A tale of two image boards: /hm/ and /s/

I censored the image. But the whole article is pretty NSFW.

I censored the image. But this whole article is NSFW.

/hm/ and /s/ are a study in the way the internet thinks about sex and gender. On the former, there’s a culture of self-submission and acceptance; on the latter, men post photos of women without their consent for public scrutiny. So let’s talk about it, why not?

The purpose of /hm/ and /s/ are ostensibly the same. Both of them showcase porn of actual human bodies for the titillation of the board’s viewers. To post a thread, one needs to have a store of pics: the more, the better. You can’t post looking for a request, and the rules to both forums are more or less identical. The only difference is the gender of the subjects; /hm/ stands for “handsome men” while /s/ “stands for sexy beautiful women”. And what a difference it makes.

The /hm/ imageboard is about 70% dick pics. About half of these are from commercial porn and about half are self-submitted by the subject. It’s fairly common to find the subject on the board, willing to answer questions or take special request pictures. Some guy posted a photo of his butt and asked what kind of tattoo he should get on it. Men with small penises are encouraged to submit photographs by people who find this erotic; as are fat men, old men, and other not-the-norm fetishes in gay porn. They’re displayed right up there next to the porn stars, the blonde twinks, and the other idealized bodies that most people don’t have/aren’t. That seems empowering and accepting to me.

On the other, hand, /s/ is full of ex-girlfriend threads, leaked celebrity images, and wife threads. It’s common to post a set of pictures and call it a “gf thread”, i.e. the subject is not the user but their girlfriend. It’s about 50% amateur photos and 50% from commerical porn. Virtually none of the amateur photos were posted by the person in the picture; all of them were posted by someone claiming to have some relationship to the subject. Like this one (TW, incest)

I really hope he's fibbing.

I really hope he’s fibbing. Or cross-dressing.

In contrast, on page two of /hm/ right now there’s a “Small Dick Appreciation” thread; and there almost always is one somewhere on the board. (I have a screencap for posterity, but I won’t show it here unless the blog police come demand to see my sources.) It’s a very common theme on /hm/ to post small dicks; once the old thread is done a new one crops up rapidly.

Because there’s such a large proportion of men self-submitting their tiny dicks to the thread, the commenters are a lot more respectful than they might be in /sbw/, where the expectation is that the people depicted will never actually get on the board. In fact, non-consensual leaked photos are such a popular item that shit like this happens:

"Please

“Can we please keep this dedicated to recent celebrity hacks?” C***Stunter asks sarcastically.

I don’t know what part of this is sarcastic, that he doesn’t like the pictures of the “ex” being posted here, or that he’s commenting on the freqeuncy with which celebrity leaks are being posted on /sbw/ right now. But there are quite a lot of them:

selena gomez celeb photo leaks

selena gomez celeb photo leaks

Someone was recognized because of their cat

A. Grande leak, /w identity-proving cat

"I <3 4chan" - Anon

“I ❤ 4chan” – Anon, loving that he can trade leaked photos of V. Justice

And if Anon can’t find the nudes they want, well by God they’ll get em!

Avril Livingne is safe... for now.

“If someone’s got some dosh (money) to pay those hackers I implore you to get something on Avril” – Anon, wanting to hack A. Livigne’s phone.

Do you see the pattern here, readers? Anon seems frustrated that Avril hasn’t been hacked yet; like all of the celebrities, ex-girlfriends and other women on the web are obligated to have nudes for public consumption. The same sentiment is echoed in the common 4chan catcall “tits or gtfo.” As I was looking through this board for research I found eleven ex girlfriend themed threads on an imageboard that’s only seven pages long. The point here is clear: in a few words Anon is able to punish the women who leave them by putting them up here on /s/ for the general public to consume and fap to. The picture is intended for a private audience, but it ends up going to the most public and dehumanizing one imaginable. And that this is happening against the woman’s will is part of the fun.

