#WomenBoycottTwitter, the Aftermath

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Moça com Livro,, José Ferraz de Almeida Júnior [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

So after #WomenBoycottTwitter, I discovered that some women of color felt excluded or unsupported by other women and feminists given that the silencing of women of color hadn’t triggered a boycott. I can’t and won’t presume to speak for anyone else, so please feel free to look into the issue.

Unfortunately, because I was boycotting Twitter, I only found out about the objections after I returned, so I couldn’t consider them when deciding whether to boycott.

Intersectionality — or examining multiple and overlapping issues of race, gender, class, religion and other such markers — is much more complex than the normal light fare of this blog, but the competing pressures and assumptions that others must handle daily should always merit consideration. Really, isn’t that the essence of empathy?

So I unreservedly apologize to anyone I excluded by my protest. While that certainly wasn’t my intention, you know what they say about intentions.

And then things got a little more complicated today. It seems that Rose McGowan tweeted something racist, and elevated what might have been an oversight of ignorance to something even worse. Again, I can speak for no one but myself, so feel free to catch up on the details.

But I want to share a little something with you. I’ve noticed whenever I feel that someone expressing a feeling of exclusion or hurt is being “picky,” it’s a defense mechanism. Something someone is saying has hit directly in a space I need to examine.

That’s uncomfortable. It’s always uncomfortable. Growth is uncomfortable.

Biggest clue you’ve hit one of those spots? You want to respond with “not all…” If you want to say “not all,” then I’m sorry to break it to you, it definitely includes you.

There’s some good news here, though. You know what else that “not all” means?

You don’t want it to include you.

So take a second the next time you feel that resistance. Think about why it makes you pause, why you want to exclude yourself. No one’s a perfect feminist; no one’s born innately able to understand the plight of others.

But that’s OK. That’s what growth is for, if we take our opportunities.

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