Yesterday, the New York Times went in on TFM — specifically, our beloved daily gallery “Babe of the Day” — with a groundbreaking opinion piece titled “Is Sexist Rhetoric a Total Frat Move?” As custodian of this feature and the “Girls” section of our website for the better part of two years now, I saw it as a direct slanderous attack on my personal character and downright DISRESPECTFUL to the strides I’ve made for the feminism movement.
Clearly, this author did not cover her basic due diligence, otherwise she would have seen that I’m one of the biggest pro-female voices on the internet today. Not only have I advocated for women to freely explore their sexuality without persecution from our double-standard, slut-shaming society, but I’ve spearheaded the “Eat More Box” movement, and have been on record stating that fraternity pledging should teach historically female tasks — cooking, cleaning, and fetching — to young men who will undoubtedly carry on these useful skills into their later lives.
Sexist? These are fighting words, New York Times. Let’s break it down, shall we?
To investigate, I turned to a website that claims to capture fraternity culture: Total Frat Move (TFM), which receives 850,000 monthly visitors. Its “Girls” section posts pictures of women for users to comment on, and I analyzed its more than 16,000 comments.
“850,000 monthly visitors?” We should sue you for defamation. You’re costing us serious ad revenue dollars when you throw out a number we hit in like two days as our monthly stats on a site as respected as the New York Times. What if we don’t get that big campaign our ad department has been working towards the last few months because of this drastically wrong information? What if, because of that, we have to make cuts, I get laid off, become homeless, and wander the streets with my black lab Chase after my girlfriend refuses to take in an unemployed bum? What if while we’re huddled together in a shantytown under I-35 I get shanked over half a bagel, my dog becomes an orphan, gets picked up by animal control services, and put to sleep when no one adopts the poor guy? Is that what you want, Emma? For me to bleed out while crawling my way to 6th Street for help and for my pup to be put down at the old age of four? You’re a sick individual.
I asked fraternity men who posted on the site and fraternity men I knew socially whether fraternity men really talk this way in person. They mostly agreed that while men were much cruder when talking only to other men, they were less crass in person than TFM comments implied. A TFM commenter told me, “I do think the vibe and attitude is not far off from how fraternity guys actually talk, but it’s much less exaggerated and embellished in real life.”
This is the type of hard-hitting journalism that gets you a damn Pulitzer. Anonymous internet commenters are more vulgar and just generally much more terrible online than they would be in real life? Scoop of the motherfucking century right there.
So what a website’s users say in the comments section has to be exactly what that site stands for, right?
New York Times believes non-Jews are inferior people.
New York Times believes circumcision is an abomination.
New York Times believes it’s a baby’s right to choose.
It’s a good thing you’re a satire and humor website where no person in their right minds would come to for reliable, straightforward news coverage.
So why would women submit their own images to the site?
Some girls just want to let their freak flags fly.
But we also give women a platform to launch their careers and empower them with the little self-confidence boost they need to take on this cold and crazy world.
If this makes me a bad guy, I’ll wear that badge with honor. I’ll continue to keep on fighting the good fight and stand up for the women of Instagram who can only speak for themselves through captions. So take your shots, New York Times. I’m ready to die on this hill if it means I can propel women forward..
[via New York Times]