The adventures (and non-adventures) of a marginally seasoned attorney.


Friday, March 13, 2015

I was attacked by an ESPN reporter for wanting equal treatment of women

I don't like the sexualization of women in sports broadcasting. While I have zero issue with beautiful women in the media, I do take issue with them being treated as models or objects instead of sports professionals. I tweeted about this to my followers on twitter, but soon thereafter, a woman who is a complete stranger to me entered the conversation and began to attack me.

Unfortunately, this stranger who attacked me turned out to be an ESPN reporter.

For context, this is the conversation I started with my twitter followers:

I was really pleased that I got feedback from my followers on Twitter, especially men. A lot of people agreed that women should be taken seriously for their work and not presented as models. There was a very good dialogue about women in the profession.

During this conversation, Britt McHenry, who I have since learned is a reporter on ESPN, apparently did a search for her name on twitter. Someone had mentioned her name in the conversation. She came into conversation midstream, and misunderstood the point I was trying to make:

I have no issue with smart, beautiful women whatsoever. I tried to clarify my point. I tried to explain to her that I had no issue with beautiful women in the media; my issue was with women being treated as objects and not professionals. I tried to tell her that, as a woman who is in a male-dominated profession, I, too, have to work hard to gain respect as a professional and not a "pretty girl."

I copy and pasted the definition of sexualization that I found on Wikipedia - basically, people being treated as sex objects - to clarify what my issue was. I had not accused her of anything - in fact, I felt I was supporting her by pointing out that she should be respected for her work and not be objectivied.

She apparently missed the point.

This surprised me. I had tried to clarify, but instead she implied I was unattractive (I don't have that one trait she has, according to her), accused me of being demeaning, and called me "more of a hater than the men themselves."

I posted this out to the world because I was pretty upset:

Which she really took offense to and decided to put me down because I'm not present in the public as much as she is:

And then she got downright mean:

While I was trying to have a discussion about an issue that's important to me, this ESPN reporter took the time to seek me out, put me down for being less in the spotlight than her, and calling me a bitter, unsuccessful hater. I called her out after this for being a bully. I stand by my statement.

I'm very fortunate that I'm confident in myself. Although I have a good job and have happy with my appearance, my success is not defined by my achievements or the attention I get, but rather in the actions I take to help other people live happier, safer, more loving lives. What if instead of being a confident adult, I was a young, insecure girl trying to share my thoughts with others? Her words could have seriously damaged a person. I'm actually grateful that she attacked me and not someone else.

McHenry was smart enough to delete her tweets after the fact. She played nice at the end and said she wished me success, but saving face is not the same as taking responsibility for the actions you've taken or making a sincere apology.

If you would like to piece together the entire conversation, my tweets are still up. I won't apologize for standing up for myself and what I think is right.

McHenry retweeted this after our dialogue:

Ironic, isn't it?