The hecklers get their three seconds of fame and think it is hilarious. But one reporter, Shauna Hunt, fought back, and now these men are experiencing their own form of public shaming and private fallout thanks to their sexist remarks.
The phrase saw the light of day thanks to an American filmmaker who created fake newscasts with a hooded older man, who called himself Fred, yelling it into the microphones of (fake) reporters. The videos went viral via Reddit, and now FHRITP has a hashtag and a Tumblr where bros can upload their own hilarious antics.
But some soccer fans learned a harsh lesson when they yelled the words at Hunt as she broadcast in front of a Toronto stadium. Instead of ignoring the group of men, she confronted them on-camera about it.
“Hold on, were you guys waiting to see if you could ‘F her in the P’ me on live TV? Seriously? You would humiliate me on live television?” she asked them.
Indeed they would. In fact, the men defended their actions as “f*cking hilarious.” They didn’t seem to clue in to the fact that their actions are degrading to female reporters as well as to women everywhere. One man, the one in the yellow jersey who was later identified as Shawn Simoes, said, “We’re not the only people …. It happened in England …. You’re lucky there’s not a fucking vibrator in your ear like in England because it happens all the time.”
Hunt asked him what his mother would think, and he said that she would “die laughing eventually.”
You know who didn’t find it hilarious? Shawn Simoes’s employer. Simoes works as a network management engineer for the provincial energy provider Hydro One, or at least he did. The government-owned company released a statement saying that Simoes’s behavior contravened their Code of Conduct and that he has been fired from his $106,000 per year job. Employment lawyers have backed up the government agency’s decision to fire Simoes.
Hunt said that after about a year of constant harassment, she finally snapped and said something to the hecklers. Other female reporters have chimed in saying that they have been encountering the sexist phrase on a daily basis for about the last year.
The public shaming of these bullies has created the typical fallout and polarizing discussions on social media. Is it fair to publicly shame the hecklers? Does the punishment fit the crime? Or as some critics have tweeted, is it a witch hunt and cyberbullying? Is it fair to fire someone for something they did in their private life?
The more appropriate question to ask is how we got to a point where fully grown men seem stunned that shouting vulgarities at a woman is sexist behavior. And the term isn’t just thrown around by soccer hooligans; kids have been suspended from school for saying it at assemblies and games as well.
Hopefully, now that this video has cracked the discussion wide open, the term FHRITP will die the timely death it deserves.