As evidence, let me show you /s/’s reaction to women who did pose willingly in public:

"Femen bitches"

“No man, depraved as he may be will ever regard a deluded feminazi as “fuckable”.” – Angry MRA Anon

He’s not the only one in the thread to think Femen is gross. But I don’t understand why. In terms of size, shape, and age the women are remarkably similar to the ones being shown in “ex gf” reels; the only difference is that Femen protesters choose to put themselves out there in the public eye, to draw attention to the way men objectify women. Apparently drawing attention to what anon’s doing is enough to spoil the soup, though.

It’s not really the nudity that /s/ finds interesting. It’s that they’re posting them without the consent (and presumably to humiliate) the subjects in the pics. Meanwhile, on /hm/, men with small dicks are made to feel better through a gay small-dick fap circle. The double standard rings so fucking loud on the sexist echo chamber that is 4chan, I think I just sustained a little bit of gendered hearing loss. But I’ll write again soon.

– Caroline.

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MRAs of Savage Love: Yoga Pants Are How Women Won the War

Stop oppressing Hunter78, sexy yoga pants model!

Pants model strategically showing off that sweet, round ass.

Howdy boys and grrrrls. It’s time again for “MRAs of Savage Love”! Tonight, we’re going to hear more from “Hunter78”, whom I featured prominently in my inaugural post in this series.

Usually, I would use this space to introduce the Savage Love Letter on which our delightful, retrograde guests will be giving their advice; but today, I don’t have to. As you’ll see, the comments I’ll feature today actually have nothing at all to do with the letters. Instead, I’ll share with you the comment from auntie_grizelda (a righteous lady with excellent advice) that started this whole mess.

"I could live in my yogas 24/7." - auntie_grizelda, unwittingly lighting a powder keg of crazy.

“I could live in my yogas 24/7.” – auntie_grizelda, unwittingly changing the subject to feminism.

What was that, you say? yogas? Could she possibly mean… yoga pants?!

Yep! After a long day of dealing with her business, auntie_grizelda likes nothing better than the comfortable, flexible, but defining embrace of yoga pants. She’ll even wear them out of the house! Or to her broker’s office! And she doesn’t even do yoga! Watch out, world; auntie griz is wearing the pants now!

But Hunter78 is unhappy with this development. For one; there’s way too much positive attention being paid to another longtime commenter, her personal life, and her fashion sense: and for another, no one’s paying attention to him and the faptastic thing he wrote on the finer points of deep throating. After being ignored for three whole posts, he writes:

"Comfort they say. Women's clothes are always about attractiveness..." - Hunter78

“Comfort they say. Women’s clothes are always about attractiveness…” – Hunter78, telling women why they wear clothes.

Poor Hunter. He must have had to wear a lot of women’s clothing to come to that conclusion. Probably not as much as auntie griz, or LavaGirl, or even myself; but he wore enough of it to know that women’s clothes are always about attractiveness, even if you’re wearing athletic wear. But even a short, sexy sundress doesn’t get Hunter the attention he wants! We go another forty comments before LavaGirl even acknowledges him, saying:

And Hunter78, my my- quite the fashion man. Sundresses, hey?
Spaghetti straps or slightly thicker? Looking forward to your week in review..

So Hunter rolls out the big guns: apparently yoga pants are a symbol of wymyn’s victory in “the war”.

"Unfortunately I can remember when a woman who inadvertently showed her bra straps would be mortified, borrow some safety pins, repair to the rest room and put travel restriction on the errant breast suspenders." - Hunter78, calling bras "breast suspenders"

Hunter78, reminiscing about how women used to be.

His quote is risible, so I’m going to quote it in its entirety, and bold the parts I think you should really laugh at.

Lava,

Spaghetti straps. Yeah, of course. The charm of spaghetti straps is they’re so flimsy. The man is tempted to pull off her top, but all sense argues against that. If a bra is worn, of course the bra straps will show, which are even more interesting.

