A member of the University of York Fetish Society, known as FetSoc, has approached Nouse anonymously to disclose allegations of “behind closed doors racism in the official FetSoc [Facebook] group”.
Screenshots were taken by the anonymous member of posts that contained criticism aimed at cisgendered men, with “committee and ex-committee members chiming in” to what was perceived as “racism and anti-heterosexual rhetoric”. However, the Chair of FetSoc has since denied committee involvement in making the comments that caused offence.
Although the allegations remain debatable, there were apparent suggestions of cisgendered men leaving the group in the screenshotted discussion. One comment in the group stated: “most cis men don’t think I should exist, so getting rid of them all would make [my] life a thousand times safer”.
Similar sentiments were stated by other members, as another comment read: “if I’m looking only at things that have actually happened that are bad, the only common denominator is cis white men.”
“If my presence in a Facebook group is causing people discomfort, then leaving the group is a price I’m willing to pay.”
Nouse was told by the reporting member: “I left the group after seeing such disgusting levels of intolerance, as did a few other friends of mine.”
In the discussion, one member commented: “As a cis man, if my presence in a Facebook group is causing people discomfort, then leaving the group is a price I’m willing to pay.”
However, another struck a more diffusive tone, claiming that “hating all cis men is terribly impractical[, a]nd hate isn’t particularly fun anyway, it’s emotionally draining and you never get anything done.”
Sam, the Chair of FetSoc, provided the following response to the incident:
“No ban on cisgendered men was ever considered or even discussed, we would never think of such a thing. I myself the chair am a cisgendered man.
“The society is and always has been accepting of anyone who wants to join and partake in society activities regardless of identity, gender, race or political stance.
“The incident in question occurred on our Facebook page and was between non-committee members and was a political debate that got heated. The post was later removed and a post reminding our members on the societies standpoint was put up.”