Dear all, I'm afraid this will be long, but I need to get something off my chest.
When r/GenderCritical got banned, I was feeling rather hopeless. We had a community that was growing fast, peak transing more and more people, gaining media attention. We became too big and therefore a threat, so they had to get rid of us. Even though it was to be expected, I was devastated. I lost a community of people who shared the same concerns as me, most of whom started off as liberal "just be kind" feminists. Those women shared the same grief that I did when it became clear a lot of LGBT and the left weren't our friends. It was an island of sanity and a breath of fresh air.
I am the kind of person who prefers to read other women's thoughts over sharing my own. Never felt like I had anything original to say anyway. And my experience on GC was just that: consuming the content created by others, with zero input of my own. In all of three years I maybe left two or three comments... But reading GC was part of my daily routine, and I tried to read there as much as I could.
When Ovarit became active about a month after the ban, I immediately got an invite. But I knew our huge network was lost and was devastated to see five threads where there used to be fifty, two comments instead of two hundred. I couldn't bear to look at it, so I stopped visiting the site for almost half a year. After all, I was a 'lurker' and there was very little content for me to 'consume'.
But when I opened the site around December, I couldn't believe how much was done in such little time. It was just like r/GC, better even, since we didn't have to follow a billion of reddit 'rules' just to keep us afloat. Seeing Ovarit thrive was glorious, but at that moment I felt deep shame that I stood aside when my silly little comments were perhaps needed most. When others were building Ovarit from scratch, I was doing nothing to help restore our community. A simple 'like' could go a long way in encouraging people to post and comment more, especially if you are like me: constantly doubting yourself and considering deleting if no one reacted.
So, thank you, truly, to all those who posted, commented, liked and shared, in those first few months and now. Ovarit became what it is no thanks to me, but I will try to do better in the future. I will make it a point to 'like' more posts and comments. I will try to overcome my fear of engaging with others and write deep and thoughtful responses such as "great idea" and "haha". Sometimes, like now, I will even bring myself to post. And, instead of assuming I'm not smart or knowledgeable enough to speak, I will try anyway.
I feel so lucky and grateful that there are other women taking the same small steps as me.
Thank you. You are all really great.