Sunday, April 13, 2014

April 9, 2014: The 9th Anniversary of Andrea Dworkin's Death

image is from here

It is good to see some of Andrea's work being regarded as important. It doesn't happen nearly enough.
It is 2014. A twelve-year-old boy rapes his 7-year-old sister after watching hardcore pornography. Should this be a feminist issue? Judging by the lack of any mainstream feminist response, no. Perhaps once it would have been, but not today. 
We’ve grown too worldly wise for moral panic. No longer are feminists shouty, sexless beings, piecing together a politics based on exception, exaggeration and fear. Terrible things happen to women and girls but when it comes to blame (such an awful word!) we are circumspect. Men rape women, boys rape girls, but it’s nothing to do with how we represent sex. It’s nothing to do with the stories we tell our children. Hatred of women just is.
For the rest of the article, please see here:

http://www.feministtimes.com/dworkin-right-about-porn/

I hope that Andrea's work continues to inspire radical activism against all forms of white male supremacy.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

“Ink Master” stars Nunez and Peck Sued for Sexual Harassment: Support the plaintiff by boycotting the show and Spike TV

graphic is from *here*
This far too typical news story was sent to me and I was asked to share it with you, request your support for the plaintiff's case, and encourage you to join the boycott. 
Please remember that women work everywhere in and beyond the traditional 'business world', and no place, public or private, out to permit and support the physical, sexual, and spiritual degradation of women by men.   -- Julian

From the first link contained in the letter below.

Katz Melinger PLLC: Viacom, Spike, Original 

Media, Original Ink, and “Ink Master” stars 

Nunez and Peck Sued for Sexual Harassment


Nunez and Peck allegedly engaged in blatant sexual harassment, 

creating a hostile work environment, and supervisors allegedly knew 

about and tolerated such behavior, says Kenneth J. Katz, attorney 

for the victim.

We hope that this suit will not just rectify the wrongs done to our client, but will also remind other employers to ensure a safe work environment, free of illegal discrimination and harassment


Hello Radical Pro Feminist,

My sister was recently sexually harassed at work, by two of the judges of the TV show Ink Masters, Oliver Peck and Chris Nunez. She asked her employer, Spike TV, for help and was ignored at first. When she kept asking for help she was fired. 

Here is a link to the PR release by her lawyer about her lawsuit:

In the body of that page is a link to the actual complaint filed with the court of new york, be warned before you read it, they said some very vile things to her. Men like myself get very, very angry with adult boys who treat women this way. 

Below is a link to our facebook group to boycott the show and their advertisers until they fire the two abusers. 


We would really appreciate it if you used your presence to bring this to the attention of concerned and supportive people. 

My sister spent several years doing part time work on TV shows and was so excited to finally be a real member of a production and then she ran into these two, now she doesn't want to work in TV ever again. Seeing support from people who read her story and left supportive comments and shared it over the past few days has really cheered her up. 

Thanks for your time. 

~An angry brother






Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Audre'y Eby could use your support: create justice and fight racism and misogyny by signing this petition

Below please see the Lakota People's Law Project's photo and the compelling justice story that goes with it. The text comes from their websites. Here is one:
https://www.facebook.com/LakotaPeoplesLawProject?hc_location=timeline

A Lakota mother is fighting to regain custody of her disabled sons, who were horribly abused by their white father and his girlfriend. The racism in the family court system works against Indigenous parents and grandparents, breaking up families and exposing Indigenous children to racism and abuse from caregivers. Please sign this petition and help these teens stay with their mother.
A #Sioux mother in #Iowa has rescued her children from abuse, and now faces arrest! Her children are disabled and the Iowa Child Protection Services is aware of the abuse, but the children were still ordered to be placed back with the abuser. 

Read more here: http://lakota.cc/KKKtRA 
SIGN the petition here: http://lakota.cc/K42dqB
[Photo: The teenage sons of Iowa mom Audre'y Eby and a family friend. Eby is a Lakota woman fighting to regain custody of her disabled sons from her abusive ex-husband.]

