National Organization for Women gone wild: sex-free Christine O’Donnell savagely ‘slut-shamed’

I don’t enjoy being in the position of criticizing the National Organization for Women, but these comments are ridiculous.

If your internet has been turned off over the last 48 hours, here’s the recap: website Gawker.com posted a recounted story of a then-25-year old man who opened his front door on Halloween to find the once (and future) 39 year-old Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell. She remembered meeting him, and I guess she thought he was attractive. They go out to a bar, they go back to his place, they go to his bedroom, she undresses, and then she tells him she is and will remain a virgin. He’s not too happy with that. In the morning, he drives her back to her car. End of affair, all of — what — 10 hours?

Three years later, she gets the Republican nod for Senate, she gets loads of attention, and she’s the anti-sex and anti-masturbation candidate. He finds the whole thing bizarre. He tells Gawker, they pay him, they publish his story, the internet goes crazy. Liberals are particularly furious: it’s anti-women, it’s the usual crap, it’s opportunistic and it’s dirt-cheap politics.

That last part was Thursday. I wrote a post on it with this view: the idealistic notion that a politician’s sexual behavior must remain perfectly secret is laughable. While a noble idea, it’s never been the case for men, it won’t be the case for women, it’ll never be the case for anybody, ever. This story is not an expression of misogyny on the world’s part, it’s an expression of foolishness on the part of Christine and her ‘date.’

Well, cue the National Organization for Women. And while you’re at it, start up the cliche machine:

NOW to Media: Stop Reducing Women Candidates to Sex Objects
Statement of NOW President Terry O’Neill
October 28, 2010

Sexist, misogynist attacks against women have no place in the electoral process, regardless of a particular candidate’s political ideology . .

I get the feeling that Terry O’Neill spent very little time writing this. Either that, or her job has gotten so routine as to be reflexive, there’s very little in here that makes sense.

Christine O’Donnell has gotten mountains and mountains of press. These are only a few of the things the world might know of her: Conservative, Republican, anti-sex, anti-porn, anti-masturbation, pro-marriage, anti-gay, anti-condom, pro-abstinence, anti-government, anti-evolution, anti-science, anti-brains, anti-Obama, anti-healthcare, anti-stimulus, totally Tea Party, fundamentalist Christian, witchcraft dabbling, Hare Krishna curious, campaign-fund pilfering, former Bill Maher show pundit, and about to get her ass kicked in the election.

But now that Gawker published that true story, she’s been ‘reduced to a sex object’? The crusader VIRGIN? Hullo?! Try the opposite: the barely lustful tale just got added to her massive personality profile.

And sexism? Misogyny? To my mind, those are efforts to denigrate or disrespect someone. Good luck making those claims stick to a story that’s both true and, frankly, vanilla. More:

Today the tabloid website Gawker published an anonymous piece titled “I Had A One-Night Stand With Christine O’Donnell” that takes the routine sexual degradation of women candidates to a disgusting new low.

Wow. There was no ‘sexual degradation’ between the couple that night. So if it didn’t happen, if it never existed in reality, then where else did it come from? From Terry O’Neill’s mind. Right? She thinks sex is abnormal and dirty. Therefore, reminding people of it, bringing it into the light of day, is degrading to the participants. Oops, sorry: to the participating woman. “Leave the twisted female sex life alone!” she’s saying. For the rest of us, sex is normally a dirty good thing. Yay.

NOW repudiates Gawker’s decision to run this piece. It operates as public sexual harassment. And like all sexual harassment, it targets not only O’Donnell, but all women contemplating stepping into the public sphere.

Worse and worse. There is not a single definition of ‘sexual harassment’ which remotely applies. You’d think the President of NOW would come close. Unless she’s claiming that the whole planet is a politician’s work environment. Then every sex scandal provides a cause for action, and all Christine O’Donnell has to do is to sue . . Zeus? No having sex with anyone else on Earth, incidentally — company policy.

NOW/PAC has proudly endorsed women’s rights champion Chris Coons, O’Donnell’s opponent in the Delaware Senate race, and finds O’Donnell’s political positions dangerous for women. That does not mean it’s acceptable to use slut-shaming against her, or any woman.

. . and that might be the sadly crowning effort, there. If Gawker were denigrating her, she would have been denigrated. If they were scorning her, she would have gotten scorned. But since they were ‘slut-shaming‘ her, Christine got slut-shamed. Congratulations Terry, you’re the first person to match up ‘slut’ with the iron-clad chastity ditz, O’Donnell. What a good friend you turned out to be.

Reminds me of the time I went over to see my niece as she got ready for the Homecoming dance. When she walked out into the living room, I said, “Wow, look at you, in that low-cut dress . .” That’s when my sister pressed “So she’s a slut to you, too?”

Similarly, reminds me of the time when that 39 year-old virgin politician showed up at the door of a 25 year-old woman on some Halloween night. Yada yada Gawker yada yada . . and the Men’s Rights League said “This is textbook sexism and misanthropy. It is not acceptable to use cad-shaming against him, or any man.”

Okay, what’s going on here? If anything, really?

My guess: with increasing freedom, especially of the sexual kind, women are free to take the initiative as they please. But let’s not pretend that with the proliferation of sexual events, especially of the more casual nature, as O’Donnell’s date was, that tales of a random ‘affair’ won’t make their way out of the bedroom. Men and women talk about sex — always have, always will. And the more meaningless it was, the more likely it is that the encounter will go public. This has always been true for men, and now it’s increasingly true for women. Welcome, ladies.

Share