Damn them all to hell

Initially I did not intend to post about Schwyzer’s recent comments on semen. His hyperbolic post only demonstrates the extent of his odious views about men. However, Schwyzer apparently now disallows any critiques or criticisms of his posts on his blog. It is the worst kind of intellectual dishonesty as he deletes the posts. I think that demonstrates that Schwyzer is fully aware of his bias and is simply playing politics. Some may call that assumption an act of bad faith, but it seems unlikely that a person with a rational, defensible argument would disallow the below criticism.

Since Schwyzer deleted my comments and I did not save it, I must reconstruct them as best I can. My response was to Schwyzer’s comment that:

Women already have eggs. Unfertilized eggs don’t kill women. The foreign substance of sperm entering their bodies is a prerequisite for pregnancy. What you’re saying is analogous to someone saying that a gunshot victim died from loss of his own blood (and hence his responsibility) rather than from a foreign object violating his flesh.

Yet what Schwyzer wrote is analogous to blaming tree and flower pollen for someone suffering from allergies. The pollen itself is harmless; it is the person’s body that suffers from a hypersensitivity disorder that prompts the allergy symptoms. In other words, the potential for a problem already exists. The pollen simply acts as a trigger. 

Schwyzer went on to state:

Look, lolz, pregnancy is in one sense a disease

No, it is not. It shares more in common with parasitism than it does a disease.

He continued with: and the cause of that pregnancy is directly related (and indeed requires) a foreign substance (semen) to enter a woman’s body.

That something is directly related to an act does not mean that thing causes any complications that occur. That one needs to insert and turn a key in an ignition in order to start a car does not mean the key caused the car’s engine to blow out. This is why no one would claim that the X chromosome is directly implicated in the deaths of millions of boys and men because those males inherited genetic disorders from their mothers.

In order for Schwyzer’s position to be true, sperm in and of itself would have to cause the problems. However, that does not occur. Sperm proves rather harmless. Most of the pregnancy complications women experience occur due to existing and sometimes unknown health issues, the substances they put into their bodies, and the physical activities they engage in. Sperm does not cause or contribute any of those.

Therefore Schwyzer’s argument is logically unsound, biologically inaccurate, and incredibly (but unsurprisingly) misandrous. The irony of Schwyzer’s argument is that it operates on the notion that women are passive participants. He argued against that in his initial post, stating:

But what is so significant about “seed”? From a feminist standpoint, it’s quite simply at the very root of the Judeo-Christian hostility towards women. As is widely known, from the time of the Hebrews until the discovery of ova and the process of conception during the Scientific Revolution, Western authorities were largely convinced that women had very little role to play in the reproductive process. Women were like fields, soil which needed to be ploughed and planted and fertilized

Yet he engaged in the same thinking when it suited his argument, providing an excellent example of doublethink. Women are not passive when it comes to deconstructing religious concepts from a feminist perspective, but they are passive when it comes to blaming men for the deaths of women as a result of pregnancy.

Never mind that both sperm and ova are necessary for pregnancy to occur, meaning that if sperm is “directly implicated in the deaths of millions of women”, one could logically conclude that ova are equally responsible. Never mind that one could also logically conclude that menstrual blood has resulted in the deaths of millions of men as menstruation is necessary in order to produce the embryos that would later become the humans who would kill millions of men. Never mind that when a sperm combines with an egg both become something else entirely. Never mind that about half of the instances where sperm fertilizes an egg no pregnancy occurs.

Apparently from a feminist perspective none of the above matter.

Schwyzer ends by asking:

Can you tell I spent the weekend at a feminist conference?

Yes, that is quite apparent. The severity of his leaps in logic is more pronounced that normal. It leads to ridiculous assertions such as :

Facials — men ejaculating onto women’s faces — are something of a novelty, having only appeared in porn in the past two decades. (The “cum shot” or “money shot” is much older, of course, but prior to the 1990s, it usually involved a man coming on a woman’s buttocks or stomach, establishing both the authenticity of the scene and the opportunity to gaze at the sacred substance.) . . . I have a theory that the “facial craze” is part of a backlash against feminism — and women’s sexual empowerment in particular. . . .  In other words, the use of a condom (or virtually any other method of birth control) robs a man of the chance to “become like God” by having his semen accepted unconditionally into the “fertile soil” of a woman’s body. That resentment,which is perhaps culturally encoded rather than conscious, manifests in the desire to remind women of the “sacredness” of the sperm. If a woman won’t accept it with an open, unprotected embrace, then she can still validate the divinity of a man’s body by taking his semen onto her face in an overt display of passivity.

