On tone policing, twitter & the perils of being a visible black woman

So if you’ve been anywhere online in the last 24 hours you’ve seen the horrific racist abuse hurled at Leslie Jones for daring to be in a movie. Not for a crime, or anything terrible. She was simply a cast member in a reboot of a movie that for some reason, a select, vociferous minority decided was ruined because it has women in it.

She endured a lot of terrible shit being tweeted at her, lots of which got through despite her verified status (blue checkmark). After a while she clapped back and exposed the people sending her things. TW for racist imagery if you check out her twitter TL.

What was also bothering me was the tone policing of her replies. Here is a black woman who’s been harassed, hated and sent vile things all day because of a movie ‘review’ by same vociferous minority of hateful scum. So much useless advice of don’t reply, don’t talk like that, be nicer. Come on, really?

So as I am wont to do when I am low on time but still got thoughts; I hit up twitter. So here are my collated, cleaned up and autocorrect failures rectified in one post.

Really want to write something on how people tone police women, especially black women on here in face of abuse. Lemme be up front and say I’m not down with the new Ghostbusters film b/c lazy tropes or Leslie’s comedy. But that harassment she had simply because some fuck heads “reviewed” the film and decided to come at her with some racism that was just…damn y’all.

What @Lesdoggg got flung at her was non-stop, racist cartoons, slurs, misogyny and soon doctored tweets were flying around. I applaud her for the restraint she showed for a while, I couldn’t have done it. Then we got the tone police telling her to be nice. Why the entire fuck else would some of y’all tell her to be nice, to just ignore it?

She clapped back on those hating her but yet, so many tweets, often from men, a few from women imploring her to curb her language or just be nice. To stop replying. I’m pretty sure if she was a dude, people wouldn’t be telling her that. A man would get cheered on for telling off his haters, instead, since she’s black peoples were all up in her TL trying to get her to moderate her words & tone. Even went after the use of y’all in her tweets. Y’all is the contraction of you and all, a valid word and commonly used.

So lemme say this. Stop telling women, especially black women to moderate their tone. Being nice ain’t got us a damn thing. Telling a black woman on here not to cuss, or just try talking to your haters is for your comfort not hers. I used to be that chick who’s try to reason with haters & racists. That ended fast once I saw that they don’t care what you say or how you reply that you’re just another thing on the internet to them, not even human. So curbing our tongues won’t help.

Y’all see how black women can respond neutrally, carefully or with full tilt rage and it won’t matter to racists Some days you just gotta let people have it when they come at you with some bullshit. Some days you block & carry on. But spare us the idea that somehow being meek and soft will stop harassment. It just lays out a doormat taut says tread on me.

The harassment @Lesdoggg got was for being a visible black woman in a film that fuck boys wanna cling to as their sole domain. They want to act like the women in the film are responsible for destroying precious childhood memories of an ok film. (YEAH I SAID IT WAS JUST OK. I saw it as a teenager and again as an adult. It’s no masterpiece)

So when their fave leaning so far right, it’s almost a curve pub posts a “review” that targets Leslie & fuckboys come at her non-stop? Don’t y’all dare act like she’s above human emotion and is supposed to just take whatever people on here dish out. She’s verified, most of trash should have been filtered out. But racists kept at it, yet @Support has done what? Nothing really.

So for us non-verified folks seeing her go through that? People still want to tone police and language check? Shows there’s no support, there’s no care, because as many pointed out harassers create a profit line for social media. It generates content & usage.

So instead of telling people being harassed to ignore it or be polite? Maybe let them deal how they need to. Stop trying to de-escalate black women’s anger over being targeted for your comfort. Go read a book, catch some damn Pokemon, go somewhere if seeing someone handle their business like they need to bothers you so much, you just gotta “offer advice”.

Keep your damn advice, stop tone policing people being harassed and report the harassers, offer something useful like a shoulder, a virtual ear or something. Also, report the people doing the harassing that’s super useful if not that effective.

INDG Founder, cast Rivals of Waterdeep, Mother Lands RPG Creative Director, diversity & inclusion consultant, freelance rpg dev, speaker & Twitch Partner

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