And welcome to our new home!
As most of you are aware, on June 29, 2020, Reddit banned the most active feminist community on its platform, r/GenderCritical. We, the active moderators of r/GenderCritical, were given no warning or hint that this was going to happen.
The Reddit admins still have not explained to us how their rules were retroactively broken or what led to the ban. We fastidiously enforced all the rules that existed, as well as rules they told us to enforce that weren’t documented on the site and which few subreddits had to observe. The last time the admins had contacted us about a problem they had with us was about 10 months prior, when they removed 4 comments from our subreddit for “promoting violence” in a thread about self-defense.
A handful of other gender critical subs were banned on the same day. It was clear more would follow, and almost two weeks later they banned many more subs, similarly without discussion or warning. The admins continued to refuse to explain why their new rules would ban so many subs, but since they banned even the debate sub r/GCdebatesQT, the women-only sub r/ActualWomen, and the lesbian-only sub r/TrueLesbians, it seems that you can’t even civilly disagree with “trans women are women” on Reddit or have actual women-only communities.
Many threads had been started over the years by women who were concerned that Reddit would cave under pressure and attempt to silence us. We promised we’d find a new home for our community if necessary, and we meant it. We had considered options before, and we knew that it was imperative that we control our own website and control our data, otherwise we’d deal with men limiting us or silencing us again. We set to work.
MK Fain, the indomitable woman behind 4W.pub and Spinster, and a woman of many talents, started helping us right away. She brought some women from the Spinster Tech Team and the WHRC Tech Team onto our tech team. We looked into many open source link aggregator projects and settled on one called Throat. The tech team got to work adding moderation features, making everything more secure, setting us up on a server, and preparing for predictable attacks like the DDOS attack launched on Saidit earlier this week.
We could not be more grateful for all the help we’ve received. As dire as it may seem to be up against enemies that are managing to get us censored from the online public sphere, sisterhood is powerful and together we can resist this movement. Resistance isn’t just possible, it is necessary. As Julie Bindel said, “Unless we speak out, we are enabling cowards and bullies to set the agenda on women's liberation.” We cannot let these anti-feminist bullies win. We have to increase our resistance against the cancelling and deplatforming of feminists.
The anti-feminist activists who pressure Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, Medium, and others into censoring and banning anyone who disagrees with transgender ideology don’t control the internet and cannot cancel us on our own websites. We won’t be silenced.
We are Ovarit.
Ovarit exists to give women a voice where other sites have silenced them for having the audacity to speak about the realities of our bodies and lives. This women-run, women-centered site is a resistance to authoritarianism, patriarchy, and the oppressive confines of gender ideology.
We’re still working out some of the details. Rules and guidelines will be refined. More changes will be made to the site. We’re at the beginning of a creative process and you’re a part of it.
More circles will be added. So far we have several circles created by moderators from several of our old sister subs, and some are still in the works. We’re going to focus our new /o/GenderCritical on topics around gender and transgender politics, and a lot of the content that used to belong on GC will belong on /o/WomensLiberation. Other circles for feminist topics will come, as well as circles for other women’s issues and topics of interest.
We’re “in beta” right now and will be requiring invite codes to register until we exit our beta. We’ll be distributing codes increasingly over the week, and users will be able to create codes once they accumulate enough votes (the exact number required might drop over time).
We appreciate the developers of Throat who have been great to work with, we’re glad to be part of this open source project and we hope to be able to help others create the online platform they need for themselves if Ovarit isn’t the platform for them. If free and interesting conversations are going to continue on the internet we need to move toward decentralization. The bounds of “acceptable” discourse cannot be determined by a few corporations who only care about money and the censorious loud minority who threatens their bottom line.
We have a number of different forms of backups of r/GenderCritical, and in the future we’ll get one online for perusal.
Thank you so much to all the other women who helped test, did research, registered your complaints with Reddit, and helped in other ways. It means everything.
We’re incredibly grateful to everyone who has offered support and donations. We will work out how to accept donations later. In the meantime, we encourage you to donate to others who are also fighting this fight:
“Remember, resist, do not comply” –Andrea Dworkin