This Hugo Schwyzer thing really encapsulates a lot of, if not all, the problems I have with so much progressive/radical left discourse on so many issues.
Here we have a successful, authoritative, white, cis, straight guy, whose university education has made him articulate enough to spin his stories of his own abusive behavior into pretty-sounding essays on feminism, placed in positions of being an “expert” on the subject of feminism, given money to teach people about women’s lives, and generally given all of the opportunities that much more qualified people will never see because they are less privileged, ALL IN THE NAME OF FEMINISM/PROGRESSIVENESS.
The fact that he has been CONSISTENTLY racist in the past, shitty towards women of colour, that much of his work is really gender-essentialist at it’s heart, that he has a long history of abusive behavior in his personal life (including leveraging his position of authority over his students for “”“”“”“”“”“”“consensual”“”“”“”“”“”“”” sex with said students) (did I use enough scare quotes there, is it clear enough that I do not buy for a second that his MANY, REPEATED affairs with students whose academic standing he controlled were at all consensual) goes, for the most part, entirely unremarked on by the people in positions of speaking “for” the feminist/radical left community. Criticisms of him, mainly by women of colour, are marginalized by more prominent/privileged voices, erased and painted as just a bunch of sour grapes.
UNTIL a point is reached where people just can’t ignore the shittiness of his past actions, like the discovery of an article where he talks about trying to murder his ex girlfriend. Like, as horrified as I am by that, and as glad as I am to see the response to it, I am in no small part annoyed to realize that it took something like that to get ME, and others, to realize what a shitstain Schwyzer is. And I’d ALWAYS had negative feelings about Schwyzer, but I’d just figured it wasn’t “worth” saying anything about.
Disgust, frustration, rage.