Git Real && Stop Cherry-Picking

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Hi. So it’s been a rough couple of weeks and today is certainly no break. So I have several things that I wanted to talk about and the way that I usually do this is in a Twitter thread, but the dicey thing about Twitter is that because it breaks up your conversation, into multiple parts, it’s really easy for people to take a part of something you say and turn it into something that you didn’t say. And I have, you know, these past couple of weeks have certainly been, you know, made that super apparent. And so I wanted to record something so that you could hear, you know, me not just read my words, with whatever internal voice you’ve kind of created for me and, you know, to apply whatever tone that your own internal biases and perceptions and point of views place on it. You know, I’m not, I’m not an angry person, but I’ve definitely been angry over the past couple of weeks.

I’ve been really hurt, upset, definitely had some panic attacks. You know, I shared something really, really deep and dark, because I wanted people to understand the impact of the things they say, questioning, you know, my sexuality. It’s not that there’s anything inherently wrong with doing something like that. But people might not be ready, you know, to talk about their sexuality. And I’m not going to say that I am or I was, but for my own mental health, I felt like I had to share one why I was struggling with it and to to stop people from continuing to ask, you know, and hopefully, you know, that that thread that I wrote makes it clear that like, I don’t know where I am and that, you know, I’m not ready to figure it out. I’m just on a journey. And that’s okay.

The first thing that I want to say just because it’s, I feel like it’s like super important that I say this first is, to talk about listening. When I became a mom, I took a really hard look at the childhood I had and how, how it turned out the way that it did. And I think it’s easy to think about listening in terms of hearing somebody when they talk or reading the things that they write. But it’s so much more than that. It’s, it’s the internalization you do of the things that you absorb and how you take that and start paying attention, you know, to the unspoken things. you know, my parents, people often criticize them that they weren’t, you know, that they weren’t there to protect me. And I mean I was at the babysitter and they were at work, you know, like they couldn’t be there.

They had to work to pay the bills. And that’s a reality for so many of us. You know, I grew up really poor and that there was no way for my parents to be there and I’m not excusing them. But the point is that the thing where they failed in that regard was actually that they weren’t paying attention. They weren’t listening, you know, to their daughter for, you know, 15 years showing them signs that something was wrong. And, you know, I, I got punished a lot for things that were simply me acting out based on, you know, what had happened to me. And, and that’s what I want to talk about, you know, today is it’s kind of, you know, putting together the things that I said about my friends, you know, people that I, women that I really, really respect and look up to amplifying a message that I didn’t notice for weeks was dangerous, you know, and I was a part of amplifying that. I am culpable, you know, and I think it’s, it’s really hard, to take a step back and see past, the good that you’re doing because it has a net positive and not internalizing, you know, what you could’ve done better or what you could be doing better, what you should be doing better and worse, the ways that you’re harming other women who, who, you know, we need to stand with. this morning, I read a tweet from a woman and I cherry picked a word or a phrase rather, that she says, and I know that I do this all the time. And I know that other people do it all the time. And, that’s kind of how the, you know, the broken conversation, that Twitter, you know, tends to, uh, uh, catalyze, you know, I read the phrase that diversity should include everyone and I agreed it should.

The problem is, is that the person that said this doesn’t actually want to include everything. And because I gave this white woman the benefit of the doubt, I put a person of color who I, you know, I care about and respect, who does so much work for this community. Kim Crayton. I put her in danger, you know, because I said that my values, Kim’s values, because a scene’s values are aligned with this woman’s because of this one tweet that she said, which sounded like it was coming from a place of anger because of things I said that seem to be separating white women from women of color. But the truth of the matter is, is that this woman had been, has been banned, you know, from several, uh, diversity inclusion, communities and, and women in tech communities. for her sexism, racism, uh, and uh, homophobia.

And you have to take a step back and, and think like sometimes the message that somebody is sending isn’t the message that they’re sending. And that ties back into, you know, the Ladybug podcast and, and my, you know, my amplifying of it, it’s not about the fact that four white women started a podcast. I mean there’s, I’m sure that there are hundreds, thousands of podcasts that are started by only, you know, white women. I am sure that if I, you know, started a pod past, with my friends, the majority of my friends are white. But I mean I, it’s not the point. The point is that there is something bigger there and that’s why I talk about Cherry picking, right? Like if you take everything out of my thread and the only thing you get out of it is that I’m mad the four white women started a podcast and didn’t include a woman of color, then you are not listening.

