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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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Judas Peckerwood
Judas Peckerwood
5 years ago

A man, yes. A feminist, no. Not by a long shot.

makingfitzcarraldo
makingfitzcarraldo
5 years ago

There were rumors about Schoen pulling this on young Harry Potter fans when he was still in high school. With all the fake feminists vlogger/YouTube stars preying on underage fans it isn’t surprising he tried the same trick with feminspire. What a perfect cover. But I’m a feminist!

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

comment image

(Well, at least this may distract people from the other thread a bit perhaps maybe not at all it won’t.)

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
5 years ago

Menstruation will too the discussion.

… Huh?

EcoFemBot
EcoFemBot
5 years ago

I’m so sick of seeing women have to deal with this type of attention. (I’ve been reading too much straighwhiteboystexting.tumblr) And when you respond in the best way possible, you still get harassed. Gross. Leave us alone.

foxkit
foxkit
5 years ago

Ben Schoen: king of the Nice Guys.

delphi_ote
delphi_ote
5 years ago

I’ve heard the expression “flame out” before, but I’ve never seen such a spectacular demonstration. Every last bridge is already burning, but this guy is still pouring gasoline on the fires.

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.

bekabot
5 years ago

So. It seems we must add “Never tweet while drunk or high” to “Never post while drunk or high (or both).”

Also: “While drunk, high, or both, do not follow a post up with a tweet. Do not follow a post up with many tweets. It’s like chasing beer with wine. Bad idea.”

Rules for living…

weirwoodtreehugger
5 years ago

Isn’t it amazing how quickly “allies” turn on us? If you’re only a feminist as long as women you think are pretty are flattering and deferential to you, you’re not a fucking feminist! If you’re support comes with the explicit or implicit threat that you’ll become abusive if we don’t make our bodies available to you, you. Are. Not. A. Feminist.

Also, what the fuck has this no talent assclown done to advance women’s rights? Does he think offering a job to a woman if she lets him sexually harass her is feminist? I’ve never even heard of this chuckle fuck until now!

Ugh. Sorry for the rantiness. This sort of thing really angers me.

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

I never even heard of this guy before now.

Flamia Minu
5 years ago

comment image “feminist”

anon
anon
5 years ago

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
makingfitzcarraldo
5 years ago

He was a twerp in his Harry Potter days too. Rumor has it he took sexual advantage of underage girls at the conventions; was a jerk to the mugglecast cohost about her weight. 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.

Fnoicby
Fnoicby
5 years ago

The levels of entitlement wafting off this guy are astounding. She already gave him an explanation, though she owed him NONE. And it’s not good enough, he figures he’s deserving of the “real” explanation. Sick.

Malice W Underland
5 years ago

What is it with male feminists having very public meltdowns? At least Hugo Schwyzer’s meltdown was an apology for being a fraud and an asshole. http://www.buzzfeed.com/alisonvingiano/why-did-controversial-feminist-hugo-schwyzer-have-a-twitter#.trz91GwA2A

Peaches
Peaches
5 years ago

Yeahhh, no idea who this guy is. But he reminds me of some of the guy ‘friends’ I’ve had in the past who had no problems creepily hitting on me/all the other women around them.

sff9
sff9
5 years ago

The introductory video may be the single best video I’ve ever seen (well, the single best video not including animals, for sure).

anon
anon
5 years ago

@David Futrelle Maybe he’s running for Mr. Nice Guy 2015.

Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

http://media.giphy.com/media/9wZMlnM0R06l2/giphy.gif

Ah, “male feminists”, such fair-weather allies. As long as we’re patting them on the head and telling them they’re not like those other men, they’re content to be “feminists” and do the bare-minimum of what it takes to be a decent human being.

But the moment we stop lavishing them with attention and the moment we tell them “I’m sorry, I have a boyfriend, please stop hitting on me.”, they turn into every other asshole douchebro we’ve ever faced ever. “Why did you really turn me down?! Why did you hurt my feelings?! You’re a hack and your work is garbage! But I’ve done more for feminism and women’s rights than you’ve ever done, you bitch! Are you on your period?!”

And men wonder why I don’t like men calling themselves “feminists”. I’m just going to throw this right on the pile of examples, right on top of Eron Gjoni, who also harassed the fuck out of women and was a shitty human being while claiming to be a feminist.

