The Internet finds another victim.
If you haven’t heard of Allison Stokke, you’re the exception: Google her name and you’ll receive almost one million results. There are fan sites, youtube videos, and countless blog posts, all dedicated to her. And she wishes there weren’t.
Allison is a high school student who also happens to be a champion pole vaulter. Oh, and she’s beautiful. Someone posted a picture of her on a message board, and within weeks, thousands upon thousands of mouth-breathers were ogling her in the privacy of their odd-smelling bedrooms. Meanwhile, this unsuspecting high school student was being harassed not only virtually but in public, while her parents got to read all about the urges of the clammy-palmed weirdos ogling their daughter. The Washington Post reported on the harassment of Ms. Stokke, which, as we would expect of any virtual gang-bang, is not only idiotic (imagine hundreds of readers repeating the same joke about vaulting and poles) but also at times frighteningly hostile. Comments in one prominent sports blog, which I won’t honor with a link, include such gems as “I need to introduce her to my locked basement for several months.” (Ha, ha! Get it?!)
The Washington Post characterized the abuse as inevitable. Anyone who dares to be attractive in a public setting, we now know, can and should be considered prey. “Stokke has smooth, olive-colored skin and toned muscles,” writes the reporter, and so the Internet had no choice but to violate her privacy. If it’s not her beauty, it’s what she’s (not) wearing: several sites have implicated her skimpy outfits as the rationale behind her exposure. A pole vaulter, apparently, should wear a muumuu. Anything else means she is begging the testosterone-afflicted to crouch, panting, behind the shrubbery in her front yard.
The same chronic masturbators who happily ogled Ms. Stokke last week are now taking umbrage with her for talking to the Washington Post. According to the commenters who frequent wanking/sports blogs, Allison 1) obviously wants the attention if she agreed to talk to a newspaper, and 2) should stop complaining because all this attention is going to mean a lot of money for her, someday. The argument that one type of publicity (talking candidly about one’s personal ordeal) is equivalent to any other (having your mons cleavage appraised by strangers) is beyond asinine. And anyway, it’s beside the point. They’re mad because she ruined their little fantasy by announcing that she’s an unwilling participant. And here we at least have a shred of hope for these guys, that knowing she’s in distress isn’t even more of a turn-on.
In a bitter post-script to this story, it turns out that Allison’s father, defense lawyer Al Stokke, has represented some world-class creeps, including a police officer who ejaculated on a motorist. Yes, you read that correctly. Al Stokke (successfully) defended the officer by explaining that the victim was an exotic dancer—thus, asking for it. In the words of Al “Don’t Disrespect my Daughter” Stokke, “She got what she wanted. She’s an overtly sexual person.”
This was not the first time that Mr. Stokke attacked a victim. What Al does has zero bearing on whether his daughter should be exploited across the Internet, of course. But let’s hope that this ordeal wakes him up to his own mistreatment of women for professional gain–unlikely as that epiphany may be.
This week Allison Stokke participated in the last state meet of her high school career, and finished in a disappointing fourth place. Hmm, I wonder why.