[UPDATED, see below]
It’s nothing new, but when can media just stop. Maybe when it’s no longer profitable? We need a revolution in media by boycotting all venues that perpetuate the women-as-sex-meat theme. Here’s what’s new, this time with Eugenie Bouchard and Cate Blanchett.
“You’re getting a lot of fans here,” noted Smith, a former British tennis champ. “A lot of them are male, and they want to know: If you could date anyone in the world of sport, of movies – I’m sorry, they asked me to say this – who would you date?”
Blushing like the teenager she is, Bouchard giggled and replied: “Justin Bieber.” As members of the Genie Army booed their displeasure, Bouchard looked at the camera and added: “Justin, if you’re watching … um: Hey!”
Here is a young, strong, talented tennis player who is asked about her status as meat. She giggles, for one or more of many reasons. But one of the worst, pathetic attempts to justify the insulting question is that the interviewer claims Bouchard’s mostly male cheer squad in the stands asked her to ask the “who would you date?” question.
As if that excuses it. Who’s in charge here? Random men in the stands asserting their right to question an athlete about her dating interests, on international TV? Apparently.
The weak justification suggests that Smith knew it was at least slightly an inappropriate question. Maybe her corporation made her ask it. That wouldn’t surprise me.
Moving on to Cate Blanchett, we see an opportunity to challenge the woman-as-sex-meat theme:
She objects and asks if they do the meat pan to men too.
And the interviewer, a woman, laughs when she hears this. Was it an awkward laugh to avoid a political scene? Was it awkward because she also knows it perpetuates the women-as-sex-meat theme?
The compromises women must have to make to take part in the glam industry must be soul-sucking.
In a media culture where everyone is meat, the only way to get out of it is to reject the meat theme and reject the industry and stop thinking you can fix it from within. And that takes integrity, which the corporate media, generally, is lacking.
So, it turns out a member of the #GenieArmy denies they asked the reporter to ask the dating question:
— Stephen Ganavas (@SGanavas) January 22, 2014
This leaves us in the even more awkward place of assessing the mindset of Ms. Smith as she asked the demeaning question. Maybe it was some other fan who asked her to ask the question. Maybe it was her producers. Maybe it was all her and she needed to provide cover by saying the question didn’t originate with her. Maybe she was just lying.
Either way, it was profoundly inappropriate and insulting to ask, particularly because of the momentous athletic accomplishment that had just occurred.
So let’s all keep our ears open to see if ANY male tennis player in the next few years is ever asked who they’d date, once they win any kind of match. It will be crickets.