Now Collecting: Hugo Schwyzer Apologists

Over the last few years Hugo Schwyzer has been trolling feminist spaces writing about feminist issues or his own personal experiences. More often than not writing articles that are manipulative, abusive and invasive to the other people in his life. Beyond his own writing on white feminists sites like xoJane, Jezebel and others, Hugo has become notorious for specifically searching out and harassing women of color that speak out about his behavior. While one would think that seeing him attack women of color who are visible online, there has been a backlash against those women who are critical of him from white feminists that want to continually give him the benefit of the doubt.

I’m not interested in going into the specifics about him and his behavior because this is to focus on the reaction from white feminists who want to excuse his actions as an abuser and what I would consider a sexual predator who has used his position of power as a tenured professor and male feminist blogger to harass women, primarily women of color, who speak out against him. Flavia Dzodan has written extensively about him,  and has given permission for me to use her tweets / work (here and here) in this post.

(Tweets in order of being posted, so ignore the time stamps)

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The racist narrative that Hugo sold to white feminism used women of color as scapegoats for his behavior instead of owning up to that behavior and his abuse of them has continued even as he has had a self defined manic break down on twitter this weekend. Viewing his twitter feed, that won’t be linked to because the dude really deserves no attention, you see him “apologizing” for his behavior while blaming his mental state as the reason for his abuse completely. What is even more alarming is that while he is having a breakdown for everyone to see he not only refused to quit talking when many people on twitter asked him to but he yet again named specific women of color, including Flavia, who he said he just wanted to “shut the fuck up.”

From this outburst not only were many women forced to make their accounts private but he recreated the same vicious racist attacks on the women he named, and others, who became targets for being critical of his pattern of abuse. Make no mistake; Hugo Schwyzer is an abusive manipulative predator. His continual need to focus rage on women of color and not on white women who have been just as critical shows that he is also racist. This also shows he knows where his supportive base is and the women he can get away with targeting

The reaction from white feminist sites and activists to continually let him have the benefit of the doubt while many voices spoke out against him shows the complete lack of care and humanity most white feminists give to women of color in feminist spaces. White feminists like Jessica Valenti and Amanda Marcotte have been unsurprisingly silent during the last few weeks (and forever) while Hugo quit the internet, but had an interview that only took 5 minutes to set up while he waited by the phone for attention, and now his very public break down. The same goes for every site that Hugo has written for, unless they want to capitalize on what is happening, but never to critique to condemn his actions.

The silence of the most influential white feminists while other white feminists are attacking and attempting to silence women of color who have spoken out against him continue to show how seeped in white supremacy feminism is. Mental disabilities are not an excuse for abuse and becoming reformed over your past indiscretions does not give you the ability to enter a space as a person with privilege when people do not want you there. The continual attacks on women of color over the past few years should have been enough to prove he doesn’t belong in feminism or be given any more chances at redemption.

White feminists have the obligation to create an intersectional approach to feminism that supports all women and identities, not just their own. This is the harm that is caused when white feminists do not account for and challenge their own racism and white supremacy. 

We should be supporting Flavia Dzodan, Amadi of amaditalks, Sydette aka BlackAmazon (with a storify of her own thoughts) and other women of color who have been attacked online not only by Hugo but the white feminists who continue to support him.

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