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How Not To Be a Male Feminist Creep: 8 Lessons From the Ben Schoen Meltdown

So @benschoen, the putatively feminist co-founder of feminspire and the former co-host of a popular Harry Potter podcast, is having a bit of a meltdown on Twitter at the moment.

Well, more than a bit of a meltdown. He’s flying apart like the washing machine in the video above, announcing and quickly canceling online “press conferences,” lashing out at critics with bizarre “jokes” and weird threats, and generally acting like a giant ass.

For example:

https://twitter.com/benschoen/status/633325425272451072

https://twitter.com/benschoen/status/633712589265088512

https://twitter.com/benschoen/status/633715930883846144

https://twitter.com/benschoen/status/633468512250535940

https://twitter.com/benschoen/status/633461383309475840

https://twitter.com/benschoen/status/633422642805084162

https://twitter.com/benschoen/status/633398579042865154

https://twitter.com/benschoen/status/633322695397142528

https://twitter.com/benschoen/status/633715165054267393

https://twitter.com/benschoen/status/633382676746121216

In addition to joking about menstruation and comparing himself to woman-beating pro football player Ray Rice, he’s also made some super-funny jokes about committing suicide:

https://twitter.com/benschoen/status/633322086551953408

https://twitter.com/benschoen/status/633342393815842820

https://twitter.com/benschoen/status/633382587113820160

Oh, and for some reason he keeps mentioning Hitler.

https://twitter.com/benschoen/status/633716053026205696

https://twitter.com/benschoen/status/633397429820354560

https://twitter.com/benschoen/status/633390461143654400

The whole thing started yesterday when Buzzfeed writer Grace Spelman posted screenshots of some Tweets and messages Schoen had sent her — first hitting on her in an exceedingly creepy manner and then reacting with fury and additional creepiness when she politely told him she had a boyfriend.

After Spelman posted her screenshots, other women came forward who said they’d had their own weird experiences with Schoen, including the co-founder of feminspire and a former writer for the site, both of whom evidently left the site because they couldn’t deal with Schoen’s creepy ass any more.

You can read more of the details over on NYmag.com, or on Jezebel, or on Spelman’s Twitter timeline. Or watch the continuing horrorshow live on Twitter.

Are there any lessons to be learned from all this? Why, yes, there are. Here are 8 Ways to Not Be a Male Feminist Creep, inspired by Schoen’s meltdown.

1) If you’ve never spoken to a woman before and the only reason she knows who you are is because she was a fan of a podcast you were on eight years ago, don’t be surprised if she doesn’t respond to a completely out-of-the-blue tweet to her.

2) And for god’s sake don’t try to force her to respond by going all stalkery on her.

CMnrMrmUYAEz48D CMnrMxnUAAEBEKc3) And if she doesn’t respond to your stalkerish Tweets, don’t write her an even creepier Facebook message, I mean what the fuck were you even hoping to accomplish with this, dude?

CMnrvCSUAAQvTWj

4) And if she actually responds politely to all this creepiness and gently suggests you move on (see above), don’t send her a series of angry, insulting Tweets.

CMnsVWMVEAAP7X5

 5) And then don’t write her a furious 1500 word diatribe that you don’t send, then write an, er, “apology” that you do send that starts off by mentioning the furious 1500 word diatribe you didn’t send.

CMnsxrWUsAE51Um

6) When the woman you’ve thoroughly creeped out with all of this shit posts screenshots to Twitter, don’t dig your hole deeper with an endless stream of awful Tweets (see above).

7) And when your meltdown becomes so spectacular that it actually attracts press coverage, don’t send a message to one press outlet declaring that

I have done more for the cause of advancing women’s rights than any of the people who are criticizing me.

Because, dude, you haven’t.

And even if you had, it still wouldn’t justify any of this.

But, you know what, you don’t need to remember all of these rules if you can just remember the following:

8) If you send a message to a woman you’ve never spoken to before in your life and she doesn’t respond, just move the fuck on.

How hard is that?

 

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isidore13
isidore13
5 years ago

Yeah, eugenicides, you brought up the term MRA first, unless you can post a link to someone calling you that first, I missed it, too.

eugenicides
5 years ago
Reply to  andiexist

How is it not against the comment policy to attack woc and call them MRAs for leaving their relatively harmless opinion tho. I don’t understand. Calling women MRAs for sharing their opinion is not a misogynist attack? I’m really asking. You should be able to leave an anonymous comment on here without people calling you a man and basically demanding you put your name or picture online to prove you’re a woman.

eugenicides
5 years ago
Reply to  andiexist

I hate cliquish sites. So basically you can al just gang up on someone to attack them because you’re regulars, call anyone a man if you want because you’re regulars, etc. I’m an ableist but calling me an idiot for no reason isn’t an ableist comment?

