5. Workplace Sexual Harassment: Reporter Edition.
Dude 101: girls have cooties and they can’t take a joke. Class dismissed! OK, OK as absurd as it sounds, this lesson from the playground actually manages to extend into real life, especially, it seems, for dudes in the sport industry. Take, for example, this week’s story of Australian reporter Mel McLaughlin who was sexually harassed on camera by famous Cricket player Chris Gayle--who then claimed his comments were meant as a “simple joke” that was “blown out of proportion,” AND who has sexually harassed other reporters in the past. Let’s be real for a sec: in general, reporters and journalists who are women already have a tough time overcoming sexist standards from TV networks and the like, but sport reporters more specifically (who are entering one of the most masculine-dominated industries worldwide) have an extra hurdle to clear. Not only are women who report on sports subject to sexual harassment (or worse) from players, coaches, and fans--but women also don’t have many co-workers to lean on for support and solidarity since, more often than not, they are working alongside a majority of men. This was made clear after Gayle’s comments when the commentators for the station began laughing, minimizing the situation, and tweeting about how McLaughlin’s on-camera humiliation was “smooth.” Ouch. Not smooth.
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