Fake 'Woke' Site Dupes Conservatives Desperate To Prove The Left Has Lost It
The last few days, a particularly crude, transphobic and bizarre article has been circulating around the manosphere and right-wing social media. Purportedly by a feminist named "Jamey Braunstein," from a feminist site, it's titled "Encourage women to smell their poop to be more inclusive to Trans women."
The article takes a since-deleted Reddit post about bacterial vaginosis (which causes odor) in neovaginas, uses it to claim trans women's vaginas "smell like poop," and further claims feminists should smell their own poop for reasons of solidarity.
It hardly takes a genius to figure out that this was not actually written by a feminist or leftist, and come to the conclusion that perhaps this site called "IQfy" is not actually a feminist site.
In solidarity with Trans women, this month you can make a difference by putting your olfactory system to use – while going number #2!
Yes! It's not a joke. We are sincerely asking all women to please spend more time smelling their poo during bathroom breaks, and to critically examine what many of our gender have to endure as part of the cost of bottom surgery. It is time for us all to do the work to truly empathize with the sights, sounds, and smells endured by every member of our large and beautiful gender community – including those with distinct transitioning odors.
This is, of course, ridiculous, but that may be the point, to be so ridiculous that people get outraged or disgusted, and then use it to bolster their personal revulsion towards feminists, trans women and the concept of "wokeness" in general.
The only other mention of this Jamey Braunstein on the entire internet, quite conveniently, comes from another article this "person" wrote for this site, with a very similar premise, entitled "Encourage Men To Pee Sitting Down to be More Inclusive of Trans Men" (formatting their own).
This is nothing new.
For years, a hallmark of right-wing disinformation has been a tactic I like to call "trollception." Hoaxers come up with an imaginary new thing to say "SJWs" or "woke" people believe, then they get outraged about the imaginary thing that is not actually happening. We've seen it before with 4chan campaigns like #EndFathersDay, where users of the site created a bunch of fake Twitter profiles, mostly of Black women, and pretended they were trying to cancel Father's Day for feminism, because of how all men are evil.
The goal with these things is twofold. They want the Left to actually adopt these hot takes in hopes they will look ridiculous doing so, and they want "reasonable" people to fall for these hoaxes and say, "Oh no, things have gone too far now! These people must be stopped!"
And that's exactly what happened with the poop article. Both the post itself and screenshots have been shared hundreds of times on Twitter by trolls and people too ignorant or stupid to realize it's a troll. "It's not satire!" they cry, and maybe it's not. At least if you think satire is supposed to be funny.
In fact, men's rights activist (MRA) site A Voice For Men, where I first encountered the article, linked to it with the text "Feminist site encourages women to smell their own poop to be more inclusive to trans-women. This is not satire."
Someone identifying themselves as the site's editor pinned the following at the top of the comments.
It seems many folks are misinterpreting this piece, which is about cis women setting aside a little bit of time each day to fully engage their senses and reflect on other, less privileged, experiences.
It's never not right to inject a little bit more thoughtfulness and empathy into our daily lives. Stay sunny.
Edit: There are already over 200 comments, so please only add to them if you have something valuable or interesting to say. Our resources are limited during weekends. Thank you!
The fact that the only commenters on IQfy, and the only people sharing this and other articles from the site on social media are outraged conservatives, seems like a pretty big clue this might be a hoax site, created solely to make the Left look bad.
But just to eliminate any doubts, let's tick though some of the site's other most popular articles, such as "Please stop asking transracial folks these questions," featuring a picture of Rachel Dolezal; "Elon bros are killing us with free speech," a post they claim was written by YouTuber Natalie Wynn, aka ContraPoints (we are very much assuming it's not her, but reached out anyway for confirmation, will update afterwards); "If your friend dislikes the term Latinx, sorry, they're transphobic"; and, naturally, a post illustrated by woman punching a man, entitled "12 ways being a woman beats out the alternative."
