The moderation team for the Animemes subreddit have banned the word “trap” on the grounds that “most communities readily consider the term to be a slur.”
On August 3rd, the subreddit’s moderation team announced that the term “trap” would be banned.
They announced, “This ban applies to the word as it is used to describe feminine characters/individuals, not the word in the general sense. We are aware that the term “trap” is a controversial term to disallow, but this decision was not made without justification.”
They added, “Don’t panic, though – your memes are going to remain all but the same, and nobody is coming to take away your cute boys.”
They then explained why the deemed the word offensive, “The word “trap” when used to describe individuals has been controversial since its inception, and even more so in recent years.”
The moderators continued, “Broadly speaking, most communities readily consider the term to be a slur. The offensive nature of the word lies in the implication that individuals are trying to trick (“trap”) others and by extension are not valid in how they present their gender.”
“The use and misuse of the term in reference to both characters and people often results in the erasure of trans people and dismissal of their validity,” they added.
Contrary to the moderation team’s assertion, the term is not used to “facilitate the erasure of trans people and dismissal of their validity.”
Originating from Admiral Ackbar’s famous battlefield realization in Return of the Jedi, the term has been used by fans since it’s inception to refer to male and female characters whose genders can not easily be discerned from their outward appearance.
“Trap” does not reference characters who are actively attempting to “trick” others into being attracted to them, but rather words of caution to one who may espouse attraction to an androgynous individual, not knowing that the ‘trap’ is the opposite gender than what they are sexually attracted to.
Examples of ‘trap’ characters include Astolfo (Fate series), Haku (Naruto), Dororo (Dororo), and Chihiro Fujisaki (Danganronpa).
With the rising spread of critical social justice theory, the term ‘trap’, activists have insisted, derogatorily refers to transgender individuals.
However, the first recorded derogatory confusion of these two concepts was made on Reddit in 2010.
Following the creation of the /r/traps subreddit, the subreddit’s sidebar declared that “/r/traps is for the posting of photos and video of young and beautiful trans girls and individuals who would love to trap! Content can be from/of anyone as long as they’re passable [and] feminine.”
This declaration, which itself makes the implication that “trans girls and individuals” are actively attempting to “trap” others into sexual situations, remains prominently displayed on the subreddit’s sidebar to this day.
As for users of the animemes subreddit, they were outraged at this change, with many taking offense at being accused of transphobia when they were simply using the term in its original meaning.
This has resulted in the subreddit becoming a warzone, with moderators wantonly issuing bans as users continue to push back against the ban and attempt to circumvent filters in order to make their voices heard.
Despite the vocal push back from the subreddit’s users, the moderators would double down on their rhetoric on August 12th, hyperbolically conflating the use of the term ‘trap’ with the murder of trans people:
“It is a slur that implies and reinforces the idea that transgender people are pretending to be a woman in order to trick and prey on straight men. The “trans panic defense” has been used to justify murder of trans people which claims the victim’s gender identity excuses the perpetrator’s loss of self-control.”
YouTuber Hero Hei commented on the situation and revealed that some of the mods of the subreddit actively despise many of the members of the community describing them as “bigoted.”
Hei also noted that the original idea to ban the word came from one moderators despite their initial post detailing they had received “numerous complaints.”
He also postulated the idea that moderators might actually be breaking their own rules specifically Rule 6, which states, “No posts, discussions, or arguments about current politics.”
What do you make of the moderators banning the word “trap” from the Animemes subreddit?