Trending Medium Article on “Pick-Mes” is Exactly Why You Can’t Use TikTok as a Primary Source

As if Black women needed MORE foolishness today.

Sharonda Harris-Marshall

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Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

I rarely respond to another Medium article, but my spirit is restless, especially after all the misinformation about Juneteenth I just didn’t have the energy to address.

Short, but sweet, the writer of this article wholeheartedly wants to address the shaming of a woman’s interests, similar to my last article. She just uses an appropriated term to get her point across. One she discovered from TikTok comments from users who were using the term incorrectly. And her comments thanked the writer for the “education” of this “new term.”

I first want to say I understand what the writer meant. Feminism is complicated and sometimes women gatekeep that feminism to their version of what a feminist should look like, which makes those pretending to espouse feminist virtues — cough*TERFs*cough — no different than the other people who judge women’s decisions. I get this because I’m a Black woman and we have always mentioned how limiting white feminism is. Shaming women who take on activities society deems as male do indeed get flak from folks who think women take on these activities for male attention, and from folks who think women who enjoy these activities aren’t feminine enough. It’s a lose-lose situation. But the writer seems to describe a bastardized form of Basic Bitchness and not Pick-Me behavior. Black women know the difference.

Secondly, I want to address the problem with citations and research. Yeah, I wrote the title of this piece in a cheeky way to get you to read this thing, but Black people are well aware of the paradox of sourcing information. Our concept of primary sources still has a Eurocentric framework in where well-documented history is considered more valuable than oral history, even if certain cultures, such as us African Americans, have fairly reliable oral histories. So TikTok can be treated as a primary source while being easily corruptible. And it’s way too easy to Columbus concepts from TikTok, whitewash, and repackage, which is what happened to the label Pick-Me.

You may argue that TikTok is not better or worse than Medium, or any other open platform where any yahoo can make…

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Sharonda Harris-Marshall

is a filmmaker, photographer, and digital media artist living a stereotypical artist life. She could have been a doctor or a scientist, but here we are.