Why Did Katie Hill Resign When Male Politicians Don't?
Start writing a post
Currently

Katie Hill And The Hypocritical Sexism Of The Political Class

I can't help but wonder if the same expectation would have been placed upon her had she been male.

488
Katie Hill And The Hypocritical Sexism Of The Political Class

There are more than enough categories to judge our politicians on already. We should judge them on whether they remain true to their campaign promises. They should be assessed on whether or not they've lied to the electorate. Their competencies, their level of knowledge and experience, and their apparent ability to perform the tasks being asked of them should also be factors in how we feel about them.

None of these considerations were taken into account when it comes to Katie Hill.

The deposed Santa Clarita Congresswoman is only 32 years old. She may have gone on to be one of the most important politicians of her generation, or she may have gone on to achieve nothing at all. She'd started well. She was the first bisexual candidate ever to be elected to represent California. We'll now never know how she'd have followed up on the platform that gave her. She's been forced to resign in the middle of a scandal about nude photographs, and a potentially inappropriate relationship with a staffer.

We'll come to the relationship with a staffer in a moment, but we should talk about the nude photographs first.

As we all know, they're a curse of the age we live in. Studies suggest a fourth of high school students and a third of college students have sent or received at least one "sext" during their lifetime. So long as the people depicted in said photographs aren't breaking the law, they shouldn't be used to form verdicts about their moral character. More troublingly, Hill claims she didn't share these pictures herself. She says they were uploaded to shame her by her husband, who she's in the process of divorcing and has called "abusive." Normally, when someone is the victim of an unauthorized nude photo leak, we refer to them as the victim. For some reason, in the case of this young Democratic congresswoman, they've been used as evidence that she's somehow unsuitable for office.

Another factor that's come into play in the press is that Hill was, in the past, in a three-way relationship with the staffer and her husband. This is unconventional and potentially against congressional ethics guidelines, but again, not illegal. Nobody was harmed in the process of the three consenting adults having a relationship together. As with the nude photos, the angle that some of the press have taken with her is akin to "kink-shaming" — attacking what they don't understand or don't agree with, despite it having nothing to do with her suitability to continue in her role. A caricature of Hill has been built in the conservative press. She's been presented as stupid because she posed for nude photographs. She's been painted as somehow deviant because she was in a three-way relationship.

Neither accusation is true, and neither allegation should have been sufficient for her to be forced out of her position.

The majority of people have vices, and the majority of those vices are connected to alcohol or other substances, gambling, or sex. In all three cases, there isn't an issue so long as the law is being respected, and the person with the vice doesn't have an issue. If a political candidate spends their free time logged into a mobile slots website, that's nothing to do with the electorate. Even if that political candidate loses the majority of their money playing mobile slots, they still haven't broken the law. Only when they're using campaign money to play mobile slots, or they're playing mobile slots when they should be working, does it become an issue.

The same is true of alcohol.

The same is true of sex.

Now, about the relationship with the staffer. This may or may not have violated congressional rules. The House Ethics Committee has begun to investigate that possibility, and it's in light of that investigation that Hill has resigned. It's certainly not a clear cut case that she broke the rules - if it were, the investigation wouldn't be necessary. There's no suggestion yet that Hill passed sensitive information to the staffer, nor is there any suggestion yet that public money was misused during their relationship. If Hill has violated the rules, it will have been a minor transgression. The Committee may ultimately decide that she didn't violate any rules at all. It won't matter. Hill has already resigned, and her political career appears to be over. Most people expected her to resign.

I can't help but wonder if the same expectation would have been placed upon her had she been male.

Let us not forget that if we create a set of subjective moral rules by which we should judge our politicians, they should be applied to all of our politicians equally. If you believe Katie Hill's sexual conduct is immoral and, therefore, an offense for which she should lose her job, then how do you feel about the president's confession that he likes to grab women by their most intimate area without their permission? How do you feel about the fact that he partied with Jeffrey Epstein, and noted the convicted pedophile's appreciation for young girls? We know both those things are true because he's told us they are. Going further than that, how is it that Anthony Weiner had to have a confession for his (undoubted) bad behavior dragged out of him, and was then able to attempt to return to politics in the New York mayoral elections barely two years later?

Where's the consistency?

Where's the parity?

These questions are not new, and nor do we expect them to be answered any time soon. In the meantime, Katie Hill is fighting for her own rights and the rights of wronged women everywhere. She's suing the British tabloid newspaper that her stolen nude photos were originally published in, and has vowed to be a zealous advocate for victims of so-called revenge porn — compromising images shared online by a jilted former partner in the aftermath of a breakup. We wish her well on both fronts, and we hope to see her again one day.

Our political processes need more people involved who understand the trials and tribulations faced by those who are under 40, not fewer.

