August 13, 2013

How clean did "male feminist" Hugo Schwyzer come?

The Daily Beast has an interview with the headline "Porn Professor Hugo Schwyzer Comes Clean About His Twitter Meltdown and Life as a Fraud." I suspect he's playing a longer game, and this is first class bullshit. We've all heard of this guy now, and I wonder what's his next move, now that he has our attention.

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....

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....
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).

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.


Paddy O said...

Pasadena City College, it probably should be noted, is a junior college.

Anonymous said...

Oy, good grief. Such drama. Is he pandering to women again in his exaggerated mea culpas? I wonder if he thinks women will appreciate his "sincerity".

As an older women, with my many years of experience dealing with different types of men, epecially when they are vulnerable and ill, that some are jerks and some aren't, which is pretty similar to women in the same circumstance.

Maybe I could teach a course in how men and women really aren't that different.

Saint Croix said...

What makes it interesting is all the sexual repression and denial that feminism requires.

Feminism is obsessed with sexual equality, and so feminism is in denial about sex difference, and how it affects our two sexes differently.

For instance, younger women are sexually more appealing to men for biological reasons. Young women have babies.

Much of sex attraction has to do with human reproduction. It's Darwin 101!

Feminism denies this biology because feminism demands equality. Which, in regard to sex and sexual reproduction, is insane.

What's kinda fascinating is how he is not upset about his adultery. He's not upset about the harm he's inflicted on one woman. He's upset about the harm he's inflicted on his feminist ideology.

So, yes, there's a lot of bullshit here, but feminism requires bullshit.

SteveR said...

I'm struck by the fact that this guy is a "tenured" professor at Pasadena City College. It occur to me once again how silly that whole scam is. What's the point to have someone so entrenched in a job at that type of institution?

Saint Croix said...

I would suggest too that adultery and promiscuity are subconscious reproductive strategies for men. When you don't trust women, and you want to breed, those are your strategies.

Women should respond to this by doing things to inspire trust in men. But they've done the reverse. They've destroyed marriage and claim absolute control over all reproduction.

This has made men even more likely to engage in promiscuity and adultery.

Feminism needs to rethink it's hatred of patriarchy and fatherhood. The hostility and anger feminism tries to rouse against men has not done women (or their babies) any good at all. This is why so many women reject the feminist label. And why so many men are hostile to it, either overtly or in secret. So feminism is stuck with this lying asshole "feminist men" who behave in pretty much the same way asshole men have always behaved.

Carol said...

I don't know what's the worse pose, the Unrepentant Sexist or the Phony Feminist.

It's an irritant whichever over-compensating route they take.

Carol said...

What's the point to have someone so entrenched in a job at that type of institution?

What's the diff? Besides the fact that PCC is one of the oldest and venerable of the CC's (with a boatload of practical courses plus sterling record of UC transfers), it's a college like any other.

Are you suggesting tenure for University of ____ but not for colleges that average people attend? There are some very decent profs at these schools, esp where there is an oversupply of PhD's like LA and environs.

SteveR said...

Carol, tenure is overall not a good thing, IMO, so I don't see much benefit to locking people in at a Junior College, with all due respect.

William said...

Remember those teachers in Mao's work camps who got up before the group and confessed to their bourgeois impulses. This is a first step, but more work must be done to remake his consciousness. I recommend that he be made to wear a dunce cap while teaching his classes. Perhaps the students can be encouraged to bring offal to class and throw it at him. Such steps will not only encourage him to rid his thinking of hypocrisy but also serve as an example to the other teachers not to engage in inappropriate sexual thoughts.

Anthony said...

So this is just a much more drama-queen version of what Cory Booker was doing at Stanford?

Ann Althouse said...

"So this is just a much more drama-queen version of what Cory Booker was doing at Stanford?"

Yes. It makes me wish that I'd created a tag, long ago, for "males speaking female" or something like that.

Tina Trent said...

This isn't an asshole problem or a feminism problem or a twitter problem: it's a tenure problem.

