With #WOCAffirmation, Women of Color On Twitter Are Empowering Themselves
As the accusations of sexual harassment, assault and rape have piled up against Hollywood power exec Harvey Weinstein, women in the film industry, including actors like Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and Ashley Judd, have come forward with their own horrific stories. Also among that list is Rose McGowan, known for her roles in movies like “Jawbreaker” and the TV show “Charmed.”
McGowan has accused Weinstein of raping her and says he later paid her $100,000 to stay silent. She’s since broken her silence, taking to Twitter to discuss her experience, demand justice and call out all the others who have covered for Weinstein. Among them is Oscar-winning actor and director Ben Affleck.
Soon after, Twitter mysteriously suspended her account, leading many on the social media platform to call foul. Especially since Twitter is known to not suspend the accounts of individuals that make racist, violent and threatening posts.
Twitter published a statement explaining why McGowan’s account was suspended, saying:Credit: @TwitterSafety/Twitter
However, a large portion of women on Twitter didn’t buy it and responded to the account suspension by choosing to boycott the social media platform, using #WomenBoycottTwitter to stand in solidarity with McGowan and other women who are routinely harassed on the platform.
Let's make Twitter go dark tomorrow. Men, we need you too. This starts at midnight. Log off for 24 hours. #WomenBoycottTwitter
— Wendy Molyneux (@WendyMolyneux) October 13, 2017
— Debra Messing (@DebraMessing) October 13, 2017
Here’s the thing though. Many argue that the hashtag and boycott is counterproductive, as women are often silenced when it comes to discussions of rape and sexual assault. So why silence ourselves?
Big ups to those participating in #WomenBoycottTwitter but the foundation of my feminism is about NOT being silenced.
— Danielle Henderson (@knottyyarn) October 13, 2017
Women of color have also come forward on Twitter to call out a glaring issue with the #WomenBoycottTwitter movement. Namely, that white women don’t respond with the same activism and fervor when black and brown women face the same attacks on Twitter.
Calling white women allies to recognize conflict of #WomenBoycottTwitter for women of color who haven't received support on similar issues.
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) October 13, 2017
So Black women, women of color and their allies have responded with their very own hashtag: #WOCAffirmation. And it’s beautiful and inspiring.
We are affirming WOC today. Let’s affirm YOU. Write a tweet celebrating who YOU are using #WOCAffirmation (don’t need to tag me). I’ll RT.
— April (@ReignOfApril) October 13, 2017
The hashtag aims to give women of color the opportunity to amplify themselves and the other WOC that inspire them, and to call out the hypocrisy and internalized racism in their boycott.
Women have come out tweeting their affirmations, showing self-love and love to the women they admire, and celebrating their power.
Going to give myself a #WOCAffirmation because being a Latina immigrant and survivor everyday in this country is exhausting.
— Fabiana Diaz (@fabzdiaz) October 13, 2017
— Yolanda Machado (@SassyMamainLA) October 13, 2017
That includes ALL women of color.
— Jess (@PTTMarginalized) October 13, 2017
And men have joined in too!
Support Black Women
Support Brown Women
Pay Black Women
Pay Brown Women
Defend Black Women
Defend Brown Women
Show em Love#WocAffirmation
— George M Johnson (@IamGMJohnson) October 13, 2017
The trending hashtag has given many WOC the space to feel like they’re not alone.
I've been in situations where I'm the only WOC far too many times in my life. It's making me so happy to see #WOCAffirmation trending.
— Nayyifa Nihad (@f_nayyifa) October 14, 2017
And is a reminder of who we are and the magic we bring to the world!
— Aurora Gayle (@missauroragayle) October 13, 2017
You are fierce. You are wonderful. You are beautiful. #WOCAffirmation
— PeachyKeen (@JustPeachy78) October 13, 2017
You can see all the #WOCAffirmation here.
Tell us your #WOCAffirmation, and share this story with the women of color you admire!
Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org