Hugo Schwyzer

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Hugo Schwyzer
Born (1967-05-22) May 22, 1967 (age 48)
Santa Barbara, California, United States
Residence Los Angeles
Alma mater University of California, Berkeley
UCLA
Occupation Professor, blogger, author, speaker
Website
www.hugoschwyzer.net

Hugo Benedict Schwyzer (born May 22, 1967) is an American author and blogger, and former gender studies instructor at Pasadena City College.

Biography[edit]

Schwyzer has written for such publications as Jezebel[1][2] and The Atlantic.[3][4] Schwyzer co-authored Beauty, Disrupted: A Memoir, a biography of supermodel Carré Otis that was published in October 2011 by HarperCollins,[5] and has been a contributor to The Good Men Project.[6][7] Schwyzer was known for teaching courses in pornography, including bringing adult film star James Deen to speak to his students;[8] Schwyzer later abandoned the class because of public outrage.[9]

Schwyzer has been described as a male feminist.[10] However, during an August 2013 Twitter "meltdown," Schwyzer admitted that he built his career in teaching women's studies and as a feminist author both by misrepresenting his academic credentials and by sleeping with influential editors and academics. He confessed he had used "sex, charm, and whiteness" to scam his way into positions of influence.[11] He has stated that he has borderline personality disorder.[12][13]

Schwyzer is the older brother of University of Exeter professor Philip Schwyzer. His father Hubert Schwyzer was a professor in philosophy who was brought to England as a child when his parents fled Austria after the Anschluss; the elder Schwyzer later emigrated to California.[14] As of May 2008, Schwyzer has been divorced at least three times.[15][16] He has two children, Heloise Cerys Raquel and David Aneurin Nikola (born 2012), with ex-wife Eira Victoria Chumrau.[17][18]

In the aftermath of his well-publicized 2013 breakdown, Schwyzer resigned from his teaching position and declared himself to be on hiatus from writing and public speaking.[19] He was profiled in a Los Angeles Magazine feature story in April 2014, in which he was reported to be working as a part-time file clerk for an accountant in Los Angeles.[20]

Academic history[edit]

Schwyzer studied history at University of California, Berkeley, specializing in medieval history.[21] He has indicated that he developed a passion for this subject after seeing Derek Jacobi perform Shakespeare's Richard II.[21]

Schwyzer has stated that his interest in feminism and gender studies stems from taking classes in Women's Studies as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley..[21] Schwyzer has subsequently clarified that he took only two classes.[22]

He applied to Berkeley for graduate school but was rejected, going on to study at UCLA.[21] Schwyzer has stated that his interest in feminism and gender studies stems from his time at UCLA. He has said that his advisers dissuaded from pursuing his academic interest in those subjects and was instead encouraged to focus upon medieval church history. His three areas of study at graduate level were;

Schwyzer's recorded academic publications are;

  • Paper: Northern bishops and the Anglo-Scottish War in the reign of Edward II Schwyzer, Hugo Benedict. (1999) - In: Thirteenth Century England 7 p. 243-254[23][24]
  • Thesis:"Arms and the Bishop: The Anglo-Scottish War and the Northern Episcopate, 1296-1357".,[25][26] addressing the subject areas of Scottish History: War of Independence, 1285-1371, English Bishops from Durham and York and British Military History 1066-1485.[27]

Schwyzer joined the Pasadena City College faculty as an adjunct instructor in 1993, and was hired to a tenure-track position in 1994. He resigned as a faculty member in October 2013.[28]

Controversies[edit]

Schwyzer became the subject of controversy when he admitted to sleeping with his female students, having sex with men and women,[29] and ongoing problems with substance addiction including attempting to kill himself and his ex-girlfriend while under the influence of narcotics in 1998.[30][31] In addition to those actions, Schwyzer has been criticized over claims that his narratives concerning women use paternalistic and fetishistic language that is inimical to feminism.