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
5 years ago

“Cliquish.”

Yeah, they’re a sock.

01010101010101
5 years ago

Guys I don’t know how to change my screen name but I altered my display name to 1s and 0s for now.

Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

You’re an idiot, or incredibly self-absorbed. There has to be no other explanation for this level of willing ignorance.

eugenicides | August 21, 2015 at 5:28 pm
“So you snap instead of trying to clear up what may have been a misunderstanding, and that’s somehow our fault?”

I will not apologize that people called me an MRA.

As Kirby pointed out, you threw the word around first, sugarplum.

My initial comment was not an attack. I never said he was bad. I never said he shouldn’t have a site. I never even suggested he apologize.

ALL I ASKED FOR WAS SOME CLARIFICATION. CAN YOU NOT READ?

Or will you conveniently ignore my initial post to you again because it doesn’t fit your victim narrative?

Where the hell did the vitriol come from? It came from before I flipped out – and yes, I flip out at being called an MRA – when I had only left that one comment.

The only one who gave you any “vitriol” before you flipped out all over us was Bina, and she, like everyone else here, was trusting her trolldar.

Thanks for proving us right.

Like I said everyone is entitled to free speech but please explain how the hell calling me an idiot, MRA and all manner of other things makes ANY sense in response to my initial comment.

None of it makes sense to your initial comment, however trollish as it sounded.

Most of it came after you decided that we’d somehow offended your delicate sensibilities.

And I still don’t understand the mental hoops you have to be going through in order to take issue with me saying yes, you have free speech, but no that was not warranted.

Today I learned: You can’t ask for clarification or think that anyone’s trolling on the internet, because you’ll hurt their fee-fees.

That’s my opinion.

And it’s my opinion you need to step away from the keyboard and take a fucking nap because you’re cranky as fuck and throwing a fucking tantrum because some people thought you were acting like a troll, and you’re only proving us right as time goes on.

It wasn’t warranted and I don’t act like that unless insults are already flying.

Apparently this applies to anything you think is an insult as well.

It’s your prerogative to act differently and it’s mine to find that absolutely wild. You have the control to change the tone of the conversation so any idea that I want people to defer to me is wild as well.

You’re the one who snapped because we asked you why you thought the way you did, not us.

If you’re nice, I’ll be nice.

This sounds like that bullshit “respects is earn” nonsense we covered here a while ago.

If you call me an MRA troll, I’m going to be rude to you.

Funny how none of us called you an MRA until you flipped your fucking shit.

It seems like you the ones who want deference… after calling me all manner of nonsense for no reason you want to whine about be being rude? Really?

No whining here. I’m just wondering why the fuck you’re still so fucking angry and refusing to listen to anyone else.

Oh wait, it’s because you want to be the good person here regardless of your shitty behavior, and we’re all just meanies.

andiexist
andiexist
5 years ago
Reply to  eugenicides

I actually did say that you aren’t necessarily an ableist, just that those phrases were considered such on this site. And no, “idiot” is not considered an ableist slur on this site. You are free to disagree, but that’s part of why I suggested you read the comments policy…

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
5 years ago

@eugenicides:

Kirby, you’re a liar. I was off this site for a couple days before I saw anyone respond to my initial comment so me being called an MRA obviously predates this.

No, I’m not. I honestly didn’t see anyone call you an MRA in this thread inbetween your first comment and your second. Even did a search for “MRA.” Feel free to link to one if you know where it is, just copy-paste the url if you don’t want to deal with the <a href=”url”> stuff.

Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

eugenicides | August 21, 2015 at 5:36 pm
How is it not against the comment policy to attack woc and call them MRAs for leaving their relatively harmless opinion tho. I don’t understand. Calling women MRAs for sharing their opinion is not a misogynist attack? I’m really asking. You should be able to leave an anonymous comment on here without people calling you a man and basically demanding you put your name or picture online to prove you’re a woman.

“Why would you call me an MRA even though you had no idea I was a woc until I said so and why aren’t you believing that at even though it’s a troll tactic to claim that you’re part of a marginalized group in order to dodge criticism? Why would you ask for clarification on my opinion instead of taking it at face value?

Why are you calling me things none of you ever called me?!

You’re assholes!”

