The Women of MESO - netnographic research by April Henning and Jesper Andreasson


In this article, we focus on how fitness doping is perceived and discussed socially among users frequenting an open online community called ThinkSteroids.com. The more specific aim of the study is to investigate and dissect the meanings attached to women’s use of PIEDs, how fitness doping can be understood in terms of gender and spatiality, and what implications this has for women’s communicative engagement with one another within the online forum.

[...]

We are interested in how community members on ThinkSteroids discuss fitness doping and the meanings attached to this practice. We have presented these discussions as cultural manifestations that have taken place within a particular (and gendered) spatiality. On ThinkSteroids.com, anybody with an Internet connection can gain access to information and post about their own experiences of doping. The user side of ThinkSteroids is divided into different forums around broad topics (e.g., Steroid News Forum, Steroid Legal Forum) that are then subdivided into discussions or threads on specific forum (e.g., “Steroids Did Not Make London Bridge Terrorists Act Aggressively” in Steroid News Forum). While the personal information presented about users is somewhat limited, seemingly, the majority of the postings are by men. Forum discussions range in topics from a general “Steroid Forum” to a focused “Steroid Homebrew” forum for users making their own anabolic–androgenic steroid (AAS) products, but only one is focused on women. The “Women and Steroids” forum, the focus of this study, is the dedicated space for issues and topics related to women and their use of various steroid products. ThinkSteroids is one of several websites where steroid use is discussed (e.g., T-Nation.com, Bodybuilding.com), but unlike others, this site is overtly focused on PIED use. We chose to concentrate on the Women and Steroids forum as it was the one explicitly directed at steroid use specifically rather than “training” or “supplements” as on other sites. It is included under the forum group “Anabolic Steroids,” and discussion threads focused on a wide range of topics related to women’s use. The other forums are not indicated as men only, and women do sometimes post in the non-specifically gendered forums. However, we chose to analyze the ways women engaged in forum because it had been specifically carved out to focus on women’s steroid practices. The Women and Steroids forum is dynamic with new posts in discussion threads daily.
 

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MESO-Rx has made a major changes to the women's section of the forum. The changes were made in response to female member feedback and the subforum shortcomings addressed in the article by researchers April Henning and Jesper Andreasson.

Effectively immediately, the "Women's Steroid Experiences" subforum permissions will only allow women's participation to POST NEW THREADS and RESPOND to EXISTING THREADS.

The "Women's Steroid Experiences" subforum is a dedicated space for WOMEN ONLY to engage, discuss, and share their steroid experiences with other women.

A new second subforum was created in the women's section tentatively called "Women and Steroids - Open to Everyone". This subforum was created in recognition of the fact that some women specifically welcome feedback from both men and women, some men seek feedback from women who have used steroids, and both men and women can contribute to the knowledgebase in this area.

Your feedback is welcome. Thanks.
 

ickyrica

Member
AnabolicLab.com Supporter
I'm glad there is still the option for both sexes to participate together. I've reached out (and plenty of other members have as well) to female members because of questions that pertain to my wife. I wouldn't have had a way to ask another woman about these things discretely

some men seek feedback from women who have used steroids, and both men and women can contribute to the knowledgebase in this area.

I'm going to read the article tonight but honestly, I'm almost afraid to read what the shortcomings are the drive this change.
 
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ickyrica

Member
AnabolicLab.com Supporter
It was a good read. I agree with a fair amount of it but it's clear the writer has a predetermined mindset on men and their dominance over women (mostly subconscious dominance was my take away), bringing up specific things from the forum and then reaching for a conclusion based on how the author perceived someone's intentions rather than inquiring directly. One occurrence of this that stands out to me was regarding a male member that posted on his ladies behalf, where the author ultimately insinuated that this was something the man felt he had to help the woman do because she was probably incapable on her own. "He described the goals of getting stronger and reducing fat as belonging solely to her, but that the means were shared. While the goal was hers, they will achieve it together or perhaps she will achieve it (only) through his guidance and support". The many occurrences of this type of inference shows a predisposition and should be noted as one reads this article.

The use of the term manspreading was used in a careless way. It was used, as well as other statements, as a way to generalize the men that participate in the female section (also lending credence to my feelings about the authors predispositions). From what I've seen in the few years I've had with Meso, men are generally supportive and if anything seems out of line (fake female members all the way down to male members haunting female members) it's redirected by other members quickly. Imo, the term manspreading is used incorrectly by the author based on demographics alone. How many women are actually on this site day to day? How many of them actually participate? It's easy to feel like men posting in the female section are dominating and 'manspreading' when the female section is a ghost town regarding female posts, because they just aren't on the site. This does lead me to ponder some "what ifs" though. What if men simply didn't participate in the female section at all? Would the female population on Meso grow with that separation?