On 30 July 2013, Schwyzer announced on his official website he was quitting the Internet,[32] writing that he needed a hiatus to prioritize his mental health and his relationship with his wife and children.[31] The following day, explicit sexts between Schwyzer and a female admirer, as well as screenshots from a video he sent her, appeared online.[33] On 9 August 2013, Schwyzer stated on Twitter that he had been involved in the abuse of women of color, and was complicit in racism, tweeting "So to the many people I hurt I am sorry. To the women of color I trashed in 2008, I am so sorry".[34][35] Schwyzer's admission was linked directly to the creation of the internet campaign and Twitter hashtag "#SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen", started by Mikki Kendall.[35][36] Following his admission and the online response, feminist blogs that had promoted Schwyzer, such as Feministe, Jezebel and Pandagon distanced themselves from him. The reaction and debate moved from Twitter to global media.[37][38][39] The resulting debate on #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen was described by feminist Jill Filipovic as "difficult, awkward, and painful"[40] reading. Others commented that the debate "..showed women of all colors, from all over, voicing their frustrations with the condescension, erasure and racism they’ve experienced at the hands of feminism".[39] Schwyzer expressed the view that “[t]his whole #solidarityisforwhitewomen thing is an abusive cudgel to be used against a lot of people who are really working at inclusivity”.[41]

On 5 September 2013, Schwyzer announced on his website that, contrary to his earlier denials, he had indeed had affairs with some of his students at Pasadena City College over the past five years and this fact had been conveyed to the administration.[42] The number of students was unclear; in his post he mentioned three, while other sources reported the true number might be in the hundreds. In the media Schwyzer stated “Almost all of the worst allegations about me made by my critics turned out to be true,”[43] In response, the college announced that it was launching an investigation of Schwyzer which could lead to his termination.[44] In the media, Schwyzer indicated that he would resign and leave quietly if the college agreed to him being retired on disability grounds and allowed to remain on salary until 31 Dec 2013, with disability retirement commencing on 1 January 2014.[43][45][46] As of 8 October 2013 it was reported that Schwyzer had resigned and the college investigation has been closed.[47][48]

On 30 September 2013, writing under the heading "Picking up a felony DUI",[49] Schwyzer announced that he had been involved in a car crash, causing injury to a 25-year-old woman. The incident occurred on Friday 27 September 2013 near San Juan Bautista, California. He stated he had been driving whilst at least 3 times over the maximum dosage of the drug Clonazepam - Klonopin, had apologized to the injured woman before she was airlifted to hospital, and had also made a full confession to law enforcement. Schwyzer also stated "I am a danger to myself and others and mitigating that danger is vital".[50] He was charged with felony DUI while causing injury and released from San Benito County Jail on bail of $100,000.[49]

A court date of 5 November 2013 was given.[50] Schwyzer was reported to be in "...an extended treatment program in Malibu, California, focusing on mental illness and chemical dependency."[51]

