For a social media site with pretensions to respectability, Reddit shows an astounding tolerance for hate. As anyone who has ever explored the site’s dark underbelly knows well, the site hosts a vast array of subreddits devoted to celebrations of such things as “white pride” and violence against women.
The latest addition to this archipelago of awfulness is a 3-day-old subreddit with the pretentious and appalling name PhilosophyOfRape, set up by a user of the same name in order to promote and celebrate “corrective” rape of “sluts” and “harlots.”
In a manifesto announcing the subreddit to the world, the user known as PhilosophyOfRape set forth his basic thesis, which he insists is as “serious as a heart attack.”
Rape served a very important function in mitigating female behavior and keeping it in check. Back in the time of prehistory, a woman couldn’t behave as shamelessly slutty as she can today, because of the risk of catching the eye of the wrong male. But now, with “consent” laws barring nature back, and feminism and sexual-liberation perverting whole generations of hearts and minds, we find ourselves in a situation gone way, way, too far.
These harpies need to be humbled. And for their own good. Like the child with absolutely no boundaries and no discipline, they may feel they yearn for no rules, but become absolutely lost without an adult to tell them no! …
It’s not only morally justifiable to rape such a woman, it’s and brave.
At the risk of stating the obvious, this isn’t true for all female human beings. We’re not talking about nuns or grandmothers or humble, married, women of twenty years.
We’re talking about filthy, unmitigated, sluts. Oblivious and loud. Shameless. Belligerent. Entitled. Selfie taking, Tindr-whoring, Teenage-walking-herpes-sores. We are talking about bad, bad, individuals. Unruly, neglicted, children, run-amok. That badly need to be punished. Badly.
For the good of society these women need to be raped.
Here we will teach how to do it safely.
Emphasis mine, typos his.
By “safely” he means safely for the rapists, of course. In a followup post, he explained that
We are here to provide encouragement and advice how to [rape] and do it safely. Regression analysis to find out which variables make it less likely to get into legal trouble. Very few women report the rapes, what can you do to make it even less likely? Example: remind the victim that “no one will believe them”. When they orgasm (which is actually very common during rape, Google it) speak up and let them know that you are aware of it and that it will come out during trial if they reported it.
As he sees it, his program should have a good deal of appeal to the “Elliot Rodger types” of the world.
[T]here are swarms and swarms of filth parading around downtown and around campus every friday and saturday night, very badly needing to be Corrected. And there are many men out there fit to do it with just a little encouragement. The Elliot Rodger types could so easily be making a difference and gaining a purpose with just a little direction and support. I am not a “neckbeardy” type or a perma-virge or anything like that. I’ve had consentual sex with 9 girls, and have had serious relationships etc. But I do have a great deal of sympathy for these guys.
Indeed, PhilosophyOfRape hopes to transform “these guys” into a holy army of rapists:
I hate my generation, they at scum and filth and are not worthy to breathe my air. The brutish and ignorant apes that pass for men are bad, but it is their double X chromosomed counterparts that truly defile the word “human” by associating it with their detestable essences. It is the harlots that are in the greatest need of corrective discipline and it is for these harlots that the appropriate punishment is most clear: rape. Simple, swift, brutal, rape. Impassioned and indiacriminate. A whole team of holy soldiers, cutting these abominations down to a place where their feeble heads can even see Their selves for the meek and lowly creatures they are, and will greatfully bow, averting their eyes in humility and spending their dazed working quietly, tending the home and reflecting on HOW they had once thought it fit to behave.
In a now-deleted comment on the Men’s Rights subreddit that can still be found in his comment history, PhlilosophyOfRape suggested that Emma Watson was a good example of a
harlot [who] needs to be Corrected. As badly as any of them and perhaps even more so because she made choices that allowed her to retain an image with a semblance of dignity. But it is only a veneer.
And in another comment, he responded to a violent threat from a critic with a threat of his own, writing that “I’d love to rape you to death. And your daughter.”
Even more disturbingly, in a comment on TheRedPill subreddit, PhilosophyOfRape claimed that he has raped seven women so far, and that he successfully convinced a friend to rape yet another:
These harlots need to be Corrected. I so far have Corrected 7. Two last year but over five already in 2014 and a brother I’ve brought into the fold has already Corrected his first one, a vile, putrid, one.
