I have kept my mouth shut all these months out of fear of retribution but I no longer have this fear so I am going to go ahead and ask this. Schwyzer states:
But this notion of “making room” in the blogosphere is based on a faulty premise of scarcity.
If that is indeed the case, then I have to ask: why then did Schwyzer attempt to have me removed from certain feminist spaces when I vehemently wrote against him? If indeed there is no scarcity, then why attempt have ME (a Latina feminist blogger) removed and publicly scolded, all done through backchannels hoping these maneuvers would not get back at me? why try to execute some character assassination to silence me against his obvious racism and sketchy politics?
I cannot be the first one (or last one) over whom he attempted these dirty tactics. But I no longer believe it is fair that I have to remain silent about it because otherwise I’d been seen as a trouble maker. I am a Latina, South American feminist. I AM A TROUBLE MAKER. I believe no other kind of feminism is possible. Schwyzer tried to have me silenced. I am setting the record straight.
The comment I left on this piece on xoJane. Nine Questions for The Controversial Hugo Schwyzer | xoJane (via redlightpolitics)
You know, I think that the abusive things Hugo did how ever many fucking years ago are entirely worth barring him from feminism forever. I think his idea that feminists don’t get a say in that — or that only the feminists he LIKES get a say in that — is 100% bullshit. I think that yes, there are some things that you can do that disqualify you from certain spaces forever, or certainly can disqualify you from certain spaces forever, if the occupants of those spaces deem fit.
If “all” Hugo did was try to murder his ex and probably rape a woman a long time ago, I’m cool with him fucking off into a very deep pit and never returning. That, alone, is in my view enough for him to never be qualified to write another word about feminism, let alone from the purported stance of an “ally.”
I just want to be clear on that.
While also stating that the concept, as phrased in the xojane article that Flavia is responding to, that “most of the controversy” surrounding Hugo concerns what he unaccountably refers to as his “pre-sobriety past” is WILLFULLY ignorant and purposely misleading and actively playing into his hand and his victim complex.
And there is no way to get a pass on that. There is no “ignorance” excuse, because if you can’t do the research, you shouldn’t get to write the fucking article.
Because yeah, the shit he did before disqualifies him as “a voice of feminism.” But so does his CURRENT and ACTIVE racism and misogyny. Which is well fucking documented. Everyone on Hugo’s side treats this as “people who are willing to forgive bad things done a long, long time ago by a totally different person!” versus “people who are unwilling to forgive ever, no matter how long ago it was.” But this is about a whole lot fucking more than “a long time ago.” This is about his ENTIRE “feminist” career. This is about his REPEATED and BLATANT racism. This is about his bullying, both open and covert. This is about his manipulation, and his abusive grooming of feminist writers. This is about his consistent insistence on white-knighting for white women, being openly hateful towards women of color, and generally behaving in a condescending manner regarding all women he speaks to and all issues he speaks on that don’t even fucking concern him.
If Hugo is dead to you, personally, based on what he did a supposedly long, long time ago, more power to you. I’m with you, quite honestly — I don’t need anything else. But there’s more. There’s a LOT more. And to the folks who keep insisting on the idea that what happened over a decade ago is ALL this is about? A BIG HEARTY FUCK YOU.
Look at the fucking INDUSTRY that is wrapping itself around Hugo! THey’re all ****CURIOUS****—who is hugo and is he a bad guy???????
I KNOW, LETS EVERYBODY WRITE AN ESSAY ABOUT HUGO WHERE WE INTERVIEW HIM, WHAT DO U THINK ABOUT UR “”“”HATERS”“”” HUGO??????
Guess who is NOT getting interviewed? Guess who is NOT going to bring ten THOUSAND hits for the deeply “CUUUUUUUURIOUS” *F*eminist thinkers?????
Yes! This! And he’s not even very good at pretend feminism! Like, this is the price of admission for why bukkake shots are actually a celebration of women.
