1. For those of you who were blissfully unaware of the “Women Who Eat On Tubes” Facebook group, it’s basically a group where people post photos they’ve taken of women eating on the tube.
Because women eating in public is so…entertaining? Hilarious? Upsetting? Odd?
2. The people behind WWEOT say they are “not judgemental [sic]” and that the group does not “intimidate nor bully” women.
They also go on to say: “Subjects are embraced and cherished. We celebrate and encourage women eating food on tubes, we do not marginalise them. We always look for the story in the picture. We don’t swear.”
3. Each picture usually includes the location, time, and line the woman was eating on, as well as a detailed description of how they were eating, plus multiple photos.
4. The women don’t know they’re being photographed, and if they appear to be aware of what’s going on, the commenters will note that “she 100% knew” something was up.
Because it’s funnier if they were suspicious, apparently.
5. Despite WWEOT claiming to “cherish” the women in the photographs, there’s something very uncomfortable about people secretly photographing and even filming women in public.
Apparently even little old ladies eating their sarnies on the tube aren’t safe.
6. And as Sophie Wilkinson described in The Debrief, if you’re unhappy being on the WWEOT page, it’s not that easy to get your photograph removed.
7. After discovering her photo on WWEOT, Wilkinson contacted the man who took the photo of her, and asked him to take it down. His reply?
She eventually had to go down the route of asking Facebook to remove the photos — which it only did when her photo was posted multiple times. Wilkinson says this lead the moderators to finally believe “that his actions were basically harassment.”
8. Sure, WWEOT members use words like “majestic” and “art” to describe their “suspects” in the wild, but the women aren’t in on the joke.
And claiming to “not swear” doesn’t prevent racist and sexual comments from being made about the women — because they most certainly are.
Regardless of how you frame it, taking photos of women and posting them to a public forum for discussion is pretty creepy.