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October 7, 2010

Female politicians and blasts from the past - double standard?

Yet another politician has been caught on camera doing something he/she shouldn't be if they want a political career. Something truly embarrassing, though whether it should make a difference in a political campaign is debatable.

This time, it involves Krystal Ball (an unfortunate name, I would think), Democratic candidate for Congress from Virginia. A series of pictures from a party shortly after college, of a scantily-clad Ball, along with her now ex-husband, have been posted on the Net.

Personally, I don't like these "gotcha" type of stories, where stuff from the past is dredged up to try and sway current voters, rather than addressing the issues. Anybody who grew up from the 60s onward has to have some extremely weird stuff in their background, given the permissiveness of society nowadays. (Ok, I don't, but that in itself is weird). If the person in question is unfortunate enough (or stupid enough) to let it be caught on film (or even video!), then it's even worse for them.

But does something that happened years ago, when we were young, really matter? I don't think so.

There is one place where Ball gets this totally wrong. She says that the release of these photos is "sexist" and reflective of how female politicians are treated today compared to male politicians.

That just ain't so, Krystal. (Can I call you Krystal?)

I don't deny that there is a double standard in politics, and that too many female politicians are judged by their looks rather than their politics. Though it can't apply to everybody, or Nancy Pelosi would have been voted out a long time ago.

But I digress.

So yes, there is a double standard.

But is this a good example of it? Can you seriously tell me, if there were photos of a male politician feeling up some woman at a party, having fun with a sex toy (if that surprises you, you obviously didn't go look at the link I provided), that they wouldn't be put out by the opposition party (or a fellow traveler) in an attempt to discredit them?

There is definitely sexism in politics. The release of these photos, as smarmy as it is, is not an example of it.

Sex and titillation sell, no matter the gender of the politician in question. The media would have a field day with this.

That being said, I'm looking on Google news, and I'm not seeing any real "mainstream" press reporting this, so maybe they *aren't* taking it and running with it. Maybe it truly is an Internet phenomenon.

Whatever the case, maybe I'm just being pedantic. There is a lot of sexism in the political field. There is a lot of dredging up of history rather than attacking somebody on their positions going on in politics too.

Let's call this what it truly is. It's the latter, not the former.


  1. I think I actually agree with you. You and I don't exactly see eye to eye on politics but you are right about this, in my opinion.

    I personally don't see anything wrong with the photos. She was young and having fun. A sex toy was involved. They have become pretty mainstream these days. The sex toy was attached to a nose not someone's private areas. She was gasping and I think I remember sucking on a sex toy, not someone's privates. It could have been a hell of a lot worse.

    Are the photos a little unfortunate, sure I guess. But not a reason not to vote for her. I'm sure plenty of better reasons exist. And if she is the best candidate in someone's eyes, I don't think these photos will sway them.

    That said, I'm a little pissed over her defense. The young and stupid defense would have been better suited.

  2. I see you're catching up on blogs tonight. :)

    You're right, there's really nothing wrong with the photos themselves anyway. I mean, anybody who's lived any kind of social life (and thus, leaving me out) has incidents like that in their past.

    If she did it last *week*, I might question her judgement, however. :)


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