Because the point is, is that right now in 2019, we should be able to think about what we’re doing. And what we’re saying, you know, these for women, you know, where my friends and some of them aren’t anymore, you know, and it’s hard. But the reality of the fact is that in the intro episode, which shot them up to the top of the podcast charts, it said that we want to give women in tech a voice with our diverse experiences. And if we take that sentence and we really break it down, it becomes clear that we were sending a message. You know, I did I say those words and was I on the podcast now, but I retweeted it over and over and over again to, at the time 12,000 people and

I choose what is in at least 12,000 peoples mental spaces. I’m not the only one that’s a part of that, but it has an impact. And I am taking responsibility for that because I don’t feel bad about lifting up my friend’s podcast. I don’t, I feel bad about first not noticing, words that were only being spoken by four white women, but then also not noticing for months how many women of color went quiet. the, the get Q podcast, it literally stopped recording. and we have to take responsibility, you know, for these things and we can’t comment white women who are standing up for people of Color in kind and you know, nice ways, constructive ways and tell them that they’re quote unquote eating their own because that’s not what we’re doing. That’s what you’re doing. I’m not separating white women from women of color.

We’re doing that with our actions when we don’t include them. And when we don’t notice, not just the things that they’re saying, but the things that they’re not saying, the things that they’re doing, the ways that they show us that they are hurt. Much like when you have to listen, you know to people you are close with, you have to pay attention. You notice when they stop talking to you, right? If one of your close friends, if you do something or say something that hurts them, I’ll be at unintentionally, they step away and then you have to come to them and try to figure out what’s wrong. And it’s because you noticed that there was a change in them that seems to be related to something that you did. And that’s all that I am trying to do. You know, it’s, it’s super unfortunate to me that I felt like that was, uh, heard and seen.

I don’t know, a week ago whenever I, I tweeted, what I did and I feel like a couple of days ago because a woman of color stated that she was hurt by it in the way that we have no right to police the tone of suddenly it became a way to attack other people. saying that I’m racist towards white people or that, uh, you know, Kim is racist towards white people or all of the women of color who are feeling like they can have a voice. You’re hurting them. All I’m asking is for us to listen and to pay attention. And you know, I understand it hurts to be the example. I’ve been the example. I mean I screwed up this morning, you know, bye bye not looking and seeing what was beneath the surface, what this PR, this woman’s intentions really were like, just because somebody says pretty words doesn’t mean they have pretty intentions and it’s really important that before we react, before we co-signed somebody, we need to start doing the research that women of color have absolutely no choice but to do.

Because at the end of the day, you know, yes, people are really mad at me and they’re seeing things that are hurting me and they’re causing me anxiety, but I am not going anywhere. And no matter what, any amount of danger I am in, in this situation regarding white supremacy and whether or not we’re including women of color and ensuring that they get lifted up when we do, I am never going to be killed because I, because I hate crime against people of color because I am not a person of color. And every single day that I feel like I am receiving abuse on Twitter and I stay, it’s because I recognize that I have that privilege and we as white women need to understand that we do too. And when I help men understand the problems that I deal with, with sexism, I expect them to go to bat for me. And when they tell me that they are or I see that they are, it makes me feel included. It makes me feel like I’m worthy and I should stay in tech and that I belong here and that I’m wanted here and

we need to do the same thing for, for women of color. And that’s all I’m asking of you is for you to examine your behavior, you know, other’s behavior and start amplifying, you know, not just amplifying, you know, voices of women of color but being the voice that they can’t be so that they can feel strong enough and supported enough, that when when they do, you know, speak up for the things that they see, that we’re doing that harm them, that they know that they’re not going to be standing there alone. So that’s basically the whole thing. Stop Cherry picking. Start looking at who people are before you co-sign them and stop taking what people are saying that you few as a criticism of yourself or your friends and turning it into something that it’s not, my message isn’t harmful and I am not going to allow the women, the white women, especially in this community, turn this into a war between white women and women of color. Because you are the ones that are doing that, not me. I’m asking you to listen.