(For the record, I find that when a man who calls himself a feminist is confronted with the idea that some women aren’t comfortable with him calling himself such, and this example would surely explain why, he has two options: Double down and insist that he be allowed to call himself a feminist, which means that he doesn’t give two flying fucks about feminism, he just wants cookies, or, he understands and calls himself a feminist ally instead, and that means he understands that feminism isn’t about him and his ego, and understands that he has to work at making sure women feel comfortable in his presence.)

Nop
Nop
5 years ago

An extra-creepy factor in this is that they first met (online) when she was 14. I get the strong vibe from the way he’s acting that he’s been waiting the whole time for her to be ‘legal’ before overtly hitting on her.

NicolaLuna
NicolaLuna
5 years ago

I just… no. The fucking sense of entitlement shown by these weiners. I think most women experience this online, sadly. I know I’ve experienced it a lot of times.

You shut their advances down politely -they freak out at you, get abusive.
You ignore their messages – they freak out at how rude you are for ignoring them in all their majestic glory.
You chat to them but try to steer the conversation to a more platonic subject – you’re leading them on.

There is literally no right way to respond to them unless it’s instantly worshipping their super duper amazing penis.

And I have a message for Mr. Twittermeltdown:
http://30.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m1nioqjjsb1qbe0gto1_400.gif

Tara the Antisocial Social Worker
Tara the Antisocial Social Worker
5 years ago

I was also reminded of Hugo Schwyzer. Maybe someone could lock him and Schoen in a room together?

Tara the Antisocial Social Worker
Tara the Antisocial Social Worker
5 years ago

Personally, I don’t care if men call themselves feminists, feminist allies, or any other variation. I care what they DO about it.

Nop
Nop
5 years ago

@ParadoxicalIntention: “And men wonder why I don’t like men calling themselves “feminists”.”
THIS. This is the exact reason why I don’t call myself a (male) feminist. I’ve seen way too many “male feminists”* pull bullshit like this. For men, I feel that it’s a title that we don’t get to give ourselves, but one that must be bestowed upon us.

* Remember that turd who had the Jezebel gig? Ick.

Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

Tara the Antisocial Social Worker | August 18, 2015 at 5:36 pm
Personally, I don’t care if men call themselves feminists, feminist allies, or any other variation. I care what they DO about it.

I also do care what they do about it, but I think that more men call themselves “feminists” for brownie points and the hope that they’ll get laid rather than them actually caring about women or their rights.

Unfortunately, that’s not just my experience.

Nop | August 18, 2015 at 5:41 pm
Remember that turd who had the Jezebel gig? Ick.

I don’t remember anything specific, but my memory’s shit sometimes. It wouldn’t surprise me that Jezebel had one of those on staff at some point. Sometimes we’re all taken in by someone who seems willing to be an ally.

But, fool me once…

GiJoel
GiJoel
5 years ago

Why am I thinking of this?

eugenicides
5 years ago

RE: all comments about how ‘male feminists’ can’t be trusted –
Is anyone going to note that that author of this site himself has engaged in problematic behavior (Cats Against Feminism) and benefits from his white male privilege in writing and getting as much attention/praise for this site as he does? I like this site but this has to be brought up.

Zeb Berryman
Zeb Berryman
5 years ago

“Hitler was a feminst.”

What? No….just….no. Hitler was even opposed to women working when the majority of the men were out at war. Evan Britain and america (both even more patriarchal in the forties than they are today) had the women work.

On the question of weather men should call themselves feminists I’ve always leaned towards no, at least for myself. I feel like being a pro feminism dude is a LOT easier than being a feminist woman.

I also feel like making a big deal about the title as a man shifts attention from a lot of more important issues and towards hat dudes want.

scalyllama
5 years ago

Of all the titles, I feel like “male feminist” is the least desirable. It emphasises that the “male” is important, rather than the feminism. We already have problems with men who speak out against eg. DV being taken more seriously than women. Prefacing one’s involvement by declaring oneself of the privileged group smacks of attention grabbing.

I have no problem with men being feminists. I like the term “ally” with its connotations of action and solidarity. And a good ally will stand behind us, not crowd us out – something self-described “male feminists” seem to do a distressing amount of the time.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

I’m not even that fond of ‘ally’. It has too much of a connotation of “We’re in this struggle together”. Ally seems to imply a common enemy as if men and women face the same oppression. That’s demonstrably not true.

