Bar Stool: Feminism Edition

Reflecting on Professor Kersh’s recommendation to bring anything related to feminism to class this week, I recognized that this would be a great opportunity to connect a Vanderbilt fetish to feminism. The best way to do this is through an analysis of the website Bar Stool U. The other week I wrote a post about Betches Love This and a similar site with a male audience is Bar Stool. This is a website that talks about an array of topics that are informative, yet many are degrading. This is also a perfect example because Vanderbilt has been recognized on this site before and this weekend was the last weekend of tailgates. Many guys I know view this site religiously and this is a popular news source for many about things going on in the college world. Essentially, it is a gossip site for men. The link is below.

So why is this website a perfect representation of the male ‘gaze’ and the ways women are objectified? Well, there is an area of the site called SmokeShow, where girls are submitted anonymously with pictures and full bios. Then, they are rated by the users of the website. The bracket linked above is a March Madness bracket, but not the March Madness that guys refer to in basketball. Instead, it is called the Smoke Show Bracket: a competition amongst girls where people can vote for who is the hotest and at the end there is one winner. Based on one or two potentially photoshopped photos of girls from around the country, people judge based on appearance. Honestly, it is the most repulsive thing I have ever heard of. It reminds me of the idea that women will lack respect in this world if we constantly judged based on appearance.

The Smoke Show bracket is taken from a game on the website called SmokeSmash where the website puts girls head to head and people choose based on the photos and schools of each girl.  While many may argue that women are degrading themselves, this proves even more that women are constantly being observed by men. The way that a website geared towards men encourages them to judge someone based on appearance is degrading and objectifying. It encourages people to submit photos of random girls and it gives off a negative reputation of girls almost equivalent to being in “Girls Gone Wild,” or in Playboy. It’s sad that this website posts stories about our school and has included embarrassing stories about the people that attend this university. I hope that one day, this website will realize what a negative connotation they give to women, especially when they did not ask to be on this website in the first place.

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6 Responses to Bar Stool: Feminism Edition

  1. gagear says:

    Wow, this website is not OKAY. I hadn’t seen this site until I read your post, and the March Madness bracket boggles my mind. How is it legal for people to just submit random pictures of people? I know that the internet is good in some regards, as people are free to post what they want, but HOW can this be allowed. It is offensive to all females. I wonder who is posting this- is it men or women? I would love to know. I am sure there are many more sites are on the internet that are just as offensive. I also would like to know who reads this stuff on a regular basis.

  2. amannjn says:

    Okay…so I have never really explored this website before (I’ve definitely heard people talking about it, though) and I am absolutely appalled. Do these women offer up their photos, or can random people just add a girl to the competition? I can’t even believe this is something that exists! Like you said, its not only degrading to the poor girls who end up on the website being judged off of a picture or two by hundreds of readers, but also to the schools and student bodies they represent. Most of the pictures seem to be really revealing, too. It’s just sad to me that things like this exist on the internet and perpetuate the objectification of women.

  3. brownmj says:

    It seems bad. It seems as if these girls are being victimized. But ask yourselves… do you really believe that they don’t know that their picture is up on this sight? I can almost guarantee that they do… it is disgusting from the outside looking in. but who’s to say that these girls DON’T want there pictures up on this website. I’m sure if they were upset about having their pictures on this site, they would have taken action by now and had them taken down. It is NOT okay, but at the end of the day, if they don’t care, I can only care so much. It by all means perpetuates the objectification of women, but how can we stop when these women allow this?

  4. brownmj says:

    Maybe it’s because I’m a little different than most of you in the class, but my first reaction to the website wasn’t disgust or despise, but humor and then pity. Not for the girls on the website, but the people who run the site. It’s actually stupid. It’s dumb as hell and I think I got dumber just by typing the websites address into my internet browser. I wonder how the girl who actually wins this competition is supposed to feel. Will she feel like she accomplished something?

  5. merrillem says:

    This is an example of women being degraded by being struck down from a person of intellectual worth to an object of sexual pleasure. Everyone at Vanderbilt is smart (hello 10% acceptance rate), so each person on this campus has something intelligent to contribute. However, by rating based purely on their looks it is just a way to degrade women. There are other examples that are based solely on Vanderbilt students, such as Vanderbilt Hotties and Vanderbilt Crushes. These sites allow people to submit photos of girls that the think are really “hot”, and then anonymously make lewd comments about them online. It is just embarrassing that men on the Vanderbilt campus, despite their intellectual abilities, feel the need to objectify and degrade their female peers.

  6. bittnetc says:

    We have lots of silly “social media” type sites up, many of which deal more directly with Vanderbilt – (Vandy Make Outs, for one, ColelgeACB before that got shut down) – and they are all sort of silly, although not all of them are as one-sided in terms of the sort of gendered posts and audiences. Hopefully our fellow students will wise up and stop patronizing and posting to such icky websites, but in the meantime, I think we can help by encouraging our friends to stay away and not to post to any of these or similar websites.

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