#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.

Temptation May Be to Lash Out Now. Don’t.

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In these rough times, our tempers seem to be very short. Twice in the last day, I’ve had people assume or read a tone into something I’ve written that simply wasn’t there. I can’t say I necessarily reacted patiently, though I did ask for clarification and took the time to visit profiles to gauge their normal point of view.

So here is what I suggest, if only for the next week while the wounds of incredible hatred are still fresh: try to give people the benefit of the doubt when you talk with them and they say something that upsets you. Ask for clarification. See what kind of people they are in general and see if the comment fits.

In my case, the request for clarification didn’t go well, but honestly, it’s nothing lost. That’s the other thing: anyone who is willing to take out whatever it is they’re experiencing on someone they don’t know isn’t likely worth your time anyway. So retreat to your corners of the internet and exist in blissful ignorance of one another.

The whole purpose of these movements based in hate is to drive us apart. Especially allies, because the fewer allies there are, the more strife and derision, the easier it is to push their mission of bigotry.

Being less reactionary means we win. Being willing to have a dialogue means we win. Giving the benefit of the doubt means we win.

One caveat: it’s never worth your time to try to persuade or have a discussion with a propaganda troll. They have similar profiles, and usually regurgitate the same talking points. In fact if you go on long enough, you can see the decision tree they’re given to respond to conversations. Block, and if appropriate report.

Otherwise, remember we’re all in this together. There’s a great mental fatigue now, don’t let it drive us apart.

For more on my thoughts about Charlottesville and rising bigotry, please read An Open Letter to My Friends of Color.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

Never Again is Happening Right Now. Right Now.

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Heather Heyer, one of the three victims murdered by the Charlottesville, VA domestic terrorist (photo by Heather Heyer)

Today I have no light chatty post about editing or writing or what I saw this weekend. Because what I saw this weekend was the slimy underbelly of society slither from beneath its not-heavy-enough rock to attack the very fabric of America. In blood and violence and ridiculous tiki torches.

No. No fun posts today.

Today should be a day of mourning for all of us, for what we’ve lost, for what these nazis–yes, nazis, yes literal nazis in the correct usage of the word literal–want to do here. There is no OK.

It is coming to pass. It hasn’t yet, but it is rising, surely as hitler’s spittle-spewing brownshirts rejoiced in the government condoning of violent bigotry and raised a wave of hatred, death and destruction. That is what those people with their Home Depot citronella lawn-candles mean. That is what they want. That is their version of utopia.

No.

So yes, I’ll go back to editing a book started years ago, a humorous space-romp that is suddenly far too close to home, far too on point. And yes, I’ll write today. Because it’s Monday, and the world marches on.

But I will not pretend this weekend wasn’t an ominous turning point. And neither should you.

For more on my thoughts about Charlottesville and rising bigotry, please read An Open Letter to My Friends of Color.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

#LoveforLeslieJ Indeed Or Twitter: The Place for Bullies

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A reminder, on Friday I’ll be participating in a Comedy Book Week Q&A on Facebook! Please come join us!

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You probably know I’m a fan of Twitter. And that I’m a fan of comedy in many forms. So what comedian Leslie Jones is experiencing just makes me…sad.

In case you didn’t know, “people” are up in arms about the “Ghostbusters” reboot with a (GASP) all-female cast. And by people I mean boys who think women are taking away all the good toys, like voting, and leaving the house without an escort. And comedy.

To pile on, apparently there is a faction targeting Leslie not only because she’s funny, not only because she’s a woman, but also because of her race. And their tweets are vile. VILE. From any point of view. The things that people are saying to someone who should be basking in the realization of her lifelong dream are simply stomach-churning.

What I don’t understand is how people think it’s OK to talk to someone like that. And even worse, Twitter apparently refuses to do anything about it.

Oh I know where you’re going. I can see it from a mile away.

“Free speech!” and “The First Amendment!”

Well…no.

Despite the common misconception that freedom of speech means you can say anything you want at any time without consequence, that’s not true. All the First Amendment does is protect us from government interference with our speech. And even that can be limited, if the state’s reason is compelling enough and the restriction is narrowly tailored to prevent infringement that goes further than necessary.

Like the old standby, yelling “fire” in a crowded theater. First Amendment or no First Amendment, the government can prosecute you.

But Twitter is not the government. Twitter is a corporation that can manage its user agreement as it sees fit within the law. So why doesn’t it ban users, like so many other sites, for abusive behavior?

There is no question that the barrage of tweets sent in Leslie’s direction are abusive. Why would Twitter want to be the best bullying platform on the planet?

Twitter mobs come and go. But lynch mobs — and that’s what these tweets sound like — shouldn’t have a platform anywhere.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

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