Tube Crush: men can be objectified too

Why is it pervy for men to take secret pictures of women, yet somehow more acceptable the other way around?

 

Share

What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, or so the saying goes. Perhaps this was the thinking behind the website, Tube Crush, which has come under criticism for objectifying men. The website is the brainchild of a man, Steve Motion, and encourages women and gay men to post surreptitiously taken photographs of the lesser-spotted handsome male when scouted on the tube. Men have been doing this kind of thing to women for years, so some might argue such websites demonstrate that things are becoming more equal. Personally, I’ve never thought that aping the baser aspects of male behaviour is a sign of progress. Shall we also take up football hooliganism and start pointless wars?

The Facebook group Women who Eat on Tubes was loudly decried for being misogynistic and was eventually taken down. In contrast, the men featured on Tube Crush seem to regard it as a badge of male honour, and apparently most of them aren’t complaining. The website aims to “celebrate the attractiveness” of any subject whose picture they publish, and will remove the image of anybody who requests it, which is all very reasonable. Negative comments are not allowed, so none of the vile, insulting slurs so frequently directed at women online appear. Instead, we find comments such as, “We also love the fact that his blue sock is on full display…we feel he may have matching underwear, but guess we will never know!” How sweet. How harmless. Nothing about smashing anybody’s backdoors in and making sure they can’t walk for a week.

So what are the creators trying to prove with Tube crush? That women admire physical attractiveness too? Surely that’s a given? How would we feel if it was the other way around and men were taking secret pictures of us, even if they were concluding that we were “fit”? If it’s pervy (although legal) for men to take secret pictures of a woman, yet somehow more acceptable for women to do the same to a man, then all the animals in the garden cannot be equal.

With the rise of social media, many have argued that we are becoming more narcissistic as a society, as well as more “lookist”, judging both men and women on their physical attributes. But increasing the amount of “lookism” in the world doesn’t lessen the sexism, especially when women are judged more harshly. It’s not an equation that can be balanced thus: “Oh, let’s do to the men what they do to us! How terribly post-feminist!” Never mind that the overwhelming majority of rape and sexual violence is against women, no matter about the lack of women in senior positions in almost every field, we have Tube Crush and we can be just as leery as men. In a nice way, of course, so they’ll feel flattered rather than violated.

It becomes more difficult to argue against female objectification if do the same to men, albeit in a watered-down, complimentary sort of way. If we expect men to get the idea that we don’t particularly want to be constantly evaluated for our looks alone or to be pestered in public spaces, this website is not the way forward. Tube Crush’s stated mission is, “To pay homage to the Hommes.” In a world where most bosses are still male, don’t we do quite enough of that already?

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Dom Joly owns a pig. That thinks it's a dog.  

I'll bow out. Let Wilbur, the pig that thinks it's a dog, bring home the bacon

Dom Joly
 

Forget charging by the page - with books, heart matters more than heft

Katy Guest
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'