Men, Feminism, Race, Movements and cults of personality


[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.

Context! One of my favorite words, CONTEXT!


You know, we can scream until we are blue in the face (not that we shouldn’t), but let’s not forget this is the same supposedly pro woman site where women have been told that letting a dude jizz on their faces was necessary because it was cleansing… for the dude.

And that someone with such belief system is today writing about men’s love of underage porn on the same site… well, there is a very small leap from that to posting screen caps of a woman being raped. The mentality, the mindset, the ideology that allow all of these to happen are the same.

None of these things happen in isolation from one another. They are all part of the same continuum. 

We do not do trigger warnings. Ever. As a rule. I don’t believe in them, period.