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The trouble with male allies

As I’ve said before, when it comes to men being feminist allies, “show, don’t tell.” Now, more than ever before, feminists should be skeptical of men who claim the title of “feminist” or “feminist ally.” We’ve learned a number of things (one would hope) from the Hugo Schwyzer debacle – one of those things being that we should be skeptical of any man who claims to be an authority on feminism (particularly when these men have a history of abuse, but in general as well). In an interview with activist and writer, John Stoltenberg, published here at Feminist Current this week, he responds to the question of where “pro-feminist men” fit into our movement with this: “First of all I don’t think any man of conscience—whether self-identified as pro-feminist...
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Transcript: Meghan Murphy interviews Shira Tarrant

This interview was transcribed by Ernesto Aguilar and was originally published at his site: People of Color Organize! This post was reprinted with permission. This is a flash transcript of an interview by Meghan Murphy with Shira Tarrant, conducted Feb. 27, 2012. This transcript reflects the broadcast version of the interview aired on Vancouver Co-op Radio. The podcasted version of the full show can be found at rabble.ca Referenced in: Men, Feminism, Race, Movements and the Cult of Hugo Schwyzer: An Interview with Ernesto Aguilar   INTERVIEW:  Meghan Murphy: Do you think a man can be a feminist? Shira Tarrant: I think we can all agree that discrimination and sexual assault, stereotyping are things we all want to fix. And the fact is that men have always been part...
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Men, Feminism, Race, Movements and the Cult of Hugo Schwyzer: An Interview with Ernesto Aguilar

Hugo Schwyzer, a Pasadena City College (Calif.) instructor promoted in some circles for his work related to gender, has been at the center of an online controversy since December when he disclosed an attempt to kill an ex-girlfriend. The Atlantic recently covered the story, for those not familiar with Schwyzer or the incident in question. The story, the defense and the reactions since have created many debates about men in feminism, forgiveness and violence against women. The following is the transcript of an interview conducted by writer and radio host Meghan Murphy. A shortened version of the interview aired Feb. 27, 2012 on Vancouver Co-op Radio. This transcript is of the full interview. Further thoughts to add to this discussion: I have not written or spoken much about the...
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The Pornstitution* Debates: Some thoughts on civil debate with Hugo Schwyzer et al.

I wanted to call this post ‘Well, that was a big waste of time’, but am working on presenting a semblance of professionalism and making an effort against cynicism. I’ll keep working at it… While the purpose of these conversations was to, somehow, engage a civil debate between liberal and radical feminist strains of thought, I am having trouble feeling like this was anything other than a pretty big, fat, fail. Regardless of what was argued by myself, or by commenters, the responses from those who advocate for ‘sex work’ sounded eerily similar. These were some of the more common points made in response to my and/or some of the commenters’ arguments around prostitutution / pornography and misogyny: 1)    All men aren’t the same and therefore arguments around what...
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Men, Feminism, Power, Pornography & Slutwalk: Part two of a conversation with Hugo Schwyzer

Hugo Schwyzer is a gender studies professor at a college in Southern California, a writer, and was an organizer of Slutwalk LA. Though our opinions and positions diverge significantly in some areas, in an effort to engage in civil debate and have an honest conversation, Hugo and I have asked one another 5 questions, posting our respective responses here and at hugoschwyzer.net Hugo’s responses to my questions were posted on Monday. I look forward to hearing readers thoughts and comments on these conversations. Hugo and I will respond to one another late next week and I would like to be able to include some reader comments in my response. Thanks to Hugo for his interest in and willingness to engage in these conversations and thank you to commenters for...
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Feminism, Porn, and SlutWalk: part one of a conversation with Hugo Schwyzer

Originally posted at Hugo Schwyzer’s blog. Hugo Schwyzer is a gender studies professor at a college in Southern California, a writer, and was an organizer of Slutwalk LA. Though our opinions and positions diverge significantly in some areas, in an effort to engage in civil debate and have an honest conversation, Hugo and I have asked one another 5 questions, posting our respective responses here and at hugoschwyzer.net My responses to Hugo’s questions will be posted on Wednesday. I look forward to hearing readers thoughts and comments on these conversations. Hugo and I will respond to one another the following week and I would like to be able to include some of your comments in this response. Thanks to Hugo for his interest in and willingness to engage in...
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'Big Tent' feminism? Sounds great. Feels a lot like the status quo.

What is it that one means when arguing for ‘Big Tent’ feminism? Inclusivity, for sure, ‘non-judgment’, perhaps, and diversity, well….maybe. While the argument for ‘Big Tent’ feminism, frequently written about by Hugo Schwyzer, who also writes for The Good Men Project, is posited as being simply about allowing space for various perspectives and positions in feminism, the discourse, at times, seems to do the opposite. Including prostituted women or women who work in the sex industry in feminism is excellent. These voices are just as much a part of feminism as anyone’s. That isn’t up for discussion. The issue that many feminists have had with Schwyzer’s ‘Big Tent’ feminism, placed as a counter-argument to those who question the positioning of the sex industry as an ally to feminist activism,...
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