Goldsmiths students to stage sit in lunch on Circle line

A London underground train. Pic: QSimple

A London underground train Pic: QSimple

Don’t know where to go for lunch? How about heading underground, just make sure you bring a napkin.

Yes, you heard us correctly, two Goldsmiths students are inviting commuters to have lunch on the Circle line on April 14, in response to a controversial Facebook group which has caused a media outcry.

The group in question is Women Who Eat On Tubes (WWEOT), which invites users to surreptitiously take photographs of women eating on the underground.

The photographs are then uploaded to the group alongside the line the woman is traveling on, the food they are eating and the time of day.

Lucy Brisbane Mckay and Alexis Calvas came up with the concept for the lunch after reading an article by Sophie Wilkinson – who was alerted to the fact she was listed on the group by a friend.

Founder Tony Burke, who set up WWEOT in 2011, says the group is “an observational artistic photographic study of human behaviour”, however, critics claim it is “misogynistic and objectifies women”.

Commenting on the group, co-organiser of the lunch, McKay said: “Just from seeing it you think, ‘I definitely do that and could definitely be photographed’ and you start changing your behaviour because of the fear of being publicly embarrassed.”

“I didn’t even want to get a packet of crisps out on the tube. It has raised a lot of questions of women and eating, and ‘that you have to be a good quiet woman and never eat on the tube’ when it is just an everyday thing.”

Tomorrow, the two Sociology and Politics students will be taking a break from their studies to board the Circle line along with an estimated 475 fellow dinners.

“I think it is an opportunity to see the real faces of people who feel targeted by it. I believe a few people who post on the WWEOT group are coming too, so I hope it starts some conversations, and a wider conversation about the internet.”

In response to websites of a similar nature such as TubeCrush, a website where women and gay men upload photographs of attractive men on the underground, McKay said:

“A lot of men have been asking us why aren’t you fighting other pages like TubeCrush, but why do feminists have to ‘fight the fight’ for women and men? If it bothers men then they should do something about it, but with WWEOT I think it is part of the patriarchal structure that is still on going, and it is more than taking photos of women.”

The lunch will be held on the Circle Line at 1:30pm on April 14.

It was believed that the WWEOT group had been taken down by Facebook on Friday, however, a spokesperson for the social networking site it had been “accidentally” deleted, and when it was reinstated one of the group’s administrators had made it private. British Transport have received three complaints in relation to the group so far.

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