Hot Chicks of Occupy Wall Street from Steven Greenstreet on Vimeo.

So, the video that guy did “Hot Chicks of Occupy Wall Street,” the one Salon writers were debating about and that people are up in arms about… is it worth being up in arms about? Hmm.

1. It’s not surprising to me that someone made a video with beautiful women being activists. Women, all of us, are beautiful- maybe not in the same way the guy who made the film would see it, but women are beautiful amazing people with world moving ideas, passion, strength, and determination.

We are bred as activists at the same time we are taught to be passive. What I mean by that is: The society in which we live teaches us to be submissive to men and the system, but to survive on this planet, we fight and are activists for ourselves.

2. It is also not surprising that a man made a short film that objectifies women. Doesn’t this happen all the time?

Occupy Wall Street is a hot movement right now. It’s relatively new but holding on and challenging the people in power. Everyone is watching it, at least out of the corner of their eye, even if they act like they aren’t. So yes, people have their eye on short films on the internet about it. Does the man have the right to create art without being censored. Of course. It is always debatable what is art and what it is not, but assuming we don’t go there, I would say yes he has the right to create art about whatever. And art should be talked about. Art and conversations about art shapes the culture and world in which we live, as does the absence of it. It is good that people are talking about this video because otherwise it would just be there influencing the world silently. This way people are getting to speak out about sexism, women being used in political movements, and women as part of the 99%.

The video doesn’t mention that women are generally on the bottom half of the 99%, especially women of color. The woman who holds the sign, “I’m not homeless, but my children will be” has a radical and powerful message. And yes, as a woman of color, she’s at greater risk of that than anyone, but the film doesn’t go there. The film shows some of her political message there on screen, but it really is focusing on how she’s pretty. Yeah, she’s pretty. That has nothing to do with why she is there or what she is saying, so is it necessary to highlight?  If it was just saying look at these women, they’re strong and powerful and standing up for what they believe, that would be different. Instead, the film says they are “Hot chicks.” Even if it was named something different, I thought, but really, the way the women are filmed with the music and slowly, it portrays them as hot with a hint of fierce rather than powerful with a lot to say and things to change regardless of how they look.

One argument is that the film possibly brings more people to the movement, and if it does that, isn’t it worth it? No. Because it just pushes women further down the ladder of the 99. We’re already lower, don’t see how low we can be pushed down.

Several things could happen from the film: it attracts straight men to the movement, it attracts more sexual predators or it creates more reasons for people to put down Occupy Wall Street because it’s not serious, it’s a pick-up scene.

This film reminded me of when, I think it’s in “That Seventies Show” or maybe it’s “Seinfeld,” a woman who is identified in the show to be especially sexy, takes her hair down and suddenly the guy is completely gaga, watching her in slow motion and there’s some ‘Bow-chica-wow-wow/Brown chicken- brown cow’ music going on and her hair is flinging around and she’s making sex(y) faces and he is totally Wow-ed.

In the film, the women are portrayed like that at a distance so it’s like, “look, aren’t they beautiful” and then it’s like, “let’s meet them, I did, you could too.” And of course it’s framed that they are the “sexy” women, among many, of the OWS movement. I think it is a type of objectification that people didn’t expect. It’s not so horrific that it’s obvious and you want to shut it off, it’s more subtle. Did the maker intend it to be sexist? Probably not. I don’t know him, so maybe, but I would think he is a product of his world. Straight man looking for motivation to be political or for a film or looking for booty or love or something.

But- intent versus impact.

In the end, he shows several activist women of the Occupy Wall Street movement being strong women involved in the cause and ends up identifying what he and maybe others believe one role of women to be, if not THE role of women in the movement, as a sexy something to look at.

There were several comments on the women identified (objectified) as “eye candy” knowing what they are doing and being down for taking that role in the movement.

That view blames women for the role we have been put in as objects in a patriarchal system.

It’s not those women’s fault or choosing. We live in a system that objectifies women, that says certain things are sexy to men and other things are not, that says women are worthless without a man, so however women are dressing or whatever is beside the point, it’s the system that frames our choices and how we are seen. The video/film doesn’t challenge patriarchy or the messed up system, it fits right in.

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