My name is Titania McGrath. I am a radical intersectionalist poet committed to feminism, social justice, and armed peaceful protest. In April of this year, I decided to become more industrious on social media. I was inspired by other activists who had made use of their online platforms in order to spread their message and explain to people why they are wrong about everything.
This week the powers-that-be at Twitter hit my account with a “permanent suspension” (a semantic contradiction, but then I suppose bigots aren’t known for their grammatical prowess). This was the latest in a series of suspensions, all of which were imposed because I had been too woke. The final straw appeared to be a tweet in which I informed my followers that I would be attending a pro-Brexit march so that I could punch a few UKIP supporters in the name of tolerance.
Don’t get me wrong. I have always supported censorship. Major social media platforms have a responsibility to ensure that we are expressing the correct sort of free speech. Twitter’s decision to suspend Alex Jones, host of American website InfoWars, set the right kind of precedent. I fully supported this action because Jones is known for disseminating fake news and wild conspiracy theories. But the fact that I was also banned makes me think that Twitter were being secretly controlled by InfoWars from the very start.
Indeed, Twitter’s modus operandi appears to involve routinely silencing those who defend social justice and enabling those who spread hate. In my short time on the platform, I have regularly come across hate speech from the sort of unreconstructed bigots who believe that there are only two genders, or that Islam is not a race. It’s got to the point where if someone doesn’t have “anti-fascist” in their bio, it’s safest to assume that they’re a fascist.
The permanent suspension only lasted for a day, but the experience was traumatic and lasting. I now understand how Nelson Mandela felt. If anything, my ordeal was even more damaging. Mandela may have had to endure 27 years of incarceration, but at least his male privilege protected him from ever having to put up with mansplaining, or being subject to wolf-whistling by grubby proles on a building site.
So what are we to make of my ban? The only sensible conclusion is that Twitter is run by a coterie of crypto-fascists. Needless to say, this bodes ill for the social justice movement. Like it or not, the successors to humanitarians such as Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi are now to be found on social media. One thinks immediately of Gary Lineker, Lily Allen, and that guy who played Mr Sulu on Star Trek.
Unfortunately, those who fight for the progressive cause are continually bombarded by alt-right trolls who like to engage in a form of harassment known as “debate.” Only a few days before my suspension, a misogynist referred to me as “shrill and humourless.” As I was quick to point out, humour is a patriarchal construct. This is why it has been so gratifying to see the success of our current wave of feminist comedians, those brave women who are subverting the genre by ensuring that it doesn’t make anyone laugh.
Do not pity me. As a woman in a heteronormative patriarchal world I am accustomed to males like Jack Dorsey attempting to keep me silent. In my absence from Twitter, I took the opportunity to spend some time at a resort in Val d’Isère, where I could relax and contemplate my oppression. I even managed to write a book which I have entitled Woke: A Guide to Social Justice. I did want to call it My Struggle, but that title was already taken apparently.
I am a healer, a weaver of dreams. I have been put on this earth to defend minorities and fight for social justice. My work is not about ego. It is so much bigger than me. So please make sure you spread the word about my new book so that as many copies as possible can be sold.
Titania McGrath is an Activist. Healer. Radical intersectionalist poet. You can follow her on Twitter @TitaniaMcGrath