If you didn’t know any better, you might think this story was destined for the headlines. Red State reports that prominent Democrat congresswoman Katie Hill allegedly had a prolonged sexual relationship with a young female staffer. As the story goes, Hill and her now-estranged husband were involved in a “throuple” relationship with the 22-year-old staffer, who was just out of college when she began working with, and allegedly dating, the congresswoman.
Making the whole thing even stranger and more salacious, various photos have surfaced, including one that appears to show a nude Hill brushing the hair of a young woman (presumably the staffer). Red State also has text messages between the woman and Hill, in which Hill explained why she wanted to end the relationship. She appears to admit in the exchange that part of the reason is the political risk. Hill and her husband allegedly became estranged after the revelation of another alleged affair with a different member of her staff. Hill was supposedly sexually involved with her finance director even while she was in a relationship with the 22-year-old staffer.
Now, is any of this relevant to the public or is it all just fit for the tabloids? Well, as Red State points out, Hill is a U.S. Representative on two important congressional committees. Her alleged propensity for sleeping with her staff, and allowing photos to be taken, opens her up to blackmail, which could become a national security risk. Furthermore, all kinds of ethical (and maybe legal) boundaries are potentially crossed when politicians employ and pay their sex partners. These two factors alone make it a newsworthy story.
Perhaps even more to the point, though, is the power dynamic at work here. We have been repeatedly told by the Me Too movement that sexual relationships between a boss and a subordinate are inappropriate, immoral, and potentially tantamount to rape, because of the imbalance of power between the two partners. The subordinate can too easily be manipulated, threatened, and exploited so that consent becomes considerably murkier. I’m not sure that I fully buy this line of reasoning, personally, but my opinion is irrelevant. The point is that the media and the Left have made their feelings on this subject quite clear. And they have consistently classified relationships like the one between Hill and her staffer as, at a minimum, unethical.
And yet Hill has received almost no condemnation for this. The story has gotten basically no attention. It seems, on the surface, like the kind of thing the media would love to report — sex sells, after all — but they aren’t coming within 100 miles of this one. The reason for that is apparent, and it only has a little to do with Hill’s political party.
Obviously, our unabashedly biased media is always going to cut Democrats massive amounts of slack when it comes to sex scandals, and all other types of scandals. But the Me Too hysteria proved that liberals aren’t fully immune. Plenty of prominent left-wing men were thrown into that bonfire. What grants Hill full immunity is the fact that, in addition to being a Democrat, she is also a woman. More than anything else, it is her gender that saves her from scrutiny.
If there was a photograph floating around of a nude male politician brushing the hair of his young staffer, it would be headline news everywhere. Even if he was a Democrat. We would be told that the image is a disturbing illustration of sexual exploitation in the workplace. The man would be condemned as a creep, a pervert, and a freak. He would be forced to apologize publicly. Then would follow a flurry of additional accusations, as victims — whether real or fake — came out of the woodwork to tell their stories of assault and abuse. By week’s end, he would have resigned in disgrace. We all know this is how the story would go. Nobody can deny it. We’ve seen the movie too many times to have any doubts.
Compare that to the reaction to Hill’s scandal. That should be easy to do because there has been no reaction. No anger. No headlines. No forced apology. No accountability. Nothing. Women just don’t get in trouble for sexual indiscretions the way men do. And their sex scandals don’t elicit anywhere close to the same kind of public outrage. Consider the epidemic of female teachers molesting their male students. They might face legal consequences but there has never been, and never will be, the kind of outcry you see towards male sex predators. This is one of the most glaring and enduring double standards in modern American culture. And Katie Hill has allegedly made exorbidant use of it.