By Ron Clausen (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
So today #WomenBoycottTwitter, and I don’t know if it’s more painful for us or Twitter. I may or may not have a problem relating to tweeting, reading tweets, liking tweets, retweeting tweets. You know, the whole tweeting experience.
On the plus side, my productivity will likely set world records.
In case you missed it, actor Rose McGowan, a harsh critic of Harvey Weinstein and “alleged” rape victim of his–given all that is emerging about the former Weinstein Company head, I have no reason to doubt McGowan, but as far as I know, he was never charged or convicted–was banned from Twitter for a time. Twitter claimed she wasn’t banned for speaking out and naming names (and she named names), but for tweeting a private phone number, allegedly violating the terms of service.
The thing is, though, donald trump (not a typo, I don’t capitalize his name), self-proclaimed sexual abuser of women who just goes ahead and grabs them as he said on tape, also tweeted out a phone number. He’s threatened nuclear war. He’s harassed individuals like ESPN reporter Jemele Hill, possibly resulting in her suspension from her job. He’s blamed Puerto Rico for the aftermath of his lackadaisical hurricane response and threatened to let it stew in the mess he made as people die, literally die, of completely preventable causes.
Yet he’s never been suspended from Twitter.
Some people claimed that McGowan’s suspension was purely automatic, triggered by the number of reports. But then why haven’t reports automatically triggered trump’s suspension?
So here I am today, Twitterless, thanks to Twitter’s uneven application of its rules. White supremacists, nazis, really, can spew their hatred on the platform. Bots can influence elections and the tech company pretends it can’t tell the difference between a bot and a human. Women like Leslie Jones can be harassed off of the platform and it takes huge outcry for her tormentors to be removed.
Rose McGowan can be silenced for speaking out about sexual abuse.
I don’t know how many women are with me today. I don’t know if Twitter will notice our absence. Maybe men will greatly enjoy being the only voices in the room.
But our voices matter. Women matter, even if, in the current climate, we’re constantly being told that we don’t. It’s because we matter, because we can be so loud and so strong that they’re telling us, as they did Hillary Clinton, to shut up and go away.
Be careful what you wish for, money-making entities relying on us to set your advertising prices.
We’re not going to be quiet anymore. Our voices will be heard.
But it’s our choice where we share them. And for today, it’s not on Twitter.