Why Women Are Boycotting Twitter Amid the Harvey Weinstein Sex Abuse Scandal
On the heels of the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault scandal, which has seen more and more women step forward with stories of harassment and physical abuse, a new controversy is brewing on social media. After actor Rose McGowan’s Twitter account was temporarily suspended after she called out Ben Affleck for his complicity in Weinstein's crimes, women today are boycotting the site in solidarity.
#WomenBoycottTwitter Friday, October 13th. In solidarity w @rosemcgowan and all the victims of hate and harassment… https://t.co/VK3M1ChUqA— Kelly Ellis (@Kelly Ellis)1507820623.0
#WomenBoycottTwitter has momentum, including some celebrity support. Other Twitter users are pushing back, though.
Big ups to those participating in #WomenBoycottTwitter but the foundation of my feminism is about NOT being silenced.— Danielle Henderson (@Danielle Henderson)1507902894.0
Some claim it's silencing the voices of women, when many have just started to gain power in speaking out about the violence they face every day.
Just seen #WomenBoycottTwitter - We won't change a thing if we don't speak up about injustice. Silence gives consent.— Rachael Swindon (@Rachael Swindon)1507891095.0
Many women of color on Twitter have also called out the hashtag for invoking white feminism, insisting the voices of women of color should be amplified, not silenced.
Director Ava DuVernay also voiced a call for participants to think carefully about issues of race and solidarity.
Calling white women allies to recognize conflict of #WomenBoycottTwitter for women of color who haven't received support on similar issues.— Ava DuVernay (@Ava DuVernay)1507874418.0
Twitter has come under fire for being selective or slow to suspend and ban accounts, including those of white supremacists.
For those who are not boycotting Twitter, there’s a new call to #AmplifyWomen. Imani Gandy of Rewire has created a list of Twitter users that could be featured, called Fems of Color.
A lot of WoC are not participating in #WomenBoycottTwitter and are instead amplifying WoC voices. I have a list! https://t.co/MSyivNoJ0l— 🍁Imani Gandied Yams🍁 (@🍁Imani Gandied Yams🍁)1507897065.0
#WOCAffirmation is also trending on Twitter, where users are highlighting the contributions of themselves and others.
Even those who are calling out #WomenBoycottTwitter don’t agree with the suspension of McGowan’s account. But the politics of who stands up for whom, who decides what voices are heard and when are not being ignored.
I won’t be boycotting Twitter tomorrow. I support those who do. I only ask that you be honest about whether you are showing up selectively.— Blair Amadeus Imani (@Blair Amadeus Imani)1507865531.0