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Women's Bodies

Tournament of Woman-Hating, Tournament of Hypocrisy

So a male student at Seattle Pacific University, a Christian college in my neck of the woods, had the bright idea of creating a "Tournament of Hotties" in which 65 women students were pitted against one another in a competition for the "hottest" woman on campus.  Without getting anyone's permission, Matt Gronlund, an SPU student and occasional sportswriter for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, gathered information and photos from women students' Myspace and Facebook accounts and posted them to a website entitled "May Madness," which divided the campus into four regions with 16 women in each. Brackets were posted, basketball-style, ranking the women based on their chances of "winning".  Most women students were outraged by the website, and those who weren't at the beginning were outraged in short order by the comments posted to the site, which consisted of unapologetic misogyny and hate speech.  Some women spoke of the eating disorder crisis at SPU and the ways it is connected with this kind of phenomenon; others said they feared rape and violence.

SPU officials demanded that the website be closed down, and a rally was held on Friday at the college to discuss the incident and to provide support for SPU women.  By last Thursday night the website had been replaced by a website of the same name featuring the writings of SPU alumnae, including domestic violence and rape victim advocates.

Following are examples of comments about the website taken from a blog which I refuse to link to, because I don't want to be responsible for additional hate speech being added to what is already there.

Most of you guys are married and crap, so you won’t care. But I care. Somebody is doing a May Madness of SPU Hotties. So far my favorites are #2 of the Martin Square bracket and #1 of the RBH bracket. #11 and #12 in the RBH bracket are hot as well.

8 comments to “SPU May Madness”

  1. I actually read through a majority of the comments. Do it for a good laugh.     by (deleted) April 25th, 2006 at 11:13 pm
  2. They may be cute, but statistics show there is a 75% chance she’ll be an annoying bitch, and any interaction with her would be as fun as having your nuts thinly sliced into pieces with a razor blade.     by (deleted) April 26th, 2006 at 6:21 am
  3. This is wonderful!! Is there really going to be a rally on 4/28/06 (as stated in one of the comments)?? We Should Go!! It might be a good place to pick up chicks… the kind of chicks that we are “supposed” to desire. Angry, Man-hating Chicks!Boyah!Is it so wrong to enjoy a nice piece of ass??     by (deleted) April 26th, 2006 at 1:48 pm
  4. (Name deleted), your comments were fabulous!Way to promote (blog name deleted)My question to you: why do plain women hate beautiful women so much… and hate more the men who love the beautiful women?Don’t they understand that we can’t help it?     by (deleted) April 26th, 2006 at 1:59 pm
  5. The site is down!!!
    OK so only King 5 has a story on it. But it is still just as hilarious.     by (deleted) April 28th, 2006 at 8:40 am  

What did Gronlund have to say about what he had done?

According to the Seattle Times, he said he was "stunned that May Madness has been so controversial, even attracting the university president's attention.

"I honestly think that's a little bit ridiculous," he said. "We can't lose sight of a sense of humor."

According to the Seattle P-I, Gronlund said, ""This wasn't done to be hurtful in any way. I'm really taken aback by how much controversy this has generated. I wanted to do this in a way that was respectful to women. I'm sorry for any pain this has caused anybody."

In an amazing display of woman-hating ugliness, Ken Schram, a local mainstream television personality (who is well-known because his father was also a local television personality), chalked the outrage over the website to Gronlund being "kicked out of the PC club," writing:

Where'd you get the audacity to set up a whimsical Web site to decide who are the hottest women at Seattle Pacific University?

Matt, Matt, Matt.

You should know that the world is far too politically correct for such antics.

You should've expected your little "contest" to be cited as an example of why SPU coeds have eating disorders.

You should have realized that, as one female student noted, your so-called "attitude" can lead to rape and other violence against women.

Maybe you just didn't understand what you were up against, Matt.

Maybe you figured that because the pictures you used were rather innocent; that because the information you posted about the coeds was often information that they had already posted on the Internet, maybe you were led to think that would help you get away with this stunt.

Uh-uh, Matt.

Did you forget that SPU is a Christian school?

Didn't it dawn on you that Christian girls aren't allowed to be "hot?"

You did a bad thing, Matt.

A very bad thing.

Repent now young man.

And pray you'll be readmitted to the politically correct world we live in.

On the one hand, what's up with anybody's surprise over the fact that this guy did this?  Women being pitted against one another for the title of "hottest," is de rigeuer under male supremacy, it is basic, it is heteropatriarchal same old same old.  It is women-as-meat, it is women-as-property, it is women-as-fuckholes, it is divide and conquer in the hopes that women will never rise up, revolt, in adequate numbers to make real revolution.  That's what all pornography is about, that's what the beauty and fashion industries are about, that's what we all cut our eye teeth on as little girls, this requirement that we make it our life's goal to be the "hottest," or at least "hotter" than some number of girls.  If there were all that much real surprise, and real outrage, the beauty and fashion industry and porn culture would come to a screeching halt and the world would be inhabitable for the people of women.

