What’s Current: Reddit users declare Nazi-themed war after long-standing abuse page shut down

Sex Workers Project asks MSNBC to pull show on “sex slaves” because it portrays sex work in a negative light.

Reddit is just as dark a misogynist internet hell-hole as 4chan at this point. When former CEO Ellen Pao, an Asian-American woman, attempted to reign-in some of the abhorrent behavior on the site, Redditers declared war.

Actress and filmmaker Ricki Lake takes on big pharma - Photograph: Jason Merrit via Getty Images
Actress and filmmaker Ricki Lake takes on big pharma – Photograph: Jason Merrit via Getty Images

Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein talk birth control in new documentary. The filmmakers are passionate about their subject, but terrified of the backlash they’ll face for questioning Big Pharma.

This writer is suspicious of male “feminists,” and you should be, too.

Friendly reminder: if you’re a man living in a Patriarchy, meaning you benefit from Patriarchy at almost every turn of society, then calling yourself a feminist does not exempt you from perpetuating male supremacy. Yes, you heard me right: even the act of calling yourself a feminist can be patriarchal.

Minions: Most sexist kids’ movie of the year?

The fact that the lack of females in children’s movies– from protagonists to crowd scenes, from heroes to villains — isn’t glaringly obvious to us and our children shows how sexist the world is. In the fantasy world, anything is possible, even gender equality. If we can’t even imagine it, we can’t create it. Unfortunately, Minions teaches kids, one more time, that females don’t matter much at all.

Susan Cox is a feminist writer and erstwhile academic in Philosophy. Follow her @Blasfemmey. Got tips? Email us.

Susan Cox
Susan Cox

Susan Cox is a feminist writer and academic living in the United States. She teaches in Philosophy.

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  • The Ellen Pao blow up has been awful to see, but there are feminist communities on reddit; reddit.com/r/feminisms, and /r/gender_critical are two I frequent.

    I don’t defend the actions of misogynists at all! But I wanted to chime in to say that if you stay out of the “front page” of reddit and only visit niche communities, there are good people. I’m driving from Grand Rapids to MichFest with two of them, and we met because of reddit. So, there’s that.

    Good work Susan! Thank you for your reporting.

    • Nullvoid

      Yeah. Sadly, the decent communities aren’t very active and are constantly brigaded and trolled.

  • andeväsen

    It seems misogynists of the Reddit ilk have made it to Reel Girl’s Minion film review.

  • Sam

    Beware of the Jezebel comments. I work in social work with some people (not our primary focus at my agency) who are former sex workers. I can tell you that I have never encountered a person, male or female, who came out of that and said what an empowering experience it was. I do not know where they find these sex workers with such great lives, but I would venture to guess that none of them are that deep in the industry or have done it intensely or for very long. Most of the people I work with did it out of catastrophic desperation, drug addiction, or an abusive partner who coerced them into it. The “happy sex worker” narrative just doesn’t make any sense to me, perhaps because despite knowing many former and some current sex workers, I have never encountered that attitude.

    • Nullvoid

      I think there are a few reasons why some of them might defend the misogynistic atmosphere. None of them that fit the “Happy sex worker” narrative. I’ve met some who talk positive or nonchalantly about their job but there are many factors.

      Starting with the obvious, I think some of those comments are likely fake accounts to prove a point.

      Secondly, most of the ones I see talking positively of their experience are thick skinned and do their job on camera or at a distance. Even then, I’ve never met a sex worker who hasn’t been hurt by the absolutely disgusting way they are referred to by men. they simply accept it as “bad with the good”. Those who support the industry may play another role. Example: Mercedes Carerra defending GamerGate. Oh yes, she’s a sex worker as well as a PRODUCER of porn. She, unlike many women in the porn industry, probably including her own staff, gets to chose when and how she does her job. She benefits greatly from misogynists idolizing her.

      It’s also super unfortunate that internalized misogyny exists, and is heavily rewarded by society. The easiest way to be popular on the internet – or anywhere – is to throw women under the bus! Seriously! Like, just fucking tell the world how low you think of women with a female badge. tell the world “as a woman, I can’t fucking stand women”! It works every fucking time. Our collective societies loves to hate women. It’s never been not true. Hate men? Oh boy! a fucking feminist with “Daddy issues”. In this way, women who speak up for things that make penises happy are really loved and their voices are bolstered by everyone. Bonus points for being anti-feminist or a “Real feminist”… Whatever takes away the unpleasant voice of empathy and makes men feel good about abusing women.

      There is also the fact that many women are deadened to being abused, in danger, and at the mercy of men. Some believing that there isn’t a better life for them which is sad.

    • The Real Cie

      Well, heaven forbid we should debunk the “Happy Hooker” myth. That might be, you know, depressing. We can’t have that.

  • Miep

    There is no fixing places like reddit without legal power behind such efforts.

    While it is true that some of the niche subreddits are less hostile, the whole atmosphere of male rage tends to permeate everywhere to some degree. And why try to work within a context that is so dedicated to such misogynistic efforts?

  • JaneM

    I agree with the Sex Worker Project on one thing – MSNBC shouldn’t be putting the names and faces of these women on TV. That’s an awful thing to do to them.

    • susan

      They don’t blur them?? That’s such a bad idea!

  • Laur

    I’ve seen a fair amount of Sex Slaves. I very much agree that it is exploitative. On the one hand, the show portrays the women as victimized, but on the other hand, the woman are being arrested. The show never seems to criticize the idea of arresting the people they know are in bad situations.

    AFAIK, the women never agreed to be shown on tv. Now, they’re not only surprised by the cops, but they are on national television. I find that really disgusting.

    Sex Slaves does have a feature where it shows police stings of “johns” as opposed to women selling “sex.” However, these are a minority of shows. I would much rather the the script be flipped, and all the shows JUST focus on the men inflicting the harm.