Report this Content
Swoon

23 Pandemic-Approved Date Ideas That'll Send Sparks Flying From Six Feet Apart

There's a safe way to date right now and yes, it includes masks.

159932

While some people would rather opt out of dating altogether during the pandemic so they don't have to wear a mask on a first date, others are choosing to listen to both guidelines and their heart in order to find love during the time of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Should you be one of the individuals welcoming romance right now, there are pandemic-approved dates you can go on that still adhere to guidelines (and yes, you'll have to wear a mask).

Keep Reading... Show less

In our patriarchal society, men hide from their feelings, but toxic masculinity is literally killing men. They swallow the pain and move on so that they can look, feel, and act "tough."

But, strength is derived from asking for help and voicing your struggle and, trust me, working on your mental health is one hell of a struggle. The real way to "man up" is to acknowledge the downfalls in unjust societal norms. Mental health problems do not mean that a man is weak, they are neurologically-based disorders that require professional treatment.

Keep Reading... Show less
Currently

RBG Just Passed Away, And My Feminist Heart Is Breaking

Her fight for women's rights makes me want to step up and join in, too.

617

In case you haven't heard, The Supreme Court has announced Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death due to complications from pancreatic cancer.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Sorry, But 'I Don’t Care About Politics' Is Not A Valid Excuse For NOT Voting

The younger generation of voters is so crucial to the upcoming election because our vote is going to shape the world that we are about to enter as adults.

33647

When I ask my friends if they are voting this term most of them respond with "no" followed by an explanation of "I don't care enough," "It doesn't affect me," or "I don't keep up with politics," etc. I get it, as a college student I know that there are many other things to be concerned about like school, relationships, work, and friends. I also understand that keeping up with politics can seem like trying to keep up with an over-exaggerated reality show that has way too many seasons. Not to mention most news stations and websites are biased so it's hard to decipher if what you hear is true or fake.

However, despite all of this annoyance, as the next generation of Americans, we have to remember that we owe it to ourselves, our families, and to our futures to care.

Keep Reading... Show less

Donald Trump has signed an executive order that will ban the popular app TikTok from U.S. app stores, effective Sunday, September 20.

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Anna Hernández-Buces

"Do you have big parties on Cinco de Mayo?"

Keep Reading... Show less
Currently

Netflix Star Jerry Harris Got Arrested For Child Pornography, And That's Nothing To Cheer About

Harris admitted to the FBI that he asked for the images and sex from the boy multiple times.

3847

Jerry Harris, one of the stars of Netflix's series "Cheer," has been charged with soliciting child pornography.

Keep Reading... Show less

Listen, I respect the Texas State Board of Education for finally updating their 1997 sex-ed curriculum. However, if they don't mention LGBTQ issues and consent, the program is far from holistic.

Keep Reading... Show less
Currently

As A Michigan State Student, I Can Say That Virtual Classes Have Been Better Than I Expected

Why the virtual school year has not been as bad as I thought it would be so far.

394

For pretty much every college student going back to campus, whether it be in person or online, the school year has looked anything but normal. The majority of us are probably doing classes from the comfort of our own homes, apartments, and maybe even dorms for some. For me, I'm doing completely virtual classes from my hometown, and while it really was not the way I had wanted to start the year, so far it's actually gone better than I expected it to go.

Keep Reading... Show less

Since Patagonia's beginnings, the outdoor clothing and gear company has advocated for the environment. The company's founder, Yvon Chouinard, is known as the "pioneer of environmental activism" and to this day his company is in business to save the planet — our home. Since 1985, 1% of all sales go to the "preservation and restoration of the natural environment."

Keep Reading... Show less

It's old news that the Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has been criticized as homophobic, transphobic, and sexist. Honestly, the woman's tone-deaf behavior is utterly disappointing. But who knew that the actor who played Hagrid, Robbie Coltrane, was gung-ho on defending Rowling's trans row, too?

Keep Reading... Show less

A little more than six months ago, 26-year old Black woman Breonna Taylor was shot and killed in her own home by police in Lousiville, KY. The police stated that they had a warrant that allowed them to enter her home without warning or without knocking. It was later learned that even though Taylor was shot multiple times, she was still alive for a short time before passing away on her bed. It was also later known that Taylor wasn't the main suspect of the investigation that the warrant was for.

Keep Reading... Show less
Currently

Jill Biden Holds Online Event On Arizona's Education System

Dr. Jill Biden Zoomed with Arizona residents on September 10, 2020, to talk about issues within the Arizona school system affecting students as they transition from online school to in-person classes this fall.

1579

Dr. Jill Biden joined Arizona residents on a Zoom call on September 10, 2020, to discuss the challenges Arizona school districts face as they move towards reopening this fall. Biden, who had previously taught for 30 years, detailed some of the fears parents and educators now have as they wrestle with the decision of students' return.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments