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harassment men who should not ever be with women ever misogyny MRA oppressed white men reddit the c-word women in tech

Even Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian is appalled by Reddit’s role in the attacks on Adria Richards

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Wow.  The vitriol directed at Adria Richards by the angry dudes of Reddit was so extreme it even had Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian feeling a bit embarrassed by the monster he helped to create. In a blog post earlier this week, Ohanian chided the

(otherwise reasonable-seeming) people I saw who were comfortable and self-righteous in calling a woman a bitch/cunt/etc from their Twitter, Hacker News, or, yes, reddit account. …

The comments (and support for them) I’ve seen over the past few days have really disappointed me …  This isn’t “political correctness,” this is you having the courage to use your words to create an environment that promotes an open exchange of ideas — not alienate people and certainly not terrorize them.

He reminded the “not-poor straight white men” who dominate the tech world that many of them were once the victims of bullies themselves.

Growing up, we typically weren’t picked first for sports, but were first on the Quake II server. Few people really understood our peculiar hobbies or how amazing it was to see “Hello, world” for the first time. Plenty of us got used to being ignored. Many of us were bullied. But what did we learn from it — empathy or hate?

We need to know the answer, because suddenly we are the cool kids. They’re making movies about us. We’re “rock stars.” Holy shit, the rest of the world is finally realizing how awesome we are. The geek has inherited the earth. And now that we’re the powerful ones, we need to remember: with great power comes great responsibility. It’s irresponsible to continue to act as though we are victims.

Now, there are more than a few problems with Ohanian’s plea for tolerance, up to and including all that self-aggrandizing crap at the end. On Buzzfeed, John Herrman describes Ohanian’s post as a “strategic response to a real problem.” As Herrman notes, the blog post

distances Ohanian from the site he helped create. Here, he is a commentator, not a leader. It’s a baldly political move: By identifying as a geek and then criticizing geek culture, he joins an ongoing conversation about tolerance in tech; but by minimizing Reddit’s role in driving the backlash against Adria Richards (its /r/mensrights community is raising money for the “vicims” of Richards), and characterizing the site’s actions as a reflection of a larger problem rather than a possible cause, Ohanian exonerates himself.

Technically, it was the Red Pill subreddit that started that laughable Feminist Victims Fund, but it’s certainly the case that Men’s Rights Redditors have been some of the loudest Adria Richards haters on the Internet.

Despite Herrman’s criticism, which I think is generally on the mark, Ohanian’s post is still quite striking. Apparently one of the architects of Reddit  is beginning not only to realize but to publicly acknowledge  just how toxic the culture on Reddit can be.

The big question now is whether or not the powers-that-be at Reddit will do anything about it.

EDITED TO ADD: In other news, the Daily Dot reports that Reddit’s new meme is just a topless woman who agrees with you.

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Buttman
Buttman
7 years ago

Reddit is overwhelmingly liberal. Any non-liberal opinion is immediately down voted. This is the trajectory we are headed as a society. You own it. You have created this monster. Don’t blame Traditionalists or Conservatives. These are your people.

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
7 years ago

“Damn, do these death threats make me look bad? Must damage control.” 🙁

leftwingfox
7 years ago

Wow, you mean after years of equating “criticism” with “censorship”, Reddit is now completely unable to handle any criticism at all? Whoda thunk?

ostara321
ostara321
7 years ago

Yeah, I’ll note that as others said, it almost doesn’t matter if he’s sincere or full of it. They’re empty words until he actually does something with them anyway.

AK
AK
7 years ago

I think that in most cases, the “misunderstanding” of free speech is intentional. I can’t believe that everyone who screams it is really so unaware or uninformed as to seriously think that moderation violates their rights, or even that they *should* have a right to spout off in any forum. It’s an obvious and intentional silencing tactic.

@ostara, I agree with you. If it was 100% political, it would have made more sense to distance himself during the whole jailbait/creepshot fiasco, where Reddit creepiness was featured on CNN, wouldn’t it? Ohanian may be starting to evolve a bit. It is just idle speculation though, since only his actions really matter.

Deoridhe
7 years ago

Man, on the one hand, Redditors do have the “power” of a large group of people whose harassment mobilization against people they don’t like is rather big (see also Anonymous), but that’s hardly a superpower. I think it is apt he’s pointing out they’re the bullies, now, though.

TomBcat
TomBcat
7 years ago

Aaand a late thanks to thenatfantastic.
(I wish I could comment like a godlike egyptian cat would, but I suspect it would look a little like wingdings)

cloudiah
7 years ago

Good luck on the interview, TomBcat! (I hope this is the correct thread.)

TomBcat
TomBcat
7 years ago

Yes, and thank you, the interview is over already

TomBcat
TomBcat
7 years ago

I’m just forwarding all this luck on the desicion process of my maybe future boss)

TomBcat
TomBcat
7 years ago

Since this thread is pretty much unused and it was the last subject and I sadly don’t have the time to get in on the new article right now, I’m gonna use this one to vent and then tell you people once again that you are really nice.