An April 2014 story in Los Angeles Magazine reported that while under psychiatric treatment in his hometown of Carmel, California in August 2013, Schwyzer became involved with a 22-year-old woman he met in hospital. According to journalist Mona Gable, the then-46-year-old Schwyzer taught the young woman how to self-mutilate using cigarettes, a practice he stated he had engaged in since his teens.[52]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Hugo Schwyzer". Jezebel. Retrieved 2013-08-10. 
  2. ^ "If You Want a More Thoughtful Boyfriend, Try Pegging Him". Jezebel. March 1, 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-10. 
  3. ^ "Hugo Schwyzer". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2013-08-10. 
  4. ^ Hugo Schwyzer (2013-05-16). "What If Men Stopped Chasing Much-Younger Women?". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2013-08-10. 
  5. ^ "Beauty Disrupted: A Memoir". HarperCollins. Retrieved 2013-08-10. 
  6. ^ "About Hugo Schwyzer". Goodmenproject.com. Retrieved 2013-08-10. 
  7. ^ "Isn't He Lovely: Guy Talk with Hugo Schwyzer of the Good Men Project". Bitch. September 12, 2011. Retrieved 2013-08-10. 
  8. ^ Romero, Dennis (August 1, 2013). "Porn Professor Hugo Schwyzer: "I've Had a Mental Breakdown"". LA Weekly. 
  9. ^ Owens, Eric (2013-08-01). "America’s ‘porn professor’ abandons porn course just because people were outraged". The Daily Caller. 
  10. ^ Williams, Vanessa (August 13, 2013). "Gender v. race: An old fight erupts anew on Twitter". The Washington Post. 
  11. ^ "‘Bad boy male feminist’ melts down: ‘I used sex and charm and whiteness’ to scam you all". Twitchy. 10 August 2013. Retrieved 4 January 2015. 
  12. ^ Amelia McDonell-Parry (August 9, 2013). "Hugo Schwyzer Has What Appears To Be Major Manic Episode On Twitter". The Frisky. Retrieved May 10, 2015. 
  13. ^ Kathy Shaidle (August 13, 2013). "The Unsurprising Sexism of Male Progressives". Taki's Magazine. Retrieved May 10, 2015. After selling himself as a devoted family man and recovering alcoholic, Schwyzer has admitted that he’s lied about his sobriety and has had two physical extramarital affairs along with one virtual “sexting” fling with a “sex worker activist” who, like him, has borderline personality disorder. (“It made her even sexier.”) 
  14. ^ Hubert R.G. Schwyzer, 1935-2006; the obituary, UPDATED hugoschwyzer.net. Retrieved 15 September 2013
  15. ^ Kathy Shaidle (August 13, 2013). "The Unsurprising Sexism of Male Progressives". Taki's Magazine. Retrieved May 10, 2015. The old flakiness? Schwyzer converted to Judaism so he could marry his fourth wife. 
  16. ^ Hugo Schwyzer (May 20, 2008). "Three divorces, four successful marriages". HugoSchwyzer.net. Retrieved May 10, 2015. I’ve been divorced three times. That doesn’t mean I’ve had three failed marriages. 
  17. ^ Hugo Schwyzer (May 30, 2012). "Why I’m More Afraid To Raise A Son Than A Daughter". Role Reboot. Retrieved May 10, 2015. 
  18. ^ Hugo Schwyzer (February 2009). "A Season for Everything Save Shame". HugoSchwyzer.net. Retrieved May 10, 2015. 
  19. ^ About Hugo hugoschwyzer.net Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  20. ^ The Hugo Problem lamag.com Retrieved February 24, 2015.
  21. ^ a b c d Schwyzer, Hugo (June 8, 2004). "A not-so-short academic autobiography". Archived from the original on 23 Nov 2013. 
  22. ^ Schwyzer, Hugo (9 Aug 2013). "Hugo Schwyzer @Hugoschwyzer". https://twitter.com/hugoschwyzer/. Twitter. Archived from the original on 23 Nov 2013. So the real story you all missed is that I talked my way into teaching women's studies on the basis of 2 undergrad courses only 
  23. ^ Michael Prestwich; Richard Britnell; Robin Frame (1 January 1999). "14". Thirteenth Century England VII: Proceedings of the Durham Conference 1997. Boydell & Brewer Ltd. pp. 243–254. ISBN 978-0-85115-719-1. 
  24. ^ "Thirteenth Century England. Proceedings of the Durham Conference 1997". RI-Opac: Literature Database for the Middle Ages. Archived from the original on 23 Nov 2013. 
  25. ^ Hugo Benedict Schwyzer (1999). Arms and the Bishop: The Anglo-Scottish War and the Northern Episcopate, 1296-1357. University of California, Los Angeles. 
  26. ^ Schwyzer, Hugo (1999). Arms and the bishop: The Anglo-Scottish War and the northern episcopate, 1296-1357 (Thesis). University of California, Los Angeles. Archived from the original on 23 Nov 2013. Abstract: This dissertation explores the heretofore unexamined military role of the bishops of Durham and the archbishops of York during the Anglo-Scottish wars between 1296 and 1357. The study focuses on the evolution of crown policy towards the northeastern episcopate. In particular, it will be shown that it was during the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) that the practice began of nominating men with military expertise to serve as bishops in those sees. By the reign of Edward III (1327-1377), the royal government had developed a system by which potential "warrior bishops" were first trained as keepers of the privy seal. What emerges is an awareness that both the bishops of Durham and the archbishops of York, far from being militarily insignificant figures, were actually linchpins of the crown's defensive strategy against the Scots.This study utilizes primarily printed primary sources, ranging from monastic chronicles to the calendars of close and fine rolls. Certain manuscript sources are used as well. 
