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It’s disrespectful. It’s disgusting. It’s violence.
This is how three of the female sports reporters behind Brazil’s new #DeixaElaTrabalhar campaign (translated to #LetHerWork in English) describe sexual harassment in their workplace. What they are talking about is not in an office, however, but out in the field: When they interviewing athletes, oftentimes men will kiss, grope, or spit on them during a live broadcast.
According to the BBC, a total of 52 female sports journalists are a part of the campaign, with many describing how men go further than in-person harassment and continue to send abusive messages online, including rape threats.
Speaking to the BBC, journalist Bibiana Bolson said that while covering the Euro Cup, men in the frame attempted to kiss and touch her and other journalists. During a soccer match in Brazil, Bolson said a man at the game was furious that she, a woman, was covering the game. He began yelling at her, telling her that she can’t talk about sports because she’s a woman, and then he spat on her.
“I think this is a very special moment in Brazil. Something that could be similar to #MeToo. It’s not only about Brazil, it’s a very important problem globally,” Bolson said. “[Women] have to understand that they can work whenever they want.”
In a video created to elevate the campaign, journalists detail their sentiments regarding the degradation and danger of being sexually harassed, and share clips of athletes attempting to kiss a few of them while on-air.
On Twitter, supporters of the campaign are using #DeixaElaTrabalhar and #LetHerWork to promote the video and show solidarity to female sports journalists.
We support Brazilian female sports journalists and their campaign against sexual harassment. This is appalling disrespect and abuse towards women doing their job! #letherwork #itwouldnthappentomen https://t.co/Xa1lnJ3bGS— WiSP SPORTS (@WiSPsports) March 28, 2018
Brazil launched this campaign on Sunday when the video was shown in Rio's Maracana stadium. A variety of football clubs & 2 other sport associations in Brazil are backing up the campaign. "Let her work" #DeixaElaTrabalhar is the campaign slogan/hashtag #GEOG3RW3 https://t.co/TI2oQ1rh98— Nivar (@nivargardi) March 27, 2018
We've got video now > Testimonies from female sports reporters harassed on the job, speaking up for Brazilians colleagues and women everywhere. Imagine this playing on screens at the gigantic Maracana stadium. Very powerful https://t.co/UeCA46MRzP #deixaelatrabalhar #LetHerWork— Vicky Baker (@vickybaker) March 27, 2018
Watch the campaign video below (for English captions, turn on closed captioning by clicking the “CC” icon, then go into settings under the gear icon, click “Subtitles/CC” and change the “aut0-translate” language to the language of your choice):
Samantha Grasso is a former IRL staff writer for the Daily Dot with a reporting emphasis on immigration. Her work has appeared on Los Angeles Magazine, Death And Taxes, Revelist, Texts From Last Night, Austin Monthly, and she has previously contributed to Texas Monthly.