Thursday, October 9, 2014

My letter to the NWPC in re Charles Clymer receiving an award

First let me say, that I strongly support the mission of the NWPC. I was very active with the Annise Parker campaign in Houston, and my wife and I continue to support female voices in social life here in our new home in Washington state.

I was sorry to hear recently, however, that the NWPC is going to give Mr. Charles Clymer the Good Guy award at the EMMAs this year. While Mr. Clymer has accomplished many good things in the name of feminism, he has also exhibited a hostility and lack of judgment I would hate to see associated with the NWPC. He has lashed out at individual women - often falling into the same misogynistic tropes that he claims to oppose - without a hint of apology or self-awareness. He has co-opted feminism's message from women themselves claiming he has more right to it. He has hinted several times that he writes and says what he does for the purposes of self-promotion. He claims to be a feminist, but is downright ruthless and bullying with women who disagree with him. All of these negative qualities, I feel, overshadow Mr. Clymer's potential positive impact and may show poorly on the NWPC for selecting him for an award.

Just for example Mr. Clymer most recently has referred to Republican feminists as "Circus freaks" on Twitter.

https://twitter.com/cmclymer/status/520075476371767296

While I too disagree with the Republican platform in almost every conceivable way, I do not recognize this man's right to gate-keep feminism. It is incredibly disrespectful to Republican women currently serving and running for office, including, for example, Ms. Megan Rath who is endorsed by the NWPC.

I do not think the NWPC should give an award to a man who can be aggressive towards women within feminism, calls an endorsed candidate a "circus freak," and who claims co-ownership of feminism.

This is just my opinion as a male feminist ally. Men can and should be a big part of feminism, but we cannot own it or take it from women. That is precisely the kind of patriarchal thinking that we should steer away from, in my opinion. Feminism is neither mine nor Mr. Clymer's nor any man's movement to own, restrict, or define.

Please reconsider giving Mr. Clymer this award. I fear it would weaken the NWPC's status to give an award to such a divisive and sometimes unwittingly misogynistic person.

Thank you,

Jason de Kanter

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