I was checking in on a bunch of internet stuff this morning when I realized I had been CREEPED. LURKED. PERVED ON.
This was not a normal creeping, like a myspace message from some rando who was coming to the bay and thought it would be cool to hang out. No, this was way more direct and epically more sexual.
First, I got an email announcing that SPOWDER added me as a contact on flickr, so natch, I went to look at their profile. It turned out to be no one I knew, but we shared a few mutual contacts. Then I went back and looked at what they had added to favorites. All of the 10 photos they had added contained ladies' hairy armpits. Upon looking at his profile closer, I realized that he was a HAIRY ARMPIT PHOTO COLLECTOR.
The groups he belonged to really gave it away:
Grow a Beautiful Bush & Save our Planet (adult)
Addicted to Hairy Cunts & Pits
German sexy everyday girls and women - nude
Female Armpit Hair
I looked at some of the groups. It's almost all photos pilfered from people's profiles and uploads, mostly of of punk and hippie girls, a predictable hairy demographic.
I feel weird about it. I am sure weirdos have lurked on pictures of me and my friends before. I mean, I get it, the internet is public, but I haven't had to think about it or know specifically who it was since that spy thing on myspace. And now, he has added several of my friends.
I think my discomfort is also about being fetishized for something I don't think about or want to be fetishized for. For me, shaving is not a radical or even political stance. I recognize the political moments that went before that allow me to think about it a post-political way. I don't have to worry about whether or not shaving because a few generations of ladies before me did. Unfortunately, it's more that the beauty standards have multiplied and expanded to an endless shifting terrain rather than receded.
Anyway, what I really don't like is having to face the fact some dude is drooling over an already contested area of my body. Isn't it enough to do it privately? While relatively harmless, if you're going to fetishize me without my involvement or consent via the internet, can't you please keep it a secret so it doesn't make me feel weird when I am just trying to have my morning coffee and lurk on the internet in a lessperverse way?
To block or not to block? that is the question.