I don't generally follow sports too closely because really, I don't care. I root for the 49ers because it would be blasphemous in my house not to. I am a huge Peyton Manning fan because he is hilarious and seems like a decent guy (can you even imagine a headline reading "Peyton Manning Wasted at Nightclub, Shoots Himself in the Leg"? Didn't think so). The fact that he is also a fantastic quarterback is a bonus, as far as I'm concerned. However, since my husband follows the NFL so closely you'd think his life depended on it, every once in awhile an interesting news story comes across my radar. The most recent of such stories involves the Jets and a certain scantily-clad Hispanic news reporter shaking her business in the boys locker room.
I have a few issues with this incident. First, and probably least important, I have a problem with female sports reporters. It could be just the ones on the field (the anchors in the studio don't seem so bad; shout to you, Hannah Storm) and it could be just the NFL ones, but they seriously get on my nerves. I don't know if they are told what to say or not, but they usually end up sounding like idiots and provide no information what-so-ever. "So, Coach, you just lost that game and now you can't go to the Super Bowl. How does that make you feel?" ("Uh, crappy, thanks for mentioning it.") "To our reporter on the field, any updates on the player's injury?" "Yes, he is off the field and its hurts. Back to you in the studio."
Second, and still not most important, why are there reporters in the locker room at all? What is so important that you have to ask a player while he is half naked and trying to get cleaned up after his game? Shouldn't the locker room be a place free from media? Especially if they just lost a game. The locker room should be sacred. I think it is ridiculously inappropriate for women to be in a locker room with naked men and vice versa (which I've been told is accurate; male reporters do go into women's locker rooms for interviews).
But since female sports reporters continue to report and all's fair game in locker rooms across the country, we come across this incident where the Jets were apparently cat calling, whistling and whatnot at TV Azteca reporter Ines Saintz. Set aside the fact that cat calling and whistling is not a turn on (no, men, most women don't actually find that flattering), it probably wasn't appropriate to do. Slap on the wrist, Jets. But here's where I really have a problem. Saintz was dressed like she was expecting those whistles and cat calls. A Google search reveals that her choice of clothing is on most instances this provocative. Let me tell you, a woman always knows how she is dressing and there is almost always a reason behind it. Ms. Saintz thinks she's hot stuff and she dresses that way. She likes the attention her low cut, tight fitting clothes bring her or she wouldn't dress that way. It is as simple as that.
A lot of female bloggers and columnists have come out saying she should be able to dress how she wants and not get objectified, but the truth of the matter is, she is a professional and she should dress that way. If she honestly wants people to take her seriously, she shouldn't dress like she is going out to a night club. I'm not saying she needs to be a prude or anything, but there has to be some middle ground before you get to skanky, right? I don't know what kind of reporter she is, but when you do a Google search for her, one of the first results is "Photos at SidelineHotties.com." I don't know about you, but I'd rather be known for the quality of my reporting, not the firmness of my ass.
I don't have a daughter, but it is stories like this that terrify me if I ever do. I can teach my son to treat women well and hopefully he will. It seems harder to teach girls to value themselves, to undo all the negativity that is thrown their way. They are constantly being told what is and isn't beautiful and how they better measure up. I can honestly tell you that I didn't feel like I measured up even a little bit until I was 20 years old. Even still, I have those moments. I think we all do.
It seems to me that this reporter feels she has to show off her assets in order to get ahead. Its sad that she feels that way and its sad that many girls will emulate that. I think it is important to take of yourself and it is OK to be concerned with how you look, in fact I think you should be; you should want to look presentable. But you can't make it everything. I don't consider myself a feminist in anyway, but the way Ms. Saintz presents herself seems like a huge step back for women in general.
If you have confidence and show it, you don't need to "let the girls out" to make your way in the world. Men won't respect you and women won't respect you. As parents, that is what we need to teach our girls.