I can’t even right now. It’s Poe’s Law in action.

I can’t fucking tell if this is sincere or not.

01010101010101
5 years ago

Look, everyone has their opinions on web etiquette and there is no law dictating what you say. But if I saw a random comment on a site that I was a regular on and it seemed aggressive or combative but I did not know the person, I would not jump to calling them an MRA, a troll and an idiot. Once you attack someone it’s basically a free for all, and scroll back in the comments. I did NOT begin the attacks, name calling, and accusing people of being trolls.

01010101010101
5 years ago

But I said twice why cats against feminism offended me and the attacks persist.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
5 years ago

This is the first comment I can find calling eugenicides an MRA. Well after she called Bina one, and also after the drama was underway.

01010101010101
5 years ago
Reply to  andiexist

I’m just sick of this. This is ridiculous. The person who keeps lying and claiming they wanted my genuine opinion on cats against feminism is still trolling me after I commented about it twice. This site is a cesspool.

01010101010101
5 years ago

Parodoxical I don’t have to fight to be the “good person” (whatever that means) because I didn’t do anything wrong by criticizing cats against feminism.

Ellesar
Ellesar
5 years ago

I do not know eugenicides’ (yes, really inappropriate name) gender, age, sexual orientation, ethnicity etc etc. But what I DO know is that they are acting in bad faith.

Either let it go and move on or go away. I don’t know what the hell you are trying to achieve with this line of argument.

Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

Let’s play the “Here’s your proof!” game! I’ve went and Ctrl + F’d “Misogynist”, since eugenicides was claiming that we called her a misogynist multiple times on this thread!

I’ve also included links so you guys can click back and see the posts in their entirety!

All the mentions of the word “misogynist” on page 1 of this thread:

weirwoodtreehugger | August 18, 2015 at 9:36 pm
[…] Because it’s okay to be a misogynist to other women, but it’s not okay to be a misogynist to your woman! I told him that by dismissing women’s experiences with misogyny, he was enabling some other guy to treat his daughter like a sex object later on. I hope it sinks in.

TOTAL: 1 mention.

All the mentions of the word “misogynist” on page 2 of this thread:

dslucia1 | August 19, 2015 at 9:30 am
[…] Feminism stands for a lot of incredibly important things that I support, but I can’t really in good conscience say that I’m an “ally” when the most I’ll do is mock and laugh at misogynist creeps and try and fail to get websites I frequent to ban them.

TOTAL: 1 mention.

All the mentions of the word “misogynist” on page 3 of this thread:

eugenicides | August 21, 2015 at 4:40 pm
I found Cats Against Feminism trivializing. I did not feel like he approached the issue of the female anti-feminists with the same seriousness that he does blatant misogynistic MRA trolls. I did not like the symbolism of comparing the largely female group to cats as it reminds me of other memes, which are misogynistic. I didn’t like the people who ran amok with the meme and used it to be misogynistic. confusedcatsagainstfeminism.tumblr.com

(This comment was posted two times through the page.)

weirwoodtreehugger | August 21, 2015 at 4:49 pm
You’re angry that the author of a blog that mocks misogyny made a secondary site to mock misogyny? Okay. But sure, not being able to read your mind must mean we think David is our god. Are we misogynists or misandrists? I can’t keep up!

eugenicides | August 21, 2015 at 4:59 pm
Paradoxical, the only comments I saw are referring to me as an idiot, MRA, troll and misogynist all for leaving that one comment. […]

Whelp, here’s claim one that we called them a misogynist, and I’ve yet to see any proof!

eugenicides | August 21, 2015 at 5:02 pm
[…] Don’t you guys get actual violent misogynist trolls here or is there slim pickings and that’s why you have to pretend I’m an MRA? I mean seriously.

(This part was also later quoted by me.)

eugenicides | August 21, 2015 at 5:36 pm
How is it not against the comment policy to attack woc and call them MRAs for leaving their relatively harmless opinion tho. I don’t understand. Calling women MRAs for sharing their opinion is not a misogynist attack? I’m really asking. You should be able to leave an anonymous comment on here without people calling you a man and basically demanding you put your name or picture online to prove you’re a woman.

Uh oh. Apparently eugenicides called us misogynists?

(And this post was also quoted by me.)

TOTAL: 12 mentions.

And eugenicides made most of them! And called US misogynists for apparently calling her an MRA!

