YEA or NAY: The “Hot Chicks of Occupy Wall Street”

Occupy Wall Street…

What an awakening for this generation after years of being silenced! After about one month, cities nationally and internationally have heeded the call: Americans will no longer be bystanders in this nation as the economic crisis demands that the government be accountable to citizens and not corporations.

As an organizer myself in the NYC area, it’s been amazing to witness the growth of our local movement. Groups are stepping up and forming demands. Long-time activists in the New York City area are excited to welcome a movement whose aim is to address the needs of their communities on a local and global scale.

While catching up on my news rounds, I discovered the viral video,  “The Hot Chicks of Occupy Wall Street”, which has caused quite a back-and-forth on Salon.com (and I’m not even talking about user-comment-flame-wars.) Technically, a pretty well-made film, but it just didn’t sit right on my palette. On the short’s Vimeo site, filmmakers Steven Greenstreet and Brandon Bloch explain the concept’s impetus via the following:

A lot of fantastic media has been created about the “Occupy” movement. I was watching one video in particular and commented to a friend, “Wow, seeing all those super smart hot chicks at the protest makes me want to be there.” He replied, “Hmmm… Yeah, let’s go with that.”

And now, close to 300,000 views later (as of this writing), I give you, “The Hot Chicks of Occupy Wall Street.” What do you think–is this a celebration of womankind, or a polite excuse to objectify women?

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6 Comments

  1. Posted October 23, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps well-intentioned, The Hot Chicks of Occupy Wall Street is still sexist and misogynistic. As a young female college student in NYC, I don’t want to feel like the way I am dressing, primping, and speaking affects who listens to me at the General Assembly. This film/website is an abuse of power that harms the people who really need to be listened to. Feminist demands are silenced at OWS because people think there are bigger things to worry about. But there is simply nothing more important, in my opinion, than respecting women for their opinions and their intelligent presence at OWS, not for how hot they look doing it.

    Not cool, patriarchy. Not cool.

    • Posted October 24, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      Brenna,

      Thanks for the comment! I agree with you – in a lateral, “leaderless” movement I, too, am concerned that this will affect the experiences of various women and women-identified folks in crucial spaces like the GA. Have you had a chance to read some of the comments on the Vimeo site?

      Best,
      Hanalei

  2. Posted October 24, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    It’s natural for people to find certain others of their species “hot”, but why does it have to be the sole focus all the time? I’m actually jumbled about this right now because I actually was very perturbed there by an older guy’s objectifying comments last night, right in the presence of my husband(which also brings up issues of ablism, men who feel comfortable showing disrespect to the partner of a disabled man) and it’s frustrating that women can’t go anywhere or doing anything without being judged and appraised?

    I haven’t watched the video and can’t comment as much on that, but I found it telling when I looked at the tumblr that there were photos of attractive women (attractive white women, anyway), but no thoughts from them, why they were at OWS, what causes and issues they felt were important, how they felt about how the movement was shaping up so far, nothing. Maybe it wouldn’t seem so gross if instead of simply telling us they look “hot”, the guys behind the tumblr took a few minutes to interview these women and hear their thoughts as well.

    • Posted October 24, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      Jenny,

      Thanks for your comment. I’m so upset that you and your partner had to endure that kind of treatment. A lot of women and marginalized people have experienced a slew of, at best, problematic experiences while on the site. It’s very confusing for me as well, since I want to treat OWS like a progressive space, yet there are some atrocities committed regularly. Unfortunately women are harassed frequently at Zuccotti. Here is another write-up, as you are not alone in this experience (even nationally):
      http://infrontandcenter.wordpress.com/2011/10/13/the-value-of-a-safe-space/

      OWS is a space for us all. And to improve the conditions we face at OWS, I would highly encourage you to submit your concerns to the Safer Spaces working group at OWS whose contacts can be found here:
      http://www.nycga.net/groups/safer-spaces-committee/

  3. Posted October 25, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    It’s an impolite excuse to objectify women, and to explain that the only good female activists are the f*ckable ones.

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