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Reddit’s TwoXChromosomes subreddit overrun with angry dudes

A group portrait of TwoXChromosomes regulars on Reddit?

As “activists,” Men’s Rights Activists seem to be good at only two things: harassing people, and flooding comment sections of websites with their endlessly repeated half-dozen talking points. On Reddit, for example, the local MRAs have been quite the little imperialists, invading a number of gender-related subreddits (like r/equality and r/egalitarian) and turning them essentially into r/mensrights-lite, which has effectively meant killing them. (The recently started r/masculism – an attempt to do Men’s Rights on Reddit without all the misogyny – doesn’t have a chance.)

Well, now the MRA invaders on Reddit seem to have set their sights on a much bigger target: the TwoXChromosomes subreddit. Yep, they’re trying to turn Reddit’s central hangout for the ladies into a boys club.

2XC– an explicitly female-oriented forum on a site (Reddit) heavily dominated by dudes — has always been a strange place. Though I am myself, obviously, a dude, I used to read it fairly regularly, finding it a welcome respite from all the “sammich” jokes and other idiot misogyny so pervasive elsewhere on Reddit. At the time, 2XC had a (completely unwarranted) reputation amongst the Reddit crowd  as an evil place full of feminazi man-haters.

Then something started happening to 2XC. That thing was dudes. And not just any dudes – MRA dudes. Regulars on r/mensrights started linking to threads in 2XC and invading en masse, downvoting anything vaguely feminist and spewing forth their standard litanies of complaint. Some of these invaders decided to stay. And so, these sporadic raiding parties turned into a sort of occupation.

No, 2XC – despite the growing number of MRA residents, including a few female MRAs – has not turned into another r/mensrights. But at times, especially when the discussion turns to some MRA pet issue, the place looks a lot like dude central.

Case in point: this 2XC thread, expertly dissected by NauticalLittleNet in ShitRedditSays. The story: a woman posts a picture of her Halloween costume on Reddit and is bugged by a rude, creepy comment referring to her breasts (something that happens approximately ten zillion times a day on Reddit). So she posts the pic again to 2XC, hoping for sympathy. Instead, she’s treated to a barrage of comments mocking her for her alleged “persecution complex.” As NauticalLittleNet shows, the overwhelming majority of the obnoxious comments (all of which garnered numerous upvotes) were from dudes, many of them MRAs.

Naturally, this sort of thing – which happens pretty regularly on 2XC – has totally changed the dynamic of the subreddit from something that was sort of a haven for Reddit women to just another subreddit overflowing with obnoxious dudery.

As a Redditor called emmster noted recently in r/feminist, some women in 2XC have basically stopped posting anything vaguely feminist for fear of being jumped on by argumentative dudes:

I’ll be getting downvoted to Hell in the comments, but get PMs that are supportive from women who feel too afraid of the judgment and vitriol to jump in. I don’t love knowing there are women afraid to voice their opinions in a space that’s for women.

Honestly, I think the sustained r/MensRights invasion is what’s taking the largest toll. It’s like they can’t stand the idea that women have a space that’s active and popular, and they have to come ruin it.

And it doesn’t help that, as Donna_Juanita noted in the same discussion, some of the 2XC mods have essentially bent over backwards to accommodate the MRA invaders and to clamp down on feminists allegedly causing “drama.”

In ShitRedditSays, emmster offers a broader take on what’s happened to 2XC

Since young men are a majority on the site as a whole, and a pretty hefty number of them haven’t had the “There Are Places I Am Not Necessarily Welcome to Pontificate on My Opinion” realization, the space becomes less of a place for women, and more of a place to talk about women. Which is a pretty big distinction. And a tricky thing to keep from happening without raising the ire of the entitled, ignorant young dude contingent.

