Please note, all opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author, and not necessarily a reflection of the views and opinions of the Fuse, Inc. organization.
This past week, the ever-growing list of women who have spoken out about their vile experiences of sexual harassment and assault by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has dominated much of my social media timelines. On Thursday, Twitter temporarily suspended the account of actress Rose McGowan, one of Weinstein’s most vocal accusers, citing that she had “violated their Terms of Service” by including a private phone number in her tweets.
Soon after, the hashtag #WomenBoycottTwitter quickly began to pick up steam, calling for a 24-hour boycott of the platform, beginning today (Oct. 13), in support of McGowan and all other victims of sexual harassment/assault.
As a woman who has experienced sexual assault, I empathize with Weinstein’s accusers and hope they find at least some semblance of justice and resolution. I agree that women must stand together to fight against the patriarchal society that has long made these horrific circumstances the norm, and applaud people like McGowan who have chosen to use their platform to speak out. But as a woman of color, I can’t in good conscience support #WomenBoycottTwitter.
The boycott is a stark reminder that solidarity is applied only to white women—something that many, if not all, WOC painfully know. We are tired of being expected to rally with our white counterparts while turning a blind eye to the reality that feminism and the protection of womanhood, is exclusive to white women until they need WOC to stand on the frontlines.
“To my white women allies, we need you to step up.”
Where was the boycott of Twitter and the solidarity with WOC by our white counterparts when Leslie Jones was tirelessly subjected to hateful, racist, abhorrent abuse on Twitter? Where were the cries of outrage and overwhelming demands for boycotts when Jemele Hill was attacked by the President of the United States with calls for her to be fired, simply for speaking her opinion on Twitter? I eagerly await the call for boycotts demanding the removal of tweets by Trump attacking Carmen Cruz, the mayor of hurricane-ravaged San Juan, Puerto Rico.
While I support all those who choose to use this opportunity to protest and make their voices heard, I refuse to jump on the bandwagon until I see my white sisters in womanhood come to the aid of WOC with the same vigor and enthusiasm found in #WomenBoycottTwitter. Until there is active intersectionality and solidarity amongst women of all races, ethnicities, sexualities and identities, I’ll simply continue to support women who look like me who are often the subject of the worst abuse and overwhelming silence. To my white women allies, we need you to step up. We're waiting.