“Men on the right think women are private property. Men on the left think women are public property.” –Toonces


(Image: Women stand beneath a sign that reads “Come In and Learn Why Women Ought to Vote”; meanwhile, a man films them with a camera labeled “Girls Gone Wild.”)

If you haven’t heard of Steven Greenstreet, you’re not missing anything. He’s the typical mansplaining sexist masquerading as a progressive; specifically, he’s the idiot who thought it would be tewtally awwwesome maaan to create a tumblr featuring the “hot chicks” in the Occupy Wall Street movement. Steven has effectively contributed to centuries of patriarchal tradition and reduced women who have very real things to say about politics, about class, about oppression–to sexual objects. Unsurprisingly, he is also under the impression that women dressing in ways that “show off their curves” (yes, actual words he directed at feminist Jill Filipovic) are inviting him to film them and to diminish their activism to their appearances.

After Jill Filipovic called him out for making rape jokes on his Facebook page (involving a comment about how an erection legitimizes Occupy Wall Street because erections legitimize everything, including rape, and thereupon suggesting that rape without an erection is illegitimate because no woman was ever raped with a knife or a gun apparently) his supporters stormed over to Feministe with complaints about “privacy violations” even though Steven made these comments with public settings, and Jill Filipovic is not violating his privacy by reporting on them;–an interesting development, considering that Occupy Wall Street is a protest against corporate control. It appears that Steven Greenstreet’s supporters have, in fact, no problem with corporate control, since they so readily evoke Facebook’s claims of ownership over content generated by its users to defend Greenstreet’s ass.

Of course, taking footage of women participating in a protest and in real activist work and reducing them to sexual objects on a site without their knowledge isn’t an invasion of privacy at all.

Previously, Steven expressed his “disappointment” that these women are the “face of feminism” because, of course, Steven–as a man–would do feminism SO MUCH BETTER than Jill Filipovic, feminist writer, activist, and lawyer. Steven denies that he is deriding feminism, despite the fact that he spent a good portion of time looking up photos of Filipovic wearing clothes that “show off her curves” in an attempt to invalidate her argument. And because Steven is a man with a Big Important Manly Agenda to Attract Men to the Movement with Footage of Hawt Women, he knows feminism better than the women he’s objectified. And he had to send all his friends to troll Filipovic’s site in his defense, one of whom masqueraded as a woman saying she learned a valuable lesson about having a sense of humor from being raped–because being a man is so hard! Poor, poor Steven. He just doesn’t understand why all these feminists are having such violent reactions to rape jokes and objectifications of women! I guess feminists aren’t as smart as they have a reputation for being, if they can’t keep their emotions straight–a fact brought to you by Steven Greenstreet’s gratuitous male privilege.

18 thoughts on ““Men on the right think women are private property. Men on the left think women are public property.” –Toonces

  1. almostclever

    Prejudice raises it’s ugly head. It’s funny how white men can see and understand racism, but sexism still escapes them…. We have a long road.

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  2. I saw this shit in action in Occupy Philly – manarchist[*] dudes hitting on women as they (the women) were pitching their tents. The manarchists were all but demanding sex of the women.

    [*] manarchist = cis het white dudes who think “anarchism” is about overturning trash barrels, while totally (and often willfully) failing to understand that anarchism is about dismantling and sidelining oppressive structures. Which happens to include working on one’s own oppressive behavior.

    Not every cis het white dude anarchist is a manarchist but far too many are.

    It seems nothing has changed since the 1960’s anti-war movement, when men did the organizing and protesting and women were expected to shut up, put out, and cook.

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  3. annie

    Not to offend anyone here…especially not Nahida, because I really admire her. But aren’t you being a little harsh on him? Not about the rape jokes…that’s revolting. But about the whole recording videos thing. If it’s a video, the women are still talking. I get that the pictures focus on their looks, but videos still have their voices. The title is a cheap one, yeah, but it’s just to attract attention.

    I don’t think what he’s doing is that bad. I’ be surprised if I found myself on his site, but I don’t think I’d mind. Some women were flattered.

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    1. Nahida

      Separating the videos from the context of their title is mendacious, especially since the title communicates the point. And that is the point: when asked why he didn’t film “hot guys” Steven answered that he thought of it but “wasn’t into it.” He wasn’t into the opinions of anyone he wouldn’t find sexually attractive. Thus, I think his exploitive intentions are clear–and even without the title, if we graciously omit it. The videos focus primarily on body shots, and after a several of these body shots, the women speak but the camera’s focus on their bodies continues. The women’s purpose and intelligence are undermined and trivialized, and their opinions are only “counted” because the women are hot.

      I don’t see your point in stating that you wouldn’t mind. This post isn’t saying that you should mind, but that there are women who would mind (I would be livid) and did mind finding out that they’ve been filmed with a focus on their attractiveness rather than their words, and especially without their consent. This post is saying that their consent should be respected, and that the default is that you ask.

      A lot of this has already been covered in the thread on Feministe, if you want to read.

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      1. GallingGalla

        ++++1, Nahida.

        Because a woman dares to appear in public, does not give anybody the right to make her into public sexualized property without her consent. Regardless of the clothing she’s wearing.

        The day that I see heterosexual men create “Hot Men Of Occupy Movement” tumblrs will be the day that I think that maybe, just maybe, patriarchy is eroding. …Then again, maybe not.

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  4. Flint

    OT but not enough for me to put it in the giants thread. I saw the Fury episode of Lost Girl again last night and thought of you. You seriously should have Fury powers, you’d put them to such good use.

