I don’t know if you’ve seen this Gawker story in which some anonymous jerk of a guy spills all about his single semi-hookup with rightwing Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell, but when I read it, I felt nauseated.
I am no fan of O’Donnell’s politics (HUGE UNDERSTATEMENT) and I don’t think she’s qualified to be a U.S. Senator. However, this Gawker piece, in which the guy discusses how the two of them drank a few beers together over the course of an entire evening out on the town, and then made out/fooled around in his bed for a few hours afterward is just garbage.
O’Donnell has made a big deal in her political campaigning about how she doesn’t want to have sexual intercourse until she gets married. That’s obviously her own business, but she also wants to get into your business and mine by suggesting that government should legislate with the aim of making sure none of the rest of us do the deed until we’re hitched either. Given this preachy stance, Gawker played this story up for all it’s worth, suggesting with the headline, “I had a one night stand with Christine O’Donnell” that they are revealing some major act of hypocrisy on her part.
In fact, however, the obnoxious first person accounting from the anonymous asshat who says he went on a single date with her three years ago – and whom Gawker admits to paying “in the low four figures” for the story and photos – actually tells the tame tale of a woman who DID NOT have sexual intercourse during what Gawker describes tantalizingly as a “one night stand.”
So a 40 year old single woman had 5 or 6 beers while out for an evening, and then fooled around with her date before they parted ways. Big deal. So what? The point of this story was clearly to sexually humilate O’Donnell, with the jerk doing the kissing and telling actually commenting graphically and in a particularly ugly, misogynist way about the state of O’Donnell’s pubic hair.
This story is sexist garbage of the worst kind. It’s an attempt to keep an outspoken woman with whom the Gawker editors happen to disagree politically in her place by shaming her publicly in the most sexist way possible. If a male candidate went on a date with someone three years ago, had a few beers, and then made out with his date – fairly predictable behavior for single adults – would this be of interest to anyone? Would the state of his pubic hair (or his penis size, or his erectile dysfunction, etc ) be something Gawker would allow to be written about in a graphic and negative way? I am guessing no.
I am very disappointed to see progressive friends passing this story around today and making fun of O’Donnell. Women in particular need to denounce this trashy, sexist piece, and I am proud to see that the National Organization for Woman has done just that.
This kind of nasty tripe is why so many smart, good people are deciding against running for office. This story is frightening to potential women candidates in particular – women in both parties. The message is that if you run for office and a particular media outlet of either political persuasion doesn’t agree with your views, they will humilate and shame you publicly, using your personal sexual history to make you look like a sexually aggressive, yet undesirable drunken slut.
I am really sorry this happened to Ms. O’Donnell.
(But I still hope very much that she loses the election)
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