Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Hashtags Gone Wrong

No, it's not a post about being smart on social media. Y'all are smart enough to know that anyone can take a picture of or screen shot anything and ruin your life (imagine what Regina George could do with Instagram).

It's about a certain hashtag we've seen trending in a negative way - #womancrushwednesday or #wcw.

We're not knocking any of the good fun that individuals that want to show their friend who they think is attractive or a celebrity crush.

The disturbing trend we have seen are fraternity chapters using their Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, or Instagram accounts to declare a woman as the chapter's Woman Crush Wednesday and talk about how hot she is.

Now let's think about the fact that these chapters are totally objectifying a woman. Think about the word "object" - you're treating someone as a thing to be looked at, analyzed, and talked about instead of like a person. It's not hard to see how this is negative.

Like, what is positive about treating people like objects? How does that match up with many fraternities' creeds that involve things like "making better men" or "being true gentlemen?"

We're not trying to pick on men. Women, the economic juggernaut that was Magic Mike and the pursuit of the M.R.S. do not make you innocent. While we don't see this trend going on with our sororities and #mancrushmonday, women are still guilty of objectifying men for their money, bodies, and status. That's also not congruent with your values of building "strong women" or striving for things that are noble, honorable, or any other words your particular motto may use.

So, here's the deal: while you make think this is funny or you truly think you're flattering someone, mayyybe you should look at the consequences and perceptions of what you're putting out there.

  1. The rest of the community now thinks we're not a welcoming environment for our GLBTQ friends, brothers, and sisters. 
  2. Since you're not in high school, we should act like adults and stop judging people based on their attractiveness, money, or popularity. 
  3. That's not how things work in the real world. First impressions only go so far. In reality, people are judged on their actual skills, character, and personality.
So there's your grownup lesson for the day. We look forward to calling you out if you continue to make us all look bad.

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