Media promoting victim blaming

I’m really troubled by the way the media is handling the Ines Sainz debacle.

Reportedly, Sainz entered the New York Jets locker room after the game with other sports reporters only to be cat-called and sexually harassed. For the record, Sainz is not the one who reported the incident.

Thankfully, Jets owner Woody Johnson “stressed to Ines that he expects all members of the Jets organization to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times.”

(As a sidenote, I feel it’s inappropriate to be in a locker room after the game where players are naked. As a former athlete, time in the locker room, and after the game, should be private without the thought of reporters and others.)

Now the media (Joy Behar – since when is this woman a journalist?) is asking if her choice of clothing, including low-cut tops, short skirts and tight jeans – perhaps a little revealing for American audiences, but hey, she’s from Mexico – invited the incident.

This is just one form of victim blaming. To say that Sainz’s tight jeans make it okay for men to yell inappropriate things at her is to say that men are allowed to throw professionalism out the window and act like animals if the clothing prompts it. This is a cop out.

If she had been touched by these men, I assume many might change their tune. But there should not be a difference. What the men did was wrong. It infringed upon her rights – words can be just as damaging as physical contact. There’s a reason sexual harassment will get you fired from a job.

Sainz allegedly calls herself the sexiest sports reporter in Mexico, or something to that effect.

Good for her. Women should be allowed to declare themselves sexy and embrace their sexuality without retaliation. It was a comment about herself, not an invitation for comment from others.

I suppose the thing that bothers me the most is that by questioning Sainz, the media is setting an example for media consumers. Young men might see the way players treated Sainz and assume it’s ok to react similarly to women in their own lives – women who are our friends, sisters, wives and mothers – because after all, they asked for it simply by being beautiful and being proud of who they are.

Athletes are still the role models youth look up to. Is this the example we want to set?

The Naysayers

I don’t know if there’s been more bad press about my generation lately or if I’ve just been noticing it more.

1. I’m a Millennial. Our votes elected Obama, we grew up with the Internet, we don’t use landlines, our parents are divorced and texting is our language. We grew up in a post-9/11 world. Most of all, we have the most to say, mainly because we’ve always had the venue to do so. According to a Pew Research Center, I score a 93 on the “How Millennial Are You?” quiz, meaning I’m pretty much the poster child for the generation.

Some writers and experts are saying our tech literacy makes us impersonal, and we are self-absorbed with our “me, me, me” outlook, entitlement and poor work ethic. To that, I snub my nose. My generation thinks critically, volunteers and values relationships that we maintain through technology. Our top priorities are being good parents and having a successful marriage, something most of our parents failed to do.

2. College was not a waste of time, HuffPost College, and your slide show (Notice how HuffPost is so into slide shows because it gets more clicks and, thus, revenue. The money grubbers often use slide shows when it doesn’t serve the purpose of the story, just for this reason.) about how my people are more or less screwed, was pointless and offered no solutions (to this, @HuffPostCollege tells me they’re “just  reporting the news”). I defer to a blog I read yesterday, which I could’ve written, it so accurately describes how I feel. Our generation will be ok. Yeah, we’re out of work (thanks to generations BEFORE us who played with the economy like it was Monopoly money). But we have a lot going for us. We’re in debt, but college was about more than a step on the quest to make money. I made lifelong friendships, I matured, I had amazing experiences that my non-college colleagues didn’t have.

So stop hating on my generation, man.

Welcome to the 21st century

In the past few days, three big things happened in the world of media, IMHO, and they caught my eye, mainly because I wouldn’t mind participating in any of them.

1) The launch of TBD.com. In the spring, I made a trip to WJLA-TV, the D.C. ABC affiliate and the mastermind behind this hyperlocal journalistic venture. They were still conceptualizing the site (apparently this took longer than they had planned since it was supposed to launch June 1 and it’s now August), and I admit I totally didn’t envision what they were talking about. Groupon deals, snazzy multi-media content, traffic updates, an entertainment calendar, edgy reporters like Amanda Hess. This would be one-stop shopping for me if I lived in D.C. I really think this thing is going to take off like gangbusters and prove that there is money in local reporting. And I hope similar sites pick up in other cities (like, Chicago, and, hey, they could hire me!). Love love love.

2) The first MTV TJ. MTV decided to put a person on the front of its social media efforts, enter “Gabifresh.” She’s a bubbly, plus-sized fashionista from Chicago, and while I didn’t follow the competition to crown the first TJ, I’m glad someone like her won and not some jerk who wears Ed Hardy or a Lilo wannabe with a spray tan. While still a small percentage of the populace uses Twitter, I’m sure this competition alone made many more 18-24 year-olds join the Twitterverse. As someone who loves “the Twitter,” as one of my blogger colleagues calls it, this is really exciting. Companies realize the value of social media to the extent that they’re launching entire campaigns around it. Having the mega-brand MTV behind it looks promising. And based on the competition, hopefully people learned you are only interesting on Twitter when you’re posting interesting things, engaging with an audience, and *gasp* being interesting. NOT tweeting that you ate a ham sandwich.

3) BlogHer2010. It’s the largest gathering of female bloggers, perchance in the world. I saw a headline that I think summed it up perfectly “Women: the 5G Network.” Women are the ones putting out great content on fashion, being a mom, marriage, sex, budgeting your money. And advertisers are taking notice! Last year’s FCC mandate that bloggers state whether a product they’re reviewing was given to them by the manufacturer was, in part, caused by the huge power that these women wield. Power to the people female, peeps!

That is all.