Another week, another ‘thing’ to take up space on the Internet. An Instagram account, @hotdudesreading, is all anyone seems to want to talk about. The account does pretty much what it says on the tin: it’s photos of attractive men on the subway reading books. Some of the men are impeccably dressed. Others are trendily hirsute or faux-shambolic. They all seem oblivious to the camera as they are all deeply focused on their books, unaware of the lustful glances being hurled at them. Some of the comments are hilarious. “This brawny bookworm is too preoccupied with Poe to notice the rumbling of a passing train, or the beating of my tell-tale heart,” reads one. Another is “Ahoy handsome! Just caught a glimpse of this elusive beauty reading Moby Dick in the crowded waters of the L train. There may be other fish in the sea, but this white whale has me hooked.”
At present there are only 13 photos but the account has an incredible 110,000 followers. Okay, so it’s funny, and probably harmless, but I’m going to go ahead and ask the question anyway? Isn’t it sort of creepy? If there was an Instagram feed called Hot Chicks Reading — that had candid photos of women posted without their consent — would it be seen as funny? Also, I notice from some of the photos that the nasty habit of manspreading — which everyone was complaining about just a short while ago — is mysteriously not being remarked on.