The term Schmoe- Which I deliberately chose when naming this blog is a controversial one within the world of female muscle. The common perception is that the term is primarily used and intended in a derogatory way. (The author of the femuscle blog refutes this was the original intention by the way, crediting Kay Baxter with inventing the term as a term of endearment for her loyal fans.) Certainly this would seem to be the case today and some of the descriptions of schmoes in youtube documentaries etc about muscle worship are far from complimentary. Not all women mean the term in this way however and this should be acknowledged. Marcie Simmons in her wonderful 'Marcie's Madness video on the importance of schmoes' is almost totally positive towards the men she sees as such. While she stops short of outright affection, there is a genuine sense of appreciation for what some schmoes can contribute (I say some because many have neither the resources or inclination to contribute a lot financially to the women they worship, but will make small contributions where they can.) financially to the huge expenses that fbbs face.
Nonetheless we are still stuck with the problem of subjectivity when it comes to schmoe definitions. Both Marcie and the Femuscle blog put forth the idea that in order to qualify as a schmoe, a muscle fan must necessarily know specific details of where their favourite bodybuilders would have placed in certain shows and their competition history. While I accept that delineation between casual fans of female muscle and committed schmoes is a useful concept, I do not accept that the benchmark should be an anorak like knowledge of competition history. For me, an interest in the sport of bodybuilding and an interest in bodybuilders themselves, while not mutually exclusive are separate entities. Furthermore, given the sexual and fantasist elements of the schmoe persona, I would say that an interest in female bodybuilders is far more indicative of 'schmoedom' than specific competition knowledge. For sure, a Schmoe would have an encyclopaedic knowledge of female bodybuilders, but specific knowledge of their contest history should not be necessary in my view. I consider myself to have a very good knowledge of female bodybuilders, I can identify them by sight immediately, and when I find one I don't know but like, they soon get added to my 'database' so to speak. I watch competition videos online and would be aware of certain famous posing routines, but I don't follow contests religiously. I don't feel the need to. My interest in female bodybuilders is sexual rather than necessarily sporting. Do I admire them as athletes, absolutely, but I admire most competitive sportspeople, it doesn't mean I have a photographic memory of their results and performances.
For me it stands to reason that the schmoe's primary interest in a musclewoman is going to be erotic/sexual. I mean really, come on, you pose on stage wearing next to nothing and flex online for fan vids and webcams, as well as in many cases providing muscle worship sessions and you don't expect your fans to fantasise about/masturbate to you? Now absolutely a lot of schmoes will know who came 8th in the 1998 Arnold Classic Ms International, but not all. Frankly I just don't care. I don't mean any disrespect by saying that and it's not to say I don't wish my favourite athletes well in their careers, I just don't have the time to follow individual contest histry that closely. My following of the FBB scene comes from muscle woman websites and youtube vids. I know dozens of female bodybuilders and my 'database' is growing all the time. Most of my downtime is spent on female muscle websites, talking to other muscle worshipers, discussing who's hot and who's not etc etc. For that reason, I think I fall broadly into the 'schmoe' category.
Some will disagree, for the reasons Marcie and femuscle blog give above but also, because frankly, I've been told I'm too 'normal' to be a schmoe. While I suppose it is a compliment for people to think you are too 'normal' or nice to be a schmoe, it does also enforce the negative stereotypes. The point for me is, a 'schmoe' may not be a very nice label necessarily, but it is a label. A succinct name that can be attached to our interest in female muscle. I'd rather if the label was something else, but it's not. In much the same way that the LGBT community reclaimed the word 'queer' we should reclaim the word 'schmoe'. We should, loud and proud (well not too loud and proud, most schmoes, myself included, will always be so anonymously for personal or professional reasons) say 'yes I am a schmoe', but I am also much else. If society, or indeed some (but by no means all) muscle women choose to dismiss me based on stereotypes, that is their issue, not mine.
I also find myself differing somewhat with the author of femuscle blog's assertion that schmoedom is quite specific to bodybuilding. Yes the vast majority of women that schmoes admire are female bodybuilders, but that is because that is the main outlet for noticeably muscular women. I have had two sessions thus far, one was with a world champion powerlifter and the other with a woman who was very toned and sexy and had noticeable biceps but was no bodybuilder. Nonetheless, I felt like a very proud schmoe during both these deeply erotic encounters.
While this article may seem largely like an exercise in semantics, I think it is important for us to tease out exactly what a schmoe is and to get a debate going. I don't mind people not thinking I'm a schmoe, but I remain content to use the label.