Krystal Ball Photos: Sexism or Smart Smearing?

Sasha Brown-Worsham

When Bill Clinton got a blow job in the White House, half the country was calling for his head (no pun intended), but when photos of Krystal Ball surfaced, almost no one batted an eye.

Ball is a 28-year-old Democrat running for Congress in Virginia whose "racy" photos depict her simulating oral sex on a pretend nose at a house party in 2004 and dressed like a naughty Santa Claus. She's running against the GOP incumbent, Representative Rob Wittman, and if the photo leak was intended to hurt her, it sure hasn't worked.

Most major media outlets defended her.

Time suggested the photo leak was "sexism in action":

To deny that prominent women face more scrutiny about their personal lives than prominent men just smacks as willful ignorance.

The Huffington Post thought it was much ado about nothing:

After viewing the pictures, we can't help but wonder what the big stink is all about? It's not like people have never seen others dressed up in tasteless costumes behaving like idiots.

Ball, herself, released the following statement:

I felt it was important to speak out on this issue and I have done so. I believe that I was ... treated fairly by the media and able to answer to the voters of Virginia. Now they deserve a discussion regarding issues such as reforming government, getting people back to work, and improving our education system. I feel deeply blessed to be interviewing for the job of Congresswoman in front of the citizens of the first district of Virginia. I will not be granting any additional interviews on this issue for the remainder of the campaign.

She isn't the first politician to have racy photos. Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts was once a nude centerfold in Cosmopolitan (and looked pretty yummy, too). He was still elected. And luckily for Ball, these photos are helping her more than hurting her, it seems.

Suddenly people know who she is and she's fighting back with honesty over denial -- both signs of a strong and confident candidate. But why did anyone think people would care? If Wittman did leak the photos, as rumor suggests, then he is the sexist one. Did he also balk at Brown's centerfold? I doubt it.

The things that a 22-year-old girl does long before she runs for office are no more relevant than the modeling Brown did to pay his way through law school. It seems clear that the one who looks the worst in all this is the person who leaked the photos. Just believing that a photo of a young, pretty girl fellating a reindeer would cost her votes does smack of sexism.

If it's good for the goose, it's good for the gander. Can a "Hotties of DC" calendar be far behind?

What do you think of the photos?

Image via Facebook


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