Young women need to
respect themselves more
Another television personality makes the news for all the
wrong reasons. ESPN baseball analyst Steve Phillips is not only out at
home, but also, he's out of his job with the cable sports network, who
fired the former Mets general manager and the 22-year-old production
assistant Brooke Hundley with whom he was allegedly sleeping with. What
is going on in these Connecticut hills where it's not only the trees
that are changing color and stripping their outer garments?
Of course, Phillips, as with any upstanding father of four boys would do
when caught like a deer in headlights or in this case the media
spotlight, heads for rehab.
Yes, as if that justifies why a 46-year-old husband and father would
throw reason out into the stands of public opinion to have a little roll
in the grass, or as reported, at times -- allegedly a parking lot --
with a young woman more than half his age.
Consider the consequences of his actions. Forget the loss of job. He'll
probably find another job as he did after the Mets got rid of him a few
years where he allegedly was involved with another co-worker. Forget,
the possibility of losing his marriage. Consider the harm he has done to
his boys, including a 16-year-old high school teen who also was pulled
into this tangled mess, the victim of the young woman who turned her
attention allegedly to stalking Philips' wife and harassing their son.
I tried to understand all this as I engaged one of my daughters, the
mother of two with a master's degree, in a conversation about why a man
would do this to himself and his family. She said, it's no surprise; it
goes on all the time. I guess she's right. But, the craziness seems more
intense with this scandal. Is it because of all the media attention,
days on end? Is it because it involves a television sports broadcast
For me, the sensationalism of this scandal is how such seediness seeped
into the suburbia neighborhood where Phillips' family lived as the
jilted young woman allegedly felt that after three sexual encounters she
had the right to confront the husband's wife to tell her (in a letter)
the husband had to choose between his wife and the young woman, who
allegedly represents something is wife is not, she wrote.
While my daughter, who has spent many years reading and writing about
women's issues, says this happens all the time, I am wondering about the
mindset of young women today. Here, we have a young woman who allegedly
graduated from Ithaca College determined to have a career in television
and becomes distracted by a married man who allegedly pursues her during
a business road trip. Where is her stamina? Where is her good sense or
even common sense?
I thought back to my own youth and a few situations I encountered in a
work situation in my late teens. I attributed that to my own innocence
and the innocence of the times -- before the sexual revolution of the
60s. I also attribute my passivity to my strict Italian-American,
Catholic upbringing where no one talked about sex.
These are different times. While we read about Phillips/Hundley and how
similar to the crazy governor of South Carolina, another father of four
boys, who didn't take a hike, but an airplane to meet his soul mate in
Argentina, we didn't hear Phillips make any declarations. He knows
exactly what happened. He's in his mid-40s and allegedly on the prowl.
You have to watch out for those hot television lights, the power suits
and coiffed hair.
However, my attention is not really on this guy; it's the young woman.
We have to do better in educating young woman to respect themselves
better and to respect other women. Not only did Hundley not respect
herself, she disrespected Phillips' wife, the innocent victim in this
mess. It's interesting that this is in the news as Maria Shriver, the
first lady of California, hosts a Women's Conference, which is
addressing a variety of issues facing women in the 21st century.
Hundley's generation is benefiting from inroads made by the women of the
previous generation, my generation, who have opened the doors to many
jobs and pay scales not formerly accessible to women. Not only that,
women of my generation did not even have the sports opportunities and
money in school budgets to fund women's sports, which now are in public
We have come a long way with opening doors for women to pursue careers
of their own choosing, not just nursing or education so prevalent in my
day. So look what happens when the door is finally opened? The young
women lose their focus and become vulnerable and distracted. Why? What
is lacking in our education of women. Why are they still dumb when it
comes to self respect?
It is true, that many relationships are formed in the workplace and many
of these relationships lead to marriage. However, consider the
circumstances here. Phillips is married with four sons. It is alleged he
may not have a good track record when it comes to how he relates to
women in the workplace. And here we have a 22-year-old young woman just
starting out in her career. Where is her focus?
The sex drive is part of human nature. I understand that, but my
question is why a young woman just starting out in her career would
become so distracted by a married man to the point of losing her job?
Rita Papazian is a freelance writer who has covered Norwalk extensively.
She can be reached a