Let's review the facts thus far. He got his academic credentials in British and medieval history, and he is a tenured professor at Pasadena City College, who taught classes in Women's Studies. It emerged that he, a 46-year-old married man, had "sexted with a 27-year-old sex worker activist." Then, he tweeted a lot about what a fraud he was. Who cares?! Well, I guess it was dramatic for a professor to let loose with a spate of tweets ostensibly attacking himself.
I am just so sorry. I am just so sorry. I lied and manipulated and cheated so many of you....This seems completely silly to me. It's common in law school, for example, to teach a course in a subject within law that you've never taken a single course in. Schwyzer had, in fact, taken a couple of Women's Studies classes, and it's not as if "Women's Studies" is something technical like engineering. It's an umbrella heading under which, I would assume, you can create all manner of courses relating to women, drawing on various scholarly disciplines (such as history).
I will never teach women's studies or gender studies again. If I can get well and beat this, I will teach my Western Civ courses....
And it seems that going confessional and saying, as a male, you are a fraudulent feminist is really another feminist rhetorical move. One anticipates a later synthesis. Confessing fraudulence is leverage toward greater sincerity. It feels like a feminist strategy.
The Daily Beast interviewer confronts him with his claim of fraud, which, ironically, seems phony. Schwyzer says he didn't fake any research or plagiarize, though he did fail to publish in "serious" journals. He wrote "for a popular audience" in places like Jezebel or The Atlantic. So how was this a "fraud"? His only answer is that in his life he did things that were inconsistent with the ideology in his writing, specifically that he had sex with a younger woman when he was writing that men should go for women their own age.
This raises the question whether he promoted ideology he didn't actually believe or whether he merely failed to live up to his own principles. He hedges at first, saying he's "very confused," but soon he saying he's "guilty of hypocrisy" and "the fact that I am guilty of hypocrisy doesn’t invalidate the truth of what I was saying. I was just too weak to live up to what it was I was writing." So, in short, there's no repudiation of his stature as a tenured professor, the aptness of writing for the popular media, and the truth of everything he's written. He's just a guy that got caught misbehaving, and he's making the best of it. Doing a damned good job of it!
The Daily Beast interviewer invites him to admit that he was really writing for women and telling them what they wanted to hear, and he admits that:
I always wrote for women but wrote in a really backhanded way where it appeared I was writing for men so that it would not appear too presumptuous and instead it would make me look better. And that required presenting myself as the ideal husband, father, and reformed bad boy. My point is that I was writing for women because I wanted validation from women. The way to get validation from women was to present an idealized picture of what is possible for men.And he's getting away with an almost identical strategy now with this big breakdown and confession. It's for the women, whose favor he wants, and who he knows will be massively pissed off that he had sex with that younger woman. He's the bad boy again, and he's got to reform again.
I taught a course in men and masculinity, and I cited male authors, but the whole way of designing the course was to get women excited about the possibility for male change, that they would then transfer some of that hope onto me. That is what I was doing.And he's doing it again! Hilarious. There are some more confessions, but I'm stopping here. I really shouldn't give this guy more attention, but I'm writing this because I'm afraid people are falling for his bullshit. He should be regarded as a relatively smart academic man following some strategies within the Women's Studies and pop media games. That is to say, he's a dull little man, and his theater is boring.