Krystal Ball and Women In Politics

I read this interesting piece by Krystal Ball (yes, that’s her real name. She explains it in the piece). She is a candidate for Congress in Virginia running against incumbent Rep. Rob Wittman. Recently there was a leak of raunchy photos of her showing her wearing a Santa hat and simulating a sex act with her ex-husband, that were taken at a costume party six years ago. She writes about that, and other things regarding women in politics. As much as I hate the fact that she has these embarrassing pictures out there, women in her generation and younger better get used to it. The sexy photos you thought were so cool in high school and college can come back to haunt you as you make our way into adulthood. I’m not sure what we can do about it other than warn our daughters, but young people do stupid things, and nothing has ever been able to stop that. What we didn’t have before was a digital age where everyone can find access to them.

Krystal makes the point that men are not held to that same standard. She uses Scott Brown’s Cosmo pictures as an example. It’s true. But nothing is going to change that either. Believe it or not, there will always be titillation with sexy pictures of women. If you put yourself in the spotlight, and you have had sexy pictures taken in your past, they will surely find their way to the internet. That is life now as we know it. Is it fair? No. But life isn’t fair. By 28 years old, Krystal should have learned that. But I see in reading her post, there is a lot she hasn’t learned.

She talks about when she was 15 yrs old and how she admired the strength of Hillary when Bill was caught with Monica Lewinsky. She writes this:

I thought she had this toughness and grit, style and pain, all at the same time.She must have been such a jumble of emotions inside, but she persisted. But whatmust that first time facing the public be like, knowing that everyone knows about your private life? Knowing that your political opponents did this in order to hurt you?

Did it ever occur to the 15 year old Krystal that it wasn’t the political opponents that cheated on Hillary, humiliating her as First Lady and humiliating their child? It wasn’t their opponents that had a young girl, not much older than his own daughter, servicing him in the Oval Office. That would be Bill Clinton. The most popular Democrat in the party right now.

Krystal wants to talk about a glass ceiling? She wants to talk about the different standards given to men and women? Maybe she should look at the fact that it is her party who still honors a man who used his power to seduce a young intern, used her, and would have destroyed her completely, if not for that infamous blue dress. The most popular man in the Democrat party is someone who used women his entire life. Maybe that is what Krystal should be worried about when it comes to women and politics and respect. He used Monica. He made her out to be the liar, then lied to the American people. How can this man be put on a pedestal in Krystal’s party after what he did? How can women in the Democratic party think that’s ok?

Yes, Hillary was strong. I agree with that. But what choice did she have? This woman wanted to be President. Divorcing Clinton during his Presidency would have destroyed that plan, and she knew it. Can you even imagine her moving out of the White House, and giving up being First Lady? She was still incredibly strong, but let’s not pretend it was for anything else but political power.

All is not lost with Krystal though:

I also have to admit that even though I disagree with her on almost every issue, Sarah Palin was also a part of inspiring me to run. When I saw Sarah up on the stage with her baby, running to be our Vice-President, loving and caring for a baby and interviewing for the second most powerful job in the world, I thought, wow, maybe I can run for office even though I have a young baby. In that way, I think that Sarah Palin has done a tremendous service for women of my generation.

What Krystal needs to think about is that Hillary Clinton, the woman she admires so much more than Palin, road her husband’s coattails to being Senator, and to running for President. Not that I don’t think Hillary couldn’t have done it on her own, but the truth is she didn’t. Palin, on the other hand, not only won on her own, but being chosen as the VP candidate was completely hers. Her husband had zero to do with it. Who really is more of a role model for women? Add to that, Sarah did all she did while having five children, and no nanny. I’d call that about as impressive as it gets. That speaks to young women about independence, drive, and having it all. Staying with a man who habitually cheats on you so you can attain political power, does not.

Over her embarrassment, Krystal wrote this:

I couldn’t stand the idea that I had somehow damaged the cause of young women running for office. I couldn’t stand the idea that I might shame my family, my friends or my supporters in some way.

Rest assured, you didn’t. You did not shame your family or supporters. Everyone understands about these things now. You certainly didn’t damage the cause of young women running for office. But who you put your trust in regarding women and politics, just might though.

I wish Krystal Ball well. I hope these pictures don’t affect her campaign. I also hope she keeps opening her mind up to who really respects women, and who doesn’t.

crossposted at KathleenMcKinley.com

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