And what's up with the media making such a big issue over the fact that this is a "Christian" college?  Of course this happened at a Christian college!  Christian women are not only just as likely to strive for the title of "hottest" as any women, for them it is tantamount to a biblical mandate.  They have to deal with an endless, vituperative stream of religious "marriage counseling" books, tracts, and "counselors" who insist that men, those creatures held hostage to their addiction to the "visual", absolutely must have "hot" wives, and to reject "hotness" (or its importance) is to cause men to stray, have affairs, divorce and it will be all their non-hot wives' fault!  One of the most popular Christian marriage counseling books of all time, recommended to millions of Christian women over decades now, is His Needs/Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage, which was in its 32nd printing as of 1993, so by now it's probably in it's 45th or so printing. The following sage and evolved and oh-so-righteous counsel is included  in the chapter entitled, "He Needs a Good Looking Wife — An Attractive Spouse."  (And as an aside, if you want to know what the righteous man thinks she needs, the relevant chapter is, "She Needs Enough Money to Live Comfortably– Financial Support."  And what was that arrangement again whereby women sell their bodies for money?)

Anyway, to the not-hot-enough wives, the author offers this counsel:

I do recommend surgery for prematurely wrinkled women.  While this procedure must be repeated every few years, it is relatively safe and effective.  I also recommend nose surgery if a client has an abnormally shaped nose.  Dental correction may also prove helpful.  I am encouraged by the number of adult women who now use braces and other forms  of orthodontia.

Sometimes an especially receded chin can be corrected by surgery.  This can greatly help one's appearance, but it is a more complicated cosmetic procedure than most.

I have counseled many women whose marriages were troubled or even demolished because of their failure to recognize the importance of physical attractiveness to men.

So there you have it: the "May Madness" tournament of the "hottest" turned May Madness tournament of hypocrites and woman-haters.

What is most sobering about this incident, this event, to me is its stark illumination of what is really true in our culture– about men, and about women.  I have always liked what John Stoltenberg, husband of the late Andrea Dworkin, says about pornography:  "Pornography lies about women, but it tells the truth about men."  Unfortunately, this incident tells the painful truth about both women and men– that in the year 2006, despite the passage of centuries in the Longest Revolution, women remain less than human, objects to be assembled, bracketed and evaluated as well as hated and despised, that men still dehumanize, despise and use us, and that as women, we have not yet found a way to bring this war against us to an end.




6 thoughts on “Tournament of Woman-Hating, Tournament of Hypocrisy

  1. I don’t know whether to cry or scream. How painful to read those comments you posted.

    On an only indirectly related topic, yesterday I learned, via the internet, about this trend to have “Father-Daughter Purity Balls”. I read a lot of feminist analysis of this, but couldn’t find anyone else raising the slightest concern. It has taken me two days and three different posts to figure out exactly why I was so creeped out by the whole thing. Here are links to my post:

    I wish I could say that, as Christians, we all had a Christlike view of women, girls, and sexuality. How heartbreaking and infuriating it is to me that this is sadly not the case.

    Posted by Rebecca | May 1, 2006, 9:31 pm
  2. Not a very substantive comment, but

    I wish you could be everywhere writing at once! I’m really glad you started this blog. Thank you!

    Posted by Tara | May 1, 2006, 10:17 pm
  3. Dear goddess on high, Rebecca. UGHGHGHGHGHGHGHHHHHH. I hoped all the Jonathan Lindvall/Doug Phillips/Phil Lancaster crap would not catch on the way it looks like it has.

    Besides how creepy and incestuous and disgusting the whole thing is — and how horrifying the photos are — and besides all the good things you’ve had to say, (1) all the studies I’ve read have shown that girls who do this pledge-the-purity-to-Daddy crap are MORE likely to have sex before they get married (!); (2) some — probably a good number — of these little girls are going to grow up to be lesbians! This is just so much more baggage for them to somehow try to carry along with them.

    I should have gone to those links AFTER dinner. :/

    Hey, Tara, thanks! 🙂


    Posted by womensspace | May 2, 2006, 1:51 am
  4. He wanted to do it in a way that was respectful of women, huh? That is why he basically stole the pictures off their websites, kept them up after a ton of women protested his site, and then gave a backhanded apology. Riiiight. I think he’s confusing “respect” with “degrading.”

    What is so “humorous” about a site like that? It is disgusting, creepy, and invasive. Are women supposed to think sites like that are funny or cool?

    Posted by psyck | May 5, 2006, 1:48 am
  5. Exactly, psyck. It’s so clear to us, but it’s not so clear to so many girls and young women. A lot of young women are flattered when men say they are hot.

    As if.


    Posted by womensspace | May 5, 2006, 4:09 am
  6. This was obviously playing off of “The Bigger Dance,” a 64 woman tournament hosted by a local (Seattle) radio show. Easy to find in the internet.

    As for the comments by “Womensspace”, I fail to see how this is incestuous. Of course, I only saw what was allowed to be viewed by the author of this site, so maybe the comments are viewed here out of context. However, incest has a very specific definition. Likening internet reposting of content originally posted by the people themselves, to incest, is inflammatory and counter-productive. If we liken all that with which we disagree to catastrophic abuse, then where do we get? I had a bad hamburger the other day, but I wouldn’t say it was the “Holocost Hamburger.”

    Posted by Man | May 19, 2006, 4:44 pm

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