Cyberbullying, Fat-Shaming, and Homophobia on Hamptons "Douche Spotter"
The New York Post had a promising story this morning about a Facebook group created by East Hampton locals dedicated to calling out the douchey behavior of the elitest weekenders invading their hometown.
"Facebook page nails Hamptons D-bags for their bad behavior and maddening antics" the headline blared. This is going to be good, we thought, rubbing our hands together in anticipation. (The Today show thought so too--hosts chatted about the Facebook group on the air this morning.)
Outrageous stories of "citidiots" running amok in the Hamptons are some of our favorites. Take the Twitter account @HamptonsBorn, for instance--where East Hampton local and self-described "house watcher" Joe Schwenk catalogs the bizarre requests he fields on a daily basis (ex: "Drive a poodle back to NYC while owners catch a copter ride w/rich friends"). Love it!
But if you were looking for an equally amusing glimpse into life as a Hampton local you'll be disappointed by "Douche spotter." The Facebook group at the center of the Post's story is half cyber-bullying forum, half creep-shot repository--with several dozen photos of legitimately frustrating parking jobs sprinkled in for good measure.
It's hard to tell in most cases what the person pictured did to deserve the brand "douche"--some are ridiculed for having sock tan-lines, others for wearing socks with sandals, and, in one case, for using a motorized scooter. A photo of an old lady walking down the street in the rain is captioned "nice wig douche."
Photos of overweight folks (at the beach, walking down the street, waiting be served at a deli counter) invoke snickering comments. "Break me off a piece of that!" one wrote about the lady at a deli counter. "That was just gross that day...lol," read the caption of the man at the beach. "Back breasts!" howled one person who posted a photo of a heavyset woman's back.
There's some good old-fashioned homophobia, too! "You know your in the hamptons when you see two faggots riding a tandem bike to the beach," wrote one member who posted a cell phone shot of two men on a bike. Another photograph of two men sitting side-by-side carries the comments, "How does he have a gf when he looks like a flammer?!" and "He looks like a fudge packer hahaha fuck this ppl."
Really, New York Post? Really, Today? This is what we're celebrating?
Even members of the group (there were close to 1,000 of them when the Post's story went live, but that number had almost tripled a few hours later) are starting to complain--not that the page's administrator has any time for that.
"This isnt for sensitive, dramatic little crybabies and everybody is free to express themselves so be gone if you cant handle it," James Cuomo wrote on Monday. On Wednesday he added: "This site was to have fun pointing out assholes that think they are better than everyone and can do what they want if you have a problem with it then leave nobody wants to hear you complain."
So, who are the douchebags--the people in the pictures, or the people snapping the photographs surreptitiously from a distance, then posting them on the Internet? Decide for yourself: Facebook.com/groups/douchespotter.