By now, I’m sure you’ve read about it, watched it or seen it on your local news. Toronto reporter from CityNews Shauna Hunt was interviewing a gaggle of soccer bros outside a Toronto FC game, when some particular hooligans decided to take things one step further and hurl some sexually explicit remarks on TV.
Rather than sitting down and taking it, Shauna Hunt fought back and called out the men telling them, “Seriously?… You would humiliate me on live television?” Hunt posted the video on Twitter, and from there it went viral with one of the three men being fired from his cushy engineering job. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne tweeted her support for the journalist, stressing that these pranks are sexual harassment while in the workplace.
While I am all for what Shauna Hunt did (and I think is absolutely wonderful), I think the biggest question we need to ask ourselves is: If you saw this happening, would you say something? Would you stand up and help out another woman who is being harassed? If this was happening to you, would you do something? If you wouldn’t, why not?
When the video was going viral, I kept thinking to myself about the amount of harassment (FHRITP meme aside) that women go through on a daily basis with catcalls, aggressive pick-up tactics, un-funny rape jokes or being commented on while out and about on a daily basis. As women, we live this, hear this, read this and feel this on a day-to-day level and too many times, nothing is done. Either by ourselves or by others. For women, there is a consistent but unpredictable fear of fighting back. Having our voice heard. Saying we are not OK with those advances or gestures or words. When we can’t find the words, thankfully there are organizations like Hollaback, a grassroots organization committed to ending harassment against women, and the White Ribbon Campaign, a men’s organization working to end violence against women, is currently urging men to intervene in harassment situations.
It seems like more and more women in sports and women in sports journalism are having a difficult time, with the Calgary Flames executives asking hockey fans to “stop behaving in an illegal, offensive manner” after reports of sexual harassment, violent language and intimidation of women during playoff games.
As people, we need to band together and call out this misogyny and harassment taking place. Let’s take a page from Shauna Hunt’s book and call it out.
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