A ‪#‎Sioux‬ mother in ‪#‎Iowa‬ has rescued her children from abuse, and now faces arrest! Her children are disabled and the Iowa Child Protection Services is aware of the abuse, but the children were still ordered to be placed back with the abuser. Read more here: http://lakota.cc/KKKtRA  

SIGN the petition here: http://lakota.cc/K42dqB



Sunday, December 29, 2013

Follow-up to the post: Why do some white folks ask what we should do, to be an ally, when a Black woman is being abused in public by a Black man?

Hello readers.

I received a comment recently that has been published and responded to at the prior post *here*. You can click on the "comments" link at the bottom of the post to see the rest of the conversation to date.


Below is that most recent comment and my critique of it, revised for this new post. (A post-script has been added at the bottom, on 6 January 2014.)


On Thursday, December 26, 2013, enchantedghosts said...
It's been a few months, but I am interested in this question. With a background in psychology, my first reaction to the question of why no one stood up for the panelist is The Bystander Effect. With so many people in the audience, there is a general diffusion of responsibility. Everyone was just waiting for everyone else to take a stand. It's also interesting to note that the moderator (a position that comes with some sense of authority) was the only one who made any real verbal attempt to mediate the situation.  
I also think that this particular situation, where a Black man is threatening a Black woman, is one where many White people feel uncomfortable intervening, for fear of "not doing it right." I think the fear of looking like someone who is trying to play the White Hero overshadows the feeling of responsibility to help out a fellow human being.  
I will admit that I feel terribly out of place to offer any critique of feminism. So take this as an outsider's non-academic opinion, please. But it seems as though at least part of the problem is that people are so afraid of saying the wrong thing or making the wrong move. There is a fear of being labeled as racist or sexist-- so in defense of one's ego and sense of their own moral goodness-- people choose to not act at all.  
This seems to stem from a very closed, angry and unforgiving conversation about these topics. A lot of judgement is thrown around, with very few people willing to extend any understanding towards the fellow people they are supposed to be engaged with. Instead of conversation and dialogue, there is an attempt to prove oneself right at the expense of shaming someone else.  
I don't know how much of this is simply because the internet is a forum which tends to bring out the worst in people's ability to engage in dialogue. Again, this is not my academic field and I am more familiar with what is available via the internet, while acknowledging that this is in no way a forum which speaks for the entire discipline. However, I do believe that if real, social change is something that people want to see happen then there needs to be space for people to make mistakes.  
I don't mean that people engaging in White Hero behavior (or any sexist/racist behavior) should be ignored or encouraged, but that gentle critiques may be better than constant shaming and anger in certain situations. Human beings can only take so much. 


Hello enchantedghosts.

Your response reminds me of how privilege in some ways constructs not only our views and experiences but also what we believe the terms ought to be when engaging with one another.

I'll try and clarify this using portions of your comment, below.

With a background in psychology, my first reaction to the question of why no one stood up for the panelist is The Bystander Effect. With so many people in the audience, there is a general diffusion of responsibility. Everyone was just waiting for everyone else to take a stand.

I agree that The Bystander Effect is one layer of explanation. This layer would likely be operative regardless of race, at least in a country like the U.S. I'm not sure The Bystander Effect is a phenomenon across cultures, however. It's not clear to me whether being a person in an oppressor class fearing judgment from oppressed people is in any way universal and I suspect it's rare rather than routine.

There'd have to be a solid level of privilege-backed liberalism in place, I think. Because if this were a more flagrantly white supremacist context, whites in the audience would be cheering the abuse on, or shouting racist epithets at a Black man abusing a Black woman, and racist misogynist epithets at her. What is unowned if not also repressed, is whites desire to witness such violence occur, as it helps protect rather than interrupt white male supremacy.

But your point is well taken in the context in which this incident happened. And I think there's much more going on that is more controversial to speak about among 'good' whites and 'good' men.

It's also interesting to note that the moderator (a position that comes with some sense of authority) was the only one who made any real verbal attempt to mediate the situation.

One would hope anyone so positionally empowered would be quick to do so.

I also think that this particular situation, where a Black man is threatening a Black woman, is one where many White people feel uncomfortable intervening, for fear of "not doing it right." I think the fear of looking like someone who is trying to play the White Hero overshadows the feeling of responsibility to help out a fellow human being.