  27. ^ Shwyzer (1999). "Arms and the bishop : the Anglo-Scottish War and the northern episcopate, 1296-1357". OCLC WorldCat. OCLC 43627143. Archived from the original on 23 Nov 2013. 
  28. ^ Rivera, Carla (October 9, 2013). "Gender studies professor resigns from Pasadena City College". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 5, 2015. 
  29. ^ Clarisse Thorn (2011-12-15). "On Sex, Drugs, and Feminism: A Q&A With Hugo Schwyzer". Role/Reboot. Retrieved 2013-08-10. 
  30. ^ Raphael Magarik (2012-02-13). "Exile in Gal-Ville: How a Male Feminist Alienated His Supporters". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2013-08-10. 
  31. ^ a b Stoeffel, Kat (2013-07-31). "Why Did Hugo Schwyzer, Token Guy of the Lady Blogosphere, Retire Early?". New York. Retrieved 2013-08-10. 
  32. ^ Berlatsky, Noah (2013-08-01). "Actually, Hugo Schwyzer, It's Not a Big Deal When Men Write About Feminism". Slate.com. Retrieved 2013-08-10. 
  33. ^ "HugoLeaks: Male Feminist Hugo Schwyzer’s Sexting Scandal Exposed (NSFW)". Therealpornwikileaks.com. July 31, 2013. 
  34. ^ Schwyzer, Hugo (9 Aug 2013). "Hugo Schwyzer @Hugoschwyzer". https://twitter.com/hugoschwyzer/. Twitter. Archived from the original on 23 Nov 2013. So to the many people I hurt I am sorry. To the women of color I trashed in 2008, I am so sorry 
  35. ^ a b Kendall, Mikki (14 Aug 2013). "#SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen: women of color's issue with digital feminism". The Guardian (Guardian News and Media Limited). Archived from the original on 23 Nov 2013. 
  36. ^ Stoeffel, Kat (13 Aug 2013). "Retired Male Feminist Inadvertently Prompts Meaningful Conversation". New York Magazine (New York Media LLC). Archived from the original on 23 Nov 2013. Schwyzer’s bullying appears to have taken place outside of the mainstream feminist blogosphere (this is kind of the whole problem), but it has prompted a kind of post-Schwyzer dialogue on race and feminism. That’s largely thanks to writer Mikki Kendall. 
  37. ^ NPR Staff (23 Aug 2013). "Twitter Sparks A Serious Discussion About Race And Feminism". http://www.npr.org. NPR. Archived from the original on 23 Nov 2013. 
  38. ^ "Feminists on Twitter say #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen. Hashtag calling for a more diverse approach to feminism trends globally.". http://.aljazeera.com. Al Jazeera English. 23 Aug 2013. Archived from the original on 23 Nov 2013. 
  39. ^ a b Walker, Lauren (15 Aug 2013). "WHY #SOLIDARITYISFORWHITEWOMEN HAS BEEN SO MEANINGFUL TO ME, AND WHY IT MUST NEVER BE FORGOTTEN". feministe.us. SAY Media, Inc. Archived from the original on 23 Nov 2013. 
  40. ^ Filipovic, Jill (14 Aug 2013). "#SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen: Reckonings and Thoughts". feministe.us. feministe. Archived from the original on 23 Nov 2013. 
  41. ^ Schwyzer, Hugo (13 Aug 2013). "Hugo Schwyzer @Hugoschwyzer". https://twitter.com/hugoschwyzer/. Twitter. Archived from the original on 23 Nov 2013. This whole #solidarityisforwhitewomen thing is an abusive cudgel to be used against a lot of people who are really working at inclusivity 
  42. ^ "Sex with Students". Hugoschwyzer.net. 2013-09-05. Retrieved 2013-09-05. 
  43. ^ a b Soave, Robby (9 Sep 2013). "Porn prof admits to having sex with students, wants disability pay". The Daily Caller. Archived from the original on 23 Nov 2013. 
  44. ^ "District Statement on Hugo Schwyzer". Pasadenanow.com. 2013-09-05. Retrieved 2013-09-05. 
  45. ^ Girardot, Frank (5 Sep 2013). "PCC porn professor admits to having sex with students on campus". The Pasadena Star-News. Archived from the original on 23 Nov 2013. 
  46. ^ Gold, Lauren (2 Oct 2013). "‘Porn Professor’ Hugo Schwyzer asked to resign from Pasadena City College". The Daily Caller. Archived from the original on 23 Nov 2013. 
  47. ^ "Official Statement on Leaving PCC". hugoschwyzer.net. Retrieved 2013-10-08. 
  48. ^ Rivera, Carla (9 Oct 2013). "Gender studies professor resigns from Pasadena City College". Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles Times). Archived from the original on 23 Nov 2013. 
  49. ^ a b Schwyzer, Hugo (30 Sep 2013). "Picking up a felony DUI". Archived from the original on 23 Nov 2013. 
  50. ^ a b Gold, Lauren (1 Oct 2013). "PCC’s Porn Professor arrested for felony DUI". Archived from the original on 23 Nov 2013. 
  51. ^ Schwyzer, Hugo (5 Nov 2013). "Entering treatment at last`". Archived from the original on 23 Nov 2013. 
  52. ^ Mona Gable (March 26, 2014). "The Hugo Problem". Los Angeles. Retrieved February 24, 2015. 

External links[edit]