Earlier this week, Mari Jasmine opened up about her relationship with director Samantha Lee. A lot of news outlets picked up on this, including us. One story in particular caught Mari’s attention, and not for a good reason. The headline read “Sam Milby’s ex Mari Jasmine admits relationship with female director.” Do you see the problem with this title? No? Well, Mari pointed out, “There is some irrelevant information in this headline. I am a woman with my own story and identity who doesn’t need to be clarified by past relationships.”
There is some irrelevant information in this headline. I am a woman with my own story and identity who doesn’t need to be defined by past relationships. ??♀️ https://t.co/VwZhDeX943
— Mari Jasmine (@mari_jasmn) July 5, 2018
And netizens agreed with Mari, some even offered alternative titles like, “Accomplished host and media personality, Mari Jasmine, admits relationship with award-winning director and pancake aficionado, Sam Lee.”
Accomplished host and media personality, Mari Jasmine, admits relationship with award-winning director and pancake aficionado, Sam Lee ♥️
Fixed it. https://t.co/G6IdofH55Q
— Kai Honasan-Del Rio (@kaihonasan) July 5, 2018
This slip-up brings to light a problem we should talk about. Why are women hidden behind men and their accomplishments? Another netizen said it best, “Anchoring the headline with a ‘known’ name to captivate an audience seems good until the article misses the mark to empower a woman with an equally interesting story to tell.”
Agreed. Anchoring the headline with a “known” name to captivate an audience seems good until the article misses the mark to empower a woman with an equally interesting story to tell. Writers, here’s a challenge to do better. ?❤ https://t.co/k9rQsToJmR
— John Harold Escora (@haroldiffic) July 5, 2018
Yes, we definitely agree with this. Sure, Mari used to date Sam Milby but we fail to see how this is relevant now. Mari has her own accomplishments and success that she doesn’t need to be described merely as someone’s ex. Women shouldn’t be defined by men. We can stand on our own and make names for ourselves. So, instead of putting the focus on Mari and her celebration of Pride, Sam Milby was put in the spotlight, even when he had nothing to do with this story. Headlines like these push back the progress that we have been working so hard for. Women haven’t been fighting against gender pay gaps, inequality, and misogyny just to be labelled as someone’s ex or significant other.
So, in the future, we hope to see headlines that are more progressive and forward-thinking. Like what one netizen tweeted, they could have described Mari for her own accomplishments like being a model or TV host. Let’s put these practices in the past and give women fair representation when it’s due.
Art by Marian Hukom
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