Last year, the women of the Melbourne Cup were branded “an utter disgrace”.
Anna Usher wrote for The Daily Telegraph, one of the many news outlets responsible for publishing paparazzi-style images of intoxicated women, “Where is your sense of dignity?”
“Your classless antics don’t just reflect poorly on you,” she continued. “They impact every single Australian woman — and how we are perceived in the eyes of the world… It’s shameful. It’s embarrassing.”
There was no word on the men (they are always men) behind the camera, crouching to get a photograph up a woman’s skirt, with the sole objective of capturing their subjects at their worst. They capitalise, quite literally, on female humiliation.
Listen to all our gripes about the Melbourne Cup on Mamamia Out Loud. Post continues below.
It is the women, remember, who ought to be ashamed.
Tomorrow will be the 157th Melbourne Cup, and I have just one request:
Do not make a sport out of drunk women.
It is a call to kindness. To empathy. And to respect.
If you’re first response to seeing an inebriated woman with her dress up over her stomach is to take a photo, I’d argue that it’s time for some self-reflection.
Drunk or not, the woman holding one shoe in her hand, with a visible g-string and an awkwardly sitting fascinator, is still a human being – whose only crime was perhaps having a little too much to drink at Flemington Racecourse. Does that truly justify a public crucifixion?
With one image, it has been proven time and time again, that a reputation can be irreparably damaged.
Last year, it was the ‘wheelie bin woman’, caught with her legs either side of a bin.
She had not posed for the picture, nor did she realise she was being photographed. But she woke up the next morning to her image being plastered all over social media, worried that her family and employer would come across them.
Comments on the image read:
“Aussie girls are the roughest in the world. Horrible.”
“Australia, do something. This is unbelievably vulgar.”
“Wow the cattle grow big in Australia what do you feed them. [sic]“
“Just another excuse for the brain dead morons to dress like tarts and fill themselves up with booze and bad manners.”
I spoke to the woman (whose name I do not wish to resurface) last year, following her unprecedented virality, and found that despite her brave face, the headlines and the comments hurt.