Controversial Reddit communities
List of known controversial communities on Reddit
See also: Reddit § Controversies
The social news site Reddit has occasionally been the topic of controversy due to the presence of communities on the site (known as "subreddits") devoted to explicit or controversial material. In 2012, Yishan Wong, the site's then-CEO, stated, "We stand for free speech. This means we are not going to ban distasteful subreddits. We will not ban legal content even if we find it odious or if we personally condemn it."[needs update]
The subreddit r/jailbait, devoted to suggestive or revealing photos of underage girls, was one of the most prominent subreddits on the site before it was closed down in October 2011 following a report by CNN. The controversy surrounding r/Creepshots, devoted to revealing or suggestive photos of women taken without their awareness or consent, occurred a year after r/jailbait's closure. The r/Creepshots controversy prompted a Gawker exposé of one of the subreddit's moderators by Adrian Chen, which revealed the real-life identity of the user behind the account, Michael Brutsch. This started discussion in the media about the ethics of anonymity and outing on the Internet.
In 2015, Reddit introduced a quarantine policy to make visiting certain subreddits more difficult. Visiting or joining a quarantined subreddit requires bypassing a warning prompt. Since 2018, subreddits are allowed to appeal their quarantine. Some subreddits are banned after unsuccessful quarantines.
On June 9, 2014, a subreddit called r/beatingwomen was closed by Reddit. The community, which featured graphic depictions of violence against women, was banned after its moderators were found to be sharing users' personal information online, and collaborating to protect one another from sitewide bans. Following the ban, the community's founder rebooted the subreddit under the name r/beatingwomen2 in an attempt to circumvent the ban, but was banned afterwards.
r/Braincels was the most popular subreddit for incels, or "involuntary celibates", after r/Incels was banned, gaining 16,900 followers by April 2018. The subreddit's leaders decided to ban individuals advocating for murder. However, the subreddit promoted rape and suicide. The subreddit was banned in September 2019, after violating Reddit's Content Policy with respect to bullying and harassment.
r/ChapoTrapHouse was a subreddit dedicated to the leftist podcast Chapo Trap House which is associated with the term dirtbag left. The community had 160,000 regulars before being banned on June 29, 2020, because they "consistently host rule-breaking content and their mods have demonstrated no intention of reining in their community." Previously, the community had been quarantined for content that promotes violence. The community of the subreddit later migrated to an instance of Lemmy, a Reddit alternative.
The term "Chimpire" refers to a collection of subreddits and affiliated websites that promoted anti-black racism, including frequent use of racial slurs. In June 2013, the subreddit r/niggers was banned from Reddit for engaging in vote manipulation, incitements of violence and using racist content to disrupt other communities. Reddit general manager Erik Martin noted that the subforum was given multiple chances to comply with site rules, noting that "users can tell from the amount of warnings we extended to a subreddit as clearly awful as r/niggers that we go into the decision to ban subreddits with a lot of scrutiny". Following the ban of r/niggers, the subreddit r/Coontown grew to become the most popular "Chimpire" site, with over 15,000 members at its peak. Many of the posters on these subreddits were formerly involved with r/niggers.
One of these subreddits, r/shitniggerssay, was banned in June 2015 at the same time as fatpeoplehate. In the midst of changes to Reddit's content policy, r/Coontown was banned in August 2015.
A year after the closure of r/jailbait, another subreddit called r/CreepShots drew controversy in the press for hosting sexualized images of women without their knowledge. In the wake of this media attention, u/violentacrez was added to r/CreepShots as a moderator, and reports emerged that Gawker reporter Adrian Chen was planning an exposé that would reveal the real-life identity of this user, who moderated dozens of controversial subreddits as well as a few hundred general-interest communities. Several major subreddits banned links to Gawker in response to the impending exposé and the account u/violentacrez was deleted. Moderators defended their decisions to block the site from these sections of Reddit on the basis that the impending report was "doxing" (a term for exposing the identity of a pseudonymous person), and that such exposure threatened the site's structural integrity.
When Chen informed u/violentacrez about the impending exposé, the user pleaded with Chen not to publish it because he was concerned about the potential impact on his employment and finances, noting that his wife was disabled and he had a mortgage to pay. He also expressed concern that he would be falsely labeled a child pornographer or anti-semite because of some of the subreddits he created. Despite u/violentacrez's offer to delete his postings and leave Reddit, Chen insisted he would still publish the piece.
Chen published the piece on October 12, 2012, revealing that the person operating the u/violentacrez account was a middle-aged programmer from Arlington, Texas named Michael Brutsch. Within a day of the article being published, Brutsch was fired by his employer, and the link to the exposé was briefly banned from Reddit. He stated on Reddit after the article was published that he had received numerous death threats.
Reddit CEO Yishan Wong defended the content Brutsch contributed to the site as free speech and criticized efforts to ban the Gawker link on the same basis. Wong stated that the staff had considered a site-wide ban on the link, but rejected this idea for fear it would create a negative impression of the site without getting results. Brutsch later briefly returned to Reddit on a different account and criticized what he stated were numerous factual inaccuracies in the Gawker exposé.
A week after the exposé, Brutsch held an interview with CNN that aired on Anderson Cooper 360°. In the interview with journalist Drew Griffin, Brutsch was apologetic about his activity on Reddit. He explained that he was most fond of the appreciation he got from other redditors, and that Reddit helped him relieve stress. Brutsch also described the support he had from administrators, stating that he had received an award for his contributions. Reddit noted that the award was for winning a community vote for "Worst Subreddit", and stated that they regretted sending it, as well as claiming the u/violentacrez account had been banned on several occasions. Brutsch subsequently noted on Reddit that he regretted doing the interview and criticized the accuracy of the statement Reddit gave to CNN.
Chris Slowe, a lead programmer of Reddit until 2010, said of the relationship between Brutsch and the Reddit staff: "We just stayed out of there and let him do his thing and we knew at least he was getting rid of a lot of stuff that wasn't particularly legal."
Ethics of outing
Further information: Doxing and Internet privacy
Gawker's outing of Brutsch as u/violentacrez led to contentious discussion about privacy and anonymity on the Internet. Such discussions included claims that outing, or "doxing", was necessary to draw attention to objectionable content so it could be removed, while others claimed that it impeded the ability for people to exercise their right to legal free speech online due to fear of public retribution.
Sady Doyle, writing in The Guardian, compared it to the outing of the alleged blackmailer of Amanda Todd and suggested that such outings may be justified, but that they may also unduly focus attention on individuals without confronting the underlying problems by engaging in "sensationalism" at the expense of cultural reform. In PC Magazine, Damon Poeter stated that, while he has defended protecting anonymity on the Internet, he still supported Brutsch being outed because he felt the various subreddits he contributed to as u/violentacrez were serious invasions of privacy, regardless of legality, and that it was therefore justifiable to reveal his personal details.
