Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Where is the line drawn between Provocative and Attractive attire?

I was reading today about the Ines Sainz sexual harassment investigation into how the Jets, an NFL football team, treated her at one of their practices and within their team locker room. You can read and see the Today Show interview here. As I read the story I initially felt here we go again. Lets blame the victim for being a woman in a man's role and point a finger of responsibility at her because of what she was wearing and how she carried herself during the sporting events which she covers.

Before I go any further I want to plainly and clearly state that I do not believe that a women's dress, attitude, and/or appearance gives any person the right to sexually harass or that the above gives the harasser an excuse to why they felt the need/right to sexually harass someone.

That being said within the interview on the Today Show, Ms. Sainz discussed the line between provocative and attractive attire. I understood her point that she is a beautiful woman and wants to feel beautiful maybe even sexy. Additionally, her culture celebrates and romanticise sensuality, which is why I understand that her dress is a bit more sexy then the average female sports reporter and on her TV stations website which you can browse here show her as a very sexy and beautiful reporter for their station.

Lets be honest sex sells and I don't doubt that her "sex appeal" is one of the reasons she is able to report on the many male sports and be granted exclusive interviews with male athletes...

But as she was continuing with the interview, which she is very well spoken and poised that I have no doubts of her talent, she was describing herself as wanting to simply be attractive and that her dress did not and should not be considered provocative. Again, I am not pointing the finger at the victim no one I mean no one deserves to be harassed for who they are, there appearance, clothing style etc...

But I am wondering as women where do we draw the line and say you have taken your "attractiveness" too far and now you have moved into the realm of using your sex appeal as provocative and a tool to get a head. The lines are now blurred, when is flirty okay and when does it cross the line? Trust me I understand that harassment is mainly in the eye of the beholder but if the signals being sent out are all over the place how are we supposed to define where the line is and if we have crossed it. If we as women say that it is okay for us to be provocative and sexy to get a head, but then say don't define us by that same tool are we not confusing the lines as well? Its like think of me as sexy so I can sell my brand, but don't really think about it...

As women I want to know that I can be anything that a man can be, but what if along the way we sell ourselves out as a gimmick?!?

What is provocative and what is attractive? Do we as women have a responsibility to define and distinguish? Are we being used as gimmicks in male dominated industries?

Here are two pictures from Ines' TV station website (link) which she says is simply being "attractive":

I chose this photo because it was least sexy (by my interpretation) of the photos presented of her on her TV stations website.

I chose this photo because it represented the most sexy (by my interpretation) of the photos presented of her on her TV stations website.

Ines Sainz is beautiful (and of course I myself would love to have a body like hers) but has she become a stereotype, a gimmick, has her desire to be sexy/attractive and sexualized by her station and the media hurt all the young females who desire to also become sports reporters? What do you think? How do we protect what is beautiful and sexy about being a woman without playing into the visual media world we live in? Do we as women have a responsibility? Does Ines have a responsibility?


Andrew Marin said...

Wow! Preach that Brenda. Thanks for always keeping it real.

Turtle Woman said...

I don't get this stuff, don't get why women buy all this stuff. We have to post dress codes periodically at our company, because people (including men who come in with shorts, sandles etc.) don't know how to dress for work I guess.

Who owns the fashion industry, who controls the media images, who manufactures these images of women?

Always the radical feminist, I really don't know why women so degrade themselves with this junk.