Being A Working Woman In A Man’s City

Walking down Fashion Avenue with my white lace skirt blowing against my legs, I hear two men shouting, “Damn, I love this city. And I love gorgeous women.”

Mind you, it’s 8:30 a.m.

The two women walking next to me in pencil skirts and designer handbags rolled their eyes. “Sometimes I just want to turn around and yell back ‘would you talk to your daughters this way?’ That would shut them up,” one woman said.

“It’s disgusting,” said the other. “I can’t even walk down the fucking street to go to work without getting harassed.”

And then they turned the corner and their conversation shifted to their plans for this coming weekend, as if they’d never heard those men shouting.

Many women in New York City experience this every day, myself included. I feel like I have to pull my dress down even further or cinch up my shirt as I walk past the group of leering construction workers next to my building. I stood on line for a smoothie the other day wearing a very modest dress and a man looked at me agonizingly slowly from head to toe, and said “nice dress.” I can’t even count the number of times I’ve walked past a man and had him shout the words “so hot” in my face and walk away. Not to mention the men that sit at the tiny chair and tables on Broadway and turn around to very blatantly stare at a woman’s ass as she walks by.

It’s infuriating and demeaning, and yet, just like the two women on my morning commute, I do nothing but roll my eyes. Why? Because of the other hardship we face as the weaker sex — fear of retaliation. What if a guy shouted something at me, or touched me or harassed another woman? What if I said how I really feel, and told him to fuck off? Would he get mad and attack me? Would he scream back and further embarrass me?

So I keep my head down and keep moving. I roll my eyes and go off on a silent tirade. I complain about how a working woman can’t be noticed for her intellect and watch it happen all over again on my walk home from work.

The good men do exist. They stand up for us or tell the leering men to stop acting like pigs. A man once got off a subway and punched another man in the face for touching and harassing a woman standing next to me. But far too often these men don’t stand up, and the only voices heard are those of the pigs degrading women.

There may statistically be more women in New York City than men, but we seem to be nothing more than an objectified minority.

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Total Frat Move? More like Total F*cking Misogynists

“You may have seen your favorite celebrity like Taylor Swift or Gigi Hadid sporting one of these babies [referencing high-waisted bikini bottoms] on their latest social media post … either way, you’re not them. These girls have the body to pull it off. You do not. Snap me photo proof if you think you can.”

This is just an example of one of the unsupported claims by The Therapist, an anonymous user on Total Frat Move, or TFM, in an article called “Why Girls Should Stop Wearing High-Waisted Bikinis.”

TFM, a self-claimed “news and entertainment brand that consists of the #1 college comedy website on the internet,” (yes, they really left the ‘i’ lowercase), is owned by Grandex Inc. Grandex owns other “entertainment” brands like Total Sorority Move, Rowdy Gentleman and Post Grad Problems. Grandex has 47 executives listed on their website, and only seven of them are women.

Misogynistic posts like The Therapist’s litter the site, using derogatory language in most articles and treating women as sexual objects.

“Misogyny now has become so normalized,” Paul Roberts, author of Impulse Society, said. “It’s almost like we’ve gone back to the Mad Men days.”

Mad Men, a television series that premiered in 2007, follows the lives of advertisers working at a fictional advertising agency in the 1960s on Madison Avenue in New York City. The male employees often harass the women, almost all of which only work as secretaries, and treat them as sexual objects.

Total Frat Move harbors this misogynistic norm and maintains it by allowing users to remain anonymous and write what they please. Providing anonymity provides these men with the confidence to post an uninformed, ignorant, degrading opinion without fear of personal retaliation.

The author that wrote about high-waisted swimwear, The Therapist, also wrote articles titled, “Girls Should be Required to Shower and Shave Before a Guy Goes Down on Them,” “The Smaller the Dog, the Crazier the Girl” and “Should I Bang my Girlfriend’s Hot Mom?”’

One of TFM’s featured columns this week, titled “The Official Guide to Scoring a Threesome” starts by claiming, “In a new relationship, you’re pretty much inside your new girlfriend 24/7. You basically live inside her. You pay rent for her vagina.”

At least this writer, Wally Bryton, chose to use a name. Whether it’s real or not is up for debate.

Other articles on the site include, “The Time I Brought Home a Dime and It Blew Up in her Face,” “What Your Favorite Porn Category Says About You” and “I Banged a Fat Girl and My Life Will Never be the Same.”

To find those articles, I looked through the first 5 pages of the website.

Conversely, looking through the first 5 pages of Total Sorority Move, a parallel to TFM, not a single article criticizes men – most don’t even mention men. Instead, they feature more gender-friendly articles, such as “8 Reasons you Should be Celebrating National Wine Day Right Now,” or “13 Snapchat Filters We Actually Need.”

Like many other writers, I’ve received criticism from articles or blog posts that I’ve written. It comes with the territory. Sharing an opinion to a national, online audience always comes with the risk of backlash. Because of this experience, I support any and all opinions – supported opinions.

Someone could write a very conservative article about why gay marriage (which I fully support) should not have been legalized, and if it’s a well-researched and supported article, I respect the writer and his/her opinion. I may disagree completely, but I respect it.

However, an opinion based on claims not supported by any data, research or examples that shames a community based on both body type and gender does not deserve any respect, and neither does the writer or the website that supports it.

 

Image Source: http://cdn.totalfratmove.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/060a01e1820234c9c277f0e3f76c6ff11255442744.png