The public outpouring of hostility towards Brutsch following the exposé prompted commentators such as Danah Boyd of Wired and Michelle Star of CNET to question the morality of outing as a way to enforce societal standards online. Several commentators have expressed concern that the public shaming of Brutsch to serve as an example to others is legitimizing online vigilantism and exposing individuals such as Brutsch to mass retribution.
r/CringeAnarchy was a subreddit themed around "cringe" and "edgy", politically incorrect content, featuring far-right content. Originally an uncensored (hence "anarchy") spinoff of r/cringe, it later shifted to the far-right, with anti-transgender and anti-"SJW" content taking over. The subreddit was quarantined in September 2018, at which point it had over 400,000 subscribers.
Following the Christchurch mosque shootings (March 15, 2019), more anti-Muslim posts were made on the subreddit. The subreddit was banned on April 25, 2019, for violating Reddit's content policy regarding violent content.
The subreddit r/DarkNetMarkets, a darknet market discussion forum, featured participation from their owners, causing US authorities to request personal information behind several accounts. This subreddit was banned on March 21, 2018.
See also: Deepfake
Deepfakes was a controversial subreddit that superimposed famous female actresses onto pornographic videos, made using FakeApp, without the consent of the actresses. Such actresses included Emma Watson and Daisy Ridley. After the subreddit was given notoriety from the press, videos from the subreddit were banned from Gfycat and Discord. On February 7, 2018, the day after Pornhub banned the videos, the subreddit was banned as well.
On June 10, 2015, Reddit banned five subreddits, citing an anti-harassment policy. The largest of the banned subreddits, r/fatpeoplehate, had an estimated 151,000 subscribers at the time of its banning. r/fatpeoplehate hosted photos of overweight people (mostly women) for the purpose of mockery. The other four subreddits were r/hamplanethatred, r/neofag, r/transfags, and r/shitniggerssay. A Reddit admin said, "We will ban subreddits that allow their communities to use the subreddit as a platform to harass individuals when moderators don't take action".
Because of the ban, Reddit users flooded the site with pictures of overweight people and Reddit's interim CEO Ellen Pao. Due to the decision to ban these subreddits, some users moved to Voat, a social aggregation website similar to Reddit.
In January 2021 Reddit began a crack down on subreddits for female incels ("femcels") such as r/trufemcels for "promoting hate"[non-primary source needed] and r/femcels for "violating content policy".[non-primary source needed] The femcel subreddits have been accused of lookism, racism, transphobia, and spreading alt-right conspiracy theories and using the same terminology of incels. After the ban the community migrated away from Reddit to a dedicated website.
Following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, members of the subreddit r/findbostonbombers wrongly identified a number of people as suspects, including a 17-year-old track athlete and a 22-year-old Brown University student missing since March. A body reported to be that of the missing Brown student misidentified as a Boston bomber suspect, who had been missing for a month before-hand, was found in Providence River in Rhode Island on April 25, 2013, as reported by the Rhode Island Health Department. The cause of death was found to be suicide. The subreddit was later made private.
Reddit general manager Erik Martin later issued an apology for this behavior, criticizing the "online witch hunts and dangerous speculation" that took place in these investigation-oriented communities. In September 2013, a similar subreddit dedicated to finding the Navy Yard shooter(s) was banned by the Reddit admins. These events were dramatized in TV shows The Newsroom and The Good Wife.
The subreddit r/GenderCritical had 64,400 users, self-described as "reddit's most active feminist community" for "women-centred, radical feminists" to discuss "gender from a gender-critical perspective". Described by Jillian York of the Electronic Frontier Foundation as "a subreddit where transphobic commentary has thrived", the subreddit frequently hosted posts asserting that transgender women are not women. On June 29, 2020, the subreddit was "banned for violating Reddit's rule against promoting hate". After r/GenderCritical was banned, several of its users migrated to Ovarit, a trans-exclusionary radical feminism-centered website similar to Reddit.
Related to the Christchurch mosque shootings, r/gore was banned for "glorifying or encouraging violence" at approximately 17:35 UTC on March 15, 2019.
See also: QAnon
The subreddit r/greatawakening was a subreddit for the QAnon conspiracy theory, which argues the Trump administration is investigating a widespread child sex trafficking movement. The subreddit was banned on September 12, 2018, due to violating Reddit's content policy regarding violence and personal information. A previous subreddit for the conspiracy theory, r/CBTS_Stream, was banned on March 14, 2018, for violating Reddit's content policy against violence. A backup for the subreddit, r/The_GreatAwakening, was also banned.
In January 2014, Mother Jones published a story describing the sale of guns on the site. The report suggested that sellers were doing so to exploit a loophole in U.S. federal law. Nearly 100 AR-15s were engraved with the Reddit logo as part of a licensing deal made with the page in 2011. This subreddit was banned on March 21, 2018.
See also: Incel
A subreddit founded for "involuntary celibates", r/incels, was a forum wherein members discussed their lack of romantic success. The definition of an incel on the subreddit was someone who has unintentionally gone at least six months without a romantic partner and is at least 21 years old; self-described incels are largely heterosexual men. Many members adhered to the "black pill" ideology, which espoused despondency often coupled with misogynistic views that condoned, downplayed, or advocated rape, while referring to women as "femoids" and "sluts". Notable black pill posts included "reasons why women are the embodiment of evil" and "proof that girls are nothing but trash that use men". Users deemed too female-friendly, or who claimed that women experienced inceldom to the same extent as men, were banned. The subreddit's users intermittently either revered or hated "normies" and "Chads" for their courtship abilities, and some admire murderers such as Elliot Rodger, perpetrator of the 2014 Isla Vista killings, who identified as an "incel".
In the summer of 2017, a petition on Change.org called for r/incels to be banned for inciting violence against women. Following the October implementation of a new Reddit policy that prohibited the incitement of violence, the subreddit was banned on November 7, 2017. At the time of its banning, r/incels had around 40,000 subscribers.
r/Braincels subsequently became the most popular subreddit for incels, gaining 16,900 followers by April 2018. The subreddit's leaders disavowed the Toronto van attack and deleted some posts by members who praised Alek Minassian's alleged actions. In September 2018, the subreddit was quarantined and in October, it was banned.
Reddit's staff was initially opposed to the addition of obscene material to the site, but they eventually became more lenient when prolific moderators, such as a user named Violentacrez, proved capable of identifying and removing illegal content at a time when they were not sufficiently staffed to take on the task. Communities devoted to explicit material saw rising popularity, and r/jailbait, which featured provocative shots of underage teenagers, became the chosen "subreddit of the year" in the "Best of reddit" user poll in 2008 and at one point making "jailbait" the second most common search term for the site. Erik Martin, general manager of Reddit, defended the jailbait subreddit by saying that such controversial pages were a consequence of allowing free speech on the site.
r/jailbait came to wider attention outside Reddit when Anderson Cooper of CNN devoted a segment of his program to condemning the subreddit and criticizing Reddit for hosting it. Initially this caused a spike in Internet traffic to the subreddit, causing the page to peak at 1.73 million views on the day of the report. In the wake of these news reports, a Reddit user posted an image of an underage girl to r/jailbait, subsequently claiming to have naked images of her as well. Dozens of Reddit users then posted requests for these nude photos to be shared to them by private message. Other Reddit users drew attention to this discussion and the r/jailbait forum was subsequently closed by Reddit administrators on October 11, 2011. Critics, such as r/jailbait's creator, disputed claims that this thread was the basis of the decision, instead claiming it was an excuse to close down a controversial subreddit due to recent negative media coverage. Others claimed that the thread believed to have prompted the closure was created by members of the Something Awful forum in an attempt to get the section shut down, rather than the regulars of the forum.
