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

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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. This article, in summary:

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

  2. 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.

            • DavidByron says:

              No, I did need that permission. Not with anyone else though.

            • 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. “• 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

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

            • Joanna Schroeder says:
            • David Byron says:

              Under the federal definition just quoted if someone threatens to take the kids or hurt them to get you to have sex that is rape (or whatever the law was actually called “aggravated sexual abuse” I think) however merely threatening to bring a rape accusation would not be sufficient.

            • 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.

            • Steve Locke says:

              Thanks, Justin. I’m familiar with the term and its history. I just think we can do better.

            • 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:
            • 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.

            • Joanna Schroeder says:

              Me?

              Why?

      • 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.

  12. 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. :P
            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?? ;)

            • David Byron says:

              combatant

            • Joanna Schroeder says:

              Am I your combatant now?

              I never felt at war with you.

      • 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?

  13. 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

  14. 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.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] 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 [...]

  2. [...] This comment was from Archy in reply to Zorro on the post “In Defense of Storytelling.” [...]

  3. [...] 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. [...]

  4. [...] 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 [...]

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