Taking photographs and posting pics on Facebook of women who eat on the tubes – riding London’s Underground version of a subway – is a thing? Seriously?
Apparently it was enough of an eccentric trend to inspire one individual, Tony Burke, to create a Facebook page dedicated solely to the women who eat while on the tubes (WWEOT).
The group encourages the like-minded to photograph women who dine on the subway and share their pics within the WWEOT community.
Jezebel quotes the proprietor of the Facebook page as allegedly stating:
“Everywhere I go I see women eating on tubes. Like little mice hiding packets of crisps and biscuits in their bags and purses. Slowly, secretly, guiltily raising each bite-sized morsel to their salty lips in the hope that no one’s watching. Well, I’m watching. And I’m photographing, documenting the fascinating world of the Women Who Eat on Tubes.”
Burke refers to it as an “observational study” says Metro, but others accuse the group of objectifying women and invading privacy, thus spurring numerous protests.
The women featured eating on the London Underground claim they’ve not given permission to the Facebook page creator to use their likenesses, and accuse Burke of using the Facebook page as a venue to stranger shame.
The controversial Facebook page was originally removed recently following the heated debates over content, however the Women Who Eat On Tubes (WWEOT) page was reinstated by Facebook as it had been inadvertently deleted.
Per The Guardian, Facebook say the group was accidentally deleted but was reinstated and changed to a private group by one of the group’s administrators. As of this article there are approximately 23,000 members.
Burke has used the freedom of art expression argument regarding the content on the Facebook page, calmly explaining to the hosts on BBC’s Radio 4 Today how his unique group has grown, but has been perverted by the press with negatively angled publicity.
During his interview Burke stated, “I think we have the right to take photos of people without having to ask their permission,” and then further expounded on his view of it being like art and less about shaming.
When the original group’s page was removed, a duplicate Facebook page quickly materialized, posting the WWEOT’s albums of women eating their meals while riding the tubes. But the content has been removed from the group’s Tumblr page, citing “This image has been removed at the copyright holder’s request.”
Do you feel Facebook pages like this exploit and stranger shame, or can they be acceptably construed as art?
[Photo Credit: CarbonNYC]