My position on the subject of Ines Sainz and her locker room experience with the NY Jets was torn.
A woman who covers sports is often challenged on her knowledge and depth of understanding of ANY game, its rules, and the people who play or manage it. In many aspects of our lives, we are practically forced to prove our worth, or demonstrate that we can hang with the big dogs. Those big dogs are usually men, and let’s face it; they sometimes find joy and amusement at the expense of the women around them.
Gentleman, no offense, but I like to think it feeds your ego.
Bullying or domination operates this same way; build yourself up at the expense of another person’s feelings or esteem. Women are guilty of this as well. I suspect this as a reason why Ms. Sainz caught so much flack from us too. The degree to which we, as women, undermine one another is unmatched. Our level of inner-gender competition can be greater than any Super Bowl, NBA Final, or World Series put together.
Ines Sainz is “bodied up,” a brick house of sorts, and it may have made more sense to some if she were only a pageant girl or a model. But, she is a sports reporter too, and her approach of interjecting Veronica Rabbit into the locker room, seemed illogical, perhaps. It was illogical in the sense that her predecessors worked feverishly to be accepted and respected in a man’s world. The notion that “T” and “A” could cause all that progress to tumble down brought feelings of pain and resentment.
On a professional level, her credibility was in question because lets face it, women who consistently show up to work tightly swathed are likely to be objectified and taken less seriously – in any workplace. First impressions aside (or in Ines’ case, nine years worth of impressions aside,) harassment, in any form is unacceptable. Ms. Sainz was Little Red Riding Hood to a team of wolves and the fact that ball players see the physical likes of her in clubs all over the world, didn’t give those few a right to have demeaned her. On the flip side, because she could be a beautiful samba dancer, doesn’t mean she should be able to use her sexual prowess to advance her career. Or does it? Did I just say that? I did.
When aren’t we, as women, supposed to use what we’ve got to get what we want? How do we know when to turn the sexy on or leave it mostly (it’s too powerful to conceal completely) under wraps? Sometimes we don’t know. Sometimes, we do what we feel is best for us.
When Ines Sainz was contacted by Playboy, she turned them down (at least for now.) She wants to be taken seriously, I presume. Suddenly, she became a subject of ridicule and scrutiny; a joke of sorts; objectified.
She has not quit though, which is very telling of her character, or her hustle. Ms. Sainz will press on, now conducting her interviews outside the locker room. Obviously, it became too much for her, and that is another of the sad sacrifices women make in a man’s world of sports.