Friday, September 24, 2010

This made me angry.

Surely the rest of the world has heard of the woman reporter on the sidelines of the NY Jets who was "hooted and hollared at" by players.


When I first saw the news report, I thought, "Oh brother, here we go."

I managed to not get upset about this until a former colleague of mine who now resides and teaches in another state posted as his facebook status a very chauvenistic comment about this female reporter.  Male friends then began posting even more disturbing comments "what those players were saying was nothing compared to what I was thinking at home"
I could almost visualize them punching one another and laughing
"Huh, huh, huh,"
Essentially the male consensus (and a few female commenters) was that if she chose to stand on the sidelines dressed provocatively, then boys will be boys.
She shouldn't complain because "She asked for it."

Now, first, let me say this. 
I've seen the pictures. 

I personally would not choose to wear what she wore on those sidelines.
(I wouldn't look like this in this outfit to begin with :)

However, what I would have worn on the sidelines or what I or anyone else deems provocative or inappropriate is not the point.
"She asked for it" is the point.

Ever heard that before?

That's what bothers me about this particular situation.

How exactly did she ask for it?

It has to do with objectification.
 
Do we all not get up in the morning and dress in our best, put on makeup, exercise, eat right, and hope (consciously or unconsciously) that the opposite sex finds us attractive. 
Most of us do.
Are we asking for it?
 
Hell no.
 
Are we taught from birth to dress in pretty dresses and show off our hips, dance around, wear high heels like Cinderella?
Look at the Disney princesses in their tight bodices showing off their cleavage.
If I had cleavage, I would probably show it off.
Are we asking for it??
 
NO.
 
Are young women who go to bars, have a few drinks, dance and have a good time "asking for it"?
 
NO.
 
Why is it so hard for some people to imagine that a woman might just want to go to a bar, have a few drinks, dance and have a good time??
 
Date rape statistics are steadily growing because of this very common misunderstanding between men and women.
 
Don't get me wrong here; I'm no man hater.
I am thankful for the differences in men and women.
What a boring world this would be if there were no differences in men and women!

BUT

Just because a man is a man doesn't mean that he should be able to act any way he pleases towards a woman...or anyone else for that matter.
I ought not to have to teach my daughters that there is a world out there waiting to take advantage of them.
But, I do.
Young men need to be taught that unless a woman specifically asks for it, she ain't askin' for it!!
The bottom line is no matter what our personal individual opinions are of the woman reporter (or any other woman or man, for that matter), she has the right to do her job without being objectified, no matter which outfit she picks out that day.
I would be saying the same thing if she walked into the Jets locker room and starting slapping towel wrapped butts.

Is there a dress code for women reporters in the NFL?
Until the players are required to wear baggy pants, there better not be.