Following the closure of r/jailbait, The Daily Dot declared the community's creator, u/violentacrez, "The Most Important Person on Reddit in 2011", calling the r/jailbait controversy "the first major challenge to the site's voluntary doctrine of absolute free speech".
In January 2019, a Philippine-based subreddit, r/jakolandia, was accused of "distributing" posts of photos of women, including celebrities, apparently without their consent, similar to "a number" of secret Facebook groups that had been engaging in illegal activity of sharing "obscene" photos of women and possibly child pornography. r/jakolandia was later banned as a result.
See also: Men Going Their Own Way
r/MGTOW was a subreddit for Men Going Their Own Way, an anti-feminist, misogynistic, mostly online community advocating for men to separate themselves from women and from a society which they believe has been corrupted by feminism. In January 2020 a group of computer scientists published a preprint of a paper titled "The Evolution of the Manosphere Across the Web", which listed r/MGTOW among a group of online communities which the authors said "have been growing in size and in their involvement in online harassment and real-world violence". Reddit quarantined the subreddit shortly after the preprint was published. In August 2021, Reddit banned the subreddit for violating its policies prohibiting content that "incites violence or promotes hate based on identity or vulnerability".
The subreddit r/MillionDollarExtreme was a subreddit for the comedy group Million Dollar Extreme. It was banned on September 10, 2018, for violating Reddit's content policy regarding violent content. Content on the subreddit was often racist, homophobic and transphobic in nature. Million Dollar Extreme Presents: World Peace, a television show created by the group, was cancelled in 2016 following coverage of the group's connections to the alt-right. Million Dollar Extreme's YouTube channel had been terminated earlier in 2018. Associated subreddits r/BillionShekelSupreme, r/TrillionRubleRegime, r/TrillionRubelRegine, r/GorillionYuanDream, r/HydeNationalism, r/tha_pit, r/QuadrillionEuroDream, r/HundredPesoPipedream, r/SextillionEuroSupreme, r/13451452251849519 and several others were subsequently banned.
r/NoNewNormal was a subreddit that claimed to be critical of the responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, and has propagated various conspiracies about the pandemic, such as lockdown, mask, and vaccine denialism. It was quarantined on August 12, 2021, for misinformation, when it had accumulated over 112,000 subscribers. Subreddits r/rejectnewnormal and r/refusenewnormal were subsequently banned for trying to circumvent the quarantine, and r/PandemicHoax and r/truthseekers, which hosted similar content, set themselves to private.
A thread posted by a user on r/vaxxhappened, a pro-vaccination subreddit, called upon Reddit admins to ban subreddits primarily spreading medical misinformation. Reddit admins responded by saying that Reddit is a platform for free speech and discussion, and would continue to allow subreddits that "challenge the consensus views on the pandemic". In response, the moderators of 135 subreddits, such as r/florida, r/futurology, r/pokemongo, r/startrek, r/TIFU, and others, made their subreddits private in protest of Reddit's response.
On September 1, 2021, Reddit banned the subreddit for brigading subreddits that criticized it. Reddit also quarantined 54 other subreddits associated with COVID-19 denial.
See also: Pizzagate conspiracy theory
"Pizzagate" is a conspiracy theory that emerged from social media and fake news websites in early November 2016 which falsely alleged the existence of a child trafficking ring that involved officials in the Democratic Party and restaurants such as Comet Ping Pong. The r/pizzagate subreddit, which spun off from r/The_Donald, was dedicated to discussing this conspiracy theory and had over 20,000 subscribers. This subreddit was banned on November 23, 2016, for violating Reddit's policy against doxing, as users would post the personal details of people allegedly connected to this conspiracy.
r/Physical_Removal was banned on August 15, 2017, for inciting violence. The subreddit's name stems from a quote by right-wing libertarian philosopher Hans-Hermann Hoppe, who wrote: "There can be no tolerance toward democrats and communists in a libertarian social order. They will have to be physically separated and removed from society" (referring to ostracism), and, by extension, their advocacy for forced deportation or physical removal of political leftists from the United States. It was controversial for its promotion of violence against leftists and other groups. For instance, users would make reference to throwing people from helicopters, an execution method used by Augusto Pinochet. Physical_Removal attracted further attention in 2017 after the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, due to mockery of the death of Heather Heyer, who was struck and killed by a car driven by a far-right terrorist at the rally.
r/SanctionedSuicide was a subreddit that approached the topic of suicide from a pro-choice perspective. It included both discussions surrounding the ethics of suicide and posts containing rants from Reddit users. This subreddit was banned on March 14, 2018.
Main article: Sony Pictures hack
On December 15, 2014, Reddit took the unusual step of banning a subreddit, r/SonyGOP, which was being used to distribute hacked Sony files.
The subreddit r/Shoplifting was devoted to stories, tips, and questions for the purpose of shoplifting at large commercial retail chains. It dissuaded people from shoplifting from smaller stores which were presumed to suffer greater losses from theft. It also heavily featured pictures displaying items that its users had supposedly "lifted". Near the end of its existence, over 77,000 people were subscribed to the subreddit. It was banned on March 21, 2018, due to violating an amendment to the Reddit User Agreement added that same day which states: "Users may not use Reddit to solicit or facilitate any transaction or gift involving certain goods and services, including: ... Stolen goods"
Main article: r/The_Donald
The subreddit r/The_Donald, which was intended for supporters of Donald Trump, was originally created for his 2016 presidential campaign. Due to harassment of Reddit administrators and manipulation of the site's algorithms to push content to Reddit's front page using the "sticky" feature of subreddits, Reddit banned many of the sub's users who were described as "toxic". This occurred after Reddit's CEO Steve Huffman (known as Spez on Reddit) admitted to silently editing comments attacking him made by the community's users. This caused the term "spez" to be used instead of "edit" in The_Donald's terminology. Reddit modified the site's algorithms to specifically prevent the sub's moderators from gaming the algorithms to artificially push the sub's content to Reddit's front page. Additionally, Reddit introduced a filtering feature which allowed individual users to block content from any sub. While this feature was being worked on prior to the problems r/The_Donald were causing, it was suggested that it was introduced specifically to allow users to block them. Huffman referred to r/The_Donald's user's complaints of harassment "hypocritical" because of their harassment of others.
After the Christchurch mosque shootings in 2019, many posts appeared in the subreddit arguing that the shootings were justified, filled with anti-Muslim hate.
The sub was quarantined by Reddit admins in June 2019 for "threats of violence against police and public officials".
On June 29, 2020, Reddit banned the subreddit for frequent rule-breaking, for antagonizing the company and other communities and for failing to "meet our most basic expectations".
