KEY POINTS

  • r/femaledatingstrategy offers dating advice exclusively to women
  • The subreddit has 54,000 subscribers and is growing rapidly
  • Its strict list of rules says, avoid BDSM, don't watch porn or have sex before commitment

A Reddit handle is providing dating advice to women ­- the Subreddit r/femaledatingstrategy (FDS) is a mix of both conservative and feminist opinions. However, it not only wants to provide dating advice to women but also passing judgments on the men they date.

The forum claims to be run by only females and was founded about a year back. It calls itself, the only place on Reddit, where women can safely vent out their concerns about the men they are dating. The Subreddit is aimed at helping women overcome men who “devalue them, ignore them or abuse them.”

The Subreddit was recently credited by the Wall Street Journal for providing much-needed “honesty and tough love.”

However, the Subreddit isn’t just that. In the garb of protecting women against toxic masculinity, it actually wants to run women’s lives. It provides some very conservative guidelines that don’t have a place in today’s time and age. It sounds more like an 80’s magazine – “A man MUST treat you like a queen from the start” or “Don’t Settle for less.”

However, it also has its own guidelines, which is the troubling part. FDS has a list of rules for women to follow, which border on social and sexual conservatism – it opposes consensual BDSM, viewing porn and sex before commitment. It also has different labels for women, for example, it calls women who lower their standards to get attention from men, “pickmeisha” and women who go back to “low-value” men are said to be suffering from “cockholm” syndrome.

While the purpose of FDS had been women-centric and women-counseling, it seems to be issuing instructions on how women should live their lives and even putting labels on them because of their choices.

If women don’t agree with FDS’ rules or don’t fit the kind of mold FDS would like to put them into, the 54,000 members' strong online community and asks them to leave FDS as happened to a woman who confessed that she liked BDSM. FDS also mocks choices that would seem empowered normally, such as women proposing to their boyfriends. FDS also deletes posts that don’t agree with its ideology.

Instead of empowering, the Subreddit seems to be mirroring repressive norms about women’s sexuality. In fact, the group seems to be aimed at controlling women and objectifying men. It lays the blame on how men treat women on women themselves.

Not just that but the FDS has banned trans women from the platform.

While the group seems to be centered on women, it regressive attitude despite a growing community doesn’t seem to be focused on improving women’s dating lives but at controlling and judging them.

It seems to be laying down outdated norms for women and despite growing in numbers, doesn’t address issues between men and women. It only provides solutions that fit into its framework.