Re: It is what it is when you wear what you wear
I am really quite appalled at the ignorance of the main issue at hand in your post. Your post, and some of the comments follow this line of reasoning: what she was wearing was clearly inappropriate for work, and guys will be guys, so it really wasn’t unexpected…… [and as an afterthought] oh but harassment is wrong. This logic is exemplified perfectly in your post:
“I am not condoning any harassment here what so ever because it’s never ok but it is what it is when you wear what you wear. It’s like me leaving the house with major cleavage showing a skirt so short you can almost see my butt and heels and then being absolutely appalled and disgusted when I get whistled at or comments are made walking down the street. Men are men and the way they think will never change..it’s in their make up. If you don’t want to be harassed, whistled at, comments made then cover up your body and quit letting it all hang out while you are doing your JOB. Save your skimpy stuff for the club.”
SERIOUSLY??? This is exactly the type of thinking that is so dangerous for our society. But before I get into the broader issues at hand, lets first address the Ines Sainz situation. Check out this article, that also contains the Today Show interview.
A couple of things to point out. Sainz posted on her twitter, “I am dying of embarrassment. I am in the Jets locker room waiting for [quarterback] Mark Sanchez, while trying not to look anywhere!” But the article and interview make it clear that it was not Sainz that initiated the NFL probe. She was approached by another female reporter in the locker room, and it seem she or someone else who witnessed what was happening, informed the Association for Women in Sports Media, which encouraged the NFL probe.
“I’m not the one who [made] the charge,” Sainz said. When the NFL and Johnson called her Sunday to apologize and tell her that an investigation had been opened, Sainz said she didn’t know what they were talking about.
Asked if she now considered that she’d been sexually harassed, Sainz replied, “I prefer that the NFL judge. They have all my tapes.
So it is not exactly clear what happened and if the Jets are guilty of any wrongdoing. Buts lets assume for argument’s sake that she was harassed with catcalls and whistles, which made her uncomfortable while she was trying to do her job.
There are a couple of separate issues in the Sainz case: 1) Was what she was wearing inappropriate for work? Yes, I think everyone can agree on that, except for her (and her employer?). Does it matter that she does not want to change the way she dresses? No, because she is not breaking any rules, unless they invoke an official dress code for reporters. Issues of dress codes and appropriate attire for work are a whole SEPARATE issue and should not even be mentioned in the same sentence as harassment, as it implies cause and effect. The fact is, the Constitution protects freedom of expression, so long as no one is harmed and she is not breaking any obscenity laws. She was not harming anyone with her attire, nor breaking any rules. And obscene? I don’t think anyone would argue that.
2) Was the Jets players’ behavior expected? Yes and no. (Some) guys will be guys. Apparently, Mark Sanchez was a complete gentleman with her, so not all guys act like pigs. I cannot imagine any of my close guy friends ever hollering at the reporter or making her feel uncomfortable either. I think it comes down to how you are raised, and the environment you live in. Parents should raise their kids to treat women with respect. Employers should make sure they train employees to act appropriately on the job and that they do not encourage such behavior, as I believe the NFL is currently making sure they do in this case. But lets face it, professional sports culture in general does in many ways encourage this type of behavior, regardless of what the suits say.
3) Should this type of behavior be tolerated? No. Guys will be guys is not a good enough justification for such inappropriate behavior. We should expect more from men because they are NOT animals (lets not get technical on this). If they were, we’d be ok with them humping lamp posts and such just like our pets! Yes, all humans may have instinctual desires, but what differentiates us from other animals is that we have the conscience and ability to control them. These “primitive” instincts are harmful for the well-being of the human community, because in this case they can cause harm to women, which is why there are laws and rules against it.
4) Was Sainz asking for it? OF COURSE NOT! Anyone heard of blaming the victim? This is the biggest problem I had with your post and some of the comments on your post. What really upset me was that Sainz felt the need to defend what she wearing by posting a picture of it on twitter. Fanhouse.com columnist Kevin Blackistone says it best when he opined that sexual harassment protection “doesn’t shrink with the fit of jeans or disappear with the height of a hemline. Women in journalism, or any line of work, shouldn’t be subjected to … sexual innuendo for any reason.” To even add a “but”, as in “sexual harassment is wrong, but look at her outfit, she was asking for it!” is WRONG and such a dangerous argument, especially when it is used to mitigate cases of violence and rape!
