Thursday, August 15, 2013

No Jez Here...Still

[Content note: discussions of sexual assault, harassment, and he-who-shall-not-be-named...except I'm naming him, Hugo Schwyzer]

Well over a year ago, I officially gave up Jezebel. Recent controversies involving Hugo Schwyzer brought this discussion up in full force, so I figured I'd share what I wrote on Tumblr here, when I was asked why I'm anti-Jezebel.
It’s been a long string of events for me…I was actually SUPER involved there from 2009-2012, a big time commenter and regular participant. At first I started to be off put by a lot of general rudeness way back before they rolled out their new commenting system, but then that system compounded those problem and cut down on any last remainders of good discussion for me. I started to be attacked by random newcomers who would chew me out for saying things like reminders that not all women have vaginas. 
My official last straw was the incident where they published photos of a women who had been sexually assaulted. I could no longer endorse them. I stopped linking to any of their work at my main blog or visiting the site on principle.Then they continued to hire and publish known abuser, Hugo Schwyzer, only adding to my disdain for them. I could write a novel about Schwyzer but let me summarize it by saying that he once tried to kill his female partner, he regularly harassed, silenced, and abused Women of Color online (and tried to get them fired from their writing gigs), sexted and slept with his young female students, and as of last night before he deleted his Twitter—admitted in his public meltdown that he intentionally manipulated the feminist blogosphere into attempting to being THE one feminist guy so he could get a special place at the table to get a pass on writing things like why jizzing on women’s faces is just grrrrreat. Oh and there are other horrific things
Despite all this, big name white “feminism” (like Jezebel but also xoJane, Feministe, Feministing) have at best ignored and not spoken out against him, at worst hired, endorsed, and peddled him as a “redemption story” to their own profit and/or write really crappy non apologies for their outright involvement in his success and shirk their culpability. When feminists still follow Jezebel and give it attention, it just makes me sad because it only further illustrates how abused and marginalized women’s voices are not being heard and the power of their platform prevails. And let’s not forget, Jezebel actively scorns the feminist label—they have said numerous times that while some of their writers are feminist (I like Lindy West) they are NOT a feminist site. ——Discussion about alternative sites, here.
All of this was before the most recent Jezablunder in which the whole #solidarityisforwhitewomen trend was initially covered by Erin Gloria Ryan highlighting her favorite tweets from it, without actually mentioning the woman of color who started it, Mikki Kendall (@karnythia)...OR acknowledging Jezebel's role in why the trend even became a thing in the first place.

So yeah, my policy is NO JEZ and even when some their writers that I do like cover awesome topics, I don't link them and I try to do everything possible to limit the traffic I send their way. They are a monolith of the online world and I realize that my clicks are just a drop in their infinitely large bucket, but given their standards (or lack thereof) I cannot and will not contribute to their success.

UNREALTED: This marks my 500th blog post. YAY MILESTONE :)
[Image text: Gif of Lucille Bluth from Arrested Development acting all happy/giddy
(because Gene Parmesan just showed up at her door)]

Please see the commenting policy before replying to this post.


  1. I admit to still reading Jezebel. It's one of my guilty pleasures, and also I really like Lindy West. I don't participate in the discussions much though. Your critiques are totally valid. It's helpful to at least be aware of these issues when I'm visiting the site.

    Also, congrats on 500!

    1. I can understand mostly because the individual writers do often cover things ahead of the pop culture curve. People pass me stuff all the time, asking if I've seen it. I just feel they lack journalistic integrity at a basic level...

      Thank you! ;)

  2. This is the 1st time I have ever heard of Hugo Schwyzer and from what I have heard, I can't for the life of me understand why his name is not reviled by feminists everywhere. I cannot imagine any self respecting feminist supporting this sub-human.


This blog has strict comment moderation intended to preserve a safe space. Moderation is managed solely by the blog author. As such, even comments made in good faith will be on a short delay, so please do not attempt to resubmit your comment if it does not immediately appear. Discussion and thoughtful participation are encouraged, but abusive comments of any type will never be published. The blog author reserves the right to publish/delete any comments for any reason, at her sole discretion.

TL;DR Troll comments are never published, so don't waste your time.