On the site, that last article is credited to conservative writer Emily Zanotti, who has confirmed to us that she did not in fact write it.
Another article on the site offers tips on how to tell if your child is a far-right extremist, which encourages readers to watch out for their kids "using the word 'freedom,'" being interested in history, or not being interested in masturbation or porn.
"Try dropping porn terms like 'butt breeding' and 'silver daddy' around him and see if he finds them funny or awkward – a healthy reaction showing that he consumes at least some porn. A lack of reaction could be troubling if combined with other radicalization signs," the post reads. Well, if that isn't a very realistic depiction of advice one human would give another human, I don't know what is.
There is no cited author of this piece, but there is a note reading "Disclosure: The commissioning of this article was partly funded by a government program."
Now, anyone with a reasonable amount of familiarity with left-wing thought and media would adjudicate this site is a hoax, least of all because we sure as hell know that no one is out here stanning for Rachel Dolezal or recognizing "transracial" as a thing. It's actually hard to imagine that anyone would look at the site, see articles like "It Happened To Me: he beat up my BF & I can't stop masturbating to it," and think "Oh, this is definitely a for real site made by feminists for feminists, and not pretend articles about feminists written by incels who have never actually interacted with a woman in real life."
Curiously, the site also has no small number of regular old clickbait articles that seem to have nothing to do with this schtick, largely consisting of listicles of things one can buy from Amazon (with a note at the bottom saying they participate in the Amazon partner program).
According to IQfy's about page, it is "a lifestyle and social commentary imprint of the Sunshine Initiative."
As a small collective of horizontally integrated online influencers from a variety of fields, we are privately owned and 100% independent. Our mission and operations are guided by a proprietary democratic process and the Sunshine Initiative founding document.
Team Sunshine was assembled by a generous philanthropist concerned with the increasing attacks against democracy, science, and even decency itself. Its task: to strategically raise and direct global emotional IQ in key regions and development phases.
After lengthy discussion with expert partners who advised us that empowering women is the single most effective development tool, we decided that we can best serve this noble goal by serving the global feminine majority with uplifting content – content that speaks with them rather than to them, and up to rather than down to them.
The only group we found explicitly named the Sunshine Initiative is a group dedicated quite specifically to revitalizing the town of Newport, New Hampshire. It seems odd that they would be particularly invested in this kind of website.
But that is not where the odd stops. Not even close.
While most of the articles are not credited to anyone, the most prolific writer actually cited on IQfy is noted anti-feminist "Honey Badger" Janet Bloomfield — real name Andrea Hardie — the former social media director of A Voice For Men. She is perhaps best known for the hashtag #WhyWomenShouldntVote. Bloomfield claimed to have left the internet in 2019, saying people were "going after her children," and that it was all too much for her.
Bloomfield's now defunct site JudgyBitch.com redirects to IQfy, as do at least two other sites, Femoid.com (where her work from JudgyBitch was previously hosted) and lulz.com.
Given this, it's hard not to wonder if Jamey Braunstein, the author of "Smell your poop, feminists!" article is just another of Hardie's aliases.
While IQfy, Femoid (what incels call women) and Lulz have opted out of the Wayback Machine, there are screenshots of their posts available on archive.is, showing that most of the more bizarre "fake woke" articles have appeared on all three sites. Notably, the "Is your kid becoming a right-wing extremist?" article appeared on Femoid.com without the "disclaimer" that it was funded by a "government program." The archived snapshots of IQfy as it exists now only go back to May 29 of this year, though there were screenshots taken of the site in February that suggest that up until recently it was a site that did "reverse user lookups."
The archive suggests that Lulz was online from September of 2016 until May of this year, and that Femoid was online from May of 2020 until February of this year.
It's not entirely clear what is going on here. It would seem possible this new site just bought up all of the archives of these other two sites for content farm purposes and to promote its Amazon partner posts, if it weren't for the bizarre "About Us" section and the editor's comments on the post.
Whatever it is, it's pretty clear it's not a "feminist" site.
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Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse