40 “That’s Not How Women Work” Moments Shared In This Online Group (New Pics)
Confidence and ignorance are a dangerous mix, and it can be especially potent when it comes to men who feel that they have the right to tell women what to do. On the /r/NotHowGirlsWork subreddit, moderators and contributors catalog the craziest cases of men (and, in odd cases, even women) sharing their most head-scratching takes on women’s minds, bodies and rights.
In the very best-case scenario, some of these might be ignorant but well-wishing ignorant men who are open to learning from their mistakes. In many cases, however, these may be representatives of darker online communities whose members can be affected by mental health issues and a downward spiral of hate against women.
We’ll break down what some of these communities are and the real-world dangers they may present to women below.
Incels (involuntary celibate) are one of the more hateful misogynistic communities online. Some members have even been involved in real-world violence against women. Unfortunately, they aren’t the only misogynistic online community. Other toxic communities in the broader “manosphere” - a coalition of sites online oriented towards men’s issues - include:
- MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way): Men advocating their separation into a woman-less society;
- The red-pill community: A broader online community that idolizes what it sees as traditional gender roles and masculine ideals. Many men in this community hold misogynistic beliefs about women’s familial responsibilities and roles.
- MRA (Men’s Rights Activists): The men’s rights movement is a broader movement advocating a focus on numerous issues affecting men. Some members of this movement see women as adversaries in solving men’s issues, while others embrace feminism.
- Pick-up artists: This is a community of men who see women primarily as objects of desire and believe that the use of specific algorithms or formulas - collectively called “game” - will help them attract women.
Read on for one professor’s insights into the problem of online misogyny.
Bored Panda reached out to Professor Chuka Nestor Emezue, Ph.D., MPH, MPA, CHES at Rush University for additional insights into the problem of misogynistic hate online. As an expert on children’s, women’s, and family health, Professor Emezue has conducted research into these hateful online communities and potential de-radicalization interventions.
For many of us, it seems like comments like these might be products of ignorance. Professor Emezue explained, however, that it’s not that simple: “I believe that ignorance is not the root cause of the issue at hand. It is too easy to just blame a lack of awareness of what is moral and sensible today. The current global climate surrounding masculinity has created a perfect storm - contributing to this rise in global misogyny. Factors such as unattended mental health problems, hopelessness, progress made by women in various fields, extremist political beliefs that reinforce male dominance, and poverty contribute to this phenomenon.”
Leading social media platforms and online communities have taken steps to de-platform incels and other misogynistic communities, but they are certain to find places to congregate elsewhere. And even so, many of the comments mocked by the /r/NotHowGirlsWork subreddit are found on mainstream platforms like Twitter.
Professor Emezue helped understand the importance of these communities to incels and others, who see them as a respite from what they perceive as unfair treatment by women or society at large: “I believe that these online channels provide a sense of belonging and companionship to many incels who may not have these connections in their daily lives. Young incels on these social media platforms egg each other on. You should expect many will double down on their beliefs and efforts to subjugate women.”
“It's quite uncomplicated really,” Professor Emezue continued. “Nobody wants to lose. And when you allow yourself to be so convinced that others are to blame for your misplacement in society, anything that presents itself as a way out will suffice. In this case, as many boys and men grow hopeless, or feel like they cannot compete in the home, in the workplace, and elsewhere, they must find someone to blame. In this case, incels believe that females, feminism, and 'wokeness' are the culprits.”