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by Marissa Reed

*Trigger warning: graphic quotes and pornographic-like material is associated with the webpage of critique

It has been a few years since I’ve been on my state college campus as a student, but that doesn’t block the memories from my undergrad years.  Recently, I saw a friend “like” a page on Facebook. That page was iowafuckingcity. I went to this page and what I found appalled me.

The website portrays Iowa City, the University of Iowa, and the Hawkeyes as a downright party town complete with women willing to take their clothes off, people getting extremely drunk, and literally no studying going on. The participants in these photos continue to glamorize binge-drinking, but that is a whole other rant. What I was most disgusted by, as I scrolled through some pictures, was that I noticed women were being taken advantage of in such a way that mimics “Girls Gone Wild.” Girls were making out with their friends and being photographed for male attention. It was completely voyeuristic and packed full of sensationalism for not just college-aged men to drool over, but anyone who came to the site, including men who are married, well over the age of 18, and have children.

I find this sort of exhibitionist-type action to be alarming. First, there are pictures of a “model” (read: girl who messaged the page and said she was willing to pose) that explicitly states that she is 18 years old. The comments go something like this (*I have deleted names for confidentiality purposes):

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There were plenty more comments under these models’ pictures that suggest they are being treated as centerfolds of Hustler or Playboy. These kind of responses are extremely similar to the obsession with underage or teenage girls in pornography. The “Barely Legal” DVDs even have a “college girls” issue that glamorize the female college student as a piece of eye-candy rather than what she actually is, a woman attending a college or university for educational purposes. IowaFuckingCity’s posts and website mimic these sort of degradations and perpetuate the subordination of women: “Women can’t possibly be going to college to get an education, they are only there for us dudes to party with and then hook up!” This is a huge issue in our society.

Female students get trapped in the voyeuristic mindset, too. We are pressured from all sides to conform to the ideal beauty myth, especially once we hit the age of 18. By combining these two phenomena in a college zone, women think they can reaffirm their beauty by putting their sexual selves in the public, very male eye. I remember thinking back as a freshman that getting attention from males at college was a close priority to getting good grades. I believe a lot of that came from the media I was exposed to. I remember seeing the “Campus Girls” ads looking for student models to pose suggestively for the calendar. I remember thinking that I could never be one of those girls because I was not thin enough. I have natural blonde hair and green eyes, which is pretty much the beauty ideal, but still I did not think I was perfect enough to pose as a sexy University of Iowa representative in those pages. I can only imagine what women of color or of different shapes and sizes felt like looking at those increasingly unattainable ideals their classmates were glamorizing.

Patriarchal society supports the “sluttification” of women. Especially women doing sexual things with other women. Mind you, these women must fit the beauty ideal, they cannot be actual lesbians because they are posing for male gratification, for male acceptance, for male attention.

  • and 196 others like this.
    • Iowa Fucking City updated their cover photo.
    • October 5
      • Two hot girls running up to me at brothers. OMG r u Iowa fucking city??? Maybeeeee. If you two make out you will be my new cover photo. …. So they make out for like 30 minutes. LOL. Iowa fucking city. 10/4/2012

This IowaFuckingCity creator has claimed the power of media and he is using it to continually objectify women. While he seems to get a lot of women to partake in these voyeuristic actions, he is still missing a large segment of the college student body. His images are misrepresenting women on campus. His images perpetuate the idea that women are to be used as sexual objects. He has created a space where it is okay for people to think in misogynistic terms and where it is encouraged to post lewd and sexually-suggestive voyeuristic material. The posts associated with this page and their website severely harm women as a whole and women’s individual sense of self worth.

Iowa Fucking City

October 14 Never pass up buying shots for a woman with a hair tie on her wrist she’s thinking ahead.

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and 357 others like this.

Iowa Fucking City

October 15 Every girl has a slutty friend… if you don’t, then you are the slutty friend.

and 545 others like this.

Iowa Fucking City

October 9 Iowa fucking city student advice: If at first you don’t succeed, try drinking a beer while you do it. You’ll be amazed at how much less you care.

Iowa Fucking City

October 4 I wear condoms that are the same orange as Johnson county inmates jumpsuits. It lets women know I’m about to murder some pussy. 305 people like this.

The message I continue to interpret from this page is that it is okay for women to be treated as sex objects and that women should want to perform these actions for male attention.  We need to create a safer space for women and girls to understand who they are and what their self-worth actually is. I could only hope that the Iowa City local government and University of Iowa is ashamed for how students are being portrayed on their campus and within their city limits. After all, shouldn’t this be a safe, nurturing space for our teens to get an education and give back to their communities? I vote to shut down this abomination and to give women back their voices. Report it on Facebook.  If the comments haven’t persuaded you, maybe one of their videos will.

*Warning: triggering and sexually suggestive images are present in this video.

To read the original post on Marissa’s blog click HERE