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.