This is our truth, tell us yours
Those who remember my writing elsewhere will remember I have a problem with Hugo Schwyzer.
The combination of inclusive pronouns and his assumptions that he could be the voice of all men made Hugo a deeply divisive character even if you didn’t know about his chequered personal history.
So Ally Fogg’s article about Hugo’s latest departure from the blogosphere set a few alarm bell’s ringing here.
It’s a fair, judicious and well-balanced article that doesn’t go too far into the debate about whether Schwyzer is a well meaning fool or a cynical charlatan, and I would have left it there but for a sentence or two that jumped out at me.
Many male feminists such as the three Michaels – Kimmel, Kaufman and Flood – sidestep this by writing primarily about what men should do among ourselves. However as Schwyzer correctly identified, this can only ever be within the limits set by feminist women.
Here’s my problem with that. Some feminists may be good feminists, but appalling human beings. They’re transphobic, in some cases, and whorephobic. Do I, as a man who tries not to be whorephobic or transphobic, have to accept the limits set by those feminists, or by other feminists who share my concerns about the way in which some women behave towards other women?
I don’t know what’s wrong with Hugo this time, but I know precisely what’s wrong with the idea of elevating people who choose to discriminate against others to a position of unaccountable power, able to set the limits of debate for other people. Just as I used to rail at Hugo for the way in which he tried to define and limit the debate to his preoccupations, so I will continue to support the group of feminists and other women I know who refuse to let the debate about feminism be framed in such a way as to exclude sex workers or trans men and women,