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  5. I hadn’t heard about this but it sounds pretty disgusting. Thanks for taking this guy down. Sadly, I’ve come to expect these sorts of shenanigans from a worryingly large number of men on the left, who are just as sexist and misogynistic as right wingers, albeit they sometimes express it in marginally more subtle ways.

    Two examples of appalling online behaviour I witnessed a few months ago, both political: firstly, Michelle Bachmann and her husband were at some event where they were eating hot dogs, and some fool thought it would be hilarious to publish an unflattering picture of Bachmann with the hotdog in her mouth and imply that she was performing fellatio. Here’s the picture:

    And so many people in the online “progressive” blogosphere thought it was hilarious. Yes, a woman running for political office should be portrayed in a sexually humiliating way, and it’s not sexist at all, because, hey, we’re progressives so we can’t be sexist, and besides she’s a crazy evangelical Christian bitch so she probably deserves it!!!11111

    As if that wasn’t bad enough, Bill Maher had some idiot on his show who made a joke about wanting to rape Michelle Bachmann. The studio audience thought it was hilarious! Yes, rape her! That’ll teach the uppity bitch for daring to come out of the kitchen and run for office! Have I mentioned we’re progressives?! After I heard about this I was so angry I was literally trembling with rage. Is this the best the left can do? And we’re supposed to be the enlightened ones? For fuck’s sake.

    Bachmann’s anti-woman theocratic policies and her husband’s anti-gay bullshit are repulsive, but some people on the left are even worse. The sad truth is that there are rotten apples in every movement. But why do we have so many of them? And are they multiplying? Because the stink of hypocrisy is growing worse.

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  6. Wow, that is really disgusting and perverted. Greenstreet objectifies women, makes rape jokes, and then says he’s “disappointed” that feminists are offended? It shows how much works need to be done in eradicating sexism and misogyny in social justice movements.

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  7. Ben

    I know what I am about to say is easy to be misinterpreted but what the Hell. And I am not justify Steven Greenstreet. I hope that scumbag dies soon. And of course women should be treated with respect and nothing, not anything could ever, ever justify rape.

    But, and of course there is a but, will we ever get away from seeing “women as sex objects”? I am sorry, but the female form has attraction. I think it’s genetic. Again, it’s what one does with the attraction but still, women seem to be for the lack of a better term “sex objects”. So are men in their own way although I know a ugly and old male can get away with it if they are rich, but females in particular, perhaps because of the importance they play in procreation with their womb, but women in particular seem genetically predisposed to give off “sex object” vibes.

    I for one would love to get beyond sex but is that possible? Perhaps it wasn’t always this way. Perhaps with television and movies it emphasizes the sexual aspects more and we are culturally trained to see women as sexual beings. But what if that isn’t the case? What if it is indeed part of the human genetics? Again, I believe we have free will so just because “it’s in our genes” doesn’t give us a right to act on these urges, but I am afraid it will always shape our thoughts.

    Just food for thought. Look, I wish for the same world as you do in response to sexuality. It’s your side that wants to teach sex education in Kindergarten. It’s not too late to jump over to the RIGHT side of society. No we are not perfect, but at least we aren’t evil like your Leftist friends are, Nahida. And they really really are evil.

    By the way, I am sure you are aware that you are an attractive young woman. That photo you have of you on your web site above. You know the one with the Lipstick? That seems a little sensual to me. Your right but aren’t you using yourself as a sex object there? See not even you can get away from it totally.

    You want the world to be fair. But Nature isn’t fair. Sure I am all for fighting nature to some extent but in the end one can’t totally ignore nature completely.

    I don’t know if any of what I just said makes sense. Like I said, I wish that I lived in a society where sexuality is a very, very small and private part but your side is fighting for the exact opposite.

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    1. Nahida

      1. Finding someone attractive isn’t the same as objectifying her.

      2. Feminism does not exist on the same plane as the Left and Right.

      Anyone actively familiar with feminism, who has studied it/debated it/talked to a variety of feminists, would know this. Associate it by default with neither; a feminist herself can be either on issues. Because the Right has an annoying tendency of trying to legislate her uterus, she often finds herself rooting for the equally sexist microagressive but-I-wouldn’t-pass-a-law-on-it Left. There are other reasons too, like trees and taxes, both of which are feminist concerns.

      3. The photograph of me with lipstick in the banner is open for interpretation. It’s something I apply on a regular basis, it indicates to other feminists an idea of where in the spectrum I fall in regards to sexual / gender perspectives (as a performance of femininity), and it warns sexist religious men to fuck off. If you don’t fall in any of those categories, I suppose it is just sensual, in which case see #1.

      4. I wouldn’t wish death on Steven Greenstreet, only lawsuits.

      5. The Left does not want to teach sex in kindergarten.

      6. Poorly constructed arguments (involving assumptions such as above) are against the comment policy. Left or Right.

      7. I have taken your comment in good faith, but just for reference: when a feminist “misinterprets” what you are saying, she is probably not misinterpreting what you are saying. Experience with sexism disguised as science (evolutionary psychology) or truth or contemplation has made feminists sharp as knives.

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  8. It’s funny how men try to dominate and oppress woman when men rely on females to produce offspring in order for the human race to continue ….. Yes I am aware that a man is also needed to procreate butttt I’m sure there is enough sperm in the sperm banks to populate another planet sooo technically a woman really doesn’t need a man to have a baby just his disgusting smelly salty sperm :( aww so sad , not really a mans world after all is it now?

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