Imani Gandy: Violence Against Women Online

I think Twitter has become the new public square. I’ve found Twitter to be a really good platform for people who normally don’t have as much of a say in the political process. I’m talking primarily young people of colour, because there is a reason that ‘Black Twitter’ is a thing. It has been a really powerful thing that black people have been able to come together to reach out to other black people across the country. Whether it’s about the latest episode of Scandal or Black Lives Matter – Twitter has really become a powerful organizing tool. And elite politicians are not used to having to answer to those types of people.

I get harassment as a woman and I get the extra harassment because of race and being a black woman. They will call white women a ‘c*nt’ and they’ll call me a ‘n*gger c*nt’. Whatever identity they can pick they will pick it and use it against you.  Whatever slur they can come up with for a marginalized group – they use.

The abuse [I get on Twitter] is mostly filtered out and I have trained myself to not search my name because then I get really angry. It’s not fun, you get into this place where you think everybody hates me, what am I doing wrong? It definitely increased my anxiety and I’m already an anxious person. The first time someone called me n*gger on Twitter I literally cried…and then five minutes later I laughed. It’s just one of those things you get used to, at this point I am mostly used to it.