From:   Morgan Buck <>
Sent time:   Thursday, October 20, 2011 4:04:14 PM
Subject:   Re: [september17discuss] Re: Hot Chicks on Wall Street makes me fucking sick

Thanks much for this article. I think it pretty clearly illustrates the problem that this video poses to the movement—namely that it is actively promoting a kind of culture/sociality that makes it okay for women to be objectified and that privileges the male perspective. What does this say about us and about our movement, if this is how we respond to this kind of privileged, misogynist behavior? At what point does sexism become 'important' enough to warrant a discussion? This reminds me a lot of the struggle that inspired the poc working group:

My thinking on this is simple: when I am standing in the Plaza, I want to be able to look at the people around me and know that they are my allies. This video and the way that it is accepted/supported makes it really clear that a lot of men (and women) in the Plaza are not. It's utterly disappointing to think that acceptance of objectification of this sort is going to be the general position of so-called-progressive-or-radical dudes and/or of the GA as a whole. If you're down with objectification, you do not have my back, and this is not my movement.

This all being said, I am really appreciative of all the folks that are doing this work. I would love to hear more about what's going on, and join in pushing these discussions to the fore.


On Thu, Oct 20, 2011 at 5:32 PM, <> wrote:
This is a great response! As a cisgender guy who does work around
challenging male supremacy, I'm curious about what initiatives have
already taken place or are taking place at #OWS to address these
problems... anyone got a good overview of this? Thanks, RJ

