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Jason Whitlock: Can a sexist decide when a woman is and isn’t protected from harassment?

October 12, 2010 Leave a comment

In case you don’t know who Jason Whitlock is, he is a former ESPN and Kansas City Star writer who makes a living saying outlandish things because as his profile for FoxSports.com says “Jason Whitlock writes about the sports world from every angle, including those other writers can’t imagine or muster courage to address.” That statement, in it of itself is funny to me; how courageous do you have to be to write about sports? In any case, I read one of Whitlock’s earlier columns that spoke about Ines Sainz, a Mexican sports reporter. Whitlock, being the courageous fellow he is, took the angle that “[Ines Sainz] chooses to flaunt her cleavage and other ass-sets [sic]. She chooses to dress like she’s hitting a single bar. Is she asking to be sexually harassed? No. She’s demanding that men and women take notice of her body. The Jets obliged, inappropriately.” He continues, “Ines Sainz knows what she’s doing. She knows the consequences of her decisions.” In other words, according to Whitlock, Ines Sainz had those cat calls and inappropriate stares coming AND she wanted it!

That is definitely a courageous angle to take. To willingly acknowledge that women who dress provocatively “know the consequences” (i.e., being stared at, whistled at, and perhaps groped a little) of what they are doing says a lot about Whitlock, specifically that he is a sexist columnist. What is more interesting here is not the fact that he’s openly sexist, but that he is also a hypocrite. In less than a month, Whitlock’s opinion went from, Ines Sainz knows the consequences of her decisions (i.e., she had it coming) to saying Jenny Sterger “is a courageous woman” on his Twitter account.

Jenny Sterger is a former FSU cowgirl that can be found nude, semi-nude and half-nude with a quick Google search. That same Google search will show Jenny Sterger dressed as provocatively as Ines Sainz on the Jets sidelines. But somehow Jenny Sterger is different from Ines Sainz in Whitlock’s eyes. Why? That’s a question I asked him and he refused to explain before blocking me on Twitter.  But back to the matter at hand, why is Jenny Sterger any different from Ines Sainz? Whitlock seems to think that “It does not matter that Jenn Sterger’s on-full-display, fake breasts were her only qualification to land a job with the Jets. She should be afforded protection from harassment.” Apparently, Whitlock was part of the hiring process with the Jets when they interviewed Jenny Sterger since he seems to know that her “fake breasts were here only qualification”. Only a sexist like Whitlock could simultaneously defend AND backhand a woman within the same paragraph. Imagine for a second that I wrote this about Whitlock: It does not matter than Whitlock’s sexism is on full display, being black and sexist were his only qualifications to land a job with ESPN. He should still be afforded protection from racism and angry women. How do you think that statement would go over? Not very well. Yet we continue to allow idiots like Whitlock to openly dictate what is and what is not “acceptable” levels of harassment, as if that even exists. Again, are there acceptable levels of racism? No. Harassment is harassment, no matter what level. Sure, sending a picture of your penis to a woman is more serious than whistling and staring at her, but again, they are both still wrong! Is calling an African-American the n-word any less serious than beating that same African-American because of the color of his skin? Of course not!  There are levels of wrongness with sexism and racism, but wrong is wrong. Racism is racism no matter what the act, just as sexism and harassment do not change based on the act committed. So to dismiss one harassment claim as “she had it coming” while offering backhanded protection to another harassment claim is hypocritical and in Whitlock’s case, cowardly.

Which brings me full circle. Why did Whitlock really draw a line in the sand between Ines Sainz and Jenny Sterger? Why would one woman deserve protection from harassment over the other? It’s a lot easier to explain than I initially imagined. Take his quote about Ines Sainz and replace it with Jenny Sterger’s situation. It would read something like this: Jenny Sterger demanded that men and women take notice of her body. Brett Favre obliged, inappropriately. Sounds really harsh and extremely idiotic right? It kind of sounds like something that would likely get you fired (or maybe it would cause you to “leave”) from your job. Well, I would imagine “leaving” three different employers three different times because of idiotic statements might get tiring.

Whitlock, if you’re going to call yourself courageous you should at least stick to your guns. But then again, saying that a woman who dressed provocatively and received unsolicited pictures of a married man’s penis “knew the consequences of her decisions” sounds ludicrous, extremely sexist and idiotic. Perhaps that should be Whitlock’s new tag line because it seems like the “courageous and imaginative” schtick doesn’t really fit well. Then again, what does fit him well?

