Home / General / Another Reminder That Even Odious Politicians Can Be Subject To Misogynist Attacks

Another Reminder That Even Odious Politicians Can Be Subject To Misogynist Attacks


I have to agree (as even another part of Gawker Blogpost Production Enterprises LLC that was forced to run a prominent link to  the story largely concedes) that the Gawker non-story about an attempted Christine O’Donnell hookup provides substantial evidence that the would-be hookupee is a gold-plated asshole (“She was a ‘cougar’!”   “Who didn’t have a bikini wax, which is ‘obviously’ unattractive!'” It goes on like that…) but provides nothing of interest about O’Donnell.   Evidently, if this involved a male politician the chances that this would be a story are less than nothing.    Worst of all, it doesn’t even have the flimsy “hypocrisy” angle that is usually used to justify this kind of trivia, since she apparently wanted to remain a “born-again virgin.”

No link to original, but allow me to summarize to discourage you: a single woman who is now running for Senate once made out with some guy, and then they didn’t see each other again.   He would very much like to you know that she was into it but he considered himself far better than that.    Article fails to make a convincing case for the latter proposition, although I do not (to put it mildly) have a positive impression of the future candidate.   The end.

…see also Amanda and Tracy Clark-Flory. Amanda elaborates effectively on why the “hypocrisy” charge is pretty feeble. Besides, as a general rule I’m inclined to believe that unless there’s something wrong with the underlying behavior, when it comes to outing the private acts of public figures “hypocrisy” is (to paraphrase Robert Christgau) an excuse for anything and a reason for nothing.

…more on the web outlet apparently being edited by the late Bob Guccione here, here and here. I’ll give the final word to Weigel: “Hey Gawker, I hope a one-day SEO term victory is worth the sleaziest piece of shit story in memory.”

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  • Agreed. Was pretty annoyed to see the usually excellent Taegan Goddard linking to it. Disgusting non-story that will probably bump her a few points in the poll out of sympathy if anything.

    • Anderson

      Yah, that’s where I saw the story. Sorry, but that was not a “one-night stand.”

      The story might’ve had some relevance if it contended she was not a virgin, but it didn’t.

      And I’m so sorry for that asshole that O’Donnell doesn’t watch enough porn to know how to present her vagina for his juvenile satisfaction.

  • Alex

    I dunno. The guy is a douchebag but I think it is relevant and not especially misogynist. I think if a male candidate descended on a young woman’s apartment with some cock and bull story and behaved the same way, it would be relevant as well. I don’t have any more sympathy for O’Donnell, but it has increased my perception of how pathetic she is. assuming any of it is true.

    • Left_Wing_Fox

      Why is this relevant?

      Nutty religious beliefs are relevant in how they dictate policy.

      Policy positions or statements of belief and intent are absolutely relevant.

      Criminal activity and ethics violations? Absolutely.

      Evidence of Hypocrisy? Well…

      It’s useful to the extent that it shows untrustworthiness, but I don’t think I would change the opinions of Christians that make up much of her base. It seems to matter more that a person promote Christian Values than to actually live up to them privately. “Salvation through Faith Alone”, I think is the general protestant doctrine.

      This really is nothing more than a distraction. If my favored candidate was exposed doing these sorts of things, it wouldn’t change my vote, because It really dosen’t affect their policies.

      • Alex

        I dunno, when a 40 year old person behaves like a nineteen year old dipshit, then wants to become a US Senator 3 years later, I think it is relevant. It is at least if not more relevant than 40 something Rand Paul acting like an asshole in college.

        It isn’t the most important data point, it isn’t even among the top 100 wrt to O’Donnell, but it isn’t irrelevant either.

        How she behaved 3 years ago might be more relevant that really stupid things she said 15 years ago on the TeeVee, because it shows she remains juvenile in her outlook.

    • soullite

      It’s called ‘courting’ people do it every day. And yes I have ‘descended’ on a female’s apartment with a completely bullshit reason to hang out with them. Girls have done this to me. It is completely transparent, that is kind of the point.

  • mark f

    So she made him go out and then wouldn’t even fuck him? Man, I hate it when sluts are such prudes.

    • soullite

      I don’t know what she intended to do with him, but she clearly intended to do SOMETHING with him. Even the charge of ‘tease’ falls short, as it is he who is the tease in this story.

  • You need a reminder that right-wing women running for office are frequently subject to misogynist attacks? Have you ever read Andrew Sullivan?

    • Scott Lemieux

      Yeah, that’s kind of my point.

  • cer

    It is an anonymous source who has pictures of O’Donnell in her Halloween costume and absolutely no verification of the vast majority of the story. This will not reveal her hypocrisy to her right-wing followers but will reconfirm their belief that lefties are creeps and they are martyrs. But, hey, brilliant click-bait, Gawker!

