Jenn Sterger and the Right to Bare Arms

Posted on 2010 December 30


The media have been in a whirl about the little dust-up between the NFL, star quarterback Brett Favre, and sideline reporter Jenn Sterger. Favre may have sent Sterger some rather provocative photos and emails in a raw attempt at flirtation. A sports website publicized the transmissions, and it’s been a mess ever since.

Some people argue that Sterger — a bodaciously attractive model, sports commentator, and occasional movie actor who has posed in Playboy — brought it all down on herself by dressing provocatively. Others fault Favre, mainly for being disloyal to his wife and/or acting like “trailer trash”.

Jenn Sterger is in the entertainment business. She dresses scantily for the cameras. She’s not offering herself for sex to every male who happens to glance at her. If Lady Gaga wears a provocative outfit, it’s for her music show, not because she expects to wrap herself around the next guy she walks past.

The fact that men feel entitled to act like leering jackasses around Sterger speaks to their sense of entitlement with females. Sterger shouldn’t have to cover up to prevent the problem — it puts the onus on her instead of the jackasses, as if her scant clothing nullifies her claim to civil treatment. Her choice of duds does not cancel her right to her own body, nor does it give men the right to mistreat her, as if she were their orchidaceous property.

(I’ve been waiting to use that word.)

Those who condemn Sterger, or defend the crude males leering at her, make somewhat the same type of argument offered by rapists who claim, “She was acting sexy, so I had no choice but to attack her!” It amounts to saying, “We men are in charge, and if you women want to escape unscathed, you must not provoke us.”

Now, that’s a stupid way to run a civilization. But then, nobody ever claimed football was civilized.