Retired Male Feminist Inadvertently Prompts Meaningful Conversation

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Retired male feminist Hugo Schwyzer didn’t really leave the Internet, it turns out. But his long good-bye has, ironically, generated one of the most interesting conversations in online feminism in recent memory. A few days after our interview, Schwyzer launched into an hour-long and clinically manic, he admitted, Twitter mea culpa. It included apologies to the people he had “fraudulently” convinced he was a feminist expert, as well as the women of color (@amaditalks and @Blackamazon) who were some of his earliest critics. (His treatment of these bloggers was alluded to in the Hairpin’s Q&A with the man Schwyzer credited with driving him offline.) Schwyzer’s bullying appears to have taken place outside of the mainstream feminist blogosphere (this is kind of the whole problem), but it has prompted a kind of post-Schwyzer dialogue on race and feminism. That’s largely thanks to writer Mikki Kendall. When bloggers expressed concern for Schwyzer mid-meltdown, she wrote, “#SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen when the mental health & future prospects for @hugoschwyzer are more important than the damage he did.” Since then, her hashtag has been used to highlight other ways mainstream feminist media fails women of color. Kendall talked with HuffPost Live about the hashtag, of which Al Jazeera has a nice roundup. It's still active, and I recommend reading it.