words are all i have


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Women fighting silence with a day of silence won’t sway Twitter

I concede that I’m probably one or two sandwiches short of a picnic.

patti dawn swansson

High intelligence has never been my thing. I’ve never sought to attain it, nor has it volunteered itself to me. On average, I was a C student in school, with no interest or desire to extend my stay beyond Grade 12. Ask me my IQ and I couldn’t tell you. And I don’t care to know. I mean, isn’t intelligence better measured by the common sense expressed in our everyday words and actions rather than a series of insignificant questions and graphics on a test?

As a woman much wiser than I whispered to me not so long ago, if you seek learning go to school, if you seek knowledge leave school.

Anyway, I mention my smarts, or lack thereof, today because my tiny brain is mildly confused.

It seems that there has been a call for action against that cesspool of hostility and scorn known as Twitter. Actor Rose McGowan, a central player in the harassment/abuse scandal that has toppled movie mogul and sexual predator Harvey Weinstein, had her account locked/limited on Wednesday because she posted a private phone number. Apparently, that violates the Twitter code of conduct. (I know. Twitter has a code of conduct? Who knew?)

As a consequence, the shout has gone out for women to boycott Twitter for an entire day. This entire day.

So let me see if I’ve got this straight: Women are angry because Rose McGowan was silenced and they’re going to fight this injustice by quieting their voices. Fight silence with silence, in other words.

Well, excuse me, but that’s just—for lack of a better word—asinine.

It seems to me that this is a time for woman (and men if they’re inclined to hop on board) to raise a ruckus, not give the male stinkards who defile Twitter with their vile misogyny what they want, which is female silence and servitude. But, then, what do I know? I’m just an old lady with no more than a high school education and probably too high a d’oh quotient.

I have a Twitter account, but I am not a Twitter user in the sense that, as much as I like to see and read what others are thinking and saying, I tend not to engage in the to-and-fro banter that too often takes a hostile, confrontational turn. I find Twitter can serve as a useful source of information, and I link my blog posts to my account, but, because I learned long ago that Twitter is a gathering place for the rude, embittered and angry among us and that anyone with breasts and a vagina is a convenient target for the most crude comments based solely on her body parts, that’s the sum of my involvement.

I once was assailed in extremely degrading tones for something I had posted, but the criticism centred on my gender, not the words I had written. I yelped loudly to Twitter administration, but experienced no satisfaction in my protest. Apparently, referring to me as a female body part that rhymes with the word punt did not violate the mysterious and fictional Twitter code of conduct.

I don’t recall my response to their casual indifference, but that exchange is the reason I know a day of silence—call it a boycott, if you like—won’t sway Twitter logic.

They really don’t give a damn, but you might as well make yourself heard.

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