> Here's a really great post I came across that shows why it's not just the
> TITLE that is an outrage.
> Steven Greenstreet is the dude behind the Hot Chicks of Occupy Wall Street
> tumblr and
> video<>.
> That video has gotten a lot of attention — a lot of women and some dudes
> have been like “well this is fucked up,” and then some other dudes have
> been
> like<>“I
> don’t see what the big deal is, boys will be boys and what’s wrong
> with
> wanting to meet attractive women at a protest?”
> And like I said in my initial post, the deflecting from legitimate
> concerns,
> and the fact that the OWS “public” includes a lot of men who think it’s ok
> to treat women at a protest like we’re there for their visual fulfillment,
> troubles me. No one is saying, “Don’t find women attractive.” I actually
> like hot chicks too! No one is saying “Don’t meet hot people at a
> protest.”
> People meet people in all kinds of social settings, and that’s great. I
> met
> a past boyfriend at a liberal blog conference. Meet away, I say. No one is
> objecting to dating or hooking up or meeting women or meeting men. No one
> is
> objecting to the fact that straight men are attracted to some women (fun
> fact: straight women are also attracted to some men! So really, no one is
> pissed about attraction, I promise). What people are pissed about is what
> Rebecca Traister says:
> The larger, simpler argument, outside of consent or permission, is: This
> video is sexist.* It’s an example of women participating in public life —
> political, professional, social — and having their participation reduced
> to
> sexual objectification.* That’s what happened here, nothing more, nothing
> less.
> The notion that dressing in a certain way is an invitation (and presumably
> that dressing in another way is not) is flawed. There is no way for women
> to
> dress (dresses, shorts, jeans, overalls) that is not considered an
> invitation by someone. When you add in the ways in which women are
> expected
> to dress in order to be taken seriously, or liked, or listened to or paid
> attention to, and then add to that assumptions that the choices that they
> make equal invitations to be ogled, it leaves women no sartorial freedom.
> Emphasis mine. If you’re at an event and you strike up conversation with
> someone cute? Wonderful. But creating a blog and a video dedicated to
> showing women at a protest with the sole purpose of reminding dudes that
> women at the protest are hot? That does reduce women to objects of male
> attention. It’s another reminder, for women, that how seriously we’re
> taken
> and how valuable we are depends on how sexually attractive we’re deemed.
> That it’s ok to use us as bait because hey, it’ll attract more dudes to
> the
> protest<>!
> Frankly, the kinds of dudes who would come to the OWS protests because
> they
> heard there are hot chicks there? Are not the kinds of dudes I want to be
> protesting with. I would hope they’re not the kinds of dudes that most
> progressives would want to be protesting with — but judging by the
> lefty-dude reaction to Steven Greenstreet (hi Matt Zoller Seitz, looking
> at
> you!), that’s not the case. It’s disappointing. It’s pretty shitty to know
> that some progressive men are a-ok with female protestors being portrayed
> as
> boner-bait, because boys will be boys and it’s all in good fun. It’s also
> worth noting here that actual sexual assaults have happened at OWS.
> Also? The early “he’s a misogynist creep” vibe that I got off of Steven
> Greenstreet appears to be pretty on. I avoid Twitter fights like the
> plague
> because nothing productive ever happens in 140 characters, but last night
> Mr. Greenstreet apparently spent the evening google-imaging me and then
> kindly used his Twitter account to link to photos of me wearing — get
> ready,
> ladies, it’s shocking — *a dress*, in a feminist eco-friendly fashion show
> my friend Kate <> hosted, where she used her
> friends because she didn’t want to exclusively feature traditional very
> thin
> models. Greenstreet added commentary like, “Oh I see, dressing in a short
> skirt and showing off your body to leering men is totally cool only when
> you
> do it” and “Love how these guys stare as you show off your curves.”
> Because walking in a friend’s fashion show is totally the same thing as
> taking pictures of women on the street without their knowledge or
> permission
> and putting them on a “hot girls” website. And yes, by wearing a skirt in
> some photos I was obviously asking for it, right? Not creepy at all. Just
> totally normal guy stuff.
> Steven is also
> mad<>that
> I use the f-word sometimes. It is a shame that I am the face of
> feminism, he says. Steven Greenstreet would definitely do feminism better
> than me. Especially when he gets all rape jokey.
> [To protect the privacy of people who are Steven's facebook friends and
> because I just don't feel like digging my heels in on this one, I've taken
> down the screenshot of Steven's Facebook page. On that page, Steven linked
> to his "Hot Chicks of Occupy Wall Street" video, and added, "The way me
> and
> [a colleague] contribute to the movement.” A friend of his comments, “Way
> to
> legitimize the movement, Steve.” Steven replies, “An erection legitimizes
> anything.” His friend replies, “Even rape?” Steven Greenstreet says, “It
> probably wouldn’t be rape without one.”]
> Good dude. Very not misogynist, clearly. Definitely interested in women’s
