Sometimes we feel like we’re getting somewhere. Other times, we’re reminded there’s still a depressingly long way to go when it comes to gender equality, whether it’s pay gaps in our public-funded broadcaster, corporate moralising over our contraceptive choices, or good old Trump, Trump, Trump (we could go on, but we don’t have all day).
Or how about a Facebook page set up to humiliate women deemed by men to be on the ‘walk of shame’ (which sometimes apparently also means having the temerity to wear revealing clothing in hot weather)?
Proving the standard ‘men are players, women are slags’ trope is hanging on for grim death, a Magaluf-based page has so far attracted more than 65,000 followers keen to see its pictures and videos of women being shamed for their perceived choices.
Reportedly set up by reps who work in the resort, on the Spanish island of Majorca, the page features videos of its creators chasing down women they assume are walking home from a one-night stand, with the goal of getting them to admit it and/or tell them who they spent the night with.
Meanwhile, pictures – sometimes taken from a distance – often show women half-dressed or passed out. While in some the women seem to know the pictures are being taken, many are clearly attempting to dodge the camera while covering their faces or bodies. Some posts appear to be merely shaming women for their outfit or their body. The pictures are posted both by the page and by those visiting it.
Few men feature (usually passed out or displaying sunburn, rather than walking home in the morning), and while it’s sold as a ‘walk of shame’ page, many pictures are clearly taken during nights out.
In one video, the man filming a woman encourages passers-by to clap as he follows her, asking “Where you been all night, babes? Was he worth it?” After repeatedly asking whether she had spent the night with a “worker or tourist” he offers, “Tell me where he works and all this will stop, I promise you.” After harassing her into revealing the bar where she worked, he ends the clip saying, “Right, anyone coming to Magaluf, if you want a bang, you know where to go.”
Because if a woman sleeps with one man, she’s probably up for them all, right?
In another, he shouts, “Here, this is the second time I’ve caught you now. So, is this a walk of shame?
“Quarter past three. Come on, show me your face. Was it worth it? Was he a good shag?” A woman with the man videoing then attempts to make the clearly uncomfortable woman being filmed turn around for the camera.
In one, when the woman protests that it’s not a walk of shame, the man videoing urges other people to join in, while yet another focuses on appearance, being captioned “When you forget to brush your hair before you embrace your walk of shame.”
Some news outlets, describing the misogynistic judgement and intrusive imagery as “hilarious” and “cheeky”, took the opportunity to repost many of the images and videos, in which some of the women are easily identifiable yet clearly trying to hide from the camera.
One anonymous worker, speaking to The Daily Star, fell back on the classic “banter” defence, saying: “If you're going to go to Magaluf, expect to be on it. It is just a bit of banter and a bit of a joke.
“None of the girls seem to mind and mostly just have a laugh along with it.”
However, the majority seem unaware a picture is being taken or are definitely attempting to dodge the camera and hide their faces while being pursued.
The creators have since claimed they “happily” remove pictures when people complain.
Since the recent media interest, people have started posting critical comments on the page, labelling it a “disgrace”, pointing out the many assumptions made and the fact that there’s nothing wrong with a woman having casual sex, yet there’s a distinct lack of men being regularly shamed for doing the same thing.
The cameraman consistently asks the women filmed “Was he worth it?” Prompting the question, “Worth what?” Having a good time and then walking home? Or the bit where she’s being forced to defend herself for something she has nothing to be ashamed of on camera to a stranger clearly judging women for their (perceived) choices in a way that simply doesn’t happen to men?