Linda McMahon, who is currently running for U.S. Senate in Connecticut, has had a distasteful career, there is no doubt about it.
As Vince McMahon's wife, she and her husband have presided over the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and made an incredible fortune off the many publicity stunts and acting the WWE is famous for. They have made so much, in fact, that they live in a $20 million estate (among other properties they own) in Greenwich.
Greenwich, Connecticut, is home to a great number of old moneyed sorts, exactly the kind of people who would be horrified by WWE, which is notoriously "low brow" entertainment.
McMahon has the Republican nomination and a contingent of women opposes her run on the grounds that she has exploited women. They've formed the group Mother Opposing McMahon and are very vocal.
They've released this video (**Warning: It shows degradation of women):
The video is disturbing and as someone who finds WWE disgusting, revolting, and an example of everything that is wrong with American society today, I was ready to join the group.
But here's the question: if McMahon were a man, say her husband, would we have the same level of outrage? Do women find it extra distasteful because she was a woman in power as the CEO of WWE and she still allowed such a display?
The WWE is entertaining to some, apparently, and most people know it's all acting. Yes, it's disgusting, but it's no more disgusting than waterboarding, which happened on President George W. Bush's watch. Where were the angry mothers then?
Consider Larry Flynt. Though he isn't holding an elected office, the man famous for stunts such as putting a naked woman through a meat grinder in a pictorial in his Hustler Magazine is considered a champion of First Amendment rights. Woody Harrelson played him in the movie and most agree that, distasteful as his empire may be, his cause is just.
So, sometimes it's OK to objectify women and other times it isn't? Is it dependent on how much we like the person doing the talking?
As far as I can tell, the WWE was an equal opportunity degrader. Men, women, and animals were all subject to their depravity. So why clutch onto this?
There are plenty of reasons not to vote for McMahon. For instance, she's fiscally out to lunch and unrealistic. But opposing her on the basis of what happens on the WWE stage is just silly and does nothing to advance the real reasons people shouldn't vote for her.
What do you think of Linda McMahon's run?
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