Hunter78 makes it sound like he spends his summers staring at random women in spaghetti straps, getting boners from the visual stimulation. Also, he makes it sound like it’s the women’s fault for wearing these clothes in front of him, and not his for staring like a horndog at bare shoulders and clothed butts. He waxes nostalgic, to the days of yore; back when yoga pant technology was known only to a few wise yogis high in the Himalaya.

Unfortunately I can remember when a woman who inadvertently showed her bra straps would be mortified, borrow some safety pins, repair to the rest room and put travel restriction on the errant breast suspenders.Women’s underwear was only seen in the boudoir and the advertising supplements of the NYT. Nowadays the coquettish display of bra straps is welcome at all casual occasions, only formal events, business suits and weddings still hold out.

It’s all related to women’s making themselves attractive to men. And how they won the war.

Ew. “Breast suspenders?” Was that what bras were called, back in the days of “boudoirs” and print advertising? You know, back when women never left the house unless they were dressed like Edith Wharton? (Her 1901 house has a boudoir.) Apparently a modern woman’s work-out clothes are, to Hunter78, a “coquettish display.”

Translation: In the world of Hunter78, any woman wearing yoga pants is automatically flirting with him. (That’s what the word “coquette” means; a lady flirt.)

The commenter nocutename has the right idea. She asks:

So we women get more freedom and less absurd constraints, the brassiere industry can charge more for bras that are meant to be at least partially seen, and men getting the visual payoff you appear to appreciate. I’d call that a win/win (or win/win/win)

Why is everything a war with you, with battles to be won and lost?

The closest thing we get to an answer is Hunter78’s insanely long, opposite-day summary of the thread. He does this every thread; usually it’s not very quotable, since he’s digesting a bunch of stuff other people said. But of the matter of the yoga pants, Hunter78 writes:

"I got on my hobby horse, and stated it wasn't just comfort but fashion, too. Women strategically showing off their sweet round asses in detail." - Hunter78, and his stupid hobby

“I got on my hobby horse, and stated it wasn’t just comfort but fashion, too. Women strategically showing off their sweet round asses in detail.” – Hunter78, and his stupid hobby

By his own admission, airing his retrograde ideas on Savage Love is Hunter78’s “hobby horse”. And women don’t wear yoga pants because they’re comfortable, or because they’re going to do some yoga, but to “strategically show off their sweet round asses in detail.” 

It’s not even a complete sentence. But I think it speaks to what Hunter78 gets out of this discussion; a chance to objectify women who write in, be pig-ignorant, and get attention for it. It’s risible, especially because I get the sense that Hunter78 probably knows better than to talk about “sweet round asses” and “coquettish display[s] of bra straps” in front of anyone he talks to IRL.

MRAs of Savage Love: “Potential Murder, She Wrote”

And, we’re back with more stupid, terrible comments; from the incredibly vocal minority of douchebags who use Dan Savage’s SLOG as a personal hangout spot.

Today, our LW is a 30-year-old woman afraid that her husband will literally murder her. And she’s serious about that; he can’t be intimate with her, watches tons of movies and TV shows about real-life murder, and even jacks off to snuff porn. It sounds like being married to an unsexy Dexter Morgan.

Dan’s advice: get him to therapy and GTFO.

Lavagirl’s advice: GTFO

Other advices: Read “The Gift of Fear”, then get out. Or don’t read The Gift of Fear, because if your husband sees you at it, he might freak out and murder you, but still; get out. Your life’s more important.

But Adversary’s advice? Be a little more understanding. 

"When a woman has rape fantasies, we understand it doesn't mean she really wants to be raped. We should also understand that if a man has rape fantasies, it doesn't mean he really wants to rape" - Adversary, missing the point.

“When a woman has rape fantasies, we understand it doesn’t mean she really wants to be raped. We should also understand that if a man has rape fantasies, it doesn’t mean he really wants to rape” – Adversary, missing the point.

The problem here is that the husband doesn’t have a rape fantasy. He has a murder fantasy. And the letter writer “doesn’t mention whether their sex life has ever been kinky” because she’s explicitly stated she hasn’t had much of a sex life with her husband for years. What’s not there can’t be kinky, brah.

