Surprise! Reddit is full of dudes!

Faith Merino · July 3, 2013 · Short URL:

Pew study shows that one in six online men ages 18-29 are on reddit

With Pinterest’s surprising wildfire adoption among women (because bitches love pictures of food), I’m sure many of you were thinking, “but what about MEN?! When will men finally get a space all their own in which to enjoy the splendor of the Internet?” Actually, if you were thinking that, you should just leave now because I’m reading a collection of essays by Gloria Steinem and I’m mad as hell.

Actually, there is a place for dudes! (Among all the other places for dudes.) It’s called reddit. And a study published Wednesday by the Pew Internet & American Life Project revealed that one out of six online men ages 18-29 is on reddit as we speak.

It’s the first time that the Pew Internet & American Life Project has conducted a study on reddit alone, and researchers found that 6% of online adults are on reddit—the self-proclaimed “front page of the Internet.” And in totally bro-tastic news that surprised no one, researchers found that reddit is a big hit with the dudes—particularly youngish dudes.

Overall, men are twice as likely as women to use reddit. Some 15% of online men ages 18-29 are on reddit, compared to just 5% of women in the same age group. Meanwhile, 8% of men ages 30-49 are on reddit, compared to 5% of women. Even among those 50 and older, more men are on reddit than women.

This concentration of bros might do something to explain the pervasive sexism frequently encountered on reddit, where rape victims are accused of lying and creating fake bruises with makeup, and subreddits like r/Creepshots are banned, only to resurrect as r/Creepsquad, which is in turn banned only to resurrect as f*cking r/CandidFashionPolice. (Not savvy to Creepshots aka CandidFashionPolice? Pictures of non-consenting women are posted to the subreddit [many underage] where creepy redditors ogle the pics under the guise of commenting on the subject’s outfit.)

Reddit has taken some steps to police sexism and misogyny on the site—notably by banning subreddits like r/Creepshots. But the creeps have shown that they’re harder to get rid of than bed bugs (crawling all over your unconscious, non-consenting body…).

Even reddit founder Alexis Ohanian has called out redditors to ease up on sexist name-calling in the wake of the Adria Richards’ “Dongle-gate” scandal.

“Aren’t we better than this?” wrote Ohanian. “I’m not talking about the trolls. There will always be frenzied agitators who are just mashing away on their keyboard, trying to outrage people. I'm talking about how many (otherwise reasonable-seeming) people I saw who were comfortable and self-righteous in calling a woman a bitch/cunt/etc from their Twitter, Hacker News, or, yes, reddit account. Stop.” 

Naturally, redditors responded by calling Ohanian a cunt and accusing him of hating free speech. Because asking people not to make rape jokes or threaten someone they don’t like with graphic sexual violence is practically the same thing as revoking their first amendment rights. 

But the management team set reddit up to be dude-friendly. Under the auspices of protecting free speech, the site let subreddits like r/Creepshots and /jailbait run rampant while trolls posted misogynistic, sexist, racist, and all sorts of generally offensive material to the site. The site even went so far as to award a trophy for "worst reddit" to Violentacrez--arguably the worst troll on the Internet--for his rape jokes, creepshots, and--at one point--a picture of a woman being brutally beaten in a subreddit called "beating women." (Ha, ha! Boys will be boys! Here's a trophy, ya little scamp!)

But when Gawker had the audacity to unveil the identity of odious troll Violentacrez as 49-year-old Texas programmer Michael Brutsch, reddit banned all Gawker links from the site for doxxing (or exposing someone's information online)--in effect sending the message to redditors that rape jokes and pictures of women being beaten are okay, but holding someone accountable for those posts is not okay. 

The subreddits have since been banned and reddit CEO Yishan Wong lifted the ban on Gawker links because even he had to admit that it's a little hypocritical to rally for free speech while banning news links from your site because you don't like what they reported. But the damage has been done. Welcome, dudes! Enjoy your stay! 

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