TW: violence, rape, Hugo Schwyzer
Also, I just… I’m amazed that all the interview has to say about Hugo Schwyzer’s failed murder is that it happened and he can’t talk about it “for obvious legal reasons”.
You know what? Any interviewer who doesn’t ask him about that is not conducting a legitimate interview. When you acknowledge that you’re talking to an attempted murderer and then you brush past that to ask him if he thinks women should trust him, you are not a journalist conducting an interview, you are a public relations consultant doing pro bono work.
This is the second piece on Hugo Schwyzer this week that’s taken a “teach the controversy”/”fair and balanced” approach to dealing with him and as long as they keep generating page hits I imagine we’ll be seeing many more like them, but let’s be very clear about something: when you’re communicating with a man who slept with students he was supposed to be chaperoning, who has committed gendered acts of partner violence up to and including attempted murder, who has admitted to “having sex his partner didn’t want to have” (we actually have a much shorter way of saying that, and I’d think any feminist thinker would know what it is) and you’re asking him what he thinks about the role of men in feminism there is something deeply wrong with the scenario.
That’s like asking Charles Manson if he sees room for himself in youth counseling or home security… oh, and don’t ask him about any crimes because he obviously couldn’t comment on them.
I don’t know if either of the interviewers consider themselves feminists and I don’t even know if they consider themselves to be journalists, but… ugh.
Lesley Kinzel, at least, isn’t a journalist at all. She started out as an FA blogger, and then started writing more broadly (pun not intended). She’s done some really problematic stuff in the past, too. I used to really enjoy her work, but then she put up a piece on xoJane that used “lady-born-lady” for cis women, repeatedly. I called her on it on Twitter, and she insisted she was going to keep using it because her trans friends told her that “cisgender” made cis people feel like special snowflakes, or something.
I was discussing this with others on Twitter last night, and someone said she didn’t identify as feminist at all, because she had issues with the movement, but she’s replicating a lot of those issues in her own work. So. Take that for what it’s worth.
I don’t know who the other interviewer might be, the piece I saw only had Kinzel’s name on it, so I can’t say anything about that. But I no longer read Kinzel’s work myself. Just too frustrating.
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