statistics or ignore them, to show such outright bias and campaign in ways to further harm people via stereotypes to me is quite evil! No matter which group or gender does it, EVIL! Why can’t people just push for the truth and reality?

              • @ Joanna
                Your touchy feely response to my comments sent me to White Knight mode. I could not think of anything to reply without wondering whether it would hurt your feelings or not. Please develop some sense of humour and don’t take any attack on feminism personally, because we humans are much more important that all –isms of this world. I am all for equality and removing all labels of prejudices and stereotypes. My motto in life is “Justice for all, Appeasement of None.” But when you wear the label of feminism, then you become part of a group. There is no professional certification for feminism till date. Anyone who claims to be feminist is considered feminist. You cannot pick and choose your feminism. You have to own everything that is been done in the name of feminism, if you consider yourself feminist. Therefore, please drop the label of feminism from your shoulder.
                Best regards.

              • Steve Locke says:

                Tar baby? Really?

                • I realize “tar baby” can be used as a racial slur, though that’s not its original meaning. I’m sure Lori Day only meant the term as a sticky situation, not unlike a straw man, which exists to lure someone into a distracting fight.

            • Yes, and many of us do not feel that there should be a ruler in a family period. Male or female, but should work towards a more collaborative structure.
              You cite one definition-but there are two at dictionary.com
              1)A system of society or government in which the father or eldest male is head of the family and descent is traced through the male line.
              2) A system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it.

              There are also more “little p” patriarchy definitions where in terms of how life runs, the default is male. Mankind instead of womankind etc. Man was created and Eve from his rib etc. Woman as afterthought, helpmate, a little less than. Not sayng you believe that, but those are frames within which I’ve heard of patriarchy.
              Let me explain my objection to the assertion Patriarchy is an oppressive system in terms of social evolution.
              Firstly, the word patriarchy is derived from two root words “pater” meaning father and “arche” meaning rule. Now imagine the primitive world where humans were living in small hunter-gatherer social groups. The environment was hostile and the average life expectancy was under 30 year. Suppose there is a couple X (female) and Y (male) living in this primitive world. Y has more physical strength than X, thus he is more suitable for undertaking physically strenuous and risky jobs for survival. The group needs more manpower for survival and to flourish. Here X has something valuable to offer which is her reproductive function, i.e. giving birth to young ones. Given the hostile environment in which they are living may be most of their children would die before attaining adulthood. So the optimal strategy for group survival would be for X to stay in safe environment and produce as many babies as she can in her life time and Y should go out and perform other necessary functions like hunting, protecting, tool making etc. Since X would remain pregnant or be taking care of the child most of her adult life, she would not know as much about outside world, giving Y the leadership in relation by default. I am using the word “leadership” and not “rulership.” This is the origin point of patriarchy. Neither X nor Y are oppressing each other. They are taking up gender roles as the survival strategy. As the human civilization progressed the gender role became bit more relaxed. You can see that upper class women were educated and participated in politics in the ancient civilization of Greece, Rome, China and India. The social imprint of thousands of years of struggle for survival had no erased. The dominance of men in government comes from the fact that in ancient and medieval age, political power was attained through wars, manipulation and taking risks, which might lead to murder. You cannot deny that aristocratic ladies lead a life of ease and luxury. There are many instances of female monarchs supported by patriarchs. With the advent of modern age, life became very easy compared to before. Women has ample time for recreational activities and decided to move out of the confined of home and work. Women’s rights movement agitated for the rights of women to vote, education and career. Several men supported it and several opposed it. Ultimately these rights were granted by the men in power to women. Feminists did not fight any civil war for it, though there was some resistance by few men, but finally it was reasonable men decided that it would be fair to give them. Now to say that patriarchy is oppressive here is being ungrateful. If the so called White patriarchy would have not decided to empower women, it would have never happened. If you don’t trust me look at Saudi papa (patriarchy) who has only recently given car keys (right to drive car) to his dear daughters (women).
              As for the small “p” since men were in the public space, they were more visible to others. Thus the term “mankind” and “Eve made out of Adam’s rib” etc. came in the minds of writers. As they say out of sight, out of mind.

              • Have men not married off daughters to the suitors the fathers felt were most suitable for money, land and etc? Daughters were not favored by kings in European cultures, as the next in line should be male. Daughters were utilized for political currency. That seems oppressive to me currently. Don’t know if the women felt so at the time. Also, if the father is the ruler of the house, and say a daughter wanted a lifestyle the father disagreed with, does she get a vote? Does she do what she wants or should she defer to his ruling? If she should defer, against her own life’s path, I’d say that was a bit oppressive. No good example from me there, just asking.

                How a father caring for the welfare of his daughters is an act of oppression? Fathers married their daughter of to the suitors who had the resources to provide a comfortable lifestyle. That does not seem pretty cruel to me. Daughters were not favoured by kings for next in line because the successor had to be strong and capable of fighting wars, but these princesses were married to kings and nobles and led luxurious life. The poor little princess could cry at her misfortune dressed in expensive clothes and jewels surrounded by servants at her disposal in a big palace. All the while his fortunate brothers would go around having fun fighting battles. Daughters as political currency worked out well for both father and daughter. Everybody has to make sacrifices in a royal family. Fathers care for the best interests of their children, so there should be no basis of hostility. Assuming that daughter is adult, she can do whatever she likes. The daughter has to make her own choice whether to go on her own or consider fathers wishes. Whatever happens as a result a good father will always be there of his daughter.

                • “The white feudal lords you speak of are part of Fortune 500. It’s not a feudal system, but a corporatocracy. There are very very wealthy men in power in America. Not all of them are white, but many of them are. Surely you’ve been reading about Occupy? I’d say they have privileges we can only dream of. I don’t poke fun at the white working class. I do think many of the white working class have been sold a bill of goods though that says if it weren’t for the “gays, women and people of color” their lives would be better. That “things were better in the 1950′s when women stayed at home and men were men.” When in actuality, a lot of women worked in the 50′s. It was a time, in America at least, of great social upheaval though.”

                  It is a bit ironical that I (person of color) am defending White men on the privilege issue from attack by White feminist. Privilege refers to the special rights and immunity granted to a person or group which others do not have. White male privilege is something that is enjoyed exclusively by White male. When I mentioned about absence of White feudal lords in the U.S., I meant that White men are not some feudal lords with non-Whites working as their serfs. U.S. is the best model democracy and has rule of law. Did you even consider what percentage of White men constitute part of Fortune 500? It is not exclusively dominated by White, there are others too on the list. Why should it be assumed that they are rich due to some privilege, maybe they worked hard, invested wisely or were simply lucky.

                  P:S. Julie’s comments and my response got mixed up due to some formatting on two above posts.

                  • Julie Gillis says:

                    Well, I don’t know about feudal lords in the us with non white serfs in the us, but I do know that most factory workers in the deep south are either poor whites or blacks. And I do know that corporations outsource factory jobs in China and India (non white) and pay next to nothing and working conditions are often deplorable. We may have a democracy in the US but we also have many wealthy beyond belief US and Western corporations employing (nearly enslaving in many cases) citizens of other countries. In fact many of us in the US are highly suspicious that the role of Democracy is under severe attack and the two parties are exceptionally close together in terms of supporting the wealthiest of lobbyists and corporation.

                    I won’t even start on our military.

                    At the height of wealth we are talking about Race goes out the window I suppose, but Class is everything.

                    And I do think that class (mainly of men) has power we can’t even dream of.

                    • “Most factory workers in the deep south are either poor whites or blacks. And I do know that corporations outsource factory jobs in China and India (non white) and pay next to nothing and working conditions are often deplorable.”

                      This statement confirms that there is no universal White male privileges because of anything like that existed, there would be no poor White factor workers. Being born White male gives you no special advantages. My country of origin is in Asia and if you would pardon me, I would like to say that I know about working conditions and pay there slightly better than you. Given a choice I would l prefer working in MNC to working in a native business establishment. Native capitalists are more exploitative than White capitalists.

                      Borrowing a line from James Bond movie “Licence to Kill”
                      “Its nothing personal. Its business.”

                      If there are exploitative capitalists of other other races and poor White factory workers, the how does the notion White male privilege stand. Its hypocrisy and intellectual dishonesty to say it.

                      “Class is everything.”

                      If class is everything then I would like to say that class mobility in the U.S. is much better than other parts of the world.

                • Julie Gillis says:

                  Well, and this is a modern POV, what if the rich man the father married her to was a lout? An asshole. A rapist. A drunk? Hated her. Ignored, abused etc her. She had no choice. The father looking out for her welfare meant money, not emotional support. Which back in those days was probably not ever considered.

                  What if she wanted more from life than sitting in a castle. What if she had thoughts in that pretty little head that weren’t allowed? That daughter couldn’t do what she liked if she was a pawn of a royal system! Good grief. Fathers do NOT always care for the best interests of the children. If one could marry off a child to a serial killer and get a shit ton of land, they’d have done it. She’s would have been a pawn.

                  Anyway, I feel this argument will only go round and round and round. We have a vast difference in opinion even about words like “family” so I think it might be best to move on to other topics.

                  • I think he’s saying that she could have not taken her marriage and left her family. But the consequences to that weren’t really possible. She could NOT have made a living on her own, and wouldn’t have been allowed to own or buy property.

                    So when you don’t have civil rights as an alternative, where is the “choice”?

                    • It is a big lie the women in medieval period did not work. I can provide countless examples to prove it. Moving out of family would have been really uncomfortable for either son or daughter, but not impossible.

                  • I do not know how much you are familiar with the system of arranged marriage. In my family all marriages were arranged which lasted. The suitors for daughters are chosen carefully and due attention is paid to all details. If the daughter has some problems as you have mentioned, she could return to her father. It would cause some serious rift between two families and require intervention by community leader. You cannot seriously mess up with the daughter of a strong father, even if she is your wife. I think same would have been the case in Europe during the medieval period. Emotional support was not much in fashion in those days. In a family men supported men and women supported women emotionally. As for the royal family, it was the game of chess in which all members of family were pawn which could be sacrificed to save the king or capture enemy king. It is the rule of game.
                    During the medieval period there was not much to do outside, or even inside, home for an upper class lady to do. The outside world was dangerous full of war and civil strife. The little head could only think about parties, ball dances and jewellery, and leave the rest for the man of the house. I agree that not all fathers were good fathers, but majority of them were good and moral looking for the welfare of their children. Father taking lot of land for marrying his daughter to man is myth. On the contrary, father paid dowry to marry of their daughters to good families. In those days, serial killing was a legitimate business.

        • Joanna, may I contribute something.

          From what I’ve read in that response, it sounds like you’re a feminist who’s very understanding and reasonable. One of the rare few. So I compliment you on your position and am sympathetic to your plight.

          Having said that, Joanna, I need to fill you in on my aversion to calling myself a feminist.

          The reasonings behind it have nothing to do with you or your brand of feminism. So don’t take it the wrong way.

          It’s not your fault that I don’t call myself a feminist even though I posess views that would label me a feminist.

          I don’t call myself a feminist is because, while you’re welcoming and willing to listen to men when they express their struggles, lurking in the shadows nearby is another feminist shaking their head vehemently while muttering words of advice, being the back seat communicator. Saying “He should check his priveledge”, “He’s an MRA”, “Why is he mansplaining? Women have it worse”. This feminist is part of that vocal minority you speak of, but yet they’re standing right there or are lurking somewhere since feminism isn’t a monolith and welcomes all views. Including said views of that gynocentric, “Women have it worse” feminist I speak of.

          I’ve been hurt and scarred by feminists like those in the past. To the point where I’m deftly afraid of speaking out in feminist circles. Even with feminists like you nearby, Joanna, I still have to share space with that feminist I speak of and their toxic belifes.

          I was also recently hurt by another feminist. This feminist was VICIOUS and made below-the-belt remarks on my person, mocking my rections. Granted, I shouldn’t have taken the bait and I lost control. Plus, it was my fault for getting into a debate on certain points she had in the first place.

          However, that was no excuse for this feminist to attack me like that. Even writing this out, I’m still scared because that feminist is very well known out there. I’m afraid also that this feminist might attack me in real life, go after me, harass me now that I’ve outed myself via the articles I wrote. Imagine having to live with this fear, Joanna, and you’ll understand why I’m having to constantly look over my shoulder when speaking out. Even to feminists I trust. Because, again, since feminism isn’t a monolith, those vicious ones share the same space.

          The worst part about that incident, Joanna? None of the other feminists defended me when she made those attacks. There were some who weren’t feminists that lept to my defense, though.

          The place where I was commentating, I had to leave for good because not only was I triggered, I was again having suicidal thoughts. I couldn’t concentrate on my work, my lifestyle was affected, emotional state akimbo, you name it I felt it. It didn’t last long, thankfully.

          So you’ll also understand why I’m reluctant to call myself a feminist. The last thing I want is to be in the same space as feminists like those ones.

          But Joanna, can I ask you one thing? If any of those feminists I speak of are in the same vicinity as you, prattling on and attacking me, would you leap to my defense and tell them to, excuse my language, “Fuck off”? Would you be willing to pick me up when I’m down because in triggered states, there’s only so much I can do before being rendered helpless?

          There are some feminists who do so that I’m so thankful for. Would you be that feminist for me? Make all the monsters go away when they come when it takes more than my inner strength and courage to do it? Please?

          • DavidByron says:

            “None of the other feminists defended me when she made those attacks.”

            Yes that’s the tell.

          • Joanna Schroeder says:

            First, Eagle, this is SUCH an important thing you’re saying. I’m so glad you’ve said it.

            I would ALWAYS say what I believe, and I would ALWAYS stand up for what I believe. I can be a peacemaker, it’s my nature, but not for a milisecond would I fail to call out someone who was attacking you personally. No chance. No way. And, just FYI, if that ever happens here, please email me joanna.schroeder @ gmail.com and I will come into the convo. Write down my email and keep it for these extreme circumstances.

            Second, why should I allow some rude, cruel feminists who are mean to people and who disregard the needs and feelings of men to define ME as a feminist? How about they stop calling themselves feminists and let ME step forward? Just because they’re meaner, doesn’t make them the “truest” ones. I think I am the truest, that Julie Gillis is a true feminist. If I don’t speak for MY feminism, who will?

            It’s my motto, “if I don’t speak for me, someone else’s voice gets assigned to me.”

            Well, I’m not gonna let feminism go down like that without a fight. There are more of feminists like me than you know, they just aren’t the ones you notice because they, too, are probably intimidated by the people of which you speak.

            I’m not telling you what to do, but how about those of us who believe in equality-feminism stand up and speak? How about we reclaim this.

            My other question is for the MRAs on here: You just read what Eagle wrote… Would you do the same if there were MRAs being pushy, mean, below-the-belt to a feminist? Would you step in and say, “that sh** ain’t cool, use respect please”? Even if it is toward someone you disagree with?

            See, I would, even if someone were saying it to someone whose ideology I disagreed with. That’s community accountability and we should all use it to keep our community here at GMP safe and productive.

            So, no, I will not stop calling myself a feminist (I know you weren’t asking me too, I’m just reaffirming it). Even if it makes someone hate me. I am what I am, those others don’t define me.

            • Julie Gillis says:

              Word. Right back at you Joanna, and Eagle you can email me too @ juliegillisproductions@gmail.com.

            • Just to be clear, Joanna and Julie, I’m not asking any equality feminist to stop calling themselves a feminist.

              I’m not someone who believes feminism is a hate movement nor do I believe it has had its day. There are still issues out there that women face on a regular basis which need correcting and addressing. I can get behind that.

              But the emphasis is on Equality Feminism for me. Any Gynocentric Feminist I tend to steer clear of because some you just can’t reason with no matter how much you make it clear to them. It’s not worth it. There are even some, like the one I mentioned before, who would go to great lengths to hurt you as what happened to me.

              So yes, I’m an “Equality” feminist in some sense. When men are suffering, I don’t go “Well women have it worse” or “Their priveledge negates their suffering”. I’d rather listen and support them. That’s my philosophy not just as an eglitarian but who also knows what it’s like to have been traumatized by a woman to the point of fear for speaking out.

              Maybe I’ll eventually be able to feel safe in feminist circles. Someday. Just…not now.

              🙁

            • ““He should check his priveledge”, “He’s an MRA”, “Why is he mansplaining? Women have it worse”.”
              Omg they’re the worst terms I hear. Feminists like that I try to listen to but usually have to give up on, I can’t stand people asking for others to listen yet silencing their voice.

              “My other question is for the MRAs on here: You just read what Eagle wrote… Would you do the same if there were MRAs being pushy, mean, below-the-belt to a feminist? Would you step in and say, “that sh** ain’t cool, use respect please”? Even if it is toward someone you disagree with?”

              I’m no MRA but I do this, a bit here and other places. I tried it on a facebook page but it was full of said gynocentrics, they get MRA trolls pretty bad and trying to get both to see the good in each other is like trying to sew graphene with your hands. It’s sad that they’re so polarized at times, like rare earth magnets in the wrong direction they just repel repel repel, so much that I’m surprised they don’t float!

              • Joanna Schroeder says:

                By the way, Archy, I gotta tell you that I give up on people, too. Calling someone out and asking them to hear me is usually only done if I feel like the person shows some heart and not just hate. When I see people with hate and no back-and-forth potential, I ignore them.

                That’s human, and that’s healthy (if you ask me).

              • David Byron says:

                Well the worst *I* have heard is,
                You’re a rapist
                You’re a pedophile
                You love hurting women
                You are raping me now (yes – I’ve often been accused of rape in an on-line chat)
                You are stalking me
                You are harassing me

                • I remember a convo with a radfem trying to say I was raping her because we had a conversation where she and I were arguing? Apparently I was meant to stop straight away and sit there taking abuse. Arguing is not rape, rape is rape. Throwing it around to mean someone not stopping talk when you want them to is just terribly wrong to do especially if you are doing the same. Gotta love the sexist insult “creep” too over the most trivial of matters. Tossing out serious accusations during an argument is very wrong in my eyes, call someone n asshole but don’t go falsely accusing them of a horrific crime because you don’t agree with them.

                  • Joanna Schroeder says:

                    That is f’ing bananas.

                    See, that pisses me off! Who would say you’re “raping” someone because you’re arguing? You could be hurting their feelings, making them feel unsafe in a social online environment, you can harass (I’m not saying either of you DID that, I’m just saying these things are technically possible).

                    But I’m sorry, you’re not an “internet rapist” for disagreeing, even if you act like a jerk. What makes me mad and upset about that is that there is a REAL thing in the world called RAPE and that word is reserved for people who sexually violate a person. These women are gaslighting their own damn selves.

                    Ugh.

                    Okay, I’m calm now.

                    • Thank-you!
                      It pisses me off quite a bit too, I’d much rather just be called a jerk or an asshole.

            • David Byron says:

              I am asking you to stop calling yourself a feminist.

      • If you folks don’t mind me speaking up on this to Rapses.

        Unlike a lot of the people that are trying to cool down the hatred at feminism I hope you hear me out for one reason, I’m working my own way through that very same hatred right now.

        First off I don’t want to try to say you’re wrong about that point you gave (“Asking a feminist to deal with reasonable arguments backed with evidence.”) because simply put there are feminists who actually do fit that bill. I only want to say that they don’t all act like that. Even though there are a lot that do (and of course a lot that will hang on to every word such feminists say) there are plenty of fair minded ones that don’t.

        Next I want to point out that more than likely the basis of your frustrations with feminism probably come from a very valid and fair point. (Folks this is why you must be careful about telling a critic of feminism something to the effect of “If you would interact with real feminists instead of drawing your opinions from right wing rhetoric, media depictions, MRAs….” or accuse them of building straw feminists.) And over time as you have tried to address those valid points you probably kept getting dismissed until you reached a breaking point and at that point you decided to stop trying to be reasonable with them right? At that point the cycle of hate poisoned your mind and from there poisoned your thoughts and words I bet.

        It does feel good to strike them back with the very same hatred they struck you with right doesn’t it? I know it felt good for me. But ultimately its useless. Useless for the very same reason their hatred didn’t actually get you to change your mind on issues or address your otherwise very valid criticisms (and by “address” I don’t necessarily mean “solve”, simple “acknowledgement” would do). But I’ll tell you what helped. Finding feminists that are actually capable of hearing your valid points. Now I understand that it feels like feminists like that are about as plentiful as unicorns but trust me they are out there but you may have a hard time seeing them because of hatred that has poisoned you.

        Now Joanna Schroeder here seems like she may be one of those that is at least willing to hear you out. But you have to bear in mind that she is not one of feminists that is going to dismiss you because your male or one of those feminists that has a poisoned mind. She is probably alot like yourself (or myself) before the hatred took over. The trick to working with folks like her is to find a way to work your way back to your old pre-poisoned self. One thing to bear in mind is that her brand of feminism is not the same brand that sent you over the edge. In fact look at what she said here: “To be frank, not only does what you wrote above actually hurt my feelings a little bit, it makes me disregard the important things you may have to say. Because it’s actually really mean. And it’s snarky and feels very dirty.” When combined with the other things she’s saying I take this as dead solid proof that she is turned off by hatred towards feminists and (and this is important) she is turned off by hatred coming from feminists.

        Even though I don’t know you Rapses I’m willing to bet that your arguments are much stronger with they are weighed down in hatred. I know mine are. It hurts to think about giving any feminist a chance after being treated harshly by some of them before. But I’ve found a few that actually are worth giving a fair chance to. If you come across any please to try to give them the fair chance that you weren’t given by other feminists or that you haven’t given to previous feminists (and I say that only on the premise that you’ve come across some good ones that you didn’t give a fair chance to).

        (Here’s a good tip on finding the fair minded ones. Look for feminists that actually share your criticisms of other feminists. If they are willing to call out their own, especially along points similar to yours, then they might be worth dropping the hatred for. Just please remember to drop the hatred.)

        • @ Danny

          I do not know why I am being treated like errant child. Personally, I have never been touched by feminism. I came from a regular family where there is no place for any kind of oppression. I am 36 year old unmarried (heterosexual) man with no bitterness towards any woman. Social science is not my academic discipline. I have deep interest in philosophy and current affairs, and am a voracious reader. My problem with feminism is at the intellectual level. The way feminism is taking over the public space with false rhetoric devoid of any reason or argument, misrepresenting and twisting facts to suit an agenda. The only option for me is to speak out or shut up. I am a seeker and not an avenger. Where did you get the idea that I hate anybody? Hate is a very expensive emotion that needs lot of energy to sustain. Joanna, took one of my sarcastic remarks too literally and feels hurt. Don’t you see how many feminists avoid any reasonable arguments and try to silence others by name calling?