Schwyzer is entitled to hold any views about men he wants. However, his brand of hyperbolic proselytizing will not convince anyone to share his views. If anything, it will make them back away slowly or perhaps take an eraser to his double-sided chalk board.

About these ads

28 thoughts on “Damn them all to hell

  1. You came in at the tail end of that argument and took it all out of context. The whole point was to compare the taboos on menstrual blood to men’s love of their sperm. Menstrual blood doesn’t hurt anybody besides the crampy woman shedding it–and not every woman gets cramps.

    Hugo’s saying that this fear of periods is absurd when you compare it to the sperm that men love.

    Keep working on those reductios, though. You’ll get the hang of it someday.

  2. “You came in at the tail end of that argument and took it all out of context.”

    TS is responding to Hugo’s post itself. He states that up front and then goes to comment on specifice pieces of it. TS read Hugo’s post, which is more than you did with TS’s post, quite obviously.

    “Keep working on those reductios, though. You’ll get the hang of it someday.’

    Please point out what is reductionist in TS’s post. TS is saying that Hugo’s post is one more piece of evidence proving what a man-hating white knight he is. Hugo makes no attempt to hide his white knighting. He does attempt to lie his way around his man-hatred, thus the need for this post. He seems to think it’s progressive or moral or something, which tells us about as much as we need to know about Hugo’s moral sense.

    “You’ll get the hang of it someday.”

    You don’t even have the hang of snide condescension. Oh, and by the way, your simple-minded anti-American screed over there was really embarrassing. You made Canadians look like pathetic, whiny wannabes.

  3. You came in at the tail end of that argument and took it all out of context.

    I responded to a portion of Schwyzer’s, but nothing was taken out of context. Schwyzer’s position is that sperm has directly resulted in the deaths of millions of women.

    The whole point was to compare the taboos on menstrual blood to men’s love of their sperm.

    Yet Schwyzer did not do that in his post or his responses. He did not mention any of the taboos associated with semen and sperm. What he compared was his theory about Judeo-Christian doctrines concerning semen with his theory about Judeo-Christian views concerning menstrual blood.

    Hugo’s saying that this fear of periods is absurd when you compare it to the sperm that men love.

    That is nowhere near what Schwyzer wrote. Nevertheless, men do not love sperm or semen. They do not generally care about their own beyond whether they are fertile and how much of it they can produce, and they certainly do not care about other men’s sperm and semen. Even men who have sex with other men are not necessarily obsessed with sperm and semen, so I am not sure where you got the idea that men love their sperm.

    Keep working on those reductios, though. You’ll get the hang of it someday.

    I am unsure what your complaint is.

  4. I take issue with the very tail-end of Hugo’s post when he makes cumming on a girl’s face into some kind of misogynistic act.

    This is clearly a guy who has very radical definitions of what constitutes good sex that are different from most men (and most women, in my college-age group).

    It seems like the post in its entirety was a poorly-constructed ideology of sperm/semen that had more in common with a literature essay than social commentary. Seriously, the writing complete;y reminded me of student essays on world-lit and such. It’d be funny, except, unlike in a literary essay, this guy thinks he’s actually onto something… Crazy.

    TS made, and has always makes, great analysis in his posts without committing to fallacious arguments or ad hominem.

    However, for Hugo to implicate male sperm as the cause of a “disease” is not just misandrous, but it’s also ignorant of women’s active role in procreation (despite his connections between women’s role historically and culturally being considered passive, which seem disingenuous observations since he goes ahead and does the same thing). The article wasn’t out & out misandry, but it is kind of offensive to men, even though it was written by one.

    As for me and my girlfriend, my sperm is neither sacred nor profane. It’s just sperm. A facial is not some metaphorical act of Hugo’s academese. It’s sexual pleasure. Sometimes people need to bring their arguments down to Earth and see how they match up to reality before assuming they’re true.

