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A Canadian news anchor is speaking out after receiving a message from a viewer urging her to “dress appropriately.”
Kori Sidaway, a video journalist with CHEK News in Victoria, B.C. took to social media to share screenshots from a viewer email criticizing her on-air appearance.
The anonymous viewer criticized Sidaway for showing “too much cleavage” and referred to themselves as “the Vancouver Island Cleavage Police.” In the e-mail, the viewer included two photos, one of Sidaway from a Sept. 6 broadcast and another of a woman wearing a low cut white top.
“Attached are two photos,” the person wrote. “What you think we see and what we actually see. Dress appropriately, it was hard work to get there.”
This screenshot was sent to me and my colleagues in an attempt to shame and police my body. Well, I’m taking my power back.— Kori Sidaway (@korisidaway) September 7, 2020
To the nameless computer warrior(s) who try to reduce women into an outfit or a body part — this generation of women, doesn’t stand for harassment👩🏼🤝👩🏻✌🏻 pic.twitter.com/fgGySbVTYy
“This screenshot was sent to me and my colleagues in an attempt to shame and police my body. Well, I’m taking my power back,” Sidaway tweeted. “To the nameless computer warrior(s) who try to reduce women into an outfit or a body part — this generation of women, doesn’t stand for harassment.”
The tweet, which garnered more than 5,000 likes, prompted many female journalists to come forward, sharing their own experiences of being criticized by viewers for their appearance.
“I got an anonymous handwritten letter delivered to my network two weeks ago saying ‘decent men don’t want to see your ‘low cut tops.’ It shows poor taste in character. Hope you come to your senses and stick to doing your job.” I hate to hear it’s happening across Canada,” wrote TLN reporter Camilla Gonzalez.
You go, girl! Good for you! When the email popped up on my phone last night my son was shocked people would actually send us messages like that! And it seems to be getting worse. Pretty sure male anchors aren't subject to this kind of harassment.— Tess van Straaten (@tessvanstraaten) September 7, 2020
“Back when I was anchoring - like back in the ‘90s (the olden days), I was told to always wear long sleeves because my bare arms were too provocative!” said former anchor Tamara Stanners. “My. Bare. Arms!”
Sidaway issued a follow-up tweet thanking users for their outpouring of support and kindness in the wake of her discriminatory, and objectifying experience.
“I feel so much less alone, so supported and so much more empowered,” she wrote. “You helped take my lemon and made lemonade. Thank you.”