While feminist boards are censored on Reddit under the pretense of "transphobia," pornographic, anti-woman communities are allowed to persist without issue. On one such subreddit dedicated to misogyny, trauma, rape, and abuse porn, the moderator is a trans-identified male who regularly exposes himself in public.
In the past, Reddit has been notorious for de-platforming woman-centered and feminist communities. In 2019, r/GenderCritical was permanently banned from the site after overhauling its 'hate speech' terms of service. Subreddits such as r/BanFemaleHateSubs, a board dedicated to fighting misogyny on the platform were initially picked up in the sweep, as well as r/JoanneRowling, a J.K Rowling fan subreddit.
Other boards saw themselves either forced to undergo an overhaul or flat-out censored by the site. r/Detransition, a subreddit for individuals who have ended their gender transition to discuss their experiences, endured what some of the users described as a 'coup,' with transgender Reddit top moderators taking over the subreddit and beginning to heavily censor and suppress content.
Despite the seemingly iron-fisted approach Reddit has taken to those who express concern for the wellbeing of women and youth, some subreddits continue to fly under the radar with little scrutiny or oversight. While many feminist communities have been nuked under the pretense of "transphobia" or excluding male participation, a number of high-traffic subreddits persist with protection from administrators despite their apparent "exclusivity." Nearly all of them could be classified as distinctly anti-woman.
While r/ActualLesbians – a subreddit alleging to be for lesbian support – frequently bars or brigades users from stating explicit same-sex attraction that "excludes" trans-identified males, r/Lesbians – a porn subreddit – doesn't allow pictures or videos of non-biological females.
Reddit's strict pro-trans moderation also doesn't seem to reach the bounds of 571,000-member r/DegradingHoles, which has an explicit "cis women only" policy when it comes to photos and videos.
But a more egregious example might be r/MisogynisticLife – a subreddit that boasts over 90,000 followers, and describes itself as "a place where Men, women, and misogyny can co-exist in peace!"
Throughout the subreddit, women are degraded and mocked. In one live-chat thread that was observed as it was occurring, a woman was told to expose details of the rape she was victim of as a child for the sexual pleasure of the male viewers.
The founder and moderator of the subreddit, u/AutumnGoddess81, is a trans-identified male with an exhibitionism fetish. He regularly posts photos of himself in public masturbating, urinating, and exposing his naked body. In some of the locations where he takes his pictures, such as parks, streets, and national monuments, it is obvious that other people may be near by.
Autumn, who refers to himself as 'That C*nt Autumn,' has multiple profiles on pornographic sites, including PornHub, X-Tube, and others where he uploads videos of himself in women's dressing rooms and bathrooms, usually while nude and masturbating.
While Autumn posts pictures of himself with degrading captions to r/MisogynisticLife, the board itself has policies which restrict certain posts to "female only."
Reddit's hyper-selectivity about what subreddits to allow to carry on without censorship has been a point of discussion amongst feminists and feminist allies since the 2019 purge of largely women's rights-related subreddits.
In February, some users announced that yet another women-centred subreddit had been banned. r/FebFem had been dedicated to support and discussion from bisexual women who choose to be female-exclusive in their dating and sexual preferences.
Earlier this year, Reddit experienced a widespread controversy that made headlines after hiring Aimee Challenor (Knight), a trans-identified male, to be an administrator.
Challenor had previously been expelled from the UK Green Party after the public discovered he had hired his father, who had been convicted of torturing and raping a 10 year old girl, to work in the party while concealing his pedophilic criminal history. Challenor also was engaged to a man who had a history of engaging with pedophilic content on the internet.
Challenor was ultimately fired by Reddit after dozens of high-traffic subreddits locked their boards in protest, but questions remain around why he had been hired in the first place, as well as enduring concerns about Reddit's increasing politicization.
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