Dark Brightness

Bleak Theology: Hopeful Science

The academic pimp

I used to think Schwyzer was a feminist male, that is a sex traitor, a coward, and a moron. He certainly argues like a second rate second wave feminist.. Sunshine Mary has called him out on his advice to young woman,

Schwyzer’s suggestions make me laugh because they are essentially saying the opposite of what I said in my Revenge Porn post, which is that girls must understand that their behavior and choices always have consequences. He is saying that girls should have the right to dress like sluts, expect only men they find hot (the vaunted 20%) to look at them, sext pictures that will somehow cease to exist just as soon as the girl wants them to, and explore sexual activity without any consequences.

The suggestions Schwyzer seductively hisses in young women’s ears are meant to deceive girls into believing they can engage in consequence-free sluttery. He is a slithery snake whose advice for teenaged girls is simply his attempt at grooming the up-and-coming generation of sluts to fill his Gender Studies classroom and his bed.

Well, that makes him a fool. But this is far worse. Ginmar notes.

This weekend I asked Scarleteen executive director Heather Corinna whether Schwyzer had made the group aware of his past before coming on board with them. She said that he had not.

When Schwyzer was approached to write for Scarleteen in 2009 he knew that he had for years engaged in sexual activity with his students. He knew that he had a personal history of domestic violence. But he withheld these facts from Scarleteen — a group that provides sex education and crisis counseling to young people — and in so doing deprived the organization of the chance to make an informed decision as to whether to be affiliated with him.

The question of which elements of his past a person like Schwyzer is obligated to divulge to a group like Scarleteen is a thorny one, and if he had simply concealed facts from them that he had similarly concealed from the rest of the world, the ethics of his choice could perhaps be debated.

But when Schwyzer started writing for Scarleteen his history of sexual misconduct with students was, though unknown to them, a matter of public record. He had first admitted those relationships online in 2005, and had written about them extensively since. And when he later described the attempted murder of his girlfriend in a blogpost, he again chose not to notify them.

Schwyzer’s failure to reveal such potentially explosive information was an act of appalling recklessness. As a small non-profit working in the field of teen sexuality, Scarleteen relies on fragile networks of financial and institutional support — support that is precarious in the best of circumstances

Now, I don’t go anywhere near sites like Scarleteen: there are many reasons: I’m male, I’m the parent of teenage boys, and that is a site for teenage girls. Who should be discussing those issues with their mothers (and fathers).   But there is a bigger problem.

If you are an academic, you should not be sleeping with students.  Nor dating them. It is akin to a therapist or medic sleeping with a patient or client, or a priest a parishioner… and you should not be using violence or coercion.  Full stop.  If you are an academic, single and heterosexual, you have to accept that a fair number of the people you work with will be young and attractive — and you have to treat them as your daughter, not as your lover.

The same thing applies to women, of course. So the idea that this man — couching is words in feminist terms — is encouraging women to explore being promiscuous is, to this reformed parent, immoral. But then sleeping with the same people is evil. Exploitative. It is the act of an academic pimp.  He would be drummed out of my University — and he should be shunned by all players in the ongoing renegotiation of relationships as the current wave of feminism is seen to be increasingly bankrupt.


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