Savannah Bridge Run, is a 1-day event held in the United States. This marathon hosts an average of 5000 people every year, they all run for a great cause as The proceeds from the race are donated to the Lewis Cancer & Research Pavilion at St Joseph’s Hospital. Get a medal AND help people? Sign me up! These are the sentiments of almost all the runners as the sign up for the race.
This year, the race ended up being known for something entirely different.
Alex Bozarjian, a female reporter at NBC was covering the race along with countless other reporters.
She was seen in high spirits waving at the runners until one man, smacked her butt as he ran past. Immediately, you can see the absolute disgust she felt but she carried on reporting anyway after a short pause, as she was working – reporting live.
After the race the clip of the incident made its way onto social media. It went viral across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all at once.
Bozarjian sent out a tweet of her own :
“To the man who smacked my butt on live TV this morning: You violated, objectified, and embarrassed me,” she tweeted. “No woman should EVER have to put up with this at work or anywhere!! Do better.”
“DO NOT TOUCH REPORTERS. Period,” WLOS reporter Caitlyn Penter said on Twitter.
The director of the Savannah Sports Council said the incident was “100% unacceptable” and that the organization would identify the man.
And they did, the man was quickly identified as Tommy Callaway, the race committee banned him from all future races.
The reporter said that she was emotionally and physically shaken by what she experienced adding that “I have felt an odd sense of guilt, as I had done something wrong”. That feeling has been made worse by misogynist harassment she’s now experiencing online from people saying she should “just get over it,”
“Maybe 10 years ago that was a more common thing in culture, but it’s not okay now,” she said. “It’s not okay to help yourself to a woman’s body just because you feel like it.”
This statement is sadly very true, being a woman, no matter where you are in the world you might’ve felt objectification like this. This isn’t a new thing. Neither does this only happen to fully grown adults. When asked about what was the youngest age women felt objectified, most answer that they were between the ages of 3-11. Children, children have to face this.
This behavior has gone on for far too long because we’ve let it. This has always been swept under the rug because “it’s not that serious”.
What was commendable about all the authorities involved is that action was taken, a report was filed and he was banned from races. This is what we need more of!
When anyone, man or woman (or child), feels violated by someone else they should be taken seriously!
I wonder if there will ever be a day when perpetrators face repercussions like this world wide, or will we always stay stuck in the dark ages.