While I agree with you, I'm reluctant to let that point of analysis go without deeper examination.

Let's take the context of Nazi Germany, and non-Jewish white German, French, and many other nations' citizens not doing much to intervene on Jews being forcibly removed from neighborhoods, cities, and countries (after increasingly anti-Semitic propaganda and violence prior to removal and mass murder).

What some non-Jewish Germans have said is either, "I didn't know what was going on", or "If I'd tried to intervene, I'd have been shot on the spot."

In schools where bullying is a problem, the Bystander Effect often amounts to someone not wanting the stigma of the abused being attached to someone standing up for the bullied person. 

In situations where gang rape is horrifically occurring, some men on the sidelines might argue that they feared being seen as "not a man" if they verbally or violently intervened against the sexual terrorists/thugs/normal guys. And some of those not-so-innocent bystanders might also join in and become gang-rapists themselves to prove alliance with their more enthusiastically vicious peers.

Taken together, we see that The [Privileged] Bystander Effect has several functions: to allow someone to believe they alone have no particular responsibility to stop unjust violence is one. To allow someone the freedom to not be stigmatised and/or mistreated by the abuser/oppressor. To avoid death, including to the point of becoming one of the abusers/oppressors.

What also must be exposed is what oppressor-class people have to gain by not intervening. It's easy enough for us to think, "The whites did nothing because they didn't want to be misperceived as The White Hero", which sort of sounds like the position is rooted in an egocentric desire to always been seen as good and moral. The key there is "seen as". Because their actions are not good and are not moral, of course. And whites and men wanting to be seen as morally good people within a virulently white male supremacist society serves whom, exactly?

Do oppressor-class people REALLY give a shit what oppressed-class people think of them/us? Maybe that's the case for the few who are judged by other liberal oppressor-class people. The situation linked to in the post here demonstrates to me whites want to be seen as not-racist by other whites. And to the extent they don't want to be seen as not-racist by people of color, it is only to maintain a false appearance in order to maintain white power and position. Whites who did, really, intervene against white violence against people of color, and men who have, really, intervened against male violence against women, do face the real prospect of having that violence turned on them and, at least, losing status among those whites and men around them.

What we see is that whites will excuse each other not intervening. They will be very understanding and quick to defend such inaction. And that's white supremacy in action. Men will excuse each other not intervening. That's male supremacy at work. I offer all that as a foundation for the following challenges to what you offer by way of explanation.

... But it seems as though at least part of the problem is that people are so afraid of saying the wrong thing or making the wrong move.

What constitutes "the wrong thing" or "the wrong move"? As I already described, this is not universal. It is not even regionally or locally predictable.

The wrong thing/the wrong move is usually and overwhelmingly to allow oppressive violence to continue uninterrupted. That's our status quo. It's also status quo for whites and men to deny the violence is happening at all--or is far more rare than the oppressed claim it is. It is also status quo for whites and men to encourage it to happen and to commit it.

It's rare for whites/males to give a shit about what happens to Black people/women, historically and presently. What happens to Black women is especially disregarded by white men, or is consumed as entertainment. The pornography industry is one callous arena offering evidence of callous enjoyment. If we really cared, we'd work collectively to eradicate white male supremacy and the economic and social manifestations of it. We don't. Instead a small minority of us egocentrically care what others think about us when we don't do what we assume others think we should do, as described here:

There is a fear of being labeled as racist or sexist-- so in defense of one's ego and sense of their own moral goodness-- people choose to not act at all.

That's white/male supremacy at work, not just egocentric (im)moral action. Where you go from here is, for me, increasingly problematic and victim-blaming.

This seems to stem from a very closed, angry and unforgiving conversation about these topics.

Who is being "very closed, angry, and unforgiving"? Other whites or people of color?

A lot of judgement is thrown around, with very few people willing to extend any understanding towards the fellow people they are supposed to be engaged with.

Who is throwing judgment? Who is not willing to extend understanding? And who can afford to see their oppressors as "fellow people they are supposed to be engaged with"?