Main article: iCloud leaks of celebrity photos
In August 2014, Reddit users began sharing a large number of naked pictures of celebrities stolen, using phishing, from their private AppleiCloud accounts. A subreddit, r/TheFappening, was created as a hub to share and discuss these stolen photos; the situation was called CelebGate by the media. The subreddit contained most of the images. Victims of "The Fappening" included high-profile names such as Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Some of the images may have constituted child pornography, as the photos of Liz Lee and McKayla Maroney from the leak were claimed to have been taken when the women were underage, though this remains controversial. The subreddit was closed by Reddit administrators in September 2014. The scandal led to wider criticisms concerning the website's moderation, from The Verge and The Daily Dot.
After the 2019 Christchurch mosque shootings, Reddit banned the "Watch People Die" subreddit, dedicated to uploading media depicting real-life deaths of people, after it disseminated links to video of the shooting. The subreddit r/gore was also removed on March 15, 2019. Although previously quarantined for over half a year, the subreddit was totally banned at approximately 17:09 UTC on March 15, 2019, less than a day after the events for violating Reddit's content policy, specifically the policy against "glorifying or encouraging violence." Moderators of the subreddit had initially allowed the video to be shared.
r/WPDTalk, a subreddit for discussion on what went on in the r/WatchPeopleDie subreddit, was also taken down.
r/KotakuInAction was one of the main online hubs for participants of the harassment campaign known as GamerGate. Users are warned that by joining KotakuInAction, they will be banned from other subreddits such as r/OffMyChest (a subreddit based around expressing opinions, as well as confessing personal thoughts), r/NaturalHair and r/Rape, the latter of the three being a support forum for survivors of rape that had been targeted for brigading by r/KotakuInAction users.
BuzzFeed's Joseph Bernstein reported that many of KotakuInAction's moderators also moderate other subreddits "devoted to either the physical and emotional degradation and humiliation of women, or in subreddits devoted to mocking and delegitimizing the arguments and appearances of feminists and "social justice warriors"."
In 2016, KotakuInAction became the subject of an academic study done by three members of the Georgia Institute of Technology.
On July 12, 2018, the creator and head moderator of KotakuInAction removed all of the moderators and set the forum to private, alleging that it had become "infested with racism and sexism". A Reddit employee restored the forum and its moderators an hour later.
See also: Men's rights movement
The antifeminist subreddit r/MensRights was created in 2008. It has over 300,000 subscribers as of April 2021[update].
r/MensRights was included in a list of 12 websites in the spring 2012 issue ("The Year in Hate and Extremism") of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Report in a section called "Misogyny: The Sites". The SPLC reported that "Although some of the sites make an attempt at civility and try to back their arguments with facts, they are almost all thick with misogynistic attacks that can be astounding for the guttural hatred they express".
More specific claims were made about r/MensRights in particular, saying that it showed anger "toward any program designed to help women", and that the subreddit "trafficks in various conspiracy theories", using a moderator's statements as an example of this behavior. Outlets such as The Huffington Post interpreted the report as saying the subreddit was a hate group.
In late March 2012, Mark Potok (the Intelligence Report's editor) was asked in an interview if the SPLC had formally classified r/MensRights as a hate group. His response was that "We wrote about the subreddit Mens Rights, but we did not list it as a hate group" and expressed doubt that the SPLC would ever designate the community as a hate group, noting that "it's a diverse group, which certainly does include some misogynists—but I don't think that's [its basic] purpose".
Later that year, the SPLC published a statement about the reactions to their report, saying it "provoked a tremendous response among men's rights activists (MRAs) and their sympathizers", and "It should be mentioned that the SPLC did not label MRAs as members of a hate movement; nor did our article claim that the grievances they air on their websites – false rape accusations, ruinous divorce settlements and the like – are all without merit. But we did call out specific examples of misogyny and the threat, overt or implicit, of violence."
In April 2013, the subreddit was threatened with a shutdown by Reddit admins after r/MensRights subscribers gathered personal information on a supposed blogger of feminist issues, and the subreddit's moderators advised members of the subreddit on how to proceed with this 'doxing' without running afoul of site rules. Later on it was discovered that they had identified the wrong woman, and it has been reported that many death threats had been sent to her school and employment. Georgetown University confirmed that she was not the same person as the blog's author after receiving threatening messages.
Rape report spam
In mid-December 2013, users from r/MensRights as well as 4chan spammed the Occidental College Online Rape Report Form with hundreds of false rape reports, following a user's complaint that the form was vulnerable to abuse because of the submitter's ability to be anonymous. Around 400 false rape accusations were made by men's rights activists against members of the college, feminists and fictional people.
In 2019, r/piracy was threatened with a ban after receiving dozens of DMCA takedown notices. The moderators said that Reddit did not investigate the infringement claims to find if they actually infringed copyright law, often they related to content such as sharing the URL to a streaming site, asking if such sites were working, and posting guides to install programs. Users of the subreddit voted to delete all content older than six months because it was not feasible to investigate all past content.
In April 2014, it was made apparent that moderators of r/technology, a subreddit with 5 million subscribers, were using automatic filters to remove submissions that contained certain keywords, such as "Aaron Swartz", "Tesla", "Comcast", "NSA", and "Snowden". This ultimately led to community protests, claims of censorship from users, and r/technology losing its default subreddit status.
See also: Manosphere
Alluding to the symbol of the "red pill" from the film The Matrix,r/TheRedPill is devoted to discussions of male sexual strategy in which participants are ranked as "alpha" or "beta" males. The subreddit promotes antifeminism,rape culture,hegemonic masculinity, and traditional gender roles. Users discuss diet and physical fitness alongside "pick-up" techniques for seducing women, while also displaying different levels of misogyny ranging from virulent hatred of women to simple frustration with contemporary male experience. The Southern Poverty Law Center describes it as one of several male supremacist subreddits featuring xenophobic discourse. It has been associated with several right-wing movements and the alt-right because of its attacks on feminism and mockery of rape.
In 2017, it was revealed that New Hampshire legislator Robert Fisher created the subreddit and posted demeaning comments about women. After this discovery, he resigned from office.The New Statesman has described this subreddit as one of the most misogynistic subreddits on Reddit, which aims to radicalize men. As of 2018[update], the subreddit is quarantined.
On April 1, 2019, r/BlackPeopleTwitter started requiring users to prove they were black—by sending a photo with their forearm and their Reddit username—before allowing them to post comments. The moderators described this action as an April Fools Day prank, albeit one with a "very real reason." The April Fools prank lasted only a few days, but the moderators now limit some contentious threads to a "country club" consisting of verified people of color, and white people who complete an application process including writing "about what white privilege means to them." Additionally, verified black commenters (but not other people of color) receive a check mark next to their username. 
r/FemaleDatingStrategy (FDS) has been accused by r/AgainstHateSubreddits of promoting transphobia, misandry, and discrimination against sex workers. The Verge has described the advice given to women as socially and sexually conservative, and oppressive to women. FDS posters must follow a strict rule-set to avoid being banned which includes opposition to consensual BDSM, porn consumption and casual sex.  Members are structured according to a strict hierarchy with moderators called Ruthless Strategists being on top, community is prioritised over the individual and members are advised against speaking with journalists which has been described as cult-like. The subreddit advices against dating men with mental illnesses, has banned members for believing men can be victims of sexual assault and opposes liberal feminism or "libfems" but endorse TERF views with transwomen being entirely banned from posting in the subreddit. The advice is also criticised for being contradictory such as encouraging independence from men while expecting men to pay for dates. It is also criticised for being too similar to subreddits of the manosphere. 