As a reddit friend of mine put it, it all started with the “Hey Ladies, What Do You Think of My Dick?” posts. When a bunch of guys started posting questions, trying to “understand women,” which of course is a flawed goal, because women, being people, have a variety of opinions and preferences, and cannot actually be understood as a group. Some of them were actually questioning preferences on penis size, hence the name of the phenomenon.

My hypothesis is that eventually, it will be nothing but men talking to men about what they think about women.

Not that there is a shortage of such spaces on Reddit, or in the world in general.

By the way, that picture above is not actually a picture of 2XC regulars. It’s a picture of the Huutajat Men’s Shouting Choir. Which is a real thing in the world. Here they are in action:

432 replies on “Reddit’s TwoXChromosomes subreddit overrun with angry dudes”

After reading (most of) this thread, I am suddenly inspired to completely scrap my previous NaNo plans and write about NWO’s world instead.

@Wetherby: nah, that’d only happen if he croaked and his remains subsequently used as fertilizer. 😉 Writing about Slavey’s world? That’s gonna be one short story, there. And ftr, I’m stayin’ the hell off of Reddit…..holy buckets, those guys are NUTTERS……

@Rabbit: I should do something for NaNo but I fear I’d probably cannibalize a game idea I have on the back burner for when things are calmer if I did.

It’d be nice if the trolls were a little higher caliber on this post, it’d fit better. Oh well.

Do you know she’s had sex? She has, you know. It’s very important that people realize this.

To be fair, this probably does awe and amaze the folks on MRA sites.

Oh, and 52D whoeverthehellyouare: I DO run with the “Big Boys”–they’re the ones who AREN’T misogynist and cruel and want to learn to EVOLVE and make good lives WITH women, as opposed to blaming, bullying, and constantly trying to knock them down every chance they get.

Wow, you sure told me. I feel properly chastised. Actually, at least your earnest strawman pummeling was more entertaining than that wordy bore Pecuniary whatever who posted right after you and almost made me fall asleep.

Rutee Katreya: You’re a game designer? Involved in this, by any chance?

Quackers:
So it’s freedom of speech when these men say misogynistic or sexist statements about women, but it’s misandry when women imply that men are maybe not all perfect in every possible way ever.

And then the new troll shows up one post later to say exactly this. Do you have… powers?

Oh…. I am crushed. Such a sterling example of the “vigorous debate” you say is important in the non-echo chamber.

The wit, the snappy comebacks, the thorough destruction of my every point.

You wuz BORED… OMG, the SHAME… How will I console myself?

MD52, you damn well should. And I kept someone awake–YAY for me!!! Oh! And…NEENER, NEENER, NEENER.

Me too. It’s no fun otherwise. Also, feminists are always welcome to “invade” men’s rights subreddits anytime.

No thank you. I have no interest in having a group of bullies call me the c word a hundred times. Those MRA subreddits aren’t going to have much discussion of opposing views, because they’re way too angry and scary to everyone who isn’t an MRA.

I’ve seen what passes for vigorous debate in MRA circles. I’d get a more rousing and intellectually rigorous set of arguments out of The Barrens chat in World of Warcraft, and that is a very low bar.

Rutee Katreya: You’re a game designer? Involved in this, by any chance?

I run tabletop games, you crouton. But I like how you’re trying to scaremonger me with what appears to be a run of the mill zombie shooter where the zombies additionally make the lives of women miserable.

So, when men revolt and every women is owned by a man, can feminists be owned by their feminists lapdog?

I’ve seen what passes for vigorous debate in MRA circles. I’d get a more rousing and intellectually rigorous set of arguments out of The Barrens chat in World of Warcraft, and that is a very low bar.

I fucking love you.

@KathleenB

Jesus, NWO, even for you that’s low. Should we just let guys on the street dictate what we wear? What happens if two of them disagree?

Thunderdome.

Run to Big Daddy for more money. There isn’t any money left. Women have given all mens wealth and power to Big Daddy. When ya got nothing, there’s nothing to lose.

