Carefree White Girl x Creepy Pervs at #OccupyWallStreet

by Guest Contributor Collier Meyerson, originally published at Carefree White Girl

From the creator:

“We instantly went to Tumblr and made hotchicksofoccupywallstreet.tumblr.com. Our original ideas were admittedly sophomoric: Pics of hot chicks being all protesty, videos of hot chicks beating drums in slow-mo, etc. But when we arrived at Zuccotti Park in New York City, it evolved into something more.

There was a vibrant energy in the air, a warmth of community and family, and the voices we heard were so hopeful and passionate. Pretty faces were making signs, giving speeches, organizing crowds, handing out food, singing, dancing, debating, hugging and marching.”

The Occupation of Wall Street was, plain and simple meant to be a rejection of corporate America. But the video and author’s description above are instead a sendup to the very culture the occupiers claim to be corrupting. The music sounds like a Rick Perry campaign commercial and acts as a silencer to further their agenda of objectification. Oh, right, there are those three soundbites that capture the maternal essence of ALL of those hotchicksatoccupywallstreet. Are the hotchicksatoccupywallstreet concerned with the IMF, or say, pushing for collective bargaining in the Teachers Union? No, hotchicksatoccupywallstreet only talk about children, beauty, children, Gandhi and children.

From the outset, the imagery circulating the internet of “Occupy Wall Street” is reflective of a white and young adherence. Paradoxically, this video “piece” has three people of color in it, which, sadly seems like a lot when it comes to OWS coverage. Even stranger, two of the three women of color featured in the film are given voice, whereas the white women remain objects of beauty. Peculiar, ey? Taken straight from the pages of the corporate America’s advertising handbook, the reproduction of images seen in this video play into the reinforcement of the white woman’s stand alone beauty and the black and brown woman’s strength.

I feel like I don’t even need to speak to how the creators of this piece cop to the standards of beauty so i’ll just make a list of the ways in which they did it to save time:

skinny + white + slowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww music + +slowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww images + no voice = carefree white girl

It is monstrosities such as this that add to my skepticism of having a movement without intentionality. If, from the beginning there was a “General Assembly” that looked more like the General Assembly at the UN, and if from the beginning there was thought put into the whole IDEA of what occupation has meant in this country (see: COLONIALISM) and how skeptical people of color are to that notion I think that we’d be seeing a much more nuanced and thoughtful process. The call for the redistribution of wealth alone does not get at the root of the problem. We have to think about this more critically and we have to be more vigilant of those (like homeboys that made this video) that are trying to keep existing power structures steadily in place.

As a woman and as a woman of color who has been down there various times since its inception, I’m not comfortable yet. Help me get there and not by doing DUMB SHIT LIKE THIS.

  • Ivy

    STUPID VIDEO. The point isn’t even that it’s bad to look at hot girls. As a heterosexual woman I find myself checking guys out in the most serious and casual of situations. I think this is natural for anyone with hormones pumping through them….I mean, come on! The difference is that I would never, ever think it appropriate to make a drippy, slow-mo montage of twitching 20 year old boy abs and slender hips holding up baggy cargo pants. :P This video is like saying to your audience: “Hey guys, I have no sense of when and where to curb my lower impusles! ” In any case, its obvious that the makers of this sappy shit didn’t really care what the girls had to say, which is probably why they interviewed some super cute, but flaky astologist (????) waxing about the age of aquarius. To the makers of the film: It looks like you are objectifying these girls…. even if that wasn’t your original intention.

  • http://afevereddictation.blogspot.com/ Julie Fischer

    This video is so pretty, so seamless and clean like a…commercial. It reminds me of Thomas Frank’s investigation of the mutually constitutive relationship between beatniks and suits in his book The Conquest of Cool: Business Culture, Counterculture, and the Rise of Hip Consumerism, suggesting that “this most anticommercial youth movement…became the symbol for the accelerated
    capitalism of the sixties…” While OWS is incredibly exciting and hopeful, I can’t help but take Frank’s well-evidenced thesis to heart and simply wait for: “Coca-Cola! The official drink of the 99%”

  • Melanie

    “Pretty faces were making signs, giving speeches, organizing crowds, handing out food, singing, dancing, debating, hugging and marching.”

    Unfortunately, this quote embodies the sentiments and intensions of the filmmakers. The “pretty faces” are creating the actions, not these powerful women who are protesting. Obviously, this is the objectification of women, and is all the more troubling because it’s context is a movement working against the ruling hegemony, which in many ways is still patriarchal. 

    I appreciate Racialicious including this, because it’s distressing on so many levels. 

  • Melanie

    “Pretty faces were making signs, giving speeches, organizing crowds, handing out food, singing, dancing, debating, hugging and marching.”

    Unfortunately, this quote embodies the sentiments and intensions of the filmmakers. The “pretty faces” are creating the actions, not these powerful women who are protesting. Obviously, this is the objectification of women, and is all the more troubling because it’s context is a movement working against the ruling hegemony, which in many ways is still patriarchal. 

    I appreciate Racialicious including this, because it’s distressing on so many levels. 