          • I do not know why I am being treated like errant child.
            My apologies for coming off that way. Please believe me when I say I’m not trying to treat you like a child.

            Personally, I have never been touched by feminism.
            I was however treating you like someone who has had bad experiences with feminists. Again my apologies.

            Don’t you see how many feminists avoid any reasonable arguments and try to silence others by name calling?
            Oh I most certainly do as I’ve been on the receiving end of it plenty of times. I was apparently reading something into your comments that wasn’t there.

          • Joanna Schroeder says:

            Rapses, did Julie and I not give you reasonable respect and responses above, when you asked VERY genuinely for your questions to be answered by feminists.

            Danny, you response above brought tears to my eyes. I am amazed by you for a few reasons:

            1. Admitting that you had hatred. I know the feeling, I used to be very afraid of the oppression of men and had bad experiences that colored my perceptions of manhood in general (not all manhood, I’ve always had tons of guy friends whom Ioved like brothers).

            And I had REALLY bad ideas about MRAs until just recently. Now that I’m able to hear from some whom I respect, or from neutral people who have some MRA views, I’m changing. I’m still a feminist, I still disagree sometimes, but I hear you guys now.

            2. Healing from the hatred and allowing voices like mine to be heard. I’m imperfect, deeply imperfect, but the fact that you can see that in my heart I want to hear you means so much to me.

            Thanks for that, my friend.

            • It’s amazing when the fear, anger and hatred lifts isn’t it? Our society is plagued with generalizations (I just did it 😉 ) but I do believe there is some truth to this, I am trying actively to avoid it and focus on the individual because we can’t judge everyone as the same. It’s almost like target shooting, you slowly get better at aiming criticism, fear, etc better to the point you don’t just scattershot the target but you nail the bullseye at 500yards because you practiced, learned about the topic, and can recognize what it is exactly that bothers you.

              I recently got extremely annoyed by something a few feminists said, but luckily I know it’s only a few feminists and not the entire group. That’s important because I can still respect feminism, no one, two, or three persons can speak for feminism, from what I gather even in the start they had members that didn’t agree on many issues but what’s important is the issues they all agreed on got support.

            • 1. Admitting that you had hatred. I know the feeling, I used to be very afraid of the oppression of men and had bad experiences that colored my perceptions of manhood in general (not all manhood, I’ve always had tons of guy friends whom Ioved like brothers).
              Oh no the hatred is still there. Not to sound like a comic book but it will probably always be there. I just have to learn how to control it.

              And I had REALLY bad ideas about MRAs until just recently. Now that I’m able to hear from some whom I respect, or from neutral people who have some MRA views, I’m changing. I’m still a feminist, I still disagree sometimes, but I hear you guys now.
              And thank you for keeping an open mind about them.

              2. Healing from the hatred and allowing voices like mine to be heard. I’m imperfect, deeply imperfect, but the fact that you can see that in my heart I want to hear you means so much to me.
              Thanks. I take this as a sign that I’m making progress.

              Thanks for that, my friend.
              And thanks to you as well.

          • Joanna Schroeder says:

            Danny – what we take issue with is the lumping in of all feminists with the ones you don’t like without any attention to the diversity of the movement. As I always say, over and over, I won’t do that to you MRAs, don’t do it to me.

            Second, the sarcasm and assumption that I’m too thick-headed or stubborn to listen to facts was downright offensive and that is where people get the idea that you’re hate-filled.

            You can choose to hear me on this, to believe that this is the truth as I’ve perceived it (and others) and try to find a way to communicate (as you first did in your reply), or you can continue to tell me that nothing you did was actually offensive or hurtful and dismiss what I say.

            But like I said, that method won’t work to effectively deliver your information to most reasonable people.

            • Joanna Schroeder says:

              I’m really sorry, I addressed that to Danny and I meant it toward *Rapses*. That was a pretty serious misfire.

  5. I don’t really care about Hugo, what he did in his past and I don’t care if he is facing now legal problems because of his actions. His problem, he is an adult and he is responsible for his own choices in his life – it’s not really a problem for the GMP, and not my problem.

    The problem with Hugo is about his ignorance, that men can be victims too because of malicious women and about his never-ending excuses for women who are treating men badly.

    Well, everybody is entitled to his/her opinion.

    My problem is more about feminism itself, which obviously fails to criticize people like Hugo for such biased behavior.

    Hugo as a male feminist is a bizarre proof to show us that feminism is NOT about equality and why we need the Men’s Rights Movement.

    Hugo left the GMP out of his own decision, he hates everything related to men’s rights, I doubt if he will be back in the near future. –

    My opinion: This threat is going to ‘nowhere’. Forget about Hugo.

  6. I didn’t know Hugo had such an ugly past but that doesn’t change what I like about his written work and social cause…kinda like saying: I enjoy Michael Jackson’s music and lyrical messages and that his black to white skin change, face makeup and feminine voice really have no bearing on his talent.

    But you gotta wonder, what is Hugo’s purpose for revealing his past weaknesses/sins so publicly? He doesn’t have to, he could pretend to have this facade of perfectionism and lead you to believe that he’s never had any failures in life or made mistakes – would this make him a better role model or better male feminist for you? Doesn’t GMP encourage people to learn from those who have done the WORK?

    I think role models/mentors should be from all walks of life; we can look up to the ones who’ve never fumbled through life, and we can also look up and learn from the ones who really fucked up in life but managed to clean up and straightened out their lives – hope for all. There are plenty of men who have dark pasts, some have risen above them and have arrived at a better place, while many others are still too ashamed, don’t know how to change direction or lack guidance to help them get on the right path.

    By Hugo sharing his dark past and bad behaviors, I think it’s one way to let go of guilt which no doubt many others in similar position are consumed with (but deny any feelings of guilt because that’s the macho ideal) – and say to people that, he’s not perfect and that it’s okay to face the truth, because part of getting help is recognizing that you have a problem; that being half the battle. Hugo’s done the work. I think we need to give credit where credit is due.

    There are many on here eager to crucify Hugo’s past, because it’s a cheap way to make ourselves look better and make us appear above someone else, if for only a moment. And since Hugo is a staunch feminist, many on here (anti-feminists), instead of seeing this opportunity to look within ourselves, are quick to judge and use his past as ammunition to attack his feminist institution and his supporters. I ask this: he’s done the work, have you done your work? Have you moved beyond the past, let go of the demons? Some of us are stuck in the past, and use it to hurt others in the present…hurting innocent people who had nothing to do with it. It’s a new year….

    • Zorro: Hugo is a staunch feminist, many on here (anti-feminists), instead of seeing this opportunity to look within ourselves, are quick to judge and use his past as ammunition to attack his feminist institution and his supporters

      ————————————————

      I see no reason why ordinary men who keep their lives in order should look within themselves because of Hugo’s chaotic and questionable feminist life-style.

      There is nothing what ordinary men and their families can learn from Hugo. As I said already several times, this Hugo-discussion is a way to nowhere.

      Hugo is about the best example what not to do if you are an ordinary man.
      Forget about Hugo.

      • i always laughed when mra’s called hugo a mangina.
        i had always clocked him as an alphawolf, a fox in the henhouse. i even posted that once somewhere

    • Hugo is a staunch feminist,
      Hugo did all of these things in his past WHILE being a staunch feminist

      i feel that hugo needs to feel, that deep down, all men are really like him, would have done what he has done.
      hugo clearly sees all men as being like him, when we’re not.

      Hugo was and still is a troubled man

      • “Hugo was and still is a troubled man”

        He is also stuck between a rock and a hard place.

      • No I think Hugo is too smart to think that ALL men are like him and neither would he want all men to be like him. But where the problem lies is that people, particularly men, have issue with his pieces because these often project guilt upon men – and men are too macho to be guilty for anyone else’s sins, especially gender crimes, wars, and other injustices with a male face, right? Is there a choice though when you’re covering controversial topics and the perpetrator(s) of these crimes are men? Perhaps we should rewrite history and blame women….

        I think Hugo comes from the belief that if we were to all share in some collective guilt, that it would help to progress to faster solutions or arrive at the same understanding; to kinda say — yeah it’s a problem and we ALL need to take responsibility, although we are not personally responsible for what has happened to that person or group; instead of shrugging it off and say that’s not my problem and walk away!

        A lot of things in life that have a social or global effect, most individuals don’t feel directly responsible for. For example, global warming or environmental issues – there’s nobody holding a gun to your head to tell you to recycle or take transit instead of the car, but if we all did a little bit and contribute, we are that much more effective in combating these serious problems. Some guilt can drive us to do better…particularly if we can make a difference in the lives of others and for our children’s children.

        Just as an analogy to illustrate my point further: (I don’t know much of the bible, just the basics) Jesus was considered a great man and a good man, basically a man with no sins – what he did to save man from doom was to die in order to deliver man from their sins. There was a cause larger than Jesus himself…he recognized the guilt of others and collectively took on their burden on himself, to achieve something great in the end.

        • Megalodon says:

          “I think Hugo comes from the belief that if we were to all share in some collective guilt, that it would help to progress to faster solutions or arrive at the same understanding; to kinda say — yeah it’s a problem and we ALL need to take responsibility”

          That makes perfect sense. By trying to make other men “share in some collective guilt,” he is probably trying to reduce and dilute his own individual guilt which, according to certain revelations, is quite thick and weighty. The people with heavier burdens would love to throw some of their loads on others.

        • Problem is many issues which are portrayed as gendered, aren’t. Abuse for instance was long though of as by men against women yet now we find out the levels are reaching parity, so male guilt becomes useless because it’s human guilt that is needed if anything. Men shouldn’t feel guilty for being born a male, the sins of the father are not the son’s, and I find it offensive that people are trying to do this.

          I am a victim of abuse, I’ve been abused by females and males, why should I have to feel guilty because of something others did? I only feel guilty for my own actions and for not waking up earlier to raising awareness of abuse in all forms.

          Society needs to realize that those men we project guilt on also face some mindboggling terrible levels of violence, abuse, issues that are downright evil. in 2003 about 4 million women died from violence, which is terrible and needs to be addressed, but consider that 18million men died from violence and that guilt being put on men alone isn’t right. We need to recognize those that do harm and put the guilt onto them, and celebrate those who don’t cause harm. We need to celebrate those willing to stand up against abuse, fight for people, sacrifice their lives to make us safer.

          It won’t help to push guilt onto women because mothers are most likely to cause child abuse, we need to find out WHY SOME commit child abuse and try help there. Having an original sin for men is offensive as hell to me, same as catholicism’s original sin as I find offense in that. Taking a burden by choice is honorable but don’t force people to take it, especially when they have done no wrong. It leads to prejudice and that ain’t good.

        • Zorro:
          I think Hugo comes from the belief that if we were to all share in some collective guilt, that it would help to progress to faster solutions or arrive at the same understanding; to kinda say — yeah it’s a problem and we ALL need to take responsibility, although we are not personally responsible for what has happened to that person or group; instead of shrugging it off and say that’s not my problem and walk away!
          If that’s the case then why is it, in the realm of gender, that the only time the “we ALL need to take responsibility” only comes up when its time for all MEN to take responsibility? I was just reading a post by James Landrith last night in which he was talking about a “Men can stop rape” campaign. Moreso he was talking about someone else’s commentary on it. Commentary that included the line “Women can fight rape but only men can stop rape.”

          If there was a collective need for everyone to take responsibility you’d think it would include all people not just men, especially on the topic of rape where its very apparent that men are not the only perpetrators (sure you can point out that most rapists are men but until that “most” becomes “all” its quite sexist and unfair to say “only men can stop rape”). And I think my point stands when it comes to domestic violence as well.

        • Joanna Schroeder says:

          Oh Zorro.

          Let’s try not to generalize men’s behavior. I hate it when people generalize women’s behavior, let’s try to give them the same respect.

    • DavidByron says:

      Betty Friedan used to beat her husband if that interests you.

  7. Tom Matlack says:

    On the topic of Goodness Justin and Joanna.

    One of the important points here is something that Jackie has been talking about which is to hold up anyone as a “good” man is bullshit. We are all gray. I’m gray. The f’ing Pope is gray. So talk about how “I was bad and now I am good” is crap.

    Yes, we all go through transformations but there is no endpoint (ask my wife). I was really, really stupid now I am slightly less stupid. I still make huge mistakes, have a temper, and am not “good” in any ultimate sense. I try to do more good things than bad.

    On “sobriety movements see the utility in hearing and telling these stories, it’s clear to me, because it’s a part of their culture and how they atone and heal.” Yes, but that is based on a spiritual principal of anonymity. The AA line is that you are not to talk about who you see, what they have said, your own AA story outside meetings to protect those who are trying to help each other get better. For Hugo to be quoting what “his sponsor” told him to do is in direct contradiction of that. I have broken my own anonymity as a recovering alcoholic with some very careful limitations about what I will and won’t say to preserve other’s anonymity, to do no harm, and to keep my own side of the street clean.

    One thing to note is that addiction is a disease which at is core is about lying (See Million Little Pieces among a zillion others). Addicts lie to themselves and everyone around them. So if truth is a relative term for normal people that goes double for addicts, like me and Hugo. That means when you tell a story even more care is necessary to make sure that its based on fact and, if those facts are wrong, you do no harm.

    • Can I just weigh in to say I’m not in any legal trouble, and yes, I’ve recounted the facts of the case as best I remember them. Given that I was high as could be on a dozen different drugs, it’s not likely I remember everything perfectly. There is no conscious embellishment.

      I wrote that original post in haste, and once written and discussed on the ‘net, it couldn’t be taken back. I shouldn’t have written it not because it wasn’t true but because it wasn’t fully my story to tell — it was my ex’s story too, and her voice is not included. I wrote that original piece in 20 minutes and published it unedited, and now repent that sloppiness in leisure.

      And Tom, I’ve been really good about continuing to link to and praise GMP. Your words in your post clarify your true views for me, and certainly contradict your tone in your recent private emails.

      All the best to everyone here, and many thanks to Lisa for writing this post.

      • Tom Matlack says:

        @Hugo @Lisa told me “Hugo and I have been in touch. He told me that the the backlash from the story of what happened with his ex-girlfriend has spiraled so out of control that he will probably have to hire a lawyer.” If that is not accurate my apologies.

        As to the rest of my comments I stand by them. I am grateful for your linking to us, but I am not asking you to. Nor did I ask Lisa to publish a piece which in essence supported you in a fight that I thought we should stay out of. Since she did that and represented views that were not mine, I felt it important to clarify what I think. I am truly sorry for whatever struggle you are in. But that doesn’t mean I liked the way you treated me nor that I admire how you have handled what you chose to write about and talk about in the interview.

        • Joanna Schroeder says:

          Oh heavens, Tom.

          Let’s all heed Tom’s original advice about using great care in what we write publicly… Even in comments.

          I hate to be Oprah here, but there is a lot of hurt behind all of this, and we gotta stop throwing our energy into point and counterpoint and try to get back to what we’re here for.

      • Megalodon says:

        “I wrote that original piece in 20 minutes and published it unedited, and now repent that sloppiness in leisure.”

        Ah, for a sin against style and presentation, you will repent.

        “Your words in your post clarify your true views for me, and certainly contradict your tone in your recent private emails.”

        Finally, we can kill the lie that all is forgiven and that everything is amicable.

      • Tom Matlack says:

        I think a good reference point for the addict memoir is THE NIGHT OF THE GUN by David Carr, in which he investigates himself to figure out what really happened when he was high, which is starkly different than his original memory.

      • @ Hugo

        “I wrote that original piece in 20 minutes and published it unedited, and now repent that sloppiness in leisure.

        And Tom, I’ve been really good about continuing to link to and praise GMP. Your words in your post clarify your true views for me, and certainly contradict your tone in your recent private emails.”

        It beggars belief!

        I repent for the sloppiness but not actually the content and it’s consequences?

        Oh and by the way – I want to indicate to readers that you say one thing in private and a different thing in public?

        I have been nice about GMP – but you are not being nice about me? You have hurt me!

        Hugo – please take responsibility for your actions and the consequences. You still seem to be looking for ways around issues, and not addressing the source of them.

        You need to deal with Hugo – and the venue is where your feet are!

      • Lisa Hickey says:

        Hugo, thanks for stopping by.

        This brings up a much bigger point — who’s story is it to tell? Is there a way to be honest about a story that involves other people? Should everything be told anonymously? As more and more stories get out there, and these issues become more complex, I’m not sure where this will all go. But it’s important to figure out.

        • Julie Gillis says:

          It’s a very good point. I know there are stories I would tell, only I don’t because I’ve been asked not to. Gets into the ethics of being an artist. Some would argue that your story is yours to tell no matter who gets hurt, but I don’t much follow with that.

          • Julie – the ethics of story telling is easy if it’s fiction – you can more or less say what you like!

            The issue arises when you tell true stories, especially Autobiographical ones.

            You have to Consider 1) The Time – 2) The Manner – 3) The Place

            You have to address time. Is the story new or old. Are there people in that story who can be damaged. Only the dead can’t be defamed. Even journalists reporting real time events have to be factual and precise and able to justify every word.

            You have to address the manner. You can tell a true story in an anonymous way – you can change characters and even events, provided the meaning, even the moral and Raison d’être of the story are communicated. If it is a First person story – your story you do have to consider the other protagonists, how they are labelled and seen by readers, the portrait you provide for a reader. should that portrait be a true likeness, maybe an impressionist rendition – just a line drawing and a very quick sketch. If it’s your boss – or more likely your ex-boss – how much information and evidence to you provide.

            The most important consideration is the place. Telling a story to a close friend is very different to putting it on the Internet or in any form of print for public consumption. Using a story as a training tool – and even using your own life as an example to do that – is useful, but even has to be guarded as the people you give that story to can take ownership and use it in ways you have never intended.

            Stories that are Private – Confidential – Anonymous – they stay that way. Names and Events stay that way. There are very limited circumstances under which they should ever be told, and if ever made public it must only ever be in a way that respects the true nature of all concerned. I hold many stories given to me in trust. I may occasionally use such a story to illuminate ideas and understanding for others, but I will never tell a story which allows others to be identified – to recognise themselves – and above all for them to believe I can’t be trusted.

            Some see blogging and scribbling on the Internet as if it’s a private diary. Just consider the regret that has been created by facebook entries – those drunken student pictures and jobs and careers changed. But I said that 8 years ago! It does not matter in the massive electronic portrait that so many create.

            There is need for many to consider the new Paradigm of the WWW when it comes to telling stories.

            I recall one journalist friend who got into a lot of trouble. They wrote what appeared to be a True Life Story of abuse about someone who came from New Zealand. It was being published in a small local newspaper in the UK. They got a little sloppy as to content – and the news paper has a website and the story was published there – and the people in New Zealand found out all about it because someone googled a name …. and they could prove that much of the story was false. One Libel case later…..

            Global Village Story Telling needs a new rule book!

  8. “• As a case in point I am not buying what Hugo says about the attempted murder. I don’t doubt he believes it. But living with a bunch of lawyers in my family I know too much about criminal law. The facts he presents would have landed him in jail no matter what the girlfriend or her family said. It’s not their call, it’s the DA. And any DA would have prosecuted a case where a man tries to kill a woman, no matter that surrounding circumstances.”

    Tom, I have to say I agree!

    The anomalies have all the hallmarks of an “Unreliable Narrator”.

    “In some cases the narrator’s unreliability is never fully revealed but only hinted at, leaving the reader to wonder how much the narrator should be trusted and how the story should be interpreted.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unreliable_narrator

    Further reference: http://fictionwriting.about.com/od/glossary/g/unreliablenarr.htm

  9. Tom Matlack says:

    @Lisa “Hugo has my admiration because he was able to talk about these issues, use himself as an example in order to help other people. That doesn’t mean his specific behaviors were not bad — they were. But at some point I’d like to talk about redemption and “restorative justice” and whether people think that is possible.” and your prior comment to mine about the centrality of shame and dealing with shame.

    As you know we differ on this Lisa for several reasons.

    • I agree that confronting shame is a powerful and important goal in the context of storytelling. But shame when you are the victim of a crime is different than when you are perpetrator. We’ve had dozens of stories written by victims of pedophilia on GMP, do you think we should start publishing piece written by priests and Sanduskys of he world to help them overcome their shame? I do not. Certainly if the topic is the details of their actual crime (as was Hugo’s).
    • One of the reasons Hugo is in legal trouble right now is because he innocents he wrote about do not agree with his story and were damaged by him telling it. We all certainly have our own truth, but that isn’t absolute thing. Memories fade, points of view vary. By telling his version his puts others in the position of having to somehow become writers themselves to respond to what they see as inaccurate.
    • As a case in point I am not buying what Hugo says about the attempted murder. I don’t doubt he believes it. But living with a bunch of lawyers in my family I know too much about criminal law. The facts he presents would have landed him in jail no matter what the girlfriend or her family said. It’s not their call, it’s the DA. And any DA would have prosecuted a case where a man tries to kill a woman, no matter that surrounding circumstances.
    • In the final analysis, I do feel bad for Hugo. But the reality is that two weeks ago he was up on his soap box beating the living shit out of me for not seeing how bad men are when I wanted to argue that we should focus on men being good. The fact that he has all this in his closet, and made the mistake of talking about it publicly rather than keeping it private which is where it should have stayed, just strikes me as amazingly hypocritical.

    So no I don’t admire Hugo. I feel bad for him. But I really don’t think we at GMP should be somehow trying to hold his behavior up as an example of anything we aspire to, either back when these events happened, when he attacked me, or when he talked about things that have landed him in such hot water.

    • Lisa Hickey says:

      Tom,

      I am thankful that we keep talking about these things, both publicly and privately, to try to get it right.

      MediaHound’s example of an “unreliable narrator” is really important as well.

      So, I guess I didn’t think through how Hugo’s story *could* harmed others, decades after it happened — because a) I assumed it was coming from a place of truth and b) I didn’t think he had given enough details about others in the story to do harm. But I can see where both of those could have been a fallacy on my part.

      Your point of “shame because you are a victim or shame because you are a perpetrator” is really important to me on numerous levels. One of the things that happens with victims is that they are made to *feel* as if it is there fault. Plus, as you know, the cycle of abuse often continues — those abused become abusers. That’s why I actually do think there would be learning from people who *are* perpetrators — to understand how they got to the place where they committed the acts they did. And why I think looking at shame from all sides is valuable. But I also agree that it is really really important that we don’t harm others in the process. And I can see how we need to take a step backwards and consider all the consequences before making a blanket statement like “storytelling is great”!

