However, Facebook is often a cause of much frustration for me because it gives people space to proclaim some rather shockingly sexist attitudes and beliefs. For example, one male on my friends list recently posted a status that said, "handjobs are like the WNBA, a cheap imitation of something guys do better themselves." I tried to point out how this was sexist, but the poster seemed to get distracted and have his attitude reinforced by others who commented saying that this status was funny.
I call out sexist/homophobic/racist statuses rather frequently to varying degrees of success. But today I was met with a shocking Facebook fan page. Anyone can make a fan page on Facebook, and currently there is a growing trend for people to make pages for anything even remotely clever that might attract fans. Today in the "Suggestions" sidebar of my Facebook home page, I was introduced to a fan page for "more girls go to college than boys, so stfu and make ME a sandwich," a page with more than 147,000 fans* and some pretty horribly sexist photos.
(click for a better view)
"But Amelia," people will say. "The first part is true. More girls are in college than boys. And the other part is a joke. Stop being a humorless feminist and just take a joke. It's a joke, see? Haha!"
I'll be honest. I am writing this post without knowing the current statistics when it comes to gender and college attendance in America (I know that my college is about 60/40 when it comes to women/men), but even if it is true beyond a doubt that more women attend college then men, that does not excuse the sexist language in the title of this page. Yes, it may be an inversion of a sexist trope, but I don't find it funny because it is still being used to put people down.**
The "make me a sandwich" trope is used so commonly that most people probably don't recognize the problems it presents. It is often used as a means of demeaning women who dare to make something of themselves. It is used to put women "in their place" - the kitchen, where they can serve men. Turning this on men does not make it funny. It's still sexist, through and through.**
The worst part of this terrible fan page?
Two of my friends are fans.
*At approximately 8:15pm CST on April 7, 2010 when I took the screen shot featured above
**EDIT (4/8/10): Added some lines to clarify that inverting a sexist "joke" so that it's aimed at men does not mean it's funny.