In a world wishing to silence and belittle women, surrendering the female voice on a free speech platform like Twitter is an ineffective tactic when fighting the war for equality.
On Oct. 13, thousands of users boycotted Twitter after actress Rose McGowan’s account was suspended following her tweets alleging movie producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual abuse.
Since then, about 50 actresses, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Lupita Nyong’o, have come forward with accusations of sexual misconduct leveled at Weinstein.
After McGowan’s account was suspended, the actress took to Instagram with a picture of the email saying she was suspended and captioned it, “Twitter has suspended me. There are powerful forces at work. Be my voice.”
Instead of speaking out for McGowan, thousands of Twitter users silenced themselves and boycotted the social media service. These celebrities and citizens chose not to speak when McGowan needed it most.
Even though McGowan got her account back, the boycott accomplished nothing. The people who kept quiet should have fought against the suspension and made their voices heard against the horrific acts Weinstein was being accused of.
Among the thousands who boycotted Twitter were celebrities like Mark Ruffalo and Kathy Griffin. These celebrities with strong followings should have used their platforms to speak against sexual assault and let the world know that topics like these shouldn’t be censored.
Griffin tweeted, “#WomenBoycottTwitter will not silence us, but Twitter will make much less $$ b/c of fewer clicks. I’m in.” Griffin being a comedian, was trying to be funny with this tweet. However, she completely undermined the entire movement. She made jokes about Twitter when the discussion should have centered on McGowan’s silencing.
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) October 13, 2017
In May, Griffin was involved in her own scandal when she posed with a bloody head of President Donald Trump. She was fired from CNN and blasted on social media. Griffin fought for the image and her acts, something she could have done for McGowan.
The only good that came from this boycott was more women coming forward about Weinstein, and they were finally able to free themselves of the burden to hold those atrocities in.
Although boycotts have proven to lead to change in the past, silencing one’s voice should never be the first option. American citizens are given the right to free speech and although this is sometimes frowned upon, fighting the system is more powerful than staying silent behind a screen.