Wednesday, May 27, 2015


A Canadian reporter, Shauna Hunt, was interviewing some football fans when one fan said to the fan being interviewed:  Fu*k her right in the pus*y (FHRITP), and Hunt could hear it.  You can watch what happened next:

The last man interviewed in that video was fired from his job, perhaps because he never stopped telling Hunt how f**king fantastic it was to blurt out that phrase.  Spocko asks whether firing him is justified, given that the man actually using the phrase just slithered away, for example.  I tend to agree that for low-powered people the same public humiliation that was intended for Hunt should suffice.

Because public humiliation it was, or at least an attempt at that.  It doesn't matter what the offending fan's intentions were (to entertain his mates, perhaps, or just to come across as funny); the outcome for female reporters getting these sorts of"jokes" regularly is a form of humiliation, a gantlet/gauntlet they must run, just to do their jobs:

For Hunt and her female colleagues at CityNews in Toronto, they've suffered the random verbal assaults by passing men "almost every single day on the job, and it's been going on for almost two years now."
As a result, she's cancelled live hits. She's tried using headsets. She says the station even stopped live feeds altogether during the World Cup last year because it was happening so much.
When she does report live, she finds it harder to focus because she's on high alert for lurking attackers.
"The surprising thing in all this is the majority of people doing this are grown men — sometimes in their 30s, sometimes in their 40s — and they come from all walks of life. These are men who should know better," says Hunt, 32. "How has this become socially acceptable?"
Does this happen equally often to male reporters?  I doubt that, and in any case the comment should then be something like "Su*k my co*k,"  to give some of the flavor, though even then the impact wouldn't be the same unless the comment came from a larger and more powerful man.

I avoided reading the comments, but spotted the usual argument that Western feminism has shrunk to worrying about jokes when women elsewhere are stoned to death (read my ISIS and women  -series on women elsewhere), the old accusation that whatever one writes about is petty and not worth writing about.

But it's the idea of the statement being a joke that's worth thinking about more.  As this source notes:

It all started on YouTube, of course. John Cain, a Cincinnati filmmaker, uploaded a video he put together of a bearded man in sunglasses and a hoodie disrupting fictional news reports with this vulgar, violent phrase.
Cain later said it was a spoof.
But it was also a business plan. As the trend took off, he's been busily selling T-shirts emblazoned with "FHRITP," the acronym for the phrase.
That's probably the backstory here.  The utterer of the phrase is bravely disrupting a journalist with an Internet meme.   But why is the joke about women and sexuality?  Why does it seem to remind the men that even if she may be holding a microphone, it is they who can ultimately define her use value, who are ultimately the more dominant ones?

And of course asshats of this sort are not as crucial to write about as many other topics.  But it's not just one joke, or a joke once in a blue moon, as Hunt tells us.

It sounds more like a swarm of mosquitoes which swarms you every day, and there is no suitable response or defense.  If you ignore the bites the mosquitoes have won and will continue; if you fight back you have no sense of humor.  Slapping is out of question.