I Call Bullsh*t.


Apologies in advance.  This post will contain foul language, grammatical errors and abuse of parenthetical statements, and a really poor drawing of a gavel.  I am sorrier for the grammatical errors and abuse of parentheses.

(If you have trouble with my using the word bullshit and other profanity, I have the okay from Norman Lear.  Good enough for me.)

I wanted to do a post entitled “I Call Bullshit” last week, and here’s what I wanted to include:

1.  Upworthy and Nicole Sherzinger.  Here’s the link to a video and commentary on Upworthy.  Normally I really enjoy Upworthy posts, but this one made me roll my eyes.  In it, NS is being interviewed on Conan O’Brien wearing a dress out of which 3/4 of her 8th Wonder Of The World breasts spill.  Upworthy gives her “props” for “matching wits” with Conan, by reminding him to focus on her face.  Gimme a break.  She not only didn’t match wits with him, he gave her EXACTLY what she deserved.  I’m not saying she was asking to be abused, but she sure as hell was asking for attention to be paid to her breasts-o-magnificence by EXPOSING most of them.  Even *I* couldn’t take my eyes of those orbs. Please.

2.  ESPN.  Here’s the link to a Deadspin article detailing the firing of an ESPN executive for sexting a stripper.  A STRIPPER.  A single man.  Sexting a STRIPPER.  The stripper and her boyfriend tried to extort Scott Sassa, and he refused to pay up.  So the stripper and her boyfriend forwarded the texts to an ESPN colleague, and ESPN FIRES Sassa. ESPN is owned by Hearst publishing company, and justified the firing thusly:

“Hearst ‘prides itself on being a very ethical, clean-cut company.’”

HAHAHAHAHAH.  Journalism as a rule is so ethical and clean-cut.  Especially at Hearst, the inventor of yellow journalism way back in the 20th century.  Especially SPORTS journalism, wherein the very nature of the culture of professional sports involves sexualizing and objectifying women.  If sports journalism was so concerned with ethics and cleanliness, how about banning Go Daddy and Cialis ads instead of giving a shit if one of their single (or married, for that matter) partners was sexting privately with some woman (and apparently her boyfriend) who takes off her clothes (and apparently is into extortion) for a living?  How is this ANY of ESPN’s business?  How about capping salaries at slightly less than obscene rates and charging a little less for beer?

Since I’m a big believer in lists having at least three items on them, I didn’t publish the above.  Until now.  Why?  Because the universe dropped the biggest opportunity to call bullshit in my lap over the weekend.  Steubenville.  Now I have three.  Cue the thunder and lightning and bats and maniacal laughter from the Count on Sesame Street.

3.  Awwwwwww.  Those poor boys.  Can Mommy come wipe your face with a tissue as you cry remorsefully about having TAKEN PICTURES of the girl you raped and dragged around to various parties for people to witness said rape????  You pieces of SHIT?  How dare anyone, ANYONE , let alone CNN express the tiniest iota of sympathy for these “boys?”  How dare they???  Have they even SEEN this video where drunk onlookers are laughing at how dead and raped she was?  What do DESPICABLE, lower than slime, pieces of fucking shit like these kids deserve but derision, dismissal and jail?  Now, I’m sorry, but being drunk doesn’t turn you into a different person – I firmly believe that in most cases, it turns you into more of the person you already are.  And these boys are sociopaths.

When this video was leaked, a friend on Facebook urged us to show it to our daughters.  I didn’t – she’s already got a healthy terror in her about losing control of her senses and actions via alcohol, but I sure as hell showed it to my son.  My son who is in his first year of high school, and entering the world of high school sports.  I watched him come to the computer happy, and walk away sickened.  I didn’t make him watch all 12 minutes.  It went without saying (but I said it anyway) engaging in any type of sexual activity with a girl this drunk was rape, and while I’m not worried he’d perpetrate such an act, I want him to be aware he might witness and/or hear of something like this going on.  And if he does, for god’s sake, get the hell out of there and get help for the GIRL.  Make use of the technology in your hands to HELP HER.  Text the address to 911.  Take a snapshot and forward it to the police.  Get the hell OUT OF THERE and get her help. Or, even STAY THERE and help her.  Believe me, kids are as susceptible to peer pressure to do good as to do evil.  And if anyone, ANYONE gives him a hard time about doing the fucking right thing, they will suffer my wrath – so help me fucking god, I will have his back.

What do all three of these instances of bullshit have in common?  Well, dear readers, they all have the effect of making women harder to take seriously.  They reinforce the sterotype of women as sexual objects above all else.  Nicole with her peek-a-boobs, the stripper with her extortion, ESPN and Hearst with their hypocrisy.   But the CNN coverage of Steubenville is the worst, because it perpetuates the culture of victim blaming in cases of rape and sexual abuse.  It distorts beyond recognition the notion that bullies are victims, too.  Oh, how SAD to see these promising young men have their lives ruined.  What about the ACTUAL fucking victim???  How about being ENCOURAGED that the two most blatantly responsible for the VICTIM’S potentially lifelong nightmare are being held responsible???  Where is our sense of justice?

I once read (and I cannot remember who wrote it – apologies for that, too) that the advancement of a civilization is directly proportional to its treatment of women.  Well, it would appear we have a lot of goddamned work to do.