    And if true I don’t know how it makes her pathetic, even if we take the word of this very self-aggrandizing asshole, this sounds like a pretty pedestrian adventure in dating.

  • fanshawe

    I’m not as certain as you and Jessica Cohen at Jezebel that it “wouldn’t be a story” if a 40-year-old bible-thumping male politician and his friend lied their way into the appartment of a 25-year-old woman the candidate secretly had his eye on, and then drunkely made out/got naked with the woman before leaving her several weeks worth of unwanted e-mails and phone messages.

    I’m also not sure what the assertion that it would only be a story if the hypothetical male candidate “were viewed as patently ridiculous as is O’Donnell,” is getting at, since the actual candidate in this case is precisely as ridiculous as O’Donnell.

    Likwise her assertion that, were it a male candidate “our attention will wander elsewhere in short order,” may be true. But again, the gawker article was published a few hours ago, so who knows how long people will pay attention to this.

    The anonymous author of the original post is clearly a jerk and his language is often misogynistic. But stories about a politician’s actions reveal vague and meaningless hypocracy, or about Tee-hee-hee “celebrity” sexy time are always popular. That’s stupid, but it’s stupid for reasons that transcend gender bias.

    • Scott Lemieux

      lied their way into the appartment of a 25-year-old woman

      Oh, Christ, she came up with an excuse to talk to a guy she was interested in. She didn’t claim to be a police officer or something, and they knew who she was.

      before leaving her several weeks worth of unwanted e-mails and phone messages.

      Again, a guy went out with her and made out with her, she made some follow-up attempts at contact, and apparently stopped as soon as he made his lack of interest clear. As cer says above, you make this sound like it’s harassment or something, but is this what is called “dating.” And to claim that this nefarious inferences would be made about this bog-standard behavior if the candidate was a man is frankly nuts.

      • DrDick

        You are absolutely correct. There is no “there” there. This is totally irrelevant to anything and Gawker was sleazy to publish it. As you say, this would never have made the news if a middle aged guy did it.

      • Malaclypse

        Again, a guy went out with her and made out with her, she made some follow-up attempts at contact, and apparently stopped as soon as he made his lack of interest clear.

        That’s only true if any of this actually happened; it seems obvious to me that it did not. They allegedly met for a few minutes a year before, yet his sexual magnetism was so great that she contrived a series of implausible events in order to lose her virginity to him?

        How is anyone treating this as plausible, let alone relevant?

        • Scott Lemieux

          Fair enough. What’s amazing is that even if he’s telling the truth, there’s absolutely nothing there. Not only is there nothing of the slightest relevance about he ability to serve in the Senate, she comes out of it looking far better than he does. If he made it up it would be really amazing.

        • soullite

          I dated a fundie back in highschool. You really should assume they were going to have sex because she removed her underwear. There are all kinds of things those women convince themselves ‘don’t count’, and some of them would count in anyone else’s eyes.

    • Mike Schilling

      if a 40-year-old bible-thumping male politician and his friend lied their way into the apartment of a 25-year-old woman

      One of those who’s interested in women would be interesting for the novelty value.

  • L2P

    Cast me in the doubt-double-standard-camp. At least as far as O’Connell’s concerned. Don’t you think Fox News would have somebody on to talk about Obama making a booty call to a younger woman on Halloween? I bet O’Reilly would kill for a picture of Obama in a sexy pirate costume.

    I think there is a double standard here, though. This guy’s a douchebag, but really we’re not that upset about it. A girl coming forward would be slutshamed from here to eternity.

  • DrDick

    I have to agree that politicians’ sex lives are off limits unless they clearly demonstrate hypocrisy, involve illegal acts, or demonstrate a conflict of interest relevant to their job. Otherwise, no matter how sleazy and personally repugnant they are, it is none of our business.

    • NonyNony

      I’d even say that hypocrisy shouldn’t be the sole reason to dredge someone’s sex life into the public eye. It has to be hypocrisy that is relevant to policy or political outcomes the candidate supports. A candidate who wants to outlaw abortion who had her own abortion in the past or paid for a girlfriend to have an abortion is relevant hypocrisy. A candidate who wants to continue to treat gays as second class citizens but who has been carrying on secret gay affairs for decades is relevant hypocrisy. A candidate who was outspoken about the Clenis but who has his own adulterous affairs is relevant hypocrisy.

      Even if there’s any hypocrisy here by O’Donnell – which I’m not actually seeing myself – I don’t see it as relevant anyway.- it’s not like O’Donnell supports a position that says the government should take an active role in preventing women from hooking up with assholes for consensual makeout sessions.

      • DrDick

        I would agree with that and probably should have phrased that more precisely.

      • Halloween Jack

        What I came here to say; well-put.

