“Jill” at Feministe was one of the first to jump on the bandwagon mocking Christine O’Donnell’s sexuality (or actually, lack thereof), as I documented in my first post on the subject in September, Rachel Maddow Sexualizes Christine O’Donnell.
I’ll give her one thing, Jill is not jumping on the phony chorus of left-bloggers defending O’Donnell against the Gawker attack.
Jill condemns the sexist “code” in the attack on O’Donnell, but not the fact that O’Donnell’s sex life was exposed (emphasis mine):
This is a story, apparently, because O’Donnell is a big proponent of abstinence — not just from sex, but from sexual activity generally — until marriage. And I’m a big fan of political hypocrisy stories, so it doesn’t bother me all that much when hypocrites like O’Donnell are exposed. She goes around saying that no one should have sex; if elected she’ll push for policies that teach kids in school that sex is sinful outside of marriage and condoms and contraceptives don’t work; and if elected she’ll vote against abortion rights. At the same time as she’s condemning sexual activity outside of heterosexual marriages — and using her political platform to promote laws and policies that condemn sexual activity outside of heterosexual marriages — she’s engaging in it. Exposing that, I think, is fair game, just like I think it’s fair game to expose anti-gay bigots who sleep with people of the same sex, or “family values” men who cheat on their wives….
The O’Donnell story rubs me the wrong way not because her sex life is totally off-limits — sorry, sister, but when you start using your own purity and sexual mores to try and dictate everyone else’s, and when you want to be the sex police and violate everyone else’s privacy, you lose the right to your own — but because the whole story is coded in a very specific, very sexist way…. The point of the story isn’t to expose O’Donnell as a person who says one thing and does another; the point is to shame and humiliate her, and to shame humiliate her in an expressly sexualized way that is really only directed at women.
This meme, that because O’Donnell has certain views as to sexuality she must want to impose those views on everyone else, is plainly false, as Dave Weigel writes (emphasis mine):
I’m aware that Christine O’Donnell’s public commentary career started with her going on TV to talk about how kids shouldn’t have sex or masturbate before marriage. But not only has she never called for that behavior to be punished legally, I’m unaware of her ever coming out against the actions mentioned here — which, let’s remember are drinking, fooling around, and not having sex. There is no hypocrisy being exposed here. This is anonymous creep shaming a woman who wouldn’t sleep with him, and doing so because she’s a celebrity now.
There was no hypocrisy in O’Donnell’s conduct, but what if there were?
Should a female who advocates teaching “safe” sex in schools be outed if she doesn’t practice safe sex? Shall we have a condom police, as well as the Gawker waxing police? Where do we draw the line on exposing female sexual engagement if “hypocrisy” is the standard?
Jill’s logic is not logic at all. She doesn’t like the choices Christine O’Donnell has made, or O’Donnell’s politics, and wraps that political view in a blanket of supposed opposition to “hypocrisy.” But this entirely is a one way street, applied only to conservative women.
That said, while I disagree with Jill, at least she’s being honest, unlike so many of those defending O’Donnell for tactical political purposes.
Not Buying The Crocodile Tears From Gawker’s Enablers
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