I’m beginning to think that Black women are being “Punk’d” this month. I mean, sure, being a woman of color is no walk in the park during any other time, but this month seems particularly and glaringly oppositional for us. First it was the shrugging off of our feminism plight with the #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen hoopla. After the VMAs the internet was on fire with condemnations of Miley Cyrus for her use of faceless black women back-up dancers, one of whom she had walk on solely to smack her posterior. Now, Fast Company decided to come up with a list of “25 Of The Smartest Women on Twitter,” not a single one of whom was a woman of color. Seriously guys?!?
Author Ann Charles shared her selection process in the intro to the list:
“We did not choose women based on number of followers or those listed as the ‘most powerful’ by other business publications. We made our selections without regard to big brand affiliation or title. Instead, we looked for women who were thought leaders and pioneers, and who continually advance groundbreaking ideas and provide surprising insights that can change perspectives.”
Apparently, they also made their selections without regard to diversity of any kind. I sat here for 10 minutes trying to think of plausible excuses as to why this might have happened and I’ve come up empty-handed. There are none. There are millions of women on Twitter, many of them quite intelligent. You could not think of a single solitary one of them who happened to be a woman of color? That’s more than an oversight.
Black women on Twitter came to their own defense yesterday with #SmartBlackWomenOnTwitter (or #SmartBlackWomenOfTwitter). Many tweeted the author directly with their thoughts and suggestions, and although she hasn’t responded, she started following some new people that should help add to her Twitter color palette. Fast Company did, however, respond on Twitter and later added more women to the list.
Le sigh. Here’s to hoping that September steps its game up.