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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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eugenicides
5 years ago

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

isidore13
isidore13
5 years ago

I did politely ask why. I still really want to know.

eugenicides
5 years ago

And stop gaslighting me as if anyone responded asking why. I was attacked immediately, called a man, an MRA and a troll. Get over yourselves.

isidore13
isidore13
5 years ago

Oh, okay. Thank you for answering. That was really going to bother me.

eugenicides
5 years ago

@isidore13 (idk how to comment to someone)

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

isidore13
isidore13
5 years ago

There is no way to comment specifically to someone, @username is the best way to make sure the person knows you are responding to them. Thank you again for answering.

Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

eugenicides | August 21, 2015 at 4:03 pm
Holy crap. I almost feel like my point has been proven by these responses to my innocent comment.

Let’s look at this “innocent comment”, shall we?

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)

You still have yet to explain how this is “problematic behavior”, and people only pointed out that this is satire and was making fun of a silly anti-feminist hashtag.

and benefits from his white male privilege in writing and getting as much attention/praise for this site as he does?

And we explained to you that white male privilege doesn’t automagically equal bad, and we’re grateful that David’s using his privilege to move through spaces we can’t to keep us informed of the gross shit anti-feminists/Meninists/MRAs are up to.

He’s being a damn good ally, and I don’t think he ever ID’d as a “male feminist”.

I like this site but this has to be brought up.

Apparently not as much as you thought you did.

I am a 23 year old, female college student.

And I’m a 25 year old, female college graduate. I don’t see what this has to do with anything, especially on the internet, no one can really prove such a statement without giving out personal information.

My screen name is a mix of the author and book title (Virgin Suicides).

What a coinky-dink then that it spells such a vile word.

Perhaps if you weren’t too busy being passive-aggressive that we dare criticize you for doing a poor job of criticizing someone, then perhaps you could learn 2 dictionary.

I didn’t know I wasn’t allowed to criticize this site whatsoever.

Case in point.

Have you really lurked around here for a while? I feel like you haven’t, or else you would have seen that we criticize the fuck out of each other all the damn time, sometimes to the point of dooming threads.

And we criticize David when he’s in the wrong too.

I am a reader but I feel that nothing is above criticism and we should be mindful of the sites we read when it comes to issues like misogyny.

Good, glad we agree.

However, I don’t think that this means you’re above criticism either.

But I guess not. Holy hell.

There you go with the passive-aggressive bullshit again.

eugenicides | August 21, 2015 at 4:06 pm
And I still think Cats Against Feminism was offensive sorry for having my own opinion on this site. Jesus Christ.

No one said you can’t have an opinion, for fuck’s sake, we’re just asking you why you think that way because we’re confused as to what your reasoning is you petulant child.

Oh, and props for calling Bina an MRA for disagreeing with you, even though they’re a regular and have been commenting on here for some time, and we happen to know that’s false as fuck. (Oh, and they run their own feminist blog!)

I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt and say regular idiot, SFHC.

eugenicides
5 years ago

Lol I love how an MRA troll (Scented Fucking High Chairs) is trying to turn around and pretend that I’m the MRA troll. You need to up your game. You can’t pull the ‘boo hoo you’re criticizing a man therefore you’re calling him satan’ card and then turn around and pretend I’m the MRA. Lmaoooooo

katz
katz
5 years ago

I’m sorry, I really do not give a crap what anyone says.

http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_me4ks5A6mq1r61fns.png

eugenicides
5 years ago

“No one said you can’t have an opinion, for fuck’s sake, we’re just asking you why you think that way because we’re confused as to what your reasoning is you petulant child.”

That’s not what happened. Just stop. The comments are still up, you can’t rewrite history and pretend people asked me what I meant.

weirwoodtreehugger
5 years ago

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!

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
eugenicides
5 years ago

“And we explained to you that white male privilege doesn’t automagically equal bad”
I NEVER CALLED HIM BAD. YOU PEOPLE NEED HELP.

eugenicides
5 years ago

“You’re angry that the author of a blog that mocks misogyny made a secondary site to mock misogyny? ”

Jesus Christ. No, I just found the way he did it problematic. Which is what I said.

katz
katz
5 years ago

I like this site but this has to be brought up.