01010101010101
5 years ago

I don’t see what your endgame is. You allege that you wanted to know my opinion on cats against feminism WHICH IS A LIE as I’ve posted it twice and none of you care. You just want your entertainment mocking someone who disagrees with you. I’ve been nice to people who are nice to me but I am supposed to be nice to people who accuse me of being an MRA troll. DOES NOT COMPUTE.

Jarnsaxa
Jarnsaxa
5 years ago

Eugenie — While I do agree this place can be pretty cliquish, I would strongly encourage you to go back and read a few old comment threads. It would help you see, I think, why people here assumed you were a troll, especially with that unfortunate handle.

The same opinion would probably have gone over better if couched in more conciliatory words, or even explained why you found Cats to be problematic, as you later did.

I think it’s legitimate to poke a bit at David’s privilege–the thing is, he does it too, and he points out fairly consistently that he *has* privilege and doesn’t receive the online hate and bigotry a woman running a similar blog would get.

Unfortunately, at this point it might well be too late to get any kind of positive interaction here. I’m not trying to tone police, although it might sound like it, but the reality is, if you go to a place that other people feel is an online home, and if you don’t read the rules and if you do post a negative, ill-explained comment, however harmless, right off the bat, you won’t usually get a positive reaction.

My own advice would either be to back away from the comments, either temporarily or permanently as you see fit. Definitely if you return use a new name.

osa
osa
5 years ago

trollolololol

Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

“Here’s your proof!” ROUND 2! This time, we search for “MRA”! (I’m not counting in the article or from sidebar stuff, since the accusation is that the commenters called eugenicides that.)

All mentions of “MRA” on page 1:

delphi_ote | August 18, 2015 at 4:21 pm
[…]

Dude, eating crow is a lot easier than living in a world you set ablaze. You’re staring down the barrel of a future hanging out with MRAs and MGOTOWs. Any regular reader of this blog will tell you that’s NOT the way to go.

anon | August 18, 2015 at 4:38 pm
Would anyone like to place bets on how long it takes for migtaos and emrays to paint that raving jackass as the poster boy for male feminists?

makingfitzcarraldo | August 18, 2015 at 4:41 pm
[…] He is a perfect fit for the mras, anyway. Emma Watson ignored him at a party. He failed to get her attention too. They will have bitching about her in common too.

Paradoxical Intention | August 18, 2015 at 8:40 pm
[quote from Tara the Antisocial Social Worker]

I think it’s from that episode of Parks and Recreation where they talked about MRAs.

I have it bookmarked because I always want to have it handy. XD

booburry | August 18, 2015 at 10:03 pm
Also, you think this guy is auditioning for a spot in the men’s right bowel movement? He could use the whole “I was one of them, so listen to this crap I just made up about their secret cabal meetings” type thing. MRAs would eat that shit up.

TOTAL: 5 mentions.

Mentions of “MRA” on page 2:

kirbywarp | August 19, 2015 at 11:54 am
O_____________O

It’s like how a male feminist would act in an MRA fantasy, where the feminist gets her comeuppance for wanting to have autonomy and financial independence.

I’m assuming he didn’t have female friends after that stunt…

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs | August 19, 2015 at 2:23 pm
Oh, it’s the same Mark? I can never tell, it seems like every second MRA is named Mark…

eugenicides | August 21, 2015 at 4:05 pm
[Quoting Bina]

YOU ARE LITERALLY AN MRA DO NOT COME AT ME.

OH LOOK.

Literally NO ONE called you an MRA before you called Bina an MRA!

TOTAL: 3 mentions.

LOOKS LIKE YOU’RE FULL OF SHIT, WHO WOULD HAVE GUESSED?

I could go on, but considering you’re fucking 0 for 2 at this point, I don’t see any reason to.

So, what about that “I’m not mean to people unless they’re mean to me” bullshit now?

katz
katz
5 years ago

I, for one, have zero interest in any drama llama who posts once and then spends the rest of the thread wanking about how we treated her.

Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

kirbywarp | August 21, 2015 at 5:43 pm
This is the first comment I can find calling eugenicides an MRA. Well after she called Bina one, and also after the drama was underway.

And that wasn’t even SFHC saying explicitly “this person is a troll”, but rather questioning if they were an MRA troll or just an idiot.

01010101010101
5 years ago

K, Katz. Quit your trolling. I posted 2 comments with the explanation of my cats against feminism remark and NONE of you care! You are trolling me!

