Katie Hill: a victim of revenge porn

Katie Hill and the release of her intimate photos are a prime example of why more women don't run for political office.


This image features Katie Hill giving her resignation speech last Thursday. It was taken from the Washington Post.

Up until a week ago, Hill was a congresswoman from California, but she has recently resigned after nude photographs of her were released to the public. She only served as the U.S. representative for California's 25th Congressional District for a little under a year, having been elected in October 2018.


There were allegations that Hill had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a member of her congressional staff. These allegations came to light after her husband, whom she's currently divorcing, released nude pictures of her and one of her staff members.


The conservative website RedState published her implicit photos, and by releasing them to the public, it was able to use them as a tactic to smear her and her campaign.


The following was taken from her resignation speech last Thursday: "I'm leaving because of a misogynistic culture that gleefully consumed my naked pictures, capitalized on my sexuality and enabled my abusive ex to continue that abuse, this time with the entire country watching."


Hill was a not only a victim of revenge porn, but also of a double standard. There have been various times when men in the political office displayed sexual misconduct, but got away with it without even a slap on the wrist.


Take a look at Donald Trump and his alleged relationship with adult film star Stormy Daniels. This incident was only a blip in the president's time in office and will have no impact on his chance for re-election.


Or what about the infamous scandal concerning Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton? Clinton had his fair share of scandals, but unlike Hill, he didn't have to face the same pressures to resign from office. Clinton was impeached partly due to the fact that he lied under oath about his relationship with Lewinsky, unlike Hill, who was honest and admitted her affair with one of her staffers in the final years of her abusive relationship with her husband.


Salisbury University senior Bethany Nehring feels saddened by how this situation was handled.


"It really breaks my heart to see that a woman who was given power had it ripped completely away from her under such terrible circumstances. Kate Hill not only endured years of abuse from her husband, but now has to endure abuse from the media as well."


Unfortunately, revenge porn is becoming an increasingly used tactic not only in the political world, but in many other avenues as well. Women are constantly having to defend themselves against allegations, old photographs, etc. just to prove that they are worthy and capable of holding power.


The purpose of revenge porn is to discredit the victim by exposing their privacy. Despite what the media may portray, however, a woman's sexual life does not determine her ability to lead others.


Regardless of whether or not what Katie Hill did was ethical, she did not deserve the misogynist right-wing smear campaign that caused her to end her career. It is time that these tactics are put to rest. No one deserves their privacy to be revealed in such an insensitive way.



By MELANIE RAIBLE

Editorial editor

Featured photo from the Washington Post.


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