Then Adversary writes: “Has her husband ever been violent towards her in real life? Doesn’t sound like it. “GET OUT NOW” seems like an overreaction to the discovery that your husband has sex-murder fantasies.”

Oh rly? If I said this was murder apologism, would I be over-reacting as well? According to adversary, this murder stuff isn’t any worse than say, shit-eating.

"Suppose a wife discovered her husband [had a fetish for] degrading women consuming feces... Should that wife immediately flee the home or risk waking up one morning tied to the bed to be forced to engage in coprophagia?"  - Adversary, being a shithead.

“Suppose a wife discovered her husband [had a fetish for] degrading women consuming feces… Should that wife immediately flee the home or risk waking up one morning tied to the bed to be forced to engage in coprophagia?” – Adversary, being a shithead.

Although shit-eating is a really subversive fetish, I grant it; it’s still not the problem this lady wrote in about. The problem is this her husband is beating off while he thinks about killing his her, and that rightfully scares her. But to Adversary, that discomfort is no different than the discomfort you might have for some other fetish that’s totally beyond the pale.

But Adversary adds; “…would it be better to talk to him, find out if there is a safe way to explore his fantasy that might even enhance their sex life?”

Take note, girls: When a man says he fantasies about shitting on you, and/or murdering you, Adversary says you should get into it, with “fantasizing out loud during sex… finding more practical forms of degradation/submission, simulation using chocolate sauce etc.” 

I can’t believe he thinks being murdered and getting shat on are the same. And note the weird transition: At the top of the paragraph, it’s shit-eating, but at the bottom, it’s being shat on.

Here’s a hint, Adversary: One of those things washes off with soap. One of them doesn’t.

But in Adversary’s opinion, leaving such a man would be “over reacting.” After all, he hasn’t actually tried to kill her yet.

"No one has to explore another person's kinks... It is, however, a nice thing to do for someone you love, and a good way to achieve a stronger, more honest and more exciting sexual connection." - Adversary, on catering to your husband's fantasies about murdering you.

“No one has to explore another person’s kinks… It is, however, a nice thing to do for someone you love, and a good way to achieve a stronger, more honest and more exciting sexual connection.” – Adversary, on catering to your husband’s fantasies about murder.

He goes on to assert: “Also, hasn’t her husband taken responsibility for safety by doing nothing at all, let alone anything unsafe?”

Adversary: how can someone “take responsibility” by “doing nothing”? And this guy isn’t “doing nothing”. Dan Savage compared what he was doing to forcing his wife to live in a grindhouse theater; and it’s a fair comparison.

He does grant that “It is entirely possible that this will be a kink to far for her [sic]… But that is a LOT different from labeling him a threat and fleeing for her life.”

Really? Really? The letter-writer isn’t even allowed to fear for her life without having to take her husband’s feelings into consideration. And if she were really GGG, she’d indulge him in his murder play, even though the letter-writer describes her husband as saying he would only kill her “in a scene gone too far… or a terrible accident.” And then he cries a bit, so I guess it’s all cool.

As commenter “nocutename” notes in Comment #60,

For Fuck’s Sake, Adversary, are you really saying, “so you are in a sexless marriage to a man who watches snuff porn and violent crime shows, and checks gruesome true crime books out of the library even though you’ve told him that you’re uncomfortable having that stuff in your house. And he has admitted he’s thought about killing you–even down to fantasizing the exact way he’d do it, but it makes him “sad” to think about it so he stops ‘for a bit’ and then returns to those fantasies the next day. But hey, it’s probably just a harmless fantasy, and how about if you try indulging it. There are grosser fetishes. Thinking about leaving such a man is over-reacting.”

Which is pretty much exactly my point. And also, that the Stranger really needs to rethink their hands-off moderation strategy when it comes to Savage Love.

P.S. And some delightful person also wrote in to say:

Rotten6661

“I kinda hope he kills her.” – Rotten666

Which describes my feelings about Rotten666 to a T.