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Mangy Jay @magi_jay
, 19 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
1/ This is an upsetting story & I have some thoughts. First, tho: I & many other women are victims of sexual violence &/or harassment. I would like to get my thoughts out there, but ask that you be respectful when responding &/or disagreeing. nytimes.com/2019/01/02/us/…
2/ Up front: I do think it is reasonable to place this story w/in the larger context of some Sanders supporters harassing & attempting to diminish women.

I’ve seen this harassment. And I’ve experienced it myself. It proceeds as systematic, group-level misogyny. It ain't random.
3/ We will do an injustice to both women & to progressivism if we fail to talk about how acts of misogyny augment & inform one another.

We will also be committing harm if we fail to point out that the silence of people in power amounts to tacit approval.
4/ So, this is a conversation we desperately need to have.

It is also one which we must advance w/ caution b/c there is ALWAYS a risk of weaponizing sexual assault/harassment as a political tool.

The Right has done this. And the Left has done it as well. A lot. . . .
5/ We saw the weaponization of sexual misconduct in 2016. We saw it again w/ Weinstein.

We even saw something tantamount to glee from some Bernie supporters when the NYTimes reported a Clinton staffer had committed sexual harassment (& was disciplined for it).
6/ And, painfully, we saw this weaponization during the Kavanaugh hearings.

If you recall, the initial reporting on the accusations against Kavanaugh did not center the existences of the allegations at all. . but, rather. . focussed on Diane Feinstein.
7/ Feinstein’s attempts to protect Dr. Blasey-Ford’s privacy were subsequently used against both Feinstein & Blasey-Ford in the Senate’s hearings.
8/ And, again, it wasn’t just the Right that was guilty of this. It was the Left as well.

There are far too many people who relish the opportunity to use sexual assault/harassment as an opportunistic cudgel for their own political gain.
9/ This is not only re-victimizing for those who were directly harmed, but also traumatizing for those of us who have experienced harassment and/or assault & then witness the weaponization.

When you use survivors as a weapon, you violate all of us.
10/ All that being said, I do not think it is *necessarily* weaponizing to talk about these reports on the Sanders camp w/in the larger context of how his supporters have treated women. . . . .
11/ —and, perhaps even more importantly—I think it is crucial to talk about these reports w/ the acknowledgement that misogyny from some Sanders supporters has unfolded w/out *any* pushback from people in power--notably Weaver & Sanders himself.
12/ And, not only have Weaver and Sanders been *silent*, some of their top surrogates have guffawed at the mere mention of misogyny on the left.

All of this must be confronted.
13/ Finally, I don’t think it’s inappropriate for Clinton supporters to feel outraged about this news. These allegations have been revealed after years of misogynistic bullying.
14/ You don’t get to tell women they’re voting w/ their vaginas, throw chairs & money, disrespect female politicians, & then turn around & then proceed to tell people that they are wrong for placing allegations of sexual misconduct w/in this broader cultural context.
15/ But, finally, again: those of us who believe it is necessary to connect the dots here must also exercise extreme caution.
16/ Make sure you respect & support victims. That you encourage them to come forward. That you do not blame them. And, more than anything, make sure you do not opportunistically weaponize their stories to advance your own political motives.
17/ I'm not accusing anyone here--I haven't been that online--& I haven't actually seen this occurring. But I've heard other people commenting on it & that's why I wanted to say something.
18/ Overall: I think there’s a conversation to be had here about the broader culture. I think there is legitimate anger. I also think it is essential that we always make sure our motivation is to combat misogyny & support victims, not to score political points.
Oh, and I should say that @sadydoyle was warning against the weaponization of this story before I was. We have taken slightly different approaches here (b/c, yeah, this is nuanced), but where we overlap is the most important: respecting survivors:
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