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
5 years ago

Somebody better keep this thread bookmarked… when next month we get someone talking about how the commentariat are so cliquish that they gleefully chased away a woman of color simply for the crime of offering a small criticism of the blog. -_-

01010101010101
5 years ago

I genuinely don’t understand how anyone likes this Bina person or calls them a feminist when they literally said this
“and doesn’t think a white man has the right to criticize/satirize/mock other mostly-white dudes”

That’s racist and misogynistic. Straight up.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
5 years ago
Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

kirbywarp | August 21, 2015 at 6:18 pm
Somebody better keep this thread bookmarked… when next month we get someone talking about how the commentariat are so cliquish that they gleefully chased away a woman of color simply for the crime of offering a small criticism of the blog. -_-

Next month? I’ll be surprised if it doesn’t happen three days from now.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
5 years ago

I doubt the bookmarked thread’ll matter. It hasn’t every single other time.

semaphore
5 years ago

Wow. Talk about space for discussion. I remember a time when this site had way more MRA trolls, and regulars weren’t that hostile to different opinions. It’s weird how no one seem to understand that confused cats against feminism could potentially be offensive to some feminists. There isn’t even any room for discussion! I personally don’t think it was David’s greatest work (I also believe it was somewhat trivializing), but it doesn’t change that I appreciate his work overall.

@scented chairs
“I’m a gay woman. Other regulars are bi/pan women. Black women. Hispanic women. Asian women. Trans women. Trans men. Nonbinary people. Even cishet white dudes!”

Well, if you remember the last manboobz ‘census’, it’s pretty fucking white around here. There’s a shitty history of white feminists not listening to feminists who aren’t white, and it might be nice to start listening. That’s what makes mainstream feminism so lily white and it’s pathetic. You don’t have to agree with her, but come on, David can take mild criticism.

01010101010101
5 years ago

“I think part of the problem is that you came in criticizing a blog you’ve now admitted you’ve barely read, assuming that your issue hadn’t already been addressed earlier when this blog is years old and has hundreds of posts.”

But I don’t have to read his entire blog to criticize one thing, Cats Against Feminism. I did not rail against his blog in any way. I’ve only had one issue with it, which is the aforementioned meme. I see what you mean but I admitted openly I was not familiar with this commenting system or what people had commented on previous threads. When I asked if anyone was going to bring that up I meant in that thread, specifically. Of this specific article. Because it’s about male feminists, or a self proclaimed “male feminist.” And I found the whole thing ironic because we’re still all on a site run by a white guy who gets inordinate amount of praise for his feminism (whether he proclaims himself a feminist or not) and allyship, yet the thing he got arguably the most media attention and praise for is Cats Against Feminism.

Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

01010101010101 | August 21, 2015 at 6:24 pm
I genuinely don’t understand how anyone likes this Bina person or calls them a feminist when they literally said this
“and doesn’t think a white man has the right to criticize/satirize/mock other mostly-white dudes”

That’s racist and misogynistic. Straight up.

Alright, I’ll bite: How is a white man criticizing/satirizing/mocking other mostly-white dudes racist and misogynistic?

isidore13
isidore13
5 years ago

What praise are you referring to? And again, you’re assuming that this issue has never been addressed on this blog. How often does he need to address this issue to satisfy you? Would you be happy if he added some sort of disclaimer to every single post?

bvh
bvh
5 years ago

“It’s weird how no one seem to understand that confused cats against feminism could potentially be offensive to some feminists.”

To a reasonable person reading of CCAF , it is obviously a parody. No “Poe’s law”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poe's_law

is in play. It might not be everyone’s taste, but hardly offensive.

On topic: as a Harry Potter fan, this is very disappointing. Most of us were inspired to be more into, well, social justice. More links about this guy who is clearly a Deatheater:

http://www.themarysue.com/ben-schoen-grace-spelman/

http://jezebel.com/former-harry-potter-podcast-host-harasses-female-writer-1724700000

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
5 years ago

Eh, I didn’t find Cats Against Feminism funny anyway. Like, there was ONE that was good but otherwise it all fell flat.

cupisnique
5 years ago

This kid is sadly still going strong on twitter with his meltdown. The whole thing is bothersome because I’m sure he has gotten harassed as a result and it just gives him reason to point fingers back at his “attackers”.

He clearly behaved inappropriately and should have apologized and moved on, but this is just turning into a shit show where no one wins.

bvh
bvh
5 years ago

He’s one of those people who hide his anti social problems for years, then something happens and *meltdown*. Not sure how true this is, but if so, it’s bad:

“Ben admitting to peeing on sleeping girls at a Harry Potter convention.”

https://twitter.com/SarahSnitch/status/633441188884799488

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