Vent:
So, there wasn’t a woman in the job I’m applying to since the 70’s, and people there are really nice, what somewhat bums me out though is that this is such a huge deal to them(they told me again and again how great it would be to finally have a woman there)…I don’t know why this gets to me, I should be happy that they actually WANT women but don’t get many female applicants…
I guess it is because this is always accompanied by this story about this one woman who worked there who was stronger (or something) than most men there…it just feels patronizing. (It’s supposed to be encouraging, I guess…)
This is nice of them It really is. It’s just that I was afraid for years to get into this kind of work BECAUSE I was a girl (there’s math, and electronics, and heavy lifting and computers…) and that these remarks give me the feeling that I need to prove something, that I need to get better in my job than everyone else there or I will be worthless and not taken seriously…
Does anyone get why this is a little frustrating despite all the good intentions behind it?

I would be ashamed though if anyone(given someone will even read this) offered me hugs because some people have real problems, and this is just a thought I wanted to share, which brings me to:

You people are so nice because no problem is to small for you, you show sympathy for everyone’s stories (except the trolls who whine about the lack of flowers before their feet when they enter a discussion).

WOT OT rant on a dead thread…weirdness galore!

TomBcat
TomBcat
7 years ago

Oh, hey, it isn’t that dead I noticed…I always forget that my time is not manboobz time…
Even weirder then…

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
7 years ago

TomBcat, I understand 100%. There is all this added pressure on you to represent all of womankind in a way that men are never expected to do. I’ve felt that before, as if by not beating all men at anything manly I was kinda letting down the team. :/

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
7 years ago

I mean, if I may join the whine a bit, I feel somewhat like I’m doing the girly and expected thing by choosing to go into nursing. Dammit, don’t I realize that I should be getting a Ph.D. instead? I’m capable of it! I have to prove that women are just as good as men single-handedly! (I just kind of hated the whole Ph.D. process…but that’s a minor concern compared to wussing out like a girl face and going into GirlProfessionTM.)

TomBcat
TomBcat
7 years ago

@Bagelsan

Thanks, that puts my feelings into words, which is often the first helpful step.
Also, people there seem so excited at the possibility of some female representation, that’s extra pressure, because it feels like they expect me to represent womankind for their company.
I want to get good at this job, too, so I’m already pressuring myself…

Well, there is this cliche that men, while understaffed in nursing, child care and such, are generally better at it then women, so you could STILL prove them wrong 🙂

But I know how it is, I was at a school that specialized their students on the social, nurturing fields and I thought the same thing there(back then I didn’t know that I actually liked all this tech stuff because I never had the chance to try…)
It is hard. No matter what you do, there seems to be something to prove, and it always seems wrong.
But I always have a lot of respect for the people who do what they love despite the pressure.
Be it house wife by choice, a nurse, professional boxer…for women, there’s just more pressure, and will be for a while, maybe it never goes away, so, I’m gonna stand up now…take my chapeau claque (I have that) and take it off to you.

Bagelsan
Bagelsan
7 years ago

TomBcat, back at you! Whether you get the job or not, whatever their expectations are, I’m sure you did Manbooberz proud. ^^

TomBcat
TomBcat
7 years ago

I’d salute you anyway, because you are a nurse and wow, I couldn’t do that. I tried. I couldn’t.
I jumped off a cliff once and let the ice cold water below, like, catapult me back to the bank 22 yards down river. I can do stuff like that.
Couldn’t be a nurse, because I don’t have nerves of steel. (I don’t know what this sounds like, but I’m very serious, I have great respect for your profession.

TomBcat
TomBcat
7 years ago

also, awww, thanks!
Have to go, but this really was uplifting.

hellkell
hellkell
7 years ago

Hope you get the job, TomBcat!

Fade
7 years ago

So, there wasn’t a woman in the job I’m applying to since the 70′s, and people there are really nice, what somewhat bums me out though is that this is such a huge deal to them(they told me again and again how great it would be to finally have a woman there)…I don’t know why this gets to me, I should be happy that they actually WANT women but don’t get many female applicants…
I guess it is because this is always accompanied by this story about this one woman who worked there who was stronger (or something) than most men there…it just feels patronizing. (It’s supposed to be encouraging, I guess…)
This is nice of them It really is. It’s just that I was afraid for years to get into this kind of work BECAUSE I was a girl (there’s math, and electronics, and heavy lifting and computers…) and that these remarks give me the feeling that I need to prove something, that I need to get better in my job than everyone else there or I will be worthless and not taken seriously…
Does anyone get why this is a little frustrating despite all the good intentions behind it?

Yeah, I get what you’re saying. It would feel patronizing. I wasn’t in the situation, so I can’t know how the tone is, but I do know whenever everyone’s yapping about a women and how she’s strong “just like the men” or “stronger than the men” they normally mean “because most women aren’t strong but don’t worry, you can’t get mad at us for implying it because you’re one of the special ones”. Blech.

Fade
7 years ago

And on the note of nursing — there’s this lady at my karate dojo who’s a nurse, and started karate in case one of her patients attacked her (since they had held knives on her before). I think she defused the situation by talking him down and mentioning he could attack her, or he could get his treatment. So I am seconding everyone else who said their respect for nurses. It seems like you’d have to have nerves of steel.