Those who have been systematically and chronically sexually or racially discriminated against, harassed, ignored, and terrorised? The people with severe PTSD developed over years from enduring daily racism and misogyny?

As I read it, you're speaking of people of color being too angry, too unforgiving, too closed, too judgmental, too shaming, and too stingy with understanding and compassion.

Instead of conversation and dialogue, there is an attempt to prove oneself right at the expense of shaming someone else.

Among men and among whites, I've seen this occur. Many times. Whites wanting to demonstrate who is the better ally to POC; men fighting over who is the better feminist. And so on. But we're talking about minority populations of whites and men, of course. The places I've observed this are very few and far between. Very few men interrupt misogynist violence; very few non-Jewish Germans interrupted anti-Semitic Nazi violence in the 1930s and '40s; most whites were privately disdainful of Martin Luther King, Jr., or were publicly hostile when discussing his efforts through the '50s and '60s. Many privately or publicly were relieved when he was assassinated, as they were when Malcolm X was murdered. Consciously or not, whites felt: "Whew! Thank God that attempt to challenge my white power is now without its most public leader." 

Most whites are still hostile to or disdainful of any efforts to weaken white power. And most whites in the U.S. reluctantly endure "Martin Luther King, Jr. Day". Just YESTERDAY--no joke--I heard two whites being irritated that he has "a Day" at all. These two people also agreed Abraham Lincoln was far greater for freeing the slaves, which shows how whites rewrite history to rewrite and rewhite his/story. Lincoln's role in freeing slaves was far less arduous and brave than was Harriet Tubman's. Or the other hundreds of slaves who resisted and fought for freedom.

I don't know how much of this is simply because the internet is a forum which tends to bring out the worst in people's ability to engage in dialogue.

The anonymity factor is likely operating on the internet, but that, too, is a very partial explanation, and misses the politics of what is going down in favor of a psychological perspective. I say this to you as in order to recommend that you offer such a critique to your Psych professors. 

People's ability to engage in dialogue about racism and sexism is far more impaired by racism and sexism among whites and men than it is by anything else. Our reluctance and resistance is evident ubiquitously, in white families, majority-white places of worship, in the white-ruled educational system, and among white psychotherapists, to name but a few spheres of white power-protection. 

When I see conversations between whites and POC online, what I see time and again is whites wanting always to be seen as earnestly intending to be good, and becoming defensive or hostile when they are called out--appropriately--for being racist. I've seen how some POC will far too calmly and patiently attempt to get some white person to see things from their point of view, identifying some interaction or statement by the white person as racist, only to have the white person claim the person of color is wrongfully judging them, as if the white person's character was ever the issue. The same with men. Having their behavior called "sexist" or "misogynistic" becomes something they pretend is a personal attack. A grievous "attack". And they don't see their own defensiveness and/or hostility as any form of attack at all. 

...I am more familiar with what is available via the internet, while acknowledging that this is in no way a forum which speaks for the entire discipline. However, I do believe that if real, social change is something that people want to see happen then there needs to be space for people to make mistakes.

Systematic oppression and flagrant, violent resistance to change, to accountability, to responsibility, ought not be termed "people making mistakes". Whites don't make mistakes, nor do men. What whites and men do is protect our power, privileges, entitlements, and status. There's no mistake about it. When you narrow the lens down to a few internet interactions, it may be too easy to lose sight of the larger political picture, the broader social context for those few interactions.

I don't mean that people engaging in White Hero behavior (or any sexist/racist behavior) should be ignored or encouraged, but that gentle critiques may be better than constant shaming and anger in certain situations. Human beings can only take so much.

White/Male Hero and White/Male Abuser behavior is both ignored (passively allowed) and encouraged (actively allowed) by whites and men. So we have to start there. "Gentle critiques" as defined by whom? Probably only by whites and men, right? "Constant shaming" as defined by whom? Probably only by whites and men, right? This request for the oppressed to offer only "gentle critiques" is, in and of itself, a form of oppressive white/male supremacist behavior. As is someone privileged being calling out by those he oppresses being called "constant shaming". The only constant shaming I'm aware of is the institutional shaming done to oppressed people, actively and passively supported by whites and men. 

