The XX Factor

Krystal Ball Feminism

The exquisitely named Virginia congressional candidate Krystal Ball (she herself says it sounds like a porn star or stripper name) has made a rallying cry of what are now known as her “dirty Santa photos.” The series of shots , published first by a right-wing blog,  show her sucking on a red dildo attached to her husband’s nose. The pictures, she said, were published to “make me feel like a whore.” But she refuses to collapse into a ball and weep. “Society has to accept that women of my generation have sexual lives that are going to leak into the public sphere,” she wrote, in a manifesto that has made her a heroine to young feminists everywhere.  “Anyone else in love with this woman?” Jessica Wakeman of the Frisky asked and praised her “personal strength.” Others have concurred .

If Ball is the new face of feminism, then I have to confess that I just don’t understand. It’s all well and good that women have sexual lives, but that doesn’t mean that voters want to see the details of them displayed in black, white, and red. We no more want to see our congresswoman sucking a red dildo than we want to read Mark Sanford write his mistress that he loves her “tan lines” or hear Prince Charles talk about being Camila’s tampon. It’s not the fact that she has a love life-her daughter Ella is pretty much solid proof of that-it’s the visuals.

Ball writes about holding her baby girl Ella in her arms on the day that Hillary Clinton had to face the country with her private life exposed and thinking she wanted a better life for baby Ella. So the idea is what? That one day baby Ella can suck a dildo on her boyfriend’s  nose and still be president. You go girl!

To prove the inherent sexism, Ball and others have compared her pictures to Scott Brown’s pin up shots. But a) Scott Brown was just standing there looking hot. Not, say, sucking a plastic boob and b) the balance of the Senate was hanging in his hands, so a few beefcake shots were not going to turn Republicans off him.  Which brings me to my last point: “I expected to receive huge fundraising support from Hillary Clinton and Obama donors,” Ball writes. “I wondered, was it because I hadn’t paid my dues?”

Uh, yeah. And not just not paid your dues. But Hillary Clinton did not show up hat in hand because she has probably never heard of this 28-year-old CPA from Virginia. Ditto Obama.

Photograph of Krystal Ball by Getty Images.