First off, I’m not taking about your ordinary kind of feminist dabbler,
“I like women and think we should treat them fairly,” kind of guy.
I speak of the celebrity fems, those men who publically tout their feminist
credentials as if they were great defenders of women’s rights, politicians,
social justice warriors, and spokesmen at places like Jezebel and Feministing.
Frankly, most of these guys tend scare the crap out of me. There is something
right under the surface there that I am instinctually wary of. I’ve seldom
been wrong about it, either.
Hugo Schwyzer is an infamous example, he had a bit of a public
meltdown that is somewhat legendary. For those who don’t know, he’s a women’s
studies professor and an author who got caught sleeping with several students,
eventually admitted to trying to kill one, and plunged farther into the vortex
after confessing to some racism, crashing his car, and admitting he had a drug and
alcohol problem and mental health issues. The soap opera continued with the
discovery of faked credentials, a twitter war, and some sexting to a porn star.
To make the whole tragic-comedy somewhat amusing, a while back he “resigned
from the internet” to spend more time with his wife and family.
What is it about these male fems that makes me nervous? A fear of women mostly.
They’ll deny it, but right under the surface is a fear of women that is so
palatable, it’s downright contagious. It makes me jumpy and prone to looking over
my shoulder. That’s actually instinctual and rather wise, because some of the most
dangerous men in the world are hiding a deep seated fear of women. What you
perceive as a threat, you will try to destroy, even if it’s only subconsciously.
I shouldn’t pick on poor Hugo. Actually his ability to have a prolonged and rather
melodramatic public meltdown is worthy of an inkling of respect. Wow, hat tip to you
dude, you really showed us how it’s done. I mean that with all sincerity, I have more
respect for those who crash and burn than those who don’t even realize they’re broken.
So, male feminists and their fear of women. It’s a real thing in the world. In the
ultimate twist of irony, within feminism, I encounter more patriarchal, authoritarian,
outright abuse, then I ever have in the world of so called “rabid right wingers.” Always
the scientist, I’ve conducted several experiments by rather gently challenging the meme
of the moment. Without fail, I’ll get deleted, banned, told to shut up, informed I know
nothing of politics or feminism, and labeled a misogynist from the so called tolerant ones.
I can inspire some good resentment from the so called Misogynistic Right too, but they
rarely try to completely shut me down.
It is so ironic to find myself constantly nixed from internet feminism in favor of the
superior wisdom of the latest male fem academic or journalist. Rather than “you’ve
come a long way baby,” it’s like stepping sideways from one side of the abyss to
the other. If I want your opinion, I’ll give it to you. Dudes, that is patriarchal as
all get go and you should probably check your darn privilege, because you’re speaking
out of both sides of your mouth. In truth however, I no longer believe in silly memes
about patriarchy and privilege, hierarchies and oppression. Male arrogance however, is
still a real thing in the world.
As fond as I am of the fantasy of being labeled “dangerous” like some kind of femme
fatale or Mata Hari or something, anyone who perceives me as dangerous, really needs
to adjust their distorted worldview.
++meme generated graphic below courtesy of Buzzfeed++