What is this?
A feminist IRC channel (chat room). We talk about gender, politics, oppression and many other things. We lean geeky and radical leftist. We like your company!
Is this a joke?
No, we are actual feminists. Not trolls, not a parody.
Why does this chat exist?
To connect feminists with each other. To raise consciousness. To bring feminists to freenode and freenode to feminists. To improve feminism, and to be better feminists. To provide us with a friendly place to talk, learn and change the world.
How do I connect?
We recommend installing an IRC client:
If you can’t install a client, IRCCloud offers “trial” accounts for no cost. Make sure you select the freenode network. You’ll get a gateway cloak automatically.
Other common web gateways (kiwiirc, freenode webchat, matrix) are banned due to repeated misuse.
What is feminism?
We define feminism as a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at eliminating political, economic, and social inequalities between genders arising from structural oppression and exploitation of those who aren’t men.
What are your politics?
We are far to the left of both conservatives and liberals. Deal with it.
Aren’t women already equal to men?
No. Women get misogyny and men get male privilege.
Aren’t you just a bunch of gay autistic SJW lesbians?
Where do you all live?
All around the world, not just in the USA. So please don’t be US-centric.
Can I talk about anything I want?
No. Please don’t talk about these topics:
- your recreational drug use (including alcohol)
- your personal sexual exploits
- public displays of affection and flirting
New people are especially encouraged to stay on-topic. We prefer that people always talk about feminism, but are more willing to be lenient with long-time contributors.
Are there words I cannot say?
Yes. Please don’t use slurs. If you must use them in a critical or reclamatory way, please censor them l*ke th*s.
Am I allowed to disagree with you or hold different opinions?
Yes, but not about everything. Some opinions are mandatory. The mandatory opinions are:
- Feminism is necessary and good (no MRAs)
- The channel rules are necessary and good
- Capitalism, fascism and imperialism are bad
- The police and military systems in capitalist nations are bad
- Men, white people, straight, cis, wealthy and abled people have social privilege and this is bad
- Structural oppression exists against women, people of color, queer, transgender, poor and disabled people, and this is bad
- Trans women are women (i.e. no TWERFs)
- Sex work is work, and those who do it deserve respect (no SWERFs)
If you disagree with any of these statements, you must either change your mind, keep it completely to yourself, or go away. It would be fine if someone made a channel to convert or debate with people who are on the fence. But it won’t be ##feminism.
Isn’t that misandry/reverse racism/cisphobia?
Those are not real things, are not threats to anybody, are not at all equivalent to racism, misogyny or transphobia, and therefore are ok to joke about at length. So no, we’re not. Yes we are. No. Yes. Yes.
Is it ok to criticize other people?
Yes! If someone is saying harmful things or behaving in a harmful way, it is absolutely ok to say so. What’s the best way to criticize someone, you ask?
- Be earnest, rather than sarcastic
- Be assertive, rather than passive aggressive
- Keep it in good faith. No trash talking, pettiness or trolling
- Be ready to accept criticism in turn. Don’t dish what you can’t take
- Remember we all want the same thing. Don’t be super sectarian. Don’t be the stereotype of the left eating itself
If somebody criticizes YOU, please try to take it in stride.
All that said, a few kinds of criticism are not ok. Although we recognize the personal is political, this is not a space to express uninvited opinions or criticize other people’s personal lifestyle choices, especially as it concerns health, diet, employment, body modification, and personal relationships.
How should I act, in general?
There are many things we appreciate in a channel participant:
- Willingness to learn - an empty teacup
- Willingness to communicate with respect and humility - appreciate others’ time and effort. Don’t blog or monologue too much. When someone teaches you, a simple “I understand now, thank you!” can work wonders. The signals we give should be clear…
- Emotional awareness - we are not vulcans or sea-lions. If you ignore or deride human emotion, you’re much less rational than you think you are.
- Emotional labor - this is crucial. Women often understand this concept intuitively, as do service workers and others on the ass end of power relations. Be prepared to do it, and appreciate when others are doing it.
- Life experience - survivors of violence and oppression have empirical wisdom. Own it, respect it. Conversely, this doesn’t mean we are always right - when people perpetuate their own trauma, we sometimes have to compassionately disengage. As Ruth Kluger said, “Auschwitz was no instructional institution.”
- Commitment - stick around, get to know us. Many of us have been here for years. The occasional drive-by question is fine - we all have busy lives - but the channel only works if people give back.
Where can I read more?
We also have a links page but it hasn’t been curated in a very long time.
Can I keep logs?
Privately, yes. But don’t publish anybody’s words without their consent.
Please note that this rule is hard to enforce so we can’t guarantee that nobody is logging publicly. Even if you write nothing, note that logs may include your metadata: join & part information, nicks, local username and ip address or hostmask.
If you notice anybody else publishing nonconsensual logs, please notify us immediately so we can ban them.
What happens if I break a rule?
If it’s an edge case you’ll probably get a mod warning. If it’s blatant aggression, you’ll be insta-banned.
What happens if I get a mod warning?
Apologize. Accept criticism in a principled manner, retract or change your comment accordingly, and move on, learning from your mistake.
If you try to fight with the mods, you will probably be banned.
I’ve been banned. How do I get back in?
Ask an op. We’ll probably want you to apologize and prove that you’ve changed. Don’t get your hopes up. Don’t try to rejoin - we hate ban evasion.
What about free speech?
If you want to say racist, sexist, homophobic, ableist or other oppressive things, go say them elsewhere. Preferably where nobody can hear you. Also you should be ashamed of yourself, and possibly punched.
We’re not authoritarian or fascist. We’re anti-authoritarian and anti-fascist. If you’re authoritarian or fascist, get lost. We see no contradictions here.
Why was I banned from #feminism?
Our channel is named ##feminism - note the two hash characters. We do not control #feminism. The operators of #feminism quit irc years ago, and banned everybody from their channel, including us. Ideally we’d like it to redirect to ##feminism, but freenode won’t transfer ownership because of channel naming rules.
Why did [xyz] get banned?
Our channel is regularly targeted by abusive and persistent trolls. Freenode only allows a limited number of channel bans, so our bot has to rotate them. This means many previous trolls are able to join for a few seconds before being re-banned. Please trust that there’s a good reason. Moderating this channel is already emotionally exhausting enough without having to rehash everything on demand, especially to newcomers.
Who gets voice (+v)?
Long story. We used to only give +v to non-men (i.e. women and nonbinary-gendered people - we called this “Misandry Mode”), then we gave it to all channel regulars, and lately we haven’t bothered to hand it to new people since the channel is rarely +m anymore. So it doesn’t mean anything.
How can you support Muslims? Islam is sexist!
You’re probably just concern trolling. But if you really care, you can educate yourself about muslim feminists on wikipedia.
What is pinkwashing?
- Pinkwashing is a portmanteau compound word of the words pink and whitewashing. In the context of LGBT and intersex rights, it is used to describe a variety of marketing and political strategies aimed at promoting a product or an entity through an appeal to queer-friendliness, primarily by political or social activists. –Wikipedia
Who wrote this page?
I read this whole page! How do I prove it?
Tell us your favorite balloon animal.
Who are the moderators?
Feel free to contact any of the moderators on IRC, if you have any issues or questions.
Mods have set their clients to highlight the word
!femops - if you need to get all our attention at once, just type that word into the channel.