Don’t you even start quoting MLK in defense of a man who led the defense of the racist imagery in Amanda Marcotte’s book “It’s A Jungle Out There”, to the considerable detriment of the women of color bloggers who pointed it out.
You say no one can make one uncomfortable except oneself and no one can silence another. You know what?
That’s BULLY talk.
“I’m not doing anything.”
“Stop hitting yourself!”
If no one can be made to feel uncomfortable or inferior in the face of any kind of social pressure, then what exactly is the problem with people talking about Hugo? Talk about a double standard.
You know what? The moment I stand up and start teaching young people about gender relations and feminism and rape, yes, PLEASE. Pick me apart. Scrutinize me. Put me under the microscope. Nobody should be allowed to do that who won’t withstand the scrutiny, because that scrutiny is necessary.
If I reveal gross crimes in my past and put myself forward as a redeemed figure, you won’t be doing me any favors by nodding and telling me I’m brave for coming forward… if you have any love for me as a fellow human being, you would watch me like a hawk when I think I’m redeemed and would never let me become complacent.
And if my “past mistakes” and present behaviors are incompatible with what I’m doing… yeah, I should probably stop doing it.
Just as an example: I’m personally not capable of safely piloting a motor vehicle for reasons relating to a neuromuscular disorder. Say I caused a terrible accident in the course of discovering this. I didn’t, but say I did. And say I stand up and admit that this happened but it’s in the past and I am redeemed.
Does this mean I’m now a safe driver?
The stuff Hugo rights now is damaging and harmful. You’re imagining that when we say this we’re just being prissy and thin-skinned and hence the bully talk about words never being harmful, but it does harm. It doesn’t “advance the cause”, it teaches men that acquaintance rape (the kind of rape that is most common) is accidental and is the target’s fault as much as the perpetrator’s. Go read the Accidental Rapist, by Hugo Schwyzer. That’s the piece I’m talking about. It was written just this last fall.
His piece on Jezebel about facials centers male sexuality over female’s, pushes forward the idea that men rather than women are the victims of body-image crushing propaganda in our society.
Look, it’s not that he did something wrong one time and thus we don’t care that he’s a great feminist speaker and writer and don’t care about all the good things he’s done.
We’re talking about his whole career, his whole persona, from start to finish. He doesn’t help. He hurts. The things he says that are good and valuable have been said by other people who are ignored in favor of him because the world prizes the voice of the straight white cis male college educated authority figure, and he knows enough about gender relations that he should recognize this and do something about it… but instead he chooses to talk over women, to boost select white women who will boost him in return.
Understatement of the century, but: these aren’t good things that he does.
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