While its use here is much less than on old SRS, jokes about things like misandry or spermjacking are still comedy staples on dorknet and thefempire. In many ways dorknet is already a pivot away from some aspects of SRS, but I'd like to complete that by cutting out those kind of jokes. For short, I'll call them a Solanas joke, named after Valerie Solanas, the author of the SCUM Manifesto. I'm not announcing a change in how I'm moderating based on this, but it is something I'd like to discuss.
The basis of the SCUM Manifesto, and the root of a Solanas joke, is an inversion of patriarchy where men have to go through the same terrifying things women do. They became popular in SRS, as it fits when mocking anti-feminists who think that such things are a real threat.
The big problem with this is that it creates a false binary where the struggle is cis men being terrible against cis women. This is true enough of the time to be seductive, but it makes many victims of patriarchy who are not cis women feel like outsiders, including sexual assault survivors and gender and sexual minorities.
Denying the reality that there are people who aren't cis women who go through many of the same things cis women do under patriarchy, and that there exist many women who are not cis as well as people who don't fit into a binary, is the root of the issues with trans* exclusionary radical feminism.
Of course, not everyone who makes a Solanis Joke is a TERF, and we shouldn't act like they are. There are a lot of men on the dorknet, and the thought of a woman seeing this place as not for them just because they made a bad joke gives me nightmeres.
That said, we have coasted on the assumption that those alienated by Solanas jokes understand that we are being ironic, and that we just don't mean the implied cissexism or other problematic things. However, there are ways that our affection for these jokes undermine our support for trans people, or men who have been raped, and other people who dont fit the neat, cis women vs. cis men narrative.
It turns the idea that the oppressive structures of patriarchy would hurt anyone but a cis woman into a joke, when that is something that happens all the time. Instead of hoping that people we want to help always see us in the best light, we should just cut it out.
I'm as guilty as anyone when it comes to making these jokes, but I've made an effort recently to cut them out and I think my posting is better for it. I've debated making this post, in part because I never want to imply that dorknet is not a place where you can talk about how shitty shit men are. However, I think that cutting this jokey stuff out won't reduce what makes dorknet a fun feminist place, and may even make it better at what it already does well.
I always worry about posts like this and the effect that they'll have. If you have any questions or comments, please speak up.