Exhibitionist websites encourage Tulane students to strip down
A website dedicated to female Tulane students posting topless pictures of themselves on campus, launched in late February, has grown in popularity.
The site, Titties at Tulane, at tittiesattulane.tumblr.com, features dozens of topless photos of females on campus, including pictures taken in such recognizable locations as Newcomb Quad, the Warren Hall roof and an on-campus laundry room.
An email from the site’s administrators said that the site’s creators are female students aiming to provide Tulane women with a safe forum to express themselves.
“Titties at Tulane is a public forum for women to anonymously post pictures of themselves,” said the email, signed by ‘Tits McGee.’ “We believe that women should be confident and comfortable with their bodies, even if they aren’t the idealized images depicted in mass media. T@T gives female students at Tulane the opportunity to proudly show off their bodies and exert their female sexuality in a creative way.”
The site creators said they got the idea from Bard College’s Boobs At Bard. Boobs at Bard features dozens of pages of posts.
A male counterpart to the site, called Cocks on Campus, is another recent creation at Tulane and features several posts of nude male students.
“We are very happy that the Cocks on Campus Tulane edition has finally started,” according to the email. “We encouraged the men of Tulane to create the site when we first started T@T. We hope that CoC will follow in our footsteps and be a safe place for men to post nude pictures without fear of taunting.”
Student reactions to the site varied.
“I can’t imagine that girls are going to go on that website,” said Freshman Monika Cohen, who hadn’t heard of the site. “I don’t think you post things like that on the internet.”
Mary Schippers, director of Tulane’s Woman Studies Program, said the site seemed to perpetuate the view that undergraduate women are sex objects.
“If the creators of the site are really interested in making a feminist statement about women’s bodies or breasts in particular, this seems a very odd way to do it,” Schippers said. “I can’t help wondering if the same sort of sensibility as “Girls Gone Wild” is operating here. It certainly sends a similar message.”
Cohen’s friend, freshman Erin Yastrow, also said that she had never heard of the site and would never post on it.
Sophomore Tory Kane said she knew about the site but was surprised that girls were posting on it.
“I don’t understand why people would feel that compelled to post on it,” Kane said.
Other students said they could understand the site’s value.
“I can see it as independent-minded women expressing themselves,” sophomore Lisa Carbonari said. “I don’t think creepy guys would go on that site just to look at boobs.”
Sophomore Katie Radspinner said she had also heard of the site.
“At least there’s equal opportunity with Cocks on Campus too,” Radspinner said. “Good for women if they’re proud of their bodies, but I think that a lot of girls posting on Titties at Tulane are doing it for attention.”
The site creators said the most important aspect of their website is that it is anonymous and does not allow any negative feedback from viewers.
“We have been asked before if we could start a rating or comparing system for the photos, and we want it to be known that this is not the purpose of the site at all,” according to the email. “We would never support somebody bashing one of the courageous ladies on our site.”
Schippers suggested merging the male and female sites.
“Mix up the cocks and tits so it really does challenge visitors to the site to experience it differently from the overdone trope of Internet porn for straight boys,” Schippers said. “Now that would be feminist.”
The website creators said they were not concerned about university officials shutting down the site and that no harm is meant by it — only free expression.