Today: Jun 19, 2024

Let her work, let her dress, let her live

Cassandra Cammarata, Staff Writer-
While Super Bowl X V L created a great, athletically solid, action-packed game, it has come and gone. But there is something about the Super Bowl that is still ruminating in my mouth, and it’s getting more and more sour. Ines Sainz, who last summer encountered sexual harassment while trying to interview players of the New York Jets football team in their locker room, was once again media-stormed at this year’s event for her appearance and seeming “asking for it” aura, as toted in many sports blogs and newspaper columns.

photo courtesy sportsgrid.com

Why must a woman’s dress and level of attractiveness be in any way a part of news coverage, especially if the woman is trying to do her job, which is to be a reporter? And why must people continually harp on the issue, and in turn, demonize the victim when she is the recipient of such lewd leering?
Let’s get one thing straight: Ines Sainz is a sports reporter for TV Azteca. She may have an incredible body, and be unlike what most sports reporters look like (see: white, old males or retired athletes), but that does not allow for the gate of inappropriateness to swing wildly open, cattily picking on her form of dress, and her presentation of herself. Gerry Frahley, Dallas Cowboys beat writer in an interview with the Dallas News was asked what the strangest thing he saw covering the Super Bowl was and he replied, “Ines Sainz dressed like a school girl. The lack of professionalism was astounding.”
I am not even going to detail the outfit, because I think trying to defend something that in the first place should not have to be defended is ludicrous. Sainz was not naked, she was not dressed like a slob; she was dressed how she feels comfortable. Sainz is a woman who does not downplay her physicality, and why should that be an issue, especially at a national event that glorifies and rewards those who have the best athletic physicality?
Sainz should not have to apologize or defend her body, and her choice of clothing. It does not interfere with her mind that is responsible for utilizing her knowledge to attain information for her job as a reporter. Should a woman, regardless or beauty of not, be subjected to the power of the male gaze? The male gaze can strip a woman of her level of comfort with just one glare. Sainz may tote herself as the “hottest reporter in Mexico,” and wear stiletto boots and fancy dresses, but that does in no way mean that she is saying, “I’m a whore,” or “I am asking to be humiliated.” And it certainly should not be constantly itemized and perpetuated in the news.
I can’t help but also comment on the fact that most of the blogs that bash her are sports blogs that are written by men. Many of these blogs have slideshows of Sainz beachside in bikinis with tags such as “Need help with that sunscreen.” The need to oppress the strong power of Sainz, or any woman’s, confidence may be a threat to the prowess that is the masculine identity, especially within the sports realm, whether this is conscious or not.
Sainz said, “Women should be treated professionally, and they deserve to be treated with respect,” in an interview with Fox Sports Online. There is no “but” that should follow this statement, and there certainly should not be called into question whether she should be treated with respect and professionally in lieu of her attire.
Presentation does account for something in this visual world, but I do not ascribe to the ideology that it should interfere with your ability to complete your job. You are a good reporter because you know the arena in which you work, you are savvy, well-informed and determined to pursue the information needed. The sports world is different from that of say, a police beat, but the same level of respect that you would give to a male reporter should be given to a woman. Just because men can’t seem to keep their libido under control should not be reason to vilify a woman just trying to do her job.

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