17 September 2010

Breath-taking? Where, on Mount Everest?

Breath-taking.

That's what Michael Gallagher calls Inés Sainz, recently, and persistently, in the news for objecting to being harassed by Jets. Apparently, some of the Jets had difficulty buying her as a serious sports journalist. More apparently, this guy isn't buying her as a journalist, either:

My favorite sideline reporter Inés Sainz was nice enough to pose in some bikinis for Esquire Mexico. You know, the country where the hotties who do our sideline reporting don’t pretend to be journalists, but come right out and show us what sexy POA they really are on a regular basis. Yeah, that country. Say, do we have a free trade agreement with Mexico for sideline reporters? If not, we should. I might just run for Congress on that platform alone.
I assume "POA" means piece of -- well, never mind. I suspect the number of men who take her seriously as a journalist is not a very large number, maybe her dad and a few others. Maybe. "Mr. Guyism" doesn't really even take her seriously as a woman, or even a human.

She insists she was dressed appropriately. Naturally, so to speak. Sainz wouldn't be the only woman I've encountered in my travels -- and I've traveled -- who pretty much thinks that any way she dresses is appropriate. In fact, when most of these women have been honest they've as much as said that it shouldn't matter how they dress, men should always treat and respond to them the "right" way. If "the view" is causing them a problem, they should see to it themselves.





These conversations always put me in mind of the chapter on clothing in Marshal McCluhan's, Understanding Media. On McCluhan's view, and I tend to think he's largely correct, clothing is a medium, and it really does communicate. Women who insist that it never matters how -- or if -- they dress always deny, whether explicitly or implicitly, (at least when it comes to dress) that there is such a thing as non-verbal communication. "The way I dress", they invariably insist, "communicates nothing. It's just fabric."

The persistence of males' reactions would seem to indicate otherwise. Perhaps women have no intention of communicating anything in particular by their dress. Perhaps they do. But the fact that a message is unintentional doesn't change it. I learned that at a very young age, when I "flipped" someone off for the first time. I had seen two older kids do it to each other and laugh about it. But when I tried it -- intending it as a friendly gesture -- I must say I was quite surprised by the reaction I got. Specifically, a fat, bloody lip. (Followed by a reddened posterior later in the day when I explained -- well, demonstrated -- to my mother how I received said fat, bloody lip.)

For Sainz, and other females of her ilk, to dress provocatively and insist that males disregard any communication they think there are receiving is a bit like walking around in public with your middle finger extended and insisting that people disregard any message they believe they may be receiving. (In fact, I've done that.)

"But James," you say, "you know what they say: 'If you've got it, flaunt it.' " Right. And the way Inés Sainz dresses says, unequivocally, "I've got it." She's insulted that quite a few members of the Jets agreed with the proposition. We have a saying in spanish: "El hábito no hace al monje." Literally, it means, "The wearing of a habit does not make one a monk." (The english equivalent is, "The clothes don't make the man." The spanish has always made more sense to me. It's a nuance thing.) For one who is not a monk to wear a habit is to lie. For such a one to complain if his wearing of the habit convinces others and they treat him like a monk is foolishness. Inés Sainz wears the habit of a street walker, swaggers on the side-lines as if she should be the center of attention, then complains she's not treated with the respect to which a journalist is due. ¡Que pendeja!

Besides, I don't think Inés Sainz is really very beautiful, much less breath-taking. I've seen breath-taking, up close and personal: in 1980, in 1986, and in 1989.

"Eye Custodians" (tm): H/T to Curt Jester via Catholic Pillow Fight

4 comments:

Nora said...

I bet in this particular instance "POA" means 'Power of Attorney.'

;)

Mary*Ann said...

Years ago my DH was in a local band. Their girl singer talked like "one of the boys"...off color jokes and talking trash. She was then very offended when they talked the same way to her. She was quite mystified that they didn't "respect" her. We had a long talk about what "ladylike" meant. :)

James Frank Solís said...

Ladies, nice to hear from you both.

Nora: I'm sure you're right. Yes, that's what it is.

Mary*Ann: Doesn't surprise me. Might one ask about the up-shot of that conversation about "ladylike"?

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James Frank Solís
Former soldier (USA). Graduate-level educated. Married 26 years. Texas ex-patriate. Ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America.
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