Women Objectifying Men on the London Underground: The Horror!

If you’re a girl who objectifies good-looking men, then you’ll be interested to visit TubeCrush.net, which features photos of hot-looking guys taken surreptitiously as they ride the London Underground. And if you’re a guy (and my hand is raised) and you think it’s hilarious to read photo captions salivating over a guy who “reminds us of one of those Action man/Ken dolls you see in the shop. He looks very fit and clean in his box, but you just want to get him out, play with him and make him dirty,” then you’ll be interested in the site, too.

Oh, and if you think objectifying men is just as bad as objectifying women, then you’ll probably be up in arms.

*Sigh*

Let’s be honest, men will never, ever, in a million years have it as bad as women when it comes to sexual objectification. The overwhelming majority of men, I imagine, would be honored (if slightly startled) that a woman had seen fit to take his picture on public transportation and send it into a website for publication. It’s just so outside the usual male experience.

Does this represent a double standard? Sure. But is it mostly harmless? Absolutely.

Salon.com’s Tracy Clark-Flory tackled some of the women’s issues with TubeCrush.net:

I bristle at the suggestion that women who sexually objectify men are necessarily “copying” mainstream male sexuality (maybe they’re, I dunno, expressing how they really feel). In fact, I’m often tempted to celebrate mildly piggish female behavior—to a point—just because it at least contradicts the stereotype that female sexuality is adequately represented by, say, Twilight fan-fiction. (And isn’t fan-fiction just another mode of objectification, anyway?) I also happen to think that sexual objectification isn’t always a bad thing; it’s all about context and consent…It’s also interesting to think about the difference between candid shots taken for a street-style fashion blog versus a sexy-person-on-the-train blog: Why does the former seem so much more innocuous and reasonably objectifying?

As someone who falls drastically short of George Clooney in the looks department, I don’t have to concern myself with the possibility of turning up on a website like TubeCrush.net. Too bad. Otherwise I might get treated to the following kind of caption, which describes the guy in the photo at the top of the story:

Date: 9th May 2011

Line: Piccadilly Line

Submitted By: Binky (we hope this is your real name)

Well Binky managed to make it out of Chelsea and on to the tube to find this prime cut of footballing beef. We would say he is the Chateaubriand of Tube Crushes, and would suggest that he is probably best served medium rare, with just a little pink on the inside.

The Chateaubriand of Tube Crushes. Come on, that’s awesome.

Women, it appears, aren’t the only ones who enjoy this site. As someone named “Tom” commented on one photo: “The “A” train in New York NEVER has anybody this sexy!!!”

Well, Tom, maybe somebody should start a website called NYCtraincrush.net. After all, guys in New York deserve to be objectified, too.

(Related article: Hot Guys Reading Books GMPM)

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About Cam Martin

Cam Martin is the editor of the Good Feed Blog. He has written for the Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, ESPN.com, mediabistro, and Barnes & Noble Review. Follow him on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/#!/CameronDMartin

Comments

  1. A group of women once gathered on the sidewalk in Paris and hooted and whistled at male passers-by.
    They were not only startled, but most looked downright scared. :-)

  2. David Wise says:

    It’s laughable that women find these men studmuffins. We men are much, much worse. You wouldn’t want to see our pictures. Hee, hee

  3. Because hypocrisy is always amusing and harmless.

  4. It is only viewed as harmless because people view women’s desires as harmless. I think most men would be startled and annoyed that a bunch of shiftless women went around taking pictures of them. The underlying assumption here is that men so want sexual attention from women that they have zero boundaries. That is just not true. And keep in mind the reason this is considered wrong when men do it has nothing to do with direct harm caused to the person. After all, the men are not touching the women or bothering them in any manner. However, they are using women’s images for their sexual gratification without the women’s consent. If it is wrong for men to do it, then it is wrong for women to do it as well. The notion that it is cute, endearing, or different is just a half-assed excuse.

  5. More bait and switch.

    The overwhelming majority of men, I imagine, would be honored (if slightly startled) that a woman had seen fit to take his picture on public transportation and send it into a website for publication. It’s just so outside the usual male experience.

    Does this represent a double standard? Sure. But is it mostly harmless? Absolutely.
    Way to decide for all us (despite the “overwheliming majority of men” quantifier) that such treatment would be harmless.

    Let’s be honest, men will never, ever, in a million years have it as bad as women when it comes to sexual objectification.
    Once again you’re using the “but women have it worse” argument to try to counter the validity of complaints. Meanwhile this type of argument is supposedly okay while the folks that would try to say its just as bad would be wrong. So its wrong for someone to attempt to make the equivalency but its okay to preemptively accuse people of making the equivalency in order to shut them out?