  • Malaclypse

    I can’t believe anyone is seriously discussing an anonymous letter that lakes the form “Dear Gawker forum, I never thought I would write, but a virgin I met for 5 minutes a year ago tried to jump my bones, but I was grossed out by the sight of a normal vagina.”

    • cer

      I have to agree here. The story really sounds implausible on many levels. This will be a repeat of the Trig Palin/Andrew Sullivan B.S. in which she will become the slandered, virtuous hero in this story and it will further cement her status with the right and will nauseate others.

      And if we’re going to condemn her hypocrisy then anyone who leaps to believe a misogynist creep because they want to believe the worst of a political enemy is pretty damn hypocritical. Or, if making a point about her hypocrisy on sexual issues, there was no need to go into detail about her public hair, etc. The point was to shame her and that is disgusting.

      • Scott Lemieux

        they want to believe the worst of a political enemy

        And what’s especially embarrassing — whether the story is true or false — is that there’s no “worst” to be believed here. I don’t see that she did anything wrong; the guy basically smeared himself.

        • Malaclypse

          I don’t see that she did anything wrong;

          I realize I’m belaboring this point, but there is no evidence at all that she did anything at all, right or wrong. We have a creepy person who tells an utterly implausible story. I do not believe that real late-30s attractive female virgins show up at the doorstep of sleazy “men” fifteen years their junior who look vaguely like Jonah Goldberg that they met briefly months ago begging to lose their virginity. This simply does not happen outside of pornographic fantasies.

          On one level, you are clearly right – O’Donnell did nothing wrong. But this is sort of like saying Abe Lincoln did nothing wrong during Abe Lincoln, Vampire Hunter. The C O’D of this weird fantasy has no real-life connection to the C O’D who is running in Delaware. Yes, fictional C O’D did no wrong in the story, but so what?

          Long ago, I’m sure that I could have explained how you were using the rules of one Wittgensteinian language-game while actually playing another. And I’m pretty convinced that is what is happening here. But I’m no longer good at the language-game of explaining language-games, so I’m bogging down in snarky references to Gawker Forum.

          I guess I just don’t feel that real C O’D has any role in this story, good or bad. And I’m floored that anyone is taking a masturbate-to-christine-o’donnell fantasy seriously on any level whatsoever. Finally, I’m pissed off that someone has made me feel sympathy for O’Donnell, who is otherwise stupid and/or evil.

          • Malaclypse

            Gah, sorry about the tag fail.

          • Ed

            It is very strange that everyone is automatically taking at face value a dubious and uncorroborated story from an anonymous party who was paid for his trouble. Mission accomplished for Gawker.

            • Scott Lemieux

              I, at least, am not taking it at face value…but this point would be much more important if the story actually revealed anything bad about O’Donnell.

            • Walt

              I think people are believing the story just because if he were making it up you’d think he’d make himself sound less like an ass.

            • Anderson

              If he’d made it up, he would claim to have had anal sex with her, or something equally difficult to disprove.

              (She may well have an intact hymen, which is not 100% dispositive but a good clue.)

              My sympathy for O’Donnell (who is, let’s be clear, a pernicious loon) is *almost* diminished by a twinge of regret that Delaware’s will not become the first-ever U.S. Senate race to feature a major party candidate’s asking for a publicly reported hymenal inspection. Because that would be sublimely bizarre.

              Seems we will have to settle for “I am not a witch” as the definitive moment.

  • Laura

    The writer is awesome. As soon as Christine told him she wasn’t going to let him fuck her, THAT’s when she noticed that her vagina was all hairy gross. So like HE totally rejected HER, man, not the other way! And to prove it, she even called him later and shit.

    Dude probably thinks he comes off as a romeo for having a job and not committing rape.

  • Tom


  • wengler

    If anything this story proves that Republican women are much less interesting in their personal lives than Republican men.

    On the other hand, O’Donnell is out trying to ‘crush’ radio stations for the sin of rebroadcasting interviews with her online. It appears that O’Donnell saves her scandalous actions for public view.

    • Malaclypse

      If anything this story proves that Republican women are much less interesting in their personal lives than Republican men

      No. If I tell a story about how “wengler spends all of his/her free time playing computer pinochle,” that story would not prove anything about you, because I made it up.

      • Scott Lemieux

        Asserting as a fact that is was made up isn’t really more tenable than assuming it’s true in every detail, especially since O’Donnell is criticizing but not explicitly denying the story.

        • Ed

          People were discussing the story and accepting it as true before O’Donnell had any chance to respond. Even now there is still plenty of room for skepticism.

          If he’d made it up, he would claim to have had anal sex with her, or something equally difficult to disprove.

          Not necessarily.

  • Walt

    The most shocking aspect of this story is the discovery that Delawareans looking to party go to… Philadelphia. They don’t emphasize the Brotherly part in City of Brotherly Love for nothing.

  • Bart

    You lost me at “didn’t have a bikini wax”.

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