I am not boycotting twitter today. i am not boycotting any other form of social media today. Especially not for a white woman. Especially not for white feminists(TM).
Instead, I am banning the boycott.
I can hear the angry mobs already. I guarantee there’s a mob of angry white women who are putting on the pink pussy hats, grabbing pumpkin spice lattes and sheet cake for sustenance as they dig in and get ready to camp the fuck out in my mentions in this very moment.
I know what will happen.
Step 1– First will come the pleas for sisterhood (and cisterhood).
“but patriarhcy hurts all women! we have to defend each other!”
yes, Becky, patriarchy does hurt US all. unfortunately for ME you only care when patriarchy is affecting thee, or perhaps a shero of thine.
The women & femmes I admire are black. They are indigenous. They are brown Latinas. Sex workers. Poor. essentially, they have nothing to offer your whiteness because they do not coddle your whiteness. Which means when patriarchy- which is forever linked to white supremacy and colonialism – kicks our ass, you and your solidarity are nowhere to be found. Women of color are harassed on daily basis on social media, and y’all have never launched a massive campaign to save us, or be our army.
Here’s the deal- I will take my tiny amount of finite resources to defend those above me on the social ladder after you start defending us and stop pretending that boycotting social media makes you a real fucking activist, okay?
Step 2– I will then be splained to
White women seem to think that you have to talk slow to coloreds without formal educations. No, Gwendolyn, I understood this story line years ago. You think you can use feminist/social justice academic vocabulary to splain rape culture to me. i fully understand how rape culture works. I am black. I am poor. I have done sex work. I have been assaulted by cops, partners, family members, men in general. Hell I was even assaulted by a woman once. Trust, I know exactly how victim blaming/shaming and normalization of sexual violence works.
However, what I don’t know is why white women are fucking obsessed with stats about sexual assault when it’s brown and black bodies- black women, native women, latinas, non white immigrant women- making up most of those stats.
Co-opting our cultures, language and pieces of our customs isn’t enough? You need to co-op our traumas too? Y’all really pretend rape culture impacts us all in the same way while flat out ignoring the hypersexualization of black jezebels, spicy latinas, sexy “squaws”.
How about instead of demanding we join your boycott, you instead defend us against hypersexual stereotypes?
Step 3- You will insist that if we don’t take a stand now, the problems will only get worse.
To which I must ask- worse for whom?
Worse for Rose McGowan? She’s a millionaire. She has you in her corner. she’s pulling celebrities to fight for her. News media is picking up her story. I feel for her, having been assaulted repeatedly myself. But lets be real, Rose is going to be okay in a way myself and my friends never will be. She can afford therapy, has social support, she doesn’t have to keep working with her abuser. Meanwhile, I don’t even have an army, let alone a dedicated team in my corner.
The next time a person of color tries to press charges or talk about their abuser will you assemble the “Rose Army” to defend them? Will you organize a boycott of social media? Will you call out the predators?
Step 4- rage, anger, white tears.
I know, the big scary, angry, black woman insisted you actually do some gotdamn work before demanding my labor and solidarity. This offends you to the core, because after all, you have never said the n-word. You dated a black guy in college. Your favorite co-worker is Mexican. You really love Middle Eastern food. You’re cultured, not racist! And assuming you won’t do real the work is like… reverse racism and stuff. It’s unfair to assume white women won’t reciprocate!! After all, I have no evidence that white women will collective stay silent about online harassment and silencing policies aimed at women of color.
Except… for how yall have done Ijeoma Oluo. Or Jamilah Lemieux. Jemele Hill. Countless WoC celebs, activists, writers, authors, feminists, organizers who are stalked on twitter on a daily basis. Or have faced suspensions and bans from social media. We all know there’s a harassment problem, and discriminatory terms of service exist. Yet, somehow it seems only affected white celebrities can raise armies to fight it. Why is that?
Hell, Facebook flat out deleted my old account. I’ve been suspended on twitter. Yet some of the same folks bragging about being in the #RoseArmy are the same folks who told me to ignore trolls who sent rape threats, death threats, doxxing threats. When someone made a fake Jack the Ripper account and spent an entire day tweeting me pictures of the murdered Ripper victims and asking where I would be (sex) working, I didn’t have an army at my disposal, but I did have a bunch of white women write off my harasser as a “gross troll” who just needed to be blocked.
I’ve seen the selective nature of the #SheetcakeArmy and the #PussyHatArmy, and I am not impressed. The same white women who will wear pussy hats and high five cops, Ignore gofundmes of #BlackLivesMatter protestors who get their skulls cracked open.
The same white members of the #RoseArmy will defend a white actress, but refuse to signal boost stories about missing native women. The same white feminists outraged about how McGowan is treated have little to say about trans women being murdered. The white women who support Rose in fighting rape culture are oddly silent when Black women are victimized.
Aside from the disgusting lack of reciprocation, I can’t afford to boycott social media, because social media has become the only place I can check in with my folks. Police are raiding brothels this week. Hurricane victims and wild fire victims still need help. We are still running mental health check ins. I have to follow up with someone who asked for suicide prevention resources. Someone else needs to find a lgbtq friendly doctor. I need to promote my work, my website, and my podcast because that’s one of my jobs. Social media isn’t just a toy for me. When people like me take days off, there are consequences. Loss of income. Loss of support systems. Sometimes loss of life. This isn’t a game. Further endangering marginalized voices isn’t activism. It’s bullshit for privileged people who don’t have to rely on social networks to survive.
Not that the boycotters would understand this, because they have never listened to people like me.
I can’t help but wonder if the these white women assume I will just follow their boycott and silence myself is because they have never been in the habit of listening to what I say in the first place. Or Maybe they think I’ve always been silent? Either way, I’m banning your whack ass boycott and loudly saying fuck your fauxtivism.