The subreddit has made extensive use of female incel (femcel) language but this was phased out in favor of its own terminology as it interfered with the recruitment of new members. Its terminology includes terms like "scrotes" for men and "pickmeisha" for women who it claims to degrade themselves for men but has been used on members that criticise the moderators or have claimed to enjoy banned behavior such as casual sex and has attacked women in other subreddits as "pickmeishas" for issues such as seeking advice on their partner's erectile dysfunction. 
r/HermanCainAward is a subreddit that awards people "who have made public declaration of their anti-mask, anti-vax, or Covid-hoax views" who have been hospitalized by and/or died from COVID-19 or COVID-19 complications with the "Herman Cain Freedom Award." The subreddit and award are named after Republican politician Herman Cain, who died of COVID-19 complications after he attended the 2020 Trump Tulsa rally without wearing a face mask. The subreddit also awards people with "Immunized to Prevent Awards" (IPAs), which are given to users who show pictures of their COVID-19 vaccination cards.
The subreddit was created in October 2020. Subscriptions to the subreddit grew from 2,000 on July 4, 2021, to 5,000 in early August, to more than 100,000 on September 1, to 243,000 on September 17, to 276,000 on September 21, to 339,000 on September 29, and to more than 375,000 on October 16. In mid-October 2021, CNBC reported that the subreddit had convinced some readers to get vaccinated against COVID-19. CNBC also reported that r/HermanCainAward was the tenth fastest growing subreddit over the previous thirty days, according to FrontPageMetrics.com, a website that tracks usage of Reddit.
On September 7, 2021, a member of r/HermanCainAward alleged that other members of the subreddit were doxing and harassing family members of recently deceased COVID-19 patients.
Lili Loofbourow of Slate has described the subreddit as "cruel" and as "a site for heartless and unrepentant schadenfreude." According to Gita Jackson of Vice, "Although the Herman Cain Award wasn't created to encourage people to get vaccinated, it's helping anti-vaxxers change their minds." Director of the Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at Columbia Lydia Dugdale said that it is "not surprising that people would delight on the misfortune of others" but that "Delighting in the suffering of others lies contrary to everything medical ethics espouses and certainly it's cruel that regular people would do this."Barnard College professor Colin Wayne Leach stated that in the German language the word Genugtuung, not schadenfreude, is used to refer to a person getting just deserts. Matthew Rozsa of Salon implied that genugtuung was the actual basis behind the subreddit and that it reflects a loss of patience, within those who take COVID-19 prevention measures, in people who are refusing to take COVID-19 prevention measures. F. Diane Bart, a psychotherapist writing for NBC News, described the subreddit as "A dark and sardonic corner of the internet" that "captures the rage and outrage of presumably vaccinated, mask-wearing individuals, many of whom have either been infected with Covid-19 in the past or have watched friends and family become ill — and even die." Bart also described "This push to revel in schadenfreude, and to assign collective blame" as "understandable and more than a little expected, especially on the internet. But this so-called award also captures the collective loss of empathy that colors so many of our political and personal conversations right now. Like soldiers who have been trained to see their enemies as less than human, we have forgotten that those who disagree with us are, despite everything, still people."
r/HermanCainAward has been compared to the Darwin Awards.
Some journalists have reported that NoFap's forums were filled with misogyny, stating that "there is a darker side to NoFap. Among the reams of Reddit discussions and YouTube videos, a fundamentally misogynistic rhetoric regularly emerges", and that "the NoFap community has become linked to wider sexism and misogyny, reducing women to sexual objects to be attained or abstained from and shaming sexually active women."
Free speech rationale
In accordance with its policies at the time on free speech, Reddit's admins stated in 2013 that they did not ban communities solely for featuring controversial content. Reddit's general manager Erik Martin noted that "having to stomach occasional troll [sub]reddits like r/picsofdeadkids or morally questionable [sub]reddits like r/jailbait are part of the price of free speech on a site like this," and that it is not Reddit's place to censor its users. The site's former CEO, Yishan Wong, stated that distasteful subreddits would not be banned because Reddit as a platform should serve the ideals of free speech. Critics of Reddit's position argued at the time that it had not been consistent in following its free speech philosophy. In a 2015 discussion on the site's content policy, founder Steve Huffman stated that "neither Alexis [Ohanian] nor I created Reddit to be a bastion of free speech".
With the banning of r/The_Donald, Reddit expanded the kinds of content that was banned on the site, implementing new rules that directly prohibit hate speech. In 2021, Reddit stated that they allowed conversations that "question or disagree with popular consensus" regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, stating that "dissent is a part of Reddit and the foundation of democracy" despite criticism by site moderators. Although it banned r/NoNewNormal after moderator protests, this was for unduly influencing other communities, not the subreddit's content.
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Posted on Jun 1st, 2014, 1:53 AM, , User Since 173 months ago, User Post Count: 16135
- Jun 1st, 2014, 1:53 AM
- 173 months
Since there isnt one... ill make one and start it off. lol
Posted on Jun 1st, 2014, 1:57 AM, , User Since 173 months ago, User Post Count: 16135
- Jun 1st, 2014, 1:57 AM
- 173 months
Posted on Jun 1st, 2014, 1:57 AM, , User Since 173 months ago, User Post Count: 16135
- Jun 1st, 2014, 1:57 AM
- 173 months
Posted on Jun 1st, 2014, 2:00 AM, , User Since 173 months ago, User Post Count: 16135
- Jun 1st, 2014, 2:00 AM
- 173 months
Posted on Jun 1st, 2014, 2:09 AM, , User Since 173 months ago, User Post Count: 16135
- Jun 1st, 2014, 2:09 AM
- 173 months
Posted on Jun 1st, 2014, 2:10 AM, , User Since 173 months ago, User Post Count: 16135
- Jun 1st, 2014, 2:10 AM
- 173 months
Posted on Jun 1st, 2014, 2:13 AM, , User Since 173 months ago, User Post Count: 16135
- Jun 1st, 2014, 2:13 AM
- 173 months
Posted on Jun 1st, 2014, 2:15 AM, , User Since 175 months ago, User Post Count: 11824
- Jun 1st, 2014, 2:15 AM
- 175 months
You can end the thread right here.
Posted on Jun 1st, 2014, 2:23 AM, , User Since 173 months ago, User Post Count: 16135
- Jun 1st, 2014, 2:23 AM
- 173 months
Posted on Jun 1st, 2014, 2:30 AM, , User Since 173 months ago, User Post Count: 16135
- Jun 1st, 2014, 2:30 AM
- 173 months
Posted on Jun 1st, 2014, 2:31 AM, , User Since 173 months ago, User Post Count: 16135
- Jun 1st, 2014, 2:31 AM
- 173 months
Posted on Jun 1st, 2014, 2:37 AM, , User Since 173 months ago, User Post Count: 16135
- Jun 1st, 2014, 2:37 AM
- 173 months
Posted on Jun 1st, 2014, 2:38 AM, , User Since 173 months ago, User Post Count: 16135
- Jun 1st, 2014, 2:38 AM
- 173 months
Posted on Jun 1st, 2014, 2:42 AM, , User Since 173 months ago, User Post Count: 16135
- Jun 1st, 2014, 2:42 AM
- 173 months
Posted on Jun 1st, 2014, 2:44 AM, , User Since 194 months ago, User Post Count: 2214
- Jun 1st, 2014, 2:44 AM
- 194 months
Cheebs, you're young and it's a Saturday night. Shouldn't you be out picking up girls like these?