The double standard is clearer when we look at how we deal with other types of crime. Remember the recent the fight at the US Open? Most people can agree that while the young man was acting like a douchebag, the two older people who physically hit him, had no right to do so. The crime the two people committed against him is no less wrong because of his doucheyness. This reasoning should be expanded to harassment or violence towards women too! Instead, with violence towards women, it is usually insinuated, as it is in the Sainz case, that she was asking for it! The fact that so much of your post, and the comments focus on what she was wearing, instead of what actually happened, proves that. Lets focus on what really matters,the behavior of the players and if any laws or rules of conduct were broken!!!!
In my mid twenties and living in Manhattan, I love getting dressed up for a night on the town. I, like most young women, have experienced looks and catcalls from guys. In some cases, even sexual advances. But my wardrobe usually consists of a more-demure-than-my-peers Anthropologie dress. So I feel that regardless of what I wear, I will still get harassed by guys. Should I walk around in a Burka? Of course not. Is it my fault? No! These guys have no manners and no restraint and it makes me feel so uncomfortable. But it isn’t my fault! There are some people who may even feel that what I wear is scandalous… but where do we draw the line between acceptable and slutty? All of this judging what a woman wears focuses too much on subjective matters, when the issue at hand is the harassment!
So while I appreciate your post because it has started a very important, open dialogue about women’s rights and crimes against women, I hope that you can see how your post perpetuates some very dangerous attitudes towards women.
Fnkybee and all of her supporters have based their argument on the fact that she loves this attention and brought it all on herself. I quote Fnkybee:
“It’s a shame that she is going to make such a fuss out of all this and the Jets are going to have the spotlight on them and most likely be reprimanded when all of this was brought on by her and the choices she made before walking out on the field or into the locker room.”
Well it’s clear from the news reports that she wasn’t the one that initiated the probe, and didn’t even realize anything was wrong until another reporter pointed it out. She she was embarrassed about it, but OK with it because she was trying to ignore it. It wasn’t until after she heard the tapes that she realized some of the things that were being said to her weren’t right. As for her rounds on the talk shows, ya I’m sure she loves the publicity, but she wasn’t the one who initially brought it on, so it wasn’t some sort of master plan of her as some of you believe! And believe it or not, she does have the right to stand up for herself and explain what happened when things like this get to the media (and she wasn’t the one who started this whole thing in the first place, as I keep trying to point out!).
Also, I should point out that no one knows exactly what happened or the severity of what happened. Apparently Fnkybee has the inside scoop because, as she states in her comments, “In my book what happened is not harassment, so I agree with you. I’m not a fan of the Jets either but on this one I am.” In your book, what book? I’m so confused, the articles don’t even make it clear enough for anyone to make a conclusion. I have not taken sides, because for all I know the Jets could be completely innocent. In my arguments above, I am assuming that there was some sort of harassment involved, not because I think the Jets are guilty in this situation, but I am just trying to show that this attitude towards women puts us on a slippery slope when dealing with other potentially more serious, but related, issues. Yes, catcalls and whistling are related to, and can escalate to harassment and violence and rape. I have experienced the situation at least twice (if not more) where a guy/a group of guys will be calling out things to me, then follow me around and then grab my arm or aggressively grab me from behind to dance with me, even when I have already expressed no interest. Luckily I had guy friends with me who stopped this situation from escalating both times. No reasonable, American would say I dress slutty, but if the courts followed the reasoning Fnkybee and others follow, they would be analyzing what I wore and if “it is what it is when I wear what I wear”. And who knows, maybe the judge would think Anthropologie dresses are slutty…And even the guilty party could say “well I’m a guy, and she was dressed in a manner that suggested she wanted it!” My point is that while I agree that Sainz does not dress appropriately for a reporter in America, that does not justify immature behavior from the Jets. There should be no “buts” about it. Ever. If we allow anyone to use the excuse “but I’m a guy, and boys will be boys,” then it sets a dangerous precedent for other related situations. Those who disagree with the Fnkybee aren’t reading too much into it, or making a big deal out of “a thought or opinion from a girl drinking her coffee at 7am…” Fnkybee, your points are very clear, as I state at the beginning of my response.