      Thanks for continuing to ask the questions and get the issues out there that are so important.

      • David Byron says:

        I agree with you on the abuser stories thing. And of course Tom is right to say they’d have to be dealt with very carefully.

        • Lisa Hickey says:

          I was telling Tom today — for years and years I didn’t talk. Not just “was shy” or “quiet.” I didn’t talk. To this day, I don’t know how I got through life. I never used a phone, never spoke up in meetings, my husband and I were like ships passing in the night, I avoided him whenever I could. I was so afraid of saying the *wrong* thing. I don’t know if it was being told as a child “don’t tell anyone”, which I turned into “don’t tell anyone anything ever, as long as you live.” But it’s only been recently that I’ve been able to find great joy in conversations.

          And that’s what I’m trying to get at here. To stop the feeling of shame that comes from whatever we find shameful enough to destroy us. Abuse, addiction, depression, disability, aging, rape, suicide — all of those things we should be talking about more, we should be able to just say “hey, this happened to me, it’s reality, don’t judge me for it.” And the fact that we can’t… it’s just got to change.

          • Sounds like avoiding confilict or judgment maybe. I still find it tough talking to people, or being seen. Even avoid using the phone, only online do I feel a sense of confidence but even so I get nervous when I talk to people.

            Shame of being yourself is terrible and I’m only learning now how to throw that shame away, fear of being judged or fear of conflict can be a MAJOR roadblock to having a fulfilling life. I locked myself away for 95% of the time away from other humans for many years, funnily enough when I am with people who I feel comfy around I am VERY outgoing, loud, talkative but around strangers I’ll appear as shy as hell.

            Funnily enough only recently I’ve found joy too in conversations, and relearning how to speak to people and carry a conversation. A skill that I didn’t learn very well in high-school due to bullying and avoidance. I’m finally breaking the bars of my own little prison, I was using a nail file earlier but lately I’ve been using an angle grinder and it seems to be going much faster.

            I’m glad you got past it, you sound like an amazing person.

            • Lisa Hickey says:

              Archy, you nailed it here: “Shame of being yourself is terrible.” And so, I was talking to another commenter, and I do think it’s important to separate out shame of what you were in control of and shame of what you are not. For me, having both — and recognizing both — was actually a pivot point for me. I know just how terrible it is to have “shame of being yourself.” I can see how it can destroy your life. And so — the benefit to shame is that I can clearly see that there are actions I could take that might lead to consequences I will be ashamed of. So I avoid those actions at all costs. But the ones that I wasn’t in control of? I needed to face those demons as best I could, with honesty and insight and sometimes humor, and then use that to help others.

              I will add that my transformation was a long time in the making. I didn’t suddenly pick up the phone and say “Ah! a phone, where have you been all my life.” What happened was — like you, it seems — I was able to start online and say things I wasn’t sure of. And took note of the fact that the world didn’t end. And then start to say more and more things that came from my heart. And found myself being challenged on some things. Called names on others. Being told I was an idiot or crazy or “out to lunch”. And you know what? The world still didn’t end. So I took note of that as well. And the more I got out there, the more I shared of *different* parts of myself — and, most importantly, the more I talked about things that were not just important to me but important to others — the more I was able to create for myself an identity that had very little to be ashamed of. So when people call me names, I actually laugh. I know who I am. And that is important. If those names have a kernal of truth, I look if there is something I want to change. But if not, I stay at peace with myself, because I know that I always have the ability to change, but the ability to stay the same too. And that is also important.

              Archy — just wanted to add — one of the most wonderful things about the comment section over the past few months has been seeing your voice really come to life. It’s been amazing, and I can’t way to see where it goes from here and where it takes you. Thanks for everything.

              • You’re welcome, it’s great to know it is appreciated. It’s nice to finally have a voice and get things off my chest, I’ve kept much of it locked away behind shame of course but now I’m slowly piecing it all together and trying to help others live a better life from my experience.

                This is probably the first place I felt comfortable opening up, especially on issues regarding bullying and abuse. I tried a lil in a feminist space but copped the privilege line quicker than a dog catches food and watched all these men in pain with no where to go so now I direct them here if they need to speak.

                Most important I want my voice to help others to see anyone can be a victim and anyone can be a perpetrator, that guys who are 6’6 and intimidating looking can be the soft, quite gentle and sweet people, can be damn near deathly afraid of women who are half their size, where emotional abuse can be worse than physical at times, the scars unseen can be so deep that it takes decades to heal. It’s been 1 decade+ already for me and it was 7-8 years before I saw any real progress, I’ve had thousands of cuts, bruises, injuries during that time that I healed up very quickly from.

                Thanks for giving me and others the platform to speak up on something hidden deep away from most of society due to shame and stereotypes.

    • Justin Cascio says:

      Why not talk about whether the stories of people who have screwed up and behaved in selfish, ignorant, even incomprehensible ways? Why not talk about the ways we have hurt one another, even grievously? Hugo’s story about hitting his own personal rock bottom is useful; I am not a part of the movement, but people in sobriety movements see the utility in hearing and telling these stories, it’s clear to me, because it’s a part of their culture and how they atone and heal. I do not believe that anyone telling their own personal truth can harm another. If two people’s truths do not agree, who gets to arbitrate? Who must be silent?

      I was not aware that he was in legal trouble now, but don’t think commenting on it here is sensible or kind.

      How we tell the story, how we label people in the story, and more, contribute to whether a writer who does as Hugo has, and tells us about the worst thing he ever did, is helping anyone in the telling. I don’t agree that there is hypocrisy in Hugo’s view that men are bad, and that you think we should focus on the good. I don’t agree with either of you. Men aren’t all bad, and anyone proceeding from that premise can’t imagine any man’s salvation. We desperately need to talk about the things we do that are bad, if only to learn how to be better. You have written about the things you’ve done, Tom: I’ve read under your byline on the internet that you weren’t always a safe and courteous driver [http://goodmenproject.com/guy-talk/crash-and-learn/]. I take it you’re a better driver these days. I also think you wrote about it to hold yourself accountable, and to reach other men who behave badly on occasion. So I think even you see the utility in writing about ourselves not only at our best, and perhaps even at our worst.

      • Joanna Schroeder says:

        I must agree with Justin here, as I said in one of my first replies to this piece and the dialogue that followed (on page one of comments):

        “Ever driven drunk, Peter? A little tipsy? Stoned? Really, really tired? Driven while texting?

        I think you’re European, so actually maybe you haven’t, but most people in the US have. And some even crash and kill themselves, others, or no one. They do it with the *full* knowledge that what they’re about to do is deeply dangerous and immoral – that they could kill a family, babies and mothers and fathers. If this person were an addict, and then they got clean, if they told their story to you, you would probably say, ‘Man, that is one scary as hell story, I am SO glad that guy got clean so that he won’t do that again.’

        Explain to me why it is different? Should that person who drove drunk and almost killed someone (but didn’t) deserve to be disowned, flagellated, and shamed?

        No? Why? Because they got clean? Well, so did Hugo.”

        I didn’t know Hugo was in legal trouble, either, and with all due respect to you, whom I truly do respect, I feel a little dirty for having learned it like this.

        • Tom Matlack says:

          Sorry I should have been more exact in my language. It is my understanding that people who Hugo wrote about in his pieces, who were innocent victims in those situations, are extremely upset and that has caused potential legal liability of some sort. Let’s leave legal out of it since I have no idea what is or isn’t really going on and don’t frankly care. My point is that if you write a piece that is suppose to help people and the very ones who were involved lawyer up I am not sure that is a sign of progress.

          • Joanna Schroeder says:

            Thanks for the clarification.

            Not sure I feel a whole ton better because, ugh, it’s all just so confounded and complicated.

          • Justin Cascio says:

            I think that’s a specious attack, to point out that people have “lawyered up.” And while my first remark on this matter was meant as a professional courtesy, you don’t seem to have gotten my drift. Here it is again: We shall not talk about other people’s legal affairs, or about aspects of their lives which they don’t put out there on the internet or in some other public forum for our consumption. It’s just a good idea.

            I maintain that there is good to be gotten from reading honest stories about our lives. The people we are in these stories don’t have to be good people in order for us to learn something very important about other people and ourselves. The qualities we most recoil from can be the ones we most need to learn about. And best of all about this site, is that we can respond to the authors themselves. We can grow from these stories and see progress in real time. What an amazing thing for a community to do for one another.

            • Megalodon says:

              “Here it is again: We shall not talk about other people’s legal affairs, or about aspects of their lives which they don’t put out there on the internet or in some other public forum for our consumption. It’s just a good idea.”

              Schwyzer offerred his “legal affairs” for public “consumption” in the first place. He said, “I’ve checked with a couple of attorney friends of mine, and according to them, I’m at no legal risk for disclosing now what took place in 1998.”
              http://www.hugoschwyzer.net/2011/01/03/what-you-need-to-remember-what-you-need-to-forget-on-self-acceptance-after-doing-something-truly-awful/

              Some commenters here and on Feministe have disputed his assertion. But Schwyzer did put it “out there” in the first place.

            • Tom Matlack says:

              Justin I don’t know why my saying that the people who were harmed by the story (Hugo’s ex wife in one case and ex girlfriend in another) are extremely upset. That’s what this whole darned controversy is about. He talked about stuff that upset them and a bunch of other people. Leave the lawyers out it. That’s not the point.

        • Marcus Williams says:

          Explain to me why it is different? Should that person who drove drunk and almost killed someone (but didn’t) deserve to be disowned, flagellated, and shamed?

          IANAL, but it seems to me there’s a difference in mens rea, so the level of intent is relevant. Drunk driving is reckless and deaths result, but that’s not the intent of drunk drivers. Turning on the gas to kill someone is intending to kill them. Both actions are criminal, and dead is dead if either one causes someone to die, but the one who meant to do it is usually treated more harshly under the law.

          I don’t really understood the “didn’t press charges” part of the story. That’s one of those things that in movies makes it seem like criminal prosecution only happens if victims decide to press charges, but in reality it’s “People vs. Bad Guy”, where “People” is on behalf of the citizenry, not just people who wanted to press charges. If the only evidence against someone is testimony from people who will cooperate, maybe it matters, but I would think if someone attempted murder and the respondents saw clear evidence of it, it wouldn’t much matter if the intended victim or his/her family wished to prosecute. Maybe it’s safe to tell now because there’s a statute of limitations or something, but I’m skeptical about the pressing charges thing, given what appeared to be unambiguous circumstances and a confession.

          Both Tom and Hugo appear to be vastly improved – and less potentially lethal – than in previous times of their lives, and I applaud them both for their transformations. But since neither of them killed anyone but one of them tried, I think the one who tried earned the extra flagellation. If his intended victim was a woman who had just been beaten and raped, and before the attempt, he had sex with her that he still describes romantically, that’s worth a few extra lashes, too. Fortunately, he’s a changed man, so he’ll scar over and shouldn’t need this kind of whipping again.

      • Tom Matlack says:

        @Justin are you aware of how many drafts I went through before publishing “Crash & Learn” and the excruciating thought and very, very difficult conversations I had with any and everyone involved in every event I describe in that essay? I would say that the essay took almost a year to complete for that very reason. There is plenty that might have gotten a reader’s attention that I left out, not because it’s not essential that I remember what I did and why it was wrong, but it wasn’t my place to tell that story publicly and hurt those involved (again).

        • Justin Cascio says:

          I don’t really get what you think is the essential difference between the story you tell about yourself and a girlfriend in your story, and the one that Hugo tells about himself and a former girlfriend. In neither case is the focus on the girlfriend’s decisions, and I can’t identify her from the details in the stories. You talk in another comment below about sobriety, anonymity, and the privacy of most or all of the storytelling that goes along with being sober. But this site is about the stories we tell in public. Your story is on this site and as I’ve pointed out, it’s very similar to Hugo’s. Why have you gone out of your way to say that Hugo’s story should not have been told in any public venue, but your story belongs here? What is the difference? And I don’t mean in details that are not visible to someone like myself, who doesn’t personally know you or Hugo.

          • Tom Matlack says:

            It’s simple Justin. I went to extraordinary lengths to protect those involved in my essay, to the point of having long and difficult conversations before publication. As a result no one is upset. No one is talking about my essay as somehow wrong. That is not the case with Hugo who did not use the same care.

            • Megalodon says:

              “I went to extraordinary lengths to protect those involved in my essay, to the point of having long and difficult conversations before publication.”

              Does that mean you actually spoke to the people mentioned and referenced in your article in order to get their consent? Since Schwyzer is not on speaking terms with the person he tried to murder or her family, I am guessing it was not possible for him to have those “long and difficult conversations before publication.”

              • Tom Matlack says:

                My point is if you are going to hurt someone, even if you don’t talk to them, then don’t write the story.

                • i don't believe you says:

                  Your point is very clear. No need to repeat yourself.
                  A general trigger warning offers more courtesy than Hugo did to someone he knew. Get a clue people.

                • Joanna Schroeder says:

                  So, Tom, you talked to your girlfriend from your story before you published it?

                  I can no better deduce who your girlfriend was than I can whom Hugo’s was. But she was a woman having an affair with a married man with children. If I were the judging type (I’m not) I could see her negatively for that.

                  Thing is, I don’t want to shame YOU for writing Crash and Learn. I don’t want to shame you for living Crash and Learn. In fact, I think it is probably one of the most important stories you’ve written. It is by far the most important story by which I’ve learned about you and the (good) man that you are.

                  I don’t want shame for either of you and I do NOT want the focus of this discussion to turn to “what Tom Matlack did wrong with his piece” when it is merely being used for contrast. I think your piece was important, I think Hugo’s was as well.

                  As far as legality goes — it matters because Hugo made a statement about legality but never once did he say what anyone in his story was doing, legally, against him. I follow Hugo pretty closely, and am his friend, and I didn’t realize he was in any sort of legal problems until I read your comment. I don’t read every single thing he posts/writes, so I could be wrong. Please feel free to show me where he has written about other people’s legal issues with him and I will very happily concede this point.

                  One could feel free to speculate about the legality, but it sounded as if you were speaking with authority about things happening in his life of which (I could be wrong) he hasn’t yet spoken.

                  And in speaking of some exes bringing legal action, or even threatening legal action, it seems like suddenly these anonymous characters whose feelings and reactions were heretofore protected, are suddenly not protected.

                  • David Byron says:

                    I just wanted to say it’s good to see you sticking up for your friend, Joanna.
                    (nobody read anything else into this comment please!)

                    • Joanna Schroeder says:

                      I’m very loyal. I’d stick up for you too, DB, if I felt you were being misrepresented.

                      Truth is (I’m not reading into the comment!), I am not so much sticking up for Hugo as a person—he doesn’t need me to—I’m trying to see this objectively and I happen to side with Lisa on this (who is praising Hugo). We’ve all learned something about privacy and the right to storytelling through this dialogue. This dialogue was important for us all, opened doors we need to walk through in order to learn more.

                      In order to learn it, we gotta hash it out. But it has to be done in a way where words are not weapons, where we’re not acting out of hurt or self-defense or even fear. Those elements create a thick fog through which nobody can really grow.

          • “I don’t really get what you think is the essential difference between the story you tell about yourself and a girlfriend in your story, and the one that Hugo tells about himself and a former girlfriend. In neither case is the focus on the girlfriend’s decisions, and I can’t identify her from the details in the stories.”

            Justine – you may not be able to identify, but other’s can! You seem to have a narrow view of matters and how they play out on a global network!

            There are also other people identified and actions they have taken, and it is not clear if there was permission for such actions and related decisions to be disclosed.

            It is one thing reporting public record – and quite another going on the public record – and as it were Outing people who have no prior knowledge and or opportunity to provide consent.

            Outing of rape, a history of drug abuse and many other issues – and all that a person needs to know is that the person mentioned once had a relationship with a Mr H Schwyzer.

            It can be as simple as a co-worker or even neighbour knowing of this whole mess and showing the person. They are then upset and some basic maths get done. 2+2 =?

            Oh so you used to be a drug addict did you? – how long you been clean? – did you really get raped by your pusher? – did he really try a double suicide and murder? – and the person being asked has been Anonymously dealing with their private matters, private life and private recovery which is their business and no bugger else’s!

            Imagine a doctor deciding to blog – and then he say ” Mr Jones was here today – pity about his terminal cancer – such a nice guy and only six months” – and the patient had decided to say nothing to his family because his daughter was to marry in six months and he wanted her wedding to be special and his health a none issue until after the honeymoon?

            Privacy – Confidentiality – Anonymity – they exist for very good reasons and anyone who fails to respect them and the reasons has gone too far!

            As Gay Man and rights activists, I do know all about outing in so many ways. Do you want the examples there too? Should I name names – drop hints as to which celebrity is still in the closet – who they have been and even are sleeping with? If I did that I would get TROUNCED!

            I fear that Mr Schwyzer has overstepped the mark on many grounds – and I have even told him so.

            That you can’t identify a person from information provided is a minor issue – because there are people out there who can – and even those who will deliberately go looking!

            I have even advised Mr Schwyzer that he needs to look at the steps of his recovery program. On his blog he has asked where can he find a venue to discuss matters in a safe and moderated way.

            He has been reminded he needs but one venue and one moderator – and both the venue and moderator are called Hugo!

            It is a feature of recovery that people can fall off the wagon and they don’t need to be using – but the cure is the same, you go back to basics and start at step one.

            One step past step one, involves making amends, provided it will not cause damage or distress. Further up the tree you Keep schtum, not only about amends but if they have not been possible. That is to protect those you have harmed. If you fail – it’s back to basics as if you had just downed a bottle of bourbon.

            The venue – where your feet are!

            It’s always where your feet are, no matter where your fingers meander on the keyboard.

            • Justin Cascio says:

              MediaHound, you have mistyped my name as “Justine” more than once, so I am starting to take it personally. I don’t care if you think we’re in a gay men’s club together: you don’t get to call me Justine. Cut it out.

              I understand what you’re saying about anonymity, and I hear your concern. Even Hugo has said now that he feels he shouldn’t have written what he did, as you and Tom agree. I will take this example under serious consideration in deciding who and what to write about, myself.

              • @ Justin

                Sorry – “NO” offence intended!

                I have typing issues and input issues due to disability and fingers that f### up. My voice recognition software is not much better! Throw in present eye problems and spotting typos which are not highlighted is an issue.

                The auto text complete often has a most annoying mind of it’s own. I have just spent some minutes spanking the bottom of my voice recognition profiles and all spell checkers – and now when I say or type Justin, they demand that I spell it out! If it should decide to have a mind of it’s own again, please let me know. Thank you for highlighting the issue so it could be addressed.

                If it is any consolation – I have done worse. I sent a letter to someone called Ms Yvonne Vaughn-Jones. I was in a hurry and did not notice that the document actually said “Mattress Yak Vagina Jokes”. Thankfully she knew of the issues and found it comical. She even sends me Christmas cards signed with her alternative cyber error title.

                …. and if you think I would be throwing underhanded ones, it would be better if we sat in a bar and had a laugh! We don’t know each other well enough for presumption. I do hope to make it back to SF for another visit. If you see Mr Tolliver, give him my best.

                If you wish to see obstacles where they don’t exist that is your choice. I understand your concerns and your position. I too have armour, but it only gets used when it is proved to be necessary. I don’t like carrying the heavy weight! Plays hell with the crutches! P^)

                • Justin Cascio says:

                  Dear MediaHound, I apologize. I did not realize all of the barriers between us, and how much you’ve already done to bridge the gap. Thank you for telling me.

                  • I hate bridges – they get blown up too often!

                    Can we just have a flat playing field and common ground? P^)

                    • Justin Cascio says:

                      I wish we did have these things, but it looks like we don’t: we aren’t all born into equal amounts of privilege and access, so we have to build these bridges, fragile as they are. In Judaism we call this repairing the world: making an unjust world, just.

                • David Byron says:

                  Awesome. What does it say my name is?

                  • David. I had a look and I’m sorry to say you are as written.

                    It sort of makes you Vanilla! I quote Byron too much so you are safe from cyber confusion.

                    I won’t tell you what happens to some people’s names – but believe me, some are very Ben and Jerry’s and the flavours can be very very fruity! P^)

                    Lisa Hick-up is mild by comparison, and so is Tom Mallet. It’s one of the reasons I prefer to just use first names – the surnames are where it usually all goes wrong and gets very odd – though at times strangely Malapropistic!

            • Megalodon says:

              “Justine – you may not be able to identify, but other’s can! You seem to have a narrow view of matters and how they play out on a global network!”

              Perhaps. Cascio is apparently one of Schwyzer’s online supporters. When this scandal was first unfolding, Schwyzer complained about it on his Facebook page on December 24. Cascio joined the chorus of reassurance and said,

              “I am still thinking about this, and consider it outrageous. Feminism is a matter of belief and identity; some would call it a faith. It’s not something you can be discommunicated from, no matter what one feministe says.”

              Leaving aside his characterization of Schwyzer as some kind of oppressed martyr, he finds it outrageous that feminists would be angry that Hugo Schwyzer tried to murder a woman? And he finds it outrageous that some feminists may not want to welcome Schwyzer into their space any longer?

      • Megalodon says:

        “Why not talk about whether the stories of people who have screwed up and behaved in selfish, ignorant, even incomprehensible ways? Why not talk about the ways we have hurt one another, even grievously?”

        If persons want to talk about how they “screwed up and behaved in selfish, ignorant, even incomprehensible ways” or how they “hurt one another, even grievously,” then there is nothing to stop them. Let them. And when they do, people who hear their accounts have every right to judge them and react disfavorably. When a malefactor decides to pour out his soul, that does not in itself grant him the right to be shielded from scorn and indignation for his actions.

        “I do not believe that anyone telling their own personal truth can harm another.”

        I believe they have a right to tell “their own personal truth” but I doubt it will always be harmless. If a rapist or child molester wants to recount how he violated his victims in pornographic detail, some people are probably going to be hurt.

        • Justin Cascio says:

          Pornography is not what I am defending; I’m talking about pouring out one’s soul, telling the truth as one knows it, even when it’s a painful subject. We can judge and scorn, or we can seek to understand. Porn isn’t about understanding. It’s about getting off. I don’t see Hugo getting himself off, in either sense, by telling the story. The alternative would be a world where we have Hugo’s ideas, but not this knowledge of him. That preserves our pretty ideas of what good men are like rather than complicate them.

