Women Are Boycotting Twitter To Protest Sexual Harassment

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Nobody can deny it’s been a tough week for women. In light of the disturbing allegations against major Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, more A-listers than ever are coming forward with personal stories of sexual harassment and assault—and they’re not stopping there. Today, celebrities, activists and social media users are choosing to speak volumes through silence, protesting the violation of women via the hashtag #WomenBoycottTwitter. The campaign was launched by software engineer Kelly Ellis following actress Rose McGowan’s sudden suspension on Twitter after posting that the entertainment mogul had raped her. (The company has since released a statement indicating she had violated their terms of service for tweeting a private phone number, and that it had unlocked her account.)

The internet quickly came to Rose’s defense, with Chrissy Teigen, Kerry Washington, Mark Ruffalo and more opting to go dark on Friday the 13th. However, some users criticized the boycott, explaining that it doesn’t address the bigger issue of sexual harassment and assault against all women, particularly minorities who have also suffered under the hands of misogynistic men.

While we’re enraged that these women (and men) have experienced sexual harassment, assault and in worst cases rape, the sheer number of high-profile people who have chosen to come forward has clearly forced a global conversation about the abuse of power rampant in many industries—thus emboldening women to band together. Should you choose not to boycott Twitter today, you can show support for fellow women by following inspiring female figures like Malala Yousafzai, making a contribution through philanthropic site Olivela or donating to nonprofit organizations such as RAINN, UltraViolet and the National Organization for Women.