Bruna Dealtry was just trying to do her job and report on sports when a shirtless man tried to kiss her on live TV. Now, outraged fans and fellow journalists are striking back at sexist behavior with #LetHerWork.
In the wake of #MeToo and #TimesUp, it’s also time for men to #LetHerWork. The latest campaign to end sexual harassment comes from Brazil. Bruna Dealtry, a sports reporter, was just trying to do her job by reporting on the news. While she was on live TV, a shirtless man came up and tried to force a kiss on her. “I’ve always been a reporter who loves a … party,” Bruna wrote in a March 13 Facebook post, sharing the video of the gross kiss. “I have always been proud to have a good relationship with all fans and to be treated with great respect!”
“But today,” she added, “I felt in my skin the feeling of helplessness that many women feel in stadiums, subways, or even walking the streets. A kiss on the mouth, without my permission, while I exercised my profession, which left me without knowing how to act and without understanding how one can feel in the right to do so.” The clip, which has been viewed more than 1.5 million times, was seen by around 50 Brazilian journalists in a group WhatsApp chat, according to Buzzfeed News.
“We figured out that most of us had the same story,” Bibiana Bolson, one of the journalists in that group chat, told Buzfeed News. “Every single day we have to handle the jokes, the comments, even the decisions that sometimes are not taking based on meritocracy, but with a little bit of sexism.” The group started the hashtag #DeixaElaTrabalhar or #LetHerWork, in hopes to raise awareness about sexual harassment and to, frankly, get it to stop. “Not harassing someone is not a virtue, it is a must!” actress Fernanda Paes Leme tweeted while sharing a video. “This awesome campaign was made by women who work on sports, but it represents all of us, female workers who have the RIGHT to work in PEACE and be respected! Let us work!”
Sadly, to no one’s surprise, the campaign has already faced some misogynist backlash, according to The Guardian. “I can’t deal with this, get back in the kitchen,” one man tweeted, highlighting the need for the # DeixaElaTrabalhar movement. The English version of the hashtag, #LetHerWork, also put the spotlight on sexual harassment within the world of sports.
“I think the campaign is really important. It shows that it’s not inoffensive or funny to disrespect, harass, or try to demoralize us,” said Débora Gares, a reporter for ESPN, per The Guardian. Thankfully, male soccer players like Réver Araújo and clubs like Grêmio Esportivo Brasil and Santa Cruz F.C have gotten behind the campaign.
“The number of men who have shared the #DeixaElaTrabalhar campaign today is, for us, an indication that things may be changing,” Janaína Garcia, a São Paulo-based journalist and founder of the Journalists Against Harassment campaign, told The Guardian. “Feminist causes are beginning to be understood as a fight for equality.”