          • Megalodon says:

            “Pornography is not what I am defending; I’m talking about pouring out one’s soul, telling the truth as one knows it.”

            You and I may consider it “pornography,” but the malefactor who recounts his actions may view that as “the truth” as he “knows it.” Perhaps he feels that his story would not be complete unless he luridly describes the gratification he felt when he did something horrible. And “pornographic” does not necessarily mean a sexual context. You have heard of “misery pornography” or “poverty pornography.” One poster referred to Schwyzer’s work as “redemption pornography.” Lord knows enough drug addict memoirs contain orgiastic descriptions about their drug trips.

            “We can judge and scorn, or we can seek to understand.”

            It is often repeated here that “understand” does not equal “excuse.” If that is true, then to “understand” and to “judge and scorn” do not preclude one another. I can say, “I understand that you allowed a person to molest your child because you wanted money for drugs, but I am still judging and scorning you for this terrible thing you did.”

            “Porn isn’t about understanding. It’s about getting off. I don’t see Hugo getting himself off, in either sense, by telling the story.”

            Interpretations are subjective, but I actually do get the sense that Schwyzer was “getting himself off” by telling the story. When he describes having sex with a traumatized, vulnerable woman who had just been raped and brutalized by a drug dealer, he says,

            “We got back to my little place on Sierra Madre Boulevard, stumbled in the door, shed our clothes and had the desperately hot, desperately heartbreaking sex we had had so often.”

            That is a disgusting, salacious passage, made worse by the context. It is regular pornography and misery pornography rolled into one.

            “The alternative would be a world where we have Hugo’s ideas, but not this knowledge of him. That preserves our pretty ideas of what good men are like rather than complicate them.”

            Even without confessing this attempted murder, we knew that he was a besmirched pontificator. But now that attempted murder is on his resume, a lot of people think his ideas and “complicated” identity of himself are no longer worthwhile. And his ideas were never some treasure trove of depth and wisdom. They are mostly derivative feminist arguments or generic tropes from rehab, which we can find in thousands of other places.

    • David Byron says:

      Yeah I picked up on that too – where he says her family refused to press charges — as if that would have mattered in the slightest. In another re-telling of the story he put less emphasis on that. It wasn’t clear if he realised that it was up to law enforcement not the family.

      However since we agree there’s no way they’d let a man trying to kill a woman go free just like that (vice versa, yes) the implication is that where Hugo’s narrative was inaccurate the inaccuracies were to make him sound MORE guilty than he was, and so I didn’t think it was worth mentioning.

  10. I know this statement will anger people but here it is.

    We seem to have a lot of armchair psychologists here. Everyone is a DSM expert. Everyone thinks they can diagnose Hugo and/or interpret his own diagnosis and dissect him into tiny bits to analyze and evaluate. I guess it’s just human nature, but the feeding frenzy is so ugly. There is obviously something very compelling here that I’m missing. It reminds me of maybe what it was like to be in the Coliseum watching the action down below and shouting out whatever made people feel good because they *weren’t* down there and because they could. I understand all the complicating factors–what he did, what he wrote, what his current views are…all the things a lot of people are angry about.

    OK. We’ve gone there. We can keep going there. Do whatever you want.

    But here’s the thing. It’s about what is starting to look like a public stoning. What does it say about a commenter’s *own humanity* when he or she cannot stop pecking this particular chicken?? It is all starting to make me feel nauseous. Enough bloodletting, folks. Or is it enough? Is it ever enough?

    It is for me. Long since. Sigh.

    • Lori

      “But such is the irresistable nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants is the liberty of appearing.”
      Thomas Paine

      I get your message and views and can see where they are coming from – I even see your analogy with the Colosseum as being valid. But we are dealing here with both the issues of Personal Psychology and Social Psychology. In so many ways GMP, and the Internet as a whole, is a community and so social psychology does apply.

      I could model the whole thing from the observed phenomenon of how that Social Psychology has played out from the perspective of feminism, but that would probably get too many backs up. P^)

      Lets take GMP as a country. Hugo was a significant political figure – he held prestige and privilege. When he spoke and said things people listened and believed him, accepted it and went along with it.

      A group then says – Er? Sorry that is wrong! – you then have two groups who are quite literally at political odds.

      The issue that most vexes people is that Hugo has dismissed sexual abuse of males by females. It would be like a member of the senate or congress being found out doing the same thing. Some may agree and others not – but when there is evidence that shows reality and the politician is wrong, they get called on it. If they want to keep saying they are right, they get called more. If they stand down and go to have more private time with their family, the issue does not end there. People will expect that Politician, that Opinion leader and Speaker to at least have the humanity and even courtesy to say “Mea Culpa” I was wrong. Walking away is never enough.

      It seems irrational to expect such a figure to deal with their own faults and address them publicly after they have walked away, but as they used their position to create the situation, until they do actually address it and put it right they leave a legacy of error and misinformation which people will still have to fight against.

      It’s the fighting over legacy that is the issue – and the person who can address that is guess who? Hugo.

      He is leaving a legacy of discord he has been a central figure in creating, and he could so easily put it right – and has even been asked to put it right and not done so. Quite a legacy.

      Some think holding public office is their right, but actually it is a grave responsibility. Abuse of public office is treated with opprobrium. Walking away is one way to deal with it, but it does have grave consequences.

      Even President Nixon could not side step the issues, even if he believed he had the right to do as he pleased. Watergate is a by word for infamy.

      When a Politician acts as to deny rights, people will believe it is right and proper to call the person to account and demand that their rights be returned. The only true way for people to have ownership of their rights returned to them is for the politician to recognise their error and put it right. Walking away can even be a power play to deny those rights more. Rather than healing it can be a deliberate wound caused by Hubris and anger for people having caught the politician with their hand in the cookie jar.

      The damage has been done – the people are revolting – it’s not about hen pecking or amateur psychology – it’s about the “Rights Of Man” (Thomas Paine) and Natural Justice.

      There are people calling for Justice – and there are real wounds involved. Just because it is the Internet and people are not sitting face to face does not make that reality any less.

      People do not give a Fig for Hugo’s Truth, but they do demand Justice for their truth, a truth he did deny!

      They keep articulating why, and how, and how they demand their truth to be freed and made complete – and the only person who has been holding that truth to ransom here at GMP is Hugo!

      “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”
      Martin Luther King, Jr.

      • MediaHound and I Don’t Believe You,

        I hear you both. I guess it’s a matter of when is enough enough, and that is for each person to decide.

        If there were a man who had committed terrible crimes–even against someone I love–there would come a time when I, personally, did not want that person punished anymore. To make an extreme analogy, if a criminal attacked my husband and beat him up, and another man came along and beat up the attacker, I would not at that point want the attacker to have the skin flayed off his back or to have his eyes gouged out.

        I am a very sensitive person. I understand people’s desire to see someone “get what they deserve.” But it starts to feel excessive to me now, almost violent, when I see what starts to look like torture. I hate it. I just do. Personally speaking–speaking for no one but me–it has been more than enough.

        It has also reached a point where, for anyone who can take the high road and stop kicking the person who is on the ground bleeding, this seems like a higher, nobler place to be. IMHO.

        • Lori – I have to agree that limits are a personal matter, so I do grasp your frustration and feelings.

          I also see others frustrations and feelings and wonder how to reconcile them. There are many truths and many ways to live, and some times it can be like flipping a coin.

          As a Buddhist I Iook upon others with compassion – that is looking for the best thing that will bring them tranquillity or balance in their life. There is the parable of the great physician which I use as an example – you need to provide the correct medicine for each person so that a cure can be effected.

          For some I would recommend Desiderata:

          “Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.”
          http://marilee.us/desiderata.html

          For some they need a different medicine, because they have been denied light and air for a long time. Then I would recommend the following – it is about progress an change and the achievement of peace but it also takes time.

          ““Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.””
          http://www.marianne.com/

          Some are fighting to regain the power of their own light, to address fear and so much more, and through that to be able to return to love.

          Red Pill – Blue Pill – different medicines for different people with different things that ails them.

          Wouldn’t it be lovely if we had just a rainbow pill that was a Panacea? Until then we all have to figure out how best to help each other, and you do so much already there is no fault in how you feel and live.

          If anyone indicates otherwise just tell me! I do surgery too – and anaesthetise with a big hammer! P^)

          • MediaHound, very astute comment. So you’re a Buddhist?? Do you follow the comments of CajunMick? Have you seen the thread going on from yesterday’s comment of the day, and the post on 20 things to love about men? He speaks very well to what I feel, and you might really relate to what he says too. I agree with your comment here–it is very balanced. And I love that Marianne Williamson quote. You seem to constantly quote my favorite writers!

            • Lori I follow so many comments! If I commented on every post I read ……

              Some comments need no response – they have a beauty, symmetry and elegance that need no addition. Some are pointed and need a response from only one place. Maybe It would be interesting to compare notes one day.

              In the mean time, I make comment where I believe it will be of the most value. In some ways you are like a beacon for others who feel as you do, so I write in response to you, but also with other’s in mind, which ever pill is best for them!

              You can but try! P^)

              • Oh, I know you do! Didn’t mean to insinuate you needed to follow more people. Just wondered if you’d happened to see this guy CajunMicl’s comments because I thought they might interest you as a fellow Buddhist. And they do have that kind of elegance. You contribute so much to this site. Sorry if it sounded like you needed to do more! 🙂

                • Lori – sorry if you thought I was offended! Do you think I would be quite if I was? P^)

                  I have seen Cajun’s comments along with many others by diverse people. Stars all!

                  As I am an inveterate quoter – I think of Granny Weatherwax – Crone, Wise Woman, Curmudgeon and Mistress of Magic:

                  “On an occasion when Tiffany had a chance to ask Granny Weatherwax why she had been sent to stay with Miss Level, Granny made an uncharacteristically long and impassioned speech. “Because she likes people. She cares about ’em. Even the stupid, mean, dribbling ones… who treat her like some kind of servant. Now that’s what I call magic… That is the root and heart and soul and centre of witchcraft, that is.” – “the start and finish is helpin’ people when life is on the edge. Even people you don’t like. Stars is easy, people is hard.” “

        • i don't believe you says:

          Enough is enough is when the light goes on. I doubt if Hugo “gets it” …at least yet. This is not about our empathy or our sadism. This is about the purpose of a backlash… which is to say in no uncertain terms..”Look, you have gone too far. You need to cut it out “. Hugo is not listening. The shelling should continues until the white flag goes up.

    • i don't believe you says:

      This isn’t a public stoning. Hugo has made “enemies” via his words and actions and now he is getting served a big fat helping of retribution.

    • Lori its not even that complicated. Its a simple matter of “the higher you rise the harder and farther you fall”.

      Hugo quite literally built a reputation on being the reformed sinner. Generalizing men in a way he wouldn’t stand for being done to women (basically presuming the worst faith in men based on nothing more than his own dark past), absolving women of behavior he would not stand for if done by a man (like how he defended a former partner of his that possibly committed paternity fraud while in the same post having the nerve to say that if the “father” were to leave that would make him the enemy, oh and the fact that he was “the other man” in that doesn’t help), and that last post of his where you can almost say he was gaslighting critics of feminism to defend feminists from gaslighting.

      I’ll be the first to agree its an ugly cycle. Yes cycle. That’s the thing a lot of people on all sides here think that they and their side are “the original victim” and with that status (which usually includes the belief that all the negativity that comes their way is unprovoked and unjustified) think that they and they alone have the right to speak freely while demanding others stay quiet. However as far as sides go we will probably never be able to determine said original victim.

      • The summary of the story is that Mr. Hugo was gas lighting his opponents for gas lighting feminists who were gas lighting the men. Due to all these gas lighting there was a big fire in which he burnt himself.

    • Lori, I do believe the feeling of quite a few here is that of Hugo being an enemy to men. I have to buy a beer for Mediahound one day for pointing it all out but there are some serious accusations that he has acually backed up, valid criticisms of Hugo’s behaviour regarding the dishonest usage of statistics and I can’t say I disagree with Mediahound.

      For a man to raise awareness of rape and abuse whilst also writing articles attempting to disprove the rise of female rapists using statistics that actually prove it, not responding to valid criticisms it truly does make me feel like he is an enemy to victims of abuse by female perpetrators. I take it he has quite a following and he has a responsibility to use statistics without the bias he seems to be showing. I do hope this is proved wrong because if it is right than I fear for the victims as it will probably just add to the already high level of silence, stigma and stereotypical behaviour surrounding abuse (male perpetrator mainly).

      Is it an attack on Hugo? No, I’d say it’s a major criticism but it does appear to be fully valid. Calling into question his psych eval is a good point though, I’m not sure it’s totally neccessary but it may help illustrate why he does some of the things he does?

      I really really want him to respond to the criticisms because atm it does feel like he’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing, I have zero trust for him based on the very dishonest and biased CDC stat article. He does have good points at times but I don’t think that excuses the bad that seems to be happening. This isn’t about hating women before anyone tries to mention it, it’s about accountability in recognizing abuse can be perpetrated by anyone, and anyone can be a victim, regardless of gender, race, creed, belief.

  11. Megalodon says:

    How magnanimous is The Good Men Project? Jumping to the defense of a person who took sides against it, denounced it, abandoned it and spat on it as he left. Is Hugo Schwyzer the Absalom of The Good Men Project? Will The Good Men Project worry and cry over him even as he works against it?

    Schwyzer was the most polarizing contributor on this site from the time he started adding to it. And he was polarizing and hostile up to and after his departure. Even after he left, he got in as many parting shots as possible.

    Nearly every article he churned out here generated hostility from the readership. But that hostility and rancor never bothered Schwyzer. That is because TGMP’s readership and constituents never ranked high in his consideration. In fact, he actually reveled in the hostility he received here. When he was reflecting on his possibly cuckolding another person, he said

    “My friend Harmony sent me a quote last night, from the artist Madelon Vriesendorp: “If you’re hated by the right people, it’s a compliment.” When someone says something hateful to me, I often ask myself, “Who else — or what else — do they despise?” While it’s not always true that the enemy of one’s enemy is automatically a friend, there is something to be said for being lucky in one’s opponents. I am indeed fortunate in my enemies!”
    http://www.hugoschwyzer.net/2011/07/16/wrapping-up-spermgate/

    Schwyzer could point and jeer at the hostility he received here and chirp to his intended audience, “Look! Look! They hate me! I’m saying the right things! I’m with you!”

    Well, now Schwyzer is being denounced by the feminists, the audience he found important and whose opinions he claimed were valid and relevant. So, these denunciations and condemnations matter to him. They may actually hurt him. Well, too bad for him. Trying to murder a woman is probably going to rub a feminist audience (or most audiences) the wrong way. And likening the attempted murder of a woman to losing a dog does not help either. The opprobrium being heaped upon him is completely deserved.

    And there is no “confessional essay privilege.” The fact that someone freely discloses their wrongs and misdeeds does not excuse them from rightful scorn and condemnation. Readers and audiences can decide how they want to react. Some may wish to react benevolently and graciously, but nobody is obliged to react that way. Anger and alienation are among the legitimate reactions. The worst things the feminists can do to Schwyzer are registering their anger and excluding him from their spaces. Should they not do that, all for the sake of sparing Schwyzer’s sobriety and his “peace of mind”? Or should they temper their reactions so that other persons can reveal their past attempted murders without worry of nasty reception?

    What enriches the irony of your defense of Schwyzer is his contribution to the Twitter fiasco that exploded here. After he joined the “criticism” against Matlack, he wrote his own piece which excoriated Matlack for using words like “wrath” and “bashing” to characterize the feminist reaction. How dare Matlack react with defensiveness?! Schwyzer believed that Matlack should have calmly and respectfully accepted the “criticism” in good faith.
    http://goodmenproject.com/good-feed-blog/serious-discussion-is-not-wrath-of-feminists/

    Well, hold Schwyzer to his own standard. He thought Matlack should accept the “serious” criticism for having said sexist, gender-binary, privileged statements. Let Schwyzer receive and accept the serious criticism for having attempted to murder a woman, along with other unfeminist actions of his which are now coming to light in the feminist blogosphere. He should not react with defiance or defensiveness. He has left most of the defiance and defensiveness to his entourage and acolytes. But since Schwyzer characterized the feminist reaction as “calumny” on his facebook page, one can doubt if he is hewing to his own rules.

  12. Here’s my view on Hugo.

    In regards to his story and goals for himself: I don’t mind them. He has a story to tell and I’m all for people opening up their world to the listener. A compelling tale brings you closer to what the human psyche is, it’s varied electrodes and layers.

    In regards to his opinions on men: Here’s where I draw the line.

    Hugo doesn’t believe in the good of men. Unless that good fits the narratives of his brand of feminism. Otherwise, it’s toxic masculanity to him that they’re suffering from.

    This serves to alienate men, half of the population, besides the ones who agree two-step with his preachings.

    That’s my problem with Hugo and others of his ilk. Yes, he’s a valid writer but terrible at speaking and listening to men for real. Especially those who have suffered seriously at the hands of female abusers.

    I don’t believe in that.

    • Lisa Hickey says:

      I can see your point of view here Eagle33. It’s something I have been thinking about for a while.And I think that’s the problem when you even imply someone is “good”. People are too complex for that one word description.

      In this case, I did not mean so much to put the blanket “good man” stamp on Hugo (I’d be hard pressed to know for sure whether that really applies to anyone) as much as to say the that the act of sharing his stories with people who might need to hear them — to me, that was good.

      • Lisa: “In this case, I did not mean so much to put the blanket “good man” stamp on Hugo (I’d be hard pressed to know for sure whether that really applies to anyone) as much as to say the that the act of sharing his stories with people who might need to hear them — to me, that was good.”

        And I agree with you on that aspect, Lisa.

        Hugo’s an impeccable storyteller, yes.

        But he’s a horrible listener and reprehensibly ignorant when it comes to men except the ones, like I said, fits his feminist worldview.

  13. Mr. Hugo Schywzer is like a broken record repeating the same noise again and again. You just have to read first few lines of his articles and it becomes clear what would be its conclusion. The central theme of all his work was that he was a sinner, who has been delivered from his sins and is now our messiah preaching us to ignore our pain and hurts and dedicated our lives to his religion i.e. feminism.

    • DavidByron says:

      Well original sin is a theme running through the movement since back in the early 1800s when Sarah Grimké (or was it her sister – one of them) came up with an interesting feminist take on the book of Genesis. You know the bit where Adam and Eve bite the forbidden fruit and are cursed (Genesis 3:16)?

      To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

      The usual interpretation of this verse is that “he will rule over you” is God’s judgement on Eve. ie that is what God makes happen. The feminist re-interpretation is that God is merely predicting what will happen to Eve because of the sinful nature of men. In other words God is saying men are now all going to be violent assholes.

      That is the feminist interpretation of Original Sin. All men are born as violent sexist rapists who will try to dominate all women. hey — God said so!

      • Joanna Schroeder says:

        David – that is ONE feminist’s interpretation of Original Sin.

        Let us have our own voices.

        I don’t throw you in with misogynistic women-hating MRAs, do I? Let’s stop lumping everyone together.

        • David Byron says:

          OK, fair comment.
          I am not really sure how much anyone else agreed with Grimké. The movement went that direction (in my opinion) but perhaps for completely unrelated reasons. Actually a related pagan view of things is the sort of Earth Goddess view where apparently men and women lived in harmony while everyone worshiped a hypothesised Earth Goddess that preceded about 10K BC (in Feminist view). Then men discovered they had a penis, threw down the Earth Mother in favour of the fertility power of the phalus and the rest is HIStory of men being nasty violent rapists etc.

          You never heard of this stuff?

          • Julie Gillis says:

            I think they knew they had penises! Isn’t the theory that with the advent of agriculture they realized that sperm made the babies and so they wanted to know which kids were theirs, as opposed to the kids belonging to the tribe? Or something? Thus an ownership model of marriage and patrilineal such and such? (had wine tonight, thus the such and such)

            • What happens when a male lion takes over another males pride?

              • Julie Gillis says:

                I assume there is probably a lot of growling and such. Mating. Etc. Don’t know all that much about lion behavior. Though we aren’t lions.
                Are you making a comparison between lion behavior and human behavior?

                • Megalodon says:

                  Yes, there is a lot of growling. But in addition to this growling, the new male that has taken over the pride proceeds to kill the lion cubs sired by the male that he defeated. This precludes the females from nurturing offspring that are not his and it also renders the females available for reproduction, because lionesses are not fertile when they are nursing a cub.

                  • DavidByron says:

                    Happens with humans too. Vastly more injuries to children when the mother is living with a non-related male. I forget the ratio but it was pretty astoundingly high like 100 times more. You’d have to look that up. That’s not necessarily because the new man is attacking the kids but something weird happens. I’ve got a terrible headache right now so don’t quote me on that.

                    • Megalodon says:

                      Yes, I have heard of those figures too, comparing rates of child abuse in households with intact biological families and households with a biologically unrelated adult parental figure.

                      The standard lore today is that “blood doesn’t matter” or “blood doesn’t make a family,” etc. With the proliferation of blended families, lots of peole desperately want to believe that. However, I think we should acknowledge the reality that some stepparents (or live-in consorts of the biological parent) do not have the same bond with stepchildren as they would have with their own biological children.

                      Nobody is more aware of this reality than stepchildren themselves.

          • Joanna Schroeder says:

            Yeah, David, I’ve heard this.

            I guess I just wonder where it fits in with who I am, who you are, or where we come from?

            Maybe what you’re saying is that even going back that far, men were demonized? Like you guys were trying to conquer us even from then and that even our “feminist myths” show men conquering women? I can see that.

            But I guess I would challenge you to look at some history and see whether men actually have been trying to conquer women. Myths grow out of a need for human beings to explain things that are a mystery to them. We want to know how the world came about? Well, God snapped his fingers six times and there’s the universe (Okay, I know he didn’t literally snap his fingers in the story…. It was a magic wand, right?).

            These myths are important little calling cards to show what people were thinking about and worried about. It doesn’t have to reflect men TODAY to look back and wonder why people created some men-conquering-the-world myths. There has been bad, bad stuff that has happened to women under the hand of men. Men have been in power most of our history.

            We’re trying to change MEN being in power to PEOPLE being in power. Not WOMEN being in power. I think you and I both want that. We want people before sexes.

            Thanks for acknowledging my point about the generalization. Feel free disagree with everything I’ve said above. I’m just happy you saw my original point 😉

            • Joanna Schroeder says:

              PS do you like how I just gave you “permission” to disagree with me? haha. I know you don’t need that permission, I meant more as a friend, that I won’t be upset.

