On Oct. 27, Katie Hill, a congresswoman from California’s 25th Congressional District, was pushed to resign from her short-lived position as a result of revenge porn posted by a jealous ex.
Hill, just 29 when she announced her campaign for Congress in 2017, unseated an incumbent Republican who defended carbon emissions, opposed gun control and even voted to protect the Confederate flag.
She was also among the 117 women who won congressional seats in the 2018 midterm election, as well as one of the first openly bisexual women in Congress.
The revenge porn consisted of photos that were taken and released without her consent. They were published on the conservative website RedState and later in the Daily Mail tabloid. The photos showcased her relationship with a female staffer.
In addition to the released photos, a GOP operative told Hill that they have over 700 revenge porn photos of her, none of which she knew about, and they threatened to use them against her at any time if she remained in office.
In her last speech given on the floor of the House on Thursday, Hill apologized repeatedly to the people she hurt with the photos, photos that she said were taken without her knowledge and consent.
She apologized for letting down those who had helped her win her seat in Congress and said that she chose to resign because of the death threats and harassment that had made her fear for her life in the days after the photos were released.
Now, I’m not condoning her relationship with her staffer. I would simply like to point out the double standard that exists for men and women in politics. The question stands: would she have resigned if she were a man?
A prime example of this is our current president, Donald Trump. who had been accused, on multiple occasions, of sexual assault and sexual harassment.
The list of men who committed intentional sexual violence but still hold positions in our governmental bodies could probably fill this entire newspaper, but I only have so much space.
In many of these cases, the excuse is that these men made one mistake in their lives that shouldn’t cost them their careers.
To that I say: if that is the sentiment that we have toward bad behavior in American politics, then Katie Hill should still be sitting in Congress.
What Hill did is far less serious than what Trump and Brett Kavanaugh, an associate justice of the Supreme Court, are accused of, and we still let them have thriving political or judicial careers.
In addition, Hill is the victim in this situation, whereas Trump and Kavanaugh were the perpetrators. Hill had intimate photos of her taken and released by her ex-husband without her knowledge or consent.
She did not break any rules (it’s only against the rules to have a relationship with a male staffer, allegations that Hill denies), nor did she force the staffer to have sex with her.
What her ex-husband did is not her fault, and she should not be punished for it.
If people like Hill, who are simply victims of an angry man’s revenge, are pushed to resign from their political positions, then people like Trump and Kavanaugh should be forced to resign as well.