If you've been hanging out in Feministville for any length of time, there's a good chance that you've noticed the propensity of many activists to treat women as objects. While this is a problem on the left, conservative activists seem to have a particular knack for treating women as means to an ends, or merely as objects for their own sake.
Last year, neo con man James O'Keefe released videos of what appeared to be ACORN employees helping prostitutes get loans to finance brothels. The subsequent scandal, which involved O'Keefe posing as a pimp and subsequently editing the bejeezus out of secret tapes, brought down ACORN. Apparently using the sex class is a much more direct way to bring down progressive organizations than, say, discussing predatory lending.
You may or may not remember James O'Keefe from his role in disseminating heavily edited videotapes of an actress portraying a 13 year-old rape victim seeking assistance from Planned Parenthood.
Earlier this year, O' Keefe was among the folks who broke into Senator Mary Landrieu's office to tap her phones, for reasons unknown.
He also launched a campaign against Representative Maxine Waters.
O' Keefe's friend, Andrew Breibert, went after the Obama administration's “racist” ways by editing a video (um, CNN?) of longtime Department of Agriculture employee Shirley Sherrod, who is also a woman. I'm not sure how much the racism charges against Obama stuck, but I do know that Sherrod no longer works for the USDA.
What a sad, sorry, and frightening pattern. What could possibly come next?
CNN investigative reporter Abbie Boudreau was working on a story about O'Keefe and company, who were none too pleased to be the target of some woman's criticism. Naturally, O'Keefe responded with a heavy dose of sexual harassment:
When I [Abbie Boudreau] showed up [to interview O'Keefe], there was no office, as promised. Instead, he wanted to get me on a boat, which we later learned, was staged as a "pleasure palace." One of his colleagues, Izzy Santa, who was in Maryland that day, told me about the plan and stopped the punk before it happened.
Izzy told me he had "strawberries and champagne" waiting for me on the boat, and that he planned to "hit on me" the entire time. She said it would all be captured on hidden cameras that had been set up on the boat and in the back yard. She said the sole purpose of the "punk" was to embarrass me, and to make CNN look bad.
Yes, because when men harass women and hit on them the entire time, it's the women and their employers who look bad.
Even on a boat, we're swimming in rape culture:
James was supposed to tape the following script before the meeting on the boat.
"My name is James, I work in video activism and journalism. I've been approached by CNN for an interview where I know what their angle is: they want to portray me and my friends as crazies, as non-journalists, as unprofessional and likely as homophobes, racists or bigots of some sort…"
"Instead, I've decided to have a little fun. Instead of giving her a serious interview, I'm going to punk CNN. Abbie has been trying to seduce me to use me, in order to spin a lie about me. So, I'm going to seduce her, on camera, to use her for a video. This bubble-headed-bleach-blonde who comes on at five will get a taste of her own medicine, she'll get seduced on camera and you'll get to see the awkwardness and the aftermath."
"Please sit back and enjoy the show."
It explains very simply what "the joke" is.
"The joke is that the tables have turned on CNN. Using hot blondes to seduce interviewees to get screwed on television, you are faux seducing her in order to screw her on television."
I just don't know what to say to that.
Homophobia? Well, now that you mention it Mr. O'Keefe, sure, why not?
Confusing the work of a woman with seduction? Honestly, when's the last time Wolf Blitzer was accused of seducing anyone? Of course, Blitzer's not a bleach-blonde. I'm not sure that look would suit him.
And the screwing. Always with the screwing.
Always with the screwing because rape culture is alive and well. Always because this is the nth time the same man has tried to get away with using similar tactics. And conservatives will hail him as a once and future hero in three, two, one...
H/t: Shaker JMonkey