appropriation

arvan's picture

the (snow)faces change but the (appropriated) song remains the same, and the crowd goes wild.

I was tripping over the many tumblr conversations about Hugo Schwyzer lately.  A good number of people articulated some solid points about him, as well as the many who stated their outrage and distrust of him.  Some folks take his writing as separate from his life and others will not grant this as valid.  From what I see, he's done some pretty shitty things.  Each one of those points is worth discussing, yet something else was gnawing at me in all of this and that's what I want to discuss now.

How did a cis-het white man get to be a voice for feminism?

I was asking myself why is Hugo Schwyzer, a cis-het-white-male, even a topic in conversations about feminism?  Why are we discussing his languaging of feminist concepts?  Put otherwise, how did we get a privileged face in front of conversations about the abuse of privilege, mouthing the words of the oppressed with people accepting, repeating, defending and challenging him on his merits to speak for those denied equality by the privileged class of which he is a member?  

The short answer is that it depends on the audience as to whether he is or is not.  So, who then is willing to accept the face of Hugo Schwyzer as a mouthpiece for feminist ideals?  Who indeed?  Privileged, white people - that's who.  

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