“It’s not about you Sam, stop being such a princess. Why don’t you just shut the fuck up and think about someone else for a change? Well, if you really were a feminist you’d be thinking about the greater good not just your own problems all the freakin’ time..”
I’d like to be the magnanimous diplomat you’d all prefer me to be. I would like to focus my energies on changing policy, make changes from the top down but that was never going to happen was it? Not with my turbulent past and the colour of my skin. Sorry, what? You’ve seen Europeans with darker skin than me? You think I have light skin privilege? Where have you been my whole life?! I WISH you’d been around when I got called a Paki recently, if only you’d been there to set them straight. You could have shadowed me at school and that job where the platinum blonde admin assistant serenaded me with “there’s a brown girl in the room” whenever I walked in. You could have corrected her “it’s beige, blonde admin girl” but you weren’t there so you know.
I joined Twitter for social justice. In the beginning I was so afraid of racism; I would actually mute monitoring accounts when they were RT’d into my timeline. It was too much, too close to the bone. I started tweeting about feminism and was a little shocked at the level of abuse I encountered but I had the support of my feminist sisters, acting as shock absorbers, sharing the load.
One day however, perhaps because I was beginning to challenge the inconsistencies within our movement, feminism turned its back on me. I was abandoned. Why? Well, racism, of course. Prominent white feminists like Caroline Criado Perez excused their friends for using problematic language and denied that it had anything to do with race. Of course we know now that we were right but those feminists are now outside of our reach. They have the support of the newspapers, the authorities and politicians. People like Helen Lewis set the standard for the sort of abuse I would be subjected to; all white men with the odd white woman (white feminists generally have white men do their dirty work for them) and token black person for ‘balance’. She lied about me and white people everywhere (including those gullible skeptics) believed her because she is white, nothing more or less. You don’t have to call me a Paki in order to be racist, you can just use your power to silence me and leave me open to attack which you did, Helen. I’m not holding out for an apology anymore, this enmity runs far too deep for me now.
Then you have the politicians accustomed to bending the truth for personal gain. Perhaps Louise Mensch had the best of intentions.. No, scratch that, that sentence doesn’t even make sense. Employing the fullstop at the start of her tweet she channelled increasingly more abusive racists to my online spaces and yet has not, even once, responded personally to a single tweet from me. Her intentions were not to understand or defend or debate but to flame the white knights of Twitter into defending her honour which they did. Nobody batted an eyelid. None of the supposed comrades of mine on the mythical ‘Left’. No, in this instance a white woman takes priority over any seen to be doing socialist intentions on the part of the white middle classes.
I refused to be labelled in any way that allies me with any of these people anymore. I am not an anarchist, socialist, leftie, feminist. I cannot subscribe to an ideology that is untruthful in its very foundations; the trendsetters, the commentariat; the academics seem to have abandoned the kind of person socialism seeks to support. I am not white, I am working class, I am a woman with disabilities; mental and physical and yet I am completely on my own. Social support is not extended to attention seekers like me. I hasten to add I have been pleasantly surprised by the support extended to me by some white feminists. People I have preciously launched myself at who actually do understand what it means to prevent violence against women. I’d like to acknowledge that support and the women extending it; @planetcath and @drlangtrygirl
(I will never do this for the point scoring Cathy Brennan because she actively encourages traumatised people to self-harm and suicide – some women really are just complete bastards)
However, I am keen to point out where I have been deserted in this recent wave of abuse. I initially made a report to Twitter regarding an account that was clearly transphobic. I learnt from friends that they were already aware of the account and had tried unsuccessfully to have it suspended. When I approached Twitter about it, the account in question @TrixiiSabine used an argument between myself and my real life best friend to illustrate the point that “you can’t be friends with a Paki”. I think we’re in agreement that this is racially abusive. I think we all know that racist abuse is an arrestable offence. So what did Twitter do about it? Nothing. They still haven’t responded to me on any of this. Not even when I tweeted them to let them know I had been in contact with the police who were baffled as to why it had been ignored when it’s a clear breach of their terms and conditions and ILLEGAL.
I asked these questions before and I’m going there again. Is it because I am brown? If it’s not that, and maybe it’s because you think I am stupid, why so bothered by my opinions? All I’ve ever asked for is justice, so that we are all considered human and afforded the same basic respect regardless of fanbase or identity. I’ve asked for you to understand how your privileges have given you opportunities I would have been so much more grateful for, things y’all seem to take for granted. In doing this however, I left myself wide open to abuse.
I’ve had to deal with it all by myself and it’s just not on.
Disgusted, of British Asian origin.