Thursday 19 April 2018


Why this is no joking matter

The photo which appears above was posted on Bay Radio’s Facebook page (without the caption) asking people to supply their own caption.

After several people (including myself) pointed out that it was not funny, but was simply promoting hatred and violence towards women, Bay Radio to their credit, took down the photo almost immediately.

I am sure that the person who thought it would be funny did not realise how such images can be perceived, especially by women.  I would like to think that the person who posted it, did not think it through. I’m hoping that this person (who I’m pretty sure must be a man) does not think pushing a girl forcefully in the face is OK.

When you have girlfriends and wives having to put up with such abusive behaviour from their “men” on a daily basis, then no, this is nothing to joke about.

On the other hand, if some awareness about domestic violence has been created out of this powerful image, maybe Bay Radio has (unwittingly) carried out a good service after all.


Kevin Decesare owner of Bay Radio has messaged and phoned me to explain that no offence to women was meant by that photo. As I pointed out earlier it was removed immediately, and for that quick response I think the company deserves to be commended. Well done again.

  • D Brincat

    Bay, and all its branches’ pages, on Facebook have become renowned for posting offensive and misogynistic photos and statuses. Their social media officer needs to be fired ASAP.

  • Ethelbert

    Don’t get me wrong I like you fully respect women in all ways possible .. but I like to see things as they are without too much victimizing. Form me this is just a Bacardi Breezer ad, what I dislike is individuals commenting in a very disgusting way like they did in that post because abuse is not something to joke about!!

    • Is this really an advert created by Bacardi? I really find it hard to believe they would use this image…perhaps the bottle is just there incidentally.

  • Christine

    It’s so not about Bacardi, you hardly see it!! When I opened the page all I could see was the man’s hand on the girl’s face, and her expression is disturbing! It’s just not cool.

  • J Fenech

    Thanks Josanne for this article. My boyfriend sent this link to me because it’s precisely what I feel when I see sexist ‘jokes’ and images roaming around the Web including Facebook walls – I wouldn’t be lying if I told you I see a similar image almost everyday! And it’s not only just the Maltese, but it’s around the world. There was a time when I used to hear these sexist ‘jokes’/comments made in front of me quite frequently and whenever I complained the only statement I would get back is ‘Come on why so serious? It’s just a joke!’ or ‘We cannot speak about anything any longer!’. It’s clear that people reasoning about this that way have never ENDURED any sexist behaviour.
    I can’t stand such these kind of ‘jokes’ on both genders – but I feel that women have it worst, especially in this backwards country. I don’t know what it is – misogyny, culture, lack of empathy, ignorance, ego issues.. ?!

  • Carmen Sammut

    Josanne, great work. You are the one who should be commended, for taking up this issue.

  • Wow

    Lighten up, this may not be violent this is physical detainment of a likely out of control drunken individual, female or otherwise who got too close to the DJ’s equipment demanding their track get played. Perfectly reasonable scenario. Men should be allowed to physically prevent women from attacking them, women can be violent too. The writer here has little more to do than attempt to create controversy where there is none and has generally not advanced what is otherwise a very important conversation on women’s respect/rights.

    • I would be more inclined to believe that the woman was being violent and that the DJ was trying to fend off an attack were it not for their respective body language. He is too nonchalant (he is not even looking at her and has not even stopped what he’s doing) and she’s practically bent over backwards with the force of his hand in her face. And if your scenario is the correct one, did he need to shove his hand in her face? Couldn’t he have held her by the arms?
      There was no need for me to create any controversy, because as you can see from the comments here (as well as on Facebook), while the intention behind posting it was intended as humour, most women were upset by this photo.

  • Adam

    I think you’re reading a lot into a single snapshot of a single moment in time. Frankly, it’s impossible to determine what’s happening in an entire situation by looking at a single snapshot. Another way you could interpret the ‘body language’ in this photo is that this woman is clearly trying to steal the man’s CD after already having knocked his headphones askew with a blow to the head. The man has turned away from her to protect his face, and stuck his arm out in self defense. If you weren’t there, you have no idea what’s actually happening here.

    The picture is not sexist, it only becomes so when people project sexist thoughts onto it, as was done twice in the above example: once in the caption placed on the picture, and once in your response to the picture.

  • Todd

    Let’s start with the fact that the DJ is WORKING. Chances are that’s her Bicardi, and probably not her first of the afternoon. She is clearly drunk and the DJ is clearly annoyed. She has probably been harassing him for quite a while at this point. …..She set her drink down and started thumbing through his CD’s and saying “Play this one, Play this one”. It is probably a good assumption since she has a huge grin on her face that she is in fact having a good time. No that’s not a look of agony, her hands are in the air just as everyone else has theirs up, having a good time. Of course the flip side of this is that the photo is staged, which makes HER complicit.
    The bottom line is that this is an “I’m so embarrassed that I got hammered yesterday afternoon and got put in my place by the DJ, I really should have stopped by Jack in the Box afterward. By the way does anyone remember what bar I left my credit card at last night?” photo. The fact that people find humor in this doesn’t make them misogynistic, it just happens to be a woman and a man. I’m sure you’ve had a laugh or two when watching America’s Funniest Videos when Dad gets whacked in the testicles by his kids whiffle ball bat. I’m glad the radio station was able to placate you. Don’t be a victim of your own crime.