Did it…have to be said?

eugenicides
5 years ago

“Oh, and props for calling Bina an MRA for disagreeing with you, even though they’re a regular and have been commenting on here for some time, and we happen to know that’s false as fuck. (Oh, and they run their own feminist blog!)”

You’re calling me an MRA and I’m a fucking woman of color. If you all can call whoever you want an MRA, I can too. Apparently the term means nothing here.

eugenicides
5 years ago

Katz, did it kill anyone that it was said?

Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

eugenicides | August 21, 2015 at 4:41 pm
And stop gaslighting me as if anyone responded asking why. I was attacked immediately, called a man, an MRA and a troll. Get over yourselves.

I love it when people try to pull bullshit like we can’t just fucking scroll up and see that it’s a lie.

Paradoxical Intention | August 18, 2015 at 11:10 pm
Eh, I might have been laughing too hard to notice that this one slipped through the filters.

eugenicides | August 18, 2015 at 6:06 pm
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)

If you want to elaborate on how “Cats Against Feminism” is/was problematic, I’d love to hear it.

(Though, I would like to remind you that that’s satire, and not actually David saying that feminism is somehow bad.)

Also, again, learn 2 dictionary. Gaslighting doesn’t mean what you’re trying to imply it means.

Also, kind of hard to tell who has what gender in a fucking internet comment section. And it’s not like we haven’t heard this same shit from a bunch of MRA trolls looking to get a stupid fucking “gotcha” on us.

Get over yourself first, then you can come and talk with the adults.

katz
katz
5 years ago

Just stop. The comments are still up, you can’t rewrite history and pretend people asked me what I meant.

Someone’s got a bad case of “repeat what the grownups say like it’s a magic word.”

Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

eugenicides | August 21, 2015 at 4:48 pm
“No one said you can’t have an opinion, for fuck’s sake, we’re just asking you why you think that way because we’re confused as to what your reasoning is you petulant child.”

That’s not what happened. Just stop. The comments are still up, you can’t rewrite history and pretend people asked me what I meant.

They are. Good thing I did ask you what you meant, and I can repost it as many times as you like.

Paradoxical Intention | August 18, 2015 at 11:10 pm
Eh, I might have been laughing too hard to notice that this one slipped through the filters.

eugenicides | August 18, 2015 at 6:06 pm
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)

If you want to elaborate on how “Cats Against Feminism” is/was problematic, I’d love to hear it.

(Though, I would like to remind you that that’s satire, and not actually David saying that feminism is somehow bad.)

Care to try again?

andiexist
andiexist
5 years ago
Reply to  eugenicides

@eugenicides

May I point you, once again, to the comments policy, as “you people need help” also falls into the ableist insult category? I’m not saying you yourself are ableist, to forestall that — but you probably should read the comment policy.

isidore13
isidore13
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.

Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

eugenicides | August 21, 2015 at 4:51 pm

“Oh, and props for calling Bina an MRA for disagreeing with you, even though they’re a regular and have been commenting on here for some time, and we happen to know that’s false as fuck. (Oh, and they run their own feminist blog!)”

You’re calling me an MRA and I’m a fucking woman of color. If you all can call whoever you want an MRA, I can too. Apparently the term means nothing here.

> Implies we’re just supposed to know that she’s a woman of color

> Comes in all high and mighty and says that David’s problematic, then snaps at everyone in a highly passive-aggressive manner when we ask for clarification

> Calls regulars who’ve been commenting here for years MRAs, under the excuse of “NO, U!”

Yup. You’re totes being the rational one here, and we’re totes in the wrong.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

Can someone shine the WWTH-signal?

