Feminists of the blogosphere, if you haven't been tweeting the #MooreandMe hashtag, it's time to start.
For those of you outside of the Twitterverse/blogosphere/jargon-y tech world, yesterday Sady Doyle and Jaclyn Friedman started a Twitter campaign asking Michael Moore to apologize for his dismissal of the rape charges against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Because I certainly can't say it any better than Doyle herself, here's a snippet of what she posted yesterday at Tiger Beatdown:
You know what immeasurably harms the progressive community, though, is rape and rape apologism. Is victim-blaming; is accuser-smearing; is the unwillingness of men in positions of power to consider rape a crucial issue that must be taken seriously. And the person who's hurting our community, and refusing to take responsibility for that, right now, is Michael Moore...
Please tweet @MMFlint, using the hashtag #Mooreandme, until we have an explanation from Michael Moore, and preferably an apology, and preferably $20,000, donated to an anti-sexual-assault organization of his choice.
Here's the interview Michael Moore did with Keith Olbermann on Tuesday that inspired the #MooreandMe campaign. The rape apology/blatant disregard of facts kicks in around the 14:00 mark:
I don't think I need to tell you how frustrating this is, that men in power like Moore and Olbermann are unwilling to keep the facts straight when it comes to the Assange charges (they both seem fine with the notion that Assange's only alleged offense was "consensual sex with a broken condom," which is untrue) and that they can't see that Assange's arrest can be both politically motivated and justified at the same time, since he is both responsible for Wikileaks and facing rape allegations. (For more on why these allegations should be taken seriously, check out Kate Harding's latest post).
What is refreshing about this situation (hey, every shitty cloud has a silver lining in there somewhere) is the #MooreandMe campaign itself. New, whip-smart, no-shit-taking Tweets are popping up from feminists all over the world, with new ones coming in every few seconds. Check it out! Here are a few recent examples:
Though the general response to the Assange allegations themselves serves as an unpleasant reminder of the way we typically talk about rape and rape victims, the response from the feminist blogosphere is a pleasant reminder of our power to organize and support one another (and call douchebags out on their douche-y behavior).
Since the campaign began yesterday, Keith Olbermann has suspended his Twitter account. It's nothing close to an apology for his participation in perpetuating falsehoods about the Assange accusations or tweeting a link containing information about one of the victims, but it is evidence of the influence of the campaign, and it's a reason why you should participate.
Let @MMFlint (Michael Moore's Twitter handle) know how you feel about his rape apology and dismissal of the truth. Tweet #MooreandMe all day long, until he owns up to his problematic actions. More from Sady Doyle:
When you have a man who has built his career on the presumption that silence in the face of confrontation equals guilt, that refusal to engage with an angry political opponent equals guilt, that refusal to engage publicly equals guilt, a man whose job is essentially walking up to people and demanding that they talk to him in public, and you have a tool on the Internet that allows you to talk to that very man, and that man behaves irresponsibly and oppressively, in a way that betrays the principles of the entire movement he claims to speak for, and he says things that are blatantly untrue in public, so that it is very easy to ascertain that he is either not in possession of the facts or lying about them — when that man, in short, behaves in a way that makes you want to engage him publicly, and the Internet has given you the capability to engage him publicly, so that this man has no option but to (a) respond, or (b) fall into the silence=guilt equation he's built his very career on? You have a way for people to effectively participate in activism on the Internet, my friends. And, as previously stated, people will participate. Lots of them.
So what are you waiting for? Get thee to Twitter!