With that being said, I do understand the basis of the article and generally agree with most of the authors perceptions. Maybe the fundamentals of some parts of the authors viewpoints are lost on me, but I think we are walking in the same direction at the very least.

I also agree with creating a female only area and applaud the decision. We had a female introduce herself just this week, and low and behold one of the first members to say hello had been previously banned for sexually harassing a female member. Wonder how long it'll take for him to do it again? That is a picture perfect and crystal clear reason as to why Meso would benefit by that section.
 
It was a good read. I agree with a fair amount of it but it's clear the writer has a predetermined mindset on men and their dominance over women (mostly subconscious dominance was my take away), bringing up specific things from the forum and then reaching for a conclusion based on how the author perceived someone's intentions rather than inquiring directly. One occurrence of this that stands out to me was regarding a male member that posted on his ladies behalf, where the author ultimately insinuated that this was something the man felt he had to help the woman do because she was probably incapable on her own. "He described the goals of getting stronger and reducing fat as belonging solely to her, but that the means were shared. While the goal was hers, they will achieve it together or perhaps she will achieve it (only) through his guidance and support". The many occurrences of this type of inference shows a predisposition and should be noted as one reads this article.

The use of the term manspreading was used in a careless way. It was used, as well as other statements, as a way to generalize the men that participate in the female section (also lending credence to my feelings about the authors predispositions). From what I've seen in the few years I've had with Meso, men are generally supportive and if anything seems out of line (fake female members all the way down to male members haunting female members) it's redirected by other members quickly. Imo, the term manspreading is used incorrectly by the author based on demographics alone. How many women are actually on this site day to day? How many of them actually participate? It's easy to feel like men posting in the female section are dominating and 'manspreading' when the female section is a ghost town regarding female posts, because they just aren't on the site. This does lead me to ponder some "what ifs" though. What if men simply didn't participate in the female section at all? Would the female population on Meso grow with that separation?

With that being said, I do understand the basis of the article and generally agree with most of the authors perceptions. Maybe the fundamentals of some parts of the authors viewpoints are lost on me, but I think we are walking in the same direction at the very least.

I also agree with creating a female only area and applaud the decision. We had a female introduce herself just this week, and low and behold one of the first members to say hello had been previously banned for sexually harassing a female member. Wonder how long it'll take for him to do it again? That is a picture perfect and crystal clear reason as to why Meso would benefit by that section.
I don't disagree with the authors' characterization of male participants and I don't think it necessarily applies to ALL men who were posting in the subforum. Unfortunately, it is the few problematic guys who cause problems for women using the subforum.

I agree with you that there are several guys who have and continue to be very supportive and helpful to women seeking AAS advice.

I also don't think it is any surprise that men dominate the discussion in the women's section given that 98% of registered forum members are male. It is also worth noting that approximately 1/3 of all threads in the women's section were started by men who were seeking advice (primarily from women) on behalf of the women in their lives.

I don't think the guys believe their significant others were incapable of seeking the information on their own. They did it for a variety of reasons including their significant others' refusal to participate due to the perceived misogyny and/or their own desire to protect their significant others from this.

I've corresponded with a few guys who've started such threads and they've told me that their significant others are much more likely to directly participate in the future due to the creation of a "women's only" subforum.

I hope the changes accommodate everyone.
 

Logan44551

Member
Figured I’d catch up on the forum while I’m stuck in the house. Oh how I’ve missed this place! Hope you are well!
You too, you ever get the tendonitis figured out? Last I remember you were healing from surgery, it's been awhile. Good to see you around
 
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Sadie

Member
You too, you ever get the tendonitis figured out? Last I remember you were healing from surgery, it's been awhile. Good to see you around

I did! Elbows are doing much better. It took taking some time off lifting to heal but I’m back to normal now with no more issues. I did have some trouble with my shoulders about a year ago but a couple steroid injections in them and they were like new again. I’m running gh again so I’m being extra cautious and watching for signs of flare ups.
 

Villain

Member
Seeing new or returning women to Meso and I have no doubt it is because of your decision to make it female only in some instances. Kudos to you @Millard Baker, it’s refreshing to see the women be able to come here without fear of being sexually harassed.
 

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