- feminist website: omg how can people still listen to chris brown he's an abuser why does rihanna still talk to him what's wrong with people
- feminist website: lol here's an article by article by hugo schwyzer wow what a great feminist hope you like it!!!
[Trigger warning: gendered and intimate partner/domestic violence, male privilege, abuse in activist communities, gendered racism and white privilege]
1) A reminder that a man who attempted to kill his girlfriend and then lied about it, and who has an established record of bullying women of color online, continues to be paid to write for Jezebel and other spaces ostensibly intended for women.
2) Ernesto Aguilar of People of Color Organize! has some great comments on the broader implications of feminist/women’s enabling of said dude (or Professor Feminism, to use Flavia’s coinage) as it relates to cults of personality and male privilege in progressive and activist spaces. Includes a good round up of various articles on the situation.
In the interview, I remark that what [Professor Feminism] is doing has been and is being reenacted right now in scores of movements. Those in the online realm should certainly check out sites like Occupy Patriarchy and the Feminist Peace Network, which have faced and documented many issues offline. The activities of Hugo Schwyzer and supporters as well as the ones various organizers note have long histories in movements. These include:
- Men, particularly white guys, quietly seeking validation of themselves from men, but especially women, whose defense blunts criticism by other women.
- Bestowing unearned regard for their egalitarian viewpoints rather than correction of their horrid behavior.
- Supporting cults of personality, where a particular guy’s skills or knowledge are extolled as negating predatory behavior.
- Pressuring women to forgive men for the betterment of the movement.
(And people wonder why some women have a critical view of progressive movements…)
Finally, I find it troubling when the concern is about men who are involved and what they might face when their own crimes come to light, rather than what these men have done to women and whether forgiving them in two months’ time is a cardinal question. I’m unambiguous in my view that, had this been my loved one he tried to murder, [Professor Feminism’s] place in feminism would be the last conversation I’d be interested in having. Everyone seems to forget the women no one knows in these incidents as well as the people of color as implicit besmirchers of Western civilization who never get this sort of support, because it’s easier to identify with the guy who, by virtue of social stratification, is seen as authoritative just by his existence.
I’ve had a love/hate relationship with you for a long time, Jezebel. You would amuse me with cute things and inform me of interesting goings-on, then you would promote gross gender essentialism, the roasting of celebrities, and the shaming of sluts. Even though you pissed me off on a daily basis for being the worst website to ever brand itself as feminist, I remained torn.
You’ve always been a trashy, pageview-centric jerk, but you really outdid yourself with that post about a video of a woman being raped, which included screenshots from said video. (Anna North was the writer, by the way.) You showed shots of her violated body, which is kind of number 1 on the list of Things Not to Do When Reporting a Rape Story. And when readers protested you simply pixellated the images, added a non-apology, and claimed that to remove the images would be to unreport the story, which was about the video.
First of all, your post was about a woman being raped as much as it was about the video surfacing on YouTube, so: terrible reasoning. And secondly, when did you start thinking of yourself as a source of high-quality journalism? Your MO, for as long as I can remember, has been to scrape news and links from other sites and provide snarky commentary or highlight fucked up things going on in the world or pull out-of-context quotes from stupid studies about sex differences to be all “HEY SEE MEN ARE LIKE THIS AND WOMEN ARE LIKE THIS.” As far as I can tell, you do not hire reporters (and if you do, they’re crappy) and you rarely fact check or conduct interviews. Your business is in causing outrage and getting traffic any way you can—not to inform, educate, or report.
I did recently read a post in which one of your writers interviewed people, seemingly for just to denigrate Xeni Jardin’s experience and refute her breast-cancer diagnosis—or as you worded it, find out if a person can actually be diagnosed in one day. That was real classy, Jezebel. (She does, by the way, actually have breast cancer.)
Again and again I said I’d quit you but I never quite could. But this week you made it easy for me, and for that I thank you. I will never again visit or link to you. You won’t miss me, no—certainly your traffic will remain unaffected by your bullshit, extremely harmful, and antifeminist model—but I’m happy to finally be free of you and that’s what matters. There is enough awfulness in the world and I really don’t need your version of it.
Fuck you very much.
They claim they are not a feminist site as the reason why they post “controversial” stuff, which is fair enough, if their business model is better served by distancing themselves from feminism, I believe it’s their prerogative. However, Jessica Coen had no problem being featured as one of the “new faces of feminism” in her role as EIC of Jezebel at The New York Magazine. So, they post photos of a woman being raped with a clear conscious because they are not feminist. However, the Editor in Chief has no problem drumming publicity for the site on a feature about feminism.
I believe we need a new label for this: cognitive dissonance feminism.