I don’t know why people think I’m sick and twisted.
I set off a firestorm of criticism this morning when I posted this picture of Ali Campoverde. Well, I’m really gonna piss ‘em off now.
The picture came from the article I linked to, and was published in Maxim magazine in 2004 and is available from multiple sources on the Internet.
Ms. Campoverde is a aide to a White House deputy chief of staff and is rumored to be the girlfriend of President Obama’s chief speechwriter Jon Favreau. She grew up in upper-middle class Santa Monica, graduated from the University of Southern California and from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. The picture was taken after she graduated from USC.
After she appeared in Maxim she appeared in the movies The Aviator and Constantine and the reality dating show For Love or Money (where she was a ‘million-dollar girl’) and she was a finalist for the The Apprentice.
As Gawker put it:
And does it say anything about the Millennial Generation’s take on feminism that she’s happily reconciled reality dating TV with an Ivy League education; lingerie photo spreads with a high-powered political job?
According to my critics, I am “slut shaming” Ms. Campoverde by publishing the picture she voluntarily posed for in her underwear. “Shaming” is the present participle of “shame” which Mirriam Webster defines as:
1 a: a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety b: the susceptibility to such emotion <have you no shame?>
2: a condition of humiliating disgrace or disrepute : ignominy <the shame of being arrested>
The last time I checked, it was the official feminist position that pornography and the objectification of women was a bad thing, something to be disapproved of. Some feminists seem to want to put all the blame for porn and the objectification of women on the “patriarchy” (men) and hold women blameless.
You can’t have it both ways. If porn and the objectification of women is bad, then it should be condemned, along with the people (male and female) who willingly participate. By “condemned” I don’t mean punished, I mean that we should disapprove of the conduct.
I’m not talking about expressing disapproval for a woman’s sexual behavior. This isn’t about who she has sex with, how many people she has sex with, or her marital status when she has sex. It’s not about her sexual orientation or the way she dresses either.
Maxim magazine is Playboy without nudity. Ms. Campoverde was not modeling ”intimate apparel” for a catalog. She was not helping to market lingerie to other women. She was posing in skimpy underwear for the sexual gratification of men.
One of my critics asked:
Are underwear models “bad”?
To which I responded:
Would it make a difference if she was a Playboy centerfold, a stripper, Nevada prostitute or a porn star?
All of those are legal occupations. Are we supposed to completely non-judgmental about such things? Or where is the line?
If someone wants to argue that Maxim magazine isn’t soft-core porn and/or doesn’t objectify women, I’m willing to listen.
The picture wasn’t taken without Ms. Campoverde’s knowledge, nor was it supposed to be kept private. She posed willingly, and probably received monetary compensation. While we often hear that many if not most women are compelled to participate in porn by economic or other circumstances, that is not the case here.
There is a basic fallacy in the idea that “women shouldn’t be blamed for trying to navigate the patriarchy the best way they can.” First of all, engaging in pornography (softcore or otherwise) isn’t an option for all women, it’s only an option for women who are considered sexually attractive.
Secondly, objectification affects all women, and men too. If a woman flirts and dresses provocatively to get a job, is that fair to the women (and men) who don’t? If some women are willing to trade sexual favors to get a promotion, doesn’t that put pressure on the others? If a man askes a woman for sex in exchange for a promotion we would call it sexual harassment. But what if it was her idea?
Was it called ”slut shaming” when we condemned Jon Favreau over the picture of him groping the cardboard cut-out of Hillary? Were we “slut shaming Obama” when we posted pictures and clips of him insulting and denigrating Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin? What about when we criticized Amber Lee Ettinger (aka “Obama Girl”) for shaking her booty in that notorious video?
Women must be held accountable for their conduct just like men. That’s part of the “equality” thingie. Bad conduct can be mitigated, excused or forgiven based on the circumstances, but it’s still bad conduct. We should express disapproval for conduct we disapprove of. If that causes the people doing it to feel shame, well, that’s the point, isn’t it?
