by Catherine Brinkman
Friday the 13th was #WomenBoycottTwitter day in support of Rose McGowan, who came forward accusing Harvey Weinstein of raping her. McGowan broke Twitter’s rules of posting actual phone numbers in posts, so they shut down her page. Quickly it spread that women should boycott Twitter on Friday.
But let’s think about it. Isn’t being quiet what got us here? For decades we have been quiet about men grabbing us, making sexual comments about us and even not hiring us because of our gender. It doesn’t matter where you are; around pro-athletes, politicians, reality tv stars, teachers and managers, women are blatantly objectified. Even the dude on the subway may accidentally brush up against your chest, with his hands cupped. And we take it.
Then we hear about Harvey Weinstein’s laundry list of famous celebrity women that he sexually abused. You know when Gwyneth Paltrow comes forward, daughter of actress Blythe Danner and director/producer Bruce Paltrow, the casting call epidemic must go much better than we originally thought. Gwyneth didn’t exactly have to go the I want to move to Hollywood to be an actress route. It is expected that more women will come forward regarding Weinstein’s sexual abuse. McGowan was the first to come out, claiming rape.
#WomenBoycottTwitter wasn’t the answer. Why go silent in support? How about get loud with support? Men don’t go quiet. If women did anything close to grope a man, we would probably get punched. At the very least there would be a loud altercation. Men would immediately tell each other about their sexual harassment and band together. But women for the most part, we slink away and keep men’s actions to ourselves.
It is time we stop slinking away and get loud. We need to take to Twitter and call out organizations that claim to be pro women, but then have guest panels full of men, addressing the crowd. Oct. 27-29th the Women’s Convention will take place in Detroit. Who is opening night keynote? Bernie Sanders. The one that bashed Hillary Clinton during the Democrat Presidential Primary. I guess that Hillary and Jill Stein’s invitation to speak was lost in the mail. Kamala Harris, Susan Collins, Carmen Yulin Cruz, or Tammy Duckworth would have been great replacements for Sanders.
When the schedule was announced, Twitter lit up with comments about a man opening a women’s event. Imani Gandy was quick to remind the Women’s convention, tweeting “Y’all seriously couldn’t find a woman to deliver the opening speech? Come on. This is really not a good look.” The general consensus on Twitter was that having men that are pro-female isn’t enough. There are plenty of strong women that are pro-women to address our issues. Remember, Harvey Weinstein was known to be pro-female.
Twitter is one of the most powerful tools that women have to share information and call men out on their abusive behavior. Boycotting the very tool that helps us spread our message and being silent for a day is counter productive. Now is the time to use Twitter to help elevate and support women. It is time that we stop slinking away and start standing up.
About the writer Catherine Brinkman: firstname.lastname@example.org Consultant focusing on marketing, business planning and executive coaching.