As our resident Trollsmeller Pursuivant, I’d be interested in what her instinct say about your new friend.

katz
katz
5 years ago
katz
katz
5 years ago

Dammit.
comment image

eugenicides
5 years ago

Paradoxical, the only comments I saw are referring to me as an idiot, MRA, troll and misogynist all for leaving that one comment. I do not know the best way to use this comment forum. But those are the comments I saw and the people I was responding to. And honestly no I do not find it “petulant” to be shocked that such a short and non violent comment got me called all of those things. I really thought this would be a relatively safe place to leave a comment and receive responses that were normal, because when I first commented it required approval. I didn’t know I would immediately be called all of those things and jumped at like that. People are certainly allowed free speech so I am not telling anyone they can’t say anything as long as it’s approved on this site. But the response to that initial comment was over the top and unwarranted and that’s my opinion. Being called a man and an MRA and a troll, none of which I am, makes no sense and strikes me as ironic.

Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

Does anyone else find it rather hilarious that someone claiming to be a feminist is having a meltdown over not being immediately deferred to to in the comments section of an article about someone claiming to be a feminist having a meltdown over not being immediately deferred to?

Because I do.
comment image

eugenicides
5 years ago

Paradoxical, I don’t know why you wouldn’t see that I wouldn’t want my face or name on here as a woman of color. Like, isn’t that obvious…

eugenicides
5 years ago

Paradoxical you have to be trolling. I didn’t ever ask to be deferred to. I never thought my comment would even BE responded to. I was shocked by people calling me all manner of ridiculous crap over a single comment which actually has little significance. 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.

eugenicides
5 years ago

“> Comes in all high and mighty and says that David’s problematic, then snaps at everyone in a highly passive-aggressive manner when we ask for clarification”

Eagerly awaiting the quote of me calling him problematic. I said he engaged in problematic behaviors, and I still believe that. I never called him problematic, bad, or any of these things you people on here keep claiming. And I was not asked for clarification. I was immediately mocked shut down and called an MRA troll. I do not ask to be deferred to but I don’t respond to even people I disagree with in that manner unless harsh words have already been exchanged. I see no reason for it. The person who asked me what I meant got a serious response. But I’m supposed to take people seriously when they call everyone an MRA troll. I’m not a man, I’m not an MRA and I’m not a troll. None of those attacks had jack to do with what I wrote.

isidore13
isidore13
5 years ago

I also have to point out your username really is very offensive. I saw someone linked you to what eugenics are and I hope you can now understand why coming in with that name didn’t help your not-a-troll case.

eugenicides
5 years ago

If you perceived my tone as high and mighty in my initial comment it was never intended that way. My initial comment really had none of the wild implications that everyone seem to take from it. I just wanted to put in my two cents as someone who had never seen the two items addressed. I said it must be brought up, and that’s how I feel. I do not see the issue and I do not see myself demonizing him in any of these comments.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
5 years ago

Does anybody else find it really suspicious that after claiming to be a woman, only to discover that we don’t care, Eugenics Genocide immediately started claiming to be a woman of colour instead? Smells like #NotYourShield to me.

weirwoodtreehugger
5 years ago

Are we going to get called trolls for posting cat pictures too?

Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

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.

I only saw people asking for clarification on one of your points, and people wondering if you were a troll, as your type of comment and the way it was styled stunk of troll.

If you wanted to clarify, there were better ways than to get all passive-aggressive angry and self-martyring.

I do not know the best way to use this comment forum.

Manners usually work. So does Google.

Usually the best way to clarify if you don’t know how to do something is to ask. Not blow up on everyone because you don’t know what you’re doing.

(And, as isadore said, we can’t comment directly here. Just use blockquote tags in angle brackets, basic HTML code stuff.)

But those are the comments I saw and the people I was responding to.

And I see no apology for calling us “liars” and your claims that we were trying to “gaslight” you.

And honestly no I do not find it “petulant” to be shocked that such a short and non violent comment got me called all of those things.

It was short and non-violent yes, but it was still highly aggressive and combative. Not a good first impression.

I really thought this would be a relatively safe place to leave a comment and receive responses that were normal, because when I first commented it required approval.

Safe place, kinda. (David does have a warning at the top of the page that this site isn’t really a safe place, due to the subject material.)

However, “safe place” =/= “Free of criticism”.