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  • Lele

    Wait. The first person to speak in the video was white, so she’s hardly muted or standing alone. I’d say, she was given strength. Also, there are shots of various women of colour projected as beautiful so it’s not just “white women remaining objects of beauty”. Although  incredibly sexist, I don’t think this video has the racialized undertones you’re talking about.  This may be the first time I disagreed with a post on Racialicious.

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  • Rebelmuzic

    i cant believe that someone made this video like ACTUALLY of only all the blonde “pretty” white girls at OWS….like really dude? IS THIS A JOKE???

    • Kat

      Did you actually WATCH the video? There is NOT A SINGLE blonde protester in this (one single passer-by though). One of the four women interviewed is Black, the other Arab and three other Black women of varying shades are shown as beautiful. WTF?!

      I think this entire video is a bad idea, since it objectifies the women and in an odd way merely sees their outside rather than their political action. But your comment is completely off.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=299900020 Phylicia Sampson

    I just can’t.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=299900020 Phylicia Sampson

    I just can’t.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=299900020 Phylicia Sampson

    I just can’t.

  • Ms. Custer

    Yeah, the first thing I noticed were the gigantic dream catcher earrings. And then the close up of the moccasins. And then I stopped the video because appropriating cultures is a trigger for me. As is a lack of discussion of First Nations rights in the OWS movement. I’m getting to sick of white, neo-liberalism, I might have to take a break. Any thoughts on how to continue fighting?

  • http://www.facebook.com/fragglera Rachel Kantstopdaphunk

    I’m not getting on any bus with the dudebros. Rubberstamping sexist bullshit alienates half the population. By ‘we need people on board’ you must mean, ‘there aren’t enough dudebros at ows’

    • http://twitter.com/eric_bowen Eric Bowen

      I’m saying there aren’t enough people. We need to have conversations with everyone. If you (or someone like you or perhaps even people like me) never talk to a dude-bro, they will be a dude bro the rest of their life. Just talking to people can change their perspective. Changing their perspective changes who they are.

    • http://twitter.com/eric_bowen Eric Bowen

      I’m saying there aren’t enough people. We need to have conversations with everyone. If you (or someone like you or perhaps even people like me) never talk to a dude-bro, they will be a dude bro the rest of their life. Just talking to people can change their perspective. Changing their perspective changes who they are.

  • http://afevereddictation.blogspot.com/ Julie Fischer

    This video is so pretty, so seamless and clean, just like…a commercial. It reminds me of how Thomas Frank, in The Conquest of Cool: Business Culture,
    Counterculture, and the Rise of Hip Consumerism, investigates
    the reciprocal, if not tacit, relationship between the admen of corporate
    America and the countercultural youth of the 1960s, arguing that “this
    mostly anticommercial youth movement…became the symbol for the accelerated
    capitalism of the sixties…” His text is particularly useful here as a framework to understand OWS against other major historical movements, and while I’m incredibly excited with and awed by OWS, it’s stuff like this that makes me cynically wait for: “Coca-Cola! The official drink of the 99%” 

  • ch555x

    Yeah, it’s a bit juvenile. 

  • Morenaclara

    I go to a pretty liberal school( a lot of hipsters) and I want to laugh when I see some wearing the jewelry/clothing/accessories of First Nations, like that make you deep or worldly.

  • Morenaclara

    I go to a pretty liberal school( a lot of hipsters) and I want to laugh when I see some wearing the jewelry/clothing/accessories of First Nations, like that make you deep or worldly.

  • Morenaclara

    I go to a pretty liberal school( a lot of hipsters) and I want to laugh when I see some wearing the jewelry/clothing/accessories of First Nations, like that make you deep or worldly.

  • Morenaclara

    I go to a pretty liberal school( a lot of hipsters) and I want to laugh when I see some wearing the jewelry/clothing/accessories of First Nations, like that make you deep or worldly.

  • Morenaclara

    I go to a pretty liberal school( a lot of hipsters) and I want to laugh when I see some wearing the jewelry/clothing/accessories of First Nations, like that make you deep or worldly.

  • Figarophillips

    But flipping the soundbites is hardly the only option.  The ideal option of course would be to showcase all women with equal agency, to allow each woman the time to speak for herself, without framing them in terms of their hotness.  At the very least, if women are to fall into one role or the other-the agent women or the object of beauty, it might at least distribute women of color and white women more equally between these roles.  As it is, the silent beauties are more heavily white, while the speaking women are more often women of color.  

  • Figarophillips

    But flipping the soundbites is hardly the only option.  The ideal option of course would be to showcase all women with equal agency, to allow each woman the time to speak for herself, without framing them in terms of their hotness.  At the very least, if women are to fall into one role or the other-the agent women or the object of beauty, it might at least distribute women of color and white women more equally between these roles.  As it is, the silent beauties are more heavily white, while the speaking women are more often women of color.  

  • http://twitter.com/cornwalker cornwalker

    Frankly, I think they did a better job of capturing what little but increasing racial diversity exists at OWS than other media coverage. I have less of a problem with the race aspect of this video than the standard objectification of women as objects of beauty first, and people with agency second. To call this sophomoric would be letting it off easy – it perpetuates more of the same bullshit that tells women the single most important thing about them is not what they believe, or what they do, but how they look.