"But why share then? It’s on the INNANET! It’s PUBLIC!"
Because twitter is how we put our feminism into praxis. Twitter is one of the chief ways in which black feminists (and women from other marginalized groups) are able to engage with each other, bond with each other, and heal together. Twitter is how we discover that we are not alone with our struggles. Exactly what happened last night.
As such, we have to work within the confines of the platform. This is how twitter works. Open profiles allow us to connect to each other with ease. I personally would never have found 75% of the incredible, intelligent women that I now follow if they were forced to use private profiles to protect themselves. Requiring us to lockdown our profiles in order to protect ourselves from harm is a form of silencing. It directly affects and limits the framework we use to engage with each other, and it prevents us from sharing our stories and finding the support we need. Not to mention, a locked profile cannot protect against a manual retweet from an ill-intentioned follower.
By defaulting to “twitter is public I don’t need permission” when dealing with sensitive topics like this, you’re effectively saying “Don’t speak out! Don’t share your stories! Don’t share your pain! Because if you do I will be within my rights to exploit you, make money for myself and leave you to deal with the backlash.” It puts us in a situation where we are pressured into speaking out against rape culture and punished by threats and abuse if we do. There is no way to win.
Proud to be ELIXHER’s cover girl! In the Body Issue we create a space to celebrate our bodies, our narratives and our truths.
I’ve written about my experience shooting the cover and helping shape the theme of the issue with ELIXHER editor in chief Kimberley McLeod.
Lastly, I will be joined by Kimberley and the other queer women of the Body Issue who bravely bare all — Kim Crosby, Mia McKenzie and Tiona McClodden — on Thursday April 24 for a LIVE conversation via Google Hangouts at 3pm ET/12pm PT.