Earlier this week, I wrote about the sexualization of Halloween (and not just the costumes), and now we’ve got the sexification of something devoid even of costume and camp: Sexy Occupy Wall Street. You read that right. A guy named Steven Greenstreet has made a blog called Hot Chicks of Occupy Wall Street. There’s a video, too.
These women are beautiful, and as Steven says in his “About” letter, “the video, and the voices within, are honorable and inspiring.” Their voices and stories would be just as honorable and inspiring if the faces behind them weren’t so attractive, right?
There’s something about it that gives me icky feelings and I’m having a hard time identifying exactly what. I think it’s a combination of a) the voyeuristic style, and b) the historical tradition of mitigating the impact of women in progressive movements by emphasizing their beauty.
a) The video and the photos both have this peeping tom quality; it’s quite clear that many of the women didn’t know their photos were being taken. Do they know they’re in a gallery of hot protesting girls? Are they cool with that? Also, it’s invasive, stylistically speaking. The cameras are so close to the subjects that makes me feel claustrophobic just to look at.
b) In college, a speaker came to a class I took and told us about her experience at the UChicago sit-in of 1969. She talked about how the female students were encouraged by their male peers to “get with the movement.” So they did, and it turned out that what the guys meant by “get with the movement,” was “get with the dudes in the movement,” and also, “get some coffee.”
Greenstreet’s little site is not so egregious as that, after all, he does calls them “super smart hot chicks being all protesty.” I just want to make sure he knows that all these hot protesting girls didn’t leave their homes this morning with the intention of being the subject of some progressive voyeur’s jerk-off reel. Their purpose in this movement is not to provide eye candy for the male participants, and I sincerely doubt it was to be gawked at by a dude with a camera.
Or, maybe I’m wrong. Perhaps Greenstreet has a stack of signed release forms.
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