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"Such attacks are truly shameful."
That's the title of a story posted on the news and gossip website Gawker yesterday. It's caused a stir, particularly because its author is anonymous. The Delaware Senatorial candidate has denied the claim. And now some, including liberal organizations such as the National Organization for Wowen, are standing up for O'Donnell.
First, the claim.
"I barely knew Christine when she turned up at my door at around eight o'clock on the night of Halloween," Gawker's story begins. The author goes on to detail how, three years ago, a very intoxicated O'Donnell begged the man to go drinking with her and a friend, and how she asked the man to bring her back to his place later. He did, and while they ended up naked in his bed, he claims they never had sex.
Last night, Sean Hannity noticed that Republican women across the country have been "demonized," from Meg Whitman in California, to Sharron Angle in Nevada, and now to O'Donnell. He invited O'Donnell on the show to respond to the accusations and his theory. At the time, however, she claimed she was unaware of them:
Soon after the show, however, the O'Donnell camp responded.
"This story is just another example of the sexism and slander that female candidates are forced to deal with. From Secretary Clinton, to Governor Palin, to soon-to-be Governor Haley, Christine's political opponents have been willing to engage in appalling and baseless attacks — all with the aim of distracting the press from covering the real issues in this race," O'Donnell's communications director said in a statement yesterday.
"Such attacks are truly shameful," the statement added.
The National Organization for Women agrees.
“NOW repudiates Gawker’s decision to run this piece. It operates as public sexual harassment. And like all sexual harassment, it targets not only O’Donnell, but all women contemplating stepping into the public sphere,” said NOW president Terry O’Neill.
While O'Neill “finds O’Donnell’s political positions dangerous for women … that does not mean it’s acceptable to use slut-shaming against her, or any woman.”
That statement is somewhat puzzling. Just a few weeks ago, NOW came under fire for not taking a harder stance when California's Meg Whitman was called a "whore."
Still, the outcry over the story may have forced NOW to come out strong. The list of others questioning the piece is growing:
“[S]exist, misogynist attacks against women have no place in the electoral process, regardless of a particular candidate’s political ideology,” NOW added.
That sentiment seems to be echoed, at least now, by conservatives and liberals alike.
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