Posted on Jun 1st, 2014, 2:45 AM, , User Since 173 months ago, User Post Count: 16135
- Jun 1st, 2014, 2:45 AM
- 173 months
cyclonesrockmypants wrote: Cheebs, you're young and it's a Saturday night. Shouldn't you be out picking up girls like these?brah its summer and i already get 3 hitting me up all the time. no need any more.
Posted on Jun 1st, 2014, 2:47 AM, , User Since 173 months ago, User Post Count: 16135
- Jun 1st, 2014, 2:47 AM
- 173 months
Posted on Jun 1st, 2014, 3:04 AM, , User Since 175 months ago, User Post Count: 11824
- Jun 1st, 2014, 3:04 AM
- 175 months
So that's where my AXE Detailing Scrubber went. I knew I left in some girl's shower.
Posted on Jun 1st, 2014, 3:06 AM, , User Since 173 months ago, User Post Count: 16135
- Jun 1st, 2014, 3:06 AM
- 173 months
Posted on Jun 1st, 2014, 3:18 AM, , User Since 175 months ago, User Post Count: 11824
- Jun 1st, 2014, 3:18 AM
- 175 months
Posted on Jun 1st, 2014, 3:34 AM, , User Since 173 months ago, User Post Count: 16135
- Jun 1st, 2014, 3:34 AM
- 173 months
Posted on Jun 1st, 2014, 3:36 AM, , User Since 173 months ago, User Post Count: 16135
- Jun 1st, 2014, 3:36 AM
- 173 months
Posted on Jun 1st, 2014, 3:57 AM, , User Since 173 months ago, User Post Count: 16135
- Jun 1st, 2014, 3:57 AM
- 173 months
Posted on Jun 1st, 2014, 3:57 AM, , User Since 173 months ago, User Post Count: 16135
- Jun 1st, 2014, 3:57 AM
- 173 months
Posted on Jun 1st, 2014, 4:11 AM, , User Since 173 months ago, User Post Count: 16135
- Jun 1st, 2014, 4:11 AM
- 173 months
Posted on Jun 1st, 2014, 4:12 AM, , User Since 173 months ago, User Post Count: 16135
- Jun 1st, 2014, 4:12 AM
- 173 months
Originally Posted by PLAYON
JailBait Thread (R.I.P.) FTW!
Mods: VRS Front Lip, HID Angels, KW V3, Stoptech BBK, SS lines, 18" TE37SL, Bastuck Exhaust, MS Air Filter, OEM Aluminum Padels, LED Interior Light
07 E92 328i/Jet Black/Cream Beige Leather/Premium/Step/Heated Seats...check garage!
Reddit user Violentacrez fired from job after Gawker exposé
The Reddit user whose identity was revealed in an extensive Gawker exposé has revealed that he was fired from his job at the weekend.
Michael Brutsch, a 49-year-old programmer from Texas, said on Reddit that he had been told not to return to work after Gawker revealed that he was Violentacrez, a prolific user linked to posts filled with racism, misogyny and incest.
As Violentacrez, Brutsch set up more than a hundred sub-forums (called sub-reddits) where users could share links and images of underage girls, rape fantasy and upskirt photos. Brutsch shut down his Violentacrez username after Gawker reporter Adrian Chen told him he knew his identity. He has since returned to the site with the new handle mbrutsch.
Under that username, Brutsch said that he had warned his boss of the article before receiving a call Saturday telling him to not return to the office.
Brutsch wrote: "All my remote access has been disabled, my health insurance and FSA were cancelled immediately (so they had to drag someone in over the weekend to do that). At this point, if any of the dozens of death threats I've gotten were to make good on their promises, at least my wife would have the insurance."
His supporters on Reddit launched a campaign to donate money to the newly unemployed Brutsch and he released his email address on Reddit so supporters could donate money to his PayPal account.
AJ Daulerio, Gawker's editor-in-chief, who took over in January this year, said the site now does more long-form, original reporting of the type that exposed Brutsch. He said the site allocates one person to the snarky click-bait stories that made it famous, giving other writers more time to work on original stories.
"This way if we can stabilize the traffic elsewhere and have the rest of the team occupied with these longer, reported pieces it'll hopefully make a better, more literate Gawker," Daulerio told the Guardian.
Some members of the Reddit and Gawker communities believe Chen's piece was a deliberate attack by Gawker against Reddit. Before Chen's piece was published, Daulerio received emails from Redditors who claimed they would boycott Gawker if the piece came out.
"I never really saw it as a Gawker versus Reddit thing," Daulerio said. "Chen did a great story and that should pretty much stand on its own and I think that's how most people took it."
In response to the exposé, numerous Reddit forums censored Chen's article because it violated their rule on identifying site users. Reddit administrator Erik Martin told Buzzfeed the ban was a mistake and lifted it.
"We're always adjusting our approach, we're always following the lead of our users and community, and we always have to adjust things," Martin said. "We're also trying to maintain this as we want Reddit to be as open a platform as possible. "
Users who posts links to, or related to, the article are still being banned by moderators in some subreddits and the politics forum has decided to ban all Gawker content.
Daulerio said he was unfazed by the boycotts. "It's fine, it's perfectly fine," he said.
Reddit did not respond to requests for comment.
The exposé, and resulting ban on Gawker content in some sub-forums, has reignited the debate on internet anonymity and Reddit's freedom to post what it wants. The sharing site has five rules, two pertaining to content:
• Don't post personal information.
• No child pornography or sexually suggestive content featuring minors.
Reddit was pushed to remove its r/jailbait forum which hosted pictures of underage girls in September 2011 and later the r/Photobucket forum which hosted pictures taken from compromised accounts on the photo-sharing site Photobucket.
The site is designed to give users anonymity as a way of promoting free speech, but this has lead to exploitative and racist postings in some darker corners of the site. Some of those corners were frequented by Violentacrez, who created or moderated sub-forums including Chokeabitch, Misogyny and Hitler.
Brutsch responded to comments on Reddit on Tuesday and expressed his views on anonymity in one post: "Anonymity can be used as an enabler. It can also, as in the case of Mexican bloggers covering the cartels, be used in the opposite direction. It is not in and of itself the problem."
Brutsch said he was not available to talk to the Guardian because he was preparing for an interview on CNN on Tuesday evening. A CNN spokesperson said he would not be on the show Tuesday evening because of presidential debate coverage but may appear later in the week. The Anderson Cooper show has run a number of stories about Reddit.
The Thread: Grown-Up Little Girls
When I was a child, I was often told by well-meaning adults that I was wise beyond my years. I think it was a compliment. They meant I was mature, or that I didn’t seem nine years old.
