Projo Patinkin’s Social Media Criticized As “Demeaning” By Leading RI Women

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


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Long-time Providence Journal columnist under fire for social media posts

Posts referencing "bitches," "hoes," -- and even Harvey Weinstein -- by Providence Journal Columnist Mark Patinkin on his Instagram page have been decried by female leaders in Rhode Island. 

Patinkin, under the moniker "Swagless Dad," calls himself a single dad, "Heinz slut," and has amassed over 45,000 followers -- and lists on his Instagram profile his professional role as a Providence Journal columnist. 

"I thought a robe or two might make good holiday gifts but Harvey Weinstein fucked that one up for me," wrote Patinkin in one "Swagless Dad" post. 

"People be saying dads can't have swag...yeah how you like me now, bitches," wrote Patinkin in another. 

SLIDES: Patinkin's "Swagless Dad" Posts BELOW

Kelly Nevins with The Women's Fund of RI called out the language used by Patinkin.

"Of course, the content is obscene and demeaning to women, particularly those who have bravely stepped forward to share their stories of sexual harassment. The person who posted obviously has total disregard for why sexual harassment is a problem and continues to be pervasive in our culture," said Nevins. "That he is using his professional media role to share these posts shows that he feels threatened by the changing mindset on this topic and is hoping to find like-minded individuals to support him in keeping the status quo. What a shame."

"I wonder what the company he works for thinks about his sharing this type of message in a public forum? What about the vendors and customers of the company he works for?" asked Nevins. 

Female Leaders -- and ProJo -- on Posts

Pilar McCloud, the head of the Rhode Island NAACP Youth Council and recent inductee into the City of Providence Martin Luther King Hall of Fame, questioned the nature of the posts by Patinkin. 

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Another Patinkin "Swagless Dad" post.

"Who does this? In my humble opinion, if you're a member of the media, this is ridiculous! Why have this on your social media? Who are you trying to impress?" said McCloud. "Totally childish behavior."

Providence Journal Executive Editor Alan Rosenberg provided the following comment, when asked if he thought the posts were appropriate by someone representing the paper. 

"The Providence Journal has a policy of treating everyone with respect, and also of valuing the First Amendment," said Rosenberg. "We encourage our journalists to be respectful of all people on all platforms."

When reached on Tuesday, Patinkin defended his social media activity. 

"The last thing I want to do on my Instagram is to offend anyone - the goal in my hundreds of posts has been to capture the honest, often funny side of being an uncool dad of 20-somethings. The metrics tell me most of my followers are in their 20s and 30s - and 53 percent are women," said Patinkin.

After GoLocalProv inquired about the posts, Patinkin deleted at least 14 from his Instagram page -- first from 384 to 370, and then more. 

"I learned that Instagram is an edgy platform with many big humor pages by women using those two words jokingly about themselves in their own screen-names," said Patinkin, when asked about deleting the posts -- and if he thought the use of "bitches" and "hoes" were appropriate for his audience. "But yes, I did decide to delete some of my posts because this got me realizing that although routine and meant ironically in the ribald world of Instagram memes - they indeed could be offensive."

Providence Journal publisher Janet Hasson said she had no comment on the matter.

"Our editor, Alan Rosenberg, will provide comment," Hasson said in an email statement. 


Related Slideshow: Mark Patinkin Social Media Posts

Editor's Note: Patinkin has since deleted the following Instagram posts to his "Swagless Dad" account, following an inquiry by GoLocalProv. 

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