            • Julie Gillis says:

              Yes. Myths and stories are how we made sense of the world. We have new ways to make sense of the world yes? Science and such? Though I’d still argue that we are born and bred storytellers, we humans and so we also take things like SCIENCE! to be part of the new narrative. 1000 years from now if we are still all here, we might look back on science as the myths of those dark days of the 2000’s.

              The people in power set how the stories are told. History reflects the winners yes? And one thing I’m always quite aware of in conversations like this, is how little history I know (because there is so much of it) and how little history is taught in the US secondary schools that has anything to do the rest of the world.

              One thing I do know? Is that people (men and women) have done bad things all through out history (to men and women). And there has always been good things done too. People before sexes is a great goal.

  14. This article, in summary:

    Please come back to us, Hugo! We’re sorry!

  15. What’s the limit on forgiving bad behavior before you’re considered a “good man”?

    If the bar is so low, is the designation at all meaningful?

    • mjay, I have almost never agreed with anything Hugo has ever written, and I certainly would never condone the actions of his past.

      Yet I refuse to believe that ANY man is incapable of living and doing good so long as they are willing to try. The mistakes of the past, however grave, are still in the past. Living as a good man is about trying to make the most of the present and laying the foundation for a better future. Anyone can do this, regardless of who they are or what they have done.

      • Megalodon says:

        “The mistakes of the past, however grave, are still in the past.”

        Trying telling that to Eugene de Kock or James Ford Seale.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugene_De_Kock
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Ford_Seale

        Their “mistakes” were in the past, but those “mistakes” came to determine their presents and futures. And rightfully so.

        • Megalodon, last I checked it was up to the victims to decide whether or not someone can be forgiven. Are you Hugo’s exgirlfriend?

          I strongly suggest you think long and hard about the efficiency of holding someone accountable, indefinitely, for the actions of their past. Does any amount of punishment ever make up for what we have lost? And how petty are our values if we believe that it does?

          Anyone can add productively to society going forward, the most efficient outcome is to let them do so.

          Finally: please think long and hard before comparing Hugo Schwyzer (or really anyone) to a war criminal in the future. It really reeks of Godwin’s law and makes you seem childish.

          • Good comment, Mike, and I don’t just say that because of the Godwin reference.

            “Anyone can add productively to society going forward, the most efficient outcome is to let them do so.” I can’t imagine living in a world where people do not believe in this.

            I have also experienced in life (and you can certainly see it in politics!) that the most judgmental people are often the biggest hypocrites who later get outed for hugely immoral behavior of their own. And think about all the scandals where ministers preach every Sunday and then get caught having abused kids or stolen money from their own parishioners, etc. The holier-than-thou thing is most aggravating.

            I am unsympathetic to people who do not believe in atonement because one day they may need to be allowed to atone themselves.

            • Megalodon says:

              “I have also experienced in life (and you can certainly see it in politics!) that the most judgmental people are often the biggest hypocrites who later get outed for hugely immoral behavior of their own.”

              If any of the unforgiving people on this thread turn out to be attempted murderers, like Schwyzer, then by all means, hold it against them.

              “The holier-than-thou thing is most aggravating.”

              Indeed. Ever notice that some people who hawk the virtue of forgiveness and letting go of the past like to disparage other people as being regressive and inferior if those other people do not share their enlightened, merciful opinion?

              Mike is the one saying that if a person believes in punishment, then their values are “petty.” Who is being “holier-than-thou”?

          • Megalodon says:

            “Megalodon, last I checked it was up to the victims to decide whether or not someone can be forgiven. Are you Hugo’s exgirlfriend?”

            By Schwyzer’s own account, the victim has not forgiven him and remains hostile. I am not claiming the power to “forgive” Schwyzer for his offense against the victim. However, when persons attempt to murder other persons, the grievance is not solely between the persons. Victims do not unilaterally determine the community’s reaction. Vengeful victims should not be able to force an excessive, cruel punishment. Merciful victims should not be able to force us to grant a free pass. And I am not referring solely to the criminal justice system. If a child molester is never prosecuted and his victim says that she forgives him, her forgiveness does not oblige everyone else to spare the molester from opprobrium.

            Anyway, you and other commentators are giving out your own form of absolution, or reassurances that Schwyzer’s past actions should not be held against him. If you are free to say how you think something should not be held against Schwyzer, even though you yourself are not the victim, then other people are free to say otherwise, even though they themselves are not the victim.

            “I strongly suggest you think long and hard about the efficiency of holding someone accountable, indefinitely, for the actions of their past.”

            What do you mean by “efficiency”? The economic efficiency of running a criminal justice system to punish offenders? The emotional efficiency of holding a grudge against somebody who wronged you? Well, I don’t know for sure what varieties of “efficiency” you hold paramount, but I have thought “long and hard” about holding persons accountable for what they do. I believe in the concept of retribution. I do not believe all wrongs require indefinite punishment or indefinite hostility from the victim, though I think some wrongs do rise to that level.

            If a person tried to murder another person in her sleep, I would not blame the victim for holding the perpetrator accountable forever, whether or not the perpetrator suffered a legal punishment. Some victims of attempted murder have actually forgiven their would-be murderers, but their response should not be demanded of everyone else.

            “Does any amount of punishment ever make up for what we have lost? And how petty are our values if we believe that it does?”

            First you say it is “up to the victim to decide whether or not someone can be forgiven,” but then you say that if any victim wants the malefactor to suffer some kind of punishment or penalty, then that victim’s values are “petty.” So it is up to them to forgive, but if they do not agree with your generous conception of forgiveness, they are being “petty”?

            This whole “will punishment ever make up for what we have lost” line of argument is a shameful bait and switch. Of course punishment does not make up for what victims and victims’ families have lost. They would prefer to have never been wronged in the first place. But most victims and most people believe that if a wrong is committed, the wrongdoer should be held to account and suffer a consequence. But you jump from the premise that since punishment does not totally make up for the harm done, then there should be no punishment, scorn or hostility at all, ever. Having a wrong punished is not as good as if the wrong were never done. But when a wrong is committed and unpunished, most victims consider that to be the worst of both worlds.

            “Anyone can add productively to society going forward, the most efficient outcome is to let them do so.”

            But not everybody wants to do so, even if you let them. So that is what you meant by “efficient.” Everyone should be put to productive use for society, and we should dismiss concepts like punishment and shame because people subject to punishment and shame may not be productive. (So if a malefactor is an idle person who is not productive and does not care to contribute to society, it would okay to withhold forgiveness and subject them to scorn and punishment?) What other practices are “inefficient”? If a person cares for a comatose family member for decades, instead of going to school to become an engineer to build buildings, is that person being “unproductive” and “inefficient”? Think of all the productive things that they could have done with that time, instead of devoting it to a comatose, unproductive person that will never recover. Is that a “petty” way to live according to your standard of “efficiency”?

            You seem to think that this concept of “efficiency” should be paramount, and that forgiveness should be paramount as some kind of means to achieving this “efficiency.” Well, not all people agree that “efficiency” trumps every other value consideration. And not all people believe that a person’s “productivity” overrides everything else about them. If a person commits a wrong, I think he/she should suffer the consequences, whether that person is a homeless drug addict or a Nobel prizing winning cancer researcher.

            “Finally: please think long and hard before comparing Hugo Schwyzer (or really anyone) to a war criminal in the future.”

            Does your proclamation about leaving things in the past somehow not apply to war criminals or certain kinds of wrongdoers? It applies to attempted murderers but not actual murderers? You did not include those details and qualifications. You simply said that mistakes from the past are still in the past “however grave.”

            The point of the examples was the demonstrate instances in which there was a long delay between a person’s wrongdoing and when they were finally punished for it. In James Ford Seale’s case, it was 43 years. By your standard, holding these persons accountable was unnecessary and “inefficient” because their past actions should have stayed in the past and not affected the present and future. But I will use a more moderate example. If a person was sexually abused by somebody when she was a child, and did not reveal it until years later, is she obligated to bury the hatchet? Are the abusers past actions irrelevant to the present? Is she being “inefficient” and “petty” if she is still angry at the abuser and wants him to be punished?

            “It really reeks of Godwin’s law and makes you seem childish.”

            Perhaps you should think “long and hard” before making broad, sweeping, unqualified statements like “The mistakes of the past, however grave, are still in the past.” When you make an ostensibly universal pronouncement like this, persons are going to test the limits of your statement to see if you actually mean what you say. And when you back away from troublesome examples and implications of your assertion, it reeks of the “No True Scotsman” retreat and it makes your statement seem shallow, callous and ill-considered.

    • Lisa Hickey says:

      We are actually not trying to define “good man”. It’s an impossible task. We’re instead having an international conversation on what it means to be a good man. A lot of input, a lot of POVs, but in the end, it’s up to each individual reader to take what makes sense to them.

      The confusion around this article came because it looked like I was attempting to hold Hugo up to some high standard of goodness, when what I really wanted to do was continue the conversation about what that might mean.

      What I really wanted people to takeaway from this article: a) storytelling is helpful. You shouldn’t be shamed for telling your story. b) We need to be able to talk about these things as a society. That is “good”. c) Hugo has my admiration because he was able to talk about these issues, use himself as an example in order to help other people. That doesn’t mean his specific behaviors were not bad — they were. But at some point I’d like to talk about redemption and “restorative justice” and whether people think that is possible.

  16. Yuck. He tried to kill a woman and then weaseled out of it by claiming she was mentally ill. He hasn’t faced any consequences for it, and before posting a *blog entry* about it he made sure that he *still* wouldn’t face any consequences. And this is a “good man”? Seriously?

    This is the General Hospital definition of “good.”

  17. Henru Vandenburgh says:

    I’ve appreciated Hugo’s personalization of the things he wants to say. That said, I believe that he’s usually been wrong, at least in his conclusions. Many of us who grew up with miserable childhoods have worked long and hard to lose the guilt associated with trying to take personal responsibility for our family’s problems. I think that’s a good thing. We also probably felt guilty about not fitting in as kids, since our families often didn’t teach good skills. My sexual history probably isn’t that different from Hugo’s, except that my homosexual play was pre-puberty, and I never banged current students. I believe that Hugo erred in trying to demonize what he sees as “typical” male behavior (as does Jensen, another moralist.) As an older man with a weak father in the past, I felt that my masculinity had to be constructed, so I did two hitches of military service, and studied martial arts for six years (this last in my 50s-60s.) Didn’t try to be Hemingway or Mailer (too reaction-formation in my opinion,) but there’s nothing wrong with being an honorable stereotypical male. I don’t think accusatory moralism is a good way to get allies for feminism.

    • DavidByron says:

      I guess it’s about 50-50 with male feminists if they go the guilt trip way or the men are people too way. I have not really wondered about whether that correlates with their family background. If I was to guess I would guess it might correlate with how authoritarian they are. That would actually be a pretty interesting thing to test!

    • Lisa Hickey says:

      “there’s nothing wrong with being an honorable stereotypical male.”

      That’s an interesting point Henry, and i’d like to see more written about it.

  18. DavidByron says:

    I’ve attempted suicide before (once) and I did some research on it. I was really surprised when you said Hugo had tried to kill his ex-girl friend as well. Ah. Wait — actually you said his girlfriend but in fact it was his ex-girlfriend. An important distinction although I guess it was a bit of a grey area.

    Usually if a man kills other people like that in a suicide pact they are dependents and it is the best way he knows to take care of his dependents. This friend of Hugo’s was not a dependent so I wondered about that. So I read the article by Hugo and so it proved — that he acted as best he could, to save his friend. And you could say well he was on drugs at the time so his judgment was impaired but that would be to misunderstand the nature of depression. If you are depressed then suicide makes perfect rational sense.

    As drunk and high as I was, the thought came with incredible clarity.

    He tried to save his friend out of compassion and it was a heroic act. That may be hard to understand but if you figure that out then you know what depression is.

    Men and women facing suicide both consider their dependents. Men usually end up thinking “I am a burden. They will be better off without me.” and women usually think “I can’t kill myself. They need me.”

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      DB – what an interesting insight and distinction.

      I never thought of it that way, but I do think since Hugo felt he had to dash out and get her, “save” her from the hell she’d created for herself, he probably was feeling she was his dependent.

      I don’t think it makes it any better, but your insight does add something to the story.

      I’m sorry you went through that, by the way. I hope you never have to experience that again.

      • DavidByron says:

        Thanks. I was wondering when I wrote that comment if someone would bite my head off for it (not that that ever stopped me before).

        I actually wonder if the idea of “saving” his friend provided the emotional energy required to do the deed. When you are depressed and highly lethal like that the act of killing yourself can take more energy than you possess. You’re too ill to kill yourself. Ironically suicidal people often try to kill themselves just as they are getting better (as I did in fact). The reason is that when you’ve spent years thinking about how great it would be to kill yourself then when you get a little better you can think, “If I don’t do it now I might get worse again and I’ll never have another chance”. When you are depressed it can really help to have someone else to care for. It can make you feel a lot better. I wonder if having his friend to “care for” might have been enough to give him the energy for something he’d been thinking about for a while. Just enough to get him over the hurdle. I can’t do it for me… but I can do it for her.

        Or I am just totally guessing wrong of course. But Hugo did seem to get better after this incident and although a great act of will might make you avoid drugs and alcohol it does nothing for depression.

        Now reading the rest of Hugo’s account he says that his friend denied wanting to die. But she didn’t say that to Hugo, she said that to her family after the event and that got to Hugo third hand. So I am a little skeptical as to whether the friend was or was not suicidal. Hugo must have had reason for thinking it, and I can certainly see why she’d lie to her family. That time after you just tried to kill yourself and you have to face your family is really tough.

        Hugo is obviously feeling very guilty about all this still. And as he says he could have injured the neighbours with his chosen method. And maybe he really did misjudge the signs and assume his friend wanted to die when she did not. Obviously it’s a terrible incident. But I think he acted with good intentions; he was trying to be the White Knight then, just as he still is today. I have to give him credit for that. It’s what guys do.

    • Julie Gillis says:

      Indeed. I had an aunt who attempted suicide and to take a dependent with her. It’s quite rough stuff. Depression lies to you, though often you see some truths more clearly. Peace to you DB. As a depression sufferer myself, it’s a horrible horrible feeling.

    • Men usually end up thinking “I am a burden. They will be better off without me.”
      I know that’s what I thought.

      Usually if a man kills other people like that in a suicide pact they are dependents and it is the best way he knows to take care of his dependents.
      I agree with this. All too often when a man kills someone then kills himself people are very quick to go straight to presuming he killed them because hated them and then killed himself so he could escape the consequences. I’m sure there are ones that act on that motive but if we really want to help these guys its going to take more than finding one possible motive (and honestly I think some more zealous people actually hope that’s the motive for their own purposes) and forcing all cases of this into it.

      • Joanna Schroeder says:

        Danny, what an important insight and topic.

        Would be great for someone to explore this and write a piece. It just never occurred to me before you and DB mentioned it. I hope someone is willing to take this idea and run with it.

      • Lisa Hickey says:

        Thanks for your comment Danny. These things are incredibly hard to talk about, and in my mind we don’t do it nearly enough.

        And…”If we really want to help these guys.” YES.

      • Joanna and Lisa thanks for the kudos.

        Joanna this does seem like a worthwhile topic for someone to run with, I’m just not sure that someone is me.

        • Joanna Schroeder says:

          That’s cool, Danny. We just want you to hear that we think it’s important and want to know more.

          Hope we find someone who wants to tackle it.

    • Lisa Hickey says:

      Hey, thanks for this David.

      Part of what I meant with this post is that we should all feel we can tell stories like yours without shame. Because it’s so damn helpful to others. To understand the dynamics of suicidal thoughts *before* it ever happens? To be able to talk about it after it does? To be able to move on after an attempt? It’s the fact that we as a society make it so hard for all that to happen that is so horrific. I very much appreciate the conversation.

  19. Ah ok, Im now in moderation because I want an answer about the covering up if child sex abuse.

    • Repeated an unsubstantiated, very serious charge against someone’s character is foolish if you’re not willing to substantiate it.

      • Rick I believe that the reference is to Mr Schwyzer’s behaviour in response to the Thread “Women Rape Boys Too.”, where he made erroneous comments and dismissed matters in a most ill judged manner. .

        His response is here – http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/women-rape-boys-too/comment-page-1/#comment-68515

        Request that he address his errors, with them explained in full with relevant references, and for his return to the discussion was made on 24 November.

        http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/women-rape-boys-too/comment-page-2/#comment-69443

        Mr Schwyzer was made aware of the request on 24 November. I did so via his website. As the OP he was also automatically notified by email by GMP.

        He has also again today been reminded of matters.

        The activity of dismissing sexual abuse victims meets with great opprobrium. It is called “Victim Shaming” and forms part of the model of “Rape Culture”. It is a most serious matter in the field of gender and survival of sexual abuse and rape.

        Mr Schwyzer’s conduct in doing so has caused great distress to many. It is noted that he has not Blogged any explanation or apology at any venue on the matter.

        The repeated referencing upon Mr Schwyzer is recognised as causing and “Triggering” distress and can be linked to worsening of PTSD, and other mental distress, in those who have been abused and who he has so routinely dismissed. It is a “Trigger” that is well recognised and even know to Mr Schwyzer.

        The dismissal of Male Sexual Abuse and Rape Victims has been of concern, and widely discussed since the start of November, with the advent of Mr Sandusky being charged with multiple counts of child sexual abuse of boys.

        I hope that helps you to understand the comments being made, and the evident distress that some are displaying.

  20. Still no trace if accountability.

    I’m asking the feminist here why they are singing the praises of a misandrist man that projects his NPD and bad behavior onto all men, frequently uses manipulative psychological tactics associated with people that have personality disorders against all men, like guilt and shaming and tells lies in order to cover up child sex abuse?

    What’s going on here with that?

  21. Tone says:
    January 4, 2012 at 9:33 am
    …..
    Can one of you feminists comment on it?

    ————————————————————————–

    @ Tone
    I think, many feminists feel uncomfortable with Hugo, but they don’t know really what to say.
    Hugo left the GMP and so far he remains silent. No comment from him anymore. So what?

    Maybe best to forget about Hugo… at least as long as he remains silent?

  22. i don't believe you says:

    Eww. Didn’t know this about Schwyzer. How does a guy that should be in jail for attempted murder have the nerve to be so outraged??
    I guess that Hugo attacks other men because deep down he views that as a form of penance. What a twisted dude.

    • Peter Houlihan says:

      He writes with outrage, and has the right to do so, because he wants to prevent others from making/suffering from mistakes he made himself.

      Unfortunately he seems to view all men with the same low regard.

      • Lisa Hickey says:

        This is what I.see also. Thanks.

      • i don't believe you says:

        Yup he has the right to his outrage, just like I have a right to make fun of “outrage” as being too often a display of 1st world entitlement. But we digress. The issue really is whether Hugo is using “concern” to buy himself something. And he is!

        Ya see If his “prevention” was actually targeted to “others” (as in people), and not “others” (as in men … that godawful unenlightened bunch) then I might entertain your “what about the children” excuse. Drug addiction, attempted murder, suicide and such all seem like fit topics for a general not a specific demographic warning. Yet if you look at Hugo’s 2011 headlines and content one can see the blatant “kiss-assness” and the whoms to which this “kiss-assness” is ultimately directed.

        Hugo resigned mostly for effect.

      • Peter

        Hugo has NPD.

        If you look through the personality traits and behaviors typical of someone with NPD you can assess the motivations. I think that he projects his unacceptable behavours and motivations on to all all men because of his NPD, so he is not really taking responsibility. Of course feminist lap up his depiction of man in general as having the characteristics of personality disorder and being a narcissist he laps up the validation from the feminists.

        • DavidByron says:

          I don’t think amateur psychiatric evaluations are a valid argument. The fact is that a lot of male feminists act like Hugo does. I’d guess about half of them.

          • Joanna Schroeder says:

            I agree, I think this is just flinging insults. I was about *this* close to removing the comment and then waited to see if another commenter might notice the same thing.

            • Tone is right about the NPD

              Don’t believe me..

              http://www.hugoschwyzer.net/2006/09/08/a-long-post-about-mental-illness-and-transformation-replying-to-the-happy-feminist/

              “”From the other side of the coin: years ago, I was diagnosed with a whole “personality disorder cluster”. This was back in the days of the DSM-III, and I was one self-destructive, self-involved, egocentric puppy. One shrink had me pegged as “narcissistic personality disorder/borderline personality disorder” with (drumroll…) “psychotic features.”

              I don’t think the good doc was far from the mark. I also worked my ass off in therapy and had a religious conversion, and while I can’t say I’m free from narcissism altogether, I’m a damn sight better off than I was. Change does happen, though it is always a matter of both grace and willingness.””

              Don’t assume that hugos critics know nothing about the guy. Some of us have been reading his blog for years

              • It is also interesting that Mr Schwyzer stated “while I can’t say I’m free from narcissism altogether”.

                One has to wonder which features he still sees in himself, and how they are made manifest?

                I was aware of Mr Schwyzer as a most Minor Cyber figure before I was directed to the Good Men Project. I was aware of little but a name. However, having started to read and then subscribe to the site, I promptly became alarmed by what I was observing. Further reading and referencing across cyber space only increased concerns.

                I was concerned by what I was seeing and observing, long before I was aware of any such public comment or admissions by Mr Schwyzer himself.

                I use DSM III and IV routinely through my work, and have used the DSM and other resources for decades in articulating information for others.

                I too am bemused that so many have been unaware of the Public Claims and Statements made by Mr Schwyzer. They are not hard to find.

                I am surprised, that it has taken a year for his reported activities concerning one woman to have been recognised, and now commented upon widely, by so many people who subscribe to his published views and ideas.

                As I have pointed out there are three known patterns of reading:

                1) Scanning
                2) Reading for Content
                3) Reading for Meaning and Intent

                Most people whilst using the Net only “Scan” for key words which they either accept or dismiss. It is a most uncritical behaviour.

                Maybe if content was read more closely and meaning and intent analysed, much more would have been grasped and communicated earlier, and much distress and concern avoided.

          • Megalodon says:

            True, but Schwyzer did himself say that he was diagnosed as having NPD.

    • DavidByron says:

      He said he got into gender studies because of his feminist mom, and that was before he “went bad” so… I dunno, it seems like it probably had a big impact on him but it didn’t initiate his interest.