  5. “Initially I did not intend to post about Schwyzer’s recent comments on semen. His hyperbolic post only demonstrates the extent of his odious views about men. However, Schwyzer apparently now disallows any critiques or criticisms of his posts on his blog. It is the worst kind of intellectual dishonesty as he deletes the posts. I think that demonstrates that Schwyzer is fully aware of his bias and is simply playing politics. Some may call that assumption an act of bad faith, but it seems unlikely that a person with a rational, defensible argument would disallow the below criticism.”

    I agree that it is intellectual dishonesty and yes, I can see that it demonstrates an awareness of his bias. He keeps saying that the blog’s intent is to provide a forum for feminist friendly responses.

    I didn’t participate in that discussion. I lost interest in it–I find the commentaries are a bit out there for me and some conclusions are off the wall. Nevertheless I did find your last comment amusing–how you said “Nevertheless, men do not love sperm or semen.”

    Jim says, “You don’t even have the hang of snide condescension. Oh, and by the way, your simple-minded anti-American screed over there was really embarrassing. You made Canadians look like pathetic, whiny wannabes.”

    What part were you referring too? Was this in response to her comments on Family size? Hugo did make a comment on that thread stating, “…Fortunately, many of their children will be influenced by those of us who teach to reconsider their worldviews.”

    He also stated this, “We have our little ways, you know, we tenured radicals… ;-)”

    Is that not proof of another kind of bias?

  6. Reductio ad absurdum. It’s an argument technique that you’re almost grasping but not quite.

    I’m sure your readers can check out Hugo’s post for themselves.

    Who said I’m Anti-American? I’m anti-Quiverfull, anti-racist, anti-gun, anti-oilwar and anti-oligarchy, pro-democrat, pro-Michael Moore and pro-socialized healthcare. If you find that pathetic, you’re the whiner, Jim.

  7. When reading this:
    That doesn’t mean pregnancy is bad — but it does mean that sperm is as much an agent of death as it is life.
    It seems to me that Hugo is reaching for anything that may be construed as negative about men.

    And besides. Sperm needs to fertilize an egg in order to begin a pregnancy right? That means that sperm didn’t kill those millions of on their own. Does this mean that its sperm AND eggs that are responsible for those deaths?

  8. Reductio ad absurdum. It’s an argument technique that you’re almost grasping but not quite.

    That is because I did not use it. I could if I wanted to, but I find it unnecessary in this instance. Schwyzer’s argument is logically unsound, so there is no point in playing his theory out to its logical conclusion.

  9. Karen:I agree that it is intellectual dishonesty and yes, I can see that it demonstrates an awareness of his bias. He keeps saying that the blog’s intent is to provide a forum for feminist friendly responses.…without having to worry about people disagreeing with him. Oh well more power to him.

  10. pregnancy is In one sense a disease?

    This fellow has gone to college before, yes?

    I must say my opinion of him has changed. Up until now I’d thought he had uterine envy.

    Turns-out he’s just an insufferable twat intellectually-dishonest person.

  11. Not surprised again.

    “He keeps saying that the blog’s intent is to provide a forum for feminist friendly responses.”

    Funny he complains about non-feminist friendly responses. Toy Soldier and others from the Male Survivor perpesective have received pretty profane and ignorant comments as well from outsiders. Yet they’re still allowed to post anyway.

    Well, if Hugo wants to shield himself from the real world then let him do it. He’s an old dinosaur like all the other male feminists. His non-progressive way of thinking will soon be relegated to small corners of the world where they don’t matter anymore.

  12. TS,

    You are quite right to take offense at what Hugo said. Hugo had a whole post on semen as a killer a while ago. He quotes some pretentious “scholar” on the subject, she arrives to elaborate, and I made a pretty strong argument that she is wrong. Hugo never commented, and he pretends the controversy never took place – funny he didn’t link back to this post where this silly view was discussed in more detail.. So I agree with you that he is intellectually dishonest.

    http://hugoschwyzer.net/2009/09/30/men-killing-women-maternal-mortality-heterosexual-desire-and-the-work-of-male-transformation/

  13. “It seems like the post in its entirety was a poorly-constructed ideology of sperm/semen that had more in common with a literature essay than social commentary. Seriously, the writing complete;y reminded me of student essays on world-lit and such. It’d be funny, except, unlike in a literary essay, this guy thinks he’s actually onto something… Crazy.”

    Exactly. The sections on semen and religion had an almost hallucinatory free assocaitiional quality to them. Not a very serious effort at all.