PhilosophyOfRape, or some troll inspired by his writings, has posted some of these things on 8chan as well, where they’ve gotten essentially zero traction.
Is he lying? Is he trolling? Possibly, though it’s worth pointing out that Elliot Rodger’s even more outlandish manifesto would have likely been dismissed as the work of a troll had its release to the world not come on the heels of Rodger’s grotesque killing spree. I can only hope that PhilosophyOfRape’s claim to have raped 7 women is a lie. But beyond that he seems quite sincere.
Even if he is trolling, what he’s written is hate speech, and one wonders why Reddit’s admins, who have certainly been notified about PhilosophyOfRape – the user and the subreddit – haven’t banned him outright.
But looking the other way seems to be the modus operandi of Reddit’s admins.
Reddit has won itself a well-deserved reputation as a place where anything goes – particularly if that “anything” involves the degradation of women. During the debacle known as The Fappening, Reddit’s admins allowed their site become one of the primary internet conduits for the distribution of a virtual cache of illegally obtained celebrity nudes – including some featuring celebs who were underage when their pictures were taken. The admins only took TheFappening subreddit down when it appeared they might face legal consequences. By then the subreddit had already racked up hundreds of millions of pageviews, earning Reddit enough to pay for its server costs for several months (and possibly much more).
The admins’ casual tolerance for TheFappening wasn’t much of a surprise to anyone who has paid attention to the site for any length of time. Reddit for years hosted an assortment of subreddits devoted to sexualized, often stolen pictures of underage girls – even honoring the man responsible for the popular JailBait subreddit with an Reddit Alien statuette as an award; the admins only banned the subreddits after activists and an assortment of media outlets reported that child porn was being openly traded on r/jailbait.
The trouble is, this sort of awfulness appeals enormously to Reddit’s user base; even if they don’t partake in it themselves, Redditors tend to react with outrage whenever the admins – belatedly – take down subreddits that have become a danger to the site’s reputation. Jailbait was an extraordinarily popular subreddit, and many Redditors still mourn the day it was taken down.
And while PhilosophyOfRape has only picked up a tiny handful of subscribers in the first few days of its existence – and a small army of detractors who’ve collectively spammed the subreddit with kitten pics – other subreddits with a similar, er, appeal –from RapingWomen and BeatingWomen2 to HotRapeStories and ChokeABitch – collectively have thousands of subscribers. CuteFemaleCorpses, a subreddit devoted to sexualizing pictures of actual dead women, managed to rack up a little more than 800,000 pageviews last month. The WatchPeopleDie subreddit boasts 44,000 subscribers.
Racism also sells. The cartoonishly racist GreatApes subreddit, devoted to over the top attacks on “n*ggers” that make Stormfront seem a bastion of tolerance by comparison, generated nearly one million pageviews in September; the subreddit boasts several dozen other smaller subreddits in what it calls its “chimpire,” the overwhelming majority of which contain the word “n*gger” (without the asterisk) or references to apes in their names.
We hear again and again, without much proof, that the people posting on these subreddits are just “trolls,” though much of what they write is little more than a blunter version of what is regularly posted elsewhere on Reddit, from the racist snark in r/videos to the misogyny of r/mensrights and r/theredpill. Regardless, I’m sure that some of them are trolls.
But there is a very real danger to Reddit’s continuing tolerance of users – and whole communities – driven by hatred. At some point someone – either someone posting hateful screeds like PhilosophyOfRape, or someone inspired by these screeds – is going to take this hate to the real world, as Elliot Rodger did only a few months ago. (If he’s telling the truth about the rapes, PhilosophyOfRape already has.) PhilosophyOfRape may be nothing but hot, fetid air — I perhaps naively hope — but I think it’s a virtual certainty that some day, possibly quite soon, Reddit itself is going to give birth to another Elliot Rodger.
And then the Reddit administrators will have blood on their hands.
EDIT: If you want to report PhilosophyOfRape to the authorities, the FBI’s tip page is here.
EDIT 2: Clarified some things in the final paragraph.