Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What century do we live in, again?

I don't follow football, so this particular controversy is coming to me second-hand.  I know of it because I've heard it talked about on the radio today.

Apparently, a female reporter named Ines Sainz was harassed (to whatever extent) by some NY Jets football players.  Both the reporter and the team seem to agree it wasn't a huge deal, but it was apparently bad enough that the team owner called her after the incident(s?) to apologize.  As she is satisfied by that outcome, I won't offer commentary on it.

This is what bugs me:  This woman is being judged based on how she's dressed.  I've seen pictures of her; they adorn virtually every story about the apparent harassment.  Seems that, if you wear tight pants, you're just asking for it.

REALLY?  We're still there, as a society?

What's next, saying a woman can't be raped because she's wearing 'skinny' jeans?  Oh, wait.

Let me be clear: What a woman is wearing has nothing to do with whether she can be a victim of sexual harassment.  Period.  Should you, as a woman, expect to be looked at if you're reasonably attractive and wearing flattering clothing?  Yes.  Does that mean that supposed professional men should be able to make catcalls and (according to some accounts) crude gestures toward you?  No.  Does it mean that other female journalists should jump your ass for how you're dressed? Are you fucking kidding me?

Do we need to start issuing burqas on the sidelines?  Or maybe, just maybe, we can expect professional behavior from everyone involved. 


Charlene said...

Women should and do deserve the respect of all civilized people, no matter how they choose to dress. I'm assuming they are dressed.

The thing is, if a man is acting like an asshat making remarks and gesturing profanly at a woman when the woman turns the tables on him, he slinks away like a whimpring dog. Those kind of men want the woman to accept their role as a victim.

Albatross said...

The problem is that women sometimes dress like that specifically to manipulate men to their ends. Wouldn't surprise me a bit if that reporter admitted that her wardrobe got her better interviews than her less-sexily-dressed compatriots.

She knows what she is doing.

suz said...

NOTHING justifies harassment. However, dressing professionally IS "professional behavior." Dressing for a party doesn't lend credibility to a journalist who is not reporting on a party. She has the credentials to demand to be TREATED as a serious journalist, but if she doesn't behave like one, she cannot expect anyone to THINK of her as a professional. An since her "unprofessional behavior" was a public act, there is nothing wrong with her colleagues publicly criticizing her for it.

suz said...

OK. while I'm at it I might as well go the rest of the way. The "skinny jeans" rape defense had NOTHING to do with the presumably provocative nature of her clothes. The article stated that the jury acquitted based on the belief that the jeans were too difficult too remove without the wearer's assistance. That doesn't mean she didn't say "no" after her jeans were off. If she did, the prosecution screwed up by not saying so. Maybe the jury was incorrect, but back in prehistoric times, I've worn a few pairs of jeans that were plenty difficult for ANYONE to remove, myself included. This was an "apples to oranges" comparison. Two very different issues.

Charlene said...

So, what is being said is women drive perfectly nice, gentlemen to behave like drooling dogs? Men cannot control their actions or words in the presence of a woman.

So if a woman were kidnapped and stipped naked and left on a city street, she can expect to be raped and abused by all men who happen to be nearby. No man would give her a jacket or blanket and take her to the hospital? If that's true, there is no civility between women and men. It's our personal clothing and professional demeaner that keeps us safe from all men?

Sabra said...

This was an "apples to oranges" comparison. Two very different issues.

Actually, no. The underlying issue is the same: a woman is victimized (although in one case much more horrifically), and rather than concentrating on any offense against her, the focus is instead on the clothing she was wearing.

suz said...

I certainly agree with THAT! Of course the PRESS focuses on the clothing. It's a minor detail, but it's "sensational," and it sells. But it's not just women they do this to. If you listen to talk radio, you know what I mean. They don't discuss serious (boring) problems and serious solutions. They go for the silly hot-button subjects that get people all riled up, blowing little details way out of proportion, because that's where the money is. Not only are women being victimized, the whole country is falling apart. Yet according to the media, the most important issues are: Is the president a socialist, or maybe a Muslim? Is it OK to burn the Koran? Who is sleeping with whom this week? Who didn't pay his/her taxes last year? Seems to me, "What was she wearing?" is business as usual for the media. Nothing against women or victims, just shallow sensationalism across the board - serious underlying issues be damned.