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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Jenn Sterger et al

The NFL fined Brett Favre $50,000 this week for having been less than forthright during the investigation about whether he had sent pictures of his penis via cellphone to Jenn Sterger, pictured here. (They decided they couldn't prove that he had done so.)

My guess is that Favre did send those pictures. I would also guess that Sterger subtly encouraged him to. Google Image Sterger --

-- and every single picture you'll see shows her trying to look as provocative as possible. She has evidently learned that this is the way she can best attract attention. If Sterger wants to present herself that way, fine, but it seems a little unbecoming for her to then be acting so offended that Favre presented himself back to her the same way (okay, even more so).

This may sound suspiciously like the old -- and faulty -- argument that defendants' lawyers used to use in rape trials: look at the way she was dressed, she was asking for it!

But Favre did not rape her; he was accused of sending her pictures of himself that were slightly more graphic than the pictures she has posed for (for instance, in Playboy). Favre is a big name in professional football. When Sterger met him, she undoubtedly acted the way that she normally does to get attention. Maybe at some point she stopped encouraging him. If she did tell him to stop sending those pictures, or stop phoning her at all, and he continued, then he is guilty of harassment. But if all she did was act flirtatious, then see a chance to cry foul and make some money, he is guilty of nothing other than carelessness.

Favre has undoubtedly become somewhat sloppy in his approach over the years simply because he is used to getting his way with women. It's probably not even the first time he's ever sent pictures of his penis to a woman. (The approach, boorish as it is, has probably worked for him in the past, simply because he's Brett Favre.) But if Diane Sawyer -- or even Katie Couric -- interviewed him, I doubt that he would send such photos to them.

The last woman who complained of being sexually harassed by professional football players was Ines Sainz, a Mexican TV reporter, who said that she was subject to catcalls in the Jets locker room. (Isn't a locker room where men parade around naked? She was not offended by that, but was offended by the catcalls?) Google Image Sainz and this is what you see:,27617,28033&sugexp=ldymls&xhr=t&q=ines+sainz&cp=3&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&biw=1263&bih=620

Both of these women are nominally reporters. (What journalism school did Sterger graduate from? Or was it her extensive knowledge of football strategy that got her hired?) There's something anomalous about the fact that the two women who would complain about being treated as sex objects are the two who tried the hardest to come across that way.

This is not to excuse a slob like Favre. But the odor of hypocrisy around these two women lies heavy in the air. Even heavier than the perfume they probably wore.

Even the feminists haven't taken up Sterger's cause. They know that Google Image's rebuttal to their case would be far more eloquent than anything they could say.

Addendum -- There's nothing I find less sexy than a dumb woman with fake boobs who tries really hard to be sexy. 


dgh said...

Really well said John! I have been wondering about where she went to journalism school as well!! Where is the credibility? Donna

John Craig said...

Thanks Donna. I think 95% of guys would probably side with Favre (or at least against Sterger) in this situation. But I also think that something like 85% of women would too, if they were familiar with the entire subtext.