One of the most respected qualities of a leader is compassion. 34-year-old writer/spiritualist/self-proclaimed “Feminist Mentor” Leslie Gaines won’t admit that she’s still working on that aspect of her life, but it’s clear in her actions.
Her @FemChampion Twitter account is filled with poignant analysis and motivation for Black women trying to exist within a patriarchal society, but she’s also prone to violent outbursts toward the very women she claims to be championing. She’s become persona non grata on cable news networks after threatening to “cut” MSNBC correspondent Katy Tur on Twitter for quote-tweeting her.
There was another instance at a recent The Invisible Gaze panel where she became combative and asked people getting in line for the Q&A session why they were “invading her space.”After one woman noted that she saw the @FemChampion Instagram feed and noticed that Gaines also likes camping, Gaines threw a chair at her and left the panel.
She then took to YouTube to record a lengthy, tearful video about “how people use Instagram to gaze and ogle her life” – seemingly oblivious to the reality of Instagram as visual communication and her voluntary contribution to the circumstance.
Gaines also recently assaulted a woman at the Meet &Greet for her Spiritually Grounded, Grounding Testicles book for wearing an H&M branded shirt. She demanded the woman take off the shirt, but the woman told Gaines that she had nothing but a bra underneath and spent her last money on the book. When the woman asked if she could have one of the shirts Gaines was selling to replace the H&M shirt, Gaines beat her bloody while tearing the shirt off.
“I hand pressed those graphic tees. There’s always someone trying to steal Black labor at no cost. Then to try to manipulate me by mentioning that you only had a bra on underneath? That’s a masculine tactic if cishet men wore bras. Bottomline, we have to dismantle capitalism,” she says while sipping a Starbucks latte. “And if you don’t want to, I will dismantle your jaw.”
She doesn’t apologize for the incident and blames the woman for “putting my life in danger by bringing the cops into my presence” even though she committed the crime.
Such hypocrisy is what has caused her once-bountiful fanbase of supporters to dwindle. Despite calling herself a “Feminist Mentor,” she has no mentees at the moment.
“Yeah b***h, you’re championing. Heavyweight championing, ” Twitter User @HoodShuri said about Gaines after the Meet & Greet incident. Gaines then had her boyfriend Chad Hughes drive her into the next state to a library @HoodShuri, real name Dani Crawford, was studying in.
Gaines drove four hours (in the rain) to “beat” Crawford’s “motherf**king ass” for “invading her mental space.” Gaines broke her dominant hand when a punch she threw missed Crawford and hit a brick wall. She hasn’t been able to write in two weeks – a circumstance she blames on “external oppression.”
“I have a memoir about a summer band camp that I was trying to write. She’s hindering me being able to express my identity as one of the only Black french horn players in the Middlesex County Public Schools class of 2007 – especially as a Black woman french horn player in the Middlesex County Public Schools class of 2007. I happened to see her tweet when looking at another account of someone I’ve been trying to approach. It seems impossible to not find people attacking you, but that’s typical intra-misogyny. I coined that term, by the way. I have to protect my mental health because no one else will.“
When we pointed to her wrist and simply asked, “but what about your physical health?” she abruptly ended our interview.