|©Darrel Frost/CJR. Used with kind permission|
It won’t come as a surprise to anyone that there are some unpleasant, predatory men within the photography industry. However, a long-form, extensively researched special report in the Columbia Journalism Review about sexual harassment in photojournalism is still a depressing, eye-opening read. As the report bluntly spells out: “Photojournalism has a sexual harassment problem.”
The article details multiple female photographers’ experiences of being harassed by men in the industry: “many women in the industry say the behavior is so common that they have long considered it simply one of the realities of working as a woman in the profession,” it says. But looking beyond the specific examples, the insights it offers about the way the structure of the industry leaves young photographers (and particularly young female photographers) vulnerable to harassment are especially troubling. As the industry moves more and more towards the use of freelancers, young photographers are left with little support and no mechanism to prevent it happening to others.
Moreover, the individual examples given not only highlight that there are some male photographers willing to abuse their position, but also that there are plenty of other photographers willing to look away and say nothing when it happens.
Even if you don’t work in the industry, it’s worth a read.
A sample of some deleted comments on this article, as of 1:14pm:
The following is an anonymized selection of some of the comments that DPReview admins deleted from this article within an hour of its publication. They are presented verbatim and unedited, although some are excerpted from longer comments.
Sadly, we have come to expect comments like this (and worse) on articles which even tangentially relate to gender equality, or sexual and racial politics. We made the decision to preserve some representative samples here in an attempt to show why things like the CJR report referenced in this article get written in the first place.
“Every woman who tried to flirt her way to an extra payday will now re-invent herself as a victim.”
“It will continue for as long as women allow it to happen and continue to work with people who do it. They are free to put a stop to it and walk out of any job. Men, society, laws, articles are not going to fix it for them.”
“This is just more trash. There are better things to discuss. Me Too is a very opinionated and political topic. No sense posting this trash here.”
“This garbage isn’t going to win you guys a Pulitzer. It’s been beaten to death. Give it a rest.”
“So what? Life is not fair and women are not special.”