The War on Girls: NBC Pulls ‘Creepy’ Olympic Video After Backlash

They’ve done it again.

The depressing misogyny train keeps on rolling through the newsrooms of the world. NBC news has been forced to remove a “soft porn” video of women athletes from its website because of public outrage.

These perverse attacks on the dignity and value of female athletes are garnering far more public outrage than ratings for the news outlets who keep committing them. NBC had to remove their trashy video. Melbourne’s Herald Sun took down their poll on the woman swimmer’s body. Meanwhile, the ever-proud New York Times is hanging tough with its attack on female athletes who are “too pretty” and its story about women athletes’ breasts.

Why would self-proclaimed “legitimate” journalists go to such lengths to cheapen themselves in this way? My guess is that they do it because they are so caught up in their misogynistic fervor that they can’t not. In much the same way that all compulsive people-haters behave, they are addicted to hurting women. They do it because they like doing it. It makes them feel powerful, or at least more powerful than the young women they evidently want so much to cheapen.

The point here isn’t that the folks in the news rooms use their power to degrade women by reducing everything they do to the level of porn. I think that’s a little bit like proclaiming that gravity sucks. It’s too obvious.

The point is that Christians have no business supporting or participating in it with them. I am proud of the public for the outrage they have displayed about this mistreatment of young women.

There was a time when leaders in our institutions led us higher. Now, it takes public outrage to keep them from devaluing us to the level of the gutter. Fortunately, there are still enough good people in this world that there is public outrage over this kind of behavior.

It seems we have to constantly fight against all of our once-venerable institutions, from the “legitimate” press to our government, to keep them from taking away our freedoms and violating our sense of fair play and decency toward other people. I don’t think I need to say this, but just to be sure we’re all on the same page, let me make the point that women are human beings. We are made in the image and likeness of God.

The people who run these news outlets appear to have a tremendous commitment to using their power to dehumanize and pornify young women. What they seem oblivious to is that their obsessively destructive behavior smears them, their organizations and their whole profession. You become what you do. If you use your position to abuse women, well, then, you become an abuser of women. It’s that simple.

There is no seat for any follower of Christ on board the misogyny train. We do not have the privilege of hating or abusing any of the people that God has made. Our call is to elevate human dignity, not participate in its destruction.

As I said a moment ago, women are human beings made in the image and likeness of God. We are also the life-bearers, the mothers, of the human race. When God became human, He did so by way of a mother. To put it another way, Our Lady, the Mother of God was and is a woman. These crimes against the dignity of women are in a very real way also crimes against her.

Human sexuality, this powerful attraction we all feel to one another, is a blessing and a delight. It brings us together and creates the wonderful, civilization-building bond that is man and woman, together. It was not given to us by our Creator to be used as a weapon by half the people He made to batter the other half of the people He made into diminished one-dimensional part-humans whose feelings and abilities no longer matter.

That is what these news outlets are trying with all their might to do. They are sending a message that is as clear as the focus on their expensive cameras that no matter what women accomplish they are still just sexual things and not full people.

Our job as Christians is to stand against this. We can write letters. Send emails. Stop buying the products of their advertisers. But before we do that, we need to get our minds right. We are the light of the world. That means we can not be part of this. Men and women are programmed to take genuine pleasure in the sight of one another. No one who is human can look at a beautiful member of the opposite sex without appreciating that beauty.

Appreciation is something almost everyone enjoys when it’s directed at them. It’s healthy. It’s flattering. And it’s kind. But this thing the news outlets are doing to the women Olympians is not appreciation. It’s degradation. It is the deliberate use of their talent and technology to send the message that female athletes are just body parts and that no matter what they achieve, their only value is for sex.

We were created by God to appreciate and be attracted to one another. That gift, if it’s used properly, will lead us to love, bond with and care for one another. The way these media outlets are abusing this gift leads us to despise, abuse and use one another. It gives half the people the idea that the other half of the people are only partial people without the full hearts, hopes and feelings of all human beings.

That’s why it’s wrong. It’s also why Christians may not participate in it. We can not be part of anything that diminishes whole classes of people to less than fully human.

As for the news people who are so firmly ensconced on the misogyny train, I think we should pray for them. They are on a train headed to nowhere and they seem determined to ride it to the end of road.

 

 

  • http://trudymetzger.com Trudy Metzger

    Tell it like it is, my friend! The truth is tragically absent everywhere you turn. Then, here and there, it pops up, thanks to a truth warrior. Bless you!

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank Trudy! You do the same with your great blog.

  • http://jessicahof.wordpress.com/ JessicaHof

    I am glad to see there is a back lash here. No one treats male athletes like this. It is part of the way in which the porn industry has infiltrated the mainstream media; if we let it pass as ‘normal’, it will become that – and the effect on our daughters will be dreadful.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I agree. Thank you Jessica.

