- His story* makes me sad. It makes me sad, first and foremost, because he has harmed humans. Women – two who agreed to be named, and at least two (but almost certainly more) who didn’t – suffered at his hands, and at his mouth. He abused, degraded, and manipulated women who did not consent.
- His story makes me angry. It pisses me off twice over – first, that we lose him as a force for good, to the extent he was a force for good (and he was); and second, that he so disastrously undermined the very ways in which he was a force for good with his dissociative, sociopathic behavior.
- As I often say in circumstances like this… there but for the grace of god go I. I don’t kid myself that I couldn’t do what someone else does, if my wiring were slightly different. It happens to be the case that I couldn’t do the things he did (even as I’ve done some superficially very similar ones – choking, hitting, etc.) the way he did them. Because I’m not a sociopath. But my non-sociopathy is a result of the way the dice landed when they were rolled, not some virtue for which I can take credit.
- Schneiderman thinks himself dominant. He’s not. He’s a sadist. While there may well be a dose of sadism (and/or masochism) in (my) dominance, the sadism inherent in healthy dominance is tamed by the coincidence of empathy, compassion, and conscience.
- Schneiderman’s “dominance” resembles mine in some ways – like him, I find smart, powerful, attractive women compelling. Like him, I enjoy wrapping my hand around such a woman’s throat and tightening it just a bit. Like him, I enjoy leaving my mark, driving, and getting what I want.
- Schneiderman thinks he knows what women want. Mayer and Farrow write, “He told the woman, a divorced mother, that professional women with big jobs and children had so many decisions to make that, when it came to sex, they secretly wanted men to take charge. She recalls him saying, ‘Yeah, you act a certain way and look a certain way, but I know that at heart you are a dirty little slut. You want to be my whore.'” Here’s the thing: I’ve known women for whom this is true, women who have so many decisions to make that, when it comes to sex, they (maybe not even secretly) want men to take charge. I’ve known women who are dirty little sluts, who want to be my whore. But unlike Schneiderman, I wouldn’t dream of using those words without explicit permission. The truth is, the power of the words, the delight of the words, lies not in their spewing from my mouth, but in their being invited by the ears of the slut, the whore, who wants to hear them. And I don’t kid myself that all professional women want that. My experience is it’s something on the order of 1-2% of such women. And, too: (almost?) no women want that from a douchebag. Women who want that want it from someone who respects them.
- I never think I know what a woman wants (let alone, what women want – a ludicrous conceit). On occasion, I have managed to figure out what I want in a particular moment, and to find a woman who wants to know what I want, who wants to subsume her wants into mine. The thing about that kind of wanting, though, is that it is, essentially (meaning in its essence) provisional. It can disappear at any moment. I love this kind of submission because the woman is in control. In every moment that she grants me what I want, she facilitates my triumph over my powerlessness.
I’ll have lots more to say about Schneiderman, I expect, as more details come out. Mostly, though, I just haz a sad.
* Yadda yadda yadda about innocence ’til proven guilty. That shit is appropriate for a courtroom. In this particular instance, though, I don’t know how a political/sexual/social observer (not a juror) can read the Jane Mayer/Ronan Farrow article and finish it with any doubts about its veracity. I have no doubt.
Yes, I don’t have any doubt either about the veracity of the accounts. They mimick what I know a bit too well, or have observed in other couples…
Thank you for writing this post.