Oppressors are always trying to control the behavior of those we oppress, including by telling them how we might best be able to learn from them--if they'd only speak the way we demand they do. But however gentle it is to our ears, we don't hear it because we don't want to or don't have to; so what usually happens is the behavior becomes a tad less gentle. But the behavior I'm talking about isn't that of the oppressed; it's that of the oppressor, who is behaving violently all along but is denying it at every turn. Telling someone you're oppressing to challenge you in a more gentle way is a verbal version of a batterer telling the person being battered to resist in a less aggressive way. Making the oppressed person's allegedly ceaselessly shaming behavior or apparent aggression appear to be "the problem", as you do at times, is a form of violence never called violent by those who do it.

6 January 2014 post-script:
I am thinking now of how any interruption in collective silence may serve to empower others to speak out as well. In the auditorium in which the abuse happened (in the story linked to initially in the last post), just one white man speaking out in any way, even in problematic ways, would likely serve, at the very least, to make space for others to speak out, perhaps more responsibly.

Breaking silence when abuse is happening in front of us, in other words, is often useful in and of itself. That may be so even if it isn't done using the most appropriate or useful language. This is to say, "too little" might be just enough for more to happen. Any individual's action opposing and interrupting abuse in a social space can at least open that space to more challenges of that violence. I think part of the 'white/male hero' phenomenon has to do with the alleged hero wanting all the credit for rescuing the abused person, ignoring how historically and inherently collectivist anti-oppression and anti-abuse work is. There's never a lone hero in such work and any attempts to narratively manufacture or highlight one is usually done to mis- and over-represent the work of one or a few whites and men.


 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Why do some white folks ask what we should do, to be an ally, when a Black woman is being abused in public by a Black man?


image is from here
This post is in response to a discussion over to Crunk Feminist Collective. You can read that post and the comments there first if you want, but it's not necessary. But to do so, click on the title of that post just below:

On Black Men Showing Up for Black Women at the Scene of the Crime


The reason it's not necessary is because white folks are asking questions there what white folks ask far too often in the wrong spaces: What should I do to be a good ally to people of color? Usually this assumes people of color exist to educate whites about how to be anti-racist/anti-sexist. And usually in contexts where people of color are not there to teach whites anything. (I mean, like not in a classroom with bell hooks as the professor teaching a course to people of color and whites on how to support one another across various political struggles.)

Too often, in PoC spaces or in conversations led by people of color about something awful that happened to someone, white comments become a white-centered distraction from the main issues.


But related to the post above, I wonder to what extent the Brecht Center is a white-majority or white-run space, an academic space. I wonder how that contributed to the lack of response from the audience to Crunktastic being intimidated, threatened, and assaulted at a progressive political panel discussion, by a well-known Black male activist, Kazembe Balagun. My experience of white and class-privileged academic spaces is that there is an expectation that audiences remain passive witnesses to what's going on (or down) onstage. That to do otherwise is to break the unwritten cultural rules of (non)engagement. I wonder if that's part of this story.

But there are always plenty of explanations for why folks don't intervene on violence against women, including racist misogyny (rarely identified as such). It shows up in male-bonding rituals. It shows up in the refusal of the public to see the harassment, disrespect, disregard, harassment, violation, and abuse of women of color as violence. Other dynamics are described later on in this post.

At issue is our collective response-ability to co-create anti-colonial, anti-patriarchal spaces in which to organise and, well, just live with dignity and relative safety. I've seen response-ability shut down by anti-activist liberal white and male self-reflection. "What can I do that won't be seen as racist or sexist?" is a question in service to white male supremacy. Because "how privileged folks are perceived" already presumes the issue is the image of the oppressors, not the harm done to the oppressed.

I'm making space here, at a white person's blog, for some of that discussion. A white woman at CFC left a comment, which I'm excerpting just below. The reason I'm copying and pasting it here is because she acknowledges this is a conversation that maybe shouldn't happen there and then, at CFC. And I agree. Other whites on that comments page appear to me to be making this about liberal white guilt and the matter of whether we should do anything, rather than about what we must do to intervene when we witness violence occurring right before us in social spaces.

