Black Women Commandeer #WomenBoycottTwitter And Turn It Into A Celebration Of Ourselves With #WOCAffirmation
The Harvey Weinstein story has really taken on a life of its own. Every day, there’s some new information, some new accuser or some new fall-out for issues that should have been addressed decades ago. And I’m not mad about it. This is clearly the year of exposé; and if it helps us become a better, kinder, more humane society, then let’s talk about it.
As you might have heard, actress Rose McGowan is something like the face of the Weinstein accusers. Not only does she claim that Weinstein raped her, she actually filed a suit against him years ago. It was settled. Now that the allegations have been made public, now that people are taking them seriously, McGowan is going hard for the cause, asking for donations, speaking truth to power, trying to raise awareness. In doing so, she tweeted a phone number that was personal and private. As a result, her Twitter account was suspended.
While she did violate Twitter policy, the timing of her suspension was pretty terrible. Here, a woman speaks out about her rape and sexual assault and Twitter responds with suspending her account.
Women, particularly White women, were outraged. And it was only hours before McGowan’s account was reinstated. Still, the damage had been done. And these women wanted to express their irritation. Chrissy Teigen decided the answer was in boycotting the social media site.
Immediately, there were those who felt that boycotting Twitter was counterproductive. If the goal was to raise awareness about rape and sexual assault, how was being absent or silent on Twitter going to do it?
Then, there were the Black women who felt that the outrage, the decision to boycott was interesting when Black women and Black people have been the victim or sexual and racial harassment on Twitter and the outcry from White women was not nearly as loud. When George Zimmerman tweeted pictures of Trayvon Martin’s dead body, Twitter did not suspend his account. And White women did not protest. When Leslie Jones was being endlessly taunted and attacked by Milo Yiannopoulos and other such trash, Twitter dragged their feet in suspending his account and White women just weren’t that vocal.
As a result, more than a handful of Black women have called out the protest for being less than intersectional.
Author Eve Ewing explained.
Mikki Kendall pointed out silence as a strategy was not entirely effective for Black women.
It wasn’t long before April Reign, the Black woman behind some of our favorite hashtags, recognizing the problems with #WomenBoycottTwitter, started another one to amplify the voices and accomplishments of Black women on the social site. It’s #WOCAffirmation. Women of Color Affirmation.
Check out some of the amazing things our sisters are out here doing.