    “Who said I’m Anti-American? I’m anti-Quiverfull, anti-racist, anti-gun, anti-oilwar and anti-oligarchy, pro-democrat, pro-Michael Moore and pro-socialized healthcare. If you find that pathetic, you’re the whiner, Jim.

    So you didn’t write any of this?
    “My generation is only having 1.7 children per couple. Our government keeps us at 0 rather than minus levels of population growth by being KIND to immigrants and foreigners. And that’s why people buy Canadians drinks when they travel abroad and they throw (many) Americans out of bars on their asses.

    You only think think your rhetoric is “truth” and what’s happening up here is sci-fi because you’re blinded by Fox News. That’s another thing we decided to protest and ban up here. It’s bad for intellectual development among our youth.

    Oh, and our government just took in dozens of Iraqi refugees. Many of them cried when thanked us on the news channels. We’ve never had the problems with terrorists and angry immigrants that you guys (believe? you) have had. Air India and the Khadr family, and that’s it. Most of the rest of them work, open stores, pay taxes and gimme good deals on my spices and produce.

    It’s YOUR hatred of brown people that’s based on a FREAKING HOAX!”

    What do totalizing accusations of racism have to do with Quiverrful assholes? If this is the way you deflect and lie and distort a conversation, is there any point in talking to you at all?

    “If you find that pathetic, you’re the whiner, Jim.”

    See what I mean?

  14. “You are quite right to take offense at what Hugo said. Hugo had a whole post on semen as a killer a while ago. He quotes some pretentious “scholar” on the subject, she arrives to elaborate, and I made a pretty strong argument that she is wrong. Hugo never commented, and he pretends the controversy never took place – funny he didn’t link back to this post where this silly view was discussed in more detail.. So I agree with you that he is intellectually dishonest”

    I don’t recall that post, but then I don’t follow everything he writes either. Isn’t quoting some pretentious scholar a pretty common practice? I’m not defending him, but just making an observation in general about the numerous ways that I see people shut down healthy debate and dialogue, even if they have conflicting opinions. It seems it is happening more and more–perhaps a learned behavior instilled in people from being exposed to an education process and their agendas. Look at the news for example and how it has changed. Sometimes I would like to disagree with comments made by posters, yet I feel I get shut down immediately.

    Yes, I see Toysoldier leaves comments and posts from outsiders. To be fair, (I’m not sticking up for Hugo) he has left some posts that don’t hold the same views, but I was unaware of how much he deletes them too.

  15. Karen,

    “Isn’t quoting some pretentious scholar a pretty common practice?”

    You betcha! But in Hugo’s case, Hugo bears the title of professor, and he claims to be an expert on Gender and Feminism, and so I expect him to follow more rigorous standards than a simple polemicist would. I expect him to do more than fire off a supporting quote, or opinion and then acting like he’s dealt fully with an issue.

  16. “Look at the news for example and how it has changed. Sometimes I would like to disagree with comments made by posters, yet I feel I get shut down immediately. ”

    When you feel shut down, what kind of behavior leads to that? Is is a lack of agreement from the other commenters, or is it the standard shaming-shouting-sneering crap that I think you probably mean? Do you get that here?

  17. “You betcha! But in Hugo’s case, Hugo bears the title of professor, and he claims to be an expert on Gender and Feminism, and so I expect him to follow more rigorous standards than a simple polemicist would. I expect him to do more than fire off a supporting quote, or opinion and then acting like he’s dealt fully with an issue.”

    I agree. In some ways I find it bothersome (not the right word) that he’s a tenured professor with the type of influence he has, but then again I’ve encountered this time and again, which is an observation not an excuse. Yes, I believe he should follow more rigorous standards too, especially given his position.

    Jim,

    No, it’s not because of lack of agreement, although I expect given the lack of agreement that it will digress into what you describe. Yes, it is the standard shaming, sneering crap that you speak of.

    No, I don’t get that here in this form. I do not comment here frequently though. I wouldn’t expect Toy Soldier to behave that way either, given what I’ve discerned from how he presents himself. His thoughts on empathy was one reason why I visited and that post provided a lot of insight and I mean that in a very positive way. At Hugo’s site a response was to pick apart and try to correct me in my interpretation of empathy. Given that type of response why would one feel compelled to discuss the merits of a particular subject further. It really stopped the conversation and actually made me doubt whether it was a discussion period.