  23. Lisa

    I have read over so many pieces and I can see how people frame their views and themselves in the world they live in.

    You have some very interesting frames. You are hard working and striving to change much. You’re open to change and ideas, you are quick witted and garrulous and you seek insights into people and ways to re-frame your own views and how you see the world. You are happy to say “I was wrong” – ” I have changed” – “I see that differently now”. You are open and direct. The whole pattern It’s very dynamic and positive.

    It’s a sort of Whirling Dervish with a union of thoughts, words and deeds that create a unity that people can’t miss and which people respect.

    I have read Hugo’s latest piece and it is filled with language that is emotive, it gets readers by the heart strings. But there is a most serious omission. He never actually states “I was wrong” or “What I did was wrong”. As usual he leaves readers to fill in the gaps on his behalf – they fill in he is contrite, he has taken responsibility, he is sorry – and yet Hugo never actually says that himself or of himself.

    Hugo is a good story teller – but I am always left with the distinct impression that his stories are not about Illuminating the world for others, just about keeping the light away from parts of himself. He may offer his own stories freely, but that does not mean they are about promoting freedom and insight in others.

    Humans are inveterate gap fillers – we need to be to make sense of the world given out limited senses.

    Any word-smith knows the value of words and how they communicate to others. Words are used to direct attention and even used to communicate sparingly, with the word-smith using the reader to fill in gaps and save words.

    “The sun beat down from a merciless sky” prompts gap filling by the reader. Where is this sky? How Hot is it? Is it the dessert or maybe the open sea in a small boat, lost in the middle of the ocean with no water and food? Lots of gaps for a mind to run riot.

    ” I was dying from heat stroke” removes gaps and makes the subjects position clear – there are very few gaps if any.

    But ultimately all word-smiths know that you do have to write some words in full, to make sure there is no ambiguity in the message your words convey. You have to fill gaps and remove them and make things clear and absolute, so that the reader is not mislead by their own thinking as to what you may mean.

    Those gaps have not been plugged – the words have not been said – and that means that thinking is not as clear or as transparent as it should be. After so many words have been used, it is for me highly unusual that there is still a lack of words and gaps that need an explanation.

  24. Ok feminists why is there zero accountability for this mans covering up of child sex abuse?

    Is it like the Penn state story, he is coded “good” and the pedophiles he is covering up for play on the right team?

    Can one of you feminists comment on it?

    Why are you lionising a misandrist man, who lied to cover up child sex abuse and preaches collective male guilt and shame?

    • I actually have no idea what you’re talking about but would really like to know. Can you link me to someone that demonstrates/explains your claim?

      • Mariella

        I hope you will read the provided information and look at the facts. They have been presented repeatedly but some appear to just ignore them and have repeatedly failed to address them.

        The issue has been ongoing since at least 21 November when Mr Schwyzer dismissed matters relating to male sexual abuse by females in response to the GMP piece “Women Rape Boys Too”.

        Mr Schwyzer was also making most improper claims via twitter too;

        Most dishonest thing I’ve see at @goodmenproject: “Women Rape Boys Too” http://ht.ly/7ACy3 Conflates rape stats with other abuse stats(1)
        from Los Angeles, CA
        7:43 PM – 21 Nov 11 via web
        http://twitter.com/#!/hugoschwyzer/status/138704156809637888

        Mr Schwyzer has been challenge to address His errors and his inability to read. He insists that people are misrepresenting a report Titled “Children talking to ChildLine about sexual abuse”, as he believes it’s not about sexual abuse but only physical abuse.

        Mr Schwyzer appears to be selectively unable to read and wilfully blind as it suits him.

        Me Schwyzer seems to be most confused and dismissive of the distinct difference between Sexual Abuse and Physical Abuse. He seems to be unable to grasp the effects of sexual abuse on males, and dismissive of the effect it has. He has what appear to be “Partisan” Views and ideas which do not fit well with Male Abuse Survivors. or “Any” survivor irrespective of gender/sex. Direct or indirect dismissal is known as “Shamming”.

        As The NSPCC/Chilline reports:

        Female abusers – Girls 420 boys 1,722 not specified 2,142

        “Children talking to ChildLine about sexual abuse” 2009, page 10.

        The Childline report and it’s contents can be found at the website of the “National Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Children” – a charity in the UK, with a royal charter from Queen Victoria and over a century of experience in dealing with child abuse of all kinds.

        http://www.nspcc.org.uk/Inform/publications/casenotes/children_talking_to_childline_about_sexual_abuse_wda69414.html

        Given population differences between the UK and USA, and using a straight comparison of population numbers, (USA pollution 5 times UK Population) the figures for the USA would read:

        Female abusers – Girls 2100 boys 8610 not specified 10710

        That is an estimated 20000 US children being sexually abused by females. That is not Adults reporting past Sexual Abuse – That Is Children Reporting “Real Time” Sexual Abuse by female perpetrators.

        Do Note the concerns of chronic under-reporting of sexual abuse by victims. It is estimated that the figures are only 10% of reality – meaning as many as 200,000 children in the USA being subjected to sexual abuse by female perpetrators is Real Time.

        The “not specified” is alarming, as it shows how children speaking by phone to Childline counsellors find it so hard to even identify the person who is sexually abusing them – and most will not even identify if they are themselves a Boy Or A Girl. The issues of gender polarity in reporting who is abusing is a known an critical issue. Childen can identify the sex/gender of the perpetrator but even when encouraged to speak openly of the events still feel a then need to protect themselves from any form of perceived censure by not disclosing their own gender/sex.

        The children speaking in real time will all too often speak in the third person, identifying the victim as a friend or other person so as to protect their own emotional and psychological integrity.

        The children just want the sexual abuse to stop – they don’t care about the sex or sexuality of the perpetrators.

        That is not Physical abuse by females – That is Sexual Abuse. Both boys and Girls keep reporting that they are being sexually abused by Mothers, Grand Mothers, Sisters, Aunts, Female Cousins, Foster Mothers, Foster Sisters, Step-Mothers and many other females with other designations and family or social connections.

        It is not Historical Data – it is Real Time Data – “Children” reporting events between 2007 and 2009!

        Mr Schwyzer has insisted that the figures are being conflated and it’s actually physical abuse. He appears to refuse to accept the perpetrators of Sexual Abuse against boys and girls can be Female.

        The Childline Data does address the issue of Sexual Abuse and even goes so far as to be most careful in reporting if the child also reported concomitant physical abuse, but the Primary data and findings are for Sexual Abuse. The NSPCC/Childline have separate reports that deal with Physical Abuse and other abuse types. They are expert and most careful in reporting matters.

        Some hold the view that Feminists refuse to accept such figures and data as they wish to recognise only male perpetrated sexual abuse for political and or ideological reasons. This is a well established pattern that many have encountered when such data and findings are raised. It beggars belief that on such occasions the data is dismissed and derided with claims that More Men Rape Women – and the data and findings are dismissed, people reporting them attacked and vilified.

        Mr Schwyzer has had his errors pointed out to him in detail, and has been asked to address them. I know this as I am the person who took up the responsibility. That request here on GMP has remained unanswered since 24 November. Mr Schwyzer is aware of the request that he address his errors and claims – he has been asked both publicly and privately to do so. You can read the request on this link;

        http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/women-rape-boys-too/comment-page-2/#comment-69443

        The facts have been presented repeatedly to those who have raised relevant queries here on GMP, but unfortunately it appears some either can not or do not read them, or have just dismissed them as Mr Schwyzer has done. The information even features lower down this thread.

        Of course, when it comes to the dignity of well being of sexual abuse survivors, it is recognised that one should never dismiss their experience as that itself is abusive.

        In fact abuse survivors report that being dismissed, deride and not believed is more abusive. It causes both mental and social distress, and is also linked to deterioration in physical health and long term detriment and damage.

        It is also a recognised pattern of “Shamming” and also linked to refusal to acknowledge the reality of Sexual Abuse and Violence – a point which feminist thinkers, academics and those dealing with Sexual Violence and abuse have been making for over 40 years.

        Anyone who dismisses sexual abuse and violence in any form is linked to covering up such abuse as a “Denier” and “Apologist”. Mr Schwyzer has linked himself to such activity. It remains of great concern.

        Some have been to be actively antagonistic and dismissive when the vocabulary of feminist thinking and academia is used most correctly to address what Mr Schwyzer has done. “Denier” and “Apologist” are terms that are used to address denial of sexual abuse and violence.

        On a personal note, I believe that Mr Schwyzers dismissal of reality is not only disingenuous to the Sexual abuse victims and survivors, but is a slap in the face for all the people who work with the NSPCC, raise funds for the NSPCC, work with the NSPCC through extensive networks to deal with such cases, and all those who have refused to stick their head in the sand and ignore Child Sexual Abuse who ever perpetrates it.

        Mr Schwyzer’s dismissal of matters in light of the Penn State and Sandusky case is unforgivable. It shows a level of wilful ignorance and arrogance that is no different to the Officials of PSU who failed to act. Mr Schwyzer and JoePa Paterno share equal scorn. Only one of them has featured in the main stream media.

        Mr Schwyzer then has the “Temerity” to write here on GMP and tell other men how they need to be responsible for protecting children and women from sexual abuse. He did so shortly after dismissing previous pieces such as “”Women Rape Boys Too”.

        By contrast Tom Matlack expressed the view ” The real problem is that until now we haven’t wanted to look at sexual misconduct in our own communities. And it’s about time we did.”

        Mr Schwyzer stated he agreed with that view, and yet he had in fact already refused to do what Tom Matlack believed was the the acceptable attitude and standard for A Good Man.

        Mr Schwyzer’s wilful double standards are beyond words.

        That his conduct and behaviour has allowed the experiences of abuse victims and survivors to be ignored and marginalised is a matter which some will not stop addressing – because that is what the Victims and Survivors need and deserve.

        Those who refuse to listen and respond have the same issues as Mr Schwyzer, and they are to be pitied for their failures as human beings. People who refuse to acknowledge the Reality of Child Sexual abuse in all forms are Aiding and Abetting and share equal guilt.

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      Tone – Hugo disagrees with you about the statistics that were once cited about the raping of men by women. Hugo based his assessment of rape rates upon those given by RAINN.

      Just because he disagrees with you about the rates of female-on-male rape and sexual abuse does not constitute “covering up of child sex abuse”.

      If Hugo has once spoken about child sex abuse and tried to cover it up, please let me know. There may be something I’m missing. I’d love to see a link.

      • DavidByron says:

        I don’t think Hugo disagreed about the findings of the NISVS. He started an article on it and others pointed out the results on women raping men but I don’t recall that he ever commented about them one way or the other. Did he do so elsewhere? I’ve not seen anyone attempt to dismiss the NISVS results. I actually arrived here because I was interested in seeing how feminists would react to those results (since they effectively undermine so much feminist ideology) so if you know of where either Hugo or anyone else has tried to dismiss those results I’d like to know of it.

        • Joanna Schroeder says:

          A while back there was this post about women raping boys, in response to Hugo.

          http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/women-rape-boys-too/

          Hugo then made a comment on Twitter about how RAINN’s stats differed from these (I believe, it’s so far back I cannot find it) and how he thought the stats cited here were for combined abuses and not specifically rape. Again, please know, I am just remembering this and could *very* easily be wrong. If someone has the energy, you could probably find his response on Twitter near the date this article was published.

          • DavidByron says:

            OK. That article precedes the release of the NISVS figures I believe. Only one article is a result if you search for NISVS at GMP.
            http://goodmenproject.com/good-feed-blog/new-cdc-study-on-sexual-assault/

          • Joanna – from Hugo’s twitter stream

            Most dishonest thing I’ve see at @goodmenproject: “Women Rape Boys Too” http://ht.ly/7ACy3 Conflates rape stats with other abuse stats(1)
            from Los Angeles, CA
            7:43 PM – 21 Nov 11 via web

            http://twitter.com/#!/hugoschwyzer/status/138704156809637888

            • David Byron says:

              How ironic that just 3 weeks later a study comes out proving women do rape men (and boys) not just “too” but an awful lot, or perhaps as much as vice versa, and it’s Hugo that posts it.

              • David ironic is one word that could be applied. It is NOT one that I would use, and that itself will for many be seen as Highly Ironic.

                The most “”DISTURBING”” thing for me was Mr Schwyzer DISMISSED the AUTHENTIC VOICES of so many CHILDREN using a PHONE to say HELP and wanting SEXUAL ABUSE and RAPE to STOP.

                Some quotations from the Stats that Mr Schwyzer states were being conflated as Abuse Stats. He said it was the most dishonest thing he had seen – he called it “… disingenuous at best…”.

                “My dad comes into my room, pulls his clothes down, takes out ‘sausage’ and rubs it against me. I don’t like it.” (Girl, aged seven)

                “My dad has been raping me and my sister. My mum died when I was four. I feel bad when he is abusing me.” (Girl, aged 10)

                “My mum’s boyfriend is beating me up. He is living with us for three months. He wants me to put my penis in his mouth. He is making me wear mum’s clothes and makeup. If I refuse, he is hitting me with a slipper.” (Boy, aged 14)

                “My mum tried to rape me last night. I am upset. My mum came in from the pub drunk, asked me to take my clothes off and tried to put a rubber thing inside me. My mum is drinking a lot since Dad had broken up with her. Mum is in the pub now. I have not talked to her since last night.” (Boy, aged 11)

                “I am physically and sexually abused at home by Mum. It is been happening since I was two years old. I feel sad.” (Girl, aged 12)

                “I have been living with my nan since I was 12. Nan forced me to have sex with her last night and I don’t want to do this. I have nowhere else to live.” (Boy, aged 17)

                “My stepmum is sticking her fingers up my bum and other places just in front of my mum. This has been happening for a year. My mum is also doing the same thing. She asks me to have a bath with her and touches me in wrong places. My stepmum takes drugs and I see her once a month.” (Girl, aged six)

                From “Children talking to ChildLine about sexual abuse” – 2009
                http://www.nspcc.org.uk/Inform/publications/casenotes/children_talking_to_childline_about_sexual_abuse_wda69414.html

                The moral of the story is Tweet Less – Read More!

                Conflate at your own risk, and not at the expense of children being raped and calling for help!

      • Joanna

        “If Hugo has once spoken about child sex abuse and tried to cover it up, please let me know. There may be something I’m missing. I’d love to see a link.”

        Here is a link addressing the very subject.

        http://goodmenproject.com/ethics-values/140-characters-is-not-enough/comment-page-1/#comment-88137

        Please note that covering up also involves dismissing survivors and victims. Denying reality and dismissing evidence has been cited by Feminist Thinkers and Academics as acting as “Apologist and “Denier” for some 40 years. It is even a feature of the Rape Culture Model.

        From the dictionary;

        cov·er-up
        noun
        1. any action, stratagem, or other means of concealing or preventing investigation or exposure.

        try
        verb (used with object)
        1. to attempt to do or accomplish:

        Dismissing out of hand and refusing to look at reality is a well known stratagem and means of covering things up by attempting to deny reality of data, report, findings etc!

        Hugo has done just that – QED Hugo acts to cover up child sexual abuse, particularly when it’s females as perpetrators and males, even male children, as targets. He did it here on GMP.

        It would have been accomplished too, given his supposed privileged status, if others had not recognised his behaviour and asked for it to be addressed. He has failed to respond and address it – a well known Stratagem for trying to cover up. Ignore it and it will go away?

        In his own words ” Most dishonest thing I’ve see at @goodmenproject: “Women Rape Boys Too ” – stratagems and activity cover many venues and routes as they are made manifest.

        As is said often “Nice Try – No Cigar!”

    • ht tp://www.female-offenders.com/ This site might help in educating about female perpetrated child sexual abuse. I’ve seen stats showing up to 20% of CSA was perpetrated by female, and even reports that counselors didn’t believe children who reported a female offender. If this is true then genderized stats might be helpign to cover up 1 large area of abuse (doesn’t have to be the majority).

      The very biased and genderized view of sexual abuse in all forms is harmful, both genders should be researched thoroughly and without bias.

      Hugo disagreed on the CDC article of the rise in female rapists even though the same stats pretty much proved him wrong, except the biased view of what is rape (doesn’t include forced to penetrate). I don’t think I saw him reply at all to the many people calling him out on that, and after I saw that he lost pretty much all credibility in my mind. Either through ignorance, not enough time?, a mishap he didn’t notice the last 12 months category in the report which I am sure if he did he would have spoken up on it. To me it smacked of a bias to show women as the bigger victim, and on a site full of male victims that is extremely harmful to them and it’s very evident in how many people dislike him because of that minimization.

      In short, you don’t take stats that show a SEVERE increase in male victimization by the hands of women, that show in the last 12 months 40% of rapists pretty much were female, and then try to denounce others who say there is a rise in female rapists. I found it extremely offensive as did others, it’s absolutely terrible that women suffer such high rates of abuse but why was barely anything mentioned on a vastly increasing level of sexual abuse against men? If the rate is rising rapidly, that’s a big issue and needs to be spoken about, does it need to hit parity or overtake male perpetrated abuse to matter? That is what I sense many are feeling atm, totally ignored and betrayed by the very industry setup to stop abuse.

      I am really not surprised so many men and even a few women, absolutely detest the way Hugo writes. I’m sure he has good qualities, but he also has a knack for stirring up the bee’s nest and writing articles in a way that truly feels like a huge F U to male victims. You don’t gloss over extremely vital stats to try prove a point, especially when the stats you use disprove that point.

      • Joanna Schroeder says:

        This is all really interesting to me, Archy.

        I find myself speaking for Hugo and not only don’t I want to, I really can’t. I don’t know why he didn’t address these statistics, but my own feeling is that his focus is on women, as he is a professor of women’s studies.

        It seems to me that in talking about abuse against women, he wouldn’t necessarily address the issues of abuse against boys/men. Where did he disagree with the CDC’s report? On the interp of rape?

        I haven’t studied these articles enough to really debate it. Like I said, I don’t want to speak for Hugo. I understood what he was saying about that original article (the tweet MediaHound located), but this is a lot of new information for me on a busy day.

        If he did say that there is not a rise in female rapists (can we call them sexual abusers, would that be more accurate, and help us to bridge the gap in interpreting data?), and there is evidence that there is in increase in female-perpetrated sexual abuse against males, then of course I would call him to task on this.

        I just can’t seem to get my brain around all these different statistics and interpretations. Sometimes I fear there are simply gaps in interpretation.

        Listen, guys, above all, I don’t think either Lisa or I are trying to make you into Hugo fans. I really respect you guys for thinking critically about all of this. I think what Lisa wants people to pull from this article is that storytelling is important, and that him being vilified for telling his truth, his past, his history is just wrong.

        You three (MH, DB and Archy) seem to have strong points about this one particular facet of Hugo’s writing and speaking, and that is important. The fact that you disagree on legit points is important. But the issue Lisa raises here is that we all have dicey histories, some more than others, and I hope that people can see the whole person, not just the one story of the past, and stop being provincial villagers with torches out to take the ogre down for something that is in his past.

        • Joanna

          Hugo does not describe himself as a Professor of Women’s Studies. He does describe himself as a professor of History and Gender Studies.

          “Hugo Schwyzer is an American author, speaker and professor of history and gender studies at Pasadena City College. ”
          http://www.hugoschwyzer.net/about/

          The same description appears across many net resources.

          Mr Schwyzer also states:

          “In addition to courses on women’s history, men and masculinity, and gay and lesbian history, he developed the college’s first interdisciplinary course focusing on “Beauty and the Body” in the late 1990s, a class he continues to offer today and which focuses on the historical roots of contemporary eating disorders and distorted body image.”

          Gender Studies has been recognised as a study paradigm that is gender neutral for some time. If not, it is correctly identified as either “Women’s Studies or “Men’s Studies”.

          If his gender studies focus is to only one gender – that may explain why he has missed out the other gender, and also then focused only upon his “men and masculinity” course outlines here on GMP and else where.

          It would account for the concerns of bias which have been so repeatedly expressed and which have been upsetting and even detrimental.

        • I don’t have a problem with his past and don’t particularly care really, we’ve all done stuff we’re not proud of most likely though his won’t win him fans.But just the recent events and style of writing are what bother me. If he wants to speak of how bad women get it, that’s fine, I take issue with the generalizations and what appears to be minimizing when women do bad things, or men being victims. If what he did was so bad then karma or the law can get him but I’m only worried with good analysis and awareness of anti-abuse because it’s a topic close my my heart.

          (can we call them sexual abusers, would that be more accurate, and help us to bridge the gap in interpreting data?)
          Partly it would be accurate but there is a lot of debate over the term “envelopment” and the words rape and sexual abuse. When it isn’t referred to as rape it can feel like it isn’t as bad, rape has a special kind of impact in our society. I think it’s important to acknowledge envelopment as rape to give it the power and importance it deserves, to avoid treating it differently to the point it’s no longer worthy.

          ht tp://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/nisvs/index.html – under full report, page 18, table 2.1 Lifetime and 12 Month Prevalence of Sexual Violence — U .S . Women, NISVS 2010
          Under the 12month column, the row for Rape has 1.1% weighted, estimated number of victims with a lil 1, 1,270,000
          page 19, table 2.2 Lifetime and 12 Month Prevalence of Sexual Violence — U .S . Men, NISVS 2010
          Under the 12month column, the row for “Other sexual violence”, first row under is “made to penetrate” has 1.1% weighted, estimated number of victims with a lil 1, 1,267,000.

          page 24, here’s an important part of the debate

          ” The majority of male rape victims (93.3%) reported only male
          perpetrators. For three of the other forms of sexual violence, a majority
          of male victims reported only female perpetrators: being made to
          penetrate (79.2%), sexual coercion (83.6%), and unwanted sexual
          contact (53.1%). For non-contact unwanted sexual experiences,
          approximately half of male victims (49.0%) reported only male perpe-
          trators and more than one-third (37.7%) reported only female perpetrators (data not shown).”

          So what Hugo said in regards to rape as clearly defined by the study as rape is true, however to many people envelopment/being forced to penetrate is what we classify as rape. So the study has a bias in our minds, and in his defense the study buried these stats and didn’t speak of them much in the overview and I don’t recall any news articles speaking on it. However any person who advocates against rape surely must have noted this if it was pointed out, this is what makes me really question his intentions.

          With similar levels of rape and forced to penetrate in the last 12 months, it’s basically that men and women were near equally raped if you include envelopment which based on some quick math would be 79.2% (the percent of men reporting female attacker for forced to penetrate) of 2 sets of 100%, so 40% of rapists would be female in the last 12 months. A HUGE news story if I ever saw one.

