Allow me to elaborate. On New Year's Eve a group of friends and I went to see one of our favourite bands play in Camden. Not only was it a great gig, but by some turn of co-incidence we ended up backstage afterwards, drinking, chatting with the band, generally having a lot of fun. All in all, it was a brilliant night.
While we were backstage, a photographer asked if he could take some photos of us, and we happily obliged. Then tonight, we happened across his blog where he had posted one of the pictures. The reason we found the blog is because is someone had posted a link to it on the band's forum. And later, in the same thread, someone posted the photograph of my friends and I.
And that's when we ceased to be people. Because we were women, and we'd dared to go out in public we'd surrendered our humanity and become objects to be stared at, jeered at, rated and ridiculed.
Some of the men (boys?) on the forum took it upon themselves to start commenting on the photo, reposting it several times, making comments about our appearance and ranking us in order of who they wanted to have sex with first.
I have never felt so degraded and dehumanised in my life and I'm a model for fuck's sake, it's practically in my job description. Who the hell do they think they are, literally treating us like pieces of meat on a restaurant trolley? They don't know who we are, they don't know a thing about us, yet they feel OK openly judging us, on a public forum? FUCK THEM.
Did they really think we wouldn't see? Given that we're fans of the band it's hardly unlikely that we'd occasionally go on their official website. More likely they just didn't think at all. They didn't think about the consequences of their actions, they didn't think that we're real people with real feelings that might get hurt. They didn't think about how they would feel if they found people doing the same to a photograph of their mothers or sisters. Let alone themselves. It'll be a thousand years in the future before men find their bodies viewed as public property in the same way that women do now.
No, they didn't think at all, because it's just a joke to them. And that's the saddest thing. That in our supposedly enlightened society, where I'm constantly told there 's no longer a need for feminism because "men and women are treated equally now" people still think this is completely normal, acceptable behaviour. It's just such a shame, too, because the band themselves are genuinely lovely, intelligent people; you would think they would attract like-minded people as fans, but clearly that's not always the case.
The only good thing about it is that the sexists are identifying themselves, so in future women will know not to approach them with a ten foot pole. It's hypocritical really, these pathetic little creeps, hiding behind the anonymity of the internet talking about who they'd most like to fuck, when in reality they're clearly such horrible human beings that staring at a photograph is as close as they're likely to get to a real woman without paying her.
So thanks, random internet misogynists, for ruining my memories of a great night. By way of equality, I tried to rank you in order of who's most Troglodyte, but it was a tie - you're all losers.
Update: I am genuinely touched by the kindness I have received from people who have read this and got in touch. Thanks especially to the lovely photographer whose innocent photo got mixed up in this for his support and to the moderators and others from the forum for deleting the offensive stuff and for general awesomeness. Consider my faith in humanity and music restored.