He is a perfect example of how not to respond to being called out on your privilege. Some female skeptics, including a past TAM speaker (Greta Christina) found him making some less-than-outraged comments about a man who said that Greta should be slapped and "kicked in the cunt" over a disagreement about feminism. He seemed to still feel bad for the dude that Greta had called out in her posts, even after said dude made some threats.
Greta did a great job of pointing out specific instances of grothe excusing sexism, especially grothe's insinuating that women who write about sexism do it for attention (in the form of page hits). The douchebag showed up in the comments to toot his own horn and list allllll the accomplishments he has made for women by running the JREF. He even invokes statistics to show how hard he has worked at being a non-sexist man, submitting a weird self styled resume to prove to women that he is okay, despite what he had said before.
Unfortunately he peppered the resume with some seriously sexist bullshit, often the same things that Greta accused him of in the first post, such as saying that women are making posts about sexism in the movement for attention rather than any genuine interest. It turns out he thinks this because he doesn't understand why women would write accusatory posts (like the ones that grace this blog's sexism hall of shame). In his mind there can't be a real reason for it unless he personally sees a reason for it. He could have simply asked some women who make posts like these, but instead he assumed that his dudely mind can know all, including the worth of such posts in discussing sexism. Here is a taste:
That said, I know that this movement has much more work to do for equality — concerns about misogyny are certainly not misplaced and we must all remain vigilant in addressing them. I do believe some of the reaction to real problems of sexism in our movement(s) has been hyper-vigilant, unduly polarizing, and a distraction from the actual hard work needed to fix problems. Further, I do think it is pretty ineffective way to improve things to try and publicly force assent, to bully or punish people who disagree with various approaches, to misrepresent people’s views to make our arguments seem stronger, or to be too quick to vilify.
translation: Men know the correct level of vigilance to have about sexism in our movement. Men like DJ Grothe, who has never been the target of sexist hatred in his entire life. He knows the correct way to respond, and women do not know when to vilify sexist behavior correctly, like he does.
He also knows that these posts don't mean anything, apparently, that the work that actually solves sexism happens to be what he is doing, not what I am doing.
We merely may disagree that polarizing blog posts that result in enemies-list-making, calls for people to be fired, boycotts, etc. are the best way for our movement to flourish.
translation: Men know the best way to solve sexism in our movement, despite never suffering from sexism in skepticism.
Men like DJ Grothe do not seem to understand that the people who are most affected by a problem should be the primary resource in understanding how to fix it. The paternalistic tone he takes about what actually solves the problem vs what women want him to do about the problem is disgusting to me. Women should not just have a say in the way that sexism is handled, they should be the leaders and the deciders of how sexism is handled. The people most affected and least likely to otherwise change things should be given the helm, it is something that men who actually understand feminism do when they attempt to lend a hand to feminist causes. The urge to rush in and fix everything on behalf of women is an outcropping of masculine ideas about who is in charge and who can decide things. His entire writing on the subject smacks of the classic onion article, Man Finally Put in Charge of Struggling Feminist Movement:
After decades spent battling gender discrimination and inequality in the workplace, the feminist movement underwent a high-level shake-up last month, when 53-year-old management consultant Peter "Buck" McGowan took over as new chief of the worldwide initiative for women's rights.
"All the feminist movement needed to do was bring on someone who had the balls to do something about this glass ceiling business," said McGowan, who quickly closed the 23.5 percent gender wage gap by "making a few calls to the big boys upstairs." "In the world of gender identity and empowered female sexuality, it's all about who you know."
This is what it is like when men rule feminism, and it is why some women aren't comfortable with dudes like Grothe.