I can’t pretend that the dynamics of my interactions with black women aren’t colored by our different races. I do not want to presume to act or speak for a black woman who is perfectly capable of acting or speaking for herself. Nor do I want to appear to be attempting to exert authority over a space for black people based on my white skin. It can be difficult at times to decide whether my intervention in a tense situation would be seen as welcome support or as hijacking. In this situation, I think the answer is clear (both from my own judgment and from the message of the post), but it’s not always.
Obviously, how a white woman would have felt/what she should have done should not be the center of the discussion here. What happened should be. But there seems to be a substantial discussion going on around that, and thus probably room for a thread or two on this point: that is, how SHOULD an ally best respond in this situation? There may actually be a different answer for other black men, for white women, for white men, etc.
Should whites respond differently to violence happening when the aggressor is a Black man and the person harmed is a Black woman? Are the responsibilities of a white ally to a Black woman facing male supremacist hostility from a Black man (or from a white man, or a man of color who isn't Black) different than the responsibilities of an ally to a white woman facing male supremacist hostility--from a white or Black man, or another man of color?

Beyond, "Don't do something racist", I don't think so. 

But it is, unfortunately, the case that we whites can be confused about what it is to be racist.

One way racism shows up is whites thinking that intervening when a Black woman is being abused by a Black man is in and of itself racist. When, in fact, not intervening is the act of racism, and sexism.

This was going to be my reply at CFC but I've decided to put it here instead and link to this post over there.
 
Dynamics are raced, yes. Always. And gendered. Whatever I did there, if I were there, would have been the actions of a white male. But our race and gender doesn't mean we're not capable of responding to other humans as human beings. 
 
I read another comment, in response to the one quoted above, stating clearly that the woman assaulted is a human being and ought to be responded to as the human being that she is
 
I thought about how whites use our whiteness as a way (and too often an excuse) to not do something we'd do if it were happening to someone white. We don't tend to ask ourselves, when in an all-white forum or social space, "How might my whiteness be a problem here, in possibly intervening when a white man is harming a white woman?" I'm just as white in all-white spaces too. That whole way of responding or not and acting or not is white supremacist to me. 

Black, Brown, white, female, trans, male: if I'm a person in the room, and I see someone being assaulted, I intervene, if I care and if I can. I do what I can do, given my own limitations, strengths, privileges, and experiences of trauma and resistance.  
 
One thing I've seen play out far too often is that whites assume a Black woman (a particular Black woman, any Black woman, or all Black women) is strong enough to handle things on her own. While whites often want someone (of color) to have our back, it is assumed by whites that a Black woman has her own back and doesn't need anything more. The misogynist-racist Super-woman stereotype. There's the issue of Black woman-as-mammy whose only role is to take care of whites. In such a racist imagination, how could she possibly need whites to emotionally or physically take care of her? In reality, in what spaces would whites do so at all without expecting public or private props?
 
I've seen how Black women's womanness is erased and how Black women's Blackness is eraced. Each of which contributes to how Black women's humanity is made invisible socially by white and male supremacy.
 
When women's liberation is discussed in white spaces, the talk often assumes an alleged common denominator of white experience. So Black women, and other women of color, are assumed to be part of that struggle--to be "women"--only to the extent that they share the experiences, analysis, and agendas of whites. Usually unasked and unanswered in such spaces is this question: how could white experience be a common denominator for all women, most of whom are not white?) In my experience, when women of color assert their womanness not in white or colonial terms, or outside a white frame of experience, whites often claim they are being divisive, disruptive, or collaborators with patriarchy. (In truth, whites invisibilising whiteness is always in service to colonial patriarchy.)
  
When Black liberation is discussed in Black spaces, the talk often assumes a common denominator of Black men's experience. So Black women, again, are assumed to be part of the struggle only to the extent that their lives and struggles match up with men's. When Black women assert their own experiences as distinct from men's, the men often rebuke, retaliate, and revolt against the women, proving the point far too predictably.

