Can men treat any woman this way or only Ines Sainz?

Or only women who look like Ines Sainz? Only women who dress like her?  Or who wear skirts above the knee?  Who wear blouses with three buttons undone?  How about two?  What about women in flip flops? (What if they walked by a man with a foot fetish?!?!)  Women who wear the color red?  Who wear red lipstick?  Tight jeans?  Should they always be one size too big?  And women who have ever worn a bathing suit?  Oh yes, they should definitely be in this category.

Hmmm, anyone else feeling confused?  Should we ask the men of this country to come together and write a manual about exactly how all American women, nay, all women who step foot on American soil, are allowed to dress?  You know, so we don’t turn them on…so that they can be prevented from saying and doing vulgar and offensive things to us…to save them from themselves, if you will.

I have a feeling that many people will disagree with me, but I think that what happened to Ines Sainz, as a reporter and as a woman, was completely wrong and unacceptable.  It does not matter whether or not she presses charges, I believe it was the right thing for others who heard all of the comments to report this incident.

I am also appalled at the overwhelmingly negative response from the media and from individuals…toward Sainz.  I have heard a multitude of excuses for the poor behavior of the players and coach, I have heard even more reasons why this is all Sainz’s fault, I have heard comments that verge on, or blatantly stink of, sexism and racism and have heard plenty of false information (Here’s a hint: Just because two people have the same first name, doesn’t mean they are the same person.  Crazy, huh?)  So, let me, big ol’ important me, go on the record saying that I lay the blame 100% on the players and coach for their actions. Yes, 100%.

I keep hearing that basically ‘she was asking for it’ by dressing too provocatively.  Guess what? If her employer found her clothing too inappropriate it is their place to address it.  If the NFL found it too revealing they should have said something to her when she arrived, privately and with tact.  Under no circumstance is it okay for coaches and players to be the ones to, not only decide what she can and can not wear, but more importantly, how they get to treat her in a work environment.  Listen, personally I am a pretty conservative dresser, but the truth is that it is an individual’s choice how they dress as long as they are not actually revealing sexual body parts in public.  Saying that a woman deserves anything that comes her way because of how she is dressed is a very slippery slope.  Like, covered in baby oil slippery.  Caution.

And I am also so sick of hearing  ‘Boys will be boys. What does she expect while working in a sports environment?’. Well, for starters, I think we all should be able to go to work without expecting things to be THROWN at us for any reason.  And yes, I expect that women should be able to work in any environment without having to endure catcalls and lewd gestures and behavior.  I am aware that these types of things happen all of the time, but that does not make it okay.

Would it be safe to bet that there were a few football players at practice in SPANDEX?   Maybe some players wearing towels in the locker room?  I would also venture to say that many people find professional football players to have nice bodies and be attractive.  And yet, the story is not about her catcalling them.  How ever did she manage to control herself? I mean, if we are all just allowed to do and say whatever we please because we find someone attractive and we can see the shape of their body through their clothing, then go ahead and have the guts to say that is what you believe.   But understand just what kind of world you would be creating.

And this whole,  “Listen, I don’t think sexual harassment is a good thing, but…” or “I am usually all for women’s rights, but…”  line of defense is just so…lame.  There is no place for a “but” in those statements.  You either permit it or you don’t.  You either make inappropriate comments to other people or you don’t.  You either think other people deserve respect or you don’t.  It’s simply about boundaries and self-control.  You don’t need to make it so complicated.
And yes, obviously you’re right that this is so upsetting to me because it hits so close to home.  Do you know how often I find myself dodging footballs while being catcalled because I am so darn gorgeous?  Let’s just say I’ve developed a killer one handed catch.

But in all seriousness, I am so over hearing stories like this about women being treated like objects, especially in a work setting.  And many of the titles and photo captions did not help anything because instead of just reporting on the incident, they put their subjective point of view about her appearance in THE TITLE, for crying out loud!  It doesn’t matter if she is a former Miss Universe, if she has pictures online in a bikini, if her pants were tight or that players were turned on.  I am sorry, it just does not matter. And like I said before, it doesn’t really even matter how offended or uncomfortable she was or whether or not she was actually the one to report the harassment, since she has varied in her description of her level of unease and embarrassment since the story broke.   None of that matters when it comes down to it.

They didn’t have the right to treat her like that.  Period.

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2 Responses to Can men treat any woman this way or only Ines Sainz?

  1. Sing it, sista! I hate the “boys will be boys” saying. I have a son, and bad behavior will not be tolerated because he is a boy. I have friend who totally buys into that way of thinking and excuses all sorts of beahvior because he’s a boy.

    Come to mention it, we really aren’t friends anymore. . .

    AWESOME POST!

  2. Thanks for commenting, MOTS (Hey! Cool acronym!). I agree. I have two sons and we will definitely be teaching them about how to treat all people with respect…amazingly, that INCLUDES women. I mean, who still catcalls in 2010? Losers and trash, that’s who. I will not be raising my sons to be either of those things, thank you very much!

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