          If we add in coersion, it’ true males still are higher in number of attackers but their is still a significant level perpetrated by females. Anyone who’s ever seen anti-rape campaigns knows there is a major genderised stereotype of male attacker, female victim, and this study proves there is more than 1 and it’s significantly much much higher than previously though. To not speak on that whilst using dishonest methods to deny the acceptance of a rising level of female abuse is worrying.

          So yes there is a major increase from what I’ve seen of abuse stats of sexual violence perpetrated by women towards men, I would love to hear his comments on that. Point him directly to those above pages, the “cliffnotes” section doesn’t mention it. It does seem like there is a misunderstanding over the definition of rape, but ask yourself if you consider it rape and would you talk about it as rape?

          My entire agenda is around getting appropriate awareness of these issues for both men and women, atm women dominate the awareness in victimization and we need balance to that to ensure no one suffers in silence. That means men AND women both in the public eye as victims and perps, not one or the other to dominate. Hope that helps.

          • Archy
            “(can we call them sexual abusers, would that be more accurate, and help us to bridge the gap in interpreting data?)
            Partly it would be accurate but there is a lot of debate over the term “envelopment” and the words rape and sexual abuse. When it isn’t referred to as rape it can feel like it isn’t as bad, rape has a special kind of impact in our society. I think it’s important to acknowledge envelopment as rape to give it the power and importance it deserves, to avoid treating it differently to the point it’s no longer worthy. ”

            I’m not sure if you are aware of the Shenanigans around the definition of rape that have also been US centric, and how the US is out of step with The Recognised International Definition of Rape.

            “a physical invasion of a sexual nature, committed on a person under circumstances which are coercive”

            It was adopted into International law as a result of 2 September 1998, ref International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, THE PROSECUTOR VERSUS JEAN-PAUL AKAYESU, Case No. ICTR-96-4-T.

            It’s the accepted definition of The UN, all it’s bodies such as The World Health Organisation and has even caused the Geneva Conventions to be rewritten, in particular Article 27. Across the globe governments and other organisations are rewriting all the laws and rule books and have been for 13 years.

            The US centric shenanigans all started when A Mr Bush Jnr acting as president rejected The Verification of the International Criminal Court (Rome Statutes) which a Mr Clinton had signed. Mr Bush actually had the US de-registered from the Statutes, an honour shard only with Israel and Sudan, and now a Mr Obama is looking to sign them again and ratify acceptance of the ICC.

            There has been an ongoing distancing of International law and definitions, like a yo-yo, and finally the FBI have had to look at updating their 1929 definitions of rape as part of that yo-yoing.

            It has even played out in the CDC report and data – how it all gets defined. Now next year when they issue the reports again, they have to deal with new definitions. The mess has even played out in the annual US State Dept report on human trafficking.

            I don’t do politics with rape and rape victims/survivors and I don’t agree with people who do. They are not political pawns to be shifted about for other’s convenience.

            Rape in all forms is not for politics and I won’t collude.

            Sexual abuse such as sending sexualized emails, making sexualized comments and displaying sexualized images etc with the express intent of causing offence and being abusive is not the same as “a physical invasion of a sexual nature, committed on a person under circumstances which are coercive”

            Some have been mixing up the definitions and meanings so much that even a cup of tea being slurped the wrong way can be defined as rape. When everything is rape it stops being taken seriously.

            A mother showing a child porn is sexual abuse. A mother physically invading the child’s body in a manner that is sexual is rape. It’s actually very simple.

            The most important point about the accepted International Definition is that it is gender/sex neutral.

            It had to be due to the events in places such as Bosnia, Rwanda and Somalia and even Sudan/Dafur where both men and women used sexual assault of so many kinds in Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes. It was immoral and against Natural Justice to not look carefully at what had occurred and re-write the text books. That was done and became recognised International law 2 September 1998 – some 13 years ago.

            If some want to be out of step with the rest of the world, that is their choice.

            My choice is not to collude by omission or commission. It’s that Man of Principal thing which is 100% or nothing.

            Rape Is Rape – Abuse Is Abuse. Confusing the two is disrespectful to all parties and allows too much to be hidden, dismissed, derided and for too many people to be treated as less than the humans they actually are.

            Some Play Politics – I Play Human!

  25. I hear you, Tom, and everyone else. Sometimes it’s like that old parable about what an elephant is. Someone touches the trunk, someone the ears, and someone the legs, and all come up with a different beast.

    I really can’t quibble with a lot of these comments. At the same time, I come down in a different place. To quote myself from “On Boys, Suicide, and the Lessons of Unfilled Holes”:

    “So is redemption something you earn by specific deeds that get recognized, evaluated and approved by others, or is it something that is given freely through compassion?”

    and

    “We need to teach our boys that they can tell their stories; that they can bear suffering and loss without shame; that anger is a question that deserves deeper answers than punishment or silence; and that they can find others who will listen with empathy.”

    I think we need a culture where redemption can be earned by/given to to the atoned, and where boys and men (and girls and women) can tell their stories, whatever they are.

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but for myself, while I find Hugo’s past troubling, I find his 13-year effort to pull his life together, enter a healthy marriage, and raise a daughter he clearly adores–while giving up former addictions and abusive behaviors–what good men (or good women) DO. He could still be doing all those things. He has put in the hard personal work to become a better person. Just because someone does not like that he’s a feminist does not mean that his past should be thrown in his face for the rest of his life when he has reformed.

    MRA’s are free to take issue with his views and his writing. I understand why they do. But I draw a clear distinction between that and continuing to attack a man for mistakes he acknowledges and seeks forgiveness for. Look, everyone has to search their own heart when it comes to offering or not offering forgiveness, but I tend to offer it, because I’m a very imperfect human being too.

    I’m not minimizing anyone else’s views or feelings, and please do not say that I don’t get it because I’m a woman. I get it. I hear you all. I just choose to forgive.

    • Lori

      All people with narcissistic personality disorder self aggrandize. his method is “look at me up on the cross, Im the most brave man in the world, Im not like the bad men, they are cowards, and I’m really humble about it to, look everyone look at my humility while I’m up on the cross”. They also criticize others or other groups constantly (men) and project what they are on to them. You are being manipulated by someone with NPD, acting out classic symptoms of NPD.

      • L D

        All people with narcissistic personality disorder self aggrandize. his method is “look at me up on the cross, Im the most brave man in the world, Im not like the bad men, they are cowards, and I’m really humble about it to, look everyone look at my humility while I’m up on the cross, watch men sacrifice myself for women and throw the other men under the bus”. They also criticize others or other groups constantly (men) and project what they are on to them. You are being manipulated by someone with NPD, thats is acting out and displaying classic symptoms of NPD.

        You would also feel differently if you were on the receiving end, wake up from the gynocentric stupor and put yourself in the shoes of the child sex abuse victims he invalidates or the men that hes piling guilt and shame onto.

        • “Think you’re really righteous? Think you’re pure at heart? Well, I know I’m a million times as humble as thou art!”
          –Weird Al Yankovic, “Amish Paradise”–

        • Tone, I know what NPD is. I diagnosed it in patients when I was a clinical psychologist working in psychiatric facilities. Your last sentence is really insulting. I worked with many abused children as well, and am in no “gynocentric stupor,” although the term is making me laugh, so thanks for that.

          Let me tell you what working with psychiatric patients does for a person. It makes them humble. It makes them be able to see past diagnostic labels to the human beneath them. I am in no way manipulated–and in fact am perhaps less able to be manipulated than the average person–but feel free to think whatever you like.

          Here’s what I tend to do in life regarding my views on and relationships with other people: I observe the Golden Rule. That simple and that complex.

          But if it makes you feel that the world makes more sense by thinking I don’t know what NPD is or am duped by it, go ahead. I won’t be posting my resume.

    • Peter Houlihan says:

      http://www.hum.pref.yamaguchi.jp/ehon/E03/U0015614.jpg

      I agree, but that said, I haven’t seen all that much attacking of Hugo’s past, at least no more than anyone else who’s shared their story. Personally I don’t think its my place to judge and I’d even go as far as to say that admire his bravery for speaking about it.

      But I have seen, agreed with and lent my voice to, criticism of his current choices and ethical arguments. I don’t why he should be immune to that criticism.

      • I agree with you. I said as much. My issue is with people throwing his past in his face relentlessly when he has tried his best to atone. That’s all. I think anyone can take issue with anyone else’s current views. That’s what we’re all doing here. I just think it’s foul ball to keep calling him would-be “murderer” etc.

        • Lori

          I agree that throwing past actions in a persons face has little value. Just look at marriages and so many other relationships that crumble under such activity.

          For me what Hugo has done in the past is not the issue. I have dealt with people who have done far worse.

          I am very concerned by the way Hugo writes and communicates about his actions. He confesses much, but actually never admits being contrite. They are not the same thing.

          I keep seeing the gaps in what is said, and my concern is how so many fill in those gaps, as so many humans do. It is both a strength and a weakness that gap filling, and as such it can be manipulated and exploited and that can also be deliberate or even quite unintentional.

          Confessing to a supposedly terrible thing and then talking about redemption is not the same as actually saying what I did was wrong and I am sorry that I did it!

          I also agree with Tom that when dealing with certain past behaviours, anonymity and support through well structured and established groups is the most appropriate route forward. It does allow openness, integrity and to also be challenged when that is needed. Blogging and getting comments that just go unread is not the same in any way. It’s more theatre than therapy.

          I recall witnessing a friend who is in AA talking to someone he was supporting on the phone. It was interesting to see the dynamics. My friend then suddenly shouted “Stop The Bull Shit” and slammed down the phone. I asked if he was alright and he said yes – but it was very hard to deal with someone who kept talking around the issue, rather than addressing the issue and taking actual responsibility for the issue, and the issue was “Them”. I did understand exactly what he meant.

          Such patterns can be deeply ingrained for many reasons, and some develop highly defended and well practised defensive thinking and communication systems and strategies so that they don’t have to deal with the issues and address them. I keep seeing that pattern in everything Hugo writes. Some find it hard to pinpoint why they are upset and concerned. I see things in a different way and can articulate what I see and why it concerns me.

          I am aware that Hugo has been challenged often for quite some time. After so many challenges with no change, you do have to consider why there is such resistance to change – and that unfortunately leads to the perception that there is no change, because the person sees no need to take notice of anything said by other people. There is no change because the person is satisfied and fulfilled as they are.

          Some view the world in markedly different ways to other people, and due to that framing they also see people in very odd ways too. That is then made manifest in how they write about themselves and other people, and it is all their own responsibility – the issue is “Them”.

    • Hugo has talked about MRAs as some breed of subhuman for years now, presenting himself as far superior. On one MRA board I frequent we have many married men who are there because they don’t like the current system, single men, divorced men hurting from all they’ve been through. None of them live in Momma’s basement, we have men who work with their hands as well as a couple of lawyers, and military, business men, musicians. None of them has done anything remotely like Hugo has in his past. This is Karma, MediaHound, pure and simple. The Emperor was found to have no clothes….after the treatment he has dished out to MRAs for years, you’re surprised? It’s the utter superiority of Hugo’s posts, and presenting himself as THE advocate for women that is biting him in the ass. Karma.

  26. Tom Matlack says:

    I don’t think storytelling is a blank check. I’ve learned that the hard way. The storyteller has to consider very carefully who else telling the story might impact and how. In cases where those people were victims of harm by the person telling the story, the standard is even higher. I know because I have told stories I shouldn’t have, hurt people who I love, and hurt people who I can’t stand but to whom I probably can never make up for the shit I did.

    Over time, I have come to the POV that to tell a story about myself I need to try to consider who else it might impact and what actions I need to take before telling it. If in doubt, I try to back away. Sometimes the story doesn’t even involve anyone but strangers but the way I might tell it would embarrass my family. So I try to remain sensitive to that and write what I know to be true (even though as David Carr writes in The Night of the Gun memory is faulty at best) while taking account of the impact of my words.

    I feel bad for Hugo. I really do. He is being attacked in ways that I don’t think are fair. The piling on does absolutely no good. But at the heart of the issue to me is what constitutes storytelling in a constructive way and what is better confined to an AA meeting where anonymity protects both the addict and the people the addict has harmed.

    • Excellent point ,Tom. Being willing to own up to your problems is a good thing, but it’s not ‘enough.’ It’s not the same as actually SOLVING the problem, or making up for what you’ve done…. and too many self-indulgent therapy addicts think it is.

      “I owned my problem–yay, me!” is not the statement of a Good Man OR a Good Woman. It’s Step One toward actually doing something worthwhile.

    • Tom

      Given that Hugos main tactic here was piling on collective shame and guilt and that covered up for female pedophiles, the criticism is justified.

      What are we supposed to do about gender warriors like him that spread ideological hate and bile about us, just ” take it like a man” of some bs?

    • Peter Houlihan says:

      Well said.

    • Henru Vandenburgh says:

      Tom, I often admire what you write. You have a truly honest voice. But I generally disagree that writers have an obligation to protect the feelings of readers. This leads to anti-intellectualism, as it has done in identity politics and certain forms of postmodernism. I don’t agree with the Deborah Tannens, nor with liberal or radical “indoctrinators,” but my politics are certainly left of center,at least at the macro level.

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      Tom, this is by far one of the most cogent criticisms of this piece that I’ve come across while reading the comments.

      My question is this: Who do you think is hurt by him telling the story? It isn’t the ex with whom he was using at the time and tried to kill who is coming forward (as far as I know), or his wife, his bosses at PCC… Isn’t it both the feminist and MRA communities who are upset on behalf of them?

      I don’t know the arrangement Hugo has with his family and the family of this ex, but if I assume they know he is going to be completely honest about his past, then other people shouldn’t feel the need to step up in their behalf.

      There are very important, moving stories of my life that I wish I could tell here, particularly stories I wish my father could tell, but we cannot because of delicate family issues. In that way I understand 100% what you’re saying and I completely agree.

    • Mark Ellis says:

      As a Christian, I do believe in forgiveness and redemption. And I agree with Tom; we’ve got to be honest with our stories, and at the same time work the trick of not hurting anyone. I don’t think we should pile on Schwyzer. But after surveying the landscape of this story and all its tributaries, including many comments and Mr. Schwyzer’s own posts, I feel that the original “onward” should stand.

    • Lisa Hickey says:

      I agree everyone should think first about whether a particular story might do harm to others first. There’s intentional harm, which is not what you’re talking about here. It is the unintentional harm that we must guard against — the people we mention in a story who just might not want that part of themselves revealed. In a story like this, if someone could figure out who the gf was, and people who didn’t know she was a drug user in the past, it could be harmful. And certainly, if there are people who you know would be uncomfortable with divulging information about them, don’t. As you say, if in doubt, back away.

      It will certainly be interesting to see how it plays out in the next few years, where more and more information about people is available and online. Who will control the story you tell about your life, you or someone else?

      One of the things that Hugo and I had talked about months ago was this idea that it you tell your true authentic part of your life, no one can blackmail you. You have put the information out there yourself, you own it. You take responsibility for the story of your own life. Obviously, Hugo did not expect what happened now to happen.

      I still think that shame is a huge problem in our society. Shame of others, and self-shame — also leading to unintended consequences. It is that shame — the shame that prevents people from talking about these things, that I want to change.

  27. ‘Hugo’s honesty and his selflessness’

    Oh bullshit. He has the audacity to call men who call for fair divorce and custody law ‘basement dwellers’, says MRAs are sick maladjusted human beings, when he has this many skeletons in his closet!? Drug abuse? Sex with students? A murder attempt? I know many MRAs, and they are men trying to get a better deal in family court, and none of them has done anything this bad. How do you call a serial philanderer who uses his position of power at a university to sleep with students a friend of women in any way!? Is just being liberal enough?

    Vomiting up every f’ed up thing you’ve done in your life for an audience is narcissistic attention-grabbing and nothing more. People who screw up their lives that badly usually have some shame and guilt about it, he has none. And that doesn’t repel you at all?

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      Crella, where do you see that he has no shame or guilt?

      • Megalodon says:

        When the uproar first started, his response was to mock and to condescend. He said,

        “I’m very grateful for Clarisse, and am sorry that she (and Jill Filipovic of Feministe) have endured so much calumny on my behalf this week…Meanwhile,some folks think I’m the Ginsu Knife Set of Wrongness in Human Form”
        http://www.hugoschwyzer.net/2011/12/23/clarisse-thorn-on-change-and-accountability/

        The fact that he used the term “calumny” to describe the angry reaction is telling.

        On December 24, he posted on his Facebook page, “My goodness, it doesn’t stop. The amount of sheer rage I engender both for my past and my present bewilders and disheartens me.”

        Oh, that’s rich. He slams the title “Wrath of the Feminists” as sexist but he describes the anger over his attempted murder as “sheer rage.” He is actually “bewildered” that feminists are angry at him for trying to murder a woman. If someone is “bewildered” and cannot understand why people are angry at him for doing something, it would seem to preclude shame or guilt for doing that thing.

        Only when it became apparent that this scandal would not blow over did he start trying to play the contrition card.

      • Joanna, I have seen Hugo ridicule MRA’s for about 8 years now, belittling them as ‘abnormal’ ‘basement dwellers’ and a litany of other things (it has been years, as I said) when he hid a past like this!? That’s my issue with this whole thing. Cheating, cuckolding, drugs, hospitalization, multiple divorces, sex with students, his past is pretty fetid, but he has spent all this time telling others that they have something wrong with them? The beam from his eye, first….

        How much shame he feels does not erase anything he’s done. If he were truly ashamed, would be broadcast his life all over the internet?

  28. Can you explain more in details, about which credibility problem you are talking?

    I am a straight man, not from USA, but from Europe and living since over 35 years in Asia and I explain other men, that existing laws are biased in Western countries and if they really want to have a family, they are better off abroad with a foreign wife, or better off to stay in western countries but remain single, what is wrong with this?

    Or what else do you mean, what credibility problems?

    • Yohan.

      As I’ve explained the credibility problem lies in being hypocritical. The proprietor of the site has asked me not to describe the way women are a group are often castigated and spoken about while at the same time complaining about poor treatment of men while being oblivious to the dissonance, is common over there there because it might be seen as an attack, so I’m going to leave it at that.

      • @Tone

        About the MRAs please go ahead with critics and I really like to hear what you think is wrong with the MRM.

        The men’s rights movement is merely consisting of various men’s rights advocacy groups, as the name says, interest groups on behalf of men. We do not receive public funds, we have to finance our own movement.

        Who is an MRA? These are men, but also women with us who are doing something for the interest of men. This might be for boys and education, there are mothers with us who have boys, these are fathers/ex-husbands fighting for visitation rights which are often ignored, these are men like me who advice other men to consider relocation/foreign wife (the same what I did successfully) and what is wrong with that or what is hypocritical with that?

        Of course feminists are afraid of the MRM, the movement is growing, getting stronger and not only in USA – you cannot blame the MRM for that, but better blame feminist biased law execution in Western countries. Men and boys are treated as 2nd class citizens in Western countries in many aspects, and I see no reason why I should be ashamed for speaking out of this injustice.

        • Peter Houlihan says:

          I think it might be useful to distinguish at this point between “all MRAs in general” and “the specific site in question.”

      • Joanna Schroeder says:

        Tone,

        You may absolutely speak about all of the things you mentioned above. Lisa and I are simply asking you not to call names or use foul language.

  29. Credibility problem? Because of what? Because we tell men to study first about existing biased laws which might cause them headache in the future if something is going wrong?

    The big difference between feminists and MRAs is the fact, that the invoice is always paid by the man, and never by the woman. Sometimes over decades, alimony for cheating women for 30 years or more, child-support for children who are not yours, living in a van despite you had your own home before etc. etc.

    Payments are always one-way, from men to women ….

    • No that’s not why you have a credibility problem. You have a credibility problem over there for the same reasons that a misandrist like Hugo has a credibility problem when they complain about misogny, or a religious guy preaches against homosexuality and the hires a rent boy.

  30. This post should have come with a trigger warning, I’m literally shaking.

    The feminist OP, the feminist in the comments section are well aware the man in question covers up child sex abuse and is a notorious misandrist and feminist extremist on the gender debate scene for years now, yet here is depicted as good and lionized. If a child sex abuse victim speaks about how problematic this is here. they will be placated and ignored, if they get angry they will be gaslighted and banned. Of course, if he was a non feminist covering up CSA victims on a male pedophile, he would be labelled quite correctly bad.

    I’ve never hated feminist or feminism as much as I do right now. So I’m going to get off the computer and go for a walk.

    • Whatever….

      For sure Hugo is not that what I would call a ‘Good Man’.

      On the other side, why should I care? It’s maybe because I am upset because men like Hugo always find women who admire them, while ordinary men, who are doing their daily job without all these ‘life experience a la Hugo’ are often not even able to find a nice girlfriend for 30 minutes.

      I think, women should choose more carefully about their boyfriends and their ‘male idols’ – and feminists should stop to admire people like Hugo. There is nothing to admire …

      • Whatever Johan

        and the MGTOW site are the mens movement’s Hugos and RadFem Hub, so life feminists, you have a credibility problem.

    • Peter Houlihan says:

      I’m sorry to hear you feel so angry about this, but would you be willing to consider that theres more to feminism than Hugo Schwyzer?

      I’m sure you agree that women being able to vote, work and have access to birth control are all things worth fighting for. Just because you and I stand up for men, doesn’t mean we can’t stand up for women too.

      • Women are able to vote, work and have access to birth control, so please do not fight for them.

        • Peter Houlihan says:

          Still not birth control in many first world countries, and not the right to vote or work in many others. What would you describe someone who stands up for those rights if not a feminist?

    • Lisa Hickey says:

      I understand your concerns here. I am taking people’s criticism of this very carefully. However, this is not about feminism, but one man’s story. I was looking at it from a standpoint of redemption. But I do understand the seriousness of what you are saying.

      • Lisa Hickey says:
        January 4, 2012 at 8:02 am
        However, this is not about feminism, but one man’s story.

        ————————————————————————————-

        The problem is NOT about Hugo’s stories. Not at all. We MRAs often meet men who are telling us terrible stories, about what they did in the past. Some of them had troubles similar to those of Hugo – drugs, violence etc. etc.

        However what is the difference between these men and Hugo – is the good question. The point is that Hugo makes fun out of other men who are in a bad situation, belittles them, is scornfully telling them all is their fault, as it can never be the fault of the woman, Hugo is even for banning the entire Men’s Rights Movements.

