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.