“Holy Heteronormativity, Batman: Catsrule24 is a GIRL!”: Reddit and Gender

In the video, when I ask Randall about his dating life and his relationship with women in general, he says: “I don’t talk to women. I don’t get women, they don’t get me. Who needs ’em? I talk to guys on the Internet.” Then, he is shocked to find out catsrules24, the “guy” he was supposed to meet in the park, is actually a girl. Even after she explains it to him, he is still in denial that she’s a girl.

This is indicative of the gendered assumptions on reddit: remember, 85% of redditors are white liberal male atheists. So probably even more than that are male, when you subtract those other qualifiers.

There also exists an interesting (and often paradoxical) dynamic between the pro-feminist views of liberalism and progressivism–the mainstay political ideology on the site–and the misogyny and sexism often found in Rage Comics, forums threads, subreddit memes, etc.

Are a lot of redditors hypocrites in this regard? What would Sheryl Sandberg think? danah boyd? From the article on Sandberg and being a female executive in Silicon Valley, we see that there’s a real lack of women in the C-suites at dot-com companies. None of the members of the Facebook board are women, when more than half Facebook’s users are female. How proportional is this to the general population of a site like reddit–dominated by male thought and driven by computer geeks with tech-savvy IT and engineering skills, a traditionally masculine field?

Here is a lecture given by Sandberg at a TED function last year, on why women aren’t getting ahead in the tech world:

She has concluded her generation is not going to be the one to achieve the equal 50-50 split in the business and tech world, but she is optimistic it will occur in future generations, like those of her children, those born right after Millenials. Sandberg thinks the world will become a tangibly better place once there is more representation for women in practical and online ventures. How close are we to reaching her goal? Will male-run sites like reddit lag or lead the societal turn for online gendered integration?

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