Forget Facebook. The “Fit Finder” phenomenon has reached Oxford University.
The website www.thefitfinder.co.uk can be used to track down a “fitty” in various locations around Oxford, be it the college bar, library, laundry room or croquet lawns. The gender and hair colour of the fitty can be specified as well as the location.
One post on the “Oxford Fit Feed” sent from “Univ Library” says “Female, Brunette hair. witness the fitness. shame about the big ears.”
Another from “LMH Bar” reads “Female, Brunette hair. I can’t wait to see this one at the Ball on Fri. I see her in the quad a lot. Always in jacky wills. Standard.”
With posts about LMH fitties dominating the Fit Feed, there are so far no fitties listed from Merton and Oriel.
Portia Roelofs, former OUSU Women’s Officer told Cherwell that she did not think the Fit Finder would have a negative impact on female students in the workplace. Roelofs said, “I was interested to see how [Fit Finder] would turn out but it does not seem to be problematic. I don’t think it advocates a derogatory view of women, and I don’t think its an especially priviliged forum that will have much authority on students’ views.
“This website is a trivial and ridiculous caricature of sexism, and does not compare to that which goes on in the wider world.”
The project was launched at UCL by Rich Martell about a week ago. He said, said, “I got the idea after a number of my friends said they text each other when they saw “fittys” in the library at UCL”.
Martell sayd his site was intended “just for a few of us to communicate on throughout the day, however word got out at UCL, and after 2 days of it being online, the UCL one alone had over 25,000 unique users”.
So far, sites exist for six universities: UCL, Imperial, KCL, LSE, Cambridge, and Oxford. Martell is looking to set up sites in a number of other universities, including Nottingham, Reading, Newcastle, SOAS and Durham.