What gets lost, obviously, is the humanity of Black women as Black, as women, and as Black Women whose lives, however personally complex and culturally dissimilar, do not and cannot only mirror the struggles Black men and white women face, in part because Black women are oppressed by both groups and by white men too.
 
I open the post to comments and conversation.




Friday, October 4, 2013

Hugo Schwyzer and Miley Cyrus: which person deserves their bad press?

HUGO SCHWYZER:

image is from here

This is, unfortunately, another in a series of posts about Mr. Hugo Schwyzer. (For some additional history and analysis, you may also read my August 14th and Sept. 8th posts.) Only Miley Cyrus seems to be getting more bad press lately. His, however, is fully deserved. (I won't go into the Miley Cyrus media controversy other than to say that it is clear female performers are held to a very different standard than are male performers. Her racist misogyny in some performances should be called out. And to say that Sinead O'Connor is a long-time shero of mine.)

Yesterday, journalist Lauren Gold of the Pasadena Star-News reported the following news which is excerpted from her article which may be read in full *here*:
"Attorneys for Pasadena City College have sent a letter to porn professor Hugo Schwyzer, asking him to resign.

The letter came one day after Schwyzer admitted he was arrested in connection with a drunken driving accident that left a woman injured.

Schwyzer said he has no plans to resign before his disability retirement benefits from CalSTRS kick in on Jan. 1 because he needs the health insurance coverage for his children."
If he were truly concerned about health insurance for his children, he ought to have chosen not to be a sexual predator and flagrant abuser of rules and regulations at his place of employment. What he has insured is that his behavior has threatened the mental health and general welfare of his children and spouse by giving his employers no other reasonable choice but to ask him to resign or fire him.

He reminds me of the procurers of women in systems of prostitution who argue their names ought not be revealed to the public because publishing them will negatively effect their private and professional lives. The perps complain that the press is doing them harm. Hugo argues the actions of an academic institution and their attorneys, not his own, will cause his children harm.
“[M]y entire career is not defined by a few affairs with students. I was also a successful professor and what I’m asking from the college is that they forestall termination until Dec. 31. ... I think after 20 years of teaching that’s not an unreasonable request.”
It's not only an unreasonable request. It's an unethical and unconscionable one. Hugo's career is appropriately now defined by his serial sexual exploitation of young women. He's made sure that's the case by systematically abusing his position, privileges, and power, and also by publishing accounts of those abuses. His termination as "a successful professor" is something he brought about, not anyone else.
In an Oct. 1 letter to Schwyzer, attorney Mary Dowell told Schwyzer his admissions and conduct are sufficient grounds for termination. The letter encouraged Schwyzer to resign.

“The District views both your recent conduct and the past conduct which you have revealed in your recent public statements and writings as grounds for termination. ... The disciplinary process will begin well before January 1, 2014,” Dowell wrote. “However, the District has asked me to advise you that you can avoid discipline if you unequivocally and irrevocably resign from your employment.”*

I am considering the annals of allegedly pro-feminist men's history. (There aren't that many records; this doesn't take long.) Comparing the professional and political life of Hugo Schwyzer to the others, could there be a more glaring example of a chronic misuse of power, as a "pro-feminist", in defense of one's abusive behavior? Could there be a more offensive attempt to claim mental illness as a cause, an excuse, for doing what white men have done for centuries without fear of arrest, incarceration, or demotion in status, position, entitlements, and power?

How can someone so practiced at teaching sexual politics be so completely self-centered, arrogant, and in denial about the blatant political nature of one's harmful acts against children, women, and society? That's the wrong question, perhaps. Maybe the question ought to be: What kind of power has to be institutionalised and systematised in order for U.S. white men to get away with flagrantly abusive activity for so long? Or to do so while pleading ignorance or illness? Or to do so while preaching what one doesn't practice? The answer is colonial patriarchal power and entitlement infused into every sphere of social life.

Hugo's actions are causally and effectively political. His actions are appropriately and adequately described by the feminist activists he refuses to be accountable to. The complex of self-serving attitudes and harmful behaviors he has displayed consistently over many years cannot be appropriately explained or adequately understood by mental health professionals. Nor by the attorneys who use such professionals to protect their clients from legal consequences any adult sex offender should face.