Wait… I thought GOVERNMENT was Big Daddy. Now it turns out that the 1% are Big Daddy?

Hey the gang here is all for indoctrinating little boys in school with shirts that read, “awaiting instructions.”

Wait… Elementry schools should be more like Lord of the Flies?

That would be a woman, each owned by an individual man

Didn’t we fight a war over whether owning another human was “right and proper”?

Man, I’m so far behind on my crazy…

thebionicmommy and Quackers: Do you feel like the incessant need for MRA´s to take over other spaces is connected to the rheotircal styles of their influences (or heroes)? They seem to fall square in the more conspiracy-minded political stuff guided by the Tea Party and Glenn Beck. In this case, Manboobz would be a small corner of the huge liberal media monolith that must be torn down brick by brick. As a result, their compulsion to make everything about them, them, them and violence done to men is an ethical imperative (kinda of a if you mixed shitty verisons of Levians with even shitter verisons of the Borg).

Sigh, it reminds of a discussion I had about “Community`s” diverse cast quickly dissovled into something about Obamacare. The reason: Show different races of people= socialist, Kenyan co-opting of culture.

Cynickal – The “awaiting instructions” thing really gets to me. Because I can sort of see the “how dare they tell innocent children how to behave!” logic, at the same time as I realize how ridiculous it is. It’s like being libertarian about potty training.

“My child is a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, and he shall poo where he deems it right!

Of course, after most of the women have been silenced or have retreated into heavily-moderated spaces, then they’ll whine, “But where are all the women?”

I dunno, but I personally could deal with being owned by a Chihuahua (sp?). And am I the only one here who remembers that WKRP thing with Les Nessman trying to pronounce said breed? 😉

Why the fuck is NWOslave always allowed to completely derail every thread on here? I liked this post and was looking forward to reading an interesting discussion, and then within 5 comments everyone’s responding to a NWOdumbass’ comment containing his standard crap that has been hashed over ad infinitum on here. Since the regulars2 are apparently incapable of ignoring him, can’t we just ban this repetitive douchebag?

Who are you and what have you done with MRAL?
Oh, wait… NWA is taking comment space away from talking about MRAL.
It’s just a plea for attention.

Hey, anyonw want to talk about me? The LA Times thread made me think that I should finally finish off my Sexy Hubble Telescope costume.
Or maybe my Sexy Hadron Collider costume.
I did the Sexy Ninja years ago, but no one saw me.

Quackers wrote: “Feminist websites also deal with a lot of trolls who are just deliberately trying to stir shit up and derail topics, so they ban more freely. There’s having a differing opinion, and then there’s being a douche. This is the internet. Guess which type of commentor is more prevalent?”

For an example of this, take a look at a post at Feministe about domestic violence. The first two commenters appear to be male, the first comment suggesting that police don’t pay attention to restraining orders being violated because too many women use them for advantage in divorce. (He wrote ‘party,’ but who truly believes that he thinks husbands take out restraining orders to get the upper hand in divorce?) The second comment asks why women find abusive men attractive in the first place. First two comments. In Feministe, a feminist website. I groaned out loud when I read them. Whether it’s trolling or ignorance or stupidity or privilege, how many times are women and/or feminists expected to answer the same old stupid questions? And be polite and civil?

http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2011/10/31/domestic-violence-is-an-every-day-issue/#comments

thebionicmommy and Quackers: Do you feel like the incessant need for MRA´s to take over other spaces is connected to the rheotircal styles of their influences (or heroes)? They seem to fall square in the more conspiracy-minded political stuff guided by the Tea Party and Glenn Beck.

That’s true, RedandGonzo. There are some similarities between MRA’s, right wing extremists, and conspiracy theorists. Then again, a lot of the MRA’s are right wing extremists, and the MRM is based on a bizarre conspiracy theory itself. I definitely think they invade feminist spaces to bully and silence feminist opinions. That’s what they consider activism, scaring other people into silence.

