“Hot Chicks of Occupy Wall Street”: Really?

6 comments
Feminism, Media/Media Criticism, Sexism, Sexuality

Demand #8 from the Occupy Wall Street list of demands is a call for a “gender equal rights amendment,” a good sign that OWS is thinking about inequality in all its various forms.  This sentiment seems to be lost on (supposedly) liberal filmmaker, Steven Greenstreet, whose past work includes documentaries about the Mormon influence in passing Proposition 8 and the conservative backlash against Michael Moore.  Greenstreet is also the proud creator of the website, Hot Chicks of Occupy Wall Street.  He was watching news coverage of the Occupy movement that inspired him to tell a friend,

 Wow, seeing all those super smart hot chicks at the protest makes me want to be there…Hmmm… Yeah, let’s go with that.

We instantly went to Tumblr and made [Hot Chicks of Occupy Wall Street]. Our original ideas were admittedly sophomoric: Pics of hot chicks being all protesty, videos of hot chicks beating drums in slow-mo, etc. But when we arrived at Zuccotti Park in New York City, it evolved into something more.

There was a vibrant energy in the air, a warmth of community and family, and the voices we heard were so hopeful and passionate. Pretty faces were making signs, giving speeches, organizing crowds, handing out food, singing, dancing, debating, hugging and marching.

The evolution from “sophomoric” to “something more,” inspired by “community and family,” is not evident on the website.  Aside from the obvious reduction of activist women to sexual objects, this site is shockingly offensive in its inclusion of young women/girls, one with the caption “She is identified as being 18 years old.” [Hint: If you have to identify “her” as being of age, that’s a sign you probably shouldn’t be posting the photo.]

And these photos:

Greenstreet does not provide information about whether he gained permission from the girls/women featured, but since no names are provided, we can assume he did not systematically seek permission.

It is also unlikely that Greenstreet informed his subjects of his intention to post their photos on the Hot Chicks website.  With his accomplice, Brandon Bloch, Greenstreet shot a video with interviews of women in which it is clear they thought their words, not their bodies, would be the focus:

And in case the message that women are primarily sexual objects wasn’t clear, Greenstreet even includes photos of professional women in his voyeur collection:

Greenstreet has posted criticism on the Hot Chicks website like a badge of honor:

@JaeChick: Nothing like degrading women to get attention. You are a small, sorry excuse for a man.

@MeFunk: Whatsay you take down your sexist video, issue a formal apology to female protesters, and then I pour hot coffee on you?

He responded to critiques of sexism with the following statement:

Apparently a lot of controversy has erupted online from people passionately opining (among many things) that this is sexist, offensive, and dangerously objectifies women. It was not my intent to do that and I think the spirit of the video, and the voices within, are honorable and inspiring.

However, if you disagree with me, I encourage you to use that as an excuse to create constructive discussions about the issues you have. Because, to be honest, any excuse is a good excuse to bring up the topic of women’s rights.

Wow, what a humanitarian.  It appears that this fumbling display of overt sexism was really just a ploy to get us talking about women’s rights.  Thanks, Steven.

6 thoughts on ““Hot Chicks of Occupy Wall Street”: Really?”

  1. What exactly would the proposed equal rights amendment say? That if you publish pictures of women labeled “hot chicks,” you must publish the same number of men labeled “hot dudes” and the same number of trans-sexuals labeled “hot [whatever-the-transgender-equivalent-for-chicks-may-be]s”?

  2. If it had been titled “beautiful women of occupy” would it be more acceptable? To me your article more speaks to the divisive attitudes struggling to undermine a social movement. Perhaps this video isn’t a piece of social activism in itself, but it is not pornography. The women pictured are beautiful and their causes DO deserve attention. If someone is using the sexuality already so prevalent in the media of our patriarchal culture to spread the word, then so be it. Often making change is about working within a flawed structure to change it. These people are working within their constitutional freedoms to do so. If you want to make your voice known why don’t you get involved and put your words into actions rather than criticizing via blog about all the inconsistencies you find in this movement.

  3. My first thought was, yes, i remember seeing ‘hot chicks’ in the news at the park and wishing i could see more. Making money from some dumb website is sophomoric, or moronic, or sophomoronic. But, as a guy, I can say it is true that we guys think the chicks (women) of OWS are really, really, really HOT. Perhaps it even distracts from the message. However, perhaps this gives a prettier face to the movement. Rather than ‘dumb dorks of OWS’, which seems to be the norm for guys there, even the wordy, soft-spoken ones. Some of what they say makes sense, and I have since been convinced of the validity of the movement and even quit watching foxnews, except for the occasional diversion. Their obsession with loving being rich and the idea of being rich finally turned my stomach. So, OWS worked for me. Not that I was a rich lover or money lover before, I just thought they made more sense than the other side(s). Now I just feel insulted, and I attribute that change in part to my viewpoint, but more to their negative reaction to the OWS movement. I think they are realizing they might be wrong and they don’t like it. Anyways… my main point is that, as a guy I was really turned on by the hot chicks, woodstock style/types of chicks, and it helped me to see the movement in a more positive light. In fact, I see that these are the types of girls, ok, women, that I want to associate with and hopefully date and even marry and have kids with… ok, not all of them, just one.

  4. “Greenstreet does not provide information about whether he gained permission from the girls/women featured, but since no names are provided, we can assume he did not systematically seek permission.”

    So, if you KNOW that the pictured woman have probably NOT given permission to be showed online, WHY are you DOING IT here?

  5. jęknąwszy nawiasem mówiąc z Ważny maszyny. bólu.

    – Przepraszam – mruknął widziany sprzęt (Charissa) Wagner.
    – Nie pomyślałem…
    – Nie szkodzi – odparł Frodo, usiłując się uśmiechnąć,
    – Umiesz, zdaje się trochę wezmę.
    – Poczekaj… – Wagner powstał, widząc podnoszącego się z trudem Froda,
    – Leż. A także
    iście nie wywierasz złączenia, gdzie poszukiwać.

    Poszedł w kąt bezpieczeństwa, zaczął myszkować w
    zwalonych na sterta wypchanych plecakach,
    odsuwając.

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