social media

Social craze: women who eat on tubes reaches 20,000 Facebook members

Every time I think that I’ve seen or heard it all in regards to the internet – from the

Every time I think that I’ve seen or heard it all in regards to the internet – from the After Sex Selfie to this weird GIF of Emma Watson – something else crops up to surprise me. And this time, I was less than impressed.
Women who eat on tubes (WWEOT). Yes, it appears that sexism has reached new heights. With more than 20,000 members on Facebook and a huge number of groups fighting back against it, this social craze has hit the big time over the last few weeks.
Time, food, line
The idea is simple. Anyone who spots a woman eating on the London Underground takes a photo, uploads it to the Facebook group and has to give the details of ‘TFL:’ time, food, line. Absolutely hilarious if you ask me.
So the argument has been that women need to lighten up a bit and that it’s “just a joke.” Well yeah, sure. But why is it aimed at ‘women’ who eat on tubes? Why not men too? And why isn’t there a page called “men who drink on buses,” or something? It’s apparently another one of those many sexist ‘jokes’ that we’re meant to just take.
Too far
It’s not just the focus on women in particular which is disturbing, it’s the vile humour which these photos are met with. Under judgement include the food eaten, the meal choice in relation to the time of day, and of course, the highly original joke of the woman eating the banana.
Although it is not illegal to take a photo of a person randomly and post a picture of them on the internet, it is kind of weird, let’s be honest. Personally it gives me an uncomfortable feeling in my stomach to think of someone taking a photo of me eating (it’s not the most attractive thing really, is it) and then allowing me to be identifiable online.
Social stigma
The British Transport Police have encouraged women to come forward if they are feeling threatened, saying that photos of people on tubes need to be taken with “respect.” Honestly though, why else would someone take a photo of a stranger without permission unless it’s to ridicule them, or become a stalker?
Furthermore, a number of ridiculous people have said “if you don’t want to be seen eating on the tube, then don’t eat on the tube.”
I think this kind of ignorance demonstrates that it’s not just this particular incident that we need to target – it’s society. Although at times it feels like we are approaching the achievement of equality, groups like WWEOT prove that we aren’t, as well as other things across social media lately, like that dreaded Snickers advert.
Not only does WWEOT need to be deleted rather than just made into a ‘closed’ Facebook group, schools need to make more of an effort. We need to educate young people early on to respect women, and not make the stupid equation between food and sex. Why should women be judged on what they eat? Men aren’t.
And girls: in the meantime, stick up for yourselves, because it looks like no one else is going to do it. Remember, this stupid thing on social media is just a phase, and soon enough, everyone will leave you to your lunch in peace when they get bored, or the page gets deleted. And now I’m off to eat my brownie on the District line on the way home from work.
What do you think of the latest social media phase WWEOT? Let us know in the comments below.
Photo: WWEOT Facebook group