I prefer to say that I’m happy to support feminists if and when they ask for that support.

I’m reluctant to even call myself pro-feminist for reasons I’ve rambled on about at length on previous occasions. Let’s just say whilst I think feminism strives for some minimum standards(equality etc.) there are areas where I’d be happy to see things go further.

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

Personally, I don’t care if men call themselves feminists, feminist allies, or any other variation. I care what they DO about it.

Just ask some guy if he’ll call himself an ally instead of a feminist to see where he really stands.

History Nerd
5 years ago

Unfortunately, this sort of stuff is pretty common. Lots of guys get involved in feminism, gender studies, or female dominated fandoms because they want to get laid. I remember hearing stuff about guys hanging out in Harry Potter fandom to get access to underage girls. They use classic “nice guy” tactics to convince other people that they’re not creeps.

felixbc
felixbc
5 years ago

Mr Nice Guy here reminded Hugo Schwyzer of Hugo Schwyzer. I tuned in yesterday just as HS tweeted “dude, trust me on this, this doesn’t end well. Log off.” A few minutes later, Ben S locked his twitter.

felixbc
felixbc
5 years ago

Except Ben S took his twitter account public again (I just checked). HS is now saying: .@benschoen for your sake and everyone else’s, get offline. And get ready for a deservedly, necessarily long time in the wilderness.

When you make Schwyzer look calm and reasonable…

leftwingfox
5 years ago

Yeah, what people call themselves matters far less than what they do. Whether it’s “feminist”, “ally”, or even just “a nice guy”.

I’m a cis white dude who grew up in a world where that’s considered default. I grew up cushioned from racism and sexism, and could largely ignore it. I try to be better about it, and try to be a feminist, or at least an ally. I get things wrong, but I try and do better.

That said, there was never a point in my life, even at my most “Nice Guy” phase, where I would have considered this acceptable behaviour. It’s kind of impressive to watch an Itano Circus of excuses, deflections and really shitty arguments completely fail to address the criticism.

(Enjoy some Macross missile mayhem)

weirwoodtreehugger
5 years ago

female dominated fandoms because they want to get laid. I remember hearing stuff about guys hanging out in Harry Potter fandom to get access to underage girls.

Yet, women are the ones accused of being “fake geek girls.”

theladyzombie
5 years ago

Matt Forney has retweeted him. Congrats, Schoen. The worst people in the world now have your back.

Tanya Nguyen
5 years ago

So odd how this “feminist” who supposedly understands women’s issues, immediately attacks back when a woman says a rather simple “no”. What is the law about “comments about femininism show why it’s still needed?” That sorta applies here.

When a feminist male doesn’t get to control the conversation, he apparently stops being a feminist. damanding an answer to “so was he ever one?”

Mortarius
Mortarius
5 years ago

@Pandapool: I agree, you’ve got to see if he’s more attached to the label than the cause.

I would have called myself a feminist but after this thread I’ll reconsider what term I use (never really thought about how it could be a problem).

I think it would be a good idea to still say feminist rather than adding another word so we can maximise it to the point that people are loathe to be called “anti”, the way that almost everyone these days identifies as non-racist is a strong tool in shooting down racist behaviours as people are afraid to be seen as racists.

But I’m open to being wrong about that.

Tara the Antisocial Social Worker
Tara the Antisocial Social Worker
5 years ago

@felixbc:

“When you make Schwyzer look calm and reasonable…”

Yeah, that about sums it up.

@Tanya Nguyen:

Lewis’s Law, coined by journalist Helen Lewis: “For any article on feminism, the comments on it justify the need for feminism.”

Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

weirwoodtreehugger | August 18, 2015 at 7:54 pm

female dominated fandoms because they want to get laid. I remember hearing stuff about guys hanging out in Harry Potter fandom to get access to underage girls.

Yet, women are the ones accused of being “fake geek girls.”

Men will fake friendship, fandom, common interest, names, jobs, and who knows what else to get in a woman’s undergarments, and will lash out when caught or rejected, but the moment it’s even thought that a woman may not be the perfect fangirl of anything, she’s attacked because men feel like she’s there to “deceive” them. Like she likes these things only for their benefit.