> rights and definitely being treated unfairly by mean feminists who clearly
> just hate attractive women.
> We want to attract more dudes like this to progressive politics? This is
> who
> women should shut up and make way for? It’s no big deal that this dude is
> making a “Hot Chicks of Occupy Wall Street” tumblr and video because his
> erection legitimizes it?
> Obviously this guy doesn’t speak for most liberal men. But I actually
> haven’t seen very many liberal men being like, “This is fucked up,”
> period.
> I’ve seen them be like, “Well it’ll attract more men to the protest!” and
> “Well it’s kind of a problem but it’s not really that bad” (there are of
> course a few
> exceptions<>).
> Get it together, dudes.
> *
> [Just an FYI for the comment thread: A bunch of Steven's supporters have
> come out to tell us how they really feel, and I'm letting many of the
> comments through. I'm deleting the worst ones -- the ones about how we
> should be raped, how women who are dressed like skanks are asking for it,
> etc -- but I'm publishing a lot of stuff that we usually wouldn't let fly
> in
> order to illustrate my point that no, this isn't just good fun "boys will
> be
> boys" stuff, and very real hostility to women is lurking behind "The Hot
> Chicks of Occupy Wall Street" and its supporters. Some of the comments
> might
> be triggering, especially concerning violence and sexual assault.]*
> On Wed, Oct 19, 2011 at 5:06 PM, rob hollander <> wrote:
>> +1, grim
>> sounds like the right attitude to take
>> On Wed, Oct 19, 2011 at 4:16 PM, grimwomyn <> wrote:
>>> honestly I have bigger battles to fight-- I saw it-- thought it was
>>> stupid, and went on with my work.
>>> On Wed, Oct 19, 2011 at 4:06 PM, rob hollander <>
>>> wrote:
>>>> The video includes the spontaneous speech of the women it focuses on.
>>>> They are articulate, intelligent, incisive and inspiring, so I can
>>>> only
>>>> conclude that, the gross title aside, this video is more than just a
>>>> piece
>>>> of sexist voyeurism, but more a devout and adoring tribute that, if it
>>>> were
>>>> made by a woman, could easily be described as a feminist tribute to
>>>> the
>>>> female youth at OWS.
>>>> The *title* is an outrage. Was it chosen as irony, since the video
>>>> doesn't come off as a "hot chick" video (note the all-string
>>>> classically-inspired elegiac music -- no rock, no percussive heavy
>>>> beat)?
>>>> I'd like to know what women, including the women depicted, think of it
>>>> and its intentions.
>>>> I'm trying to imagine what the hot male equivalent would be like, and
>>>> how
>>>> I'd respond. Too bad the videographer didn't include men for a
>>>> "Beautiful
>>>> Youth of OWS." It would still be off-topic, but at least it wouldn't
>>>> be
>>>> sexist.
>>>> In any case, denouncing a piece so carefully designed to be beautiful,
>>>> artistic, intelligent, inspiring and sensitive would be philistine. As
>>>> long
>>>> as OWS doesn't embrace it (an that's not likely), I don't see a
>>>> problem with
>>>> it being out there as some videographer's esthetic obsession. It makes
>>>> OWS
>>>> looks intelligent and attractive without trying.
>>>> On Wed, Oct 19, 2011 at 12:42 PM, Morgan Buck
>>>> <>wrote:
>>>>> Hi again,
>>>>> Just wanted to apologize quickly for my harsh tone and foul language.
>>>>> Although I do feel strongly enough about this to curse up and down, I
>>>>> also
>>>>> realize that this kind of reaction is rather unconstructive,
>>>>> particularly on
>>>>> a forum such as this. I sincerely hope that nobody is offended. I
>>>>> fully
>>>>> intend to approach any future discussions with a far more thoughtful
>>>>> and
>>>>> reasoned tone.
>>>>> M
>>>>> On Wed, Oct 19, 2011 at 11:42 AM, Morgan Buck
>>>>> <>wrote:
>>>>>> Hey all,
>>>>>> Don't know if everyone has seen this yet:
>>>>>> If so, please disregard. I just saw it though and I find it
>>>>>> downright
>>>>>> disgusting and fucked up, a total disservice to the movement and
>>>>>> everything
>>>>>> that we stand for. This being said, I understand that some
>>>>>> women/other
>>>>>> people may not share my opinions or sensibilities. I'd love it if
>>>>>> there were
>>>>>> some folks—maybe related to safer spaces, or maybe some new
>>>>>> formation—that
>>>>>> would be into talking about/dealing with this shit and the way that
>>>>>> it
>>>>>> represents women and the occupation/movement in general.
>>>>>> Oh, and the original video/Tumblr is also getting a fair bit of
>>>>>> coverage, Some good (Jezebel - "Point-Missing
>>>>>> Dudes"<>);
>>>>>> Some *meh* (Alternet - "Really
>>>>>> Bro?"<,_bro/>);
>>>>>> And some awful and/or sofuckingweirdandoffensiveIcantbelieveitexists
>>>>>> (SF
>>>>>> Chronicle blog - "Deal With
>>>>>> It"<>
>>>>>> )
>>>>>> Also, this would maybe be a good segue into talking about a more
>>>>>> general need: the organization of women voices about this, and other
>>>>>> potentially awesome and/or alienating aspects of the movement, both
>>>>>> in and
>>>>>> out of the Square.
>>>>>> Much love,
>>>>>> Morgan
>>>>> --
>>>>> Morgan Buck
>>>>> Brooklyn, NY
>>>>> t. 917-529-6860
>>>> --
>>>> Rob Hollander
>>>> Lower East Side Residents for Responsible Development
>>>> 622 E 11, #10
>>>> NYC, 10009
>>>> 212-228-6152
>> --
>> Rob Hollander
>> Lower East Side Residents for Responsible Development
>> 622 E 11, #10
>> NYC, 10009
>> 212-228-6152
> --
> So we decided to get together & change the weather, not just for now --
> but
> forever.

Morgan Buck
Brooklyn, NY

t. 917-529-6860