I told myself I wasnt going to say anymore about this but this has been weighing on my heart. I may take breaks during this thread, so please be patient.
TW// urdoinggreat, sexual assault, abuse
TW// urdoinggreat, sexual assault, abuse
For people who dont know, urdoingreat (or Gem) was/is an anarchist who made viral tiktoks about a variety of subjects. They also had a really large instagram presence. They were called out (online) for various instances of sexual assault and evading accountability several months
ago. They had a public conversation with a Black queer femme on their instagram live, and then gave up their social media handles. However, I'm pretty sure none of those accounts exist anymore.
Three days prior to the public callout on twitter, I had a viral thread on accountability, abuse, and survivorship. Written from my own perspective, my tweets discussed the viral meme that said "if I am following your abuser, let me know so I can unfollow."
I discussed how abuse survivors want different things, and I expressed my discomfort in assuming that all survivors want their abuser to be deplatformed, because *I* do not. I also name (and will continue to name) that survivors are not a monolith.
Before *all* of this happened, there were several accounts/people on here that had already said they disliked me because I defended my best friend (who isnt Black), from people looking up and posting her place of work (a local nonprofit) and gathering info on her to discredit her
and also randomly tweeting things about me, even though I don't know these people, or their names, and I am 100% sure we have never met in real life. I blocked most of these accounts, especially after being informed that they frequently accuse Black accounts with larger
followings of harm/misusing their social capital when they block or disengage with literal strangers who they do not know. (Sorry, there is a lot of backstory to this).
Anyways, Gem and I have never met offline. We came into contact because we were both relatively popular several months ago for political education around abolition. We were featured in an interview together (though those took place separately)
and they also promoted 8toabolition, which I am a co-creator of. We DMed briefly several times (about interracial dating), and then had like 2 short text conversations. 1 was disagreement around organizing strategy, and the other was about what to do with $$$ from strangers..
because I received money from this Google doc I wrote around abolition, and I was trying to figure out how to use/distribute it in a way that aligned with my values.
We were not friends, but I thought we were comrades in the sense that we shared a similar political vision and were working to achieve that.
Maybe 3 days before the callouts towards Gem happened, they texted me saying that they wanted to facetime about something. I was going through a really stressful time (and I HATE talking to people I dont really know over FT), so I said maybe after my organizing mtg.
They warned me that what they were going to discuss could potentially be triggering/upsetting so I didnt have to talk to them that night. The organizing meeting ended at 10, I didnt end up calling them. A couple days later I apologized for not following up.
They said they understood that I had a lot going on, so I could take the time I needed to call them back. A couple days pass and they text me about a book I recommended on twitter. I respond once. Then like the morning of the callouts (or possibly the morning the day before)
They frantically text me saying they HAVE to talk to me about something, because they dont have anyone to go to and they need my help. It was really distressing for me, and also was confusing because they said I could respond whenever I wanted to AND we werent friends.
I didnt respond and then thats when the online callouts around their sexual harm took place. As they spread, they wrote a statement which used vague terms in order to evade accountability, and minimize the abuse that took place.
As a survivor, I was triggered. I couldn't believe I had let this person into my space AND I felt like the conversation that they wanted to have would involve us discussing these callouts before they became more public.
I texted them saying "Is THIS what you wanted to talk about? Never contact me again." and then blocked their number. I haven't heard from them since.
In the meantime, as my thread was taking off people were upset (okay, we dont have to agree), but several of the accounts that I previously mentioned tweeted that my thread was about defending Gem because we were "friends" and my "friends" were being called out.
This blatant lie/accusation sent me into a deeply hurtful spiral which caused me to feel like I had to routinely defend myself. My friends stepped into help but it just kept getting worse. Suddenly the issue at hand wasnt the issue at hand. I was being blamed for things I didnt
do. People were looking up and posting information about my family online and saying it was "accountability." And if I defended myself? Well then i was just misusing my social capital. I couldnt handle a callout, I hated criticism, I was arrogant, I was full of myself.
and if I dared to say that I didnt care about the opinions of strangers, only comrades? Well then I was misusing my role as a "thought leader." The worst part about this situation is that I have been doxxed by MRAs, I have been stalked by a white male classmate...
but nothing hurt more than this constant/daily barrage of cruelty from people on the "left," people who looked like me, even people who were constantly engaging with my content trying to get my attention.
It was now "woke" to go after a Black disabled femme survivor because they had a lot of followers. And if my friends (who LOVE me) defended me, they were only allowed to do so if they were Black.
I was obsessing, I couldnt eat or sleep and I was constantly crying. Im a sensitive human being!!!!! Wow this thread is becoming really long. Anyways, people stopped engaging with my content because they thought I was too fixated on this.
Im going to wrap this up. After obsessing over the accusations against me, I lost focus on the truth-telling that was surrounding Gem.
There are several things about Gem's behavior that I don't wish to get into that lead me to believe that they were utilizing the language of abolition to escape accountability. And there are also several things about their behavior that let me know that in seeking to
proximity to me, they hoped that I would serve as a shield against callouts surrounding harm.
There are certain lies they told to me, and other survivors that also confirm this. I believe Gem should have been deplatformed. I dont always think that in certain instances (one size doesnt fit all for harm/abuse), but I do believe they used their platform to escape
accountability and gain access to people/spaces that would prop them up and legitimize their evasion. I am so sorry to all of the survivors of Gem's harm that had to see their work/face so visible on social media and in real life and I am so sorry to
anyone that became closer to Gem or their work because their internet association with me gave them more legitimacy. It is because of this situation, other callouts surrounding abuse (including someone who abused me), and general burnout that I took my break from organizing.
Since most organizing is taking place online right now, i could not continue and also take care of my mental and physical health needs. I also wanted time to reflect on the ways that I contributed to/didnt end celebrity culture with my larger platform.
I also wanted to read more and learn more about harm, abuse, and why I do this work. I am better at setting boundaries, and limiting people online who seek access to me and even THAT is unpopular (people calling an org I'm apart of "trash" because we blocked people who were
harassing me on here). I didnt want my organizing homes to feel negative consequences of internet conflict because the work we do is so much more important than that. Anyways, this long thread was to get this off of my chest, provide clarity, and also put this thing to rest in a
way that actually honored my needs. Thank you for reading.