Hill: A congresswoman downed by #MeToo
Rep. Katie Hill’s resignation this week “is what accountability looks like—but it’s also what slut shaming looks like,” said Molly Roberts in WashingtonPost.com. The first-term California Democrat was a rising star until RedState.com revealed her “throuple” with her husband and a 22-year-old female campaign staffer. The openly bisexual Hill, 32, conceded the relationship was “inappropriate,” but adamantly denied the conservative website’s charge she was also conducting an active affair with a male Capitol Hill aide. RedState.com published photos of Hill kissing the female campaign staffer and holding a bong while naked, pictures Hill claims were supplied by her “monster” soon-to-be-ex-husband. Taking nudes with a subordinate was “unbelievably stupid,” said Robin Abcarian in the Los Angeles Times. But Hill’s resignation smacks of a “double standard.” Look at the all the male politicians who’ve survived far worse, including President Trump, who paid hush money to a porn star and a Playboy model and boasted of sexually assaulting women.
There’s a double standard all right—for women, said Miranda Devine in NYPost.com. The #MeToo mob would “show no mercy” to any male politician who tried to brush off sex with a subordinate as merely “inappropriate,” yet liberals want to give fellow liberal Hill “a free pass for her egregious abuse of power.” Hill’s former lover/employee is now a self-described “mess” whose leaked texts describe the throuple as “toxic.” Yet Hill and her defenders are playing the “victim feminism card,” claiming Hill is suffering an “appalling invasion of privacy.” No one should shed any tears for Hill, said Tiana Lowe in WashingtonExaminer.com. Her ouster is a “#MeToo success story”—proof that “the powerful, even women, can still be held to account.”
RedState.com’s decision to publish the nude photos of Hill has crossed an “ugly line,” said Quinta Jurecic in LawfareBlog.com. “Nonconsensual pornography,” better known as “revenge porn,” is illegal in California and Washington, D.C. To my knowledge, the Hill photo “is the first instance in which a politically aligned publication—or, indeed, any publication—has released nonconsensual pornography” featuring a politician. Online partisan sites may be tempted by the rush of traffic RedState.com enjoyed and the political damage it caused. In an era in which many people in public life have taken nude or sexual selfies, we may have just seen “where things are headed.” ■