23 May 2013

Fem

Back in February Raphael Magarik discussed the mess that is Hugo Schwyzer. If you take a quick trip to Schwyzer's website you will be treated to this image:


I like to think that I am a feminist. I am a gay 30-something of the Gen X/Gen Y crossover years. I am hardly knowledgeable on feminism's more academic sides. But from my point of view our feminism is one based in theory. It is one of research and intelligent discourse. The idea being to push feminism into the upper areas of academia.

Today's feminism is different. I think it is more about 'real world' application. It isn't a rejection outright of theory, but a reaction to the over-ivory towering of it.

That said.

Look again at that picture. The bile rises as I read the stupid white box next to his ridiculous grin and above those obnoxious social media icons.

I have no horse in the game of feminism. So to speak. But I agree partially with Magarik's assertion that men cannot be leaders in feminism. I agree that a self-ascribed leader is silly. I also see the problems of a born-again, one-time violent, student dating white man being that self-ascribed leader.

But.

I think we should be able to discuss things we are interested in. Things we feel about. We should be able to discuss race, sexuality, religion.

That said. Schwyzer seems to be very into being an 'expert' a 'leader' he seems to really be into himself. A. Lot.

When I was younger. A teenager, a pre-teen. I was often called a sissy. I was not into sports. I was called 'girly'. I wondered why that was bad. I still do.

Things that are 'girly' that are fierce as shit:

- Make Up - You can entirely change your face with a little war paint. It's amazing.
- Dresses - Gowns...serious drama. Air all over you!

These are just two things that most men would toss out there. My point isn't to condescend with a look at why women should feel good about themselves. It is to say that these are things that are traditionally gendered as female, and they are interesting. The list could also include uteri, breasts, etc. It could also include art, theater, music, poetry, feelings. All things that are viewed as less than masculine.

Again. I am not as well-read on this subject as I should be. The article on Schwyzer was interesting in that this man was basically driven out of a lot of the areas he has been involved professionally by his admittance of past behavior that is abusive and anti-woman. I don't want to defend him, I don't know him, but he seems to have moved beyond those earlier 'issues'.

BUT     BUT     BUT

He seems to have replaced those problems with a strange narcissistic sermon-y persona that is just as disturbing. And he doesn't seem to see the problem in his past. He doesn't seem to care that much about it. Neither does The Atlantic. He still writes for them regularly.