Friday, September 17, 2010

Harassed?

If you have been watching ESPN this week, and I know some of you have, you've seen the story. C'mon, I can't be the only woman who catches Sportscenter on a regular basis, right? Right?!?!

There is a female sportscaster named Inez Sainz, who is claiming to have been harassed by the players of the New York Jets. She alleges that they were throwing balls in her direction intentionally at practice, and that there were inappropriate comments made when she was in the locker room after a game.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/commentary/news/story?page=hill/100914

Wait a minute.

I'm a progressive woman. I'm a modern woman. I believe in equality. I believe in fairness. I also think that women are a valuable part of the sports reporting industry, perhaps because they can offer a different perspective.

But in the locker room? I don't think so.

Entertain, just for a second, the idea that the roles were reversed here. That a male reporter had been granted access to a women's professional team locker room. He chose to wear clothing that was snug and showed off his assets instead of a suit. He chose to flirt with the players as a routine way of interviewing. Then, one day, he claimed that they said inappropriate things.

Sounds pretty ridiculous, right?

Mostly it sounds ridiculous because a man would never be allowed in a women's locker room for interviews post game when the players are walking around naked. It just wouldn't happen. Period.

Truth is, she is beautiful. It's not her fault, and she shouldn't be punished for that. That's precisely how she got where she is...her looks. Last time I checked, men tend to like looking at beautiful women.

Truth is, she dresses completely inappropriately. She looks more like she is headed to a party or a club than like she is working in any professional capacity. That, she definitely has control over. However, she has chosen to dress that way, and her employer hasn't stepped in and required more professional attire. Presumably because it makes the players more likely to talk to her. Again, men like beautiful women. And men especially like beautiful women wearing tight clothes and showing cleavage.

That's just the way it is.

She has used her appearance and style of dress to advance her career, but now has decided to cry foul when it got her too much attention. I'm just having a hard time getting behind her on this one.

It's hard to take someone seriously when they are making an argument for professionalism while wearing a midriff baring shirt.

I don't think women belong in men's locker rooms, just like I don't think men should be in women's locker rooms. Sorry, call me a prude if you will, but that is just my opinion. There are just boundaries that shouldn't be crossed.

Women cannot demand equality in one hand, then refuse it on the other. We can't say you have to let us go here, but you aren't allowed the same privilege of access. It just doesn't work for me.

There is an argument to be made that women like her aren't advancing women's equality at all, in fact they may be only serving to prove the point that there are indeed places that a woman should not work.

And maybe this is one of them.

2 comments:

  1. Hmmm. I am more of the opinion that the reaction to this non-essential-event is the real story. First, the facts are not all that clear. What was really said/done? Who really complained, did she or did another reporter file a complaint on her behalf? Regardless of the true foundation of facts: there is no excuse whatsoever for grown men to act like 14 year olds, regardless of what she is wearing. Aren't they supposed to act professional as well? I guess it is OK for them to throw footballs at their cheerleaders - because - hey - look at what they are wearing! What about the professionalism of properly-dressed, sex-addled male "journalists" who constantly make the story about her and her clothing instead of just reporting the facts of what happened? Why can't they take their eyes of her clothing? Why are they throwing footballs of judgement at her - giving the story more publicity than it ever deserved?

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  2. All valid points Dave. I don't think anyone really was ever clear about what the accusations actually are and who is making them. And really, in some ways it does seem like an excuse to just keep showing pictures of her. I don't condone anything that the players allegedly did in the least, as I don't buy the "she was asking for it" argument. But, I think this story points out how much more women use their sexuality to get what they want. And how much more they are permitted to do that.

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