Not only is it egomaniacal to the highest degree, it’s also highly ironic and smacks loudly of projection.

Tanya Nguyen | August 18, 2015 at 8:08 pm
So odd how this “feminist” who supposedly understands women’s issues, immediately attacks back when a woman says a rather simple “no”. What is the law about “comments about femininism show why it’s still needed?” That sorta applies here.

It wasn’t even an “eeew, no” kind of no, it was a very polite (more polite than I would have been) kind of no. She gently turned him down, and he still goes rage-nuke.

When a feminist male doesn’t get to control the conversation, he apparently stops being a feminist. damanding an answer to “so was he ever one?”

http://38.media.tumblr.com/f0a0df8f5e6c0a54d37755f053310aeb/tumblr_nk9ndt0BX41swukzbo2_500.gif

The answer is “no, no he wasn’t”.

Tara the Antisocial Social Worker
Tara the Antisocial Social Worker
5 years ago

I suppose any positive label is open to being co-opted by people out for themselves. Like the way there will always be grifters calling themselves “Christian” because it helps them fleece the people who really do believe in loving their neighbor and emulating Jesus.

So if we come up with a better word for a man who supports feminism, the creeps and cookie-seekers will probably just switch to using that one.

Tara the Antisocial Social Worker
Tara the Antisocial Social Worker
5 years ago

@Paradoxical Intention:

OMG I love that gif to infinity.

Tony!
5 years ago

This guy claims to be a feminist?
He must have been asleep during his Intro to Feminism course. And he must have skipped the How to be an Effective Ally Workshop. What an entitled douchebag!

weirwoodtreehugger
5 years ago

Oh my Gods. I’m doing battle with like, 50 Had To Be Saids in this article about Jared Fogle (the Subway guy with the child porn)
http://gawker.com/good-does-this-means-that-the-pedo-apologists-who-were-1724910131

It’s very telling that my comment about the sexualization of young girls being normalized in our culture attracted more outrage than someone possessing child porn did. 🙁

Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

Tara the Antisocial Social Worker | August 18, 2015 at 8:29 pm
@Paradoxical Intention:

OMG I love that gif to infinity.

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

alaisvex
alaisvex
5 years ago

@weirdwoodtreehugger,

Those comments were awful. Pretty telling that you had trolls claiming that no one thinks that sexualizing young girls was normal while others trolls were chiming in to spout biotruths about why it’s okay to sexualize young girls and one troll was pretty much asking you to provide him with child porn of your fifteen-year-old self.

Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

Tara the Antisocial Social Worker | August 18, 2015 at 8:27 pm
I suppose any positive label is open to being co-opted by people out for themselves. Like the way there will always be grifters calling themselves “Christian” because it helps them fleece the people who really do believe in loving their neighbor and emulating Jesus.

So if we come up with a better word for a man who supports feminism, the creeps and cookie-seekers will probably just switch to using that one.

In the meantime then, I think it’s best to out the creeps and cookie-seekers where we can, and as I mentioned upthread, the easiest way is to ask them to call themselves “feminist allies” rather than “feminists”.

It’s as Mortarius said:

Mortarius | August 18, 2015 at 8:11 pm
@Pandapool: I agree, you’ve got to see if he’s more attached to the label than the cause.

Also, props to you Morarius, for you’ve passed the Real Feminist Ally Litmus Test! 😀

Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

@WWTH and @alaisvex: It’s really revealing, isn’t it?

And gross. Very gross.

Though, I have to laugh every time someone comes out with that appeal to common sense bullshit.

“No one thinks this is good!” Yeah fuckin’ right they don’t, Mr. Mind Reader. Of course no one is going to come out and say “I want to fuck thirteen year old girls!” because that would get you arrested.

And then, as always, they get proven wrong within the very thread. Because of course they do. Not that they’ll listen though. It’s so much easier to think that the world is a good place than think that there are people who will rationalize wanting to fuck thirteen year old girls, because it’s just easier on your brain to not confront these truths head on. So, you lie to yourself, and everyone else that the world is a good place, and people aren’t all monsters.

It must be nice to live in Gumdrop Land where everything’s made of candy and child pornography doesn’t exist.

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