Rebloggable propaganda, its slow decline, and the rising Reddit backlash
Tumblr is a well-known online blogging platform, ranked within the top 50 websites in the world. One feature unique to Tumblr is that it allows users to “reblog” posts, meaning users can instantly copy other users’ posts on their own blogs and then add their own commentary. This is useful for helping to spread information quickly but is often misused to spread nonsensical social justice propaganda.
One subset of Tumblr is the Tumblr feminist community. With a handful of exceptions, feminist Tumblrs usually present extreme views on gender politics. They portray an overly dualistic world in which all men are evil and hold all the power and all women are innocent and constantly persecuted everywhere all the time.
For the past two years, these blogs virtually held a monopoly on gender issues on the Internet. A good number of these factually incorrect and misandrist posts have had hundreds of thousands of reblogs, and many of these blogs have had tens of thousands of followers. A lot of these posts are either built on strawman assumptions or pasted quotes from random websites. Two major examples, which will be discussed here, are Misandry Mermaid and Stfu Everything (aka Big Red).
Recently, however, traffic stats have shown that interest in these types of blogs has started to decline significantly, as people are becoming more concerned with learning about the other side of “social justice.” One major reason for this is reddit’s subreddit TumblrinAction, which was created less than two years ago and has gained over 120,000 subscribers. TumblrinAction is a place where reddit users can submit direct links to or screenshots of social justice Tumblrs, which they can then critique and/or make fun of. Additionally, it has a sister sub named TiAdiscussion, which is used to discuss new social justice ideas in great detail.
Misandry Mermaid is most likely the last prominent Tumblr feminist today. Several of her posts have had hundreds of thousands of reblogs, and nearly every post she makes instantly gets 100 to 1,000 reblogs. Most of her posts belittle men’s issues. Scrolling down, on the right side, there is a link titled “The Misandry Masterpost.” This post leads to further posts, such as “On Misandry Being Real and Not Being Real.”
This particular post states at the beginning that “For misandry to actually be a real belief system with real consequences, it would need to be an institutionalized practice. There would have to be a centuries-old system in place in which men are treated as inferior to women, by women (as well as men with ‘internalized misandry’). And there is no human society in which that is true.” However, there were many ways that men were treated as inferiors to women. Men worked the most dangerous jobs in society, such as coal miner and construction worker. In one U.S. study, 93% of deaths on the job involved men, with a death rate approximately 11 times higher than women. Yet Tumblr feminists seem never to acknowledge these difficulties without at least making note that they benefit from the work of these men in their everyday lives.
An example of a famous Mermaid post, with almost 40,000 reblogs, states that “The average prison sentence of men who kill their women partners is 2 to 6 years. Women who kill their male partners are sentenced on average to 15 years.” The source she gives is not a primary source; the statistic is taken from the webpage of a women’s organization committed to fighting domestic violence. According to this site, the primary source was a study done by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, back in 1989. This primary source could not be found online.
However, an analysis conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics in 1995, using domestic violence cases from 1988, claims that “On average, convicted wives received prison sentences that were about 10 years shorter than what husbands received.” Even more important, one should note that their analysis declares that “Wives received shorter prison sentences than husbands (a 10-year difference, on average) even when the comparison is restricted to defendants who were alike in terms of whether or not they were provoked.” This analysis is more consistent with what is known about domestic violence sentencing.
Many other Mermaid posts simply rely on strawman arguments and specific situations, such as one that claims women are far more objectified than men, ignoring that men are objectified for their personal successes. Lately, though, her blog traffic as a whole is declining, as people wish to learn more about how men also face sexism.
Stfu Everything (aka Big Red)
Stfu Everything isn’t as popular as Misandry Mermaid on Tumblr, but she still has a significant viewership. In real life, she is known as Big Red, famous for arguing with MRAs in Toronto after she helped interrupt a talk hosted by the Canadian Association for Equality (CAFE).
The vast majority of posts on her blog are reblogs about all kinds of social justice issues, which include sexism, of course, but also racism, environmentalism, politics, and so forth. However, many of her most famous posts have been linked to via reddit.
Famous posts include Big Red repeatedly stating that she was innocent for not pulling the fire alarm herself and claiming that any woman against feminism is either a man in disguise or suffering from internalized misogyny. She also claimed once that just because women are represented in an area in high numbers doesn’t mean that women have actual power. This obviously ignores the reality that Big Red and her comrades successfully interrupted the men’s talk in Toronto.
Viewership on her blog is also declining, though to this day, she was never charged with public disturbance from the Toronto incident.
The reddit Backlash: TumblrinAction
TumblrinAction (TiA) is a community created less that two years ago on reddit that is dedicated to criticizing and making fun of Tumblr “activists.” Reddit users either submit direct links or screenshots. However, these activists can have posted on almost any other website online. Because this is supposed to be for entertainment and awareness, overly political posts are strongly discouraged. All kinds of social justice issues are heavily debated there—one, of course, being gender dynamics.
TiA currently has over 120,000 subscribers and has anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 visitors every 15 minutes, according to the sidebar. This is a very strong number for a reddit sub, which means something because reddit as a whole ranks in the top 50 websites in the world. The top post of all time there has over 6,000 upvotes, which is a screenshot of someone getting overly paranoid about fat hate only to realize that the joke was about a kind of beer. As another example, the fourth most popular post is a screenshot of a person claiming that gay men not dating straight women is a form of “discrimination.” What TiA symbolizes is that significant amounts of people are breaking free from traditional social justice paradigms.
The most useful idea to come out of TiA is TiADiscussion. This is the sister sub to TiA, in which users can discuss new social justice ideas in great detail instead of just posting links to Tumblr activists. It is much smaller in size but deeper in nature. One of its prominent posts was written by a sexual misconduct prevention professional, who says that “rape culture” is hyperbolic and that saying “teach men not to rape” lowers the self-esteem of most men, who are far from being rapists. For another example, this post attempts to declassify the misunderstandings MRAs face, written by a teenaged boy who was assaulted by a woman. This sub is also a great place to talk about personal experiences that aren’t recognized by standard social justice.
In conclusion, in the past few years, and especially the past few months, more people have undergone an inner transformation when they’ve realized that both men and women have unique gender-based issues. As a result, in an attempt to seek out that information, it seems that reddit is becoming a greater hub for “social justice” conversations and that Tumblr social justice is seeing its last days. This is because reddit is mostly male-dominated, so men’s issues are given more prominence. TiA will most likely continue to maintain its current standing and continue its massive growth. This is important because as more people in general will be aware of men’s issues, struggling men will get the help that they so desperately need.