There could be a Twitter boycott on April 9, 2021 as women call for an end to online misogynistic attacks from men. If it happens, this will be the second mass action by women in response to overt and covert misogyny on the platform. The reason that necessitated the former as well as this impending boycott is in plain sight for the discerning.
Instances of women being trolled for sharing their opinions on subject matters that men receive accolades and in worse cases indifference for are replete on the microblogging site. A recent occurrence is the case of Twitter influencer @_Oroboghene, popularly known as Sansa, who tweeted a reflection on how her life has changed since she got married and noted that she receives more respect now that people see her as ‘belonging’ to a man.
An almost coordinated attack, largely from men, descended on the tweet shortly after. Their bone of contention being that men also experience this paradigm shift once they get married. The pile-on, which could have been a mutual exchange of lived experiences between men and women that could potentially make way for evolution in social attitudes that benefit both parties, devolved into attacks calling her all manner of unsavoury names.
Sansa has since locked her account.
A huge number of women have come forward to confirm Sansa’s assertion, and each one has met with resistance rooted in the often shifted goal post.
Men’s experience with this particular subject matter is less about their very being and human dignity and more about access to bigger – not any at all, opportunities. By contrast, women get sexually assaulted, harassed, denied jobs for fear they will seduce – code for getting harassed by, their bosses and treated as less human until they are tied to a man. The respect gained post-marriage in the case of women is one that implies, “Hands off this is another man’s field on which I may not sow.” It is, therefore, much as we may hate to admit, about ownership, about perpetuating the denial of women’s autonomy and by extension maintaining guardianship on women through the side door of the purported loving protection of holy matrimony.
While a Twitter boycott is unlikely to redeem Sansa in the eyes of her attackers, a good chunk of whom are still smarting from her bold outing of Tife Fabunmi as her alleged rapist, it could force the hand of Twitter to take stronger action against misogynistic attacks on the platform.
This is long overdue.