  • http://thisbirddoesit.wordpress.com tenoclockbird

    Thanks for shouting it from the rooftops, Aliza. Saddest of all is that two of your three examples are WOMEN perpetuating the crap.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/theworthingtonpost Aliza @ The Worthington Post

      Yup. Equal opportunity bullshit. :-/

  • F. T.

    Well said, Aliza! and I admire your courage for showing the video to your son.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/theworthingtonpost Aliza @ The Worthington Post

      Thank you!

  • http://gravatar.com/momfluential momfluential

    Bravo. That is all. I would like to have a soapbox constructed for your rants and stadium seating around it as well. The stands should be full.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/theworthingtonpost Aliza @ The Worthington Post

      Thanks, girlie. I’d want you up there with me. :)

  • http://www.mommypants.com Cheryl @ Mommypants

    Agreed. Except for your generalization of sports journalism.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/theworthingtonpost Aliza @ The Worthington Post

      You’re completely right, Cheryl. I should not have painted sports journalism with that swath. I was talking primarily about the culture of professional sports and the business of sports entertainment.

  • Rob Charles

    I feel compelled to ask something, though I’m near 100% certain it will cause trouble (for me, at least, if not in general).

    Why does rape seem to be a worse crime than murder in many (if not most) people’s minds?

    I understand if you don’t agree with the premise, but if you do agree, I’m really struggling to understand it.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/theworthingtonpost Aliza @ The Worthington Post

      Hi, Rob – thanks for reading and commenting. :)

      I don’t know anyone who thinks rape is a worse crime than murder. Is that how the piece came across to you? Treating rape OR murder in the way these kids did is beyond revolting.

    • Rob Charles

      Actually, my point is that I think most people DO consider rape a worse crime, and while the stats I’ve seen aren’t conclusive by any means, they do indicate something to this effect.

      And I’m not passing judgement or trying to be critical as I’m somewhat torn myself (and have been so for some time; it’s not a new question for me).

      I have some ideas, but I was really curious to know what others (you) think.

      • http://mindinundated.wordpress.com Himani Gupta

        I’m sorry to intervene Rob. I do not know about the status of rape elsewhere but if you are that curious to know about this, you should probably check out the trauma that clings to a rape survivor in some countries,for example, India. In my opinion,by killing a person you take his/her life but by raping you stab at the soul of a person.You rob of her the right and the respect that God gave her.Actually, ineffable.Can’t really think much. Check this out if you wish http://www.somaly.org/

        I really do not want to compare rape and murder in any circumstances.Can we really compare two crimes. But yes, rape as bad as killing.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/theworthingtonpost Aliza @ The Worthington Post

        Rob, I appreciate your being torn on this issue, and being so honest about it here. I can’t think of anything to add to Himani’s response below. I agree with every syllable of what is written there.

  • http://thebarkpark.wordpress.com one person’s view

    Not only did Hearst create yellow journalism, he lived with his mistress Marion Davies for many years because his Catholic wife would not divorce him. Oh, yes, Heart Inc. stems from the most honourable sort of people. As for Steubenville… there are no words. None.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/theworthingtonpost Aliza @ The Worthington Post

      Amen. Thank you for stopping by and for your comment. Much appreciated. :)

  • http://www.alexandrawrote.com alexandra

    By the end, I has this strong desire to swear in solidarity, like this post is some sort of four-letter word singalong. I mean that in the best way.

    And goosebumps when I read about your son and the video and these words: “Make use of the technology in your hands to HELP HER.” THAT. What is the point of all the great big tools that connect us if they don’t help us?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/theworthingtonpost Aliza @ The Worthington Post

      That’s it. Friday. My house. Four-letter word singalong. Be there. We’ll make s’mores. :-D

      Thanks, Alex, your praise means the world.

  • http://www.extraordinarymommy.com daniellesmithtv

    Yes. Yes. AND, YES. This exact same topic has been stewing in my gut since yesterday. I am equally as horrified. The former journalist in me is embarrassed that CNN and so many others just couldn’t stop lamenting the ‘loss’ of their promising football and academic careers. WHAT ABOUT HER?? I just finished my own post on this – the video I did earlier today – and I’m happy to join you for the sing-a-long.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/theworthingtonpost Aliza @ The Worthington Post

      Danielle, thank you! Can you please post the link to your video?

  • http://twitter.com/ridor9th Ricky Taylor (@ridor9th)

    Aliza, I have nothing to argue with you on this subject. You said it all!


    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/theworthingtonpost Aliza @ The Worthington Post

      That means a lot, Ricky, thank you!

  • http://gravatar.com/elietouchette elie

    I completely agree with EVERYTHING you wrote, thank you for being honest and saying the truth alot of us think!! The bad words make it even more real and honest in this case..No offence should be taken!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/theworthingtonpost Aliza @ The Worthington Post

      Thank you so much! (hope my parents agree…) ;)

  • http://dragoneystory.wordpress.com andy1076

    Wow! I picture rooftop shouting and I love this post! charged with so much energy :D

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/theworthingtonpost Aliza @ The Worthington Post

      Hahahaha! When I was writing it I FELT like I was shouting from the rooftops! :) Thank you.

      • http://dragoneystory.wordpress.com andy1076

        Feels great doesn’t it?? lol :D

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/theworthingtonpost Aliza @ The Worthington Post

          Yes. Yes, it does. :)

  • http://plumberscrack.wordpress.com Chris C.

    That is a really poor drawing of a gavel, by the way…

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/theworthingtonpost Aliza @ The Worthington Post