There’s so much stupid to go around onthis Ines Sainz thing
I almost don’t know where to start.
First, no one deserves to be harassed at work, regardless of
who you are or where you work. The situation noted here in which several NY Jet
players made “inappropriate” (the word that works like paint primer: it covers
everything and yet is perfectly bland) comments regarding Sainz is strange, in
that Sainz seems unfazed by all of this. She didn’t complain to the Jets. It
was another reporter who was disturbed on her behalf. (There’s another whole
riff here about minding your own damned business and those people who like to
be insulted on behalf of people not like them, but that’s for another time.)
The sad thing is that this kind of behavior isn’t new. It
isn’t shocking. It isn’t good, either. However, women have faced problems like
these for years. When many overpaid, oversexed, overly crude athletes see a
woman enter “their area,” they just assume someone sent over a sexual gift
basket. However, they’re not much better with men.
The Ryan Leaf interview is just one of many in which a
spoiled brat takes out his frustrations on an ink-stained wretch. In his book,
The Curse of Rocky Colavito, Terry Pluto described his days covering the
Cleveland Indians as some of his worst in sports. Players would curse at him,
prank him and steal his computer bag. It’s not like anyone was thinking, “Hmm…
Pluto… Gotta get me a piece of that…”
Second, the women I know who are journalists are the ones
who REALLY hate this situation. Whilemen are writing columns anddoing a lot
of the handwringing on this, it’s women who have to deal with the fall out.
They’re put in the unenviable position of trying to explain how their lives
work, thus drawing attention to themselves as women journalists, not
journalists who happen to be women.
Even worse, they’re doing it because of someone who I’m sure
many of them privately despise. I’ve know a lot of great, serious female
journalists and nothing tended to piss them off more than the Buffy McTroys who
wear shirts cut as low as their IQs and pants that look like they were put on
with a paint sprayer.
One of my former broadcast kids came back to our lab one
day, many years ago, and she was bitterly complaining about the new columnist
from the Big Local Paper. The columnist had horned in on the interview she set
up with the top recruit, which wasn’t the problem for her. What bothered her
was that the woman showed up to a basketball practice in a micro-mini, heels
that could be used as broadcast antennae and a shirt that revealed far more
than her stories. The kid was also bugged that the woman practically climbed
into the recruit’s lap and picked at his hair, noting, “Oh my GOD! I totally
love your hair! Is that, like, frosted?”
Sainz was well known for her “bicep measuring” stories and
the photos of her in bikinis. If you do an image search for Sainz, seven of the
first eight photos are shots of her ass. Something tells me Sally Jenkins and
Lisa Olson don’t like being lumped in with this reporter.
Third, and perhaps most revealing, you’ve got Clinton Portis saying what we all know that most of these guys are thinking but
were able to keep quiet about. If you want to understand the mind of a “generic
male,” here’s your Rosetta Stone:
“I mean, you put a woman and you give her a choice of 53
athletes, somebody got to be appealing to her. You know, somebody got to spark
her interest, or she’s gonna want somebody. I don’t know what kind of woman
won’t, if you get to go and look at 53 men’s packages. And you’re just sitting
here saying, ‘Oh, none of this is attractive to me.’ I know you’re doing a job,
but at the same time, the same way I’m gonna cut my eye if I see somebody worth
talking to, I’m sure they do the same thing.”
Most of the MSM turned “packages” into “bodies” which
changes the meaning entirely in my mind. Portis’s underlying assumption is
basically that when a woman walks into a locker room to do her job, all she
sees is a giant dick buffet. And in Portis’s mind, that’s cool because he
probably figures every woman wants to see his. He’s hot, he’s rich and he
probably is pretty proud of his Charley Lowswinger, so he probably figures
everyone else should be as interested in what he’s got.
As several women have pointed out to me in various contexts,
the male genitalia isn’t exactly a thing of beauty. And, as I’m sure several
others will attest to, women tend to be a little more interested in other male
attributes than the “girthy” nature of a dude’s member. I don’t remember seeing
a tape measure among the blush, lipstick and concealer in The Missus’ make-up
kit while we were dating. I also don’t see a lot of “How to scope out and
accurately measure a guy’s cock” headlines on the cover of women’s magazines.
Portis’ comments reveal two deeper truths: 1) people can be
ego-centric assholes, especially when plied with enough money, youth and
attention. 2) women have a much longer way to go when it comes to achieving
basic human dignity than most of us wish they did.