It popped up in conversation the other day. I was enjoying a coffee with some classmates and one of them mentioned UCLFitfinder a website that allows students to post tweet-like messages about fitties they’ve spotted in the library etc. It is supposed to be a cross between twitter and the spotted columns in the free newspapers – a way for students to meet each other when they are too shy to tell them personally. However, I smelled a rat and sure enough, what I found is demeaning, vile and quite frankly, insulting. One quick scan of the ‘FitFeed’ and you will find messages such as:
“Main Library (Floor 1 – Law) Female, Blonde hair. Sitting near the back, wearing a black leather jacket and grey shorts. I hope you’re not wearing anything under that jacket”
“Science Library (Floor 1 – Biology) Female, Brunette hair. Girl with big boobs keeps walking in and out. I don’t mean to keep staring but they look marvellous.”
“Science Library (Floor 0 – Computer Area (Downstairs)) Female, Brunette hair. white shirt, jeans. red nail polish. Possibly middle eastern. I would like to rip your white shirt and see you naked.”
‘How is this even allowed at a university’? Nobody really wants to be talked about behind their back let alone have it cast onto the Internet for everyone in the room/library/university to read. I don’t want to be perved at as I attempt to pass my Masters degree in what is supposed to be the 4th Best University in the World! My peers at this university are supposed to among the most intelligent people on the planet and yet there a group of students who think this degrading behaviour is funny and acceptable. I also find this website an embarrassment to the reputation of UCL – how can we call ourselves world leaders in academia when we are represented as idiotic douche-bags? How about they leave that behaviour in the locker-rooms?
It is like the online equivalent of the builder’s wolf-whistle, but 10 times worse. Yes, it is flattering to be considered attractive to another person, but who wants to be perved on and objectified by a salivating imbecile? This website goes too far – I find it insulting, detrimental and plain idiotic. It is a completely inappropriate service which encourages the alienation of fellow students. Am I the only one who thinks this way?