I read a lot. I think that was part of my perceived maturity. I read mostly adult fiction, smutty romances and thrillers when I could get my hands on one without too scandalous a cover. Danielle Steele when I couldn’t. Dean Koontz for the suspense of information, the creeping feeling of tiny white hairs on the back of my body suddenly alert. I had this vocabulary, and sense of self. I had a way of being charming and funny (though really, my younger brother was much funnier than I was and always got all the credit). I lived inside the word “precocious.” I heard it a lot, and I was it a lot. And I thought it had everything to do with Mary Poppins, and nothing at all to do with sex. What did I know; I was nine.
I was a little girl and all I wanted was to grow up.
Now I’m grown, and I’ve been told by culture at large that my goal should be the opposite. Girlish figure, youthful skin, age-defying beauty. I’m thirty-eight years old, and I’ve internalized the idea—a male-gaze measure—that I am “too old” for mini skirts, over the knee boots, fast fashion. I look at my face and notice the fine lines.
And even though I was looking for it, I passed my moment—that brief, impossible moment when I was not too young to have sex with, but young enough to pass for underage. I understood that once I passed that moment, I was forever on a downslope, shifting toward middle age invisibility, sailing off for my “last fuckable day,” as the Amy Schumer skit so aptly skewered it. Still, I perceive that I am less desired the older I become. I was too young for my own cognition before. It’s like I have never been right, never been acceptable, never been pleasing as is.
When I was younger, I wished to please men. I thought when I was older, I might know how.
I had breasts and hips before the end of elementary school, which mortified me but meant I was constantly mistaken for older. I wanted to be friends with the boys, same as ever. I wanted to fit in with them (I was the only girl). I wanted to pick scabs and catch footballs, ride skateboards and fart and laugh. I wanted to be the same as before, when we were all just children. But puberty is irreversibly cruel.
At the same time everything about me was going soft, the boys I’d palled around with for the previous decade (literally since we were babies in playgroups) were metamorphosing, too. They looked a lot the same to me, but they thought differently. All of a sudden, I was valuable not only as the girl, the only girl, or their friend, Marissa, but as a body to be touched, to be coveted, to be kissed. I was a prize to be won in a recess pickup game instead of a player. I was a trophy.
I suppose I found power in the trophy life. I believed that if someone wanted me, I had value. I trained all my instincts on capturing gazes, and eventually, I got pretty damn good at that game.
This meant that when I was twelve, and I had a “boyfriend” who was seventeen, who whispered in my ear about how I couldn’t be twelve because “you feel at least fifteen.” I believed him. I understood something—or thought I did—beyond my years.
I had been hearing that I was jailbait for years. When I think about jailbait, here is what I see: an old-timey jailhouse with bars around cells, and I, a teeny tiny worm tied in the middle of the room. Hooked on a line, maybe. I can’t see the detail. I think of fish bait, and a cartoon jail, and the word falls apart on me like nonsense.
But it wasn’t nonsense when they whispered it to me in the middle of my attempts at saying no, at having boundaries, at making my way out of bathrooms and back rooms—quiet places where men took me, caught me, found me, pinned me. Abandoned kitchens, guest rooms, pool houses, backyards.
I used to hear power in the word. Jailbait. Someone would want me so badly they’d risk jail? I was so attractive in some way, they’d risk jail to touch me? Jailbait nearly became a compliment. It nearly became an aspiration.
In my jailbait years, I cared so much what men thought of me. It felt like power to be wanted, desired by the men who’d run the world one day. I believed in the strong woman behind the man; I watched it happen domestically, in small ways, all of my life. The way my grandmother’s grace and beauty smoothed over my wealthy grandfather’s socially awkward demeanor. The way my mother steered our household. It was obvious to me that behind every powerful man was a brilliant woman, probably more brilliant, honestly. That every Bill had his Hillary. That every king had a scheming, vicious, whip-smart queen who really ran the world. The thing was, she ran it from the shadows, a Queen Margaret to his bumbling Henry VI. She was never allowed to step into the power position directly, not without punishment.
While I was not the first in my family to attend college, I was the first in my nuclear family to graduate. My mother went, but never finished; my dad was a tradesman. My school’s graduation speaker was Congresswoman Barbara Lee. I went to a women’s college, and my mother, thinking of my future and the speaker, said in the car on the way to the ceremony that I could even run for office one day.
I laughed, could barely believe what she was saying. Me, a congresswoman? No.
It wasn’t that I had no interest in politics, or that I didn’t think I could do the job. It was, as I told my mom, because I’d “done too many bad things.” I had skeletons in my closet, big ones. Drugs I’d done and men I’d had sex with. I was far from perfect. I could never put myself out there to be judged.
In the fifteen years since my college graduation, the thought has come to me again and again, no less in the past two years, with the Women’s March and the political climate and so many women running for office. Each time I consider it (or, someone asks me to consider it) I return to the same fear, the same refrain: I can’t, I’m too fucked up. I was mean. I’ve written too many mouthy feminist things. I assumed that everyone worried about their own indiscretions when they considered a career in public life.
Then Brett Kavanaugh happened. And before him, Donald Trump. And before him, Bill Clinton. And before him, Clarence Thomas. And that is just since the 1990s. American history is rapists all the way down, men whose sexually criminal behaviors amounted to nothing, hindered them in no way. Did any of them pause and wonder if the women they had harmed might come back to haunt them?
Among the many things that shattered in September 2018 was my belief that there was some standard to which people held themselves before becoming public figures. I was worrying about taking ecstasy and dancing at raves. Brett Kavanaugh and his ilk haven’t thought twice about their multiple sexual assaults.
I pull up an old photograph of myself: twenty-six and smiling. I don’t wish for a moment that I was her.
She worried all the time about being fat; she didn’t trust her own intelligence; she looked to men and male attention as a barometer of her worth. Twelve years, one pregnancy, and six homes later, I see myself in her face. But the outside doesn’t interest me the way it used to. Fuck anti-aging dogma and the idea that for a woman to get old “gracefully” she has to continue to look the same as she ever did. I’m not a sculpture. I care much more about whether or not I stay ferocious and thoughtful than I do about whether my fine lines show when I smile.
I still have ambition; sometimes I wish for power. As women, we’re usually told that power is youth and beauty. But when I had it, I felt like an object, like a toy whose only purpose was to bring a smile to the face of her male owners.
I wrote before about inhabiting a body that watches itself. I carry two identities around with me all the time: the me that is doing things, and the me that is judging how I look while doing things. It is my consciousness of the male gaze, my internalization of patriarchy. I walk into the room, and I see myself walking into the room. I wear the red dress, and I see myself wearing it. I age and I see myself aging, and I wonder what it means if men stop seeing me.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was called the “little girl with the big mouth.” A video of her as a teenager who dared to dance on a rooftop, swinging her hair, made national news. The Fox News crew calls her “Sandy,” a childlike nickname they hope will undercut her authority. For a few weeks in January, a fake nude photo of her circulated. Never mind that she walked her district for months, asking for votes from her neighbors while the incumbent she eventually took the seat from stayed comfortable at home. Now, as a congresswoman, she’s precocious with her big words and her big brain. She’s been told to “read an economics textbook,” despite majoring in the subject in college. She’s been told to listen to Aaron Sorkin of all people, the guy who writes television shows about politics, to respect his knowledge instead of her own. She’s referred to as “young lady” and “little girl” not only because she’s the youngest person in Congress, but because she is the youngest woman. The men would like to see her quiet. They’d like her to be seen and not heard.