And do I feel weird going, “…And he is deeply racist and sexist! And not very good at pretend feminism! And he’s currently a huge creep!” Because I think these things are significant, and I think the treatment of them is significant? Eloquent, you could say?
But…well, to carry the analogy further, it’s like the nazgul: even if the nazgul actually stopped chasing Hobbits and went vegan and got involved in pit bull rescue or something, I still wouldn’t think of it as a nice nazgul who was clearly trying. I’d be like, it’s a fucking nazgul, I don’t want it in my house.
And if it slipped and ate some puppies along the way, I would not be surprised or particularly interested in hearing about how the nazgul was working through puppy sobriety steps. But I mean, I wouldn’t be waiting to see how the redemption or puppy-eating thing played out before writing off the nazgul as a giant winged monster. I wouldn’t be like, “Oh, it’s okay, the nazgul is making a good-faith attempt to resolve its puppy-eating issues—let’s all listen to the nazgul! Let’s invite him over for tea! You don’t mind, do you, Frodo? I haven’t heard of any puppies going missing lately, have you?”
I choose not to accept any male feminist who has ever tried to kill his girlfriend. This is totally feasible.
I’m sorry. At some point all I got is, “What the hell, feminist bloggers?” Talk about a faulty premise of scarcity. Maybe it does make sense to include men. Whatever! Gotta be some way around including men like this, though, right? RIGHT? This is all a detailed illustration of why redemption is often way too good to be true, and that bad people often stay bad, but…I mean, fuck redemption. Was, is, what’s the difference?
But it is all relevant! And it is all important! These aren’t just a bunch of random anecdotes. There’s a connection between being abusive, engaging in sexual harassment, being a self-aggrandizing narcissist, smearing women of color, smearing women who complain about you, smearing women for shits and giggles, smearing your exes, engaging in creepy email shenanigans towards women of color, lying about women who have disowned you, revealing the private information of women you’ve fucked, writing a whole bunch of creepy pseudo-feminist bullshit, holding (RECENT) sexist positions, demonstrating a whole bunch of unexamined racism, putting white ladies on a pedestal, making oneself the arbiter of female sexuality, making oneself the arbiter of feminist ethics, creeping on underage girls, and trying to pit two women against each other using a delicate cocktail of sexism, racism, “professional feminism,” and manipulative dramahounding. At some point, a picture starts to emerge, and it’s got a lot of really sharp teeth.
#DYING at the nazgul analogy
But to roll upwards a bit and get at something mmmightymightypeople said—he’s still around because he’s still wanted around. It’s not scarcity, though that argument makes a nicer cover story than, “I kind of owe him for that time he thrashed all my haters.”
I really think that’s how it all keeps chugging along: You owe someone a favor, then you pay it back with a little interest and now they owe you one, so they pay you back plus a little, and pretty soon there are fewer and fewer white feminists out there NOT drinking the “call-out culture” Kool-Aid.
I mean I’m with pastimperfection (and mmmightymightypeople, who I think originally referred to HS as one of the Nazgul): “It’s a fucking nazgul, I don’t want it in my house.” YES! But lots and lots of white feminists DO want it in their house because of who it keeps out. Or they want to prance around town with it and then drop it off at your house for the night, without even so much as a can of Puppy Chow (“Made from Real Puppies”) for you to feed it in the morning.
—okay, I think I broke that analogy. I only mean it’s time to stop looking at Hugo like he’s some aberrant freakshow no one recalls inviting, and start looking at him like he’s the belle of the Nazgul ball.
Because he is.
But lots and lots of white feminists DO want it in their house because of who it keeps out.
THIS. All this. This is what it has always been about.
GODDAMN IT THIS MAKES ME FUCKING LIVID. I mean, FFS White Feminists, way to act like the brogressives you despise so.
It really is worth remembering that Hugo really made his bones (if you will) attacking women of colour for pointing out how racist white feminists were being during the Amanda Marcotte book racist illustrations shit several years ago (iirc).