  • http://catholibertariandotcom.wordpress.com Teresa Rice

    Preach it sister!
    The problem is that today many in the business of journalism don’t believe in God or only do so superficially. Unfortunately our culture has become too secular so many think that anything is fair game, don’t know where to draw the line, have lack of respect for self and others even to the point that that means they believe it is okay to display misogyny. Our culture needs a God revival.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thanks Teresa! I think you named the root cause of a lot of bad things we see happening.
      “Unfortunately our culture has become too secular so many think that anything is fair game, don’t know where to draw the line”

  • http://catholicnomad.wordpress.com Catholic Nomad

    Very well said Rebecca. I think that a huge part of the problem is women themselves. We have so many women today who will do anything to be seen as “sexy.” The TV is full of shows following the lives of such women, magazines filled with images of them, etc. I think the only way it will ever stop is if women stop it themselves.

    If women as a gender stop allowing themselves to be seen like that, or treated that way, all these industries would dry up over night as they would not be able to find a woman willing to do as the want. They would be forced to see women with respect by the women themselves, and then things would finally change in other places as well – such as this situation.

    If men knew women would never tolerate that from all the women that they see in their culture, they would never have done it to begin with to these women. They would KNOW they were being scumbags. But since so many other women tolerate it, they have lost their sense of direction.

    Women are powerful, and guide the culture, if they only knew it.

  • Rebecca Hamilton

    Agreed.
    “Women are powerful, and guide the culture, if they only knew it.”

  • http://Rosehar1958@Yahoo.com Holly

    They say that the Catholic Church doesnt respect women equally—baloney its the mainstream secular world who doesnt have any respect for women. Great article. We all can lead the culture man or women if we wanted to.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I agree Holly.

  • http://www.thoughtsfromanamericanwoman.wordpress.com Patty

    Women will never be equal to men and never will be as long as we allow it. Just look at what they did when Hillary C , Sarah P and Geraldine F. ran for office. This is just what so called powerful men consider another notch in their belt to keep women in their place. Truthfully I am surprised there was an outcry but glad there was. Blessings – Patty

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Patty. I agree with you.

  • http://ackans.wordpress.com Mr. V.

    Amen.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you! Loved your photo of Big Ben, btw.

  • http://theflourishingtree.com Hope @ The Flourishing Tree

    I was so busy watching the Olympics themselves that I never even heard about this video or the rightful outcry it caused. I’m glad I didn’t see it, but thanks so much for reminding Christians (and, well, everyone else, too) to stand together against the misogyny train that would lead to a video like this in the first place. There is so much of the wonderful and powerful and inspiring among our athletes that I truly wish we’d focus on those stories and not exploit the physical beauty (or lack of it) of these great competitors.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Hope.

  • Arkenaten

    What was misogynist about this short video? The only ‘sexy’ (sexist?) part was (maybe) the beach volleyball and if folk (especially the competitors) have a problem with the dress code ( bikinis ) then they can change to something more appropriate, (less revealing) not so? A boiler suit perhaps?
    There was even a complaint about the soundtrack – claiming it was ‘porno music’ What the heck was that about? And it begs the question, How does the writer of the piece know what porno music sounds like?
    Personally, I thought it was a pretty nifty blues-oriented piece, played on a Fender Stratocaster by the sounds of it.
    A storm in a tea-cup by a silly Mother Grundy.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Douglas, you do your atheist tribe proud.

      • Arkenaten

        What has atheism got to do with misogyny, please?
        By the way, I do not belong to a ‘tribe’ either, (other than the human tribe, of course)

        • Rebecca Hamilton

          I was joking Douglas. Irony.

    • Mrs D

      I am a Catholic wife and mother, and I have watched the video. I agree with this chap that it hardly seems pornographic in its intention nor particularly degrading – simply a compilation of women athletes “doing their thing”. However, I would say that if one, as a Catholic, finds it degrading and verging on the pornographic, that could be because there are a lot of immodestly dressed women out there, claiming that in the interests of “sport” they need to wear as little clothing as possible. (There was no excuse for the beach volleyball women to dress the way they did, and have it paraded before families as sport; as this geezer says, if they don’t want to be ogled in a sexual fashion, they should try wearing boiler suits, which on an artificial beach in cold rainy London would have been far more appropriate anyway!) If the women themselves want to show off every inch of their bodies, then that is where the problem lies. They are indecent in the way they dress, and Catholic women should perhaps be encouraging more modest sports clothing, and telling their daughters that if the only way to reach the heights in a chosen sport is by dressing in a manner that may very well jeopardise their reaching the heights of where they are supposed to be aiming, ie heaven, then perhaps it would be better that they dropped the sport.

      • Rebecca Hamilton

        I think you’re onto something here. The way they dressed these girls (and I imagine the girls had little choice about it as individuals, they would have had to have spoken out as a group) was so scanty it undoubtedly made it harder, rather than easier for them compete.