Another thing they have in common is that both Beck fans and MRA’s tend to have persecution complexes. If you read MRA comments about “alpha males”, “the cock carousel”, and all their other nonsense, you see they love having big pity parties. Boo hoo, the world is out to get me because I don’t have a submissive supermodel in my kitchen! Tea party radicals think liberals, atheists, and the LGBT communities are out to get them. The MRA’s and Tea Party people get a kick out of feeling sorry for themselves.

>>The second comment asks why women find abusive men attractive in the first place.

*Groans*.

They actually think abusers put off ‘abuser-vibes’? Abusers are generally pretty good at not seeming abusive until they get someone invested enough. They test boundaries subtly (so that any “wtf?” thought or comment can be brushed aside as paranoia by third parties) and slowly take over their victim’s life.

My ex-gf/current roommate and her new lesbian lover shared an appartment with me for 5 months and I, a feminist-allied/feminist-identified man, thought there was something off but I never figured out how abusive the lover actually was until after the fact and some information came to light that explained a lot of those ‘wtf’ moments (she seemed merely clingy and overly protective/paranoid about being cheated on… in truth there was the occasional slapping and physical overpowering involved, behind closed doors, when I was out of the appartment). And I lived with them. Now imagine someone who only is in their presence for a few hours a week.

Katz, I obviously meant female feminists being owned by male feminists. And since we hold them by their non-existing genitals (the logic gets a little fuzzy here, sorry), we will still actually be in control and the situation is the same for us, which normally would mean there is no need for opening a vortex. (unless male feminists realize they actually wouldn’t mind a sex-slave)
If it does happen, my plan B is to call the Doctor, that kind of problem is in his domain of expertise.

@Holly

“My child is a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, and he shall poo where he deems it right!“

I *swear* I read the Onion article on that.
(I hope it was an Onion article…)

@ David Futrelle

David, you seem to be confusing the “men’s rights movement” with the “dude’s rights movement”. As you pointed out above no “men” are making any such comments, only “dudes”. It’s nice to see at least a few “women” posting there, however, oddly no “chicks” seem to be involved.

How strange.

@ Rutee

Why’s that then? Do you think me referring to all women as “chicks” would be acceptable?

“Though I am myself, obviously, a dude”

If he meant it in a dismissive way, he would probably not apply it to himself a few sentences later.
And I never called myself or other women “chicks” but I often use “girl” in familiar equivalent to “woman”.

I remember a while back when Pharyngula posted a topic, after a long series of feminism-oriented stuff, basically saying “Enough is enough. Too many of these topics are getting derailed. This time, no men are allowed to comment.”

Which prompted the men to bitch and moan, which prompted PZ to allow men to comment as long as they weren’t derailing shit, which prompted much derailing. Eventually, PZ wrote a post that boiled down to “shut up and listen,” meaning that even the well-intentioned men were trying so hard to make their opinions heard about what to do with women that they never let the actual women have their say. Oi…

Needless to say, this kind of trolling and spamming has been going on for quite some time (so long that I can’t find the threads where this occurred). It be as if a Kirk fan site decided to invade any and every subject about Picard to claim that Kirk is the better captain. Yes, ok, they are both about Star Trek, but not every conversation about the former needs to be about the latter.

In this case, Kirk is the MRM, and Picard is the Feminists. And Picard kicks ass. 🙂

@ Snowy

I stand corrected, “dudettes” it is. Can’t wait to see David substitute the words “woman” and “women” with “dudette” and “dudettes” in subsequent posts.

@ Kyrie

David can call himself anything he want’s. I was merely stating how odd it was that in a blog post complaining about the behaviour of “men’s rights activists” he refers to all of the “men” involved as “dudes”. And all of the “dudettes” as women. Don’t you find this a little odd?

No, I don’t find it odd. The dudeches he was calling out were a subset of men. The women weren’t acting in any way which made them stand out from other women.