The comprehension of Hugo's behavior ought not lead one to conclude he is suffering from mental illness or unfair persecution by people around him. One ought to conclude he benefits from the white colonial male privileges he consciously exercises, so far, with impunity.

To Hugo:
Stop manipulating everyone around you with claims of mistreatment and start accepting full responsibility. Stop pretending the college you've worked for doesn't have the legal and ethical right to fire your ass without you and your lawyer retaliating. Stop pretending a college can take away protections for your children when you, yourself, have done so. Seriously. Stop being such a white prick. Once and for all.

*If interested, you may click on the predator's name for many more stories on Hugo Schwyzer, PCC’s Porn Professor at pasadenastarnews.com.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Latest On Hugo "Won't Go" Schwyzer


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For the latest on Hugo Schwyzer's systematic abuses and willful refusal to stay out of public view, please click on the title just below. Excerpts are by Angus Johnston, at the blog Student Activism.
Early this morning Pasadena City College history instructor and internet-famous male feminist Hugo Schwyzer, who has been conducting a slow-motion self-immolation all summer, interrupted his online hiatus to offer yet another admission of wrongdoing.

This one is likely the most significant yet.

In a brief middle-of-the-night blogpost, Schwyzer admitted that a pseudonymous accusation posted on Tumblr a few days ago was true, and that he has been conducting sexual relationships with students for more than five years...

Schwyzer should resign from PCC immediately. If he refuses to resign, he should be fired. Period.

Update | Schwyzer expanded upon his most recent confession in a YouTube video, posted last night. In it, he said that between 2008 and “very recently” he conducted sexual relationships with three different students who were enrolled in his classes when the relationships began.

In the YouTube video Schwyzer acknowledges that his ongoing violation of PCC policies “may impact my relationship with the college,” and says he is “willing to face whatever consequences may come” on that front. But that’s a statement, it should be noted, that could mean anything or nothing. Either they’ll fire him or they won’t. If they do, either he’ll sue them or he won’t. However any of that shakes out, he’ll be facing the consequences of his actions whether he likes it or not.

What Schwyzer doesn’t say — in the video or in the blogpost — is that he intends to resign from PCC. For years now, as evidence of Schwyzer’s misbehavior has accumulated, he has consistently stonewalled and deflected for as long as he could. Only when those options were exhausted has he ever admitted error or wrongdoing. He has never, to my knowledge, chosen to resign from a feminist project or step back from a feminist space — each time he has withdrawn it has been because he was forced to, and each time he has sought to spin the withdrawal as a freely chosen gesture. ...

Second Update | The general counsel of Schwyzer’s community college has released a statement on his confession, and it’s pretty blistering:


Yesterday Mr. Hugo Schwyzer, a faculty member of the college, released statements publicly on the internet that he has had sexual relations with his students as recently as 2011 while an instructor at the college.

Such conduct, if confirmed as true, would be a grave violation of college policy warranting termination.

The college does not in any way condone or tolerate such conduct by any faculty member.  All of us in the college are outraged by Mr. Schwyzer’s statements about his conduct.  The college is acting swiftly to conduct an investigation and to hold Mr. Schwyzer accountable for his actions while an employee.

It seems clear that they’re committed to firing him at this point. We’ll see if it actually happens.

Morning Update | The local Pasadena paper has a story up on yesterday’s developments, and while it mostly rehashes what was already known, it does include two new pieces of information.

First, in an interview Schwyzer gave the paper yesterday, he again confirmed the allegations made by the anonymous former student on Tumblr. (As has become a recurring pattern this summer, Schwyzer reached out to the media from a mental health facility he checked himself into after his latest internet confession.)
Second, Schwyzer gave no indication that he’s considering resigning his teaching post. Indeed, he said that he is “looking very seriously” at the possibility of filing a psychiatric disability claim, suggesting that accepting such a claim could be an “end around” for the college. Apparently he has no intention of quitting, and plans to fight back if PCC tries to fire him.
We'll see. Lorde knows he'll tell us all about it every self-involved, over-privileged step of the way.