Meanwhile, Brock Turner is a sad little boy who’s paid a steep price for his “twenty minutes of action.” Meanwhile, Brett Kavanaugh is just a college kid who likes a few brewskis. Meanwhile, boys will be boys.
Our politicians and pundits call women little girls to discredit them; they call men little boys to excuse them. And let me make it plain: it’s white men who get this infantilized forgiveness most of all. And men regain their adult, objective, powerful personhood as soon as they’re forgiven. Women strive to be taken seriously as powerful adults, but as children we were never presumed innocent. We’re jailbait, Lolitas, temptresses. We’re too convincing in perceived, precocious womanhood when we’re just children. There are swimming pools and splash pads that won’t allow girl children to swim or play with a bare chest, as if a toddler’s child body could be incitement. Once women pass the jailbait phase, we’re hysterical, impulsive little girls, whiny, bratty, undereducated, and in need of a “strong man” to guide us.
The philosopher Kate Manne coined a phrase for the “excessive or inappropriate sympathy extended to a male wrongdoer over his female victim. Himpathy describes a reversal of the flow of sympathy away from her, its proper object, up the social hierarchy to him, assuming that he is no less privileged given intersecting social factors.”
What did it do to my sense of self-worth, spending the first half of my life looking forward, then the second half looking back? When was my powerful moment—why did I think it was only a moment—and how did I not know it was happening when it happened? Was there a day, briefly shimmering, when I was exactly right? Or have I always been too old for my own good, or too young to be taken seriously?
To whom would I be asking those questions? If any man, or every man, is setting the bar for how we should be women, or girls—how we should look, check our power, curtail what we can say, do, or become—we’ll never get the answers we deserve.
As a girl, and as a woman, I have always wanted the same answer: I’m exactly right, right now. I’m defining just one of the countless ways to be a woman, to age, to appear, to exist, to have power, autonomy, authority. I don’t need permission. Little girls grow up, and we can grow out of the lies we were told.
Rumpus original logo and art by Aubrey Nolan.
The Thread is a monthly literary conversation, developed for The Rumpus and edited by Julie Greicius. Send us what you’re reading that you can’t stop thinking or talking about to [email protected], or reach out to Marissa on Twitter or Facebook, and she just might pull the threads of it apart for you in a future column.
Marissa Korbel is managing editor at The Rumpus, and a critically acclaimed essayist. You can also find her writing at Harper’s Bazaar, Guernica, Bitch Magazine, and The Manifest-Station. She lives and works as a public interest attorney in Portland, Oregon. Marissa tweets @likethchampagne. More from this author →
Coast Guardsman arrested on child pornography charge
A 32-year-old Coast Guardsman who was arrested at Joint Base Cape Cod on Wednesday for allegedly having more than 100 images of child pornography and child erotica on his iPhone was placed on GPS monitoring Thursday and released from custody after a Falmouth District Court hearing.
FALMOUTH — A 32-year-old Coast Guardsman who was arrested at Joint Base Cape Cod on Wednesday for allegedly having more than 100 images of child pornography and child erotica on his iPhone was placed on GPS monitoring Thursday and released from custody after a Falmouth District Court hearing.
Ryan D. Ruff, 32, of West Barnstable, faces one count of possession of child pornography, as well as multiple motor vehicle charges stemming from a car crash Sunday.
State troopers came across photographs of children performing sexual acts after Ruff was involved in the crash on Route 6 in Bourne just after 7:30 p.m. Sunday, according to court documents.
When Trooper Robert Pinto spoke with Ruff about the two-car crash, he smelled alcohol on Ruff's breath, the documents say.
Ruff told him he was coming from the Ninety-Nine restaurant in Quincy, where he was on a date and had a “few beers,” according to the documents.
After failing several sobriety tests, he was placed under arrest and taken to the state police barracks to wait for his wife to bail him out, the documents say. He was charged with operating under the influence, second offense; unlicensed operation; negligent operation; and failing to use care in stopping, according to state police.
Ruff’s wife got lost several times on her way to the barracks, so Ruff gave Pinto the phone to give her directions.
But when Pinto, who accidentally muted the phone, tried to retrieve the sound he came across a photo of a girl who appeared to be between 7 and 10 years old performing oral sex on a man, according to the documents.
At about 11:10 p.m., Ruff’s wife arrived at the barracks with bail money and he was released but voluntarily stayed to talk with Trooper Jerry Donovan.
During the interview, which was recorded, Ruff said he purchased the used phone a few months ago and had not noticed anything unusual on it.
When confronted with the photo, Ruff denied knowing about it and said “that didn’t make any sense to him,” according to the documents.
Ruff said he did take other photos in the iPhone’s gallery that were co-mingled with the child porn, the documents say.
He said his phone and iPad mini were password-protected and no one else had access to them.
The phone and iPad were seized as troopers applied for a search warrant.
On Monday, when the warrant was granted, troopers found a “combination of 100 child erotica and over 35 images of child pornography” on Ruff’s phone, according to the documents.
An application for an arrest warrant lists gruesome descriptions of eight photographs.
In some, girls as young as 4 are seen wearing fishnet stockings and performing oral sex on adult men. Others show young boys performing sex acts on one another.
A photo dated 10:05 p.m. Dec. 4, titled “Jailbait Thread," shows a girl between the ages of 12 and 14 wearing a tank top that says “Work in Progress" across the chest and the words “Good to Go” over an arrow that points to below the girl’s waist.
At the time that photo was stored, Ruff was exchanging text messages with his wife, according to the documents.
Coast Guard Petty Officer Cynthia Oldham said Ruff, who is a petty officer 2nd class working as an electronic technician, will remain an active member of the Coast Guard throughout the investigation unless he takes leave. He had not done so as of 4 p.m. Thursday, she said.
“The charges are not in alignment with the Coast Guard’s core values, which are honor, respect and devotion to duty,” Oldham said. "What he’s charged with is certainly not tolerated in the Coast Guard.”
Ruff was arraigned Wednesday on the child pornography charge, held in jail overnight, and then brought back to court Thursday for a hearing on a GPS monitor. He declined to comment as he stood outside the Falmouth court in his Coast Guard work uniform Thursday afternoon.
He is scheduled to return to court for pretrial hearings on all the pending charges Jan. 19.
Ruff also was arrested in September for driving drunk in Sandwich. Although that case was continued without a finding, there was an active related warrant issued by the Probation Department, which he was arraigned on later Thursday in Barnstable District Court.
— Follow Haven Orecchio-Egresitz on Twitter: @HavenCCT.
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Intrigued by the offer, but did not want to show it to her husband. Braid your hair in two pigtails, put on the outfit of a schoolgirl from a Catholic school. Something like this. And one more thing. According to the director, it will be a rape scene.