Speak out, or remain silent? However well-intentioned you are, Doing The Right Thing is probably more confusing now than ever. Someone says or does something admirable, you show your support for that person, and someone else furiously informs you that said person also did the Wrong Thing once. You pick what you think is a good cause, and find out that it may benefit some but have a negative effect on others. Most of us are doing our best, in spite of this. It certainly pays to think things through.
Today is the day that #womenboycotttwitter. In other words, women are supposed to stay silent today in order to… Er. Haven’t quite worked that one out, yet. Yes, it’s in response to Twitter banning Rose McGowan – which is, of course, a stupid, shortsighted and unfair thing for them to have done.
Generally, when a call goes out to boycott a company, the intention is to harm that company’s profits. several of those supporting or endorsing the boycott have suggested that it will, like any other boycott, hit the company in the wallet and make them change their wicked ways. But Twitter isn’t profitable. It’s not making any fucking money. Not using it for 24 hours is not going to make any difference to Twitter’s (lack of) profits.
My immediate reaction to hearing about the boycott was absolutely not ‘Ooh, what a sound idea, let me lend my support.’ More like FFS NOPENOPENOPE WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? After all, everything I have seen and heard (including direct personal experience) about misogyny on social media is that what needledick MRAs, inadequate woman-hating losers and rightwing scumbags want is for women to shut up, to stay silent, to run away. There’s already a fair bit of y-front dampening excitement in the manosphere, with sticky-fingered tweets about ‘Yeah, fuck off feminazis, twitter’s better without you.’
I’d much rather shout at the silly bastards. I’m spending what spare time I have today posting and reposting feminist quotes and plugs for femdom erotica (just to annoy them) and overall Not Being Silent Like A Fucking Good Girl. Yes, many well-meaning people have joined the boycott, and they will hopefully have their reasons, and perhaps the call for the boycott has done its share of getting the whole business talked about.
But I think it’s a fundamentally dumb idea, so I’m not playing. Ignoring people only upsets them when they actually want you to engage. If they’d rather you disappeared altogether, why do their job for them?