    Well Binky managed to make it out of Chelsea and on to the tube to find this prime cut of footballing beef. We would say he is the Chateaubriand of Tube Crushes, and would suggest that he is probably best served medium rare, with just a little pink on the inside.
    No that would not be awesome that would be f’d up. Well awesome for you maybe. And that’s cool but that doesn’t make it okay to try to say that such things are harmless for everyone. I’m pretty sure most of the people here would agree that talking about a woman (most women anyway) would be wrong. Come on, literally talking about him as if he is a cut of meat? One main reason I have for not talking about women and men like that is because I wouldn’t want anyone talking about me like that.

    • Just to clarify:

      I’m pretty sure most of the people here would agree that talking about a woman (most women anyway) would be wrong.

      Should be:

      I’m pretty sure most of the people here would agree that talking about a woman (most women anyway) in that manner would be wrong.

  6. People who find Steven Greenstreet’s “Hot Chicks of Occupy Wall Street” appalling while at the same time thinks the TubeCrush.net are A-OK and great are plain hypocrites and shouldn’t be taken seriously in this matter.

    Neither the men nor the women of those sites have consented to have their pictures published on that consent. The fact that some arbitrary percent of the men and the women would consent to have their pictures published in such a consent gives no-one the right to assume that all of them would.

    What the h*ll does this article do on GMP? Is accepting hypocrisy in disfavour of men a requirement of being a good man?

    • I mistyped consent instead of context two places in my above comment. Replace where appropriate. The location of the mistyped are left as an exercise for the reader.

  7. I find this kind of horrifying, mainly because I definitely would NOT be okay with someone posting my picture on the Internet without my consent and discussing me as though as I’m a piece of meat. This kind of objectification might be outside the usual male experience, but that doesn’t make it cute or flattering or funny. It’s still a clear-cut double standard.

  8. Mind you, I haven’t taken pictures like that, but when I think or feel things that might be considered ‘objectification of men’ along that logic, I try not to make anyone uncomfortable. For example, my tastebuds are partial to Asian men the way a lot of guys’ are partial to redheads. If I bump into one at the store that I think is delicious, I would never tell him that, personally, but when’s he’s out of sight, I’ll tell my friends how I’d like to take THAT home, etc.. BUT, I never tell the handsome stranger this.

    And I think that might be the biggest difference between this sort of ‘objectification’ and the kind of objectification that men do that pisses women off. There are a lot of men who don’t know how to respect that boundary, and will say things like “Your ass is fine” or “You know what I’d like to do with that…” to some stranger. For me, telling my friends what I thought about that hottie and about my five-second fantasy is more a way of expressing and getting in touch with the kind of sexuality that women are taught not to have, and is in no way indicating that the only thing I’m interested in is the man’s body.

    What do you guys think?

  9. No, I don’t think it’s acceptable to photograph people (of any gender) on the tube and then post them online. You don’t know if that person would want their photo online, let along with comments about their hotness underneath. (Especially comments along the lines of that Ken doll one. *shudders*) I don’t hold with this idea that because women have a history of being objectified by men way more than the other way around, we can get away with stuff like this and it will be seen as cute and harmless.

    Indorsing the idea that it’s ok to invade the privacy of strangers is more of the issue to me, by the way, than the idea that women think these men are hot. It is totally fine and awesome that the women think these men are hot. I would not class looking at an attractive person you see regularly on your daily commute as objectifying at all. However I would suggest that this website switches to written descriptions only. Also, free commuter newspaper Metro has this cute little column where you can send a description of your commuter crush, along with a description of yourself if you think they’d remember you, and suggest a drink or something along those lines, which the other person would be able to follow up if the wanted by contacting Metro. I don’t know how many people actually do, but it seems like an idea I can get behind more than this tubecrush site.

  10. I’ve said it before, but objectification is not in and of itself a bad thing. This I see as innocuous and fun. Sometimes it’s nice to just admire a person whom you find attractive, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Objectification only becomes problematic when it is the only manner in which a specific group is portrayed (e.g., women). Although males are increasingly objectified (and it is problematic), men are still afforded the freedom to be funny, witty, strong, intelligent, capable, powerful, and so many other things that their sole value is not placed in their appearance. It’s not bad that women are objectified, but rather that they are objectified to the exclusion of any other representations.

  11. If you are interested in empowering the voices of women visit http://themanhuntproject.com today and post your comments.

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