We are in a new age. I don’t think people knew what social media was going to be able to do. But alas, here we are. And the privileged did not expect push back from the oppressed. Not this way. And think about it. The oppressed have always pushed back. Clapped back. Resistance is not new.
But with social media, the voices are harder to silence. I don’t think they accounted for this happening at all. And most Black folks (for example) know that once we achieve something, the rules change. Succeeding is good until we do it. A college degree matters until we get them. Being a writer/blogger and creating your own space is what is recommended, demanded even, until we do it. Then we are “silencing” Whites by not allowing their domination of our spoken word and ability to share it.
Meghan Murphy, an anti-sex work, classist, White privilege loving/denying woman who gets to claim feminism (while many women of colour are rejected and denied space in feminist politics), recently wrote about bad Twitter. BAAAAD TWITTER. RUINING EVERYTHING! Not good for movements at all! Bwahaha. BWAHAHAHAHA. Aww. Are women of colour speaking out so distressing to privileged White women that they want to change the rules? Gee, this has “never” happened before, if “never” means “always, and at least for centuries.” Didn’t earlier this year White women like her promoted the power of feminism online, including Twitter, and even claimed they “started” online feminism? My…how short one’s memory can be when accountability is irrelevant.
Though I wrote this about Tumblr, it applies to Twitter as well, when people try to pretend that feminism on Twitter is a farce or that feminism began with Twitter: What The Hell Is A “Tumblr Feminist?”
I have dealt with trolls and silencers from every direction. White privilege and Whites’ racism. Male privilege and men’s sexism/misogyny/misogynoir. Black men and their need to “lead” any movement in social space (and if they cannot, they insult Black women’s work) that involves Black people at “best” and their misogynoir at worst. White women and their White supremacist feminism? Um…just see my essays of 2013—of the whole year of dealing with this. On cishet privilege, I have cis privilege, though I ID as ace. So I have plenty of privilege there and have tried to support trans people but I am still capable of cissexism, which I am glad to be called out on. As far as being an ace, well, you’ve seen my writing on evolving my thinking on my own life and this ID and the bigotry I face because of it.
So yeah, I am intimately acquainted with the privileged wanting someone like me silenced so badly that they’ll do everything from troll to threaten me with death. I’m also acquainted with having privilege, though I don’t threaten anyone and want everyone to speak. This doesn’t mean that I want to be lied on—that’s the trend by some “progressive” Whites. They can’t call me “racist” or “sexist” so they decide that I am homophobic, transphobic and anti-sex work without a shred of proof. At least 2 Whites per month accuse me of these 3, with no proof, then apologize and assume we will be friends then. GO AWAY.
Some of the other examples added to this conversation included: @BougieLa mentioned how colourism and light skinned privilege impact this silencing. @Layogenic mentioned the false equivalency of the privileged where they equate losing exclusivity to speak with losing their voice in totality, as if the oppressed can “oppress” them by rejecting domination. @tehkathryn mentioned White G&L people bothered by space for TQPoC since this centers PoC and not Whites. @MochaLisaccino mentioned how White disabled people behave as if they have no White privilege where disabled PoC are concerned.
This is a new age. And while all hierarchies are not unraveled, small voices can and will be heard. Some of us are clapping back. LOUDLY. DEAL.
"The oppressors are afraid of losing the ‘freedom’ to oppress." - Paulo Freire