Facebook‘s Lulu app allows women and girls the opportunity to ‘rate’ the guys in their life, share the information with other FB users and recommend suitable guys to your friends. It’s only accessible if you list your gender as ‘female’ in your account. Harmless gossippy fun, or something more sinister? The writer of this Girls Globe article is pretty cynical about it, and a good few guys are up in arms; but…
Given the volume of creepy, nasty, sexist crap guys are wont to post about women all over the web, I’m not sure we’re in much of a position to get too butthurt over something as relatively innocuous as a rating out of 10 – though I’m less than surprised that some have and will. I bet MRAs will be hopping mad…
A couple of thoughts: FB and other sites and apps have been notoriously sloppy when it comes to cracking down on sexism directed towards females – be interesting to see how they react to this. And given that the app is only accessible to FB users listing their gender as female – though non-female users will, as the author says no doubt attempt to hijack proceedings by altering their settings and/or creating pretend-female sock-puppet accounts – it’s hard to predict how this will intersect with currently-fashionable conceptions of ‘gender-as-spectrum’. My understanding is that most ‘Transwomen’ come from a background of living as het men, ‘Transwomen’ as Lesbians, so I wouldn’t expect to see much of an uptake from that quarter; but who knows? And if this app lasts beyond the initial novelty phase, and gains traction as a way of sharing useful information – like which guys are genuinely creepy and dangerous – rather than locker-room gossip then it (and similar platforms) might have real ‘feminist potential’ as it were. Mind you, this may well already be happening for all I know, which I don’t, which is no doubt the idea. I’d like to think so – I feel the potential of the www to provide opportunities for safe space and organising, especially for women and otherwise-marginalised groups, rather than big business, is its best asset. It’s potential for paving the way for grassroots democracy and egalitarianism has scarcely been tapped thusfar, but progress is being made all the time.
With respect to cyberspace, as in meatspace, men and their institutions have shown themselves as quick as ever to try and dominate thru sheer force and naked aggression; and as has been observed throughout history, criminals are seemingly the quickest to capitalize on the opportunities offered by new technology. But precisely because the web – and attendant social media – are primarily information media and increasingly, universally accessible, they provide heretofore unprecedented opportunities for building communities of resistance. Wife-beaters, philanderers and paedophiles who previously evaded detection and capture by moving from town to town, country to country might start to find their options limited. Their reputation – or lack thereof – may well precede them, and loss of social status might begin to achieve what historically-ineffectual legal sanctions in concert with wilful public indifference thusfar haven’t.
Lulu in likelihood won’t be the social ‘magic bullet’ to achieve any of this, but it and other emergent social media might well point the way.
It didn’t take time for it to make news in the men’s locker rooms after a group of sweaty, tired football players pulled out their i-phones and yelped—“what the f**k!”
It traveled faster than just some who’s-that-hot-chick thing that forms the usual mode of conversation at post-practice sessions among hefty male athletes who “just need to relieve themselves of some dangerous testosterone.”
“Hey Higgins that’s you,” cried Ralph, pushing aside a towel and making his way to a big, muscly guy who was recruited to the university a year ago for his innate ability to throw a ball. “You’re an impressive 8.6.”
Who cares if Rihanna’s ass just got bigger on screen and Amanda Bynes just passed a racist remark?
A dude who considers himself an alpha-male, a “chick-magnet” and “the big guy” just got rated on an application by a bunch of giggly, gossipy college girls who were once…
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