The violation of Rep. Katie Hill

The violation of Rep. Katie Hill

Unsurprisingly, Katie Hill is in the middle of what appears to be an acrimonious divorce from her husband who is likely the one who allowed RedState to publish intimate photos of Ms. Hill. The Daily Mail in the UK picked up the story and ran even more photos as well as an account of the relationship of Katie Hill, her husband, and the campaign worker. Kamala Harris, in an interview with BuzzFeed News, points out what she feels is behind the use of photos such as these:

“It was clearly meant to embarrass her,” Harris told BuzzFeed News of the photos. “There’s so much that people do about women and their sexuality that’s about shaming them.”

Cyber exploitation, or the nonconsensual release of intimate photos, is an issue close to Harris. When she was California’s attorney general, she was the first to criminally prosecute the operator of a cyber exploitation website, which allowed thousands of intimate photos to be put online without the subjects’ consent, and she worked with tech companies to find ways to curb the practice.

I don’t recall any intimate photos of Al Franken or Bill Clinton. Not that I would have been particularly interested in viewing then had they existed. But they aren’t women. Men are treated by our media as politicians first, and sexual beings second, if at all. But a representative like Katie Hill is being treated as a sexual object instead of a politician accused of a sexual affront. Not a single picture has anything to do with the ethics investigation that is looking into her relationship with Graham Kelley. They all involve her private behavior with a different individual.

Short of rape, it is hard for me to imagine a greater violation of a woman than the publication of such images. These photos were clearly taken for the private viewing of the participants, and were never meant for the public. That they were used as a weapon against Katie Hill makes one wonder what she had done to merit such treatment.

Well, she is a woman. And women must be kept in their place. It must be made clear to us over and over again that we follow a dangerous path when we choose to lead. And Katie Hill is a leader. Selected by her fellow freshmen to serve as one of their representatives to the Democratic Caucus, she was appointed by Elijah Cummings to be the vice chairman of the powerful Committee on Oversight and Reform. She ran on a platform that included getting money out of politics and accepted no PAC money during her congressional race. From an LA Magazine profile:

via Daily Kos The violation of Katie Hill