Friday, October 4, 2013

Hugo Schwyzer and Miley Cyrus: which person deserves their bad press?


image is from here

This is, unfortunately, another in a series of posts about Mr. Hugo Schwyzer. (For some additional history and analysis, you may also read my August 14th and Sept. 8th posts.) Only Miley Cyrus seems to be getting more bad press lately. His, however, is fully deserved. (I won't go into the Miley Cyrus media controversy other than to say that it is clear female performers are held to a very different standard than are male performers. Her racist misogyny in some performances should be called out. And to say that Sinead O'Connor is a long-time shero of mine.)

Yesterday, journalist Lauren Gold of the Pasadena Star-News reported the following news which is excerpted from her article which may be read in full *here*:
"Attorneys for Pasadena City College have sent a letter to porn professor Hugo Schwyzer, asking him to resign.

The letter came one day after Schwyzer admitted he was arrested in connection with a drunken driving accident that left a woman injured.

Schwyzer said he has no plans to resign before his disability retirement benefits from CalSTRS kick in on Jan. 1 because he needs the health insurance coverage for his children."
If he were truly concerned about health insurance for his children, he ought to have chosen not to be a sexual predator and flagrant abuser of rules and regulations at his place of employment. What he has insured is that his behavior has threatened the mental health and general welfare of his children and spouse by giving his employers no other reasonable choice but to ask him to resign or fire him.

He reminds me of the procurers of women in systems of prostitution who argue their names ought not be revealed to the public because publishing them will negatively effect their private and professional lives. The perps complain that the press is doing them harm. Hugo argues the actions of an academic institution and their attorneys, not his own, will cause his children harm.
“[M]y entire career is not defined by a few affairs with students. I was also a successful professor and what I’m asking from the college is that they forestall termination until Dec. 31. ... I think after 20 years of teaching that’s not an unreasonable request.”
It's not only an unreasonable request. It's an unethical and unconscionable one. Hugo's career is appropriately now defined by his serial sexual exploitation of young women. He's made sure that's the case by systematically abusing his position, privileges, and power, and also by publishing accounts of those abuses. His termination as "a successful professor" is something he brought about, not anyone else.
In an Oct. 1 letter to Schwyzer, attorney Mary Dowell told Schwyzer his admissions and conduct are sufficient grounds for termination. The letter encouraged Schwyzer to resign.

“The District views both your recent conduct and the past conduct which you have revealed in your recent public statements and writings as grounds for termination. ... The disciplinary process will begin well before January 1, 2014,” Dowell wrote. “However, the District has asked me to advise you that you can avoid discipline if you unequivocally and irrevocably resign from your employment.”*

I am considering the annals of allegedly pro-feminist men's history. (There aren't that many records; this doesn't take long.) Comparing the professional and political life of Hugo Schwyzer to the others, could there be a more glaring example of a chronic misuse of power, as a "pro-feminist", in defense of one's abusive behavior? Could there be a more offensive attempt to claim mental illness as a cause, an excuse, for doing what white men have done for centuries without fear of arrest, incarceration, or demotion in status, position, entitlements, and power?

How can someone so practiced at teaching sexual politics be so completely self-centered, arrogant, and in denial about the blatant political nature of one's harmful acts against children, women, and society? That's the wrong question, perhaps. Maybe the question ought to be: What kind of power has to be institutionalised and systematised in order for U.S. white men to get away with flagrantly abusive activity for so long? Or to do so while pleading ignorance or illness? Or to do so while preaching what one doesn't practice? The answer is colonial patriarchal power and entitlement infused into every sphere of social life.

Hugo's actions are causally and effectively political. His actions are appropriately and adequately described by the feminist activists he refuses to be accountable to. The complex of self-serving attitudes and harmful behaviors he has displayed consistently over many years cannot be appropriately explained or adequately understood by mental health professionals. Nor by the attorneys who use such professionals to protect their clients from legal consequences any adult sex offender should face.

The comprehension of Hugo's behavior ought not lead one to conclude he is suffering from mental illness or unfair persecution by people around him. One ought to conclude he benefits from the white colonial male privileges he consciously exercises, so far, with impunity.

To Hugo:
Stop manipulating everyone around you with claims of mistreatment and start accepting full responsibility. Stop pretending the college you've worked for doesn't have the legal and ethical right to fire your ass without you and your lawyer retaliating. Stop pretending a college can take away protections for your children when you, yourself, have done so. Seriously. Stop being such a white prick. Once and for all.

*If interested, you may click on the predator's name for many more stories on Hugo Schwyzer, PCC’s Porn Professor at