One of my favorite places in the whole wide internet is the Am I The Asshole subreddit. It's THE place to read some truly wild stories and watch as the commenters decide who is right, who is wrong, and who is the asshole. And today, an AITA post about a young woman starting a "hoe union" at her college is blowing up.
In the post, the woman explains that in response to friends having "bad experiences" at college parties, she joked, "We should unionize." And thus, the "hoe union" was born. It started with a group of six women who agreed not to go to parties with people who had harassed them, where girls weren't permitted to get their own drinks, or where any bigotry or pressure to over-drink were present. Basically, it's all about women looking out for each other's safety and comfort.
Because it's a genuinely great idea, the "hoe union" group chat quickly grew to include 36 women sharing information about unsafe people and parties. Sounds pretty ideal, no? Well, unfortunately, the frat brothers who were making the women feel unsafe had a different take on the whole situation.
Eventually, someone reported the "hoe union" organizer to a school counselor and accused her of "leading a group that ostracized people." The whole conversation was very frustrating and confusing for the woman, and she left wondering if she had somehow been an asshole by starting the group chat.
The post was soon deleted by a Reddit moderator citing, "Rule 5: We do not allow posts which concern violent encounters. This includes any mention of violence in any context" (which seems... kinda off to me?). But luckily, the post had already made its way over to Twitter, where it's stirring up an important conversation about women protecting and helping other women.
On Twitter, people pointed out that the women in the "hoe union" are just responding to the kind of victim-blaming narrative that puts all the onus of not getting raped on women instead of, idk, holding actual rapists responsible.
And it's pretty weird how the guidance counselor in the story seems more concerned about the frat boys' feelings than the girls' safety.
Like, shouldn't they be asking WHY the "hoe union" feels unsafe around these dudes instead of treating the girls like they're horrendous bullies??
The comments on the Reddit thread are still up, and the judgment is a resounding NTA (Not The Asshole). The top commenter wrote, "NTA and I’d also argue that they really shouldn’t be involved in whether or not their students are partying with specific people?? Lol, like, you’re all adults and can choose whether or not to stay somewhere you don’t want to be. If anything, I would encourage all the girls to stop going to parties completely if the school feels the need to referee their choices on if they feel safe or not."
The OP also joined in the comments to call out her school's hypocrisy, saying, "School's response to an off campus sexual assault, 'Sowwy, we can't help, it was off our property.' School's response to an off campus group chat, 'Red alert!!'"
And parents even joined in, voicing support for more "hoe unions." One person wrote, "When my daughter goes to college, I want her in the union!"
Personally, the "hoe union" has my full support, and I really wish there had been a group like this at my college — though I might workshop the name a little bit. But I'm super curious to know what you think. Share your take in the comments!
UPDATE: The Reddit moderators have added a statement clarifying why the post was removed. "We have no interest in providing a space for anyone to be called an asshole for what they do to protect themselves from sexual assault. This is a question of safety and not up for moral debate. These are important discussions to have, but framing them as an issue about morality rather than about the basics of safety does a disservice to everyone. I understand this is an issue you all are passionate about. We are too. Every reasonable human being is. Which is why insisting that we allow even the opportunity for someone to call this person an asshole for protecting themselves is absolutely not a good thing."