    • wow that’s quite a story you built around that photo…quite a lot of assumptions too. Well, we are all free to interpret the image as we wish. I find it interesting that most women were repulsed by it – so no, the radio station did not placate ME but perhaps they were worried that its female listeners might not have such a fertile imagination as yourself to conjure up that convoluted back story.
      And as a matter of fact I do not find America’s funniest videos funny when they involve someone getting injured, whether it’s a man or a woman.

      • Adam

        The first time I saw this picture was on facebook, posted by a female. The picture was posted twice, with 2 different captions, both of which were pretty sexist. 1) There are plenty of females that find this picture, and the sexist commentary attached, to be funny. 2) Women, as it turns out, have the capacity to be sexist. 3) To suggest that because women have a different view of this picture than men do, and that somehow that holds meaning regarding the inherant quality of the picture itself, is, in itself, a sexist point of view.

        Face it, it’s not the picture that’s sexist. Only when the comments are added, or the articles written about it, are people’s sexist thoughts revealed.

    • Todd

      My assumptions aren’t anymore convoluted than any conclusions you have drawn/derived from the photo. I’m also glad you collaborated with the Washington Post and took an undiluted poll of all the women who had a chuckle and moved on without comment. Apparently you are incapable of accepting the possibility that her actions were inappropriate and yielded a negative response. I’m sure even YOU are smart enough to know that if you touch the stove you will get burned. I hope I make your skin crawl, it makes me happy to know that I am capable of being open minded and see that stories/photos, regardless of who they are told by, are multifaceted. I don’t advocate abuse against women or anyone (or animal for that matter), but I also don’t advocate simple-minded people either, which is what is wrong with this unenlightened entitled society that apparent liberals like you have championed. Victim victim victim.

  • Todd

    It’s all the more humorous when your wife walks in the room, looks over your shoulder at the picture and the first and only words out of her mouth are “Drunk Bitch”.

    • I’m glad your wife found it so amusing

    • Todd

      Yeah, and the best part is she’s not an imprudent feminist either.

  • Joe

    Would you have seen anything wrong if the person being pushed away was a man and the caption read ‘faggot’ instead of ‘bitch’? Would you have seen anything wrong if the person doing the pushing was a woman?

    Having said that, the photograph is one of those that Henri Cartier-Bresson would have called ‘the decisive moment’. It captures an instant in time and does not really tell us the whole story. Such photographs distort reality.

  • Korso

    This right here is why I hate people. stupid people taking things like this out of context. this does not condone abuse towards women. This is so far from it, it is like soccer to football. what I got from this is some idiot (Who happens to be a woman.) is harassing this DJ, trying to get him to play a song that he simply does not want to play. Simple as that. By saying this is degrading to women only increases the notion that feminists, who are most likely the ones who were angry, want special treatment and not equality. would this be getting hate if it was a woman pushing a man off there? Ask yourselves that question.

    (NOTE: Anyone man who abuses a woman is no man, and is a weak coward. No matter what way is happens, physical or mental, abuse should never be tolerated. With that said, the same goes for women too.)

  • Mark Thomas Emmrich

    oh no… i can sooooooooo relate to this. I am glad i found you and were able to make sense of all this. beginning of last my girlfriend and i had this exact same scenario! While having our usual sunday afternoons meeting at the park, she was reading this book “50 Shades of Grey”, very locked on to that book. I was getting abit annoyed that she wasn’t paying any attention to me so i was leaning in to show the 2 tickets that i got to the Circus de Soleil show that was sold out for weeks, and i managed to get it due to an opening in ticket sales. We have been wanting to see this show to see something spectacular! BUT as i was excitingly giving her the news she give out no warning, and wapak! Full hand pushing my face and bend backwards!!! Argh!!!! the lack of decency that woman has! I didn’t know what to feel for weeks. Reading you brave move to call those radio bastards and tell them like it is gave me the courage to say to my girlfriend that enough is enough. Violence in this kind of nature will not be tolerated.

  • Van Der Gaar

    Much ado abt nothing. It would have been better if you target the female tv personalities, and female party goers wearing “clothes” saying “look at my patata or zejziet”. This article is on the verge of being a joke.

    I dont like such photos…but reality is that many girls simply love attention and will do anything to have it…such as the girl in the photo.

    In the meantime theres a huge amount of ladies in the media giving the impression that being female means showing off your body. This has been join on for ages…so now we have the result – a good proportion of youngsters treating females like things.

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