The latest trend Women who eat on tubes is, admittedly, a pretty moronic and generally irrelevant addition to social media.
In the group, women, eating, while travelling on the tube have been photographed in what has been labelled by founder Tony Burke as an ‘observational study’, and some strange attempt at an artistic experiment.
Burke appeared on Radio 4 this week, saying:
catching people unaware is the art.
Which makes it a slightly creepy ‘experiment’ whichever gender it targets. But the principal reason this page has spurned furious outrage is its choice to single out women as the subjects.
Ultimately, though, in my opinion the outrage is just as ridiculous as the group.
The speed with which critics have cried the M-word against this ‘observational, not judgemental’ art project is emblematic of the political state of this country, where neurotic and paranoid neo-liberals have been able to aggressively realise their misguided ideals under the false pretence of political correctness, further dividing in the process. A case in point, the Southampton Uni Feminist society. Don’t get me wrong, I feel equality is a necessary human right, but equality does not equal jumping on every example of petty, everyday and quite frankly debatable sexism. This is a way to not only avoid more serious and pertinent issues, but to also promote the raising of one set of people above others. Serious issues are raised by our University’s Fem Soc, but so much of what they do pales in comparison to problems that, if solved, could have a real and dramatic effect on equality in this country. Worse than that, it cuts them off from the rest of society who many of which are also battling with repression, inequalities and prejudices.
Surely it is in our best interest not as a University, or even as a nation but as a human race to go about trying to strive for equality across ALL walks of life, rather than focusing on one specific group of people who are considered to be unequal, most often by themselves? Equality by definition doesn’t favour one particular group. Indeed, I would even argue that the ones who feel that pseudo-sexism like Women who eat on tubes is such a problem, are those who feel that women ARE inferior in the first place. When will this vicious circle stop? When will people realise that to create real change and bring about a real sense of equality and togetherness, we must look beyond the type of groups that defeat their own purpose by separating themselves? Ultimately, groups such as the aforementioned Fem Soc are noble in purpose but hopelessly misguided in practice. Yes I agree that to fight for the betterment of a group of people who are (or have been) otherwise neglected or disenfranchised is at face value a just cause; but in continuing a plight against minor issues are we not simply continuing to highlight our perceived differences, albeit in a somewhat more nuanced and subtle manner? This dilemma outlines an issue that has been prevalent in our society for some time now, and allows structures of inequality to remain in place, and social systems to divide, and conquer.
Misogynistic, funny or just generally weird? Is the criticism deserved? Let us know your thoughts on Women who eat on tubes in comments!"Women Who Eat On Tubes backlash: as ridiculous as the concept itself",