    I don’t usually have a problem with people who hold a different view than mine, it’s all in the delivery and the methods they use–that’s what stops any discussion. As far as I’m concerned that is one contributing reason as to why problem-solving never seems to occur.

  18. “I don’t usually have a problem with people who hold a different view than mine, it’s all in the delivery and the methods they use–that’s what stops any discussion. ”

    It comes down to tone for me – would you syay the same? Tone tells me if I am talking to someone who really wants to discuss, or just argue, or just score points, or just stage a “silencing”. If I am talking to the last, I feel silenced, I guess i might call it, since I usually just decide to move on.

  19. “At Hugo’s site a response was to pick apart and try to correct me in my interpretation of empathy. ”

    I think I remember that exchange. That’s a probelm with a site like Hugo’s – you get a lot of policing because dogma is protected there rather than examined. He as much as says that his dogma is off limits for examination or debate there.

  20. Jim,

    “It comes down to tone for me – would you syay the same? Tone tells me if I am talking to someone who really wants to discuss, or just argue, or just score points, or just stage a “silencing”. If I am talking to the last, I feel silenced, I guess i might call it, since I usually just decide to move on.”

    Yes I would say the same. Of course Hugo’s method of silencing is deleting posts and making the announcement that the site is feminist friendly. That to me is a method of silencing.

    To use an example from your post above where you quote Xena’s words,

    “It’s YOUR hatred of brown people that’s based on a FREAKING HOAX!”

    That is definitely a method employed to stop a discussion, put one on the defensive and generally silence who they see as an opponet to their views, or whatever. Actually it’s not a discussion when someone uses a method like that. The problem is it tends to work on many people. I generally move on too. I don’t keep up with Hugo’s blog all the time, especially some subjects which I wouldn’t be interested in, or when I see the types of people who comment on his thread seem disinterested in any kind of healthy discussion or dialogue. That is a turn off. I used to frequent another feminist site, but it was once again the same discussions over and over again and it was very limited in scope as well. The moderator suggested I live because I held differing views. People like that damage their cause more than help it, but perhaps they simply don’t care.

    “I think I remember that exchange. That’s a probelm with a site like Hugo’s – you get a lot of policing because dogma is protected there rather than examined. He as much as says that his dogma is off limits for examination or debate there.”

    Yes, I agree. When the emphasis is more on protecting dogma rather than allowing examination it starts to feel more like a cult and that isn’t healthy, at least not to me.

    I don’t recognize your name over at his site, so I wonder if you post there often, or if you do does it get deleted?

  21. Jim, I made those comments in response to a bunch of other right wing shit that Richard Aubrey was on about to try to defend his right wing anti-choice views.

    In a nutshell, his arguments come down to “Those (brown) people breed like rabbits, so we should too, or they’ll take over.”

    Not a very good argument to try to convince people who can’t afford more children to be “Quiverfull assholes”

    Richard is also fond of rat box psych experiments. I posted a link to John B Calhoun’s famous study, which illustrates the effects of overpopulation, in response to those comments.

  22. Thanks, TS. I usually don’t agree with your critiques of Hugo’s posts, but this one is absolutely spot-on. And this is way late, but thank you especially for having the patience and strength to take him to task on that Pal Sarkozy bit *shudder*.

  23. PM, I am still somewhat surprised that Schwyzer did not retract his statements about Pal Sarkozy. I try not to think the worst of people, so while it occurred to me that he would eventually make that kind of outlandish statement, I did not think he would defend such a statement. It seems I held Schwyzer in a much higher regard than I should have.

  24. Xena, are you actually going to point out, specifically, what you see wrong with TS’s post… or are you just going to name-drop a logical fallacy and hope that we (ala “the gorilla illusion”) see it there?

    Kristina: Err, I do hope you expand on that, as I’m curious what made you think you’re a horrible woman?

  25. Hey, Xena? Maybe you can answer a question for me.

    Why is it, whenever a feminist talks to a group of men, she seems to act as if she’s handing-down gospel to the stupidest creatures on planet earth?

    “A WOMAN HAS SPOKEN. PIGS!!!!!”

    Why is that?

  26. If men get blame for the bad parts of pregnancy, they should get credit for the good parts.

    If men are responsible for “killing” all the women who died during childbirth, they are also responsible for the creation all of the creation of new life that pregnancy begins. Don’t thank your mom for creating you, thank your dad.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s