Have you heard of the Facebook group ‘Women Who Eat On Tubes’? This is a page where photos of random women eating whilst on the tube are taken. Why? According to the group founder Tony Burke ‘It’s Art’, in the same article he also goes on to compare the photography of women eating on the tube as London’s equivalent of wildlife photography. I wonder if this person would have the same opinion if he heard himself speak because his reasoning for these pictures are random and to be honest a bit all over the show. Have a reason and stick to it, are the pictures ‘human wildlife’ photograpgy, are they art or are they a form of sexism?
Yes I went there, I pulled the sexism card out of the bag. It seems that this page has generated a lot of attention, positive for those who like to view and post comments on this group and negative for women’s groups and those who have discovered their pictures on this group.
These pictures are taken usually without the ‘eater’ knowing about it. It’s because of this lack of knowledge that issues of privacy, sexism and bullying have reared their unattractive heads. The ‘photographers’ are not doing anything illegal as the photos as taken in a public place so in a way it becomes a moral issue, should you or shouldn’t you take pictures of random people without their consent? Let’s be honest, it is a bit creepy, there you are eating your salad on the tube without a care in the world then ‘click’ of a mobile phone camera and two seconds later there you are the latest addition to WWEOT. The faces in the pictures are meant to have been blurred so not to reveal anyone’s identity but majority aren’t.
Moving onto the sexist side of it all, this Facebook group is specific to women, the founder wanted to be a bit different with a niche target group. He couldn’t have men because apparently fewer men than women eat on tubes, but then who wants to really see a guy tuck into a subway sandwich when you can have a picture of a women eating something seemingly innocent as fruit until it is posted onto Facebook and then it is opened up to a whole can of innuendos.
The founder can come up with all the positive reasons behind this group and how it does not encourage bullying or sexism of any kind but even Tony Burke has said though he tries he cannot police the internet and tries to moderate the group’s comments but can’t catch all the negative comments left. This is social media, the world where people don’t have to use their real name to create a profile or even have a genuine profile to go on a trolling spree.
As you can imagine there has been a backlash with women retaliating with their own Facebook groups such as ‘Men Who Post On Women Who Eat On Tubes’ (MWPOWWEOT)’ and ‘Women who eat wherever the f*** they want’. We are living in a superficial world where for many people image counts for a lot more than a cute smile and a winning personality, and people are mean. We may say children are mean but that doesn’t necessarily stop as they become adults otherwise we wouldn’t have social media trolls, bullying in the workplace, mean girls etc.
Are the retaliating sites bashing men or is it because the group founder is male and only wants pictures of women eating on tubes? There are probably women who too have posted pictures of their fellow females on this group. As women we are also quick to bash a fellow female for being a chunky monkey or looking like she could do with a decent meal. Though attack this gender as a whole and watch those grievances be laid aside to defend and attack a common enemy which in this case are those who agree with the original Facebook group and have posted comments.
I know of people who have taken random pictures of men on the tube and then posted them onto their Facebook newsfeeds with not very nice comments, I don’t’ agree with this either. You’ve been at work all day, now have a commute home only to have a weirdo take your picture for their own entertainment.
I don’t agree with this website, I don’t agree with strangers taking pictures of strangers on the sly, it may not be illegal but use a bit of common sense here what do you think stalkers do? These are not people who want to be chased by paparazzi wannabe’s, they are just people who were hungry and on their journey to wherever. I don’t know about you but I know in my case I don’t always look cute eating, so why would I want an image of it being posted out to who knows how many random people?
I think the founder of the WWEOT knew exactly what he was doing when he created this group. He was bored one day and thought lets generate a frenzy with a sexism row but call it ‘art’ because that makes it sound so much better.
What do you think about this?
PS – Recently discovered this Facebook page has been removed; http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/10759531/Facebook-removes-Women-Who-Eat-On-Tubes-page-after-backlash.html