Misogyny Kills

Jacintha Saldanha, a nurse at King Edward VII hospital in London and mother of two, has been found dead in a suspected suicide after transferring a hoax call from Australian DJs pretending to be members of the royal family. A man and woman, Michael Christian and Mel Greig, were able to obtain sensitive and personal information about Kate Middleton’s condition (she was in the hospital suffering from pregnancy related illness) which was subsequently broadcast to the public on Australian radio. Read the full story here.

This is not the first time the station in question, 2DayFM, has pulled a woman-hating stunt. In a previous incident in 2009, radio presenter Kyle Sandilands harassed a 14 year old girl live on air about her sex life until she admitted that she had been raped when she was twelve. To which he replied, “Right…Is that the only experience you’ve had?”

This horrible story is really a perfect example of how no woman is safe from being subjected to misogyny in this world; not even a woman who is a member of the royal family. Kate Middleton’s privilege and position did not protect her from being stalked and ridiculed; from having the personal details of her life broadcast to the world at large to be laughed over because she had the misfortune to be ill and in pain whilst pregnant.

And even if Christian and Grieg didn’t know that their prank, if successful, would result in suicide, it surely wouldn’t have taken much to work out that the hapless nurse involved would probably be severely disciplined and lose her job and her professional standing, at a time when the UK is suffering the worst recession since the Great Depression and work is already very difficult to find. Really the casual cruelty to which both women were subjected, because these DJs thought it would be funny to dupe and publically humiliate them, just about defies belief.

And now two children have been left without their mother 2 weeks before Christmas, and Kate Middleton must somehow come to grips with the fact that a woman died over this, when I’m sure it’s the absolute last thing she would ever, ever want.

12 thoughts on “Misogyny Kills

  1. weirdward says:

    corrected, thanks.

  2. MarySunshine says:

    Racism figures into it, too, because Jacintha was a woman of colour. A woman less likely to feel socially assured and confident within the culture of a colonial power.

  3. weirdward says:

    Excellent point Mary. It really is an indication of how male-identified some women have become that they get off on participating in the degredation of other women so much – all the while never thinking that one day the exact same thing could (and probably will) happen to them.

  4. GallusMag says:

    So angry and upset over this. More than I am able to convey.

    At the VERY least these DJ’s should do some hard time. Every penny they have ever earned – or ever WILL earn- should be given to this woman’s children.
    May the nurse, dear heart, Rest In Peace.

  5. Nicky says:

    if they tried that in America, they would be looking at doing some massive hard time in prison.

  6. Hecuba says:

    Another so-called ‘tragic incident’ wherein malestream media is never accountable for constantly subjecting women to humiliation and ridicule. Men continue to claim they don’t hate/hold women in contempt but as this incident proves no woman is safe from endemic male hatred/male contempt. Australian radio station should send a huge donation to Jacintha Saldanha’s children but even that would not erase malestream media accountability for believing/condoning male-centric hatred/contempt for women.

    Misogyny what misogyny? Doesn’t exist does it? Men don’t hate women do they? Just another male created silly prank and no one forced Jacintha Saldanha to take her own life. Male-centric excuses such as this will doubtless be claimed because women must never hold men accountable for their endemic hatred/contempt for women.

  7. weirdward says:

    It’s really vile what they did. This poor woman’s family must be just devastated. I think another thing about it that really upsets me is that there’s such a large element of, oh ha ha, look at us, we’re so clever we can fool these dumb nurses with our terrible unconvincing accents, let’s all laugh at how stupid those women are, when of course nurses are constantly run off their feet with overwork and exhaustion and who knows how many things Jacintha was trying to juggle when that call came through. Just the contempt for women working in such an important and completely underappreciated and underpaid profession.

  8. The following is a very good article on the backward culture of capitalist ‘entertainment’ pranking, although it omits consideration of the particular disrespect accorded to women. I think these broader factors are important to take into consideration when looking at pranking culture as a whole.

    However, it’s vital to give attention to the misogynist aspect of this culture, so thank you for that. More and more coverage seems to be coming to light which emphasises that, including an interview with a former breakfast presenter, who “said she was offered $25,000 to get pregnant so long as she did it between rating surveys five and six – that’s when it would “get the best ratings”, and that “she was encouraged by her then program director to make listeners cry, and be paid $50 when she did”.

    http://overland.org.au/blogs/left-flank/2012/12/prank-calls-the-media-and-the-politics-of-class-humiliation/

  9. weirdward says:

    Telling isn’t it that the Overland article talks about RACE and CLASS but not about SEX, cos like, that doesn’t matter, and it’s not relevant at all that Middleton was being specifically targeted for the uniquely female condition of pregnancy; or that the female dominated nursing industry was targeted for ridicule.

    This is the link to the article with the quote from the breakfast presenter, for anyone wanting to read in full:

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/dayfm-djs-mel-greig-and-michael-christian-sorry-but-still-in-hiding-over-prank-call-that-led-to-death-of-nurse-jacintha-saldanha/story-e6frg6n6-1226533260468

  10. It *is* telling when we omit important types of class analysis from our politics.

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