Picture from Canadian News Reporter Challenges Men Who Sexually Harass Her
City TV news reporter Shauna Hunt has had it with the growing and disturbing hoax where men scream a vulgar phrase into the reporter's microphone. The phrase is demeaning to women. After this yet to be identified man yelled the phrase at her outside a Toronto soccer match, she challenged him and his friends. Image ©CityTV

Canadian News Reporter Challenges Men Who Sexually Harass Her

One Toronto soccer fan discovered he’s not as funny as he thought he was. For months, reporters around the world have been dealing with an Internet-inspired trend where bystanders shout a vulgar comment into the live microphone.

The distasteful take on photo-bombing began in January 2014 when John Cain of Cincinnati, Ohio posted a fake news clip of himself posing as a reporter where he said the crude phrase. Later he posted at least two other fake reports in which a bystander yelled the crude phrase into a live microphone. The phenomenon, referred to as FHRITP, has since been trending around the world even as public discussion has been increasing over sexual harassment.

This past week an employee of an Ontario power company saw his chance to scream the phrase during a live CityNews broadcast outside Toronto’s soccer stadium.

But reporter Shauna Hunt had had enough. She left the fans she was interviewing to confront the men making the crude comments. But every effort they made to justify their behavior was challenged. When Shawn Simoes was asked how his mother would feel about his comment he replies, “Oh my mom would die laughing eventually.”

Well I wonder if mom is laughing now?

Unfortunately for Simoes, the assistant network management engineer has since been fired by Hydro One. As well, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment is proceeding with efforts to ban the men from the stadium for at least a year.

The termination has raised the question about what action companies can take against their employees involved in out of work activities. But it also raises serious concerns over sexual harassment.

While schools, businesses and other agencies struggle to deal with sexual harassment issues, this report proves it is far from dead and is too often seen by the perpetrator as “funny.”

A report on sexual harassment from Brigham Young University published in by the National Association of School Psychologists reports that 80% of students in secondary school experience sexual harassment at school.

The University of Florida has also has a publication dealing with teen sexual harassment. The report states that teens are often misinformed by media depictions of sexuality and sex roles. Depictions of sexual activity, explicit lyrics and images in music videos and even news reports of celebrity sexual conduct can be confusing to teens. Along with suggestions for school educators and volunteers, the article offers advice to parents for teaching about and discussing sexual harassment.

Encouraging discussions and providing a safe and healthy environment for conversation are some of the best ways parents can help their children deal with unwanted sexual attention or harassment. But most importantly, parents need to let their children know sexual harassment is not laughing matter.

Update: CityNews reports the Hydro One employee fired for confronting their reporter with crude vulgarities has apologized to Shauna Hunt. On Friday, he sent a personal, written apology that Hunt has accepted.

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