Hello Ladies! I’ve been a member of the sub for a year and a half (just made the jump over to the site!) I wanted to write a post outlining my understanding of this group of amazing women. I want to also address all of the ways this sub has helped me recognize my value as a woman while at the same time actually helping me to like men again. I want to stress that this is my understanding of the views “promoted” within the group. (Mods, please let me know if this is not an appropriate post).
This group gets a lot of backlash, always ending up on subs dedicated to “calling out hate,” which left me feeling conflicted in my early days as a community member. Part of the conflict stemmed from hearing about the subreddit from outsiders versus actually participating in a woman-only space where we could share our lived experiences and success stories.
FDS is a radical feminist space. This is a space that privileges the experiences of biological women (including trans men and NBs) because we recognize that young boys and girls are socialized differently and that while trans women experience their own forms of discrimination and hatred (which are essential to discuss but are not the focus of this sub), the reality of having experienced male privilege affects the psyche in ways that gender dysphoria and a gender-change does not magically erase.
FDS is not pro-sex work, but that does not mean we are anti-sex workers. We recognize that sex workers need to be protected and safe. Still, we dislike how the porn-sick patriarchal society pushes sex work as an empowering career path that disproportionately targets young, vulnerable women who are told their worth lies in their ability to sexually please men.
With love and respect to the WLW on the sub, many members are hetero women who do love men. Still, we don’t love being treated as less than, and seen as nothing more than some caretaker/sex doll combo. The members of FDS are not man-hating shrews who want to have the men of the world bound and gagged for their crimes on women. (It never fails to intrigue me when men envision a matriarchal society to be one where men are subjugated when historical matriarchal and matrilineal societies were/are quite equal for the men) FDS rejects the idea that men are inherently bad, lazy, or incapable of resisting temptation. On the contrary, we recognize that the patriarchy harms woman and men, and we encourage men to rise above toxic masculinity.
FDS women are just trying to find their own sliver of success and happiness in a society that is not designed for them to achieve these goals. This sub and site are called “Female Dating Strategy,” but this is not some gender-reversed pick-up artist sub. This is a group of women trying to avoid what we see in the other relationship subs, where women are repeatedly taken advantage of by their partners and given crumbs in return. The women on this sub are often victims of narcissists, cheaters, or man-babies. Tired, weary, and broken down from being told to settle. Then, they hear about this women-only space and find a group of women who support each other, call out bad behaviour, and hold them accountable for making changes.
The sub helped me get over my hurt. I was so jaded and cynical after being cheated on that I became a workaholic who low-key hated men. I used to have loads of guy friends, and I isolated myself after my hurt. FDS took me in and shared success stories of finding men who loved and valued them. FDS helped me love men again. Rehabilitation for this ex-manhater. I even started dating again, and because of the women in this sub, I was able to recognize the issues, address them, and in the end, walk away because I respected myself too much to settle for half. I started therapy because of this sub. Went back to school because of this sub. I have been putting in the work because I have seen my FDS sisters’ success, and I know that building myself up and loving myself is more important than finding a partner.
So, to my ladies! Thank you, Queens—I love y’all! To anyone reading this and considering taking the FDS plunge I hope this post has been helpful.