Oh Jesus tap-dancing Christ ... First of all, let's be transparent. I'm not in a position to speak objectively about this. Sports Media Sister is also the above-quoted president of AWSM. So I take the issue of women reporters being allowed in the locker room personally. Because all those Clinton Portses out there saying women are trying to find a dick they like in the locker room ... yeah, they're talking about my sister. You don't get to do that.
Now that that's out of the way, a couple thoughts:
- Since this story broke on Sept. 11, I've had trouble reconciling things in my mind. My problem has been, frankly, Ines Sainz. As has been noted, she's a reporter who trades on her looks and sexual appeal to get ahead. That's fine. More power to her (I'd argue it's a form of feminism to use your, ahem, assets, to your advantage, but that's probably why I'm not a feminist). So to have someone who has made the choices she's made make the accusations felt ... off? I understand the official AWSM position. Once she's credentialed, game over. Treat her with respect. Hard to argue with that. I guess Sainz just didn't make the best witness for the defense.
- Sainz complains that AWSM just wants attention. Folks, AWSM is an ADVOCACY GROUP! Their job, their mission, is to draw attention to their cause. Their cause, which is promoting women sports writers and making sure they're treated with dignity and respect, is hardly some radical agenda. Of course they're going to draw attention to this.
- Speaking of, Sainz complains about AWSM wanting attention after going on 22 talk shows (her count) about this ... Pot. Kettle.
- One more point on this ... Sainz is the one that drew attention to this herself. She's the one who started the controversy by posting on her Twitter feed that she felt "very uncomfortable." That's how it got picked up online, and how AWSM found out. She called attention to it in the first place. She kept it in the news by going on the talk shows. To suddenly say "oh, this was no big deal, why is this group using this to get attention" ... sorry, doesn't work that way. You can't call the fire department to your house to put out a fire, and then complain that they broke a door putting out the blaze.
- The laughable point is Sainz's money quote, that AWSM is setting back women's reporters 50 years. I'd say that's so laughable that it doesn't deserve a comment ... except for the fact that sports is one of the few places where the "men are men" culture still reigns supreme. Part of the hostility toward women's sports, women's sports reporters, etc., has always been (to me, at least) due to men feeling threatened. "This is our thing! This is the last place men can be men, and how dare you bring your girldom into it." I don't say this as someone trying to be enlightened and sensitive (sorry, Whitlock). I say this as someone who doesn't accept the outdated norms of what it means to be a man. I say this as the soon-to-be-father to a daughter, and I'm grateful that she's going to have the chance to play any sport she wants, cover any sports she wants, if she chooses. I say this as someone who expects to, openly and unabashedly, weep when my daughter's born.
By calling out AWSM, Sainz is the one doing the damage. By trying to distance herself, she's increasing the odds that AWSM gets marginalized. Next time there's a legitimate complaint about locker room harassment and AWSM speaks up, what are the odds you see the reaction among some media members (Whitlock) and fans of "there goes whiny AWSM again, always complaining. Look what they did to that poor Sainz woman. They're just opportunists trying to further their agenda. Women shouldn't be there anyway."
AWSM isn't setting back women's sports reporters 50 years.
Sainz is doing all the damage herself.