I'm so glad that I worked as an adjunct, actually teaching real and challenging subjects like composition and Western Civ., so people like this could be freed up to practice "porn studies" and screw their students and indulge in addictions repeatedly with no consequences -- all on the taxpayer's dime.

Even private schools could not sustain their idiocy studies departments and their collectively infantile and irresponsible faculty without huge infusions of taxpayer cash underwriting student loans.

And if being a professor was like any other job, instead of being built on lifetime privileges and selective "thought" protections (that protect nothing so much as uniform assaults on free thought), there would never be problems like this in academia.

Anonymous said...

Why should women accept patriarchy? If the man is not MY father and I am not a juvenile, he has no rule over me as an adult woman. My husband and I were equals in our marriage and quite happy and satisfied and managed to have four children.

Fatherhood is great, but my husband is not my father, he is my children's father.

damikesc said...

I'll never get why women actually tolerate male feminists.

I'm sure SOME women like that type of nonsense, but most women who like men want them to be, you know, MEN.

Not pandering collections of tissue.

Anthony said...

It's not really "speaking female", it's a sophisticated form of being sympathetic to try to get into a girl's pants.

"Aren't those awful men awful? I'm not like that (any more), so please sleep with me."

Crunchy Frog said...

Porn Professor? They have porn classes at PCC? I'm going to have to go back to school.

Gerard Harbison said...

It's a funny coincidence, but the 'atheist plus' movement is having a similar conniption, with all sorts of stories about harassment and groping and similar drama by the enlightened, supposedly feminist men, on the independent, rational skepchicks (not my word, honest!). Cease and desist letters have been sent, names have been named, anonymous, pseudonymous and fully identified victims have told their stories. Teh Google will find it all for you. Lay in some popcorn.

By the way, I can't imagine what sort of field Women's Studies is, if personal indiscretions make one unqualified to teach it. If I harassed a student, I'm quite sure my competence to teach chemistry would remain unaffected.

Saint Croix said...

Women should respond to this by doing things to inspire trust in men. But they've done the reverse. They've destroyed marriage and claim absolute control over all reproduction.

Ahhhhhh, this was sloppy. Women have not destroyed marriage. Our feminist legal system has destroyed marriage (or at any rate has done it much harm). Many men have heard horror stories about child support and/or alimony, and so they want to avoid the trap of marriage. And Roe gives women full control over the baby-making process, which has resulted in tens of millions of single moms in our society, and disappearing dads. It's been an utter disaster for our society, quite aside from the dead babies.

Why should women accept patriarchy?

That's a very good question. Perhaps I should say "chivalry" instead of "patriarchy," because that is more in the spirit of what I meant. Obviously women are entitled to full rights as equal citizens. But the damage the feminist movement has done to fatherhood (and marriage, and motherhood) is no joke.

The feminist attempt to mold our society into a uni-sex universe is idiotic. Pregnancy is an obvious sex difference, and it should give pause to any feminist before she starts to prattle about the equality of the sexes. We're not equal in regard to baby-making. Not in the slightest bit equal.

Marriage is an imperfect attempt to both equalize the sexes and to recognize sex difference. Marriage is a union of opposites, with different skills, and both needed for the best outcomes in the raising of children. We know this over thousands of years of human reproduction.

Feminism has attempted to destroy this understanding. Implicitly suggesting that fathers are not necessary, that mothers should control reproduction, that divorce should be widely available, and that babies are property that may be terminated if unwanted. It's wrecked havoc with sexual relations. It's turned sex into sport for many men, while women are now the sole parent, or suffer the abortions.

Son of Brock Landers said...

Anyone want to ask why the Atlantic, Jezebel and other outlets were snookered by this guy? They allowed him a forum and he was offered up as an expert when he was a professor at a junior college? What happened is a man chose to portray himself as a male feminist and say things modern social justice feminist types want to hear, and therefore, they gave him a platform and attention. He is playing a game, and from his history with the media, sounds like a deranged individual.

jkmack said...

as we progress into the future, we will find that the past predicts our current circumstances.

you may quote me.

Akulkis said...

Three Words:
Border Personality Disorder

It absolutely explains ALL of his shit.