You can read both idiotic Whitlock columns here and judge for yourself: http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/brett-favre-jenn-sterger-allegations-should-be-resolved-by-nfl-commissioner-roger-goodell-100810 and http://msn.foxsports.com/nfl/story/clinton-portis-ines-sainz-new-york-jets-nfl-truths-jason-whitlock-091610

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A San Francisco treat and more photographs

March 2, 2009 Leave a comment

Well, I just got back from a great trip to San Francisco with my girlfriend. This whole vacation started off as great news, then turned to bad news and finally turned back into a great time. I was supposed to go on a company-paid trip to the ATP conference in Palm Springs, CA this year so I decided to plan my vacation around that trip. Well, we purchased plane tickets, made some hotel reservations, car reservations, booked some tours and planned out trip. Turns out my company decided to cut my trip thanks to the economy (another slap in the face from W. even after he has long gone to clearing brush in Texas) and my girlfriend and I were left holding the bag. Now I had to cough up extra money to pay for my own airfare and had to change my girlfriends flight which cost an extra $150 bucks! Well, we almost decided to cancel but I’m really glad we didn’t. Although the trip to Cali was horrible — I would NEVER recommend connecting when traveling to the other side of the USA, holy cow what a long and annoying trip — we ended up staying at a great hotel in Fisherman’s Wharf called the Argonaut — http://www.argonauthotel.com/ (free wine party every night from 5:00pm to 6:00pm) and had a great time in our Alcatraz/Sausalito/Muir Woods expedition on Friday. San Francisco is definitely the antithesis of the Miami lifestyle; restaurants close at 9pm, most stores close even earlier and there is literally very little to do after 10pm. The highlight of my night Friday night was watching Eric Cash — http://ericcash.net/ do a street performance in Fisherman’s Wharf. Besides that, people are actually friendly/helpful, people ride bikes through the streets (yes, people do this in Miami, but the people in San Francisco seemingly do it without the constant fear of being run over by a Lamborghini or senior citizen [yikes, talk about worrying from one end of the spectrum to the other]), and get this, there is an elegance and history to the city that Miami will never seemingly attain. 

Needless to say, I prefer San Francisco from the bit I was able to see during my time there. Sure south Florida has the weather and the women, but after a while you start to want more. San Francisco definitely has more to offer. 

Well, here are some cool shots I took while there, for more go to http://picasaweb.google.com/omart007

 

Golden Gate Bridge in color

Golden Gate Bridge in color

 

Fisherman's Wharf View

Fisherman's Wharf View

 

F-Line in Fisherman's Wharf

F-Line in Fisherman's Wharf

 

The Golden Gate through a park

The Golden Gate through a park

 

Tada, THE bridge

Tada, THE bridge

Photography and Me

February 21, 2009 Leave a comment

This story starts with me fooling around online, looking for the latest and greatest free software to mess around with during my spare time (which it seems like I have less and less every week). That led me to Picasa, a free online photo storage service provided by Google. In case you haven’t heard of it, check it out here: http://picasa.google.com/.  I should probably also mention that Google offers so much free stuff that I’m not sure why anybody pays for things anymore. Check out their Google Docs, Sites, Books, Finance, NoteBook, GOOG-411 (that’s right, no more charges for dialing 411 if you just dial GOOG411) etc, etc… Check it out here http://www.google.com/intl/en/options/ . Talk about going off on a tangent, anyways, when I started messing with Picasa I realized you could “explore” other peoples’ pictures from around the world. I was captivated by the amazing shots regular folks (i.e., non-professionals) were taking… needless to say I was hooked. I had been looking for a new hobby to dedicate my spare time to and I had found it: PHOTOGRAPHY!

Then came the hard part, researching all the different cameras (DSLRs vs “advanced” point and shoot cameras) and analyzing whether my budget would blow up if I made certain purchases. Needless to say, my budget did blow up, but not as badly as it could have, thanks to some self-restraint and a girlfriend who keeps me in check (thanks baby!). I decided to buy the Canon PowerShot SX10 IS in order to take my first baby steps into the world of photography because I really wasn’t ready for a full DSLR, lenses, filters, etc. I am glad to say it was a great decision! The Canon PowerShot SX10 IS is a wonderful camera with 10MP and 20X zoom, not to mention countless other features, which I am still learning how to use properly. Basically, its a mini-DSLR – a great camera for an amateur learning the ropes. 

Then came the HARDEST part, learning to use the damn thing. Under exposed, over exposed, blurred, grainy, ISOs, depth of focus, f-stops, long exposure, etc. The amount of information necessary to take great pictures is mind boggling. I really don’t understand how people used to do this before digital cameras came around. Can you imagine carrying around 10 different types of film, waiting days to see what kind of shots you took, not having technologies like remotes for snagging pictures on your tripod from a distance… it boggles my mind. Anyways, the learning curve has been quite steep and I know my pictures are still not great but I enjoy the challenge and I enjoy constantly learning new techniques with regards to photographing landscapes, people, animals etc. If you’re interested in looking at some of my “better” pictures, you can check them out here: http://picasaweb.google.com/omart007

Here is a sample:

My Ghostly Image

My Ghostly Image

Duckys

Duckys