Christine, Wondering

Random Musings of a Human Becoming

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Suffragettes Would Be Appalled.

This past week, a member of Australia's cricket team flew home from an international engagement to be with his fiancee, who had been the victim of truly gross sexual harassment: a high-profile footballer had released naked images of her to the media without her consent.

This is disgusting enough by itself.

But what really has me up in arms is the media and public reaction to this foul breach of trust, etiquette and decency.

The magazines asked whether the woman was "Villain or Victim?!".

People joined facebook groups labelled "[Her name], stop messing up the cricket!" and "[Her name], get off the news, no one cares", and trivialised the whole thing by becoming fans of "I hate when [footballer] releases naked photos of me too".


And even more nauseating? At least half of the people I saw joining these groups were women. Some too young to have experienced the breadth and depth of society's sexism, but others who should be old enough to know better.

Let us be very clear on something here, for all those who seem to have missed the clueboat: IT IS NEVER, EVER ACCEPTABLE TO RELEASE NAKED PICTURES OF SOMEONE WITHOUT THEIR CONSENT.


It doesn't matter who they are, where they've been, who they're with. IT IS NOT OKAY.

It doesn't matter what they've done or whether they should have been where they were when the photo was taken.



And all of this fallout - the blaming of the victim, the trivialising of the crime, all of it - has one purpose. Maintain the patriarchal system, minimise the rights and needs of women, reinforce the ideal that women are objects not people.

Think I'm overdramatising? I'm not. Think I'm dragging feminism into a bit of harmless fun? Think again. This is all about feminism, and it strikes at the very core of EVERYTHING that women over the past two centuries have been striving to achieve. Every time you blame a woman for sexual harassment perpetrated by a man, you are taking an incy wincy little step back towards the "sex objects or mothers, nothing else" spectrum of womanhood. Every time. How close are you now? How many steps have you taken in that direction?

Does it worry you?

It should.

So get the hell out of those stupid groups and HOPE LIKE HELL that this degrading, objectifying experience never happens to you. Male or female.


It worries the hell out of me. Most of the comments I read on news sites were along the lines of "karma, baby" and "she deserves it because he was married" (um, someone clearly forgot to remind the married footballer that he was married), and "so what? She models swimwear so it's not like we haven't seen her body". Then that leading cricket commentator said she's "not good enough" for a cricketer. That a good cricket wife is seen, never heard, and quietly raises the cricketer's offspring behind the scenes. Someone pass me a bucket, I think I'm going to vomit up all of the gains in sexual equality made over the last three decades.
Oops, that should be gender equality.
I like this posting very much.

Very well written, and points well made.

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