BTW – I can tell you ahead of time that the response of the PUMA-obsessed blogstalkers will be to dredge up some lame joke I made months ago and accuse me of hypocrisy. Those overflowing commodes of misogyny feel no cognitive dissonance lecturing me on feminism. They attack me personally because they have nothing else to offer, no substantive arguments. But then again what else can you expect from people whose sole purpose in the blogosphere is to stalk and harass PUMAs?
It seems that chief Obama speechwriter Jon “The Groper” Favreau has found a love connection with Ali Campoverdi, a former lingerie model for Maxim magazine. Where, you ask, did the frat-boy photo fondler meet such a hot babe with his busy schedule writing inspiring speeches for TelePrompter Jeebus? It appears to be an office romance:
Ms Campoverdi is now an aide to a White House deputy chief of staff, American media outlets said.
But she has previously appeared American reality shows – including including the dating show For Love or Money, where she was a ‘million-dollar girl’.
The California native also appeared as a vampire hunted by Keanu Reeves in Constantine and was a finalist for the American version of The Apprentice with Donald Trump.
And we were worried that President Obama wasn’t hiring enough women. I guess you just need to have the right assets.
More on Mr. Favreau’s work product from Sheryl Robinson at The New Agenda:
Given the mere eleven days between Gov. Palin’s arrival on the national scene and the comments by Obama, the lipstick and fish juxtaposition is simply too convenient—too elegant, one might say—to dismiss as a coincidence. Like the rabbit and caterpillar I used above, Obama’s references were intended to evoke a specific association for the listener—Governor Sarah Palin: a pig in lipstick, a smelly fish.
It was perfect—a work of art—and the idea that a skilled orator like Obama didn’t know what he was doing when he spoke those words is absurd.
Of course he knew.
Just like he knew what unconscious association he was evoking when he said, “I understand that Senator Clinton, periodically, when she’s feeling down, goes on the attack to boost her appeal.”
Hillary Clinton: hormonal harridan.
Perhaps Obama didn’t like doing it. Maybe he was advised to use these tactics, told, “This is what you have to do to win.” Maybe he didn’t write this stuff himself. Maybe Favreau wrote it, and maybe writing things that were deliberately intended to demean Senator Clinton shaped Favreau’s attitude toward her to such a degree that just days after Obama appointed her as Secretary of State, Favreau would take a cardboard cutout of the senator back to his place as a party prop and interact with it in ways that were intended to humiliate her.
That comes via Violet Socks, who adds:
It’s extraordinary: a campaign so relentlessly on-message and attentive to detail that they never even used Arial font when it was supposed to Gotham, not once, not even for a last-minute extra batch of signs.
And we’re supposed to believe that the sexism was an accident?
But what does she know? She’s just a right-wing mole.
Vagina dentata - scary lady parts
This one is definitely NSFO (Not Safe For Obots):
Oh, wait – that was the wrong clip. Try this one:
That wasn’t it either. Well, I can’t find an embeddable version, so here’s Politico’s version of what he said:
President Barack Obama made a surprise visit to the White House press corps Thursday night, but got agitated when he was faced with a substantive question.
Asked how he could reconcile a strict ban on lobbyists in his administration with a deputy defense secretary nominee who lobbied for Raytheon, Obama interrupted with a knowing smile on his face.
“Ahh, see,” he said, “I came down here to visit. See this is what happens. I can’t end up visiting with you guys and shaking hands if I’m going to get grilled every time I come down here.”
Pressed further by the Politico reporter about his Pentagon nominee, William J. Lynn III, Obama turned more serious, putting his hand on the reporter’s shoulder and staring him in the eye.
“Alright, come on” he said, with obvious irritation in his voice. “We will be having a press conference at which time you can feel free to [ask] questions. Right now, I just wanted to say hello and introduce myself to you guys – that’s all I was trying to do.”
I think I finally found it:
We seem to have a couple of wannabe thug trolls trying to act scary and intimidating. They are about as authentic and dangerous as the guys in this clip:
Yeah, I’m shaking – from laughter.