Does the University confessions page need to fess up?

Credit: GlasKnow 2.0

Dorota Dziki

Dorota Dziki supports the infamous University confessions page, disagreeing with accusations of it being misogynistic.

GlasKnow’s Facebook page is arguably one of the best confession pages amongst Scottish universities; run anonymously, with anonymous submissions, it serves mostly as a much-needed, light-hearted source of entertainment where stressed-out students can submit their worries, questions, complaints and memes. 

However, opinions have recently been split around some posts that have sparked controversy and been deemed “sexist” by some users. The angry back-and-forth’s in the comments highlight that GlasKnow has its flaws, and raises the question whether the admins should monitor the posts more closely, and be more selective with which submissions they chose to post. But where do we draw the line? GlasKnow is promoted as a safe space where people can share all thoughts and opinions, and although some of the posts have been controversial and received backlash, would censoring the posts not go against the core idea of the page?

A submission that several users found particularly infuriating was a rather lengthy rant about the lack of success in men’s online dating, specifically on Tinder. This anonymous poster made a frustrated argument about how Tinder is a vicious cycle of average girls swiping right only on men with “godly-looks” who are then “spoilt for choice”, leaving your average Joe with few matches. Although the post clearly came from a place of frustration, many found an issue with its underlying sexist tone. 

The poster essentially demanded that girls drop their expectations and “do themselves a favour” by replying to the “average” bloke if they want any chance of a serious relationship. Reminiscent of Reddit threads about self-proclaimed nice guys who often turn out not to be so nice, this submission sparked a debate, not only in the comments but in the subsequent submissions. Its implication that all good-looking men on Tinder must automatically be looking to shag all of Glasgow is problematic, but even more so is the idea that by swiping on men that they are genuinely attracted to, women are setting themselves up for failure in the serious relationship department. 

The misogyny behind this post has been called out by several people who commented things like “this kind of man is honestly my biggest fear”, and said they’d have to start wearing a “bulletproof vest around campus.” The outrage at this kind of mentality is justified, however, there have also been sympathetic responses to the post, with one submitter criticising people’s derogatory “nice guy” remarks, saying they are “not a substitute for a personality” and arguing that the post is “highlighting the difficulties of men’s dating experiences.”

The problem is, the original post doesn’t highlight mens’ difficulties in dating, but rather enables decades of sexism and encourages the mentality that women “owe” men something simply for existing. Nobody owes anybody a date or a swipe right, regardless of gender.

Unsurprisingly, since the original post there has been a rise in rebuttals to this kind of attitude: one GlasKnow post reads “Just a little tip – trying to convince me you’re a nice guy for the fiftieth time isn’t going to work, it just makes you even more creepy,” and another, in reply to a multitude of submissions addressing attractive strangers spotted around campus asks “Does anyone else look at the creepy guy posts on GlasKnow and know it’s not them but then panic it is???” Following the recent assaults that happened on campus, many seem uncomfortable with giving a platform to misogynistic views, which begs the question whether these submissions should be posted at all if all they do is upset people and spark controversy. 

But then again, everybody is entitled to an opinion and that is what GlasKnow is for – opinions. It provides a platform for discussion and debate, and the different views often work to educate on different perspectives. Perhaps it is good that GlasKnow doesn’t post only for entertainment, but perhaps should actively seek to post controversial opinions to allow a fight against ignorance and entitlement. 

GlasKnow isn’t actively promoting sexism by posting opinions like these, and monitoring them would create more problems around censorship; sure, some of the submissions are questionable and widely disliked, but the whole point of GlasKnow is that it’s a place where people aren’t afraid to speak their mind. Although some submissions are problematic, ultimately they open up a discussion that maybe do more good than just outright silencing problematic opinions.


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