Friday, March 8, 2013

Hugo Schwyzer: Proponent of Mockery


I'm going to revisit the topic from my earlier post "Burn Nice Guys, Burn" where I talked about the Tumblr “The Nice Guys of OkCupid” or NGOKC. The Tumblr targeted men who the anonymous author declared as hypocritical of viewing women as objects who simply owed them sex on demand. In itself, such an expectation is not cool. We have freedom of choice and should never be treated as an object. But that's not the point of today's post.

Update Note: “The Nice Guys of OkCupid” blog was removed from Tumblr (but seems to have risen like the phoenix bird in a new incarnation at another location). It should be noted that Tumblr resists post or blog take downs which is not a bad thing because censorship is easily abused. But in this case, the NGOKC blogger gave too much information such as photos and the general dating site link which means people could find and harass the targeted men. Not cool at all. For other's to join in and judge these men as an @sshat based off the morals of one single blogger's beliefs is mob mentality. So this is one case where I don't believe a blogs removal was censorship, but instead was the removal a tool used for harassment.

But the NGOKC blogger is not who I want to talk about. Instead, I'd like to talk about a supporter of the NGOKC blogger's mockery technique, Hugo Schwytzer who posted the Jezebel article “No One is Entitled to Sex: Why We Should Mock the Nice Guys of OkCupid”. Hugo spelled out his bias when he fundamentally stated these supposed nice guys need to be put in their place via public venues to give them an attitude adjustment.

Hugo: “Mockery, in this instance, isn't so much about being cruel as it is about publicly rejecting the Nice Guys' sense of entitlement to both sex and sympathy.”

Hugo is essentially saying an individual is not allowed to hold their own beliefs and they should be coerced through harassment into holding the same beliefs he has. Seriously? And no one finds a problem with Hugo's approach?

Hey Hugo, since when did two wrongs make a right? Ever heard the term spin doctor? Or more generically, how about propaganda? Ever heard the old joke about management calling shit that which promoteth growth? Choose any name you like, but crap is still crap and mockery is a form of cruelty. Hugo can sugar-coat it as much as he likes but it still stinks.

If someone demands I give them sex, unless force or intimidation is involved, I'm most likely going to laugh. Don't try the "Oh, but you're a man so it's totally different" bull because I've been the target of intimidation more than just a few times. Standing at five foot three and weighing 112 pounds, I'm no monster. People try to intimidate me more often than you'd think because the small guy is the first target anyone sees. I can complain or I can stand up for myself. I'll do both, but I will also try to be fair and acknowledge when part of the blame falls upon me, then I must take accountability for my own actions (or lack there of). 

My current problem with Hugo's article is that it goes a step beyond simply saying the nice-guys have an attitude that is self-centered. He not only says that they can't have their own beliefs (regardless of whether they are logical beliefs or not) but that a mob-mentality is a necessity to force the men in-line with the group's belief. Hugo's belief is a magnitude greater in its inherent evil through its subtlety  making these supposed nice guys seem like, well, tame guys in comparison to the shit Hugo is trying to convince others to carry out.
Hugo: "While only a small percentage of these guys may be prone to imminent violence, virtually all of them insist, in one way or another, that women owe them."
Ever heard the term leading the witness? It's dangerous to make any of prediction about a person's future actions. Dragging in a totally different topic of violence while discussing the issue of mockery is truly a heinous diversionary tactic to paint these men as potentially violent criminals. The topic was about the NGOKC blogger's use of mockery, not about whether the men have a potential for violence or not. Using the qualifier of "some" does not reduce the deviousness of Hugo's statement either. Sneaky weasel words like that irritate me. Hugo is a spin doctor in my opinion.

One other interesting observation is how the terminology changes depending upon who the victim is. If the victim is a woman as in this case, the males are creepy, potentially violent thugs who need to be stopped cold in their tracks. But typically, when a man complains about scheming women on dating sites, then it's merely someone being whiny or even gullible in the case when men get scammed. Funny how the gate tends to only swing one way with some ay?

Add to this the fact that some authors on Jezebel like Lindy West say feminism is about treating people with equality. So I ask, where is the equality in mocking these men? Does equality only applies for those you agree with? There is no equality in mockery. It is a tool of harassment, a tool of spin doctoring and is loosely a propaganda-style technique of devaluing these men based off supposition. Some will argue with my usage of the term supposition, but unless we know more history about the men in question, we're making judgments with insufficient information.

Hugo is free to hold any beliefs he likes. That's what true equality is about. But when he steps into the role of publically condoning mockery and to some extent, promoting mockery, he is speakihng out against equality. Furthermore, by posting his statement on Jezebel, a site that will be strongly against the supposed Nice Guys of OkCupid, I find it difficult believing his intent is anything other than trying to promote harassment against these men. Personally, I think Hugo has crossed the line into villainy. When crappy actions are justified by their perpetrator(s), it doesn't change the fact that it's a fine line between champion of justice and a selfish villain.

Update Summary: Public criticism is not the issue I'm raising. We're all free to criticize others constructively. We're even free to criticize destructively but in doing so, we become mired down in a vortex of claims and counter-claims from anyone who disagrees enough to speak out (just as I'm doing in this article). Schwyzer spoke out in the manner he believed was necessary as did I. But Schwyzer also clearly uses non-constructive criticism as the core of his campaign technique to degrade his target, something I find far less useful. Plain and simple, point out issues is one thing but using negative criticisms risks backlash.