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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.

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.

58 comments

Nothing to be ashamed of! So glad to have you here. We're like the Tardigrades of earnest discourse -- we survive Reddit banning, transhumanist billionaires, mud, mountaintops, the vacuum of space. ๐Ÿ˜„

I know you gals on r/GC felt like you lost your first home and that was upsetting, but let me tell you--some people would never have found you. I would never, ever have found you unless you were your own site. I found it in October, lurked, then joined in November, and it has been life-changing. Welcome to the wider world, where you scooped up women like me :)

You are so right. Reddit is a big site for sure, but, at least where I live, it's still a very 'niche' thing. Many people see reddit as a site for teenagers+nerds+incels, and definitely for men rather than women. In fact, I don't know any woman in real life who is active on reddit. So, big as it is in some circles, it's only a tiny part of the internet.

They have been getting too cocky lately, thinking they can ban whoever they want with no consequences. What they are about to find out is we don't need them at all, nor do many others. When there is such insane, authoritarian moderation, people tend to move on to better alternatives.

The banwave was a BLESS. Now we have our own site and don't need to tiptoe everything we say anymore. The community will grow stronger than ever.

Welcome abroad sis!

Thank you for this heartwarming post ! I am also working in being louder with my opinions. When I was in school (girl only school) i never had this problem. I wasn't shy and I would always sepal my mind. Then, socialization with mAlEs began and I was told I get "too emotional" that i "need to keep my cool" and since I can't, i stayed silent more times than I wish I had. (And hating myself afterwards for not speaking) . I'm slowly trying to reverse that pattern. I get angry and flushed. Yes so what?! That's me

There was a post recently about how men argue. They speak monotonously and throw big words at you, and if you raise your tone, you 'lose'. Fuck that! Be as loud as you like, the louder the better โค๏ธ

Thanks for putting into words how I feel! I often feel like I have nothing to contribute to the (often incredibly intelligent and deep) conversation so I donโ€™t comment but if everyone felt like that there would be no posts in the first place! Youโ€™ve inspired me to participate more even if I have nothing intelligent to add lol

It's so great that you are considering being more active! And speaking from my own and very recent experience, the more you participate, the easier it gets.

I admire smart women. Sometimes it is intimidating to engage with someone like that. Likely I will never be as smart as them, but I have realized that I can help their voices be heard, which is incredibly important in the world where these women are constantly silenced. These women need our comments, likes, shares. Ever notice when there are zero comments under an article, we are not as interested in reading the article? When, however, there is a discussion going on, I almost always click. I think most regular people subconsciously act the same way. 'People are talking about it, so it must be interesting, I better check it out'. I think this is how we can help promote GC content - by leaving feedback, even short, even just 'great article, really liked it'.

Sorry, I got a bit carried away ๐Ÿ˜…

I definitely find myself doing that as well haha. Great point regarding propping up other voices who DO have something important to add - Iโ€™m going to be more conscious of this going forward.

[โ€“] Ronja 9 points Edited

Thank you so much for your beautiful message. It is focused, succinct and for me, very relatable. I was a lurker on /gc for a year, drinking the contents like it was a truth tonic and a sanity serum. I truly hope this was your plunge into the ocean, from which we can all sing the truth like whales calling out to one another from across millions of waves.

It's good to have you with us, sister!

Such a beautiful analogy. We may be thousands of kilometres apart, but we can hear each other no matter what.

I often feel like you. I just lurk because I have nothing meaningful to add. I've managed to change a bit (though I know I'll never be fully "out" there in front.) What helped me is to start was to stop apologizing. If your nature is to be contemplative, and watchful, that's fine, it's normal for many of us. 6 months is not a long time to take a break/recharge (it might be healthy to do that on occasion too).

Anyway, if all you ever do is read + like, I'm glad you made it back here.

It's telling how often women feel the need to apologize, myself included. 'So sorry to bother you! Sorry this is so long! Sorry if this is against the rules!'

I definitely try to cut it out when I'm in the company of men.

But strangely, I find it comforting to apologize for silly things to women. We have all been socialized to be nice, so why not direct our niceness specifically at women? They won't weaponize it against me. They won't make the assumption that I'm weak and therefore can be used. So when I'm on Ovarit, I don't fight my apologizing tendencies too much ๐Ÿ˜„

Excellent pt that did not occur to me. Thinking about I do feel more free saying sorry to women since women will just laugh and relate while men will usually react arrogantly.

[โ€“] bellatrixbells BoobatrixRex 28 points

Don't worry about not having participated "enough" (by whose standards anyways ? I don't think anyone on here will be blaming you).

This is cheesy AF but in life there are different kinds of people. Some of them will lead, some of them like me will yap about all day long and throw coal into the locomotive. Others will only board the train. And that's okay. Not everyone can be an operator or a machinist. We need passengers, if nothing else to show others on the outside that the train is safe to board or that they will have fellow passengers if they choose to come along.

If you need the train to be up and running before you board it, fine. I'm fairly sure I'm not the only one who does this in good part to provide food for thought, a sense of belonging, and a community not only to people like ourselves who speak a lot, but for people like you who'd rather listen and chime in occasionally. But most of us probably do it because it comes naturally to us/we like it, not because we force ourselves in order to fill the locomotive.

Besides, if everyone spoke as much as people like me we would probably have a problem. Thanks for balancing it out, I feel less guilty. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‰

That's a really amazing analogy. Makes me feel so much better. I may not be a machinist, but if it wasn't for us passengers, the machinist wouldn't have a job ๐Ÿ˜…

[โ€“] bellatrixbells BoobatrixRex 4 points

I must admit I'm a bit proud of it. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Glad it made you feel better :)

Thank you, GC. For being a beacon of sanity. I can't handle anything anymore, but I hope everyone keeps speaking up.

We will continue to speak up. It will get better, it's getting better by the day. Take good care of yourself! If terf wars get a bit much, step away for a bit. It's okay to take a break โค๏ธ

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