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Feminist Site Tries To Slut-Shame Pro-Life Woman

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Well this is sad. You would think that if the week-long, 24-hours-a-day outrage over Rush Limbaugh‘s comments against Sandra Fluke taught us anything, it would be that dismissing a political opponent as a slut is outside the bounds of acceptable rhetoric. But that’s precisely what feminist site Jezebel has done with a young woman who has the gall — like half of all women — to be pro-life.

I’ve pointed out (for instance, “What About The War On Conservative Women?” and “No, Pro-Life Women Aren’t ‘Men With Breasts’“) how women with traditional values are used to being slut-shamed, called names or having their femininity questioned. But it’s still sad to see when it happens.

I happen to be acquainted with the woman being slut-shamed by Jezebel and other so-called “progressive” sites. Her name is Ciara Matthews and I covered a campaign she worked on years ago. Jezebel’s Erin Gloria Ryan is in a sputtering rage because Ciara worked at Hooters and is pro-life. Ryan plasters a huge picture of Ciara in her Hooters uniform, describes this woman in the first paragraph as a “former Hooters waitress” and says she’s a “Republican attack dog.” Ciara struck me as a fairly impressive, bright and witty communications professional, particularly given her youth, but I don’t run a feminist web site that belittles women who don’t share my politics.

Ryan digs up an old blog Ciara wrote when she was in high school about how women should not kill unborn children with heartbeats. Since Ryan thinks that abortion of fetuses at this stage is cool, she mocks her. She point out that Ciara worked for Susan B. Anthony List, which she calls a “bizarro EMILY’s List.” Now, I realize that a feminist outfit like Jezebel might not know about a feminist such as Susan B. Anthony, for whom the Susan B. Anthony List was named, but she was a prominent feminist who was also — brace yourself — pro-life. Some pro-choice people like to downplay her pro-life rhetoric, but the fact is that some feminists are pro-life and some feminists aren’t.

And some feminists are slut-shamers. Here’s Ryan pretending that hinging an entire story about one pro-lifer working at Hooters and calling her hypocritical for it is not slut-shaming:

In a hypocritical turn, Matthews seems totally fine with selling chaste sexiness but not permitting sexuality — she used to be a waitress at Hooters. Now, short of cooking meth or murdering enemies of the mob, doing what you have to do to work your way through college is generally admirable, and Matthews shouldn’t be faulted for donning the shiny suntan nylons and orange short shorts of the Hooters uniform. As they say, if you’ve got it, flaunt it. But profitting from selling a plasticized form of unnatural sexiness designed to arouse men while simultaneously believing that women should be forced to face the “consequences” of actually giving into to their sexual desires is a pretty backward way of thinking. And she should be taken to task for it. So we’ve posted this hilarious picture of her in her Hooters uniform to illustrate the ridiculousness of all of this — [Gov. Scott] Walker, Matthews, their wacky beliefs, and the general asshats who we’ve somehow elevated to positions like Governor of an entire goddamn state. Vote, people! This is what happens when you don’t!

Thankfully even the readers at Jezebel aren’t buying it, if the comments section is any indication. Ryan defends her blog post which uses college-era photos and teenage blog posts as “Screen grabs are a real thing, and screen grabs are forever. So are hilarious sexyface pictures. And for all the governors out there facing recall elections: vet your damn staff. Thoroughly.”

You stay classy, Jezebel.

Using sexuality to shame a woman is either OK or not, it doesn’t depend on the woman’s politics.