        Of course Hugo is facing strong critics from men, but this is his fault.
        It’s up to him to show up in this thread and to write any response to the critics of the MRAs. And for sure the GMP will publish his replies. He is NOT banned, even invited to reply.

        We MRAs cannot do that within his own blog, our MRA-related comments would be deleted within a few minutes.

        • Lisa Hickey says:

          Yohan, I appreciate this comment and the dialogue. I realize today that I had not seen Hugo’s writings overall as the way other people had. I am traveling now but will write more on this later. Thanks.

      • Alexandra Erin says:

        If you were taking criticism seriously, you wouldn’t have made an epically dismissive post that wraps up all the varied criticism of Hugo Schwyzer and his role as a self-appointed mouthpiece for feminism as “shaming”, would you? That’s the very definition of not taking criticism seriously, and it also displays an overweening amount of projection as you’re basically set up a situation where anybody who has anything negative to say about this repellent man and his exploitative Chicken Soup For The Long Dark Night Of The Soul style of writing is induced to shut up.

        If he’s so redeemed, if he understands what he did and honestly and genuinely regrets it rather than using it as grist for his redemption story, he would understand that he’s not owed a place at any table, he would know that what happened… what he did, rather… is not his coin to spend to buy his way into people’s trust the way he does.

        Look at his response post. Read it with neutral and open eyes. He regrets his foolish haste in how he outted himself, how he framed it… basically, he’s wishing aloud that he’d spun the whole thing better. No acknowledgment of the fact that people can (and do) have legitimate problems with his revelations. You can believe all you want that he’s redeemed himself, but if he truly believed that what he did was wrong, wouldn’t he be more open to the idea that people would still condemn him for it? But no. In his mind, the uproar is not about what he did but about how he told it.

        Read this comment. It really nails it. The guy is making use of the Christian narrative of redemption and counting on people steeped in that kind of narrative to go along with the form. You’re being used.

        • Joanna Schroeder says:

          Alexandra,

          With all due respect, I’m hoping you’ll give us an example of how you wish we would react to Hugo’s history?

          Do you think we should oust him from the Feminist community? Does his history make any work he’s done post-1998 moot? And why?

          What type of narrative do you think he should use when talking about his past and how he’s found his way into a better, cleaner, clearer, truer life?

  31. Peter Houlihan says:

    For myself I always admired Hugo’s writing style and I don’t deny his personal experience. But I don’t feel the need to validate any and all conclusions he has drawn from that experience. He’s quite hostile to men’s rights issues, this earns opposition, especially on a website about men. And he doesn’t exactly hold his fire when he feels women’s rights are being attacked.

  32. I agree with you, LIsa, that honest accounts of personal experiences are valuable, and that shaming behaviour (of any sort) is rarely constructive.

    I have a different issue here (and for once, I’m not far away from Leta on this)

    We’ve read so many posts like this from Hugo Schwyzer. How he has sexually exploited his own students; how he was ‘nearly’ a rapist; how badly he treated his ex-wives; frankly I’ve lost count of them all. Fair enough Hugo,tell us your stories, they offer a useful perspective.

    The problem is that simultaneously Hugo is writing all these other articles about the problems with men, the dark side to male sexuality, the evil web of the patriarchy etc etc etc, and I now find it simply impossible to see them as anything other than self-loathing and self-flagellation.

    It’s as if Hugo is saying “men are exploitative, abusive, sex-crazed, addiction-raddled, chauvinistic potential rapists and murderers, and I should know because I’m a man and I am (or have been) all of those and more.”

    Which just makes me react by saying no, screw you Hugo, YOU are (or have been) an exploitative, abusive, sex-crazed, addiction-raddled, chauvinistic potential rapist and murderer, don’t speak for the rest of us, thank you very much.

    I can almost detect a psychological defence mechanism at play in Hugo’s brand of male feminism. It’s as if he is saying hey, I might have done all these terrible things in my past, but it’s not really my fault, I’ve only done all these sociopathic things in the past because I’m a typical man, da patriarchy made me do it. And look, it says as much in my copy of Dworkin’s “Intercourse.”

    So it is not his personal autobiographical posts I have a problem with. It’s all the others. Go ahead Hugo, wrestle with your own demons. Just don’t try to project them onto the rest of us.

    • Lisa Hickey says:

      I understand where you are coming from. In fact, I was wondering if part of the reason a lot of Hugo’s writing came across as “men are pad, women need protecting” was because he had see how horrible he was. If in some way he was saying “I can see the evil men are capable of and it is me.” And so he was, in part, trying to protect women from people like himself.

      • Lisa Hickey says:

        I also want to add that it is very very very important not to hurt *others* with storytelling. Some people have called me out on that, and I think it is important to recognize.

    • I think we are closer on opinion than you think. I am just a terrible writer.

  33. MRAs are supportive to mandatory DNA testing immediately after birth, of course feminists are against it.

    Mandatory DNA testing immediately after birth is the only way to finish such nonsense talk about how to guess who or who not might be the father.

    I see no reason why a cheating wife and her boyfriend should be protected and should not be kept responsible for what they are doing.

    I see no reason why a cheated ex-husband who is not the biological father, should pay child-support and the biological father is getting away from his obligations.

    • Peter Houlihan says:

      Sounds… expensive.

      • To pay child support over decades for children who are not yours is more expensive than a paternity test.

        Btw. paternity testing is not so expensive as you might think: USD 150,- or so…

        Of course if not confirmed that you are not the father, you will move on for clinical testing, which is about USD 600,-. This is maybe the child support for one month, depending on your salary.

        • Peter Houlihan says:

          €160 for every kid born? Thats alot. That said, if a man wants a paternity test he should be allowed one, and it shouldn’t be considered an unreasonable request.

          • The legal situation is not clear, a request by the ‘father’ for a paternity testing might be refused, even if he is willing to pay it out of his own wallet.

            USD 150,- to be sure ….. that’s little money….

    • Yohan belongs to a small subset of the mr that congregate on a site where they obsess about women and engage in a misogynist circle jerk.

      These people are not activists and do not speak the mens movement.

      • You know, Tone, you are talking nonsense.

        How can I be a misogynist, being married since over 35 years, with 2 daughters and 1 fostergirl?

        Might be you dislike the MRAs, but well, I have my home, I have my family, I have my regular job, I have no obligations to an ex-wife, no drugs, no violence, no thugs in my home…

        But this was only possible because I was going my own way… without listening to feminists…

        Your life is not my life, up to you, do what you like…

      • Lisa Hickey says:

        Tone, this comment goes over the line. I am going to keep it because others have responded to it, but if you call people names, imply they are misogynist or otherwise engage in attacks on this website or others you will be blocked from commenting here.

        • Can you comment on lionizing a man that covers up for female pedophiles and preaches collective male guilt and shame?

          I’m sure you and the other feminists were would not be singing the praise of a non feminist that did the same thing to women and victims of male pedophiles, can you comment on that?

          • Joanna Schroeder says:

            I will speak on that, Tone, if Lisa doesn’t mind.

            Lisa only addressed your name-calling. “Circlejerk” and “misogynist” are words that are inappropriate or are considered name-calling.

            The message of your post is fine, you may call us out for lionizing Hugo, you may call out Yohan for not speaking for all MRAs, all those things are fine and we appreciate your voice. It is just what Lisa said — you may not use profane language or call others names. That’s it.

            Reframe your message in a different way and we’re happy to hear it.

            • Joanna,

              I do not think that Tone was in the right, but your post brings up a good point.

              Hugo himself frequently resorted to name calling in his writing. Look up how often he used the term “Basement Boys.” I strongly suspect this was not a term of endearment. The same goes for “Nice Guys TM.”

              Whenever someone disagreed with Hugo, he was often quick to throw out the label “MRA” and then immediately be dismissive because he labeled them as hateful. He did this even against other GMP editors and writers.

              Do you not find it even *slightly* ironic that the editors of the GMP were so quick to prevent the exact sort of behavior that Hugo himself so often stooped to?

              • Well, that is a really interesting distinction, Mike.

                I have had some problems with Hugo lumping all MRAs in with what many MRAs call “fringe” members who are so vehemently anti-feminism, even anti-woman. I know there are MRAs that I am particularly fond of whose politics I may disagree with, but whom I respect (DavidByron, Archy, talking about you guys as my faves—how ’bout that?).

                I have very few issues with things Hugo has done, but I am with you on his use of generalizations in his distaste for MRAs.

                We can pre-screen the content that goes up in our posts, but can’t presceen the comments. We do often ask our writers to clarify or clean-up some bad language or implications if they choose to do so. Justin Cascio actually asked Tom Matlack to change phrasing in the past (you can see this played out in Justin’s piece “Can Founders be Criticized…”

                In the case of comments, yes, we have to be more strict about language and name-calling because we aren’t as able to asses motive and intent.

                I would like to ask you, Mike, and also the original poster, to put together a piece for publication that would detail grievances you have with us. I can’t guarantee it’s publication (I’m not the one who decides that) but we are welcome to all voices and would love to learn more.

            • Lisa Hickey says:

              Thanks Joanna. That is exactly what I meant. We welcome your views Tone.

  34. John Sctoll says:

    And lets not forget his “letting a man taking reponsibility for his actions” with regards to the baby that may have been his. He let another make pay for a child that might have been Hugo. Oh Sure, he comes off as being all “I let her decide and look how selfless I am for doing that” but don’t kid yourself, within that is a large percentage of “Wow, I can have my sex, and walk away without a care in the world”.

    Sorry but Hugo to me appears to be worse than the ex-drunk, ex-smoker or someone who has found religion (and he has found religion, it is called feminism), they are not perfect and only they see the truth and everyone else is wrong.

  35. Lisa: Shaming people like Hugo and others from telling those stories doesn’t do much to solve a single problem.

    ————————————-

    You are missing the point, Lisa.

    The point is that Hugo is shaming MEN all the time for being MEN, accusing them for any kind of wrongdoings against women all the time and men are indeed angry because of that.

    Who is this Hugo, who is teaching MRAs a lesson all the time?

    Shaming language is a part of feminist rhetoric, it’s not a part of argumentation of the Men’s Rights Movement.

    About us MRAs, we are receiving terrible stories from men treated badly by women all the time, and we are doing the best in our forums to protect these men to be ridiculed or receiving scornful remarks from feminists a la Hugo for telling us their stories.

    Hugo never did anything for men, he belittles their problems and is frequently making fun out of men’s rights. And now he thinks he is a victim of shaming language?

    • Peter Houlihan says:

      “Shaming language is a part of feminist rhetoric, it’s not a part of argumentation of the Men’s Rights Movement.”

      Unfortunately some do. But well said.

      • MRAs are more into ignoring feminism.

        We always tell all these disappointed men showing up in our forums not to develope any feelings of hate, not to consider any form of violence, not to look for personal contacts with the ex-wife, mother, sister etc. etc. again – even not by phone or emails (all corespondence by lawyers), and we ask them to move away as quick and far as possible from that area where they are living and to start an entire new life, either as a single or with totally new people.

        What else can we do? As man in feminist Western countries you are clearly the weaker one in case of a dispute. Quarrels are the way to nowhere, our policiy is more about how to prevent troubles, to avoid troubles from the very beginning on.

        MRAs are telling men how to go their own way, without feminism.
        Of course, feminists hate us because of that.

        • Peter Houlihan says:

          Again, that only represents a subset of MRAs, just as anracho-syndical feminists only represented a minority of feminist groups in the 60s and 70s.

          For instance: Warren Farrell campaigns for and writes about men’s rights issues, but he doesn’t advocate a complete withdrawl from society. Is he not an MRA?

  36. Lisa: We need more stories like Hugo’s …

    ——————————————–

    The question is for what should this be good for, and anyway, as an MRA since decades, I cannot offer such stories about myself.

    My story is boring, some few lines only….

    After badly treated by Western women as far as I can think back – maybe about being a 4 or 5 y/o child – I decided soon to finish with that nonsense of Western women and feminism for always. –
    I married an Asian woman, moved to Asia 35 years ago, never divorced, have 2 daughters, take care of a fostergirl, was never jobless for even a single day, I have no criminal record. And now I am looking forward for retirement with my wife. That’s all.

    I never tried to kill anybody, never used drugs, had never Western girlfriends for hook-up, do not drink alcohol, have never been with thugs, no debits… so what?

    A story? What story?

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      Yes, tell your story.

      Your story is important too, Yohan.

      As a storyteller, I can tell you where your story isn’t boring: What made you leave the West for the East? What was that like? How did you meet your wife? What differences do you find being married to an Asian woman compared to people you know who are married to Western women.

      Yours is a story, too. And trust me, on a site like this (which is a site I love and am devoted to), someone will find a way to tell you you’re a bad person. But your story is important too.

      We’re here (both on the earth and on GMP) to learn from one another, not to judge.

      All the stories matter. As long as you’re honest and open.

  37. I do not blame Hugo for his past. I believe that we have the ability to change ourselves, to make ourselves better, to make ourselves more than we were in the past.

    I do not wish for Hugo to be shamed, and I wish people would not take cheap shots at him for the crime of being honest about his past. If he had truly committed a crime, the girlfriend could hold him to it, but she (to the best of our knowledge) has not. How can any of us, as strangers, claim a right to offense greater than that of his intended victim? If anyone is to accuse him of anything, let it be her, not an anonymous poster on the internet.

    However…and this is a big one…

    I have a great deal of difficulty with Hugo’s constant insistence that his life is somehow “representative” of men in general. Hugo is an addict, and his past actions speak to that addiction. The problem is that his views of masculinity also speak to that addiction. Read Hugo’s view of men and you see that he seems incapable of unwinding his own masculinity from his identity as an addict, the end result is a worldview that ALL men are addicts.

    Read Hugo’s blog, listen to his lectures, this is VERY clear: he likes Michael Kimmel because Kimmel argues that young men are using alcohol to hide from the world, classic addictive behavior. Hugo also lectures extensively on “the four Ps” which are all addictive behaviors; his columns on sports repeatedly make reference to “running” or “hiding” from problems and emotions, more addictive behavior.

    Most of us (over 80% by even the most conservative estimates) are not addicts. I wish Hugo could take that into his heart when writing about masculinity.

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      I think you’re making an excellent point, Mike, and I really dig the way you’ve presented it.

      Personally, I never got the sense that he thinks all men are addicts, but I can see where this comes from and I can imagine that feels crappy.

  38. He also made the phone call that lead to Police kicking down his apartment door. I don’t think he deserves to go jail..

    • Wirbelwind says:

      If the murderer calls the police after the deed with info where he is…. does this mean he is a good person that does not deserve jail time ?

    • Peter Houlihan says:

      I don’t think he deserves to go to jail either, but not because he made the phone call. He clearly wasn’t in a sane state of mind when he did what he did, sending him to jail wouldn’t improve society. If he had been perfectly sane when he did it then the phone call would have been irrelevant: he still put others needlessly in danger.

      • Joanna Schroeder says:

        Ever driven drunk, Peter? A little tipsy? Stoned? Really, really tired? Driven while texting?

        I think you’re European, so actually maybe you haven’t, but most people in the US have. And some even crash and kill themselves, others, or no one. They do it with the *full* knowledge that what they’re about to do is deeply dangerous and immoral – that they could kill a family, babies and mothers and fathers. If this person were an addict, and then they got clean, if they told their story to you, you would probably say, “Man, that is one scary as hell story, I am SO glad that guy got clean so that he won’t do that again.”

        Explain to me why it is different? Should that person who drove drunk and almost killed someone (but didn’t) deserve to be disowned, flagellated, and shamed?

        No? Why? Because they got clean? Well, so did Hugo.

        • Right.

          • Joanna Schroeder says:

            Lori, I hope someone who disagrees will come to me and explain the difference. Not sure that’s going to happen but I am very genuinely interested in where they make the distinction.

        • Megalodon says:

          “Explain to me why it is different?”

          What are you asking? What is the difference between a person who drives while intoxicated but does not actually injure anybody and Schwyzer attempting to murder a woman while he is high? If that is the question, the difference is in the severity of their wrongs and harms. Your hypothetical compromised driver does not escalate into inflicting serious harm on people, even though he may have avoided that simply due to luck or favorable circumstances. Attempting to murder a person is an actual harm, whether or not the attempt succeeds, and that is what Schwyzer did.

          “Should that person who drove drunk and almost killed someone (but didn’t) deserve to be disowned, flagellated, and shamed?”

          A person who drove drunk and almost killed someone (but didn’t) deserves some reproach, but certainly not as much as somebody who drove drunk and maimed or killed somebody. And not as much as someone who drive drunk and tried to run somebody over (but failed). And not as much as an attempted murderer (sober or high).

          Even though any drunk driver may have an equal chance of causing injury or death, moral and legal sanctions vary based on how the consequences escalate. A drunk driver who knocks down a sign and crashes into a tree will probably get a few days of jail and a suspended license. A drunk driver who kills two people and decapitates a child gets 18 years in prison, and near unanimous scorn.
          http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/girl_slay_driver_in_appeal_bid_E6h9gl9GXQHOxeIs5Uc7vL

          Perhaps that drunk driver had just as much of a chance of getting home without incident as your hypothetical driver, but he did not, and now we will judge him for those repercussions.

          This comparison of Schwyzer’s actions with a drunk driver is problematic. He did not try to murder this person in an amnesiac drug stupor. He describes having a period of “lucidity” and intricately calculating and planning the steps to kill her and himself. This was not him falling asleep at the wheel. He wanted her to die, though he also placed the neighbors in mortal risk as well.

          “No? Why? Because they got clean? Well, so did Hugo.”

          Whether or not they get clean is not of paramount importance. And when their sobriety is important, it is of varying importance based upon their actions and consequences. For the guy who drove drunk but did not hurt anybody and then got clean, I would say, “It was very dangerous and reckless what you did, but I am glad you got clean, so please stay clean and don’t do dangerous things.” For the guy who drove drunk and killed somebody or the guy who tried to kill somebody while he was high, I would not give a damn about their peace of mind or sobriety. Their obligation to not harm and endanger other people is not contingent upon other people forgiving their prior conduct. What are they going to say? “How dare you condemn me! If you’re not nice to me, I’m going to get high and kill somebody!”

  39. Wirbelwind says:

    The problem is, Hugo was not jaywalking or something. He tried to murder his girlfriend, and that changes everything. He was not punished for his crime, was not forgiven by his victim, consulted his lawyer before he ran this piece (to make sure he won’t be prosecuted).
    Our past actions speak volumes about who we were and who we are. Hugo was an adult back there, so he should have taken responsibility for that act and WENT TO JAIL ! Not publish some articles talking about male guilt and self-flagellation….

    • Peter Houlihan says:

      I don’t like how Hugo treats all men as if we have some kind of original sin, but in fairness to him I can’t think of anything more he should have done. The state, the victim and her family were all aware of what he did and still decided not to prosecute, presumably out of a mixture of compassion and recognition of his mental illness. I don’t see how him volunteering for jail would make things better, even if it were possible for him to do so.

  40. “But I would prefer to live in a world with more Hugos.”

    Count me out on that. It would be my worst nightmare.

  41. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xxgRUyzgs0

    “When I read Hugo’s story months ago, it didn’t change the person I had talked to the day before. It didn’t change Hugo-in-the-present the day after. The only thing it did was open my mind to what Hugo had been through in the past and gave me another point of empathy. He had done something horribly wrong. He admitted it. He had done what he could from that moment on to make things right.”

    The thing is when i first heard this story it didn’t surprise me. It didn’t surprise me he was diagnosed with npd and it didn’t surprise when it was revealed he was from a very wealthy family it didn’t surprise me when he said he had sex with his students. He did tell well written stories but the purpose of those stories always had a sinister undertone to me. From my point of view he was justifying every irrational fear that some feminists have. He was the man who actually said men should not be trusted because he said all men were like him. He was the male feminist who tried to silence male victims the most of any writer on the internet.

    This probably won’t get past the moderators and i can understand that. I just have a need to say this.

    • “The thing is when i first heard this story it didn’t surprise me”

      I agree with you but I still couldn’t help but admire him for telling his story.

      • I think it was more so he could claim to be an expert in how awful men are. The repented sinner act. Only he can see the truth stuff.

        • I agree leta:
          It’s the concept that former drug addicts make the best drug counselors or sponsers.

          The problem is that (like many feminists) Hugo keeps conflating the actions he did (and many men do) with masculinity. Everybody but fundamental feminists know that these actions done by men have nothing to do with masculinity and everything to do with dysfunctionality.

          The problem is the zealotry of fundamental feminists.

    • Peter Houlihan says:

      I admire him for telling the story, but I do agree that he seems to project his own failings onto men in general.

  42. Thank you Lisa. This is so gracious. I had the most marvelous opportunity tonight to explain to my 20-year-old daughter, who observed some of the facebook exchanges, why redemption is so important. It was a long and interesting discussion about morality, forgiveness, and the indomitability of the human spirit. I would never have Hugo’s courage–or yours for that matter–in terms of personal transparency, and let those of us living in glass houses not throw stones.

  43. Joanna Schroeder says:

    And… I just cried.

    It is just so true. Shaming someone who has turned his life around does nothing to make the world a better place. It does nothing to stop sexual abuse or even sexism.

    Shaming only makes it harder for others to speak their truths, and speaking our truth is a major part of healing.

  44. Thank you. This is the most sane response I have read. Thank you for “getting” it and for supporting Hugo’s honesty and his selflessness in sharing uncomfortable and scary truths in order that even just one person might be able to make a change in their own life.

    I am grateful for your words and for your ability to see beyond your “differences” to write about Hugo’s gifts. I, for one, have been hugely impacted by Hugo’s generosity of spirit in his writing…and I know that I am a better person for knowing him.

    Love and Light,
    Miriam

Trackbacks

  1. […] belong in gaming, you were pretty psyched that Anita Sarkeesian was bullied. If you think a reformed and repentant former addict with a sordid past shouldn’t have a voice in feminist discourse, then you’re amped that Hugo Schwyzer has been bullied for the past […]

  2. […] For more, see this post at No, Seriously, What About Teh Menz?; this one by Maia at Amptoons, and this one by Lisa Hickey at GMP: In Defense of Storytelling. […]

  3. […] This comment was from Archy in reply to Zorro on the post “In Defense of Storytelling.” […]

  4. […] Seriously, What About Teh Menz?; this one by Maia at Amptoons, and this one by Lisa Hickey at GMP: In Defense of Storytelling. Posted in Uncategorized | 21 […]

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