Oh, Katie, Katie, Katie.
How very sad and weak of you to blame your problems on a rotten man. Was he terrible? Of course. Any man who cheats on his wife is. But let’s remember that you also cheated in the tawdry, three-way sexcapade.
Revenge porn, you say, is the issue. Just remember that in order for you to be a “victim” of revenge porn, there first have to be pornographic photos of you. And, of course there are, with you as a willing participant. Not only as a participant, put positioned as some sort of sick mother image, brushing the hair of your young, paid lesbian lover while she sits submissively on the floor in front of your naked body.
I’m sorry, but if you get caught in the act of living a red-light district lifestyle, you don’t get to blame your demise on someone else. And you certainly don’t get to hold yourself up as a hero and advocate for other women.
Nor do you get to portray yourself as a victim, when in fact, you were the predator. As the congressional candidate and then a duly elected public official, you were the one with the power and prestige. As the older woman, you were the one with the influence. You held all the cards, dealt a confused young woman a bad hand, and then dare to cry about being the victim?
You could use this moment of shame to fully admit your serious errors and beg for forgiveness from the women across the country who you let down. Do not for one moment believe that you are some sort of female hero. The fact is, you have harmed the progress of women in the public square. You failed not just those who voted you into office, but you let all women down by your irresponsible behavior.
Women as a whole suffer when one of us gains a position of power only to engage in the same sordid behavior that we claim to hate in powerful men. Women lose when a rising female star engages in foolish, immoral and abusive behavior and then blames someone else as the inevitable consequences of those poor choices come home to roost.
You claim that your estranged husband was abusive. I don’t doubt it for a second. But if that is true, then why didn’t you protect your young subject from him?
The fresh college graduate that you paid and had sex with was your subordinate. Not only did you use her, you subjected her to an abusive man. And yet, because you got caught when the abusive man squealed, you now dare to position yourself as a crusader? As a protector of “our sisters and our daughters?”
You could use your 15 minutes of fame to teach young women about the dangers and immorality of participating in three-way sex capades, of how “swinger” marriages always fail, about the harms and stupidity of cheapening yourself by starring in your own personal porn show. You could denounce the practice of powerful people using younger and weaker human beings to fulfill their selfish fantasies. But no, you are positioning yourself as a victim. And you’re right about that in some respect -— you are a victim of your own awful choices.
Either you are a crusader for a better way or you or not. So far, you only choose to obfuscate the facts and shift the blame. If this is “dirty politics,” as you claimed in your farewell speech to Congress, then you are the dirtiest of the politicians in your very sad story.
I don’t doubt that you are hurting and damaged. But you will never heal until you face all of your failures, take time to evaluate your life, reset your moral compass and start living that better way that you insist on men living.
America’s young women need mentors who will encourage them to treat others as they would like to be treated. They need role models who work hard, fight for what is right and act like the leaders of all of our dreams.
⦁ Rebecca Hagelin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.