Either that, she just works in a reaaaally dangerous emergency room. 😉

Marie
7 years ago

Ohanian is getting eviscerated on Reddit, because apparently even a weaksauce call for decency counts as a FASCIST ATTACK ON FREEZE PEACH.

um wow. …trying to form sentence now. …like how?

@TomBcat

Does anyone get why this is a little frustrating despite all the good intentions behind it?

I agree, I find it frustrating/ condescending too (usually, for me).

I would be ashamed though if anyone(given someone will even read this) offered me hugs because some people have real problems, and this is just a thought I wanted to share, which brings me to:

Huh. I mean, I offer people hugs for big problems and small problems, regarless. I mean, I know that the bigger problems are bigger (redundant) but I normally just give internet hugs to show emotional support. I Man, I sound like a robot. :/ idk if that makes sense, but (imo) there wasn’t a ‘certain level of badness’ that had to be achieved before hug offering. I mean, if you don’t want hugs, no hugs necessary, I’m just rambling a lot.

Yeah, I get what you’re saying. It would feel patronizing. I wasn’t in the situation, so I can’t know how the tone is, but I do know whenever everyone’s yapping about a women and how she’s strong “just like the men” or “stronger than the men” they normally mean “because most women aren’t strong but don’t worry, you can’t get mad at us for implying it because you’re one of the special ones”. Blech.

YES. That is what rubs me wrong. I like the way you phrased that.

Deoridhe
7 years ago

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Yeah, no…. I don’t think so. HUGS FOR EVERYONE! Hugs are free, and mutual, and usually comforting (except for people who don’t like touch) and everyone shuld get them if they want them (unless they are an icky person).

I hate being the exceptional woman. I hated it even before I knew it was part and parcel of indemic sexism, but I hate it even more now. No, I am not different from other women. No, I am not better than other women. Other women are a possible pool of friends, not a pool of competators.

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

Pseudo necro’ing the thread to say that one perk of internet hugs is one doesn’t have to deal with “no really, don’t touch me” (I am not the touchy type in person, way too jumpy)

And also necro’ing to offer TomBcat hugs, cuz they’re kinda like scarves: one size fits all and nobody says there’s some minimal requirement (well, I guess it would be maximum tempature for scarves, but fuck it)

In random things, I’ve spent, oh, about 6 hours assembling an ikea bookcase and unboxing things that go on display. My stereoscope has a shelf and it is lovely. It’s like a mini piece of photographic history and it’s mine all mine (ok technically my grandfather gave it to my father who went “fuck it, if you want it it can skip a generation” so I have a stereoscope!) /squee

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

Pseudo Necro, the reformed Pseudo Echo!

Cool about the bookcase and stereoscope! Will we get to see pics of the arrangement?

Also scarves, nice serendipity when I am FINALLY getting lots done on a scarf I was supposed to make for a bff’s birthday mumblemumble months ago.

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

Kitteh — tomorrow perhaps. Tonight I’m beat, g’night internet

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

Whenever. 🙂 Niters!

TomBcat
TomBcat
7 years ago

Yes, internet hugs are nice.
I meant it more like…dunno…if someone told me they are sorry this happened to me or something.Then I’d feel stupid. Necro’ing! I learned a new word!

Dvärghundspossen
7 years ago

And on the note of nursing — there’s this lady at my karate dojo who’s a nurse, and started karate in case one of her patients attacked her (since they had held knives on her before). I think she defused the situation by talking him down and mentioning he could attack her, or he could get his treatment. So I am seconding everyone else who said their respect for nurses. It seems like you’d have to have nerves of steel.

I’ve worked with mentally disabled people, and once this fairly big man got a bad trip on some new epilepsy medication he was trying out and ran after me throwing things and furniture. I actually had to lock myself and the rest of the inhabitants of the apartment up in a room until he calmed down.

You DO run into violent people time to time, at least if you work with the mentally disabled/mentally ill/severely demented. It hasn’t been much of this throughout my years in nursing, but there’s been a lot of heavy physical stuff. Often they send lame patients home from hospital before everything’s been properly arranged (with ceiling lifts and stuff) at their house, and even after you’ve gotten all the proper equipment, there’s just no getting around that you need some muscle to handle lame people. Fortunately, I have a back of steel, never have experienced any back trouble, but it’s really, really common. I used to take on most of the really heavy lifting, since I figured better I do this with my steel back than someone else.

Tina
Tina
7 years ago

Thanks, freemage.

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

Cool!

Love your ratties, btw, they’re so cute. 🙂

Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

Kitteh — thanks, they’re Ikea children’s toys 🙂

The Kittehs' Unpaid Help

Good thing there’s no Ikea around here, I might be tempted! 😀

(((vv¯O¯vv))) (@blankdrug)

I think the idea is that Reddit is a platform for sharing ideas so, like the Occupy movement, there is no leader. Criticism of Ohanian’s comments as lacking leadership strikes me as dismissive of the guiding philosophy of Reddit. (Note: I’m not a member of the site myself because I rarely comment on the internet, so I could be wrong, but from my lurking, I think that’s the idea.)