“Those Who Stand For Nothing, Fall For Anything”
– Alexander Hamilton-
I like to play around on Twitter. A lot. I mostly retweet things that I think are funny, or that I agree with. I also get my up-to-the-minute news from Twitter, as it’s usually more accurate than the 24 hour news cycle. It can also be a place for support, silliness, political discussion, and activism.
Today, there has been a trending hashtag called #twittersilence. A woman by the name of Caitlin Moran (@caitlinmoran, if you wish to check her out on Twitter) has decided to use her platform by taking a stand against abuse on Twitter…by being silent. Now, while I am sure her heart is in the right place, I have to wonder if it will really do any good.
Yes, her silence, along with many others, has struck up a conversation about bullying, abuse, etc on the internet and beyond, especially towards women. However, what does silence really do?
In my opinion, the abuser wins when the victim falls silent. They can’t win. If they win, the abuse will continue. Maybe not towards the original victim (I mean, if you ignore something long enough, it will go away, right?), but towards some other unsuspecting, innocent individual. What if this new individual is at the end of their rope due to things they are keeping personal, and they are now being pushed to the edge. That’s how some suicide sometimes happens.
No, silence is not the answer. Sexual harassment is at a high in the military because abuse is allowed to continue. Not only because the victim remains silent, but also because when the victim finally does come forward, they are silenced by the authority that is in place to protect them. Fat lot of good that does them, or the next individual victimized, or the next after that.
What about the people being bullied for the color of their skin, or their sexuality? Not only on the internet, but in the real world. Racism is not dead people, it still exists. Hate crimes still happen, far more often than they should. Have you seen or heard about what’s been going on in Russia? Men and women standing up for their right to love whoever they want are being publicly beaten to oppress their rights and their voices. The people trying to take them down are trying to silence them, but the only way to push forward is to keep speaking out.
Silence is NEVER the answer. We should all be standing up and shouting about the atrocities we see every day, whether it’s on the internet, or right in front of our faces.
We should all be taking a stand against the cyber bully who hides behind an internet persona because they do not have the guts to do it in person.
We should all be taking a stand against the prejudice slapping us in the face on a daily basis. It shouldn’t matter if it’s against you. Do not turn a blind eye. Say something. Do something. Let your voice be heard.
It’s the only way to end abuse, whether it’s verbal, psychological, or physical. Whether it’s online, or on the street. Abuse of any kind is wrong, and should be stopped.
So no, I will not be silent, Twitter. I choose to use my voice, and call out the abusers.
What will you do?