He could have just called them assholes, but that lacks a certain je ne sais quois, if you know what I mean.

lol qwert you cant be serious. a dude used some slang on the internet. circle the fainting couches.

do you just have a ‘here is how i have been victimized by this blog post’ mad libs set up now?

Qwert, why would he? No one really uses dudette all that much, which I think is pretty obvious because you didn’t even know it was a word. If you would like to in some kind of bizarre attempt at evenhandedness you’re perfectly welcome to, I don’t see why anyone else should though.

Obviously the word “dude” is now some sort of derogatory word towards men now… One that only accentuates David’s hatred of his own gender. Better go inform the frat boys, they’re gonna be disappointed.

Also very common on Pharyngula: threads having to do with female genital mutilation being near-immediately hijacked by men who want to talk about male circumcision. “Uh, guys? Not the place.” “But it’s the same, except with the sex reversed! What, you don’t think men’s problems are important too?” “No no, we do, that’s just not what this particular thread is about, and anyway putting the two on the same level in terms of harm is patently absurd.” “Why must you silence us??”

It’s like the idea that a topic might not actually have anything to do with men is somehow deeply misandrist.

*sigh* It’s actually a rather shameful fact of the world. The primary rule in conversation with reasonable people is that everyone has a say if they have something to contribute. The primary rule of being an asshole is that you always have something to contribute.

These “dudes” ( 😛 ) have found a way to take a reasonable system and ruin it for everyone. And when people stop holding reasonable discussion for fear of having to deal with the resulting shit-storm, the dudes will claim victory. *facepalm*

It reminds me of the inherent imbalance in debate as evident with the Gish Gallop. It takes a lot less effort to make a mess than to clean it up, and boy these dudes make messes like its nobody’s business. The only real solution is to put on your boots and wade through the slop, putting in more effort than should be required to make sure real discussion wins. It sucks, but there really isn’t another way.

@ Pecunium

To be clear I’m not trying to defend what these “dudes” are saying (I actually haven’t read their posts and have no real interest in doing so). But I’m not sure that I agree with you here. If David was using “dudes” as a euphemism for “assholes” then why would he say “Though I am myself, obviously, a dude,…”. Or rather “Though I am myself, obviously, an asshole…”

It struck me that he was using the word “dude” as a substitute for the word “man” and I find this a bit strange when he refers to the women involved as “women”.

@ Sharculese

Don’t worry dudette, I’m not as delicate as you might believe me to be. I’m more intrigued than upset by this.

@ Snowy

I think dudette is an even more stupid word than dude. Personally I dislike both words as I think they can carry certain patronising connotations (see David’s post above). Personally I prefer to be called a man, or young man, or person, but I’ll admit that I’m a bit old-fashioned in this respect.

Why’s that then? Do you think me referring to all women as “chicks” would be acceptable?

Have you lost your damn mind? “Chick” is a demeaning way to discuss women in the broader society, period, and tends to be about reducing them to their physical attributes. “Dude” is only an insult on occasion, and then only at feminist sites. If even there. You usually see “Dudebro”.

Which prompted the men to bitch and moan, which prompted PZ to allow men to comment as long as they weren’t derailing shit, which prompted much derailing. Eventually, PZ wrote a post that boiled down to “shut up and listen,” meaning that even the well-intentioned men were trying so hard to make their opinions heard about what to do with women that they never let the actual women have their say. Oi…

PZ didn’t change his mind on the one I’m thinking of, but he also didn’t moderate it repeatedly, IIRC. He created a seperate thread where the men could whinge and almost all took it there. There was a different post that I am thinking of that got derailed with much less stringent but…

Though I’m pretty sure every FGM thread ever became a circumcision thread.

@ Sharculese

“qwert do you get all your ideas about masculinity from ward cleaver or something?”

In short, no.

You know, there’s an entire internet out there young man. If your old fashioned sensibilities are offended by reading the word “dude” on one site, you can always go to another!

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