We asked for clarification and your comment sounded trolling. It’s not our fault that we inferred your comment differently than you intended. You were more than welcome to come in and say “Hey, sorry if my comment came off as trolling! I wasn’t actually trying to troll, and here’s clarification on what I said earlier…”

I didn’t know I would immediately be called all of those things and jumped at like that.

So you snap instead of trying to clear up what may have been a misunderstanding, and that’s somehow our fault?

People are certainly allowed free speech so I am not telling anyone they can’t say anything as long as it’s approved on this site.

“I’m not trying to say you guys can’t be mean to me…”

But the response to that initial comment was over the top and unwarranted and that’s my opinion.

“…but you guys shouldn’t be mean to me.”

Wondering if you were a troll and asking you for clarification isn’t “over the top and unwarranted”. Throwing around casual ableism while trying to demonize a comments section for asking you for clarification and assuming you were a troll (for some very damn good reasons) is over the top and unwarranted.

You’re getting snippy over something that’s your own damn fault.

Being called a man and an MRA and a troll, none of which I am, makes no sense and strikes me as ironic.

Again, you assume we were somehow supposed to know that you’re a woman of color and somehow not a troll when your username is another word for “killing off the weak so they don’t pollute the genepool” and when you come in immediately throwing around SJ terms in ways that show you don’t know how to use them.

eugenicides
5 years ago

@isidore13
I didn’t think about what handle I was using at the time of commenting honestly. It was a temporary handle that was made up quickly in order to use wordpress to create something, and I just left a comment. I don’t make wordpress comments and I didn’t realize any of this was going to happen or think about my screenname being read. I understand and can change my handle.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
5 years ago
andiexist
andiexist
5 years ago
Reply to  eugenicides

@eugenicides

To answer your question on “real trolls,” we get many MRA trolls. Your initial comment was similar to some they leave. You keep calling regulars trolls, which doesn’t really help your case. Your name, not knowing the reason you stated behind it, does come off as the sort of thing many of the nastier MRA trolls have.

Have you checked out the comment policy yet?

andiexist
andiexist
5 years ago

@eugenicides

Whoops, ninja’d on the name thing. Sorry about that.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
5 years ago

But anyway, on the off chance that you’re telling the truth: Still don’t care. 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! Unless it’s actually relevant to the discussion, the important part is that we’re all people.

Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

Aw, WordPress ate my comment directed to the meltdown.

Well, fuck it.

TL;DR: Stopped caring. You’re not willing to listen, you show no signs of being willing to listen, you only want to martyr yourself and listen to yourself talk.

Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

Okay, so my other comment isn’t showing up, and I try to repost it and it says it’s a duplicate comment.

Huh.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
5 years ago

Yeah, that happens to me a lot, even if I change a few words from the original. Isn’t WP awesome? =P

eugenicides
5 years ago

“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. 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. 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. 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. 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. That’s my opinion. It wasn’t warranted and I don’t act like that unless insults are already flying. 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. If you’re nice, I’ll be nice. If you call me an MRA troll, I’m going to be rude to you. 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?

< And I see no apology for calling us “liars” and your claims that we were trying to “gaslight” you.

No one's going to apologize for calling me a man and an MRA troll even though I'm a woman of color – unless I apparently bare my face or name for the whole world to see. Which I find ironic on a site against misogyny. There are obvious reasons why I don't want to do that and that doesn't make it right for people to continue to call me those things. You just want your cake and to eat it to. You're not going to call me an MRA and then demand an apology for me saying you're lying and gaslighting. Give me a break. You're so dedicated to feeling like you're right and that you're slaying internet trolls that you're willing to call a woc an MRA repeatedly.

eugenicides
5 years ago

> But anyway, on the off chance that you’re telling the truth: Still don’t care. 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! Unless it’s actually relevant to the discussion, the important part is that we’re all people.

I am bringing up being a woc in response to being called an MRA so it is relevant to the discussion.

eugenicides
5 years ago

Paradoxical, shut up. I explained why cats against feminism offended me and you have to be trolling me at this point.

eugenicides
5 years ago

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.

eugenicides
5 years ago

Chairs, I added that because I always respond to the author as a white man so I clarified that I am a woc. No issue there. I don’t owe anyone my face, name or identity.