Reddit Forum for Women Flooded by Internet Trolls, Sparks Outrage, TMI Backlash
TwoXChromosomes, the reddit community that was constructed as a safe space and discussion board for cisgendered women, transgendered women and any female-identified individuals to address gender-related issues, has recently been met with a bout of misogynistic messages and internet trolls after being made a "default" subreddit. Previously, posters had to seek out the community whose motto is "women supporting women," but the new setting directs all users of the massive internet forum toward 2X content.
With more than 200,000 readers, the community has taken to requesting that users post "thoughtful, meaningful content," and reiterated that those who are unable to exhibit respect, equanimity, grace, or relevance are in violation of the guidelines set by the moderators.
The pre-default TwoXChromosomes community and many others have expressed upset at the change, remarking that public response to defaulting the subreddit was "predictable and inevitable." Trolls and well-meaning ignorant posters have flocked to the space, igniting drama, sending inappropriate messages, and proclaiming their disgust at TMI ("too much information") posts.
Community members say genital photos have been sent to their inboxes, as well as hostile demands that the women "get raped." In addition to rape "jokes," the lack of defense from moderators, and the presence of snarky intruders could lead to the subreddit becoming a "cesspool for racist, homophobic women," according to one user.
Many longtime contributors say the niche sub shouldn't have been made public without consulting the community prior to the change.
"I love this sub. It is a fantastic community and I really think it's one of the best ran sub that I subscribe to. That being said, I was at first really upset that we went to default. This community that I sincerely care about is being opened up to a massive audience, the heartfelt stories that I connect with are going to be met with pervy and misogynist comments! How could the mods do this?!?" said one contributor, who then went on to say that community members shouldn't allow themselves to be driven out of their own space, encouraging other users to report vicious comments and pressing moderators to delete backlash posts where feminism and female-related issues are downvoted.
"I'll give 2x two months and then I'll unsubscribe. This is supposed to be a safe place and I feel really betrayed that it's a default now. Most of reddit, at least when it comes to females and feminism, are clueless sh*t heels," said a longtime user. "I understand what they're trying to do (educate people and give females a voice) but I don't feel like it's going to continue to be a refuge any longer."
Some women have reacted to the new audience by deciding to kick TMI posts to the next level, reveling in details about female bodily fluid emissions and personal matters, hoping to scare away the interlopers. Details on the horrors of pregnancy, vaginal pains, menstrual cycles, and birth control have become more prevalent, with topics like "Oh god, my dog ate my tampon and then sh*t it out" "Reminder: Women can grow hair everywhere!" and "2 months of Pain, possible Endometriosis, Cysts, weird Periods and 4 Gynos."
Despite the outcry, there are some who believe that the subreddit's new status is a good thing. Some grateful new arrivals said that if 2x hadn't become a default, they never would have heard of it. Others hope the change will educate people and give women a more pronounced voice on the internet.
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