Its always interesting reading newspapers on the internet especially when the topic of homosexuality emerges. The more things change the more they stay the same. In England the tabloids and even the mainstream UK media are all excited about a story that is actually very serious. It involves a female tennis coach Claire Lyte and a teenaged girl the pupil. Lyte is accused of having sexual relations with the teenager when she was only thirteen years old. The trial for Claire Lyte is taking place right now in Liverpool England.
Why is it necessary for the UK media to scream across the headlines “lesbian sex” or “lesbian affair”? Yes the two people involved in this very serious case of potential child abuse are both females. However, isn’t this damaging to the girl to call this a “lesbian affair”? The girl is old enough to read the newspapers. Don’t the UK media care about the affect this case can have on the teen?
After all, the child here is the victim. Why are the UK media already declaring that this is an issue about “lesbianism?” This case is not about lesbianism. Why are there double standards here? If the accused tennis coach was a male and he was accused of having sexual relations with a thirteen year old boy I am certain the UK media would take the case more seriously. The tone of the articles in the UK press would be much different it certainly wouldn’t be so sensationalized. The UK newspapers are just trying to get their readers into a frothy frenzy with the controversial headlines and the salacious language used in the articles. The main issue here is did the tennis coach abuse her authority or not?
And that’s my next question why is the UK media not taking this very serious issue of potential child abuse very seriously? I think it has to do with society’s attitude towards the issue of lesbianism. Society appears to have a love and hate relationship with lesbianism. On the one hand lesbianism is viewed as being licentious and on the other hand its viewed as something forbidden and wrong. The UK media are sending the wrong messages to the public. Child abuse should not be used to “sell” newspapers it should be about concentrating on the facts and reporting the story intelligently and fairly.
However, the use the word “lesbian sex” I believe transforms and trivializes the circumstances of this case. This case is not about “sex” its about power, abuse of authority, control, and child abuse. Just because both the people involved in this case are females does not mean the press should downplaying the seriousness of the charges. I find it very problematic that the UK media are making this case into a “tawdry affair”.
Now the mother of the victim claims she stepped into the room while Lyte and the thirteen year old girl were engaging in sexual relations. Now if this is true then Lyte must be prosecuted. However, the mother of the girl still allowed the girl to have tennis lessons with Lyte. If its true that Lyte abused the girl why would the mother allow her daughter to continue having tennis lessons with Lyte? Is the mother now an accessory to the act? If it is true that the mother saw her daughter engaging in sexual relations with an adult how could she allow her daughter to continue to take tennis lessons from the accused? It doesn’t make sense? The mother should of contacted the police right away.
According to UK media reports traces of Lyte’s DNA was found in the girl’s underwear. It does appear though that Lyte abused her position of authority and could of spent too much time with the tennis pupil. However, is DNA evidence 100% proof? Nobody knows if anything “improper” actually has taken place yet? The British media are incorrectly stating that the coach had “lesbian sex” with the tennis pupil. I believe this kind of headline is prejudice against lesbianism. Lesbianism is being treated as though its some kind of sensational act. Why is it necessary for the UK media to place the word “lesbian” before “sex” and why are they jumping to conclusions?
The only veracity at the moment is Claire Lyte may have spent a bit too much time with the young girl. Why doesn’t the UK media wait for an investigation to take place prior to making this very serious issue about potential child abuse into “gossip” for their readers?
Link: to Telegraph article about tennis abuse case: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/10/01/ntennis201.xml
Link to Timesonline.co.uk about the case: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article2592310.ece
Link to This Is London article: