A woman lately went to Reddit for advice her fiancé had financially ruined her due to a gambling dependence, and she wasn’t sure what to do. Members of Womanish Dating Strategy, a subreddit offering courting advice simply to women, spotted the thread and added their own assessment her choice to stay with him was another illustration of “ Stockholm pattern.”
On a website generally known as the home of the manosphere, r/ FemaleDatingStrategy is, in numerous ways, originally, refreshing. The “ womanish-only” forum, innovated in February 2019, prides itself on being the only space on Reddit for women who date men to safely vent enterprises about their connections with men who frequently cheapen them, ignore them, or indeed abuse them. It’s filled with memes and advice, and a recent Wall Street Journal piece praised it for offering “ honesty and tough love.” The subreddit has subscribers and is growing fleetly.
But while FDS’s advice can feel appealing at first, underneath is a socially conservative approach that’s frequently deeply critical of women and their actions, placing limits on how they can act and what they ought to seek from a relationship.
On a base position, much of Womanish Dating Strategy’s advice makes sense. For women who have dealt with trauma at the hands of men in their connections, FDS’s guidelines (“ A Man MUST Treat You Like a Queen from the Launch” and “ Don’t Settle for Lower”) can serve as a practice in boundary- setting, and the forum can offer a probative community for those who may not else have one. Numerous FDS members talk about how FDS changed their lives. One stoner said FDS helped them block a manipulative joe they’d been seeing for times; another said the community helped her leave a vituperative relationship. Important introductory advice in FDS can be helpful in learning one’s worth and relearning how to assert boundaries as a grown-up.
It’s clear that Womanish Dating Strategy can have an appeal to women trying to find answers to the struggles in their connections. “ The guidelines helped me realize (what in hindsight sounds egregious) that if the guys you’re talking to aren’t choosing to repay the same trouble as you in the morning. it’s not going to get better,” said a friend who introduced me to the group.
Devoted members of Womanish Dating Strategy are supposed to read the subreddit’s six-point testament around how to approach courting, follow its list of rules (they don’t support consensual BDSM, viewing porn, or having coitus before a commitment has been established in a relationship), and use women-critical lingo similar as “ pickmeisha” (a woman who lowers norms to admit attention from men) and “ Stockholm pattern” (when a woman keeps going back to “ low- value” men). There are indeed approved podcasters and YouTubers for FDS members to hear to.
FDS MEMBERS-ONLY SUPPORT CERTAIN WOMEN
The sexual traditionalism of their approach can come roughly to women. Women are encouraged to not expose their sexual history to mates or have coitus too soon because they believe no man would ever love a woman who has coitus snappily. Posts about coitus workers can be incredibly whorephobia (a term used by coitus workers to describe abomination toward coitus workers that can be both relational, systemic, and societal), with commentary on one post saying that vituperative men should see coitus workers rather than “ normal women.” My friend who else enjoys FDS says she doesn’t like “ how they talk about coitus workers or treat them as separate from the general population of women.” And just as the forum breaks men down into “ low value” and “ high value,” so too will it call women “ low value” for gets that doesn’t live up to their norms.
These strict rules mean that FDS members-only supports certain women. When one commenter wrote that they love FDS and are dating a High- Value Joker but they enjoy BDSM, some people responded that FDS may not be the space for them if they can’t follow the rules. Another post says that a woman who wants to ask men out ( rather of staying for him to initiate as a High- Value Joker would) makes them “ a pick-me” automatically. Women who choose to propose to their fellows are also mocked on FDS. The subreddit also deletes posts that “ don’t follow our principles.” So women who don’t follow FDS’s strict testament are veritably snappily pushed out by chairpersons.
Analogous conservative guidelines (“ don’t rush into coitus,” “ let him take the lead”) were promoted as courting advice in books of the ’90s and 2000s similar as The Rules Time- Tested Secrets for Landing the Heart of Mr. Right. Womanish Dating Strategy indeed has a runner devoted to FDS-approved courting books. These courting advice books and FDS glass generally cathartic morals about women’s fornication, but they’re specifically about women policing other women’s gets in the name of winning a man.
“ I JOINED IT Lately BECAUSE SOME FRIEND TOLD ME I SHOULD, BUT I ’M GONNA LEAVE IT RIGHT Down.”
The point also echoes a brand of anti-porn feminism that reaches back to the 1970s and 1980s’Feminist Sex Wars. Coitus-positive sexists argued for, as author Gayle Rubin put it, the “ decriminalization of fornication and for all subscribing persons to do what they wished sexually.” Their opponents argued that porn, BDSM, and coitus work were innately rough and demeaning to women. But by denying women autonomy over their bodies and sexual choices, they frequently ended up dehumanizing women who didn’t live up to their moral norms.
The Verge reached out to Womanish Dating Strategy’s temperance platoon for comment. The chairpersons said they would only speak to us if we handed a “ valid government-issued ID” as evidence of identity, which we declined to do, and they declined or didn’t respond to other offers for verification.