Elisabeth Hasselbeck: An open letter.

We live in a nation that values our Constitution–particularly the first ten amendments—a.k.a. the Bill of Rights. Our first amendment protects the right to express our opinion without fear of legal action being taken against us. While it is important to respect the fact that others are entitled to their opinion(whether we agree or not), some things that come out of others’ mouths are simply inexcusable. Mrs. Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s(of ABC’s “The View”) latest episode is a prime example of this.

Erin Andrews is an ESPN reporter. Back in July of 2009, she was filmed through a hotel peephole without her consent…this video showed her undressed. It quickly hit the internet and became a national media story. Michael David Barrett, the person who committed this deplorable crime, was eventually convicted and sentenced in March 2010 to 30 months in prison.

After this incident, I have a new respect and admiration for Erin because of what she had to go through, and her ability to persevere through it all. The fact that she is a contestant this season on one of my favorite shows, Dancing with the Stars, just made me even more excited to see her perform. I believe that women(and all victims of sexual predators) should be proud of her, and be rooting for her to be successful–whether it’s Dancing with the Stars or anything that she attempts to accomplish in the future.

Apparently Elisabeth Hasselbeck fails to agree. After Monday’s episode of Dancing with the Stars, Mrs. Hasselbeck had a gripe with Erin Andrews. Elisabeth was disturbed by the fact that Erin had been wearing some “skimpy outfits” over the “past few weeks” on the show. She questioned why Erin would be doing this in light of what happened to her. Hasselbeck even went so far to say that the sick predator “could have just waited for this, without the prison time”.

These comments incensed me for a number of reasons. I, for the life of me, do not understand the logic behind what Hasselbeck was saying.

First and foremost, as a woman, she should look back on what she said and feel a bit of shame. Sexual predators already have the ability to take a woman’s sense of self worth away from them—it is hard enough going through a crime in which you feel violated in one way or another.

How dare Elisabeth mock the fact that Erin is making something of her life after this horrible incident occured? We should be PRAISING her for taking the opportunity to participate in Dancing with the Stars… NOT critiquing what she wears on the show. Mrs. Hasselbeck obviously does not watch the show much, because most of the female competitors wear “skimpy” types of outfits at some point of another during the competition.

To jokingly infer that Erin’s wardrobe is in some way justifying what was done to her is sickening. Especially coming from a female. Why should Erin feel any shame, Elisabeth?

Why should she want to be less sexy? If Erin declined to wear ANYTHING that she chose(or what was chosen for her) to wear on the show because she is a victim of a disgusting crime, that would be handing another victory to the very man who is sitting behind bars for the crime itself. You should be applauding her Elisabeth, for not going into hiding, which she very well could have done–but instead, you decided to do the complete opposite.

You decided to crucify and make a mockery of a woman who, in my opinion, has more courage than you could ever imagine. All because of outfits that you believe to be inappropriate. Speaking of which, you haven’t been a saint yourself, have you?

The fact that you have done some risque pics is besides the point though. You are entitled to take whatever types of photos you want to take. I will not be inclined to criticize you for it.

What I will stand up against is the vilification of a COURAGEOUS woman, for something as ridiculous as the way she dresses on a television show.

Erin was hurt (and understandably so) by Hasselbeck’s remarks. As a result, Elisabeth decided she wanted to issue a public “apology” for what she said about Erin.

I put apology in quotation marks because, in my opinion, it simply did not go far enough. It is sad that Hasselbeck’s young daughter had to remind her of the fact that she should pick up the phone to apologize to Erin personally.

You would think that she would have felt compelled to do this without any outside influence. The public “apology” itself was piss poor. I say this because she never really apologized for what she said—she never admitted that what she said was flawed or wrong in any way. Mrs. Hasselbeck apologized because she “hurt someone’s feelings”. While I do not question the contrition behind it, I do question the reason.

Ultimately, Elisabeth Hasselbeck had every right to say what she said about Erin. It would be unjust of me to state otherwise. However, I sincerely believe that women should not speak words that are oppressive towards one another—and Hasselbeck’s words do promote a message of oppression. Let’s not take a courageous female down over something as silly as a T.V. show wardrobe, Elisabeth.

2 Responses to “Elisabeth Hasselbeck: An open letter.”
  1. Erinne Marie says:

    I’ve really never had respect for her due to her stuck up attitude,she’s the type to open her mouth and she won’t shut up till’ she hurts someone.Obviously she has no respect for people or else she would have kept her hypocritical comments to herself and she wouldn’t have trashed someone who has been through more than she could imagine.Elisabeth just needs go away after all she’s just a painter that somehow made it to showbiz..oh wait a minute her looks got her there.

  2. Nicole says:

    I just believe that her comments bring down more women than help them. It is arrogant of her to say that Erin is wrong in any way for her DWTS wardrobe. And ya—-she’s a painter.

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