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Do we really need a fund to support ‘victims of feminism’?

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Here’s a story to make you groan on a Thursday – following the Adria Richards scandal of last week, a new subreddit emerged on popular website Reddit called ‘The Feminist Victim’s Fund’.

The fund aims to ‘help struggling men in the face of adversity’ through user-donated money.

For those who haven’t heard about the Twitter scandal caused by Adria Richards last week, here’s a summary:

Richards, a developer in Silicon Valley, was attending PyCon, a convention in Santa Clara, when she overheard a sexist joke from someone seated behind her. Richards then sent the following tweet to her thousands of followers, accompanied by a photo of the row behind her: ‘Not cool. Jokes about forking repo’s in a sexual way and “big” dongles. Right behind me #pyconpic.twitter.com/Hv1bkeOsYP’.

She then also contacted the organizers of the event about the situation, and asked for the men to be ‘dealt with’. As a result, the employee of PlayHaven who allegedly made the joke was fired – then, following a twitter furor, Richards herself was fired from her role at SendGrid. You can read more about the incident through Huffington Post here.  You can also read Richards’ own blog post about the incident here.

The Feminist Victim’s Fund was supposedly set up to help men like the employee of PlayHaven recover from their losses following an attack from feminism. The fund reads:

‘Unfortunately in today’s climate, being a man has become a financial liability. Say the wrong thing in the wrong place and you can find your entire life ruined. Destroyed.

Feminists have fought for equality, but now they’re out for our rights.

They’re destroying us financially. They’re trying to tear apart our families.

We’re saying that enough is enough. No longer should men fear masculinity.’

Here’s the thing – regardless of whether or not you agree with Richards’ response, the fact is that feminism is not ‘out for’ men’s rights, and it certainly isn’t a result of feminism that both the PlayHaven employee and Richards lost their job. To me, this is obviously a result of ‘trial by social media’, and if you want to blame someone, look no further than the companies both individuals worked for, who clearly were more concerned about their public image than standing by their staff.

Sacking staff is always the most extreme action available to an employer, and surely a reprimand and maybe an apology to Richards would have sufficed to smooth the issue over.

It’s no real surprise that there’s a new anti-feminist subreddit ­- especially considering the numerous far more offensive subreddits that are created and subscribed to daily – and at the moment it only has 68 subscribers. But the notion of men being ‘victims of feminism’ is one that will continue to irk me, and no doubt other reasonable people everywhere.

What do you think, Lipsters? Was Richards being unreasonable? Or was she within her rights to complain?

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5 thoughts on “Do we really need a fund to support ‘victims of feminism’?

  1. I think that she has every right to complain, but I don’t think they should have lost their jobs over it. It’s not great that they made the jokes, but I genuinely don’t think it was serious enough to warrant the response it got.

  2. It seems to me that these men are the victims of the consequences of their own sexism, not victims of feminism. Sacking seems extreme, but he was not sacked by feminism – Richards was not wrong to complain.

  3. The job she was fired from was just a made up job anyway, the Playhaven employee actually did something of value.

  4. She overheard a conversation she wasn’t a part of, took offense, and started a “scandal” about it, sidestepping every social convention on the matter. She could have ignored it, as harmless banter between two friends. She could have turned around and asked them to stop, and they probably would have. She could even have gone to an event organizer directly and said “Hey, these guys are saying some things that are making me uncomfortable, can you ask them to stop?” if she was afraid of conflict. Instead, she took pictures of them, and tried to publicly shame them via her twitter, saying that sexual jokes and innuendos have no place in the professional world, despite her own examples of such behaviour. And then, when they were “dealt with” in the most indirect way possible, she waved the victory flag like she’d just won women the right to vote, and compared herself to Joan of Arc.

    OF COURSE there would be a backlash of some kind over this. Those offended by her attitude, hypocrisy and actions went on the exact same campaign against her as was done against her “oppressors” in the next row, and if she’s a victim in this, then the man who lost his job is equally so, with the exception that his comments were made privately (albeit in a public space) to a friend, whereas all of hers were made quite publicly on her twitter feed for the world to see.

    What truly bothers me is that a number of articles on this particular series of events use headlines such as “Outrage as Reddit users start a fund for ‘victims of feminism’ in retaliation against female Silicon Valley worker who was fired for tweeting ‘big dongles’ joke”

    It’s almost as bad as Representative Lisa Brown (And every media outlet there is) pretending she was suspended from the House of Representatives for the word “vagina” and not for insinuating the Speaker (and through the Speaker, her opposition) were rapists when she finished her argument with the phrase “but no means no”. The House uses a Speaker to prevent people addressing each other directly, to minimize any insulting, derogatory, or similar language, as you’re never directly addressing your opponent. The rules on conduct are fairly heavy, and implying even indirectly that all those who oppose your point of view (or men in general) are rapists is pretty insulting and derogatory. And before anyone brings it up, yes I’m familiar with the bill she was fighting against, and I agree with her. The anti abortion laws it proposed were pretty ridiculous. But that doesn’t make her right. And it doesn’t make Ms. Richards right, either.

    • I don’t know why, but it is hard for some feminists to admit, women make mistakes too, shamming two people for a private conversation she over heard is not fair. she was fired because she was a social media expert, if your companie’s social media head is mocking others on their profile, it is not a good sign.

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